§ 42-64-35. Government contract procurement assistance.
(a) The general assembly recognizes that:
(1) Many Rhode Island companies provide products and services which are routinely procured by a myriad of governmental entities. However, attempting to understand and comply with the numerous certification, registration, opportunity identification, proposal, and contract requirements associated with government procurement often raises significant barriers for those companies with no government contracting experience;
(2) The costs associated with obtaining a government contract for products or services often prevents most small businesses from working in the governmental procurement market;
(3) Currently many of the federal procurement opportunities are contracted to businesses located outside of the state;
(4) The commerce corporation currently administers programs and initiatives that help create and grow companies in Rhode Island and recruit companies to Rhode Island through the use of state employees, public-private partnerships, and contractual services; and
(5) There exists a significant opportunity for Rhode Island companies to secure new business with federal, state, and local governments.
(b) The corporation through its director:
(1) Shall manage and direct the administration of state programs and initiatives whose purpose is to procure federal, state, and local governmental contracts;
(2) May require program accountability measures; and
(3) May receive and distribute legislative appropriations and public and private grants for projects and programs that:
(i) Are focused on growing Rhode Island companies and positively impacting statewide revenues by expanding current services to help these companies secure new business with federal, state, and local governments;
(ii) Provide guidance to Rhode Island companies interested in obtaining new business with federal, state, and local governmental entities;
(iii) Would facilitate marketing, business development, and expansion opportunities for Rhode Island companies in cooperation with other state and local agencies and departments and with public, nonprofit, or private sector partners such as local chambers of commerce, trade associations, or private contractors as determined by the corporation's director to successfully match Rhode Island businesses with government procurement opportunities.
Any supplemental appropriation to the corporation is to be utilized on specialized consulting service providers qualified and experienced in helping businesses increase their win rate of federal contracts. These services may include, but are not limited to:
(A) Assistance for the EDC in screening companies ("qualified businesses") who have the products, services, basic skills, and resources to effectively compete for and win federal business;
(B) Training and support for the qualified businesses in sales strategies prior to answering formal federal solicitations ("RFPs") and/or winning subcontracting business from major prime contractors;
(C) Proposal development support and training to improve the written responses to federal RFPs, and the oral presentations which follow;
(D) Training and support for negotiation and;
(E) Support services and subject matter experts to ensure contract performance and compliance.
(c) A recipient of monies distributed under this section shall provide the office with a set of standard monthly reports, the content of which shall be determined by the office to include at least the following information:
(1) Consultative meetings with Rhode Island companies;
(2) Seminars or training meetings held;
(3) Government contracts awarded to Rhode Island companies;
(4) Jobs created/retained; and
(5) Salary ranges of jobs created/retained.
(6) The return on investment/cost per job.
(P.L. 2010, ch. 26, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 29, § 2.)