If a new bill becomes law, local and state government bodies will be able to place purchasing requests and accept bids on a Web site.
Legislation that will allow the state administration to establish Internet sites designed to facilitate state and local government purchasing passed the Committee on Technology, Research and Development by a unanimous 14-0 vote in the House of Representatives.
The legislation, HB 1266, was co-authored by State Rep. Andy Thomas (R-Brazil) and will allow units of government to conduct online reverse auctions for purchases of supplies needed by the entity.
Thomas said that "will save all levels of government in Indiana time and money, while placing purchasing requests for goods needed on a more secure site. The government entity will be able to accept the bids electronically in the same secure setting."
The cost of maintaining the Internet site will be paid by fees set by the Department of Administration on those bidding. This will result in little to no cost for local units of government.
"It is important that we give local and state government another crucial tool in acquiring products by using present technology to accept bids in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner," Thomas said.
The legislation, as drafted, will allow the Indiana Department of Admission to maintain the site and its security. All rules must be approved by the Department of Administration, the Attorney General, the Intelenet Commission, the State Auditor and the State Board of Accounts.
Thomas concluded, "The unanimous vote in committee demonstrates the bipartisan support for the proposal that will place Indiana in a situation to utilize technology to benefit all levels of government and the people they serve."
Thomas is joined by three co-authors: Rep. Brian Hasler (D-Evansville), Rep. Ralph Ayers (R-Chesterton) and Terri Austin (D-Anderson). The bill establishes procedures governing the conduct of the auctions. It also requires that these purchasing sites be operational before Jan. 1, 2005. It now heads to the full House of Representatives for a second reading.