COLUMBUS – State Representative Brian Lampton (R-Beavercreek) introduced House Bill 275, legislation that would clarify the ability of political subdivisions to procure construction services within the scope of joint and cooperative purchasing law.
Under current law, political subdivisions may utilize joint purchasing contracts held by other governments to buy equipment, materials, supplies or services. This law, however, does not expressively include construction services, creating ambiguous authority for local government using joint purchasing.
“House Bill 275 promotes cooperative purchasing, which further promotes local control and allows local government the flexibility to make purchasing decisions in the best interest of taxpayers and the community,” said Lampton. “Clarity within the current law affects everything.”
In 1997, the General Assembly authorized joint purchasing for counties and townships. Then, in 2008, it was authorized for all political subdivisions. Joint and cooperative purchasing is an established procurement tool allowing local governments to use competitively awarded contracts established by other governments. Using them allows local governments to maximize staff resources and leverage pooled buying power to attain lower prices for goods and services.
According to Lampton, the Institute for Government Procurement has concluded the use of cooperative purchasing contracts is a “best practice” for government procurement officials. The bill now awaits an appointment to a standing House Committee.