Senate passes Sen. DiPalma’s legislative package that reforms state purchasing processes

 

            STATE HOUSE – The Senate today passed two bills sponsored by Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) that would reform the state’s purchasing policies and processes.  The two bills are a result of numerous hours of work conducted by the Senate Rules, Government Ethics and Oversight Committee, which Senator DiPalma leads.

            “As we have seen with recent controversial state contracts and purchases, there is a distinct need for reform of our state purchasing processes and policies.  The public deserves transparency and assurances that every state contract or purchase agreement is made with the sole best-interests of Rhode Island residents in mind and these bills will provide the administrative framework to ensure that state contracts and purchases are conducted fairly, cost-effectively and without any inference or evidence of impropriety,” said Senator DiPalma.

            The first bill (2022-S 2586A) would require that no request for proposal shall change to a master-price agreement unless the request for proposal is cancelled and reissued as a master price agreement.  It also would provide certain criteria required of vendors, parent corporations, subsidiaries, affiliates and subcontractors of state vendors when bidding on requests for proposals.

            In particular, no vendor, parent corporation, subsidiary, affiliate or subcontractor of any state vendor may bid on a request for proposal if that person or entity has or had any contractual, financial, business or beneficial interest with the state or with any official, officer or agency in charge of the request or if they participated or were consulted with respect to the requirements, technical aspects or any other part of the formation and promulgation of the request for proposals.

            The second bill (2022-S 2601) passed would establish requirements with respect to requests for proposals submitted to the chief purchasing officer for review and ensure that the chief purchasing officer confirms that there are no conflicts or appearances of conflicts of interest between the interests of any individual appointed to the technical evaluation committee and the interests of the state.

            The bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration where Rep. Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) has introduced the legislation (2022-H 8101, 2022-H 8102).

 

The U.S. defense secretary says Russia's invasion of Ukraine has spurred countries around the world to take action. Lloyd Austin noted the U.S. is not alone in providing Ukraine with security and humanitarian aid. He stressed the U.S. will keep doing everything possible to help Ukraine, but said "how it ends" is up to the people of Ukraine.        The White House appears to be downplaying President Biden's comments about the U.S. defending Taiwan should China invade -- again. Biden said he would honor a commitment to defend Taiwan, prompting The White House to quickly put out a statement, saying Biden's comments "don't reflect a change in U.S. policy." It's the third time in recent months the White House has issued a statement following remarks by the President about Taiwan.       At least 100-thousand migrants are allegedly waiting to cross the Rio Grande River into the U.S. Texas Governor Greg Abbott claims he saw the migrants today during a tour of the southern border. Abbott says he was told by National Border Patrol Council leadership that most of the migrants are involved in the Cartels because they aren't using ports of entry to come into the U.S.        Yankees' Josh Donaldson is being suspended for what the MLB calls a "disrespectful" remark towards White Sox' Tim Anderson. Donaldson called the Chicago player "Jackie," in reference to Jackie Robinson, who was the league's first Black player in 1947. Donaldson plans to appeal the suspension.        The mayor of Anaheim, California is abruptly quitting in the middle of an FBI investigation. Mayor Harry Sidhu [[ sah-DOH ]] resigned today. Last week, it became public that federal officials were looking into how Sidhu helped broker a deal to sell the Anaheim Angels' baseball stadium from the city to the team.        A "potentially hazardous" asteroid is racing past Earth this week. It measures just over a mile long, making it the largest asteroid to get relatively close to our planet this year. Although it is massive, there is no need to worry, as it will be two-and-a-half million miles away when it passes Earth on May 27th.