Title 38. Public Contracts, Works and Improvements

Chapter 10. Public Contracts

Part II. Letting Contracts

 

38:2212.1         Advertisement and letting to lowest responsible bidder; materials and supplies; exemptions

 

A. (1)(a) All purchases of any materials or supplies exceeding the sum of thirty thousand dollars to be paid out of public funds shall be advertised and let by contract to the lowest responsible bidder who has bid according to the specifications as advertised, and no such purchase shall be made except as provided in this Part. 

 

(b) However, purchases of ten thousand dollars or more, but less than thirty thousand dollars, shall be made by obtaining not less than three telephone or facsimile quotations. A written confirmation of the accepted offer shall be obtained and made a part of the purchase file. If quotations lower than the accepted quotation are received, the reasons for their rejection shall be recorded in the purchase file. 

 

(2)(a) Any purchase by a local governmental unit of a used or new motor vehicle for conversion into a law enforcement vehicle, which purchase cost does not exceed the sum of twenty thousand dollars, shall not be subject to the threshold delineated in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection. Written specifications, quotations, and confirmation of accepted offers for such purchase shall be obtained and made a part of the purchase file. However, any such purchase which sum is in excess of twenty thousand dollars shall be advertised and let for bid under the procedures outlined by the provisions of this Section. 

 

(b) Any purchase by a local government unit of road maintenance or improvement equipment, which purchase cost does not exceed the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars, shall not be subject to the threshold delineated in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection. Written specification, quotations, and confirmation of accepted offers for such purchase shall be obtained and made a part of the purchase file. However, any such purchase which sum is in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars shall be advertised and let for bid under the procedures outlined by the provisions of this Section. 

 

B. (1) The advertisement required by this Section for any contract for materials or supplies shall be published two times in a newspaper in the locality, the first advertisement to appear at least fifteen days before the opening of the bids. In addition to the newspaper advertisement, a public entity may also publish an advertisement by electronic media available to the general public. 

 

(2) The first publication of the advertisement shall not occur on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Plans and specifications shall be available to bidders on the day of the first advertisement and shall be available until twenty-four hours before the bid opening date. 

 

(3) Any proposal shall include no more than three alternates. An alternate bid by any name is still an alternate. Alternates, if accepted, shall be accepted in the order in which they are listed on the bid form. Determination of the low bidder shall be on the basis of the sum of the base bid and any alternates accepted. However, the public entity may accept alternates in any order which does not affect determination of the low bidder. 

 

(4)(a) Contractors shall be provided the option to submit bids for public contracts through a uniform and secure electronic interactive system. Political subdivisions shall follow the standards for the receipt of electronic bids adopted by the office of the governor, division of administration, and the office of technology services as provided for in LAC 4:XV.701, and shall make the appropriate provisions necessary for the acceptance of electronic bids for all purchases requiring competitive bidding as required by this Section. Any special condition or requirement for the submission shall be specified in the advertisement for bids required by this Section. 

 

(b) Public entities that are currently without available high speed Internet access will be exempt from this requirement until such time that high speed Internet access becomes available. 

 

(c) Any parish with a police jury form of government and a population of less than twenty thousand shall be exempt from the provisions of this Subparagraph. 

 

(d) Any city or municipality with a population of less than ten thousand shall be exempt from the provisions of this Subparagraph. 

 

(e) Any special service district created by a police jury form of government and which is unable to comply with R.S. 38:2212.1(B)(4)(a) without securing and expending additional funding shall be exempt from its requirements. The special service district shall be exempted from any expenditures for high speed Internet access, software, personnel costs, training, or other office equipment directly relating to the receipt of bids via high speed Internet access. 

 

(f) Public entities shall have the option to require that all bids be submitted electronically for any competitive bid let out for public bid. 

 

C. (1) Whenever a public entity desires to purchase technical equipment, apparatus, machinery, materials, or supplies of a certain type and such purchases are clearly in the public interest, the public entity may specify a particular brand, make, or manufacturer in the specifications let out for public bid as provided by this Part. If a particular brand, make, or manufacturer is specified, the model or catalog number also shall be specified. 

 

(2) Wherever in specifications the name of a certain brand, make, manufacturer, or definite specification is utilized, the specifications shall state clearly that they are used only to denote the quality standard of product desired and that they do not restrict bidders to the specific brand, make, manufacturer, or specification named; that they are used only to set forth and convey to prospective bidders the general style, type, character, and quality of product desired; and that equivalent products will be acceptable. 

 

D. The provisions of this Section shall not apply to a public entity purchasing surplus materials and supplies from another public entity or the government of the United States or when the particular transaction is governed by the procurement code. 

 

E. Any public entity may procure materials, supplies, and equipment from federal General Services Administration supply schedules in compliance with the Federal Acquisitions Streamlining Act (Public Law 103-355) and regulations adopted pursuant to that law, and with rules and regulations which may be adopted by the central purchasing agency of the division of administration. Such purchases need not comply with the competitive bidding requirements of this Chapter. However, such materials, supplies, or equipment shall not be purchased at a price higher than the price of the same item listed on any available state purchasing contract. No use shall be made of federal General Services Administration supply schedules under the provisions of this Section without the participation of a Louisiana licensed dealer or distributor. 

 

F. Any public entity may purchase materials, supplies, and equipment pursuant to the cooperative purchasing provisions of Part VII of Chapter 17 of Subtitle III of Title 39 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, R.S. 39:1701 et seq. 

 

G. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Part, any hospital owned or operated by a hospital service district, a municipality, the state, or any other public entity may enter into an agreement with one or more qualified group purchasing organizations for the purpose of obtaining bids for the purchase of materials and supplies. Any such agreement shall provide that the qualified group purchasing organization shall submit a price list for those materials and supplies offered by it, and shall further provide that the prices quoted on the list shall remain in effect for a stated period of time not less than three months. Any such price list shall thereafter be considered for all purposes to be a valid and binding bid by the qualified group purchasing organization during the effective period of the agreement, and no additional bid by the qualified group purchasing organization shall be necessary. 

 

(2) Any price lists submitted by a qualified group purchasing organization shall not be a public record and shall not be available for public inspection. The agreement setting forth the existence of the price list and the effective date thereof shall, however, be a public record, and that portion of the price list setting forth the price of the materials or supplies being purchased shall become a public record at the time of opening of bids for those materials or supplies. 

 

(3) As used in this Section, “qualified group purchasing organization” shall mean an organization, whether for profit or not for profit, which has contracts for the sale of materials or supplies with at least fifteen hospitals within the United States. 

 

(4) A hospital owned by the state may purchase equipment from a qualified group purchasing organization if the price is less than that for the same or comparable equipment on the state bid list. For that equipment not contained on the state bid list, the Louisiana Department of Health shall, pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, promulgate rules containing a mechanism for determining that the purchase of the equipment through a qualified group without bidding is cost effective and is in the best interest of the state. Until said rules become effective, no equipment not contained on the state bid list shall be purchased from qualified group purchasing organizations without complying with all other applicable laws. 

 

H. The commissioners, governing board, or governing authority of any hospital owned or operated by a hospital service district, a public trust, any municipality, or any other public entity may authorize by resolution, and the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health for any hospital owned or operated by the state, may authorize the participation in, or the purchasing from, a qualified group purchasing organization for the purchase of supplies and materials, without complying with this Section or any other applicable provision of law when it appears to any such authority or said secretary that participation would affect the economic situation or efficiency of operations of the hospital in a positive manner. A positive effect on the economic situation or efficiency of operations shall be presumed when the total price of items to be purchased from the qualified group purchasing organization is less than the total price of those items if purchased from the state bid list. 

 

I. (1) Whenever a political subdivision enters into an estimated use or delivery contract for a perishable food item, the political subdivision shall be prohibited from awarding another estimated use contract for the same perishable food item without first having taken delivery of at least seventy-five percent of the perishable food item under the existing contract. 

 

(2) “Perishable food items” as used in this Subsection shall mean consumable food items which have a shelf life of less than six months.

 

(3) Sheriffs and other political subdivisions which operate jails in the various parishes of the state shall be required to purchase food wholesale at the lowest prices quoted for quality products or at prices no greater than the wholesale rate for the same item. 

 

J. The opening of bids shall be governed by the provisions of R.S. 38:2214. 

 

K. The purchase of materials or supplies in the case of an extreme public emergency shall be governed by the provisions of R.S. 38:2212(P). 

 

L. The public entity purchasing the materials or supplies may require a written contract or bond as provided in R.S. 38:2216(B). 

 

M. Purchases made by a public safety agency following the guidelines and restrictions established pursuant to the expenditure of federal grant dollars shall be made by obtaining not less than three telephone or facsimile quotations. 

 

N. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Part to the contrary, any public school district or public school may enter into an agreement with one or more qualified group purchasing organizations for the purchase of materials, equipment, and supplies, including any installation thereof. Any such agreement shall require that the qualified group purchasing organization submit a price list for those materials and supplies offered by it and that the prices quoted on the list remain in effect for a stated period of time of not less than three months. Any such price list shall be considered, for all purposes, to be a valid and binding bid by the qualified group purchasing organization during the effective period of the agreement, and no additional bid by the qualified group purchasing organization is necessary. 

 

(2) Price lists submitted by a qualified group purchasing organization are not public record and shall not be available for public inspection. The agreement setting forth the existence of the price list and the effective date thereof is, however, a public record, and that portion of the price list setting forth the price of the materials or supplies being purchased shall become a public record at the time of opening of bids for those materials or supplies. 

 

(3) As used in this Subsection, “qualified purchasing organization” means an organization, whether for profit or not for profit, of which two or more public school districts are members and which solicits proposals or bids from vendors of services, materials, equipment, or supplies of the type and nature as may be purchased by a public school district or public school. 

 

(4) A school board may purchase equipment from a qualified group purchasing organization if the price for such equipment is less than that for the same or substantially similar equipment on the state bid list. 

 

(a) to (g) Repealed by Acts 2016, No. 548, § 2. 

 

Added by Acts 1999, No. 768, § 1. Amended by Acts 2002, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 120, § 1; Acts 2003, No. 84, § 1, eff. May 28, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 575, § 1, eff. June 27, 2003; Acts 2006, No. 203, § 1, eff. June 2, 2006; Acts 2008, No. 590, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 227, § 1; Acts 2009, No. 392, § 1; Acts 2011, No. 81, § 1; Acts 2014, No. 823, § 1; Acts 2016, No. 548, § 1.