GOP Lawmakers Introduce Procurement Reform Proposal
Republican state representatives Bob Pritchard of Hinckley and Dan Brady of Bloomington are among the GOP lawmakers promoting a simplified purchasing process for colleges and universities in Illinois.
It also is supported by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who says he wants to change the way the state buys goods and services to save taxpayers a half billion dollars a year.
Brady, whose district includes Illinois State University, calls the proposal a "significant lifeline" for universities and community colleges. "In our opinion, our state universities are at a crisis point," he said.
The legislation would reduce the state's number of chief procurement officers and create a pool of pre-approved vendors. He says it will save money, and time, by minimizing bureaucracy.
Pritchard said House Bill 4644 will improve the procurement system by cutting out unnecessary red tape while ensuring the high ethical standards needed in government spending.
“Our procurement system is needlessly inefficient and costly,” said Pritchard, whose district includes Northern Illinois University. “Well-intended legislation from previous years has created more problems than it corrected.”
If approved, the law will shorten the purchasing process by allowing state agencies to create a pre-qualified pool of vendors. It also will allow state agencies to “piggyback” on procurements of other states and governmental entities through cooperative purchasing.
NIU currently has 60,000 assets that it tracks, tags, and reports to the Central Management System annually, Pritchard said, which sometimes costs more for personnel to keep up with this demand than the cost of the items themselves. HB 4644 also will reinstate some expired procurement exemptions for education-specific purchases and add others.