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Procurement Changes in Illinois

If you've noticed finding information on Illinois procurements has gotten more difficult - rest assured it's not personal - it's just the law. Buried within Senate Bill 51, or the Local Government Electronic Reverse Auction Act, is a section detailing new procurement communications reporting requirements that affect state employees. Here's the gist of the bill that became active July 1, 2010: Any written or oral request received by a state employee regarding a procurement (or upcoming procurement) needs to be reported to the Procurement Policy Board. The report is detailed and requires the identity of each person who received the information request; the individual or entity represented by that person; any action or information that was requested; a detailed summary of the points made by each person involved in the communication; duration of the discussion; and the numbers for callers if requested via phone. The Procurement Policy Board must then make the report available on its website within seven days of receiving the document.

The communication section is just a small part of the new law, which overhauls the way Illinois procures goods and services. One major reason for the change is the visible abuse of state procurement practices and several corruption scandals involving high-ranking officials in the past few years. While this may seem a no-win situation for vendors interested in upcoming projects, Illinois has floated the idea of starting regular vendor conferences as early as this winter to discuss projects and answer vendor questions. These sessions will most likely be recorded and uploaded to the Procurement Policy Board website. This law does not seem to affect county and city officials, so vendors tapping the local market may still be in luck. Full text of the bill can be found here.

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