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Indiana Nat Bank v. State Dept. of Human Services

857 P.2d 53, 1993 OK 101

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services has sole authority to approve material modifications of agreements once it has accepted a bid in response to an invitation to bid, in the absence of some other Legislative authority to the contrary or specific approval from OMES sanctioning another agencies’ authority to agree to such a modification.  Material modification by agencies after a contract is awarded by OMES, without approval of OMES, would completely undermine the intent and purpose behind the Central Purchasing Act; put differently, the Court stated that allowing agencies to subsequently negotiate and modify material clauses after other parties have been excluded through the competitive bidding process, undermines the integrity of the system and makes such a system meaningless.  The overriding public policy interest is that found in the Central Purchasing Act which generally requires private suppliers selling goods and services to state agencies to deal with a central entity, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, to promote efficient and cost effective use of taxpayer money and to prevent fraud in these dealings.  The Court noted that the Central Purchasing Act was designed to protect the public at large by promoting economy in government and reducing the likelihood of fraud and it ensures that government officials are accountable to public and are discharging their duties competently and responsibly.  The Court also noted that agency rules have the force and effect of law. See 74 O.S. §§85.1 and 85.5

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