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Attorney General Opinion No. 10-12

Among the statutory exceptions to the general requirement that state agencies use competitive solicitations when making acquisitions are the statutes and administrative rules relating to the State Use Committee which exists within the OMES Purchasing Division. State Use Committee contracts are mandatory contracts and whenever a state agency intends to procure a product or service included in the State Use Committee’s procurement schedule, the agency shall secure the product or service from a State Use contractor regardless of the acquisition purchase price. The only exception to the mandate is if the product or service is not available within the period required by the entity.  Pursuant to 74 O.S. §3007.B. a state agency is prohibited from evading the purchase of individual products or services listed on the State Use Committee's procurement schedule, by issuing a solicitation for products or services that is a slight variation from the standards adopted by OMES.

The proper test to apply in determining whether a solicitation by a state agency violates State Use statutes is found within the language of 74 O.S. §3007 and turns on whether a particular solicitation is for "any product or service included in the procurement schedule." This test must be applied to each solicitation on a case-by-case basis. For example, a solicitation for prepared soup is not a violation of the intent of the State Use statutes even though it includes individual items on the schedule such as pasta, peas and beans, because the product of prepared soup is not an item on the procurement schedule. Likewise, a solicitation for a comprehensive package of computer parts and services would not violate the intent of the State Use statutes even though the State Use procurement schedule includes an individual item such as toner, because the product/service of comprehensive computer services is not on the procurement schedule.

The determination of whether any purchase by a state agency violates the intent of the State Use laws is the responsibility of the State Use Committee.  See 74 O.S. §§3007 and 3009.

Purchasing Reference Guide

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