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Attorney General Opinion No. 96-52

Once an agency is approved to make a purchase, the process is under the control of the State Purchasing Director who determines the brand, model or other specific classification of each item or group and drafts specifications establishing the acquisition requirements after consultation with the requesting agency. Decisions about the contract subsequent to completion of the bidding process rests with OMES rather than the requisitioning agency although OMES is to consult with the agency in good faith.

Whether re-bidding is justified for any particular item is a question of fact.  An agency’s needs and circumstances may change between the time a requisition is submitted and the time of contracting for the item and it would not serve the purpose of the Central Purchasing Act for an agency to be required to take something it no longer needed or could not use. On the other hand, the integrity of the competitive bidding system must be preserved and allowing an item to be re-bid after going through the competitive bid process could permit an agency to supplier shop, which thwarts the purpose of the Act. Thus, once an Invitation to Bid has been issued and bids submitted and evaluated, the Purchasing Division has the authority to issue a purchase order, thereby forming a contract, even if the requisitioning agency asks that the requisition be cancelled and the item re-bid, if the Purchasing Division decides, after careful consideration of all the facts, that the requested re-bidding is not justified. See 74 O.S. §§85.4 and 85.5.

Purchasing Reference Guide

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