Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
November 24th, 2017 • News

November 24, 2017- Senator Keith Ingram audio report of news from the 91st General Assembly.

  • Many of the services provided by government are actually performed by private contractors. When government pays for health care, computer technology and construction services, the contracts add up to hundreds of millions of dollars.In most cases, state agencies simply seek bids and sign a contract with the lowest bidder. It’s a relatively simple process when the product is a motor vehicle, a desk or a month’s supply of pencils.
  • It is much more complex when the project involves services that are not easily quantified. That’s why legislators and bureaucrats got into a dispute over the advertising contract for the state lottery, and for promoting Arkansas tourism. How do you decide what makes an effective television commercial?
  • There is a built-in advantage for the vendor who has the existing contract. He is familiar with the needs of the state agency. If a computer company has supplied software to a state agency for the previous year, it will have a distinct advantage over companies that want to compete for a contract that is up for renewal. Over time, those competitive advantages are not necessarily in the best interest of taxpayers, especially when government purchases computer and information technology.
  • That’s why lawmakers are working on new proposals to make the state’s procurement system more transparent and fair. When the legislature meets in regular session in 2019, we will vote on the proposals.Some companies may not like the changes, because they will have to compete for state contracts on a level playing field. However, the financial savings will be good for taxpayers.
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