18.6  Competitive bidding--preferences--reciprocal application--direct purchasing.

The director shall promulgate rules establishing competitive bidding procedures.

1.  All equipment, supplies, or services procured by the department shall be purchased by a competitive bidding procedure. However, the director may exempt by regulation purchases of noncompetitive items and purchases in lots or quantities too small to be effectively purchased by competitive bidding. Preference shall be given to purchasing Iowa products and purchases from Iowa based businesses if the bids submitted therefor are comparable in price to bids submitted by out-of-state businesses and otherwise meet the required specifications. If the laws of another state mandate a percentage preference for businesses or products from that state and the effect of the preference is that bids of Iowa businesses or products that are otherwise low and responsive are not selected in the other state, the same percentage preference shall be applied to Iowa businesses and products when businesses or products from that other state are bid to supply Iowa requirements.

2.  The director may also exempt the purchase of an item or service from a competitive bidding procedure when the director determines that the best interests of the state will be served by the exemption which shall be based on one of the following:

a.  An immediate or emergency need existing for the item or service.

b.  A need to protect the health, safety, or welfare of persons occupying or visiting a public improvement or property located adjacent to the public improvement.

3.  The director shall have the power to contract for the purchase of items or services by the department. Contracts for the purchase of items shall be awarded on the basis of the lowest competent bid. Contracts not based on competitive bidding shall be awarded on the basis of bidder competence and reasonable price.

The director may enter into an agreement with the government of another state or with the federal government to provide for the cooperative purchase of an item or service of general use in this state.

4.  The director may refuse all bids on any item or service and institute a new bidding procedure.

5.  The director shall establish by regulation the amount of security, if any, to accompany a bid or as a condition precedent to the awarding of any contract and the circumstances under which a security will be returned to the bidder or forfeited to the state.

6.  The director shall promulgate rules providing a method for the various state agencies to file with the department of general services a list of those supplies, equipment, machines, and all items needed to properly perform their governmental duties and functions.

7.  The director shall furnish a list of specifications, prices, and discounts of contract items to any governmental subdivision which shall be responsible for payment to the vendor under the terms and conditions outlined in the state contract.

8.  The director shall establish rules providing that any state agency may, upon request, purchase directly from a vendor if the direct purchasing is as economical or more economical than purchasing through the department, or upon a showing that direct purchasing by the state agency would be in the best interests of the state due to an immediate or emergency need. The rules shall include a provision permitting a state agency to purchase directly from a vendor, on the agency's own authority, if the purchase will not exceed five thousand dollars and the purchase will contribute to the agency complying with or exceeding the targeted small business procurement goals under sections 73.15 through 73.21.

Any member of the executive council may bring before the council for review a decision of the director granting a state agency request for direct purchasing. The executive council shall hear and review the director's decision in the same manner as an appeal filed by an aggrieved bidder, except that the three-day period for filing for review shall not apply.

9. a.  When the estimated total cost of construction, erection, demolition, alteration, or repair of a public improvement exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars, the department shall solicit bids on the proposed improvement by publishing an advertisement in a print format. The advertisement shall appear in two publications in a newspaper published in the county in which the work is to be done. The first advertisement for bids appearing in a newspaper shall be not less than fifteen days prior to the date set for receiving bids. The department may publish an advertisement in an electronic format as an additional method of soliciting bids under this paragraph.

b.  In awarding a contract, the department shall let the work to the lowest responsible bidder submitting a sealed proposal. However, if the department considers the bids received not to be acceptable, all bids may be rejected and new bids requested. A bid shall be accompanied by a certified or cashier's check or bid bond in an amount designated in the advertisement for bids as security that the bidder will enter into a contract for the work requested. The department shall establish the bid security in an amount equal to at least five percent, but not more than ten percent of the estimated total cost of the work. The certified or cashier's checks or bid bonds of unsuccessful bidders shall be returned as soon as the successful bidder is determined. The certified or cashier's check or bid bond of the successful bidder shall be returned upon execution of the contract. This section does not apply to the construction, erection, demolition, alteration, or repair of a public improvement when the contracting procedure for the work requested is otherwise provided for in law.

10.  The state and its political subdivisions shall give preference to purchasing Iowa products and purchasing from Iowa based businesses if the bids submitted are comparable in price to those submitted by other bidders and meet the required specifications.

11.  The director shall adopt rules which require that each bid received for the purchase of items purchased by the department includes a product content statement which provides the percentage of the content of the item which is reclaimed material.

12.  The director shall review and, where necessary, revise specifications used by state agencies to procure products in order to ensure that all of the following occur:

a.  The procurement of products containing recovered materials, including but not limited to lubricating oils, retread tires, building insulation materials, and recovered materials from waste tires. The specifications shall be revised if they restrict the use of alternative materials, exclude recovered materials, or require performance standards which exclude products containing recovered materials unless the agency seeking the product can document that the use of recovered materials will hamper the intended use of the product.

b.  The procurement by state agencies of bio-based hydraulic fluids, greases, and other industrial lubricants manufactured from soybeans in accordance with the requirements of section 18.22.

13.  A bidder awarded a state construction contract shall disclose the names of all subcontractors, who will work on the project being bid, within forty-eight hours after the award of the contract.

If a subcontractor named by a bidder awarded a state construction contract is replaced, or if the cost of work to be done by a subcontractor is reduced, the bidder shall disclose the name of the new subcontractor or the amount of the reduced cost.

14.  The state shall purchase those products produced for sale by sheltered workshops, work activity centers, and other special programs funded in whole or in part by public moneys that employ persons with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities or mental illness if the products meet the required specifications.

15.  The state shall make every effort to purchase products produced for sale by employers of persons in supported employment.

16.  The department shall not award a contract to a bidder for a construction, reconstruction, demolition, or repair project or improvement with an estimated cost that exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars in which the bid requires the use of inmate labor supplied by the department of corrections, but not employed by private industry pursuant to section 904.809, to perform the project or improvement.

Section History: Early form

  [R60, § 2169; C73, § 121; C97, § 166; S13, § 166, 167; C24, 27, 31, 35, 39, § 297, 298; C46, 50, 54, 58, 62, 66, 71, § 19.20, 19.21; C73, § 19B.6; C75, 77, 79, 81, § 18.6]

Section History: Recent form

  84 Acts, ch 1301, § 12; 86 Acts, ch 1132, § 2; 86 Acts, ch 1245, § 304, 1974; 89 Acts, ch 272, § 19; 90 Acts, ch 1161, §1; 94 Acts, ch 1076, §4; 98 Acts, ch 1082, §1; 98 Acts, ch 1119, §15; 98 Acts, ch 1155, §6; 98 Acts, ch 1164, §6, 7; 99 Acts, ch 121, §1; 2000 Acts, ch 1109, §1; 2000 Acts, ch 1229, §16

Internal References

  Referred to in § 14B.109, 18.12, 216B.3, 262.9, 303.9, 307.21, 455J.5


  Preferences; see also chapter 73, §73A.21

Previous Section 18.5

Next Section 18.7

Return To Home index

© 2001 Cornell College and League of Women Voters of Iowa

Comments about this site or page? webmaster@legis.iowa.gov.
Please remember that the person listed above does not vote on bills. Direct all comments concerning legislation to State Legislators.

Last update: Mon Jan 22 17:13:42 CST 2001
URL: /DOCS/IACODE/2001/18/6.html