Bill Text: TX HB3329 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the procurement process of state agencies, including the evaluation of and communication with vendors.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-22 - Referred to State Affairs [HB3329 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB3329-Introduced.html
  87R9811 YDB-F
 
  By: Raymond H.B. No. 3329
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the procurement process of state agencies, including
  the evaluation of and communication with vendors.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 2155.090, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (a-1) to read as follows:
         (a-1)  State agency personnel, contractors, and vendors may
  share information and knowledge to achieve best value in
  procurements for the state.
         SECTION 2.  Section 2155.144, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsections (j-1), (j-2), (j-3),
  and (j-4) to read as follows:
         (c)  An agency to which this section applies shall acquire
  goods or services by any procurement method approved by the Health
  and Human Services Commission that provides the best value to the
  agency. The agency shall document that it considered all relevant
  factors under Subsection (d) in making the acquisition.  For each
  solicitation, an agency shall document the evaluation questions and
  measures the agency uses to score the vendor's response to the
  solicitation on each factor listed in Subsection (d).  If a question
  or measure is used to score more than one factor listed in
  Subsection (d), the agency shall designate each factor the question
  or measure is used to score.
         (j-1)  The contract management handbook published under
  Subsection (j) must include:
               (1)  instructions for ensuring that:
                     (A)  appropriate health and human services agency
  employees answer questions from vendors in a timely manner; and
                     (B)  vendors that participate or are interested in
  participating in a procurement by an agency have access to at least
  two agency employees who serve as contacts for the agency;
               (2)  a model communications procedure for vendors and
  agency employees, developed in collaboration with representatives
  from vendors and state agencies, to be included in the agency's
  solicitations;
               (3)  procedures for:
                     (A)  notifying other responsive vendors if an
  agency employee or another vendor violates the communications
  requirements for a solicitation;
                     (B)  determining when an agency employee or vendor
  has failed to comply with the communication provisions of a
  solicitation; and
                     (C)  ensuring an appropriate number of interested
  vendors are granted access to a pre-bid, pre-offer, or pre-proposal
  conference; and
               (4)  instructions for ensuring that agency personnel
  who are involved in implementing a specific procurement are also
  involved in evaluating and scoring the responses submitted to the
  solicitation for the procurement.
         (j-2)  For a procurement in an amount that exceeds $20
  million, the contract management handbook published under
  Subsection (j) must require a health and human services agency to:
               (1)  notify interested parties at least two months
  before the date the agency issues the solicitation for the
  procurement;
               (2)  continually and timely post solicitations on the
  agency's Internet website; and
               (3)  establish guidelines for considering public
  comment on solicitations, including guidelines allowing public
  comment for at least 45 days after the date the agency issues the
  solicitation.
         (j-3)  A health and human services agency's solicitation
  posted under Subsection (j-2)(2) must be substantially similar to
  the final solicitation issued by the agency for the procurement. A
  health and human services agency that receives comments during the
  public comment process under Subsection (j-2)(3) that result in a
  final solicitation that substantially differs from the initial
  solicitation posted under Subsection (j-2)(2) must post on the
  agency's Internet website a statement of the differences between
  the initial and final solicitations with the corresponding comments
  that led to the modifications.
         (j-4)  A vendor may notify the state auditor of agency
  noncompliance with Subsection (c) or (j-3) or an instruction,
  procedure, or requirement in the contract management handbook
  published under Subsection (j) for the purpose of audit or
  investigation.
         SECTION 3.  Section 2262.051, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (i), (j), (k), and (l) to read as follows:
         (i)  The guide must include:
               (1)  instructions for ensuring that:
                     (A)  appropriate state agency employees answer
  questions from vendors in a timely manner; and
                     (B)  vendors that participate or are interested in
  participating in a procurement by a state agency have access to at
  least two agency employees who serve as contacts for the agency;
               (2)  a model communications procedure for vendors and
  agency employees, developed in collaboration with representatives
  from vendors and state agencies, to be included in the agency's
  solicitations; and
               (3)  procedures for: 
                     (A)  notifying other responsive vendors if an
  agency employee or another vendor violates the communication
  requirements for the solicitation;
                     (B)  determining when an agency employee or vendor
  has failed to comply with the communication provisions of a
  solicitation;
                     (C)  ensuring an appropriate number of interested
  vendors are granted access to a pre-bid, pre-offer, or pre-proposal
  conference; and
                     (D)  establishing a question and answer process
  involving vendors and agency employees for a solicitation.
         (j)  For a procurement in an amount that exceeds $20 million,
  the guide must require a state agency to: 
               (1)  notify interested parties at least two months
  before the date the agency issues the solicitation for the
  procurement;
               (2)  continually and timely post solicitations on the
  agency's Internet website; and
               (3)  establish guidelines for considering public
  comment on solicitations, including guidelines allowing public
  comment for at least 45 days after the date the agency issues the
  solicitation.
         (k)  A state agency's solicitation posted under Subsection
  (j)(2) must be substantially similar to the final solicitation
  issued by the agency for the procurement. A state agency that
  receives comments during the public comment process under
  Subsection (j)(3) that result in a final solicitation that
  substantially differs from the initial solicitation posted under
  Subsection (j)(2) must post on the agency's Internet website a
  statement of the differences between the initial and final
  solicitations with the corresponding comments that led to the
  modifications.
         (l)  A vendor may notify the state auditor of agency
  noncompliance with Subsection (k) or an instruction, procedure, or
  requirement in the guide for the purpose of audit or investigation.
         SECTION 4.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the comptroller of public accounts shall adopt the
  rules and update the contract management handbook and contract
  management guide as necessary to implement the changes in law made
  by this Act.
         SECTION 5.  The changes in law made by this Act apply only to
  a contract for which a state agency first advertises or otherwise
  solicits offers, bids, proposals, qualifications, or other
  applicable expressions of interest on or after the effective date
  of this Act.  A contract for which a state agency first advertises
  or otherwise solicits offers, bids, proposals, qualifications, or
  other applicable expressions of interest before the effective date
  of this Act is governed by the law as it existed immediately before
  the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect
  for that purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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