Lawmakers push for movement on procurement reform

Republican legislators were joined by the directors of the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Capital Development Board and Central Management Services in calling for the General Assembly to advance legislation that would save Illinois taxpayers $500 million annually through procurement reform.

The current procurement process is extremely cumbersome and takes nine to 12 months to complete. Senate Bill 2400 has been introduced to create a more efficient purchasing system in Illinois. Proponents of the measure say it would streamline bureaucracy, give greater flexibility to State agencies, and move Illinois to follow best practices of other states to achieve greater savings.

The reforms include the creation of a pool of pre-qualified vendors for supplies and services, and would allow State and local governments to enter into purchasing consortiums in hopes of leveraging buying power.  In addition, the reforms would carve out procurement code exemptions for an array of instances including service contracts, trade shows and units of higher education, while at the same time speeding up the purchasing process.

Senate Bill 2400 also has transparency measures that continue to require high levels of qualifications for those involved in procurement, while at the same time requiring an audit of procurement by the Auditor General every two years. Not only will the legislation speed up the procurement process, it ensures high levels of ethical conduct and transparency at all steps of the procurement process.

Chapin Rose

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