To ensure that it protects the State?s interest and receives the best products and services at the most competitive prices, the CHP should provide a reasonable and complete justification for purchases in cases where competition is limited, such as sole-brand or noncompetitive bidding purchases. Further, it should plan its contracting activities to allow adequate time to use the competitive bidding process or to prepare the necessary evaluations to support limited-competition purchases.
The CHP told us that is has implemented a new documentation process for its sole-brand purchases requiring authorization through its Administrative Services Division with final approval by the assistant commissioner for staff operations. CHP also noted that it takes the same approach with noncompetitive bid documentation to ensure that its noncompetitive justification documents address all the necessary factors. The CHP reported that it is verifying potential bidders through General Services? Small Business/Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Web site and other on-line searches, and through speaking directly with potential bidders. The CHP updated staffs? desk procedures to reflect the necessary verification. (See 2010-406 p. 72)
To ensure that it protects the State?s interest and receives the best products and services at the most competitive prices, the CHP should provide a complete analysis of how it determines that the offered price is fair and reasonable when it chooses to follow a noncompetitive bid process.
CHP reported that it has included in its procurement checklist steps for staff to follow in a noncompetitive procurement. These steps include staff documenting their efforts to identify similar goods and providing an evaluation for why the similar goods are unacceptable. Additionally, staff must examine the California State Contracts Register to identify suppliers and document the examination. CHP stated that when it can identify no other suppliers, it will use the information gathered from similar goods to justify the cost of a noncompetitive procurement is fair and reasonable. (See 2010-406 p. 73)
To promote fair and appropriate competition for procurements the CHP should ensure that it fully documents its process for verifying that potential bidders are able to bid according to the requirements in the bid solicitation document.
To promote fair and appropriate competition for procurements General Services should verify that the lists of bidders that state agencies supply it reflect potential bidders that are able to bid according to the requirements specified in the bid.
To ensure that state agencies use the sole-brand procurement method appropriately and not in a manner to avoid the stricter justification requirements for noncompetitive procurements, General Services should study the results from its review procedures related to sole-brand purchases. Based on the results of its study, General Services should assess the necessity of incorporating specific information on sole-brand purchases into its existing procurement reporting process to evaluate how frequently and widely the sole-brand purchase method is used.
To ensure that state procurements are competitive whenever possible, General Services should revise Section 3555 to require that state agencies address all of the factors listed in that section when submitting justification statements supporting their purchase estimates for noncompetitive or sole-brand procurements. In addition, if General Services believes that the law exempting provisions in the administrative manual and the contracting manual related to competitive procurement requires clarification to ensure that the requirements in those publications are regulations with the force and effect of law, General Services should seek legislation making that clarification.
To ensure that it informs employees about and protects itself against potential conflicts of interest, the CHP should include as designated employees for filing the Form 700, all personnel who help to develop, process, and approve procurements.
To ensure that it informs employees about and protects itself against potential conflicts of interest, the CHP should ensure that it documents, approves, and reviews secondary?employment requests annually in accordance with its policy.
To ensure that it informs employees about and protects itself against potential conflicts of interest, the CHP should revise its employee statement regarding conflicts of interest to include employees involved in all stages of a procurement.
To ensure that it informs employees about and protects itself against potential conflicts of interest, the CHP should reexamine its reasons for developing the conflict-of-interest and confidentiality statement for vendors, and ensure that this form meets its needs.
General Services should continue negotiating with BMW Corporation regarding the canceled contracts for motorcycles to develop a settlement agreement that is in the State?s best interest.
General Services should also ensure that all of its employees involved in making decisions on contracts complete the necessary transmittals and affidavits and that the agency retains these documents in the procurement files as evidence of conflict?of?interest screening.
To ensure that the use of state resources of a discretionary nature for purposes not directly associated with the CHP?s law enforcement operations receives approval through the Office of the Commissioner, the CHP should develop procedures for producing, approving, and retaining written documentation showing approval for these uses.
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.