Breen Bill to Improve Oversight over Multi-State Procurement Agreements Clears Key House Committee

Legislation sponsored by State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) that would provide a clear enforcement mechanism to ensure a detailed review of purchases made through out-of-state joint purchasing agreements received a unanimous vote of recommended approval on Thursday from the House State Government Administration Committee.

“This issue was brought to my attention because of purchases made by Illinois government units through joint purchasing agreements with other states’ government units. Illinois law requires competitive bidding, but because other states’ laws are not always as protective of taxpayers as our own, we need a strong enforcement mechanism to make sure Illinois law is followed. House Bill 2424 gives our state’s Chief Procurement Officer, who is charged with enforcing that law, the authority needed to thoroughly review these out-of-state procurements for compliance with Illinois law.”

According to Breen, joint purchasing agreements are very common among local units of government and allow for quantity discount pricing, which ultimately saves taxpayers money. While group purchasing is typically done by entities within the same state, there are occasions when joint purchasing agreements cross state lines.

“After filing this bill, I’ve had numerous other situations involving multi-state agreements that appear to have skirted Illinois’ Joint Purchasing Act,” Breen said. “As our school districts and other units of local government continue trying to bring down their costs through these types of purchasing agreements, we need to support those efforts while making sure our competitive bidding laws are being followed.”

Breen said he is currently negotiating an agreed amendment to the bill with stakeholders that will be added prior to the bill’s final consideration on the floor of the House.

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