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16C.06 Acquisitions.

Subdivision 1. Publication requirements. Notices of solicitations for acquisitions estimated to be more than $25,000 must be publicized in a manner designated by the commissioner.

Subd. 2. Solicitation process. (a) A formal solicitation must be used to acquire all goods, service contracts, and utilities estimated at or more than $25,000 unless otherwise provided for. All formal responses must be sealed when they are received and must be opened in public at the hour stated in the solicitation. Formal responses must be authenticated by the responder in a manner specified by the commissioner.

(b) An informal solicitation may be used to acquire all goods, service contracts, and utilities that are estimated at less than $25,000. The number of vendors required to receive solicitations may be determined by the commissioner. Informal responses must be authenticated by the responder in a manner specified by the commissioner.

Subd. 3. Information in bids and proposals. (a) Only the name of the vendor and dollar amounts specified in a response to a request for bids shall be read at the time of opening. Only the name of the responding vendors to all requests for proposals shall be read at the time of opening. All other information contained in a vendor's response to a bid is classified as nonpublic data, as defined in section 13.02, and remains nonpublic data until completion of the selection process. All other information contained in a vendor's response to a request for proposal, other than the name of the vendor, is classified as nonpublic data, as defined in section 13.02, and remains nonpublic data until the completion of the evaluation process.

(b) All responses are public information at the time of the award unless otherwise provided for. All responses and documents pertaining to the final award of an acquisition must be retained and made a part of a permanent file or record and remain open to public inspection, after award, unless otherwise provided for by law.

Subd. 4. Multiple awards. The commissioner may award a contract to more than one vendor if, in the opinion of the commissioner, it is in the best interest of the state.

Subd. 5. State as responder. The head of an agency, in consultation with the requesting agency and the commissioner, may respond to a solicitation or request if the goods and services meet the needs of the requesting agency and provide the state with the best value. When an agency responds to a solicitation, all work product relating to the response is nonpublic data as defined in section 13.02, and shall become public information in accordance with subdivision 3.

Subd. 6. Awards. Awards must be based on best value, which includes an evaluation of price, and may include other considerations including, but not limited to, environmental considerations, quality, and vendor performance. If criteria other than price are used, the solicitation document must state the relative importance of price and other factors.

Subd. 7. Other states with resident preference. Acquisition of goods and services must be awarded according to the provisions of this chapter except that a resident vendor shall be allowed a preference over a nonresident vendor from a state that gives or requires a preference to vendors from that state. The preference shall be equal to the preference given or required by the state of the nonresident vendor.

Subd. 8. Federally funded projects exempt. Subdivision 7 does not apply to a contract for any project in which federal funds are expended.

Subd. 9. Rejection. At the discretion of the commissioner, any or all responses may be rejected if it is determined to be in the best interest of the state.

Subd. 10. Preferences not cumulative. The preferences provided for under subdivision 7 and sections 16B.121 and 16C.16 are not cumulative. The total percentage of preference granted on a contract may not exceed the highest percentage of preference allowed for that contract under any one of these statutory sections.

HIST: 1998 c 386 art 1 s 7