(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Office of Information Technology Services shall procure all information technology for State agencies. The Office shall integrate technological review, cost analysis, and procurement for all information technology needs of those State agencies in order to make procurement and implementation of technology more responsive, efficient, and cost-effective. All contract information shall be made a matter of public record after the award of contract. Trade secrets, test data, similar proprietary information, and security information protected under G.S. 132-6.1(c) may remain confidential.
(b) The Office shall have the authority and responsibility, subject to the provisions of this Part, to:
(1) Purchase or contract for all information technology in the State government, or any of its departments, institutions, or agencies covered by this Part. The Office may authorize any State agency covered by this Part to purchase or contract for information technology. The Office or a State agency may use any authorized means, including negotiations, reverse auctions, and the solicitation, offer, and acceptance of electronic bids. G.S. 143-135.9 shall apply to these procedures.
(2) Establish processes, specifications, and standards that shall apply to all information technology to be purchased, licensed, or leased in the State government or any of its departments, institutions, or agencies covered by this Part.
(2a) Establish procedures to permit State agencies and local government agencies to use the General Services Administration (GSA) Cooperative Purchasing Program to purchase information technology (i) awarded under General Services Administration Supply Schedule 70 Information Technology and (ii) from contracts under the GSA's Consolidated Schedule containing information technology special item numbers.
(3) Comply with the State government-wide technical architecture, as required by the State CIO.
(4) If a State agency wishes to enter into a cooperative purchasing agreement, the agency must first obtain approval by the State CIO. Upon receiving a request to use a cooperative purchasing agreement, the State CIO must evaluate the need for goods or services available through the agreement, review the specifications, terms, and conditions of the agreement, and obtain legal advice on the use of the agreement. Prior to granting approval, the State CIO must find that the agreement was awarded pursuant to a competitive bidding process and that the agency will obtain the best value pursuant to G.S. 143-135.9 by using the agreement. Upon approval by the State CIO, a State agency may use the agreement without further approval. Agencies must report periodically to the CIO regarding the use of these agreements.
(5) The State CIO shall establish procedures for the utilization of cooperative purchasing agreements.
(c) For purposes of this section, "reverse auction" means a real-time purchasing process in which vendors compete to provide goods or services at the lowest selling price in an open and interactive electronic environment. The vendor's price may be revealed during the reverse auction. The Office may contract with a third-party vendor to conduct the reverse auction.
(d) For purposes of this section, "electronic bidding" means the electronic solicitation and receipt of offers to contract. Offers may be accepted and contracts may be entered by use of electronic bidding.
(e) The Office may use the electronic procurement system established by G.S. 143-48.3 to conduct reverse auctions and electronic bidding. All requirements relating to formal and competitive bids, including advertisement, seal, and signature, are satisfied when a procurement is conducted or a contract is entered in compliance with the reverse auction or electronic bidding requirements established by the Office.
(f) The Office shall adopt rules consistent with this section.
(g) No contract subject to the provisions of this Part may be entered into unless the contractor and the contractor's subcontractors comply with the requirements of Article 2 of Chapter 64 of the General Statutes. (1999-434, s. 10; 2000-174, s. 2; 2002-107, s. 4; 2002-159, s. 64(a); 2004-129, s. 24; 2009-451, s. 6.14A(a); 2013-333, s. 2; 2013-418, s. 2(e).)
Last modified: March 23, 2014