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Local Vendors

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June 24, 2012, 11:46
Meredith Kennedy
Local Vendors
The Sheriff's Office wants to do an RFP for a new video system in the jail. Due to previous problems with service delays with vendors outside our area, they want to limit the vendors to a radius around our county to ensure that service is performed timely. I think they should just make it a requirement of the RFP that a vendor provide service within a number of hours and that will do the same thing, but they are insistent they want a local vendor. (They are also insistent they do not have someone picked out for the contract, which was my first question.) Is there anything legally I can point to that says they cannot limit an RFP to local vendors only?
June 25, 2012, 10:55
Scott Brumley
Have a look at LGC sec. 271.905. The takeaway I get from thet statute is that if a local bidder is within 3 percent of the lowest bid price, and the appropriate findings are made in writing by the commissioners court, the local nature of the bidder may justify awarding the contract despite its bid being a little higher.

What I don't read in the statute is authority to make local preference a bid condition. It appears, instead, to be a proper consideration in award of the ultimate contract. I'm presuming the contract is one subject to the County Purchasing Act (or, at least, Title 8 of the LGC). Also, I can't rattle off any directly applicable AG opinion on the issue, because I haven't looked, so you'll want to see if there is one out there.
June 25, 2012, 12:24
Meredith Kennedy
Great starting place. Thank you Scott!
July 06, 2012, 09:23
There are old not very helpful AG opinions. They predate the change in the Local Government Code.