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July 10, 2008

 


DiNapoli Releases Procedures for Protesting State Contracts

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today released protest procedures for vendors who want to challenge contracts awarded by state agencies.

“State agencies awarded contracts worth $37 billion last fiscal year. The process for who gets this business must be fair,” DiNapoli said. “For too long the state lacked a coordinated approach for how businesses could protest the awarding of contracts. These new procedures provide a uniform, coordinated approach that protects taxpayers and give businesses a level playing field as they compete for state contracts.”

DiNapoli’s office is responsible for reviewing and approving contracts for all state agencies and some public authorities. Vendors who disagree with how a state agency awarded a contract can protest the process directly with the state agency or with the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC). Because there were no statutory provisions or regulations establishing an administrative procedure for bid protests, the process lacked consistency and created confusion for the business community in the past.

OSC’s new procedures clearly define the process for how a vendor files a protest. If an agency does not have protest procedures, a vendor can file a protest with OSC in writing within ten days of notice of the contract award. Under the procedures, OSC may conduct a fact finding hearing and issue a final determination on the protest. If OSC determines the process was unfair or violated the state’s procurement laws, then the state agency may be required to award to another bidder or put the contract up for bid again.

Click here for a copy of the guidelines.

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