Bill Description: Senate Bill 1379 would allow political subdivisions of the state to spend more money on property or services without going through the normal procurement process.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?
Under current law, when subdivisions of the state acquire property or services, they are required to go through a procurement process that involves getting multiple bids. A number of exceptions exist, including for purchases that are less than $50,000. Overall, the procurement process serves to increase government accountability and to reduce opportunities for cronyism.
Senate Bill 1379 amends sections 67-2803 and 67-2806, Idaho Code, to increase that $50,000 cutoff to $75,000 for services or personal property. (The $50,000 level would remain for contracts for public works.)
In existing law, there also is a stricter procurement process for purchasing or leasing personal property or procuring services in excess of $100,000.
Senate Bill 1379 increases that threshold to $150,000.
As stated before, the procurement process serves to increase government accountability and to reduce opportunities for cronyism. Therefore, allowing larger expenditures outside of that process can have the opposite effect.