The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 29: Public Property and Supplies

Chapter 49: DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS AND GENERAL SERVICES

 

Sub-Chapter 1: General Provisions

§ 901. Repealed. 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 37, eff. June 13, 1988.


§ 902. Duties of Commissioner of Buildings and General Services

(a) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services shall contract for and make all purchases, including but not limited to all fuel, supplies, materials, equipment, for all departments, offices, institutions, and other agencies of the State and counties. However, he or she may delegate authority to those governmental agencies to purchase directly individually approved types and classes of items when the interest of the State is best served thereby. He or she shall also contract for and purchase materials for the repair and for the construction and equipment of new buildings to be erected by the State, unless otherwise provided. He or she may purchase such supplies, materials, and equipment as are requisitioned by the supervisors of the natural resources conservation districts. He or she may also cooperate with and advise officials of any political subdivision of the State or any institution of higher education chartered in Vermont and accredited or holding a certificate of approval from the State Board of Education in their purchase of any of the supplies, materials, and equipment needed by the political subdivision or institution of higher education, and may act as the agent of the political subdivision at the request of the authorized officials or agent thereof in the purchase of supplies, materials, and equipment.

(b) [Repealed.]

(c) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may establish, in consultation with the heads of the governmental agencies, quality standards for all items specified in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may prescribe forms to be used in all purchasing, warehousing, and inventory functions set forth in this section; and when he or she so prescribes, the forms shall be used by all departments and agencies affected by this section.

(e) [Repealed.]

(f) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may also:

(1) establish and supervise inventory methods to be used by all government agencies;

(2) [Repealed.]

(3) maintain and operate the office supply service;

(4) receive, warehouse, manage, and distribute all State property and commodities except alcoholic beverages purchased for the Liquor Control Board; and all surplus federal property and commodities;

(5) maintain central inventory of all State property and equipment other than lands and buildings; and

(6) maintain and operate the State's Fleet Management System.

(g) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may establish substitute practices and exceptions from practices in requisitioning and purchasing that do not violate the spirit and intent of the general procedures; and he or she may direct, subject to the right of appeal by the head of the governmental agency to the Governor, the purchase of specified items to be made under the substitute practices and exceptions from practices.

(h) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may employ a standards and specifications engineer who shall under the supervision and direction of the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services:

(1) develop standards;

(2) assist the buyers and requisitioning agencies in formulating specifications;

(3) work on the continued expansion of the testing program;

(4) cooperate with departments and other agencies in the improvement of inspection practices;

(5) perform such other duties relative to the duties of the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services as the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may direct. (Added 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1961, No. 31, § 1; 1963, No. 79, § 1(b), eff. May 7, 1963; 1965, No. 125, § 16, eff. July 2, 1965; 1967, No. 303 (Adj. Sess.), § 15(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 38, eff. June 13, 1988; 1991, No. 87, § 3; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996; 2005, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 29, eff. May 15, 2006; 2013, No. 50, § E.101.8.)


§ 903. Requisition for supplies and materials

(a) When any governmental agency is in need of any of the items mentioned in this chapter, the responsible officer thereof shall requisition therefor upon the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services, and the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services shall purchase the items by either advertising for bids or by letters of inquiry and the contract for those items shall be awarded to the person whose bid or quotation is in the best interest of the State. Subject to the provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services may reject any or all bids or quotations and with the approval of the Secretary of Administration, procure items in such manner as may be in the best interest of the State.

(b) When purchasing any items mentioned in this chapter, the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services, in any determination of the best interest of the State shall consider (1) specified quality; (2) price; (3) ease of access of supply; (4) incidental administrative costs; (5) proven reliability of bidder; (6) use of recycled materials or products; (7) minimizing the creation, by the State, of solid waste; (8) the extent to which the usage of the item involves the generation of pollutants; (9) life cycle costs, if required under the State Agency Energy Plan, as implemented; (10) the interests of the State relating to the proximity of the supplier and the costs of transportation, and relating to the economy of the State and the need to maintain and create jobs in the State; and (11) the use of railroads and the increased revenues returning to the State from its railroad leasing program. The Commissioner, in the Commissioner's discretion, may spend up to 10 percent more for comparable products that are made of recycled materials. If products made of recycled materials are to cost more than 10 percent more than comparable products, the Commissioner shall receive consent of State entities that are to use the product, before completing the order for the materials in question.

(c) Whenever any business or industry located in Vermont and employing citizens of this State has submitted a bid and the item has not been purchased from them, the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services shall record his or her reason for assigning the order as he or she did and his or her report shall be a public record available to any interested person. All bids or quotations shall be kept on file in his or her office and open to public inspection.

(d) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services, with the assistance of all State agencies, shall cooperate with the generators and managers of waste materials which may be recycled and with the producers of products which use recycled materials to maximize the State's use of those materials and products, particularly where the added cost of using waste materials rather than virgin materials is less than the cost avoided by not having that waste in the waste stream. Proceeds from the sale of waste materials collected by the Department of Buildings and General Services shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the Department to offset the cost of recycling efforts. The goal for the purchase of recycled materials shall be at least 40 percent by the end of 2008. For purposes of this section, "recycled materials" include recycled paper products, retreaded automobile tires, re-refined lubricating oil, used automotive parts, reclaimed solvents, recycled asphalt, recycled concrete, and compost materials.

(e)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section and subsection 906(d) of this chapter, the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services will administer an Equipment Revolving Fund to be used for internal lease purchase of equipment for State agencies. The Secretary of Administration will establish criteria for equipment to be purchased through this Fund, including limiting amounts for specific equipment and the useful life of the equipment.

(2) Agencies or departments acquiring such equipment shall repay the Fund through their regular operating budgets according to an amortization schedule established by the Commissioner of Finance and Management. Repayment shall include charges for administrative costs of the purchase and estimated administrative inflation over the term of the payback.

(3) Repealed.]

(4) The Commissioner of Finance and Management may anticipate receipts to this Fund and issue warrants based thereon.

(f) Repealed.]

(g) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services, when purchasing vehicles for State use shall consider vehicles using alternative fuels when the alternative fuel is suitable for the vehicle's operation, is available in the region where the vehicle will be used, and is competitively priced with traditional fuels. (Added 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1966, No. 9 (Sp. Sess.); 1987, No. 78, §§ 18, 19; 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 36, eff. June 13, 1988; 1987, No. 281 (Adj. Sess.), § 311; 1989, No. 286 (Adj. Sess.), § 8; 1991, No. 75, § 5; 1991, No. 259 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 9, 10; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996; 1995, No. 183 (Adj. Sess.), § 8, eff. May 22, 1996; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 42, eff. June 8, 2004; 2009, No. 33, § 57; 2013, No. 142 (Adj. Sess.), § 96.)


§ 903a. Alternative purchasing sources

As an alternative to the procedures set forth in § 903 of this title, the commissioner may elect to purchase any of the items mentioned in this chapter through a program established by the federal general services administration to supply federal agencies with supplies and materials, or may choose to participate in cooperative purchases with other states, provided that the commissioner first determines that purchasing through the general services administration or cooperative agreements with other states is in the best interest of the state as provided in subsection 903(b) of this title. (Added 1995, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), § 298.)


§ 904. Surplus property; acceptance and distribution

The commissioner of buildings and general services or the commissioner's designee, as approved by the secretary of administration may apply for and accept in the name of the state all federal surplus property and commodities, including but not limited to food commodities formerly acquired by the department of education under former § 205 of Title 16 or the department of institutions, under No. 4 of the Acts of 1945, as may be made available to the state, municipalities and nonprofit private schools by the federal government or any agency thereof. The commissioner or designee may distribute that property to such state departments, institutions and agencies, municipalities and nonprofit private schools as may be entitled thereto. (Added 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1961, No. 31, § 2; 1991, No. 245 (Adj. Sess.), § 19; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996.)


§ 905. Centralized purchasing of school equipment and supplies

(a) The Commissioner of Buildings and General Services and the Secretary of Education, or their designees, shall develop and promote a program of centralized purchasing of equipment and supplies for public schools in Vermont, by which purchases may be combined in order to obtain volume purchasing discounts and other purchasing benefits.

(b) Establishment of a revolving fund is authorized for the purposes of this section to be administered by the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services. All expenses of the program shall be paid out of the revolving fund. Costs shall be prorated according to rules established by the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services, and charged to users of the program. At his or her discretion the Commissioner of Finance and Management may anticipate receipts to be paid into the fund based upon assurances from participants in the program and may issue warrants thereon for the purposes of this section. (Added 1987, No. 14, § 1, eff. April 21, 1987; amended 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 36, eff. June 13, 1988; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996; 2013, No. 92 (Adj. Sess.), § 282, eff. Feb. 14, 2014.)


§ 906. Stationery and office supplies

(a) The commissioner of buildings and general services shall manage a supply program in order to ensure the disbursal of equipment for use by state government, including but not limited to fleet vehicles, office supplies, stationery, record books, and forms purchased by the state. The commissioner shall disburse them upon requisition to all state departments, institutions and within limits approved by the commissioner of finance and management to county officers whose compensation and expenses are paid by the state or any institution of higher education chartered in Vermont and accredited or holding a certificate of approval from the state board of education. The form of the requisition shall be prescribed by the commissioner of buildings and general services.

(b) The commissioner shall keep an accurate account of all the property and services mentioned in this section and of its distribution, and shall annually render an account to the commissioner of finance and management of the distribution of those supplies and services rendered for the preceding 12 months and an inventory of all supplies on hand, in such manner and form as shall be approved by the commissioner of finance and management.

(c) The commissioner shall also maintain a central duplicating section to provide duplicating services for state departments, institutions and county officers whose compensation and expenses are paid by the state, and supply postal services to all state offices and officers located in central Vermont and in other locations when feasible as determined by the commissioner.

(d) [Repealed.]

(e) All operating expenses and services of the central supply section and central duplicating section shall be paid out of a revolving fund insofar as possible. The commissioner of buildings and general services, with the approval of the commissioner of finance and management, may assess charges for supplies, equipment and services, which the commissioner of finance and management shall charge back to appropriations for the various departments all items mentioned under this section, and credit like amounts to the revolving fund. (Added 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1967, No. 148, § 1; 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1987, No. 243 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. June 13, 1988; 1991, No. 87, § 4; 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996; 2003, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 43, eff. June 8, 2004; 2007, No. 65, § 285.)


§ 907. Manner of payment of bills for purchases

(a) The commissioner of buildings and general services shall furnish to suppliers at the expense of the state the forms for all proposals and contracts. The commissioner shall make all contracts in duplicate and shall forward forthwith one copy to the commissioner of finance and management. An item of expense for any article mentioned in this chapter shall not be allowed by the commissioner of finance and management in the settlement of any account except when the purchase of the article is authorized and approved by the commissioner of buildings and general services.

(b) The commissioner of buildings and general services may establish a purchasing card program for the purpose of authorizing all spending units of the state to use a purchasing card as an alternative payment method for official state purchases. The commissioner may contract with one or more financial institutions, card-issuing banks, credit card companies, charge card companies, debit card companies, or third-party merchant banks to provide state purchasing cards. The commissioner may accept receipts from the purchasing card program. The commissioner is authorized to establish policies for participation in the program and use of the purchasing card. (Added 1959, No. 328 (Adj. Sess.), § 13; amended 1983, No. 195 (Adj. Sess.), § 5(b); 1995, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 4(a), eff. May 6, 1996; 2003, No. 63, § 25, eff. June 11, 2003; 2005, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 30, eff. May 15, 2006.)


§ 908. Price-fixing illegal; penalty

Every contract, combination or conspiracy, providing for the establishment or maintenance of minimum prices in the sale of any commodity to the state or any municipality or agency thereof, between manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, factors, retailers or persons, firms or corporations in competition with each other is hereby declared illegal. A person who makes such a contract or engages in such a combination or conspiracy shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 or be imprisoned not more than one year, or both. (1963, No. 149.)


§ 909. State purchase of food and agricultural products

(a) When procuring food and agricultural products for the State, its agencies, departments, instrumentalities, and institutions, the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services shall consider the interests of the State relating to the proximity of the supplier and the costs of transportation, and relating to the economy of the State and the need to maintain and create jobs in the State.

(b) When making purchases pursuant to this section, the Secretary of Administration, the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services, and any State-funded institutions shall, other considerations being equal and considering the results of any econometric analysis conducted, purchase products grown or produced in Vermont when available. (Added 2011, No. 52, § 72, eff. May 27, 2011.)


§ 910. -910. [Reserved for future use.]


 

Sub-Chapter 2: State Purchasing Of Apparel, Footwear, Or Textiles

§ 921. Application of subchapter; definitions

(a) This subchapter applies to competitive bids for sale of apparel, footwear, or textiles pursuant to subchapter 1 of this chapter.

(b) As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of buildings and general services.

(2) "Independent monitor" means a nonprofit organization that is neither funded nor controlled, in whole or in part, by businesses that sell or manufacture apparel, footwear, or textiles. (Added 2007, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 2008.)


§ 922. Bids for the sale of apparel, footwear, or textiles

(a) The commissioner shall require that a bidder for the sale of apparel, footwear, or textiles provide certification from each supplier that the supplier at the point of assembly of the goods:

(1) complies with all applicable wage, health, labor, environmental, and safety laws, legal guarantees of freedom of association, building and fire codes, and laws relating to discrimination in hiring, promotion, and compensation on the basis of race, disability, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and affiliation with any political, nongovernmental, and civic group except when federal law precludes the state from attaching the procurement conditions provided in this subchapter; and

(2) complies with all human and labor rights treaty obligations that are shared by the United States and the country in which the goods are assembled, including obligations with regard to forced labor, indentured labor, slave labor, child labor, involuntary prison labor, physical and sexual abuse, and freedom of association.

(b) Prior to the awarding of a contract, a bidder for the sale of apparel, footwear, or textiles shall submit a list of the names and addresses of suppliers at the point of assembly of goods subject to the bid process.

(c) If, after complying with the filing requirements of this section, a bidder is awarded a contract, that contractor shall, during the term of the contract, promptly inform the commissioner of any change in the information furnished to the commissioner pursuant to this section. (Added 2007, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 2008.)


§ 923. Exception

The commissioner may accept a bid from and award a contract to a supplier who has not met the requirements provided in section 922 of this title if, after reasonable investigation by the commissioner, it appears that the required unit or item of supply or brand of that unit or item is procurable by the state from only that supplier or under other extraordinary circumstances. The approval of an exception pursuant to this section shall be documented in writing, signed by the commissioner, and retained as part of the contract file. (Added 2007, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 2008.)


§ 924. Repealed. 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 51, eff. May 14, 2012.


§ 925. Complaints of noncompliance with subchapter; investigations of complaints

(a) The commissioner shall initiate an investigation to determine whether a violation of this subchapter has occurred if:

(1) The commissioner has knowledge that a contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(2) The contractor informs the commissioner that the contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(3) A worker for a contractor or for a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract files a written complaint directly with the commissioner stating that the contractor or supplier, to the best of the worker's knowledge, is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(4) A third party established and based in the United States, on behalf of or on the basis of information from a worker or workers, files directly with the commissioner a written complaint, signed and dated under oath before an official authorized by applicable law to administer oaths, stating that, to the best of the third party's knowledge, a contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(5) A third party established and based outside the United States, on behalf of or on the basis of information from a worker or workers, files directly with the commissioner a signed and dated written complaint stating that, to the best of the third party's knowledge, a contractor or a supplier at the point of assembly of goods subject to a contract is not in compliance with this subchapter.

(b) After receiving a complaint alleging noncompliance with this subchapter, the commissioner shall contact in a timely manner, in writing and by certified letter, the contractor that is the subject of the complaint or whose supplier is the subject of the complaint. (Added 2007, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 2008.)


§ 926. Determinations of noncompliance with subchapter

(a) In making a determination of whether a violation of this subchapter has occurred, the commissioner may take into account any factors, information, sources of information, and materials determined reliable and relevant by the commissioner, as determined on a case-by-case basis. The commissioner has specific authority and discretion to employ an independent monitor to investigate a complaint.

(b) The determination of whether a party subject to a complaint is in compliance with this subchapter is solely that of the commissioner.

(c) After rendering a determination under this section, the commissioner promptly shall inform the complainant and contractor in writing. (Added 2007, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 2008.)


§ 927. Consequences of noncompliance with subchapter

If, in the opinion of the commissioner, a contractor that has been determined to be not in compliance with this subchapter does not make good-faith efforts to change its practices or use its bargaining position with an offending supplier to change the supplier's practices, the commissioner may take appropriate remedial action, including barring the contractor from bidding on future state contracts or terminating the state's contract with the contractor. Reference to the authority given in this section shall be specifically referenced in state contracts with contractors that are subject to this subchapter. (Added 2007, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 2008.)


§ 928. Coordination with other jurisdictions

The commissioner shall coordinate with other jurisdictions of the United States of America with those jurisdictions' efforts to develop an effective strategy to monitor vendor compliance with the requirements of this subchapter or similar requirements of those jurisdictions. (Added 2007, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 2008.)