CHAPTER 416

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 414

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE PROCUREMENT.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Three-fifths of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend §6902, Title 29, Delaware Code, by renumbering subsections (9)-(10) as subsections (11)-(12), renumbering subsection (11) as subsection (13), renumbering subsections (12)-(20) as subsections (15)-(23) and inserting new subsections (9), (10) and (14) to read as follows:

"(9) 'Electronic Bid' means the bidder, in response to an advertised Invitation to Bid, submits all documentation, except for information and documents specified in the Invitation to Bid, only through an electronic process to an identified secure electronic mail account that will not be opened by the Department until the close of the bidding period. In this process, no hard copy documentation shall be submitted to the Department prior to the award of the contract.

(10) 'Electronic Submission' means the vendor, in response to an advertised Request for Proposal, submits all documentation, except for information and documents specified in the Request for Proposal, only through an electronic process to an identified secure electronic mail account that will not be opened by the Department until the close of the Request for Proposal submittal period. In this process, no hard copy, except for information and documents specified in the Request for Proposal shall be submitted to the Department prior to the award of the contract.

(14) 'On-line bidding method means a procurement process in which the Department receive vendors’ bids for goods and non-professional services electronically over the Internet as either a substitute for a hard copy bid submission, or in a real-time, competitive bidding event.”

Section 2. Amend §6902 Title 29, Delaware Code by adding subsection (23) as follows:

“(24) ‘Internet’ means the international computer network of both federal and nonfederal interoperable packet switched data networks, including the graphical sub network called the world wide web.”

Section 3. Amend §6902 Title 29, Delaware Code by adding subsection (24) as follows:

“(24) ‘Reverse Auctioning’ means an on-line procurement method wherein bidders bid on specified goods and non-professional services through real-time electronic competitive bidding, with the award being made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. During the bidding process, bidders’ prices are public and are revealed electronically, and bidders shall have the opportunity to modify their bid prices for the duration of the time period established for the auction.”

Section 4. Amend §6923, Title 29, Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (p) as follows:

“(p) Electronic Bid Submission.

(1) When the Department determines that an electronic bid submission is advantageous, the Department may use electronic bidding to obtain bids for the purchase of goods and non-professional services.

(2) The solicitation shall designate that the procurement method will be an electronic bid submission, an opening date and time, a closing date and time, and an electronic mail account to which the bidding response must be sent.

(3) The closing date and time shall be fixed. The Department’s representative and a witness shall open the e-mail account immediately after the closing date and time, record the vendors which submitted bids, the date and time submitted, the bids, associated prices, and prepare a bid tabulation of all responsive vendors for review.”

Section 5. Amend §6923, Title 29, Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (q) as follows:

“(q) Reverse Auction.

(1) When the Department determines that a reverse auction is advantageous, the Department may use the reverse auction bidding method to obtain bids for the purchase of goods and non-professional services.

(2) The solicitation must designate both an opening date and time and a closing date and time. The closing date and time need not be a fixed point in time, but may remain dependent on a variable or variables specified in the solicitation. At the opening date and time, the Department must begin accepting real-time, on-line bids. The solicitation must remain open until the closing date and time, as may be determined by a variable or variables specified in the solicitation.

(3) The Department may require bidders to register before the opening date and time and, as part of that registration, to agree to any terms, conditions, or other requirements of the solicitation.

(4) a. Following receipt of the first bid after the opening date and time, all bid prices must be posted electronically to the Internet and updated on a real-time basis. At any time before the closing date and time, a bidder may lower the price of its bid, as long as its bid price is less than the then-current bid. A bidder’s lowest bid price supercedes the bidder’s prior higher bid price. Bid prices may not be increased anytime after the opening date and time. All bids are binding and may not be withdrawn unless the bid price entered by the bidder is entered incorrectly. If a price entered by the bidder is in error, the bidder must correct the bid within the time period and manner specified in the solicitation.

b. After the Department closes the bid, the bidder may request, in writing via an electronic mail message to the Department as specified in the solicitation, that its respective bid be withdrawn. Such a request may be allowed only upon the approval of the Department. If withdrawal of a bid after the Department closes the bid is permitted or denied, the Department shall prepare a written determination showing that the request was permitted or denied along with the reasons for such determination.

c. If the lowest responsive bid is withdrawn after the closing date and time, the Department may cancel the solicitation or reopen on-line real time bidding to all pre-existing bidders by giving notice to all pre-existing bidders of both the new opening date and time and the new closing date and time. Notice that electronic bidding will be reopened must be given as specified in the solicitation.

(5) Receipt and Safeguarding of Bids. Other than price, any information provided to the Department by a bidder must be safeguarded as required by Section 6923 (j) (4) of this chapter."

Approved July 22, 2002