1998 Regular Session
By: Representatives Bowles, Clarke, Frierson, Horne, Stevens
House Bill 764
AN ACT TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO USE A COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCESS WHEN SELECTING VENDORS TO SELL OR LEASE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES TO STUDENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH SCHOOL FUND-RAISING ACTIVITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 31-7-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROHIBIT SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS FROM ACCEPTING ANY GIFTS OR THINGS OF VALUE FROM VENDORS SELLING OR LEASING ITEMS TO STUDENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The school board of any school district conducting fund-raising activities on behalf of the school district, as authorized under Section 37-7-301(gg), shall procure any vendor whose products or services are used in conjunction with the fund-raising activity through a competitive bidding process. Any other vendor who is invited into the schools to make sales or leases to students also shall be procured by the school board through a competitive bidding process. The school board shall develop a request for proposals and shall advertise the request in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the school district is located. The school board shall inform all interested parties of the products and services that are to be offered for sale or lease to the students and of any other restrictions on responses to the request for proposals, including the deadline for submissions.
(2) To review the responses to the request for proposals, a school district committee consisting of at least five (5) persons shall be appointed by the school board. The committee shall include no less than one (1) member who is a student and no less than one (1) member who is a parent of a student. The committee shall review and then rank the responses on the basis of the prices offered for the product or service, the quality of the product or service offered, the reputation of the vendors, the extent to which the product or service meets the students' needs, and the vendor's history, if any, in providing products or services to the school district or its students. The committee shall review the ranked responses and shall select the vendor that, in the opinion of the committee, will provide the best product or service to the students and the district. The school board shall inform the vendor whose bid is selected of his selection by telephone and in writing. Records of the selection process shall be maintained by the school district for no less than three (3) years.
(3) The school district committee may reject any proposals that do not conform to the specifications provided in the request for proposals and may reject all proposals if, in the opinion of the committee, the district or students are best served by such action.
SECTION 2. Section 31-7-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-23. (1) Any rebates, refunds, coupons, merit points, gratuities or any article of value tendered or received by any agency or governing authority from any vendor of material, supplies, equipment or other articles shall inure to the benefit of the agency or governing authority making the purchase. The agency or governing authority may, in accordance with its best interest, either take delivery of the article of value tendered and use the same or convert it to cash by selling it for its fair and reasonable value, making use of the proceeds from such sale for the exclusive benefit of the agency or governing authority.
(2) Whenever any school district superintendent, assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal or other school district employee participates in the selection process of a vendor to sell or lease products or services to students under Section 1 of House Bill No. , 1998 Regular Session, such person may not receive any gift or thing of value, including money, from any vendor who submits a bid or is selected to provide the products or services to the students. Any gift or thing of value, including money, that has been given to school district employees by such a vendor before the effective date of House Bill No. , 1998 Regular Session, shall become the property of the school district. Any school district employee who accepts a gift or thing of value, including money, in violation of this subsection shall be punished as provided in Section 31-7-55.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.