2007 Regular Session
To: Universities and Colleges; Appropriations
By: Representative Young
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 31-7-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF STATE INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND THE STATE INSTITUTIONS FROM THE PURVIEW OF THE PUBLIC PURCHASING LAWS; TO AMEND SECTION 31-7-10, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING PROVISION; TO REQUIRE THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO PRESCRIBE RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING PURCHASES BY THE STATE INSTITUTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 31-7-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-1. The following terms are defined for the purposes of this chapter to have the following meanings:
(a) "Agency" shall mean any state board, commission, committee, council, * * * department or unit thereof created by the Constitution or statutes if such board, commission, committee, council, * * * department, unit or the head thereof is authorized to appoint subordinate staff by the Constitution or statute, except the term "agency" does not include a legislative or judicial board, commission, committee, council, department or unit thereof, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning or any state institution of higher learning.
(b) "Governing authority" shall mean boards of supervisors, governing boards of all school districts, all boards of directors of public water supply districts, boards of directors of master public water supply districts, municipal public utility commissions, governing authorities of all municipalities, port authorities, commissioners and boards of trustees of any public hospitals, boards of trustees of public library systems, district attorneys, school attendance officers and any political subdivision of the state supported wholly or in part by public funds of the state or political subdivisions thereof, including commissions, boards and agencies created or operated under the authority of any county or municipality of this state. The term "governing authority" shall not include economic development authorities supported in part by private funds, or commissions appointed to hold title to and oversee the development and management of lands and buildings which are donated by private individuals to the public for the use and benefit of the community and which are supported in part by private funds.
(c) "Purchasing agent" shall mean any administrator, superintendent, purchase clerk or other chief officer so designated having general or special authority to negotiate for and make private contract for or purchase for any governing authority or agency.
(d) "Public funds" shall mean and include any appropriated funds, special funds, fees or any other emoluments received by an agency or governing authority.
(e) "Commodities" shall mean and include the various commodities, goods, merchandise, furniture, equipment, automotive equipment of every kind, and other personal property purchased by the agencies of the state and governing authorities, but not commodities purchased for resale or raw materials converted into products for resale.
(i) "Equipment" shall be construed to include: automobiles, trucks, tractors, office appliances and all other equipment of every kind and description.
(ii) "Furniture" shall be construed to include: desks, chairs, tables, seats, filing cabinets, bookcases and all other items of a similar nature * * *, appliances, carpets and all other items of personal property generally referred to as home, office or school furniture.
(f) "Emergency" shall mean any circumstances caused by fire, flood, explosion, storm, earthquake, epidemic, riot, insurrection or caused by any inherent defect due to defective construction, or when the immediate preservation of order or of public health is necessary by reason of unforeseen emergency, or when the immediate restoration of a condition of usefulness of any public building, equipment, road or bridge appears advisable, or in the case of a public utility when there is a failure of any machine or other thing used and useful in the generation, production or distribution of electricity, water or natural gas, or in the transportation or treatment of sewage; or when the delay incident to obtaining competitive bids could cause adverse impact upon the governing authorities or agency, its employees or its citizens; or in the case of a public airport, when the delay incident to publishing an advertisement for competitive bids would endanger public safety in a specific (not general) manner, result in or perpetuate a specific breach of airport security, or prevent the airport from providing specific air transportation services.
(g) "Construction" shall mean the process of building, altering, improving, renovating or demolishing a public structure, public building, or other public real property. It does not include routine operation, routine repair or regularly scheduled maintenance of existing public structures, public buildings or other public real property.
(h) "Purchase" shall mean buying, renting, leasing or otherwise acquiring.
(i) "Certified purchasing office" shall mean any purchasing office wherein fifty percent (50%) or more of the purchasing agents hold a certification from the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council or other nationally recognized purchasing certification.
SECTION 2. Section 31-7-10, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
31-7-10. (1) For the purposes of this section, the term "equipment" shall mean equipment, furniture, and if applicable, associated software and other applicable direct costs associated with the acquisition. In addition to its other powers and duties, the Department of Finance and Administration shall have the authority to develop a master lease-purchase program and, pursuant to that program, shall have the authority to execute on behalf of the state master lease-purchase agreements for equipment to be used by an agency, as provided in this section. Each agency electing to acquire equipment by a lease-purchase agreement shall participate in the Department of Finance and Administration's master lease-purchase program, unless the Department of Finance and Administration makes a determination that such equipment cannot be obtained under the program or unless the equipment can be obtained elsewhere at an overall cost lower than that for which the equipment can be obtained under the program. Such lease-purchase agreements may include the refinancing or consolidation, or both, of any state agency lease-purchase agreements entered into after June 30, 1990.
(2) All funds designated by agencies for procurement of equipment and financing thereof under the master lease-purchase program shall be paid into a special fund created in the State Treasury known as the "Master Lease-Purchase Program Fund," which shall be used by the Department of Finance and Administration for payment to the lessors for equipment acquired under master lease-purchase agreements.
(3) Upon final approval of an appropriation bill, each agency shall submit to the Public Procurement Review Board a schedule of proposed equipment acquisitions for the master lease-purchase program. Upon approval of an equipment schedule by the Public Procurement Review Board with the advice of the Department of Information Technology Services, the Office of Purchasing, Travel and Fleet Management, and the Division of Energy and Transportation of the Mississippi Development Authority as it pertains to energy efficient climate control systems, the Public Procurement Review Board shall forward a copy of the equipment schedule to the Department of Finance and Administration.
(4) The level of lease-purchase debt recommended by the Department of Finance and Administration shall be subject to approval by the State Bond Commission. After such approval, the Department of Finance and Administration shall be authorized to advertise and solicit written competitive proposals for a lessor, who will purchase the equipment pursuant to bid awards made by the using agency under a given category and then transfer the equipment to the Department of Finance and Administration as lessee, pursuant to a master lease-purchase agreement.
The Department of Finance and Administration shall select the successful proposer for the financing of equipment under the master lease-purchase program with the approval of the State Bond Commission.
(5) Each master lease-purchase agreement, and any subsequent amendments, shall include such terms and conditions as the State Bond Commission shall determine to be appropriate and in the public interest, and may include any covenants deemed necessary or desirable to protect the interests of the lessor, including, but not limited to, provisions setting forth the interest rate (or method for computing interest rates) for financing pursuant to such agreement, covenants concerning application of payments and funds held in the Master Lease-Purchase Program Fund, covenants to maintain casualty insurance with respect to equipment subject to the master lease-purchase agreement (and all state agencies are specifically authorized to purchase any insurance required by a master lease-purchase agreement) and covenants precluding or limiting the right of the lessee or user to acquire equipment within a specified time (not to exceed five (5) years) after cancellation on the basis of a failure to appropriate funds for payment of amounts due under a lease-purchase agreement covering comparable equipment. The State Bond Commission shall transmit copies of each such master lease-purchase agreement and each such amendment to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. To the extent provided in any master lease-purchase agreement, title to equipment leased pursuant thereto shall be deemed to be vested in the state or the user of the equipment (as specified in such master lease-purchase agreement), subject to default under or termination of such master lease-purchase agreement.
A master lease-purchase agreement may provide for payment by the lessor to the lessee of the purchase price of the equipment to be acquired pursuant thereto prior to the date on which payment is due to the vendor for such equipment and that the lease payments by the lessee shall commence as though the equipment had been provided on the date of payment. If the lessee, or lessee's escrow agent, has sufficient funds for payment of equipment purchases prior to payment due date to vendor of equipment, such funds shall be held or utilized on an as-needed basis for payment of equipment purchases either by the State Treasurer (in which event the master lease-purchase agreement may include provisions concerning the holding of such funds, the creation of a security interest for the benefit of the lessor in such funds until disbursed and other appropriate provisions approved by the Bond Commission) or by a corporate trustee selected by the Department of Finance and Administration (in which event the Department of Finance and Administration shall have the authority to enter into an agreement with such a corporate trustee containing terms and conditions approved by the Bond Commission). Earnings on any amount paid by the lessor prior to the acquisition of the equipment may be used to make lease payments under the master lease-purchase agreement or applied to pay costs and expenses incurred in connection with such lease-purchase agreement. In such event, the equipment-use agreements with the user agency may provide for lease payments to commence upon the date of payment by the lessor and may also provide for a credit against such payments to the extent that investment receipts from investment of the purchase price are to be used to make lease-purchase payments.
(6) The annual rate of interest paid under any lease-purchase agreement authorized under this section shall not exceed the maximum interest rate to maturity on general obligation indebtedness permitted under Section 75-17-101.
(7) The Department of Finance and Administration shall furnish the equipment to the various agencies, also known as the user, pursuant to an equipment-use agreement developed by the Department of Finance and Administration. Such agreements shall require that all monthly payments due from such agency be paid, transferred or allocated into the Master Lease-Purchase Program Fund pursuant to a schedule established by the Department of Finance and Administration. In the event such sums are not paid by the defined payment period, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration shall issue a requisition for a warrant to draw such amount as may be due from any funds appropriated for the use of the agency which has failed to make the payment as agreed.
(8) All master lease-purchase agreements executed under the authority of this section shall contain the following annual allocation dependency clause or an annual allocation dependency clause which is substantially equivalent thereto: "The continuation of each equipment schedule to this agreement is contingent in whole or in part upon the appropriation of funds by the Legislature to make the lease-purchase payments required under such equipment schedule. If the Legislature fails to appropriate sufficient funds to provide for the continuation of the lease-purchase payments under any such equipment schedule, then the obligations of the lessee and of the agency to make such lease-purchase payments and the corresponding provisions of any such equipment schedule to this agreement shall terminate on the last day of the fiscal year for which appropriations were made."
(9) The maximum lease term for any equipment acquired under the master lease-purchase program shall not exceed the useful life of such equipment as determined according to the upper limit of the asset depreciation range (ADR) guidelines for the Class Life Asset Depreciation Range System established by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to the United States Internal Revenue Code and Regulations thereunder as in effect on December 31, 1980, or comparable depreciation guidelines with respect to any equipment not covered by ADR guidelines. The Department of Finance and Administration shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this subsection if the term of a master lease-purchase agreement does not exceed the weighted average useful life of all equipment covered by such agreement and the schedules thereto as determined by the Department of Finance and Administration. For purposes of this subsection, the "term of a master lease-purchase agreement" shall be the weighted average maturity of all principal payments to be made under such master lease-purchase agreement and all schedules thereto.
(10) Interest paid on any master lease-purchase agreement under this section shall be exempt from State of Mississippi income taxation. All equipment, and the purchase thereof by any lessor, acquired under the master lease-purchase program and all lease-purchase payments with respect thereto shall be exempt from all Mississippi sales, use and ad valorem taxes.
(11) The Governor, in his annual executive budget to the Legislature, shall recommend appropriations sufficient to provide funds to pay all amounts due and payable during the applicable fiscal year under master lease-purchase agreements entered into pursuant to this section.
(12) Any master lease-purchase agreement reciting in substance that such agreement has been entered into pursuant to this section shall be conclusively deemed to have been entered into in accordance with all of the provisions and conditions set forth in this section. Any defect or irregularity arising with respect to procedures applicable to the acquisition of any equipment shall not invalidate or otherwise limit the obligation of the Department of Finance and Administration, or the state or any agency of the state, under any master lease-purchase agreement or any equipment-use agreement.
(13) There shall be maintained by the Department of Finance and Administration, with respect to each master lease-purchase agreement, an itemized statement of the cash price, interest rates, interest costs, commissions, debt service schedules and all other costs and expenses paid by the state incident to the lease-purchase of equipment under such agreement.
(14) Lease-purchase agreements entered into by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning * * * or by any other agency which has specific statutory authority other than pursuant to Section 31-7-13(e) to acquire equipment by lease-purchase shall not be made pursuant to the master lease-purchase program under this section, unless the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning or such other agency elects to participate as to part or all of its lease-purchase acquisitions in the master lease-purchase program pursuant to this section.
(15) The Department of Finance and Administration may develop a master lease-purchase program for school districts and, pursuant to that program, may execute on behalf of the school districts master lease-purchase agreements for equipment to be used by the school districts. The form and structure of this program shall be substantially the same as set forth in this section for the master lease-purchase program for state agencies. If sums due from a school district under the master lease-purchase program are not paid by the expiration of the defined payment period, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration may withhold such amount that is due from the school district's minimum education or adequate education program fund allotments.
(16) The Department of Finance and Administration may develop a master lease-purchase program for community and junior college districts and, pursuant to that program, may execute on behalf of the community and junior college districts master lease-purchase agreements for equipment to be used by the community and junior college districts. The form and structure of this program must be substantially the same as set forth in this section for the master lease-purchase program for state agencies. If sums due from a community or junior college district under the master lease-purchase program are not paid by the expiration of the defined payment period, the Executive Director of the Department of Finance and Administration may withhold an amount equal to the amount due under the program from any funds allocated for that community or junior college district in the state appropriations for the use and support of the community and junior colleges.
SECTION 3. (1) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and the state institutions of higher learning are exempt from the rules and regulations prescribed by the Department of Finance and Administration for the administration of the public purchasing laws of the state. The board shall prescribe rules and regulations to coordinate and promote efficiency and economy in the purchase of commodities by the state institutions of higher learning.
(2) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall develop administrative procedures to supervise the state institutions through its director and other supervisory personnel in the performance of the following duties:
(a) A study of the purchases of commodities by the state institutions, the compilation, exchange and coordination of information concerning those purchases, and the distribution of information to state institutions that request such information; and
(b) The planning and coordination of purchases in volume for the state institutions in order to take advantage of and secure the economies possible by volume purchasing; the arrangement of agreements between state institutions whereby one may make a purchase or purchases for the other; the arrangement of agreements whereby purchases of commodities can be at a fair price, less depreciated value; the negotiations and execution of purchasing agreements and contracts through and under which the board of trustees may require state institutions to purchase; and the obtaining or establishment of methods for obtaining of competitive bid prices upon which any state institutions may purchase at the price approved by the board of trustees.
(3) The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning shall adopt purchasing regulations governing the purchase by any state institution of higher learning of any commodity or commodities and establish standards and specifications for a commodity or commodities and establish the maximum fair prices of a commodity or commodities. The board may amend, add to or eliminate purchasing regulations. Upon the adoption of any purchasing regulation or amendment to or elimination of a regulation, copies of the regulation must be furnished to the State Auditor.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.