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HOUSE BILL NO. 581
INTRODUCED BY J. COBB
AN ACT GENERALLY REVISING THE MONTANA SMALL BUSINESS PURCHASING ACT; REVISING THE DEFINITION OF "SMALL BUSINESS"; ELIMINATING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS RELATED TO THE DESIGNATION OF SMALL BUSINESS SET-ASIDES AND TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS AND NOTIFICATION OF BIDDERS; REPEALING THE PREFERENCE FOR THE MONTANA SMALL BUSINESS WHEN THERE IS A TIE FOR LOW BID; AMENDING SECTIONS 18-5-303, 18-5-304, AND 18-5-305, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 18-5-301, 18-5-302, 18-5-303, 18-5-304, 18-5-305, 18-5-306, 18-5-307, AND 18-5-308, MCA; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 18-5-303, MCA, is amended to read:
"18-5-303. Definitions. As used in this part, unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions apply:
(1) "Department" means any department, division, or agency of the state of Montana.
(2) "Small business" means a business
which that is independently owned and operated and which is not dominant in its
field of operation. The department of administration shall establish a detailed definition by rule using, in addition to the
foregoing criteria, other criteria. Small business shall further mean all a business domiciled in the state of Montana or one
and that employs more than 50% of its total employed personnel within the boundaries of the state of Montana.
(3) "Small business set-aside" means a purchase request for which bids are to be invited and accepted only from small businesses by a department."
Section 2. Section 18-5-304, MCA, is amended to read:
"18-5-304. Designation of small business set-asides. (1) Each department has authority to designate as small business
set-asides specified commodities, equipment, or services, except those services rendered and furnished by registered
professions, such as but not limited to accountants, attorneys, architects, dentists, engineers, land surveyors, optometrists,
physicians, and pharmacists, for which purchase has been requested under the Montana Small Business Purchasing Act.
Such a designation shall be made prior to the advertisement for bids in a daily state newspaper, and when the advertisement
is published, it shall indicate the purchases which have been designated small business set-asides. To effectuate the
purposes of this part, a department shall exercise this authority whenever there is a reasonable expectation that bids will be
obtained from at least three small businesses capable of furnishing the desired property or service at a fair and reasonable
(2) In the case of purchase designated as small business set-asides, invitations to bid
shall must be confined to small
businesses, and bids from other businesses shall must be rejected. The purchase, contract, or expenditure of funds shall
must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder among the small businesses, (considering conformity with specifications
and terms ), in accordance with the rules for purchasing published by the department."
Section 3. Section 18-5-305, MCA, is amended to read:
Insufficient bids -- withdrawal -- reissue Withdrawal of small business set-aside designation. (1) If the
total number of small businesses responding to the invitation to bid and considered capable of meeting the specifications
and terms of the invitation to bid is less than three or if a department determines that acceptance of the best bid will result in
the payment of an unreasonable price, the department shall reject all bids and withdraw the designation of small business
set-aside. (2) If a department withdraws the designation of small business set-aside, it shall notify the bidders of the reason why
the bids were rejected. Invitations to bid containing the same or rewritten specifications and terms shall then be reissued
under the Montana Small Business Purchasing Act, without the designation of small business set-aside."
Section 4. Repealer. (1) Sections 18-5-306 and 18-5-307, MCA, are repealed.
(2) Sections 18-5-301, 18-5-302, 18-5-303, 18-5-304, 18-5-305, and 18-5-308, MCA, are repealed.
Section 5. Effective dates. (1) [Sections 1 through 4(1) and this section] are effective on passage and approval.
(2) [Section 4(2)] is effective June 30, 2003.
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Latest Version of HB 581 (HB0581.ENR)
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