2-18-711. Cooperative purchasing of employee benefit services and insurance products -- procedures. (1) To provide employee group benefits, an agency, as defined in 2-18-601, and the state compensation insurance fund may participate with other agencies, nonprofit organizations, or business entities and in voluntary disability insurance purchasing pools provided for under 33-22-1815 if the agency or the state fund determines that cooperative purchasing is in the agency's or the state fund's best interest.
(2) Cooperative purchases under this section may be conducted according to purchasing procedures developed by the participating parties if, for contracts valued at $20,000 a year or more, purchasing procedures, at a minimum, include:
(a) public notice in three major Montana newspapers of requirements for submitting bids or offers; and
(b) consideration of all submitted bids or offers.
(3) For purposes of this section, "employee" also means a schoolteacher or a member of the instructional or scientific staff of a community college.