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Procurement-Related Caselaw

U.C. Leasing, Inc. v. State ex rel. State Bd. Of Public Affairs, 737 P.2d 1191, 1987 OK 43

Procedures to be followed by a state agency in acquisition of equipment are explicit. A lessor’s ignorance of, or compliance with, the procedural requirements of the Central Purchasing Act did not render an equipment lease agreement void for lack of procedural conformity. The court upheld a judgement against the state for accelerated lease payments after the state discontinued the lease agreement. Although the lease contained a non-appropriation clause, the court found no evidence that there were not funds appropriated to pay lease rentals as accrued and due. Where a person or entity enters into a valid contract with the proper state officials and a valid appropriation has been made therefor, the state has consented to be sued and has waived its governmental immunity to the extent of its contractual obligations and such contractual obligation may be enforced against the state in an ordinary action at law.  See 74 O.S. §§85.4 and 85.5.

Lone Star Helicopters, Inc. v. State, 800 P.2d 235, 1990 OK 111

The Oklahoma Central Purchasing Act authorizes the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to promulgate rules governing the submission of service contract bids, the acceptance or rejection of any service affected by the Act, and any other matter or practice which is directly related to his responsibilities. The Purchasing Director is required by statute to publish the rules. These rules are matters of public record and need not have been incorporated into the record for review. The Oklahoma Supreme Court must take judicial notice of them.  See 74 O.S. §§85.5 and 85.11.

Indiana Nat Bank v. State Dept. of Human Services, 857 P.2d 53, 1993 OK 101

The Office of Management and Enterprise Services has sole authority to approve material modifications of agreements once it has accepted a bid in response to an invitation to bid, in the absence of some other Legislative authority to the contrary or specific approval from OMES sanctioning another agencies’ authority to agree to such a modification.  Material modification by agencies after a contract is awarded by OMES, without approval of OMES, would completely undermine the intent and purpose behind the Central Purchasing Act; put differently, the Court stated that allowing agencies to subsequently negotiate and modify material clauses after other parties have been excluded through the competitive bidding process, undermines the integrity of the system and makes such a system meaningless.  The overriding public policy interest is that found in the Central Purchasing Act which generally requires private suppliers selling goods and services to state agencies to deal with a central entity, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, to promote efficient and cost effective use of taxpayer money and to prevent fraud in these dealings.  The Court noted that the Central Purchasing Act was designed to protect the public at large by promoting economy in government and reducing the likelihood of fraud and it ensures that government officials are accountable to public and are discharging their duties competently and responsibly.  The Court also noted that agency rules have the force and effect of law. See 74 O.S. §§85.1 and 85.5

Oklahoma Public Employees Ass’n v. Oklahoma Department of Central Services, 55 P.3d 1072, 2002 OK 71

The Central Purchasing Act governs the expenditures of the various governmental agencies in acquiring goods or services and, unless exempted by the Legislature, the Act applies to all state agencies. That Act provides procedures for a state agency’s acquisition of items, products, supplies, services, or equipment.  See 74 O.S. §§85.1 and 85.2.

State ex rel. Cartwright v. Tidmore, 674 P.2d 14, 1983 OK 116

Where the state is acting in its sovereign capacity and is suing to vindicate legal rights which are public in nature, rather than private, the suit is not barred by limitation of actions. The court found that assuring the rights of the public to have state contracts for services protected by written contracts and competitive bidding; provisions insuring government officials are accountable to the public and are discharging duties competently and responsibly; and laws requiring competitive bidding and written contracts protect the public at large by promoting economy in government and reducing the likelihood of fraud, were public rights against which the limitation of actions does not run. This case involved the state’s allegations of fraud and the court also noted that the public interest shall not be prejudiced by the negligence of public officers to whose care it is consigned.  See 74 O.S. §§85.1 and 85.7.

Toxic Waste Impact Group, Inc. v. Leavitt, 755 P.2d 626, 1988 OK 20

Rules and regulations enacted by administrative agencies pursuant to the powers delegated to them have the force and effect of law and are presumed to be reasonable and valid. The burden of establishing that an administrative rule is not reasonable or valid is on the party complaining of the rule.  Great weight is to be accorded the expertise of an administrative agency and a presumption of validity attaches to the exercise of expertise when the administrative agency is reviewed by a court. A court should not substitute its own judgment for that of an agency, particularly in the area of expertise which the agency supervises.  Further, long continued construction of a statute by a department charged with its execution is entitled to great weight and should not be overturned without cogent reasons.  See 74 O.S. §85.5.

Caddell v. State ex rel. Dept. of Health, 896 P.2d 571, 1995 OK CIV APP 57

Referencing the current §85.4.B subsection, the court upheld the premise that federal direct assistance grants fall within the spirit of the subsection B exemption and held that products obtained without expenditure of funds from the state treasury, but by debiting some “account” created from a federal direct assistance grant, should not be subjected to additional restrictions imposed by the Central Purchasing Act.  Additionally, the Court noted that the Central Purchasing Act was intended to protect the people of Oklahoma by promoting economy in government and reducing the likelihood of fraud. See 74 O.S. §§ 85.1 and 85.4

Cunningham Lindsey Claims Management, Inc. v. Oklahoma State Ins. Fund, 38 P.3d 248, 2002 OK CIV APP 7

A state agency did not have authority to modify a contract approved by the State Purchasing Director even though agency-specific statutes authorized the agency’s Commissioner, in conducting the business of the agency, to enter into certain contracts.  The court stated that the agency-specific statutes were merely legislative intent to designate the Commissioner as the party who would negotiate on behalf of the state agency.  See 74 O.S. §85.5.