Lawmakers Look At Ways To Improve Idaho State Contract Rules

Oct 15, 2015

Strengthening Idaho's system for purchasing goods and services comes down to careful training, good research, picking the right providers and following the law, some state employees told a group of lawmakers on Thursday.

Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The legislative interim committee is digging into Idaho's contracting system in the wake of several scandals, including an illegally awarded $60 million school broadband contract that was voided by a judge earlier this year.

Now the committee is trying to make the state's purchasing system airtight against future scandals, while keeping it enticing enough to attract the companies that sell the state services and goods.

Chief Deputy State Controller Dan Goicoechea told lawmakers that bad contracts can be avoided with plenty of research up front and by following procurement rules already in place.

Purchasing Division Administrator Bill Burns recommended better training for state employees in charge of contracts. He suggested creating a state certification process for those employees.