The Role of the EEC and the CPO in State Procurement
Public Act 96-0795 (the “Act”), an Amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, took effect on July 1, 2010. The Act prescribed a major overhaul of the processes and oversight of procurements conducted by Governor’s agencies, boards and commissions and State universities. The Act gave the Executive Ethics Commission (“EEC”) responsibility for appointing chief procurement officers (“CPOs”).
While the EEC provides various support services to each of the four CPOs and their staffs, each CPO makes independent decisions and exercises all procurement authority, created by law and rule. The authority and actions of the CPOs are necessarily independent of the actions of the EEC.
CPOs appoint a State Purchasing Officer (“SPO”) for each agency or university under the CPO’s control. A further explanation of the role of the CPO and SPO can be found on their respective web pages.
Additionally, the EEC has appointed procurement compliance monitors (“PCMs”) to oversee and review the procurement processes.
PCMs, while responsible to the EEC for operating within the guidelines of the authoritative Act, also act independently from the EEC on day to day decisions. The role of the PCM is defined by the Act as follows: The procurement compliance monitor may: (i) review each contract or contract amendment prior to execution to ensure that applicable procurement and contracting standards were followed; (ii) attend any procurement meetings; (iii) access any records or files related to procurement; (iv) issue reports to the chief procurement officer on procurement issues that present issues or that have not been corrected after consultation with appropriate State officials; (v) ensure the State agency is maintaining appropriate records; and (vi) ensure transparency of the procurement process. Additionally, if the PCM is aware of misconduct, waste, or inefficiency with respect to State procurement, the procurement compliance monitor shall advise the State agency of the issue. If the State agency does not correct the problem at issue, the monitor shall report the problem to the chief procurement compliance officer and the Inspector General.
CPOs, PCMs and SPOs all serve five-year terms of office.