Paxton, 090420 TXAGO, AGO RQ-0377-KP

Docket Nº:AGO RQ-0377-KP
Case Date:September 04, 2020
The Honorable Ken Paxton
AGO RQ-0377-KP
No. RQ-0377-KP
Texas Attorney General Opinion
September 4, 2020
          RECEIVED By Opinion Committee September 03, 2020          The Honorable Ken Paxton          Office of the Attorney General          Attention Opinion Committee          P.O. Box 12548          Austin, Texas 78711-2548          RE: Budget and Procurement Statutes          Dear Attorney General Paxton and the Opinion Committee:          This letter serves as a formal request for your opinion on the clarification of budgetary and procurement statutes as they apply to the Gonzales County Attorney, and the duty of the County Auditor to see to the strict enforcement of the law regarding the County Purchasing Act (Local Government Code 262).          BACKGROUND          The Gonzales County Attorney purchased a laptop computer through an online retailer on June 2, 2020 using the County credit card. Gonzales County has exceeded the $50,000 bid limit on ;high technology items' inclusive of the commodity code (classified by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Class 204 Computer Hardware ct al). The online retailer is not part of the State or any other cooperative purchasing program. Additionally, funds were not budgeted, nor requested in the County Attorney's departmental budget to pay for this purchase (i.e. purchase exceeds budget).          REVIEW OF CURRENT STATUTES          Competitive Bidding Definitions          In this situation, it is important to look at the definition section of the law as related to "Item", The Local Government Code §262.022 states in relevant part:
(4) "High technology item" means a service, equipment, or good of a highly technical nature. including:
(A) data processing equipment and software and firmware used in conjunction with data processing equipment;
(B) telecommunications, radio, and microwave systems:
(C) electronic distributed control systems, including building energy management systems; and
(D) technical services related to those items.
(5) "Item" means any service, equipment, good, or other tangible or intangible personal property. including insurance and high technology items. The term does not include professional services as defined by Section 2254.002, Government Code.
         Competitive Bidding Requirement          The County Purchasing Act generally...

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