BY KRISTIN BONILLA – At its meeting held yesterday at UH Mānoa, the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents (BOR) approved interim procedures that will enable the university to more efficiently procure goods, services and construction, and more quickly award and issue contracts for capital improvement and repair and maintenance projects.
House Bill 347, which was passed by the Hawai‘i State Legislature during the 2010 session and signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle as Act 82, becomes effective as of July 1, 2010, and grants flexibility to the university in establishing its procurement procedures.
“This authority granted to the university by the Hawai‘i State Legislature and Governor Lingle will give us the flexibility we need to operate efficiently and to effectively focus our limited resources on education, research and service,” said UH President MRC Greenwood. “We are committed to maintaining a fair, equitable and transparent process as we pilot and test improvements and innovations to the university’s procurement system.”
By regaining limited procurement flexibility, the university will be able to expedite repair and construction projects that will generate jobs and put many of Hawai‘i’s construction workers back to work, in turn supporting the state’s economic recovery.
With a $368 million maintenance backlog statewide and more than $250 million in important projects planned and ready to begin, the university will be able to save significant funds by taking advantage of the current low construction costs. The repairs and maintenance will also provide a conducive and safe learning and research environment for the university’s students and faculty.
The university will also be able to continue its history of pioneering innovations in procurement by testing improvements to the university’s procurement system that could be adopted by the Legislature for statewide application. For example, the first e-Procurement system and the first P-Card system in the public sector in Hawai‘i were pioneered by the University of Hawai‘i and later implemented by the State.
Greenwood is in the process of appointing a “Blue Ribbon Panel” to review the interim procurement procedures and make any recommendations for further modifications. Details on the interim procurement procedures will be made available on the university’s website.