Supreme Court challenged on refusal

Even conceding that the Nevada Supreme Court can probably ignore rules requiring other state agencies to follow bid and request for proposal rules, members of the legislative Audit Subcommittee made it clear they don’t think it appropriate.

The Supreme Court accepted other recommendations in the audit but rejected the call to revise policies to ensure competitive bids are solicited when procuring goods and services.

“First and foremost, the Judicial Branch is not required under the Nevada Constitution or state law to conform to the competitive bid process,” the court wrote in its response to auditors.

“The court will require competitive bids when the estimated price warrants such efforts.”

Robin Sweet, administrator of the Administrative Office of the Courts, said the decision was “largely based on the fact we do not have to follow the law on competitive bidding.”

But she said in many cases, the court does follow bidding rules.

“I have concerns about this,” said subcommittee Chairman Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas. “You probably comply with it sometimes but not all times.”

In response to her question, she was told the appellate court, if approved by voters, will probably operate the same way. Carlton said she was concerned about “this lack of transparency.”

Sweet said on many smaller purchases, it just doesn’t make sense to tie up several people for several days developing a Request for Proposal or bid documents.

Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle, D-Sparks, urged the court to come up with policies specifying when bids do need to go out.


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