Illinois enacts reforms in state purchasing
Killeen says new guidelines will improve efficiency for U of I System
August 9, 2017
URBANA – A new package of reforms that ease state purchasing regulations will improve efficiency across the University of Illinois System, saving time and money while still safeguarding the interests of taxpayers, President Tim Killeen said.
Killeen also praised the bipartisan support behind the new procurement guidelines, which were signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Bruce Rauner during a ceremony at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after being unanimously approved in May by both the Illinois House and Senate.
“These reforms will improve productivity and make our three universities more nimble in an increasingly competitive higher education landscape,” he said. “I am grateful to Governor Rauner and to legislators for their universal support across both sides of the aisle.”
The reforms were developed to streamline requirements that state agencies and public universities must follow in purchasing to ensure high quality and low costs, as well as access and fairness for companies that provide goods and services. Supporters say the revised procurement codes make the purchasing process simpler and expand opportunities for companies to do business with the state, while retaining checks and balances that protect the interests of taxpayers.
Killeen said the reforms will avert administrative delays that have slowed research projects, threatening to chase top faculty and research grants to universities in states with less cumbersome procurement guidelines. The U of I System’s nearly $1 billion in annual research funding ranks among the top university systems in the nation and promises discovery that drives progress and creates new businesses that foster economic growth.
The new regulations also increase thresholds that require seeking bids on all types of contracts. Killeen said the changes will improve efficiency and speed up purchasing for academic, housing and support programs for students across the System, and a hospital and clinics in Chicago that provide healthcare for some of the state’s neediest residents.
Procurement reform has long been a top priority for the U of I System, which helped develop the new legislation. Killeen said the System will continue to push for additional reforms to promote savings and efficiency.
The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, and the largest educational institution in the state with more than 81,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.