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Erica Vick Penley

Erica Vick Penley is practice leader of the firm’s Government Advocacy & Public Policy Practice Group. She has worked on multiple landmark public policy initiatives, including enactment of the Civil Justice Act of 2011, the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act of 2017, the repeal of Tennessee’s gift and inheritance taxes, and passage of a constitutional amendment resolution regarding judicial selection. Erica is legislative counsel to a number of businesses and trade associations and is a registered lobbyist with extensive experience representing the interests of financial institutions, healthcare providers, utilities, energy sector, pharmaceutical industry, medical cannabis, nuclear industry services, higher education, agricultural services, and distilled spirits before the Tennessee General Assembly and Executive Branch.

SB95 by Norris/HB84 by McCormick – Dept. of General Services
This bill was part of the administration’s package and revises certain provisions of Tennessee’s procurement code as follows:

Section 1: Rewrites the cooperative purchasing agreements statute (Tenn. Code Ann. § 12-3-701) to authorize the central procurement office and public institutions of higher education to participate in cooperative purchasing agreements for the procurement of goods or services with the cooperation of other states or local governments. The bill specifies that cooperative purchasing must be awarded through “full and open competition.”

Section 2: Rewrites the protest procedure statute (Tenn. Code Ann. § 12-3-514) to provide more detail with regard to a party’s standing to protest and to the calculation of the protest bond. The bill revises the procedure as follows:

A. Time
Previously: A protest must have been submitted in writing within seven calendar days after the claimant knew or should have known the facts giving rise to the protest. A stay of award may have been requested in the case of a pending award.

Now: A protesting party may submit a protest within seven calendar days after (a) the earlier of the notice of the award or (b) intent to award the contract is issued. Regarding a stay, the bill revises the requirement to specify that a stay of the solicitation, award, or proposed award will be granted upon receipt of a protest and the accompanying protest bond. A stay issued under this provision must not be lifted unless, after giving the protesting an opportunity to be heard, the chief procurement officer or the protest committee makes a written determination that continuation of the procurement process or the award of the contract without further delay is necessary to protect the interests of the state.Continue Reading 2015 Legislative Update: Government Contracts and Procurement