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Ethics Tutorial - Colorado General Assembly

- Contracts and Claims - 18 of 25

Hypothetical

Legislative contract in which member may be interested

Using a competitive bidding process, the state of Colorado (acting through the Legislative Council of the General Assembly) will be considering proposals from vendors for a contract to create an innovative new mobile device application (or “app”) that will compile and categorize all the committee and floor votes cast by Colorado state legislators each session.  You are currently a member of the Colorado State Senate and serve on the Legislative Council, which is responsible for both reviewing proposals from vendors that seek to perform services for the General Assembly and for making the final selection of a vendor. You are also the 51% owner of a closely held software development corporation, AppMaker, which builds customized apps for a variety of purposes. AppMaker’s other shareholders want to submit a bid for the contract.

Answer

Incorrect answer:Section 24-18-201, C.R.S., may be inapplicable because the contract is being awarded in accordance with established "competitive bidding procedures" is NOT FALSE.
red xBecause the contract has not yet been awarded, it is too early to determine whether section 24-18-201, C.R.S., will be rendered inapplicable to the situation, though it is possible that it will be. As pertinent here, when the contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder based on a competitive bidding process, the transaction is excluded from the “contracts” with which the statute is concerned. However, the facts presented do not indicate whether AppMaker is the "lowest responsible bidder", as is required to exempt the transaction from section 24-18-201, C.R.S.

If AppMaker is the lowest responsible bidder, the transaction is not a “contract” within the purview of section 24-18-201, C.R.S. However, because you will derive some economic benefit if AppMaker is awarded the contract, it may be advisable for you to disclose your interest prior to voting and/or to abstain from voting if, in your judgment, there may be a perception that you have a conflict of interest.

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Last updated: 09 OCT 2015


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