Even the most diligent and astute public purchasing official has little chance of detecting bid-rigging and other forms of collusive agreements because perpetrators can be so adept at concealing them. One weapon to make public purchasers less susceptible is Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Partnership for Competitive Purchasing, a voluntary program for which any public entity in Ohio can register.
Under the program, the Attorney General’s Office selects two registered entities per year for an on-site analysis of bid records by a team experienced in antitrust law and bid-rigging detection. They generally review five years of bid records for one or more products or services, selected in advance in consultation with the registered entity. If they find indications of collusion on the bids they review, they may take copies of the pertinent bid records for further analysis. If vendor misconduct is indicated, the Attorney General may launch an investigation and possibly litigation against the vendor(s) involved. Such a lawsuit could result in the public entity’s recovery of overcharges.
The Attorney General and his staff are keenly aware that your staff’s time and resources are stretched thin. Several features of the program are designed to minimize disruption to your operations:
No registered public entity may be selected for an on-site visit more than once every five years.
When selected, any registered public entity may defer its selection if an on-site visit would be inconvenient or problematic in any way.
Both registration and withdrawal from the program are simple and quick via the Attorney General’s website.
The Attorney General’s staff will make any photocopies needed, either at your offices or offsite.
The program is free to participating public entities.
For more information, view a brochure about the Partnership for Competitive Purchasing
or call Robert Morgan at 614-466-4328. Visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/CompetitivePurchasing
for more details or to register.