18 California courts to share procurement services

Eighteen courts in California are teaming up to share online procurement services, combining purchasing power to save money.

Recent legislative mandates require Superior Courts of California to conduct more competitive procurements, which might be a challenge for small and medium-size courts, according to John Falone, of the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside.

“In California, the recently enacted California Judicial Branch Contract Law has had a major impact on procurement policies and procedures for courts across the state,” Falone said.

The Superior Court of California, County of Riverside is taking a leadership position by sponsoring the Shared Procurement Services Pilot Project, providing the services of a trial court procurement specialist to the other courts via BidSync, a provider of electronic procurement services.

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The BidSync platform is a software-as-a-service solution that requires no incremental investment in hardware, software, or specialized technical resources.

With Riverside Court’s facilitation, 18 participating courts -- most of them members of the California Trial Court Consortium -- will work together to share procurement services, resources, expertise and materials, Falone said.

By moving to an online system, the courts in the consortium will be able to access a vast network of more than 700,000 vendors in BidSync eProcure, which will drive down prices through increased competition, Falone said.

The BidSync website contains current and upcoming project lists. This gives participating courts the option to "piggy-back" on current or planned procurements and combine purchasing goals for better pricing or services, BidSync officials said.

In addition, contract manual templates, purchasing forms, documents and online procurement links are available. The courts will also reduce the time it takes to prepare solicitations and requests for proposals by accessing a massive library of previously created bids. Public notification and bidding are completed online through BidSync on a timeline set by the participating courts to meet their specific requirements.

The consortium of Superior Courts, including the courts of Butte, Calaveras, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Lassen, Mariposa, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, and Yolo counties, will gain access to the BidSync service under an umbrella contract through the Superior Court of California, County of Riverside. 

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