HBA-MSH H.B. 2318 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2318 By: Solomons County Affairs 3/26/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, it is unclear whether counties and municipalities may accept competitive bids electronically because such bids are required to be sealed. Modern identification and security measures for electronic communications make it possible to ensure the confidentiality of the bids. Electronic bidding should help streamline the processing of bids and vendors may benefit from the convenience. Furthermore, the requirement for the publication of notices of bids and proposals is costly and untimely compared to posting the notice on the Internet. House Bill 2318 authorizes municipalities and counties to receive bids and post notices via the Internet. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 2318 amends the Local Government Code to authorize a municipality, county, or commissioners court to provide for the county to receive bids or requests for proposals through the Internet or by other electronic means if the municipality, county, or agency implements security measures regarding the electronic transmission of information that ensure bids and proposals are not viewed by unauthorized persons or tampered with, and that they remain effectively unopened until the proper time. The bill specifies that a bid or proposal is considered sealed if it is received by a municipality through the Internet or by other electronic means in accordance with security measures that the municipality or county implements (Secs. 252.004, 262.0235, 263.007, and 271.906). The bill sets forth provisions regarding the posting of notice by a county or municipality of the time and place at which bids will be publicly opened and read aloud on the Internet for at least two consecutive weeks (Secs. 252.041, 262.025, and 263.007). The bill sets forth provisions regarding the posting of an intention to issue obligation certificates for at least two consecutive weeks on the Internet (Secs. 271.049 and 271.055). The bill sets forth provisions regarding a county commissioners court posting notice of a sale for at least two consecutive weeks on the county's website (Sec. 263.153). EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.