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The Daily Tar Heel

Bill Gives UNC-CH, N.C. State E-Procurement Power

E-procurement is the common name for the proposal that would require several state agencies, including most UNC-system campuses, to receive approval from a technology and information services committee before expanding any electronic technology.

Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, said the exceptions were made because legislators recognized the universities as having efficient systems of their own.

"The universities felt that their systems were established and superior," Kinnaird said.

Sen. Howard Lee, D-Orange, said the state was not as far along in the development of its e-procurement plan as UNC-CH and N.C. State.

Lee said the state's plan established a purchase limit of $250 and a process of approval through the Office of Information Technology Services.

He said this amount was too low and the process too cumbersome for the amount of technology the universities purchase.

ITS will oversee the system through which state educational agencies will log and organize all technology purchases.

Kinnaird said tensions existed between the two systems, so the research institutes were allowed to keep their original plans.

The e-procurement proposal was tacked onto House Bill 338, the Technical Corrections Bill. The bill is a large piece of legislation passed at the end of each congressional session tweaking material from laws passed during the session that might be unclear or needs additional information.

The Technical Corrections Bill has received criticism this year because it has ballooned to nearly 130 pages. Traditionally, the bill is about 20 to 30 pages.

Kinnaird said the length of the bill is a direct result of the number of bills that passed through the legislature during this session.

Lee also said the extended session mandated a lengthened corrections bill.

Technical corrections cover everything from incorrect spelling, substantive mistakes and additions to the budget.

Lee said amendments included in the corrections bill were added in order to better serve N.C. residents.

The bill was filed in the House in February and went to the floor of the N.C. Senate on Tuesday. It was one of the last pieces of legislation considered before the session adjourned Thursday.

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