Alabama Code Title 41. State Government § 41-16-57

(a) When purchases are required to be made through competitive bidding, awards shall be made to the lowest responsible bidder taking into consideration the qualities of the commodities proposed to be supplied, their conformity with specifications, the purposes for which required, the terms of delivery, transportation charges, and the dates of delivery.  If at any time after the award has been made the lowest responsible bidder notifies the awarding authority in writing that the bidder will no longer comply with the terms of the award to provide the goods or services to the awarding authority under the terms and conditions of the original award, or the awarding authority documents that the lowest responsible bidder defaults under the terms of the original award, the awarding authority may terminate the award to the defaulting bidder and make an award to the second lowest responsible bidder for the remainder of the award period without rebidding, provided the award to the second lowest responsible bidder is in all respects made under the terms and conditions contained in the original bid specifications and is for the same or a lower price than the bid originally submitted to the awarding authority by the second lowest responsible bidder.

(b) The awarding authority in the purchase of or contract for goods or services shall give preference, provided there is no sacrifice or loss in price or quality, to commodities produced in Alabama or sold by Alabama persons, firms, or corporations.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, no county official, county commission, city council or city councilmen, or other public official charged with the letting of contracts or purchase of goods or services may specify the use of materials or systems by a sole source, unless:

(1) The governmental body can document that the sole source goods or services are of an indispensable nature, all other viable alternatives have been explored, and it has been determined that only these goods or services will fulfill the function for which the product is needed.  Frivolous features will not be considered.

(2) No other vendor offers substantially equivalent goods or services that can accomplish the purpose for which the goods or services are required.

(3) All information substantiating the use of a sole source specification is documented in writing and is filed into the project file.

(c)(1) Beginning January 1, 2009, for purchases of personal property, including on or after June 9, 2011, goods which are, or are to become, fixtures, in instances where the awarding authority determines that the total cost of ownership over the expected life of the item or items, including acquisition costs plus sustaining costs or life cycle costs, can be reasonably ascertained from industry recognized and accepted sources, the lowest responsible bid may be determined to be the bid offering the lowest life cycle costs and otherwise meeting all of the conditions and specifications contained in the invitation to bid.  To utilize this subdivision to determine the lowest responsible bidder, the awarding authority shall include a notice in the invitation to bid that the lowest responsible bid may be determined by using life cycle costs and identify the industry recognized and accepted sources that will be applicable to such an evaluation.

(2) No later than November 30, 2008, the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts shall establish procedures for the use of life cycle costs, which shall be distributed to all contracting agencies and shall be used in conducting any audits of the purchasing agency.

(d) The awarding authority or requisitioning agency may reject any bid if the price is deemed excessive or quality of product inferior.

(e) Each record, with the successful bid indicated thereon, and with the reasons for the award if not awarded to the lowest bidder, shall, after award of the order or contract, be open to public inspection.

(f) Contracts for the purchase of personal property or contractual services shall be let for periods not greater than three years.  Contracts for the leasing of motor vehicles by local governing bodies shall be let for periods not greater than five years.  Lease-purchase contracts for capital improvements and repairs to real property shall be let for periods not greater than 10 years and all other lease-purchase contracts shall be let for periods not greater than 10 years.

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