(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the director is hereby authorized to initiate reverse auctions to procure commodities. The director may not use reverse auctions for the procurement of services under any circumstances.
(b) Reverse auctions may be utilized if the director determines their use would be fair, economical and in the best interests of the state, and the commodities to be procured:
(1) Are subject to low price volatility;
(2) Have specifications that are common and not complex;
(3) Vary little between suppliers;
(4) Are sourced primarily based on price, with limited ancillary considerations;
(5) Require little collaboration from suppliers; and
(6) Are sold by a large, competitive supply base.
(c) For purposes of this section, "reverse auction" means a process by which bidders compete to provide commodities in an open and interactive market, including but not limited to the Internet. Reverse auction bids are opened and made public upon receipt by the director, and then bidders are given the opportunity to submit revised bids until the bidding process is complete. The contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.
(d) The director may contract with qualified, industry-recognized third-party vendors to conduct reverse auctions on behalf of the director.
(e) The director shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to establish the procedures for conducting reverse auctions. The rules shall include procedures for contracting with qualified, industry-recognized third-party vendors.