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19-11-259. Preferences Among Bidders -- Definitions.

(a) Definitions.

(1) The definitions in this subsection shall not be applicable to other sections of this subchapter.

(2) As used in this section:

(A) "Commodities" means materials and equipment used in the construction of public works projects;

(B) "Firm resident in Arkansas" means any individual, partnership, association, or corporation, whether domestic or foreign, that:

(i) Maintains at least one (1) staffed office in this state;

(ii) For not fewer than two (2) successive years immediately prior to submitting a bid, has paid taxes under the Department of Workforce Services Law, § 11-10-101 et seq., unless exempt, and either the Arkansas Gross Receipts Act of 1941, § 26-52-101 et seq., or the Arkansas Compensating Tax Act of 1949, § 26-53-101 et seq., on any property used or intended to be used for or in connection with the firm's business; and

(iii) Within the two-year period, has paid any taxes to one (1) or more counties, school districts, or municipalities of the State of Arkansas on either real or personal property used or intended to be used or in connection with the firm's business;

(C) "Lowest qualified bid" means the lowest bid which conforms to the specifications and request for bids;

(D) "Nonresident firm" means a firm which is not included in the definition of a "firm resident in Arkansas"; and

(E) "Public agency" means all counties, municipalities, and political subdivisions of the state.

(b) (1) (A) In the purchase of commodities by competitive bidding, all public agencies shall accept the lowest qualified bid from a firm resident in Arkansas.

(B) This bid shall be accepted only if the bid does not exceed the lowest qualified bid from a nonresident firm by more than five percent (5%) and if one (1) or more firms resident in Arkansas made written claim for a preference at the time the bids were submitted.


(i) In calculating the preference to be allowed, the appropriate procurement officials, pursuant to §§ 19-11-201 -- 19-11-259, shall take the amount of each bid of the Arkansas dealers who claimed the preference and deduct five percent (5%) from its total.

(ii) If, after making such deduction, the bid of any Arkansas bidder claiming the preference is lower than the bid of the nonresident firm, then the award shall be made to the Arkansas firm which submitted the lowest bid, regardless of whether that particular Arkansas firm claimed the preference.


(A) The preference provided for in this section shall be applicable only in comparing bids where one (1) or more bids are by a firm resident in Arkansas and the other bid or bids are by a nonresident firm.

(B) This preference shall have no application with respect to competing bids if both bidders are firms resident in Arkansas, as defined in this section.


(i) All public agencies shall be responsible for carrying out the spirit and intent of this section in their procurement policies.

(ii) Any public agency which, through any employee or designated agent, is found guilty of violating the provisions of this section or committing an unlawful act under it, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(D) Notwithstanding any other provisions of Arkansas law, upon conviction that person shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.


(i) If any provision or condition of this subchapter conflicts with any provision of federal law or any rule or regulation made under federal law pertaining to federal grants-in-aid programs or other federal aid programs, such provision or condition shall not apply to such federal-supported contracts for the purchase of commodities to the extent that the conflict exists.

(ii) However, all provisions or conditions of this subchapter with which there is no conflict shall apply to contracts to purchase commodities to be paid, in whole or in part, from federal funds.

(c) (1) (A) This section applies only to projects designed to provide utility needs of a county or municipality.

(B) Those projects shall include without limitation pipeline installation, sanitary projects, and waterline, sewage, and water works.

(2) To the extent that federal purchasing laws or bidding preferences conflict, this subchapter does not apply to projects related to supplying water or wastewater utility services, operations, or maintenance to a federal military installation by a municipality of the state.


Acts 1979, No. 482, § 76; 1981, No. 600, § 29; 1983, No. 760, § 2; A.S.A. 1947, § 14-293; Acts 1989, No. 477, § 2; 1989 (3rd Ex. Sess.), No. 45, § 1; 1991, No. 846, § 1; 1991, No. 855, § 1; 1993, No. 263, § 1; 1993, No. 678, §§ 1, 2; 2001, No. 1237, § 43; 2003, No. 487, § 11; 2015, No. 147, § 2.

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Local Government
Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson
January 13, 2015 -
425 W Capitol Ave. Suite 1620, Little Rock, AR, 72201