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State Vendors Providing Goods or Services to Public Officials

Definitions
Prohibited Conducted – Exceptions
Civil Penalty
Enforcement

R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14.1-1. Definitions

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Business entity" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, firm, corporation, holding company, joint stock company, receivership, trust, or any other entity recognized in law through which business for profit is conducted.

(2) "Procurement official" means an elected or appointed state official or employee who has the authority to make decisions concerning the purchasing of goods or services for a state agency or who has supervisory authority over the person empowered to make decisions concerning the purchase of goods or services for the state agency.

(3) "State agency" means a branch, department, division, agency, commission, board, office, bureau, or authority of the government of the state of Rhode Island.

(4) "State vendor" means:

(i) A person or business entity that sells goods or provides services to any state agency,

(ii) A person or business entity which has an ownership interest of ten percent (10%) or more in a business entity that sells goods or provides services to any state agency, or

(iii)A business entity that is a parent or subsidiary of a business entity that sells goods or services to any state agency.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 36-14.1-2. Prohibited conduct-Exceptions

(a) No state vendor shall provide goods or services for less than fair market value for the personal use of a procurement official of a state agency if the vendor has sold goods and services during the preceding twenty-four (24) months to the state agency or if the vendor knows or has reason to know he or she will be submitting a bid or making a proposal for the sale of goods or services within the succeeding twenty-four (24) months to the state agency.

(b) No procurement official of a state agency shall accept goods or services for his or her personal use for less than fair market value from a state vendor who has sold goods or services to the agency during the preceding twenty-four (24) months or who the procurement official knows or has reason to know will be submitting a bid or making a proposal for the sale of goods or services to the agency within the succeeding twenty-four (24) months.

(c) The prohibition set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to goods or services having a fair market value of less than one hundred dollars ($100).

R.I. Gen Laws § 36-14.1-3. Civil penalty

Every state vendor and every procurement official that knowingly and willfully violates the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) per offense.

R.I. Gen Laws § 36-14.1-4. Enforcement

(a) The Rhode Island Ethics Commission is hereby empowered to investigate and adjudicate allegations of violations of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of § 36-14-13 (a) through (f). Upon a finding of violation of this chapter, the adjudicatory panel of the ethics commission may issue an order requiring the violator to pay a civil penalty in accordance with § 36-14.1-3.

(b) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the attorney general to enforce the provisions of this chapter.