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BOARD OF STATE SUPPLIES
On March 23, 1905 the Board of State Supplies was created by the General Assembly. The Board, composed of the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the State Treasurer, was to regulate the furnishing of supplies for the State of Delaware.1 For example, printing was done, and supplies were furnished to both Houses of the General Assembly under contracts executed by the Board of State Supplies.2 In 1923 the original Board was abolished and immediately reconstituted with the following changes. Its membership consisted of the Governor, the State Treasurer, and two persons appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate. The members served two year terms; the gubernationally appointed members could not be of the same political party(ies) as the Governor and/or the State Treasurer. In 1925 the Secretary of State was reassigned to the Board and was directed to act as its secretary.
The duties of the Board centered primarily on the awarding of contracts of State supplies and services as well as the monitoring of the satisfaction with those contracts by successful bidders. Legislation prescribed how the contracts were to be awarded. The Board was directed to advertise in at least six Delaware newspapers for a minimum of four weeks during the months of April and May. Such advertisements called for bids, stated the nature, kind, quality, quantity, and amounts of needed supplies, gave the maximum allowable amount for the contract, and stated when all bids would be publicly opened. All bids had to be accompanied by certified checks from the bidders; these checks were returned upon execution of the contract(s). Contracts were awarded to the lowest bidders. Successful bidders then entered into contract with the State, posting bonds guaranteeing the fulfillment of all contractual terms. In March of each year all State Officers and Boards had to submit a certified estimate to the Board of the amounts and types of supplies needed for the next fiscal year.5
In 1915 the legislature created a contingency fund for the Board of State Supplies. This fund, used for payment of bills for stationery, postage, supplies, and necessary clerical help, was to assist the Board in “rendering more efficient operations.”6
The term ‘supplies’ meant, in addition to the common usage of the word, the “printing, binding, publication of laws, journals, and reports required by law, to be printed or published” and also the repairs to State property and furnishings. In 1923 this definition was broadened to include the printing of publications created by the Public Archives Commission and the furnishing of alphabetical license list books to the Clerks of the Peace.7
In 1929 the Board of State Supplies was abolished. Each officer, agency, board, etc., of the State was responsible for advertising for bids as prescribed by law and awarding contracts for all necessary supplies and services to the lowest bidders. The Secretary of State, with the consent of the State Treasurer and the Auditor of Accounts, was authorized and empowered to enter into a binding contractual agreement on behalf of the State with the Bidders who would be furnishing supplies or performing work for the individual agencies of the State Government.8
BOARD OF STATE SUPPLIES
1 23 D.L., ch. 82.
2 24 D.L., ch. 265.
3 33 D.L., ch. 45.
4 34 D.L., ch. 44.
5 23 D.L., ch. 82.
6 28 D.L., ch. 25.
7 33 D.L., ch. 45.
8 36 D.L., ch. 73.
clm; March 2, 1989
Revised sle; May 4, 1989