Government Relations

UW System Position on Bills Introduced in the Legislature During the 2007-2008 Session

Pending Legislation

AB 307

State Procurement of Contractual Services

Full Description

(Pocan/Wirch) Requires procurement of all contractual services purchased by state executive branch agencies to be performed within the United States.  This requirement does not apply if the contractual services cannot be obtained within the United States.

Referred to:  Committee on Jobs and the Economy

UW System Position

AMEND to exclude the UW System.

The University of Wisconsin operates on an international scope.  If the UW were not exempt, this legislation could prevent the UW from obtaining specific expertise or specific quality that exists in other countries. Without amendment, this bill could significantly raise the cost of services and prevent the UW from participating fully in major research projects.  

Faculty members often work with peers from universities around the world on research projects, and UW campuses participate in international research consortiums.  As part of those agreements, the UW is often required to consider foreign sources for goods and services.  In turn, foreign university partners are required to consider US goods and services. 

If service purchases were restricted to the U.S., the UW may be prevented from entering into these agreements, possibly jeopardizing significant research dollars.  One example of a consortium is the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, where research grants provide $200 million in funding to the UW alone through the year 2011.

Additionally, this bill could increase costs, since the lowest bid would not be awarded if that bidder is based overseas or is a U.S. entity performing the work abroad.  The time to complete contracts may also be lengthened because investigators would need to ascertain that work is being performed in the United States for the length of the contract

The fiscal effect of this legislation is difficult to quantify due to the global nature of the University, its faculty and research projects.  For those and the reasons stated above, we ask that the bill be amended to exclude the UW System.