In addition, the legislation puts limits on the government's "secondary bid process," which allows state agencies to buy products and services quickly, bypassing formal and comprehensive purchasing rules.
Agencies typically use the secondary bid system for routine, day-to-day purchases.
In 2010, state officials used secondary bids to buy more than 1,000 Internet routers for $24 million. The routers were designed for public facilities with hundreds of Internet connections, but the state installed many of the devices in small schools and libraries with only a handful of computer terminals.
"I believe everyone admits we bought too large of routers," Snyder said.
In the follow-up report, auditors said Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato and Emergency Communications Director Joe Gonzalez mismanaged the $38 million tower project, circumvented purchasing laws and ignored directives to stop construction.
The audit spotlighted the state's decision to award the tower construction contract to Premier Construction of Jane Lew, alleging that Gonzalez and Gianato improperly used a Lewis County contract -- instead of a state contract -- for the 17-tower project. Gonzalez and Gianato have refused to comment on the audit.
The purchasing reform bill also requires that state agency managers attend annual training seminars on purchasing rules. The legislation now moves to the House of Delegates.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.