Updates and training on the laws on contracts in Arkansas: Never ending tasks

on contracting. Tis article will note some counties’ recent amendments to contract laws that impact our counties and other state and local jurisdictions. Tis article also will set forth some areas of these laws that are ripe for consideration by the CJAA for seeking legislation. Tese laws include provi- sions of the Arkansas Code for the purchase of commodities and other services, selling county property, construction law, and procurement of professional and personal services. Te CJAA soon will commence its efforts to determine the needs for amending legislation in these areas. In many instances the amendment of the Arkansas Code has a motivating situation. In several instances the amend- ment of laws in these areas arise from attempts to modernize a law and make it more efficient. In most instances, those persons that operate under or administer a set of laws are best able to propose amendments. Te CJAA is perpetually train- ing on these laws. We conduct training of these laws during the regular meetings of the CJAA each year, during new-elect school, and during the CJAA Road Seminar. A preacher who routinely reads the Bible is most often better versed than a preacher that reads the Word only on occasion. During the CJAA Road Seminar, held Oct. 24-26, the CJAA learned and updated construction laws in Arkansas: County Judges Jimmy Hart and Rusty McMillon presented along with Dave Tierney and yours truly. Te judges and county road foremen also had an entire morning of training on county road law from Mike Rainwater and myself. Rainwater preaches the law like the Gospel. UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden won 10 NCAA national championships. He was an educator. He taught traits of success. Wooden taught: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!” Over time county judges come to know road law in Arkansas. Tese laws require repeat training events. Periodic training is necessary to keep up with amendments and to more deeply imbed the legal principles and provisions. Tese laws are anchored to the duties and powers of the county judge under the Constitution and laws of Arkansas.


Amendment 55, § 3 of the Arkansas Constitution and Ark. Code § 14-14-1101 provide: Powers of county judge generally. (a) Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 3, estab-


ver the years the County Judges’ Associa- tion of Arkansas (CJAA) and the AAC have worked continuously with members of the General Assembly to update various laws

lished the following executive powers to be administered by the county judge: (1) To preside over the county quorum court, with- out a vote but with the power of veto; (2) To authorize and approve disbursement of appropriated county funds; (3) To operate the system of county roads; (4) To administer ordinances enacted by the quo- rum court; (5) To have custody of county prop- erty; and (6) To hire county employees, except those persons employed by other elected officials of the county.

(b) In the performance of such executive duties, the county judge shall be bonded in the manner pro- vided by law, as required in Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55, § 6.

Ark. Code § 14-14-1102 further provides: Exercise of powers of county judge.

(b)(C)(ii) Te county judge shall have the authority to enter into necessary contracts or other agreements to obligate county funds and to approve expenditure of county funds appropriated therefore in the manner provided by law.

Finally, ACA 14-22-112 deals with contracts. Order of approval. (a) No contract shall be awarded or any purchase made until it has been approved by the county court (county judge), and no contract shall be binding on any county until the court shall have issued its order of approval. (b) Te order of the court shall be properly docketed. All documents and bids pertaining to the solicitation of bids and awarding of contracts under the purchasing procedure of this chapter shall be filed with the county clerk, together with the order of the court, which shall be filed by the clerk. (c) No claim filed with the county for payment of any commodity, the purchase of which is regulated by this chapter, shall be paid; or no warrant shall be issued by the county clerk for the payment of it until the order of the court approving it shall have been issued and


Mark Whitmore AAC Chief Counsel

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