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W.Va. ends bid practice that favored prior winners

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia is ending the practice of only allowing winners of existing government contracts to bid for follow-up requests for goods or services.

In halting what's known as the secondary bid process, state officials have also canceled eight contracts awarded through that method.

The Charleston Gazette first reported the move. It follows a legislative audit that criticized the practice and questioned whether it was allowed under state law.

The cancelled contracts involved dozens of vendors. They also covered an array of topics, from computer equipment and office furniture to moving services and tree removal.

The Division of Purchasing notified state agency officials of the decision last week. Spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown said the division hasn't fielded reaction from vendors yet, but expects more competitive bidding will yield lower contract costs.