(A) The director of transportation shall make all purchases of machinery, materials, supplies, or other articles in the manner provided in this section. In all cases except those in which the director provides written authorization for purchases by district deputy directors of transportation, the director shall make all such purchases at the central office of the department of transportation in Columbus. Before making any purchase at that office, the director, as provided in this section, shall give notice to bidders of the director's intention to purchase. Where the expenditure does not exceed the amount applicable to the purchase of supplies specified in division (A) of section 125.05 of the Revised Code, the director shall give such notice as the director considers proper, or the director may make the purchase without notice. Where the expenditure exceeds the amount applicable to the purchase of supplies specified in division (A) of section 125.05 of the Revised Code, the director shall give notice by posting for not less than ten days a written, typed, or printed invitation to bidders on a bulletin board. The director shall locate the notice in a place in the offices assigned to the department and open to the public during business hours.
Producers or distributors of any product may notify the director, in writing, of the class of articles for the furnishing of which they desire to bid and their post-office addresses. In that circumstance, the director shall mail copies of all invitations to bidders relating to the purchase of such articles to such persons by regular first class mail at least ten days prior to the time fixed for taking bids. The director also may mail copies of all invitations to bidders to news agencies or other agencies or organizations distributing information of this character. Requests for invitations are not valid and do not require action by the director unless renewed by the director, either annually or after such shorter period as the director may prescribe by a general rule.
The director shall include in an invitation to bidders a brief statement of the general character of the article that it is intended to purchase, the approximate quantity desired, and a statement of the time and place where bids will be received, and may relate to and describe as many different articles as the director thinks proper, it being the intent and purpose of this section to authorize the inclusion in a single invitation of as many different articles as the director desires to invite bids upon at any given time. The director shall give invitations issued during each calendar year consecutive numbers, and ensure that the number assigned to each invitation appears on all copies thereof. In all cases where notice is required by this section, the director shall require sealed bids, on forms prescribed and furnished by the director. The director shall not permit the modification of bids after they have been opened.
(B) The director may permit a state agency, the Ohio turnpike and infrastructure commission, any political subdivision, and any state university or college to participate in contracts into which the director has entered for the purchase of machinery, materials, supplies, or other articles. The turnpike and infrastructure commission and any political subdivision or state university or college desiring to participate in such purchase contracts shall file with the director a certified copy of the bylaws or rules of the turnpike and infrastructure commission or the ordinance or resolution of the legislative authority, board of trustees, or other governing board requesting authorization to participate in such contracts and agreeing to be bound by such terms and conditions as the director prescribes. Purchases made by a state agency, the turnpike and infrastructure commission, political subdivisions, or state universities or colleges under this division are exempt from any competitive bidding required by law for the purchase of machinery, materials, supplies, or other articles.
(C) As used in this section:
(1) "Political subdivision" means any county, township, municipal corporation, conservancy district, township park district, park district created under Chapter 1545. of the Revised Code, port authority, regional transit authority, regional airport authority, regional water and sewer district, county transit board, school district as defined in section 5513.04 of the Revised Code, regional planning commission formed under section 713.21 of the Revised Code, regional council of government formed under section 167.01 of the Revised Code, or other association of local governments established pursuant to an agreement under sections 307.14 to 307.19 of the Revised Code.
(2) "State university or college" has the same meaning as in division (A)(1) of section 3345.32 of the Revised Code.
(3) "Ohio turnpike and infrastructure commission" means the commission created by section 5537.02 of the Revised Code.
(4) "State agency" means every organized body, office, board, authority, commission, or agency established by the laws of the state for the exercise of any governmental or quasi-governmental function of state government, regardless of the funding source for that entity, other than any state institution of higher education, the office of the governor, lieutenant governor, auditor of state, treasurer of state, secretary of state, or attorney general, the general assembly, the courts or any judicial agency, or any state retirement system or retirement program established by or referenced in the Revised Code.