PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The Legislature’s watchdog panel plans to look into the state government’s procurement practices and exemptions, its chairman said Wednesday.

The comments from Representative Randy Gross, R-Elkton, came after a presentation on exemptions and a complaint from a long-time lobbyist that a $12 million appropriation wasn’t open to competition.

Gross chairs the Legislature’s Government Operations and Audit Committee. He wants to ask South Dakota Department of Health officials what the downside would have been.

No one from the department was on hand for the presentation to the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee or to hear from lobbyist Dennis Duncan, representing Philips North America.

Duncan said the department made clear that the $12 million was to be spent on Stryker Lifepak 15 monitor/defibrillators. He said a request should have been issued to potentially draw multiple proposals.

“The Stryker product is not the only game in town,” Duncan said.