Rhode Island General Laws

Title 45. Towns and Cities

Chapter 40.1. Interlocal Contracting and Joint Enterprises


R.I. GEN. LAWS § 45-40.1-1 Legislative purpose.

— It is the purpose of this chapter to permit local governmental units to make the most efficient use of their powers by enabling them to cooperate with other localities on a basis of mutual advantage, and, thereby, to provide services and facilities in a manner and pursuant to forms of governmental organization that will accord best with geographic, economic, population, and other factors influencing the needs and development of local communities.

R.I. GEN. LAWS § 45-40.1-3 “Public agency” defined.

— (a) For the purposes of this chapter, the term “public agency” means any political subdivision of this state, any agency of the state government or of the United States, and any political subdivision of another state.

(b) The term “state” means a state of the United States.

R.I. GEN. LAWS § 45-40.1-4 Interlocal agreements.

— (a) Any power or powers, privileges, or authority, exercised or capable of exercise by a public agency of this state, may be exercised and enjoyed jointly with any other public agency of any other state or of the United States, and to the extent that laws of the other state or of the United States permit the joint exercise or enjoyment. Any agency of the state government, when acting jointly with any public agency may exercise and enjoy all of the powers, privileges, and authority conferred by this chapter upon a public agency.

(b)(1) Any two (2) or more public agencies may enter into agreements with one another for joint or cooperative action pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(2) Appropriate action by ordinance, resolution, or otherwise, pursuant to law of the governing bodies of the participating public agencies, is necessary before any agreement may enter into force.

(f) Every agreement made under this chapter shall, prior to and as a condition precedent to its entry into force, be submitted to the attorney general who shall determine whether the agreement is in proper form and in compliance with the laws of this state. The attorney general shall approve any agreement submitted to him or her unless he or she finds that it does not meet the conditions established by this chapter, and shall state, in writing, addressed to the governing bodies of the public agencies concerned, the specific respects in which the proposed agreement fails to meet the requirements of law. Failure of the attorney general to disapprove an agreement submitted under this chapter within fifteen (15) days of its submission constitutes approval of the agreement.

R.I. GEN. LAWS § 45-40.1-5 Filing, status, and actions.

– Prior to its entry into force, an agreement made pursuant to this chapter shall be filed with the keeper of local public records and with the secretary of state. In the event that an agreement entered into pursuant to this chapter is between or among one or more public agencies of this state and one or more public agencies of other states or of the United States, the agreement shall have the status of an interstate compact, but in any case or controversy involving performance or interpretation of the compact or liability under it, the public agencies party to it shall be real parties in interest, and the state may maintain an action to recoup or otherwise make itself whole for any damages or liability which it may incur by reason of being joined as a party. The action shall be maintainable against any public agency or agencies whose default, failure, or performance, or other conduct, caused or contributed to the incurring of damage or liability by the state.

R.I. GEN. LAWS § 45-40.1-8 Interlocal contracts. – Any one or more public agencies may contract with any one or more other public agencies to perform any governmental service, activity, or undertaking which any of the public agencies entering into the contract is authorized by law to perform; provided, that the contract is authorized by the governing body of each party to the contract. The contract shall state fully the purposes, powers, rights, objectives, and responsibilities of the contracting parties.

Title 37. Public Property and Works

Chapter 37-2. State Purchases


R.I. GEN. LAWS § 37-2-31 Use of other types of contracts.

Subject to the limitations of §§ 37-2-29 and 37-2-30, any type of contract which will promote the best interests of the state may be used.