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City of Biddeford, ME
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
The purpose of this article is to provide for the fair and equitable treatment of all persons involved in public purchasing by the City, to maximize the purchasing value of public funds in procurement, and to provide safeguards for maintaining a procurement system of quality and integrity.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2); Ord. No. 99.78, 9-21-1999]
(a) 
This article applies to contracts for the procurement of supplies, services and construction entered into by the City. It shall apply to every expenditure of public funds by any department of the City irrespective of the source of funding. When the procurement involves the expenditure of federal or state assistance or contract funds, the procurement shall be conducted in accordance with any applicable laws and regulations. Nothing in this article shall prevent any department of the City from complying with the terms and conditions of any grant, gift or request that is otherwise consistent with law.
(b) 
Representatives of the City involved in the purchase of goods; especially items of apparel or textiles such as clothing, uniforms, footwear, linens or fabric; shall not knowingly contract with vendors offering goods or services produced under sweatshop conditions by manufacturers, launderers or distributors of such items who may be paying poverty wages, violating workplace regulations or suppressing worker rights. In order to promote contracts with vendors having responsible employment practices, preference should be given to goods or services produced in the United States and to vendors known for their responsible labor practices. Responsible labor practices shall include wage and benefit levels sufficient to meet basic needs while providing some discretionary income for a family of four, respect for workers' rights including the right to be heard and to organize and a safe and healthy work environment. Any complaints or information received by a representative of the City involved in the purchase of goods or services identifying vendors or their subcontractors as producing their products under sweatshop conditions shall investigate said allegations and shall cease to do business with any vendor or subcontractor found to be other than maintaining responsible labor practices.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
BRAND NAME OR EQUAL SPECIFICATION
A specification limited to one or more items by manufacturers' names or catalogue numbers to describe the standard of quality, performance and other salient characteristics needed to meet City requirements, and which provides for the submission of equivalent products.
BRAND NAME SPECIFICATION
A specification limited to one or more items by manufacturers' names or catalogue numbers.
CONSTRUCTION
The process of building, altering, repairing, improving or demolishing any public structure or building, or other public improvements of any kind to any public real property. It does not include the routine operation, routine repair or routine maintenance of existing structures, buildings or real property.
CONTRACT
All types of agreements, regardless of what they may be called, for the procurement of supplies, services or construction.
CONTRACTOR
Any person having a contract with the City or any of its departments.
LOCATION AND OPERATION
Is narrowly defined as owning, leasing or renting physical space within the City limits of Biddeford, and staffing the same a minimum of 20 hours per week during a period commencing no less than thirty days prior to the bid deadline and continuing through the end of the bid agreements.
[Added 11-1-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.71]
SERVICES
The furnishing of labor, time or efforts by a contractor, not involving the delivery of a specific end product other than reports which are merely incidental to the required performance. This term shall not include employment agreements or collective bargaining agreements.
SPECIFICATION
Any description of the physical or functional characteristics or the nature of a supply, service or construction item. It may include a description of any requirement for inspecting, testing or preparing a supply, service or construction item for delivery.
SUPPLIES
All consumables or property, including but not limited to equipment, materials, printing and leases for real property, excluding land or a permanent interest in land.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
The current policy of the City is to maintain a decentralized purchasing process which shall be monitored by the City Manager, Finance Director and Purchasing Agent. Each department head within this decentralized purchasing function shall be responsible for the function of procurement of suitable supplies, services or construction for their using departments, except as may be otherwise noted in these regulations. In all cases, purchase orders shall channel through the Purchasing Agent's office and, claims, invoices and any other such supporting documentation shall channel through the Finance Director's office in order that proper purchasing records may be maintained.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2); Ord. No. 99.69, 8-17-1999]
(1) 
The responsibility of department heads regarding procurement shall be as follows:
(a) 
Development of specifications for supplies, services or construction shall be the responsibility of department heads. Any specifications to be included in an invitation for competitive sealed bids or proposals shall be submitted to the Purchasing Agent.
(b) 
Procuring the highest quality item(s) for a specified use at the lowest possible expense is required by all department heads, or their delegates who have authority to purchase.
(c) 
Department heads are required to control, supervise and maintain any necessary inventories in a storeroom. Such storerooms shall serve as the receiving and distribution points for materials purchased by a using department.
With the exception of public works parts and fuel inventories and school lunch supply inventories, departments will be charged for items at the time of purchase. Departments receiving parts and fuel from public works inventories will be charged as items are used. Public works and school lunch department heads will conduct a physical inventory count of all supplies at such time as there is a change in personnel directly responsible for those storerooms, at fiscal year end, and as required throughout the year.
(d) 
Local purchasing is encouraged where competitive market prices exist except when Section 2-235(f) and Section 2-336 apply. Local purchasing is required unless non-local purchasing is more cost effective. The following factors shall be considered to determine cost effectiveness:
a. 
Price;
b. 
Comparable quality;
c. 
Cost/ability to secure prices;
d. 
Shipping and handling cost;
e. 
Convenience of follow-up service;
f. 
Time to secure the supply, item or service.
(e) 
Inspection of incoming materials or services shall be performed for compliance with specifications. These inspections are to be maintained under rigorous review by department heads and their authorized designees. The receiving report copy of the purchase order and any packing slips are to be completed and returned to the Finance Department upon acceptance of an order.
(f) 
Unless otherwise provided, the single purchase of a supply or construction item in an amount estimated at $5,000 or above shall be made only by written contract award through the formal bidding procedure. No supply, service or construction generally purchased in the whole shall be purchased as a sum of the parts for the purpose of avoiding the requirement to solicit bids. A single purchase of services in an amount estimated at $10,000 shall be made only by written contract award through the appropriate proposal procedure. Sole source purchases and emergency purchases shall be exceptions to these rules.
[Amended 11-1-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.71]
(2) 
Appointment, authority and duties of Purchasing Agent:
(a) 
The City Manager shall appoint a candidate for Purchasing Agent, who will be confirmed by the City Council.
(b) 
The authority and duties of the Purchasing Agent shall be as follows:
1. 
Except as may be otherwise provided, the Purchasing Agent shall serve as the principal purchasing official for the City, and shall be responsible for the procurement of supplies, services and construction in accordance with this article, as well as the management and disposal of supplies.
2. 
In accordance with this article, and subject to the supervision of the City Manager, the Purchasing Agent shall:
a. 
Procure or supervise the procurement of all supplies, services and construction needed by the City;
b. 
Exercise direct supervision over the City's central stores and general supervision over all other storeroom inventories belonging to the City;
c. 
Sell, trade or otherwise dispose of surplus supplies belonging to the City; assist the departments of the City with the establishment and maintenance of programs for specification development, contract administration and product inspection and acceptance and coordination of supplies and service purchases.
3. 
Consistent with this article, and with the approval of the City Manager, the Purchasing Agent may adopt operational procedures relating to the execution of his or her duties.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
All contracts of the City for purchases of supplies or construction at or in excess of $5,000 and for the purchase of services at or in excess of $5,000 shall be awarded by competitive sealed bidding except as otherwise provided in this article.
[Amended 11-1-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.71]
(b) 
An invitation to bid shall be issued and shall include specifications and all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement.
(c) 
Adequate public notice of the invitation to bid shall be given for a reasonable time, but not less than 10 calendar days prior to the date set forth therein for the opening of bids. Such notice shall include publication in a newspaper of general circulation a reasonable time prior to bid opening and shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the City's internet website, in a place designated for this purpose. This public notice shall minimally state the place, date and time of the bid opening.
[Amended 5-5-2009 by Ord. No. 2009.25]
(d) 
Bids shall be opened publicly at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. The amount of each bid, and such other relevant information as the Purchasing Agent deems appropriate, together with the name of each bidder shall be publicly read for the benefit of any bidders and each bid shall be open to public inspection.
(e) 
Bids shall be unconditionally accepted without alteration or correction, except as authorized in this article. Bids shall be evaluated based on the requirements set forth in the invitation for bids, which may include criteria to determine acceptability such as inspection, testing, quality, workmanship, delivery and suitability for a particular purpose. Those criteria that will affect the bid price and be considered in evaluation for award shall be objectively measurable, such as discounts, transportation costs and total or life cycle costs. The invitation for bids shall set forth the evaluation criteria to be used. No criteria may be used in a bid evaluation that are not set forth in the invitation for bids.
(f) 
Correction or withdrawal of inadvertently erroneous bids before or after bid opening or cancellation of awards or contracts based on such bid mistakes may be permitted where appropriate. Mistakes discovered before bid opening may be modified or withdrawn by written or telegraphic notice received in the office designated in the invitation for bids prior to the time set for the bid opening. After bid opening, corrections in bids shall be permitted only to the extent that the bidder can show by clear and convincing evidence that a mistake of a nonjudgmental character was made, the nature of the mistake, and the bid price actually intended. After bid opening, no changes in bid prices or other provisions of bids prejudicial to the interest of the City or fair competition shall be permitted. In lieu of bid correction, a low bidder alleging a material mistake of fact may be permitted to withdraw its bid if:
(1) 
The mistake is clearly evident on the face of the bid document but the intended correct bid is not similarly evident; or
(2) 
The bidder submits evidence which clearly and convincingly demonstrates that a mistake was made. All decisions to permit the correction or withdrawal of bids, or to cancel awards or contracts based on bid mistakes, shall be supported by a written determination made by the Purchasing Agent.
(g) 
The contract shall be awarded with reasonable promptness by appropriate written notice to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder whose bid meets the requirements and criteria set forth in the invitation for bids. In the event the low responsive and responsible bid for a construction project exceeds available funds as certified by the Finance Director and such bid does not exceed such funds by more than 10%, the Purchasing Agent is authorized to negotiate an adjustment of the bid price with the low responsive and responsible bidder in order to bring the bid within the amount of available funds. Any such negotiated adjustment shall be based only upon eliminating independent deductive items specified in the invitation for bids. When finalized by the Purchasing Agent, bid results greater than $5,000 and less than $50,000 and covered by the budgeted amount can be approved by the City Manager and awarding of the contract to the successful bidder. These results will be reported to the City Council and/or the Finance Committee on a monthly basis. Bid results less than $50,000 and over the budgeted amount or not the lowest bid will be submitted to the Finance Committee of the City Council for acceptance and awarding of the contract to the successful bidder. Contracts that exceed $50,000 shall be approved by the City Council prior to signing and executing said contract. Contracts based on units of measure and unit pricing where the total number of units is not specified shall be calculated using a best estimate methodology or prior history to determine the estimated contract value. Approval of such contracts shall be managed under the approval criteria listed above based on the total estimated value.
[Amended 11-1-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.71; 4-16-2019 by Ord. No. 2019.30]
(h) 
When it is considered impractical to prepare initially a purchase description to support an award based on price, an invitation for bids may be issued requesting the submission of unpriced offers to be followed by an invitation for bids limited to those bidders whose offers have been determined to be technically acceptable under the criteria set forth in the first solicitation.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
When the Purchasing Agent determines in writing that the use of competitive sealed bidding is either not practicable or not advantageous to the City, a contract may be entered into by use of the competitive sealed proposal method.
(b) 
Proposals shall be solicited through a request for proposals.
(c) 
Adequate public notice of the request for proposals shall be given in the same manner as provided in Section 2-336(c), provided the minimum time shall be 20 calendar days.
(d) 
No proposals shall be handled so as to permit disclosure of the identity of any offeror or the contents of any proposal to competing offerors during the process of negotiation. A register of proposals shall be prepared containing the name of each offeror, the number of modifications received, if any, and a description sufficient to identify the item offered. The register of proposals shall be open for public inspection only after contract award.
(e) 
The request for proposals shall state the relative importance of price and other evaluation factors.
(f) 
As provided in the request for proposals, discussions may be conducted with the responsible offerors who submit proposals determined to be reasonably susceptible of being selected for award for the purpose of clarification to assure full understanding of, and conformance to, the solicitation requirements. Offerors shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussion and revision of proposals and such revisions may be permitted after submissions and prior to award for the purpose of obtaining best and final offers. In conducting discussions there shall be no disclosure of the identity of competing offerors or of any information derived from proposals submitted by competing offerors.
(g) 
Award shall be made to the responsible offeror whose proposal is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the City, taking into consideration price and the evaluation factors set forth in the request for proposals. No other factors or criteria shall be used in the evaluation. The contract file shall contain the basis on which the award is made. When finalized by the Purchasing Agent, proposal results will be submitted to the Finance Committee of the City Council for acceptance and awarding of the contract to the successful bidder. Contracts that exceed $30,000 shall be approved by the City Council prior to signing and executing said contract.
[Amended 11-1-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.71]
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
For the purpose of procuring professional services such as auditing, accounting, banking, computer or information processing, architect, engineering, land surveying, clergy, medical, veterinary or dental; the department of the City requiring such services may procure them on its own behalf, following notification of the Purchasing Agent and in accordance with the selection procedures specified in this section.
(b) 
Except as provided under the provisions for sole source procurement and emergency procurements, professional services as described in Subsection (a) of this section shall be procured as follows:
(1) 
Persons engaged in providing the described professional services may submit statements of qualifications and expressions of interest in providing such professional services. The department of the City using such professional services may specify a uniform format for statements of qualifications. Persons may amend these statements at any time by filing a new statement.
(2) 
Adequate notice of the need for such services shall be given by the City department requiring the services through a request for services. The request for proposals shall describe the service required, list the types of information and data required of each offeror, and state the relative importance of particular qualifications.
(c) 
Sealed proposals shall be required with the exception of interest rate quotations for loans which may be received by telephone or facsimile.
(d) 
Discussions may be conducted with any offeror who has submitted a proposal to determine such offeror's qualifications for further consideration. Discussions shall not disclose any information derived from proposals submitted by other offerors.
(e) 
Award shall be made to the offeror determined in writing by the head of the City department procuring the required professional services to be best qualified based on evaluation factors set forth in the request for proposals, and negotiation of compensation determined to be fair and reasonable. If compensation cannot be agreed upon with the best qualified offeror, then negotiations will be formally terminated with the selected offeror. If proposals were submitted by one or more other offerors determined to be qualified, negotiations may be conducted with such other offer or offerors, in the order of their respected qualification ranking, and the contract may be awarded to the offeror then ranked best qualified if the amount of compensation is determined to be fair and reasonable. Awarding of contracts shall be consistent with Section 2-337(g).
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2); amended 11-1-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.71]
(a) 
Any contract not exceeding $5,000 may be made in accordance with the small purchase procedures authorized in this section.
(b) 
Insofar as it is practical for small purchases in excess of $1,000, no less than three businesses shall be solicited to submit quotations. Quotations may be accepted by telephone. Award shall be made to the business offering the lowest acceptable quotation. The names of the businesses submitting quotations, and the date and amount of each quotation, shall be recorded with purchase orders and maintained as a public record.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
A contract may be awarded without competition when the Purchasing Agent determines in writing, after conducting a good faith review of available sources, that there is only one source for the required supply, service or construction item. The Purchasing Agent with the appropriate department head or designee shall conduct negotiations, as appropriate, as to price, delivery and terms. A record of sole source procurements shall be maintained as a public record and shall list each contractor's name, the amount and type of each contract, a listing of the item(s) procured under each contract and the identification number of each contract file.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the City Manager may make or authorize others to make emergency procurements of supplies, services or construction items when there exists a threat to public health, welfare or safety; provided that such emergency procurements shall be made with such competition as is practicable under the circumstances.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
An invitation for bids, a request for proposals or other solicitation may be canceled, or any or all bids or proposals may be rejected in whole or in part as may be specified in the solicitation, when it is for good cause and in the best interests of the City. The reasons therefor shall be made part of the contract file. Each solicitation issued by the City shall state that the solicitation may be canceled and that any bid or proposal may be rejected in whole or in part for good cause when in the best interest of the City. Notice of cancellation shall be sent to all businesses solicited. The notice shall identify the solicitation, explain the reason for cancellation and, where appropriate, explain that an opportunity will be given to compete on any resolicitation or any future procurements of similar items. Reasons for rejection shall be provided upon request by unsuccessful bidders or offerors.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
The City Manager shall designate the official(s) to be responsible for any construction project in excess of $35,000. The designated official shall have discretion to select the appropriate method of construction contracting management for a particular project. In determining which method to use, the designated official shall consider the City's requirements, its resources and the potential contractor's capabilities. The designated official shall execute, and include in the contract file a written statement setting forth the facts which led to the selection of a particular method of construction contracting management for each project.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
Bid security shall be required for all competitive sealed bidding for construction contracts when the price is estimated by the designated official for construction contracting management to exceed $50,000. Bid security shall be a bond provided by a surety company authorized to do business in the state, or the equivalent in cash, or otherwise supplied in a form satisfactory to the Finance Director. Nothing herein shall prevent the requirement of such bonds on construction contracts under $50,000 when the circumstances warrant.
(b) 
Bid security shall be in an amount equal to at least 5% of the amount of the bid.
(c) 
When the invitation for bids requires security, noncompliance requires that the bid be rejected unless it is determined that the bid fails to comply only in a nonsubstantial manner with the security requirements.
(d) 
If a bidder is permitted to withdraw a bid before award as provided in Section 2-336(f), no action shall be taken against the bidder or the bid security.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
When a construction contract is awarded in excess of $50,000, the following bonds or security shall be delivered to the City and shall become binding on the parties upon the execution of the contract:
(1) 
A performance bond satisfactory to the Finance Director executed by a surety company authorized to do business in Maine or otherwise secured in a manner satisfactory to the City Manager and Finance Director in an amount equal to 100% of the price specified in the contract; and
(2) 
A payment bond satisfactory to the Finance Director executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the state or otherwise secured in a manner satisfactory to the City Manager and Finance Director for the protection of all persons supplying labor and material to the contractor or its subcontractors for the performance of the work provided for in the contract. The bond shall be in the amount equal to 100% of the price specified in the contract.
(b) 
After notice to the City Manager, the Purchasing Agent may reduce the amount of performance and payment bonds to 50% of the contract price for each bond when a written determination is made that it is in the best interests of the City to do so.
(c) 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the City to require a performance bond or other security in addition to those bonds, or in circumstances other than specified in Subsection (a) of this section. Nor shall this section be construed to limit the authority of the City to require warranties or guarantees against defects where circumstances recommend them.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
All specifications shall be drafted to promote overall economy for the purposes intended and encourage competition in satisfying the City's needs, and shall not be unduly restrictive. The policy enunciated in this section applies to all specifications including but not limited to, those prepared for the City by architects, engineer, designers and draftsmen.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
Brand name or equal specification may be used when the Purchasing Agent determines in writing that:
(1) 
No other design or performance specification or qualified products list is available;
(2) 
Time does not permit the preparation of another form of purchase description, not including a brand name specification;
(3) 
The nature of the product or the nature of the City's requirements makes use of a brand name or equal specification suitable for procurement; or
(4) 
Use of a brand name or equal specification is in the City's best interest.
(b) 
Brand name or equal specifications shall seek to designate three, or as many different brands as are practicable, as or equal references and shall further state that substantially equivalent products to those designated will be considered for award.
(c) 
Where brand name or equal specification is used in a solicitation, the solicitation shall contain explanatory language that the use of a brand name is for the purpose of describing the standard of quality, performance and characteristics desired and is not intended to limit or restrict competition.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
Since use of a brand name specification is restrictive of product competition, it may be used only when the Purchasing Agent makes a written determination that only the identified brand name item or items will satisfy the City's needs.
(b) 
The Purchasing Agent shall seek to identify sources from which the designated brand name item(s) can be obtained and shall solicit such sources to achieve whatever degree of price competition is practicable. If only one source can supply the requirement, the procurement shall be made under Section 2-340.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
The Finance Committee may examine every bill, claim and demand presented for payment by any person or department official and may question its legality and validity. The Finance Committee shall sign a warrant or order directed to the City Treasurer to pay such bill, claim or demand and designate the fund or appropriation to be charged therewith in accordance with the Charter.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
The City Auditor is expressly enjoined and forbidden from approving any bill contracted by any official, agent or employee of the City unless the goods, articles or materials charged in the bill have been delivered and that they are of the quality and quantity ordered.
[Ord. of 4-21-1998(2)]
(a) 
The Treasurer is expressly enjoined and forbidden to pay any bill contracted by any official, agent or employee of the City unless an approved purchase order form is attached to each bill presented for payment.
(b) 
The Treasurer is expressly forbidden to honor or pay any warrant drawn for the payment of moneys from the City treasury when the appropriation of the department to which such payment would properly be charged has been fully expended, or when such payment would overdraw such department's appropriation.