[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Rhinebeck 4-16-2012. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor’s Note: This resolution also superseded former Ch. 15, Procurement Policy, adopted 6-8-1993.
Every purchase to be made must be initially reviewed to determine whether it is a purchase contract or a public works contract. Once that determination is made, a good-faith effort will be made to determine whether it is known or can reasonably be expected that the aggregate amount to be spent on the item of supply or service is not subject to competitive bidding, taking into account past purchases and the aggregate amount to be spent in a year. The following items are not subject to competitive bidding pursuant to § 103 of the General Municipal Law: purchase contracts under $20,000 and public works contracts under $35,000; emergency purchases; certain municipal hospital purchases; goods purchased from agencies for the blind or severely handicapped; goods purchased from correctional institutions; purchases under state and county contracts; and surplus and secondhand purchases from another governmental entity.
The decision that a purchase is not subject to competitive bidding will be documented in writing by the individual making the purchase. This documentation may include written or verbal quotes from vendors, a memo from the purchaser indicating how the decision was arrived at, a copy of the contract indicating the source which makes the item or service exempt, a memo from the purchaser detailing the circumstances which led to an emergency purchase or any other written documentation that is appropriate.
All goods and services will be secured by use of written requests for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method that assures that goods will be purchased at the lowest price that achieves the best value for the product or service sought and avoids favoritism, except in the following circumstances: purchase contracts over $20,000 and public works contracts over $35,000; goods purchased from agencies for the blind or severely handicapped pursuant to § 175-b of the State Finance Law; goods purchased from correctional institutions pursuant to § 186 of the Correction Law; purchases under state contracts pursuant to § 104 of the General Municipal Law; purchases under County contracts pursuant to § 103, Subdivision 3, of the General Municipal Law; or purchases pursuant to § 15-5 of this chapter.
The following methods of purchase will be used when required by this policy in order to achieve the highest savings:
A good-faith effort shall be made to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations. If the purchaser is unable to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations, the purchaser will document the attempt made at obtaining the proposals. In no event shall the failure to obtain the proposals be a bar to the procurement.
Documentation is required of each action taken in connection with each procurement.
Documentation and an explanation is required whenever a contract is awarded to other than the lowest responsible offeror. This documentation will include an explanation of how the award will achieve savings or how the offeror was not responsible. A determination that the offeror is not responsible shall be made by the purchasers and may not be challenged under any circumstances.
The Board of Trustees will specify annually, by title, the individual in each department with authority to authorize purchases under this section, except as altered by union agreement. The Village Clerk and Deputy Clerk shall have purchasing authority. All purchases for $500 or greater shall require approval from the Board liaison for that particular department. All public works contracts will require liaison approval.
Pursuant to General Municipal Law § 104-b, Subdivision 2g, the procurement policy may contain circumstances when or types of procurement for which, in the sole discretion of the governing body, the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interest of the municipality. In the following circumstances, it may not be in the best interest of the Village of Rhinebeck to solicit quotations or document the basis for not accepting the lowest bid:
Professional services or services requiring special or technical skill, training or expertise. The individual or company must be chosen based on accountability, reliability, skill, education and training, judgment, integrity and moral worth. These qualifications are not necessarily found in the individual or company that offers the lowest price, and the nature of these services are such that they do not readily lend themselves to competitive procurement procedures. In determining whether a service fits into this category, the Board of Trustees shall take into consideration the following guidelines: whether the services are subject to state licensing or testing requirements; whether substantial formal education or training is a necessary prerequisite to the performance of the services; and whether the services require a personal relationship between the individual and municipal officials. Professional or technical services shall include but not be limited to the following: services of an attorney; services of a physician; technical services of an engineer engaged to prepare plans, maps and estimates; securing insurance coverage and/or services of an insurance broker; services of a certified public accountant; investment management services; printing services involving extensive writing, editing or art work; management of municipally owned property; and computer software or programming services for customized programs or services involved in substantial modification and customizing of prepackaged software.
Emergency purchases pursuant to § 103, Subdivision 4, of the General Municipal Law. Due to the nature of this exception, these goods or services must be purchased immediately and a delay in order to seek alternate proposals may threaten the life, health, safety or welfare of the residents. This section does not preclude alternate proposals if time permits.
Purchases of surplus and secondhand goods from any source. If alternate proposals are required, the Village is precluded from purchasing surplus and secondhand goods at auctions or through specific advertised sources where the best prices are usually obtained. It is also difficult to try to compare prices of used goods, and a lower price may indicate an older product.
Goods or services under $500. The time and documentation required to purchase through this policy may be more costly than the item itself and would therefore not be in the best interest of the taxpayer. In addition, it is not likely that such de minimis contracts would be awarded based on favoritism.