[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Albion 5-12-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Cash disbursement policy — See Ch. 9.
Goods and services that are not required by law to be procured pursuant to competitive bidding must be procured in a manner that:
To further these objectives, the Town Board has adopted internal policies and procedures governing all procurement of goods and services that are not required to be made pursuant to the competitive bidding requirements of the General Municipal Law, § 103 or of any other general, special or local law.
In compliance with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the Town of Albion will consider in the solicitation of bids or quotes for services, supplies or contracts to be given to:
[Added 3-8-2010 by L.L. No. 1-2010]
Small and/or locally owned businesses, with priority to businesses owned by or which employ low- or moderate-income persons as defined by HUD; and
Qualified minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE) firms listed in the directory or ratified minority and women-owned businesses maintained by the Empire Development Corporation on its website at: http://188.8.131.52 or at http://www.empire.state.ny.us/smalland growingbusinesses/mwbe.asp; and
These provisions shall apply to the procurement of goods and services related to the implementation of the CDBG-funded programs and activities as well as to the procurement of goods and services related to the general conduct of business by the Town of Albion.
The procedures for determining whether a procurement of goods and services is subject to competitive bidding and documenting the basis for any determination that competitive bidding is not required by law is as follows:
Generally the official responsible for making the particular procurement will make the determination of whether competitive bidding is required. In making this determination, the following questions must be considered:
The procuring official must document the basis for any determination that competitive bidding is not required. This documentation may include evidence of written or verbal quotes that the price of the item or service will not exceed the bidding limits. The official may also document the amount expended in previous years in comparison with the threshold to show that the bidding will not be required. The documentation must also state how it was determined whether the procurement was a purchase or a contract for public work.
The procedures are as follows:
When formal bids are required, specifications will be prepared by the ordering department and submitted to the Town Board for approval.
If the Town Board approves the specifications, the department may place the bid notice and proceed with the bid process. The Town's general bid specifications and noncollusion clause and nonresponse form must be incorporated into every bid. Approval or rejections of bids may only be done by resolution of the Town Board.
Documentation of actions taken in connection with each such method of procurement is required. Documentation of quotes must be made on an approved form and maintained by the ordering department for the same period of time as the corresponding purchase or contract. Documentation acceptable to the Board must be provided whenever the required number of quotes is not provided.
The purchasing official must clearly state in writing on the quotation form the reason for any award made to other than the lowest price offered.
All commitments or orders in excess of $100 shall be either by a purchase order or contract (see following procedure for contracts) signed by the appropriate officials. No contract shall be recommended or purchase released until after determining that unencumbered appropriations are sufficient to cover such obligation.
Purchase orders or agreements with a value less than $500 may be released to the vendor by the ordering department except for printing. Orders of $500 or more require the approval of the Board and certification from the Bookkeeper that funds are available before being released.
The Town Attorney, prior to final approval by the Town, must review all contracts and agreements with a value of more than $1,000 or which extend for more than one year. If approved by the Town Attorney, the agreement then must be signed by the department head and forwarded to the Town Board for final approval. A properly completed fact sheet signed by an authorized department representative must accompany each submission.
The Town Board shall approve all contracts, agreements and purchase orders for goods and services that have been budgeted, regardless of the value.
Supplies used by various departments should be uniform whenever practical. The Board is authorized to require a department to reconsider specification or quality of material if it appears Town interests could be better served.
Distribution of the purchase order set shall be as follows:
Once the order is completed to the department head's satisfaction, the voucher is signed by the designated department official and forwarded along with invoices and other related material to the Clerk. If the payment is for a purchase made from a state bid, a copy of the appropriate section of the state award must be attached. Any modifications to an approved order shall be confirmed in writing.
In certain circumstances, orders are placed with certain vendors numerous times each month. To eliminate the need for processing many small orders, a department may use a blanket purchase order. The estimated value of items to be acquired during the month will be placed on the order prior to release to the vendor. Bookkeeper copies will be sent to the Bookkeeper for encumbrance. The voucher, along with all the individual invoices, will be processed at the end of the month and a new blanket order issued for the following month. A department desiring to use this system must submit a list of proposed vendors, estimated average monthly amounts to be authorized and the reason a blanket order is desired for the approval of the Board. Once this has been obtained, no further approval of subsequent blanket orders are necessary even though they may exceed the $500 limit, unless a single item is over $500.
Vouchers for reimbursement of mileage paid on a contractual basis. Payment will be made at the same rate as the current approved rate for Town employees, unless authorized for a different amount.
A "contract" is a legal obligation between a buyer and a seller to perform certain duties for a specified price. Technically, it may be verbal or written. However, the Town recognizes only written contracts. Generally, a formal (written) contract will be used when the terms and conditions involved in a commitment are such that a standard purchase order is not adequate. In addition, there is a formal contract when:
Because contracts can expose the Town to significant liability and risks, processes are needed to establish clear controls and accountability. The contracting process has a number of important factors, including writing, review, approval and administering. Considering the complexity of the key issues involved, proper training of all staff involved in the contract process is necessary. The primary goal of the contracting process is to establish agreements needed to conduct Town business in a manner that serves the best interest of the Town. For Town purposes, an agreement will fall within one of four categories, each with a different approval process.
A memorandum of understanding/memorandum of agreement is an agreement to share information in a structured way in order to facilitate service delivery that does not involve monetary terms. All such agreements must include language indicating there is no financial obligation on behalf of either party to such an agreement. Approval requires only the department head's signature. Examples include agreements defining procedures for serving joint clients, for undertaking joint responsibilities or transfer agreements.
Department level contracts are contracts that define standard terms of payment for budgeted services, that include a payment to or from a Town department that does not exceed $5,000, and that do not exceed a term of one year. Approval requires the signature of the department head, a review by the Town Attorney and approval by the Board. A properly completed fact sheet signed by the department head must accompany each submission. Examples include annual fire safety inspection, purchase of services between Town and county departments that do not exceed $5,000, maintenance agreements, and the like.
Grant applications must first be approved by the department head. A detailed fact sheet signed by the department head is then submitted to the Board. A resolution will then be placed on the agenda for the Board's consideration. Any agreement for the acceptance of grant monies must be approved by resolution.
Insurance company generated contracts are contracts with health insurance companies where language is standard for a large line of business and where the negotiation is limited to rate setting. Approval process is by the Board following consultation with the Board member(s) assigned to that task.
For all other contracts, agreements, grant applications and other commitments not covered elsewhere in this policy, the process begins with approval by the department head. This is followed by a review with the appropriate Board Committee. It is then forwarded to the Town Attorney and then to the Board for its review. It will then be placed on the agenda for consideration by the Board. A properly completed fact sheet signed by the department representative may be required to accompany each submission if the Board or Attorney feel it is necessary. Examples include grant funding applications.
Purchases of $100 or more require a purchase order.
Purchases of $200 or more require documented comparison quotes, except for state bid purchases which must have a copy of the state bid attached with the payment voucher.
The department head may approve purchase orders less than $500.
The Town Attorney's review is required for all agreements over $1,000.
Purchases and contracts over $5,000 must be approved by the Town Board.
The Highway Committee's approval is required (in writing) for all highway equipment purchases between $1,000 and $5,000. Highway Department purchases in excess of $2,500 must be approved by the full Board.
Emergency. An emergency exists only when the delay caused by soliciting quotes would endanger the health, welfare, or property of the Town and its citizens. When this situation exists, the procurement of goods or services will be at the discretion of the department head. Documentation as to the nature of the emergency shall be sent to the Supervisor within five working days of such procurement.
Statutory exceptions from policies and procedures. Except for procurements made pursuant to General Municipal Law § 103(3) (through county contracts) or § 104 (through state contract, State Finance Law, § 175-b) (from agencies for the blind or severely handicapped), Correction Law, § 186 (articles manufactured in correctional institutions) or the items excepted herein (see below), alternative proposals or quotations for goods and services shall be secured by use of written requests for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method of procurement which furthers the purposes of General Municipal Law § 104-b.
The governing board shall annually review these policies and procedures. The Town Supervisor shall be responsible for conducting an annual review of the procurement policy and for an evaluation of the internal control structure established to ensure compliance with the procurement policy.
The unintentional failure to fully comply with the provisions of the General Municipal Law § 104-b shall not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the Town of Albion or any officer or employee thereof. The intentional failure to fully comply with the provisions of this policy shall result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to voiding the action taken and/or disciplinary action against the responsible party.
This policy shall go into effect March 1, 2007, and will be reviewed annually.