[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of New Carrollton 4-16-1975 as Ch. 22 of the 1975 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Budget and finances — See Ch. 6.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a central purchasing system and prescribe rules and regulations for the procurement of supplies, materials, equipment, contractual services and capital improvements for the City of New Carrollton.
As used in this chapter, the following definitions shall apply, unless a contrary meaning is clearly intended from the context in which the term appears:
- CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any public improvement undertaken by the city, including the construction or reconstruction, in whole or in part, of any road, bridge, street or building or water, sewer or stormwater facility or any similar physical structure or facility necessary to the carrying out of the activities of the city government.
- The City of New Carrollton, Maryland.
- CONTRACTUAL SERVICES
- Includes all types of services required by departments but not furnished by their own employees, but shall not include capital improvements.
- The City Council of the City of New Carrollton.
- Shall be deemed to exist when a breakdown in machinery or equipment and/or a threatened termination of essential services or a dangerous condition develops, or when any unforeseen circumstances arise causing curtailment or diminution of an essential service or where materials or services are needed to prevent loss of life or property.
- FORMAL CONTRACT PURCHASE
- Any purchase for supplies, materials, equipment, contractual
services or construction of public improvements in excess of thirty
thousand dollars ($30,000.) where advertising is required.[Amended 12-16-1981; 3-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-01; 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-08]
- PURCHASING AGENT
- Under the general direction and supervision of the City Administrative
Officer or such other person as may be designated by the Mayor to
perform the duties of the purchasing agent, as described in this chapter.[Amended 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-08]
- Includes all commodities, materials, equipment and all other articles or things which shall be furnished to or used by any department, including any and all printing, binding or printing of stationery, forms, journals and reports.
- USING DEPARTMENT
- Any department, board, commission or other unit in the city government using supplies, procuring contractual services or constructing capital improvements paid for in whole or in part by city funds.
There is hereby created a central purchasing system to operate under the general direction and supervision of the Mayor with the City Administrative Officer acting as the purchasing agent. Nothing contained in this chapter shall prevent the Mayor from designating such other responsible person to perform the duties of purchasing agent as required from time to time, subject to his or her direction.
[Amended 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-08]
Unauthorized purchase. Except as herein provided, it shall be unlawful for any city officer, elected or appointed, or any employee to purchase or contract for any supplies, contractual services or capital improvements within the purview of this chapter other than by and through the central purchasing system, and any purchase order or contract made contrary to the provisions hereof is not approved and the city shall not be bound thereby.
It shall be the power and duty of the purchasing agent to:
Purchase or contract for all supplies, contractual services and capital improvements required by the using departments, except as provided herein.
Ensure preparation and enforcement of standard specifications.
Ensure the inspection of all deliveries of supplies or contractual services purchased through him or her to determine their conformance with the order or contract.
Act to procure for the city the highest quality in supplies, contractual services and capital improvements at the least expense to the city.
Endeavor to obtain as full and open competition as possible on all purchases and sales.
Keep informed of current developments in the field of purchasing, prices, market conditions and new products.
Secure for the city the benefits of research done in the fields of purchasing by other governmental jurisdictions, national technical societies, national trade associations and by private business and organizations.
Prepare and adopt standard purchase nomenclature for the using departments and for supplies.
Prepare, adopt and maintain a vendor's file containing catalogs, descriptions of commodities, prices and discounts.
Declare vendors who default on their quotations as irresponsible bidders and disqualify them from receiving business from the city for a stated period of time, subject to approval by the Council.
Maintain a current file of sources of supplies and services, to be known as a "bidder list," to which vendors can request to be included.
Perform such other functions and duties in keeping with good purchasing practices and such other duties as the Mayor may assign.
[Amended 4-2-1997 by Ord. No. 97-01]
The purchasing agent shall prepare and maintain an up-to-date purchasing and supply manual containing detailed regulations and procedures implementing this chapter. The manual will:
Prescribe the operation of the city's purchasing and supply system to be followed by the using departments.
Prescribe internal operations to be followed by the central purchasing system.
Prescribe the city's purchasing regulations and policies to be followed in its relations with the business community. This section may be made available to the public at cost of publication. The purchasing agent shall issue the manual of regulations and procedures and shall secure compliance therewith by the using departments. The regulations and procedures, together with this chapter, shall represent a complete plan of operation for the city's central purchasing system.
If any emergency occurs during regular city business hours, the using department shall immediately notify the purchasing agent, who shall either purchase the required supplies or contractual services or authorize the department to do so.
If an emergency occurs at times other than regular business hours, the using department may purchase directly the required supplies or contractual services. The department shall, however, whenever practicable, secure competitive telephone bids and order delivery to be made by the lowest responsible bidder. The department shall also, not later than the next regular city business day thereafter, submit to the purchasing agent a requisition, a tabulation of bids received, if any, a copy of the delivery record and a brief written explanation of the circumstances of the emergency.
At the discretion of the purchasing agent, bidders may be required to submit with their bid a bid bond, or a certified check, in an amount to be determined by the purchasing agent and specified in the invitation to bid, which shall be forfeited to the city as liquidated damages upon the bidder's failure to execute a contract awarded to him or her or upon the bidder's failure to furnish any required performance or payment bonds in connection with a contract awarded to him.
The purchasing agent may require successful bidders to furnish a performance bond and/or a payment bond at the expense of the successful bidder, in amounts to be determined by the purchasing agent and specified in the invitation to bid, to insure the satisfactory completion of the work for which a contract or purchase order is awarded.
[Amended 12-16-1981; 3-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-01; 2-18-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08; 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-08]
All purchases of supplies, contractual services and capital improvements, except as otherwise provided herein, when the total estimated cost thereof shall exceed thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.), shall be purchased by formal written contract or purchase order from the lowest responsible bidder as determined by the purchasing agent and approved by the City Council, after public notice inviting proposals. No contract or purchase shall be subdivided to avoid the requirements of this section. The following procedures shall be observed in the award of formal contracts estimated to exceed thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.) in value:
Notice shall be published on the City's website at least ten (10) days prior to the date for receiving and opening of bids, which shall include a general but accurate description of the articles to be purchased, where bid blanks and specifications may be secured and the time and place for opening bids. In addition, the City shall abide by all applicable state law requirements regarding advertising on eMaryland Marketplace.
The purchasing agent shall also send copies of the written notice of procurement to all responsible prospective suppliers who have notified the City that they are interested in responding to certain categories of requests for proposals. Notices of pending procurements shall be maintained by the City Clerk for review by the public.
All bids under this section shall be submitted in a clearly identified sealed envelope. The date and time of submission of each bid shall be recorded on the exterior of the bid envelope by the purchasing agent. Unidentified bids may be opened solely for the purpose of identification by the purchasing agent. Bids opened for identification purposes or by mistake shall carry such notice on the envelope, stating the date, time and reason, and shall be resealed and held until the bid opening. No information contained in such an opened bid shall be disclosed prior to the public bid opening. Where necessary, each bid shall be accompanied by surety in the form of a certified or cashier's check or bid bond in such amount as shall be prescribed in the specifications and in the contract bid form.
If, after the issuance of invitations for bids but before the time set for opening bids, it becomes necessary to make changes in the specifications or to correct a defective or ambiguous invitation, such changes shall be accomplished by issuance of an amendment to the invitation for bids. The amendment shall be sent to each concern or individual to whom the invitation for bids has been furnished and shall be displayed in the bid-opening room.
To be considered for award, a bid must comply in all material respects with the invitation for bids and the specifications so that all bidders may stand on an equal footing. Reasonable substitutions and/or minor deviations from the written specifications may be recommended by the purchasing agent to the City Council for acceptance if it is in the best interest of the city to do so. Bids must be filled out, executed and submitted in accordance with the instructions which are contained in the invitation for bids.
Bids shall be submitted so as to be received by the purchasing agent not later than the exact time set for opening of bids. Bids received after the exact time set for opening of bids shall be declared late bids and shall not be considered for award unless the lateness was due solely to mishandling by city employees or extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the bidder as determined by the purchasing agent. A late bid, determined by the purchasing agent as not eligible for award, will be held unopened by the purchasing agent until the conclusion of the bid opening and returned to the bidder unopened.
Bids may be modified or withdrawn by written notice to the purchasing agent not later than the exact time for opening of bids.
All bids (including modifications) received prior to the time set for opening shall be kept unopened and secure in a locked bid box or safe.
Bids shall be publicly opened, in the presence of a recorder, by the purchasing agent during normal business hours at the City Hall. The purchasing agent shall ascertain when the exact time for public opening of bids has arrived and shall so declare to those present. All bids received prior to the time set for opening shall be publicly opened and read and recorded. The original of each bid shall be retained for at least one (1) year after completion of the contract.
A general description of the bid item, names of bidders, prices of bid, bid-opening time and any other information required for bid evaluation shall be entered in an abstract which shall be transmitted to the City Council. A copy of said abstract will be kept available for public inspection.
The City Council shall award all contracts to the lowest responsible bidder upon recommendation of the purchasing agent. In determining a bidder's responsibility, the purchasing agent shall consider:
The ability, capacity and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required.
Whether the bidder can perform the contract or provide the service promptly, or within the time specified, without delay or interference.
The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience and efficiency of the bidder.
The quality of performance of previous contracts or services.
The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with laws and ordinances relating to the contract or services.
The sufficiency of the financial resources and ability of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the services.
The quality, availability and adaptability of the supplies, or contractual services, to the particular use required.
The ability of the bidder to provide future maintenance and service for the item purchased.
Such other information as may be secured by the purchasing agent having a bearing on the decision to award the contract.
The City Council shall have the authority to reject any and all bids, or parts thereof, for any one (1) or more supplies, contractual services or capital improvements included in the proposed contract when, in its judgment, the public interest will be served thereby and reserves the right to waive technical defects as the best interests of the city so dictate. If there is a tie for low bid and all other considerations are equal, and if the public interest will not permit the delay of readvertising for bids, the contract may be awarded to one of the tie bidders by drawing lots in public.
Whenever required, the successful bidder shall promptly execute a formal contract to be approved as to its form, terms and conditions by the City Attorney, and such bidder shall also execute and deliver to the purchasing agent a good and sufficient performance bond in the amount specified in the invitation to bid. Any bidder who has a contract awarded to him or her and who fails to execute promptly and properly the required contract and bond shall forfeit his or her certified check or an equivalent amount under his or her bid bond. Said amount shall be taken and be considered as liquidated damages and not as a penalty for the failure of said bidder to execute said contract and bond. Upon the execution of the contract and performance bond by the successful bidder, his or her certified check shall be returned to him or her, or the equivalent amount charged against his or her bid bond shall be released. The certified checks of unsuccessful bidders shall be returned to them or the equivalent amounts charged their bid bonds shall be released after opening the bids and awarding the contract to the successful bidder.
After award by the City Council, all contracts and/or purchase orders issued to the successful bidder shall be signed by the purchasing agent.
[Amended 12-16-1981; 4-2-1997 by Ord. No. 97-01; 3-18-1998 by Ord. No. 98-01; 2-18-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08; 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-08]
All purchases of supplies, contractual services and capital improvements estimated to be less than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.) in value shall not be subject to the requirements of § 27-8 of this chapter; provided, however, that the purchasing agent shall, whenever the amount thereof exceeds two thousand dollars ($2,000.), secure two (2) or more quotations in the commodity area of the transaction. Written quotations from vendors shall be obtained where practical, although verbal quotations will be permitted, provided that the purchasing agent shall cause a written record of all such verbal quotations to be made and filed with the records of the transaction.
All purchases of supplies, contractual services and capital improvements estimated to be less than two thousand dollars ($2,000.) in value and authorized in the City's approved budget for the current year may be purchased on negotiation at the direction of the purchasing agent in a manner approved by the purchasing agent.
Editor's Note: Former § 27-10, Encumbrance of funds to meet obligations, as amended, was repealed 2-18-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08.
The purchasing agent is authorized to negotiate a purchase or contract without regard to the formal advertising and bidding procedures required by § 27-8 of this chapter under the following circumstances:
[Amended 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-08]
In the event of any emergency situation, and with the consent of the City Council, in which the immediate procurement of supplies, contractual services or capital improvements is required to preserve the public order and to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the city. Any contract or purchase negotiated under the provisions of this subsection must be approved by the City Council before being signed or executed by the Mayor or the purchasing agent.
When proprietary articles are involved or when only one (1) source of supply is available.
When competition is precluded because of the existence of patent rights, copyrights, secret processes, control of basic raw material or similar circumstances.
When bids have been solicited pursuant to the requirements of formal advertising in § 27-8 and no responsive bid has been received from a responsible bidder.
In the case of contracts involving professional services such as accounting, architecture, engineering, law, planning and surveying, subject to approval of the City Council; provided, however, that the City Council shall directly negotiate any contract for the auditing of the books and records of the city.
When units are joinable with existing equipment/systems, that being the most important consideration, or when manufacturer combined maintenance is desireable (i.e., in the case of upgrades to existing software or other computer systems, HVAC systems).
Authority to negotiate does not excuse compliance with the basic policy of obtaining maximum competition consistent with the needs of the occasion, to the end that all purchases will be made to the best advantage of the city, price and other factors considered. The authority to negotiate contracts in no way eliminates the need of the Mayor to exert every reasonable effort to obtain the most favorable prices possible. Bargaining shall be free from sharp practices or other actions which may cause inequities for bidders or justified criticism of the purchase policies and procedures. Each purchase or contract negotiated under this authority shall be supported by a statement signed by the Mayor justifying the use of negotiation procedures.
Technical or performance descriptions shall be used wherever possible. "Brand name or equal" descriptions may be used when a technical or performance description is not available. When used, prospective bidders shall be informed that the reference is intended to be descriptive and not restrictive and is for the sole purpose of indicating to prospective bidders a description of the article that will be satisfactory.
All departments shall submit to the Mayor, at such times and in such form as he or she may prescribe, reports showing stocks of all supplies which are no longer used or which have become obsolete, worn out or scrapped.
The Mayor shall have authority to sell all such supplies which cannot be used by any department or which have become unsuitable for city use or to exchange or trade in such articles in part or in full payment for new supplies.
[Amended 4-2-1997 by Ord. No. 97-01; 2-18-2015 by Ord. No. 15-08; 7-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-08]
It shall be the duty of the Mayor with assistance of the purchasing agent to develop a program for the joint or cooperative purchasing of supplies, materials, equipment, construction of public improvements or contractual services with a state, county, municipality, or other governmental entity or quasi-governmental entity, bicounty agency or any consortium or purchasing alliance composed of any such entities, provided that such governmental entity or association has adopted procurement regulations that are comparable to those enacted by the City. Whenever any such federal, state, county or local government, or any agency or unit thereof, or any other governmental entity or quasi-governmental entity, bicounty agency or consortium or purchasing alliance composed of any such entities has conducted a bid and awarded a contract, the purchasing agent may purchased the bid item at the bid price from the successful bidder, subject, where required, to the approval of the Mayor and Council. Whenever the purchasing agent elects to purchase an item, service or material from a successful bidder of another jurisdiction as provided for in this section, the purchasing agent shall obtain a copy of the jurisdiction's purchasing policies. Items so procured under a cooperative agreement with other jurisdictions shall be exempted from the provisions of § 27-8, provided that such procurements are the result of competitive bidding.
The purchasing agent shall be authorized, without regard to the formal contracting procedures set forth herein, to make capital item purchases through joint or cooperative purchasing agreements with another state, county, municipal or other governmental entity or quasi-governmental entity, bicounty agency or any consortium or purchasing alliance composed of any such entities or agencies, all subject to the approval of the City Council.
Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require the purchasing agent to use another jurisdiction's bid process when purchasing items, services and materials. The purchasing agent retains the right to issue a request for proposals for all items, services and materials purchased by the City. Upon deciding to award a contract where the approval of the Mayor and Council is not required, the purchasing agent shall immediately notify the Mayor and Council of the purchase.
The following transactions are hereby exempt from the provisions of § 27-8 of this chapter:
Services provided by utility companies having exclusive franchises.
Service or maintenance of vehicles or equipment.
Whenever the city may employ its own labor and equipment to provide any municipal service or to construct any capital improvement, the Mayor, with the approval of the Council, may undertake to perform such service or construction through the use of city labor and equipment without soliciting competitive bids as required by §§ 27-8 and 27-9 of this chapter. Whenever competitive bids for the performance of any municipal service or the construction of any capital improvement have been obtained, the Council may elect, upon the recommendation of the Mayor, to reject all bids and to proceed to perform the service or work with city labor and equipment, without regard to the expense thereof.