[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of North Branford 10-16-1973 by Ord. No. 112. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established the Office of Purchasing in accordance with the provisions of § C7-3, Chapter VII, of the Charter of the Town of North Branford, Connecticut.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- CONTRACTUAL SERVICES
- Includes all telephone, gas, water, electric light and power services, and towel and cleaning service; leases for all grounds, buildings, office or other space required by the using agencies; and the rental, repair or maintenance of equipment, machinery and other Town-owned personal property. The term shall not include professional and other contractual services which are in their nature unique and not subject to competition.
- The Council of the Town of North Branford.
- The Town Manager of the Town of North Branford.
- PURCHASING AGENT OR AGENT
- The Purchasing Agent of the Town of North Branford.
- Includes all supplies, materials and equipment.
- USING AGENCY
- Any department, agency, commission, bureau or other unit in the Town government using supplies or procuring contractual services as provided for in this chapter.
The Manager shall be the Purchasing Agent until such time as the Council, by ordinance, authorizes him to appoint another person to such position.
The Purchasing Agent shall have the power and it shall be his duty to purchase or contract for all supplies, materials, equipment, other commodities and contractual services required by any department, office, agency, board or commission of the Town government, except that he shall not purchase any items for the Board of Education, and he shall not make any purchases of books, publications, subscriptions for periodical literature or nonprint material in the library collection of the Library Board.
Unauthorized purchases. Except as herein provided, it shall be unlawful for any Town officer or officers to order the purchase of any supplies or make any contract within the purview of this chapter other than through the Purchasing Agent, and any purchase ordered or contracted made contrary to the provisions hereof shall not be approved by the Manager, and the Town shall not be bound thereby.
In addition to the purchasing authority, the Purchasing Agent shall:
Minimum expenditures. Act to procure for the Town the highest quality in supplies and contractual services at the least expense to the Town.
Encourage competition. Discourage uniform bidding and endeavor to obtain as full and open competition as possible on all purchases and sales.
Purchasing analysis. Keep informed of current developments in the field of purchasing, prices, market conditions and new products and secure for the Town the benefits of research done in the field of purchasing by other governmental jurisdictions, national technical societies, trade associations having national recognition and private businesses and organizations.
Forms. Prescribe and maintain such forms as he shall find reasonably necessary to the operation of this chapter.
Standard nomenclature. Prepare and adopt a standard purchasing nomenclature for using agencies and suppliers.
Vendors' catalog file. Prepare, adopt and maintain a vendors' catalog file. Said catalog shall be filed according to materials and shall contain descriptions of vendors' commodities, prices and discounts.
Bulk purchases. Exploit the possibilities of buying in bulk so as to take full advantage of discounts.
Federal and state tax exemptions. Act so as to procure for the Town all federal and state tax exemptions to which it is entitled.
Disqualification of bidders. Have the authority to declare vendors who default on their quotations irresponsible bidders and to disqualify them from receiving any business from the municipality for a stated period of time.
The Purchasing Agent shall establish, after consultation with the heads of the departments concerned, and enforce standard specifications for all supplies, materials and equipment required by the several departments, offices and agencies of the Town.
Capacity of Agent. The Purchasing Agent shall enforce the written specifications as may be adopted by this section of this chapter.
Classification. He shall classify all the supplies and equipment used by the agencies of the Town government.
Exception. The Manager shall have the authority to exempt any using agency of the Town for use of the supply described in such standard specifications.
Consultation with using agencies. The Purchasing Agent shall consult with the heads and other officials of the using agencies to determine their precise requirements and shall endeavor to prescribe those standards which meet the needs of the majority of such agencies.
Nature of specifications. All specifications shall be definite and certain and shall permit competition.
Nonstandard items. Any specifications for services and supplies unique to one (1) agency shall be approved by that agency and the Purchasing Agent before purchasing is started.
Changes in specifications. The procedure for changes in specifications shall be the same as required for the original specification.
The Purchasing Agent shall prescribe the time of making requisitions for such supplies, materials and equipment and the future period which said requisitions are to cover. All using agencies, either by or with the authorization of the head of the department under which the using agency operates, shall file requisitions in such manner, at such times and for such future periods as the Purchasing Agent shall prescribe. No purchases may be made without an authorized requisition.
Unforeseen requirements. A using agency shall not be prevented from filing, in the same manner, with the Purchasing Agent at any time a requisition or estimate for supplies and contractual services, the need for which was not foreseen when the detailed estimates were filed.
Except in cases of emergency, the Purchasing Agent shall not issue a purchase order until the Treasurer shall have certified, after preaudit, that there is to the credit of the using agencies concerned a sufficient unencumbered appropriation balance in excess of all unpaid obligations, to defray the amount of such order.
All purchases shall be subject to the provisions of § C10-4 of the Charter relating to conflict of interest.
Gifts and rebates. The Purchasing Agent and every officer and employee of the Town are expressly prohibited from accepting, directly or indirectly, from any person, company, firm or corporation to which any purchase order or contract is or might be awarded, any rebate, gift, money or any thing of value whatsoever, except where given to the Town. Violation of this section shall be cause for removal from office or employment with the Town.
All purchases of and contracts for supplies and contractual services and all sales of personal property which has become obsolete and unusable shall, except as specifically provided herein, be based on competitive bids.
Any purchases made at prices obtained by the State of Connecticut through competitive bidding shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this chapter.
[Added 2-20-2018 by Ord. No. 254]
The Town Council, by a majority vote of the members present at a duly noticed meeting, may authorize the Purchasing Agent to purchase supplies, materials, equipment, other commodities, or nonprofessional services from a vendor who has been selected as the lowest bidder for a like purchase within the prior 12 months by another public agency using competitive bidding procedures that are substantially similar to those utilized by the Town, when the best interests of the Town would be served thereby.
[Amended 2-3-1987 by Ord. No. 157, effective 3-6-1987; 4-21-1992 by Ord. No. 176, effective 5-18-1992 ; 10-15-2013 by Ord. No. 245, effective 11-14-2013]
Purchases shall be made under such rules and regulations established by this chapter, provided that if any purchase or contract for purchasing, including a continuing order or contract for the purchase of the same commodity or service over a period of time, involves the expenditure of $7,500 or more (except for the Public Works Department, which shall be $15,000 or more), the Purchasing Agent shall invite sealed bids or proposals, giving at least 10 days’ public notice thereof by publication at least once in a newspaper having circulation in the Town. Purchases may not be made from other than the lowest bidder without consultation with the using agency.
Scope of notice. The newspaper notice required herein shall include a general description of the supplies or contractual services required, and shall state where bid blanks and specifications may be secured and the time and place for opening bids.
Bidders' list. The Purchasing Agent shall also solicit sealed bids from all responsible prospective suppliers who have requested their names to be added to a bidders' list, which the agent shall maintain, by sending them a request for bid as will acquaint them with the proposed purchase or sale. In any case, invitations sent to the vendors on the bidders' list shall be limited to commodities that are similar in character and ordinarily handled by the trade group to which the invitations are sent.
Bulletin board. The Purchasing Agent shall also advertise all pending purchases or sales by a notice posted on the public bulletin board in the Administration Building.
Bid deposits. When deemed necessary by the Purchasing Agent, bid deposits shall be required. Bid deposits may be provided by a bid bond, certified checks to be made payable to the Treasurer of the Town of North Branford. Unsuccessful bidders shall be entitled to return of surety where the Agent has required bid deposits. A successful bidder shall forfeit any surety required by the Agent upon failure on his part to enter a contract within ten (10) days after the award.
Confidential information. Information concerning the number and/or names of persons, firms or corporations issued bid forms shall not be disclosed in advance of the date and time set for the opening of bids.
Bid opening procedure.
Sealed. Bids shall be submitted sealed to the Purchasing Agent, and shall be identified as bids on the envelope.
Opening. Bids shall be opened in public at the time and place stated in the public notice.
Tabulation. A tabulation of all bids received shall be posted for public inspection.
Bids not accepted.
Rejection of bids. The Manager shall have the authority to reject any or all bids, parts of all bids or all bids for any one or more supplies or contractual services included in the proposed contract when the public interest will be served thereby.
Bidders in default to Town. The Purchasing Agent shall not accept the bid of a contractor who is in default on the payment of taxes, licenses or other moneys to the Town.
Award of contract.
Authority in Agent. The Purchasing Agent shall have the authority to award contracts within the purview of this chapter.
Lowest responsible bidder. Contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. In determining the lowest responsible bidder, in addition to price, the Purchasing Agent shall consider:
The ability, capacity and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the services required in relation to the standards and specifications as 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 service.
The sufficiency of the financial resources and ability of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service.
The quality, availability and adaptability of the supplies or contractual services to the particular use required.
The number and scope of conditions attached to the bid.
Award to other than low bidder. When the award is not given to the lowest bidder, after consultation with the using agency involved, a full and complete statement of the reason for placing the order elsewhere shall be prepared by the Purchasing Agent and filed with the other papers relating to the transaction.
Local vendors. If all bids received are for the same total amount or unit price, quality and service being equal, the contract shall be awarded to a local bidder.
Performance bonds. The Purchasing Agent shall have the authority to require a performance bond, before entering a contract, in such amount as he shall find reasonably necessary to protect the best interests of the Town. The requirement of a performance bond, if any, shall be set forth in the specifications. Such performance bond, if required, must be provided by the contractor at his own expense to the Town of North Branford and be written by a company authorized to write business in the State of Connecticut and subject to the approval of the Manager and Town Attorney.
Prohibition against subdivision. No contract or purchase shall be subdivided to avoid the requirements of this section.
[Amended 2-3-1987 by Ord. No. 157, effective 3-6-1987]
All purchase of supplies and contractual services and all sales of personal property which has become obsolete and unusable of less than the estimated value of three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500.) shall be made in the open market without newspaper advertisement and without observing the procedure prescribed by § 84-13 for the awarding of formal contracts.
Minimum number of bids. All open market purchases shall, wherever practical, be based on at least three (3) competitive bids and shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder in accordance with the standards set forth in § 84-13H(2).
Notice inviting bids. The Purchasing Agent shall solicit bids by either direct mail request to prospective vendors, by telephone or by public notice posted on the bulletin board of the Administration Building.
Recording. The Purchasing Agent shall keep a record of all open market orders and the bids submitted in competition thereon, and such records shall also be open to public inspection for a reasonable period of time.
The Manager shall transfer to or between departments, offices and agencies or sell supplies, materials and equipment determined after consultation with the head of the department, office or agency concerned to be surplus, obsolete or unused.
Reporting. All using agencies shall submit to the Purchasing Agent, at such times and in such form as he shall prescribe, reports showing stocks of all supplies which are no longer used or which have become obsolete, worn out or scrapped.
Transfer. The Manager shall have the authority to transfer surplus stock to other using agencies.
Sale. The Manager shall have the opportunity to sell all supplies which have become unsuitable for public use, or to exchange the same for or trade in the same on new supplies.
Emergency procedure. The Manager shall prescribe by rules and regulations the procedure under which emergency purchases by heads of using agencies may be made.
Recorded explanation. A full report of the circumstances of an emergency purchase shall be filed by the Purchasing Agent for forwarding to the Council to be entered in the Council minutes and shall be open to public inspection.
The using agency shall inspect all deliveries of such supplies, materials and equipment, and cause tests to be made when necessary, in order to determine their quality, quantity and conformance with specifications.
Tests. The Purchasing Agent shall have the authority to require chemical and physical tests of samples submitted with bids and samples of deliveries which are necessary to determine their quality and conformance with the specifications. In the performance of such tests, the Purchasing Agent shall have the authority to request use of laboratory facilities.
The Manager shall purchase, at the expense of the Town, surety bonds for all officers and employees of the Town required by law or by ordinance to furnish bonds to the Town, and insurance of such types against liability, loss or damage on the part of the Town or its property, and be responsible for the collection of insurance benefits and other matters relating to the administration of the Town's insurance.
The Purchasing Agent shall have the authority to join with other units of government in cooperative purchasing plans, on an equitable basis in large bulk purchasing, when the best interests of the Town would be served thereby.
[Added 4-19-1988 by Ord. No. 158]
The Purchasing Agent or Purchasing Assistant will endeavor to assure that all vendors and/or bidders contracting or providing services to the Town of North Branford provide equal opportunities in employment to all qualified persons solely on the basis of job-related skills, ability and merit. The vendor and/or bidder in performing under contract with the Town of North Branford shall not discriminate against any worker, employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, age or national origin nor otherwise commit an unfair employment practice. The vendor/bidder, their contractors and subcontractors shall be required to make good-faith efforts to comply with all federal and state laws and policies that address equal employment opportunities and affirmative action requirements.
The following principles and requirements of equal opportunity and affirmative action will be incorporated into an equal opportunity nondiscrimination clause to be included in all bid documents, purchase orders, leases and contracts: The principles of affirmative action are addressed in the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments of the United States Constitution, Civil Rights Acts of 1886, 1870 and 1871, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Titles VI and VII of the 1964 United States Civil Rights Act, Presidential Executive Order 11246, amended by 11375, (nondiscrimination under federal contracts), Act 1, Sections 1 and 20 of the Connecticut Constitution, Governor Grasso's Executive Order Number 11, Governor O'Neill's Executive Order Number 9, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Law (§§ 46a-60 through 46a-69) of the Connecticut General Statutes, Connecticut Code of Fair Practices (§§ 46a-70 through 46a-81), deprivation of civil rights [§ 46a-58(a) through (d)], Public Accommodations Law (§§ 46a-63 and 46a-64), discrimination against criminal offenders (§ 46a-80), definition of "blind" [§ 46a-51(1)], definition of "physically disabled" [§ 46a-51(15)], definition of "mental retardation" [§ 46a-51(13)], cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (§ 46a-77), sexual harassment [§ 46a-60(a)(8)], Connecticut Credit Discrimination Law (§§ 36-436 through 36-439) and Title I of the State and the Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972.
Editor's Note: C.G.S. §§ 36-436, 36-437, 36-438a and 36-439 were transferred to §§ 46a-65, 46a-66, 46a-98 and 46a-67, respectively, in 1981. C.G.S. § 36-438 is repealed.
The Purchasing Agent or Purchasing Assistant will be required to aggressively solicit the participation of legitimate minority business enterprises as bidders, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers of materials, in compliance with Section 4-114a-3(9) of the Connecticut General Statutes.
Editor's Note: C.G.S. § 4-114a-3(9) was transferred to C.G.S. § 4a-60 in 1989.
The Purchasing Agent or Purchasing Assistant will consider the following factors in reviewing the bidders' qualifications for compliance to the equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements for the Town of North Branford:
The bidder's success in implementing an affirmative action plan.
The bidder's success in developing an apprenticeship program complying with Sections 46a-68-1 through 46a-68-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, inclusive.
The bidder's promise to develop and implement a successful affirmative action plan.
The bidder's submission of EEO-1 data indicating that the composition of its work force is at or near parity when compared to the racial and sexual composition of the work force in the relevant labor market area.
For all public works projects involving state and/or federal funds, the Purchasing Agent or Purchasing Assistant will be required to consult the list of minority business enterprises as prepared by the Department of Economic Development and to monitor the contractor's choice of subcontractors and suppliers of materials to assure compliance and to notify the bidders/vendors that the contract will be subject to full compliance with these stated requirements.