[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Stillwater 4-7-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Every purchase to be made must be initially reviewed to determine whether it is a purchase contract or public works contract in which the Town Highway Superintendent will manage the goods or services. The Town, assisted by the Office of Fiscal Management, will be responsible to make said determination. Once a 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, goods or service is not subject to competitive bidding, taking into account past purchases and the adopted Town budget approved for the fiscal year in which the purchase will be made.
The following items are not subject to competitive bidding pursuant to the General Municipal Law:
Purchase contracts under $10,000 and Public Works or Highway Department contracts under $20,000;
Emergency management and preparedness;
Goods purchased from agencies for the blind or severely handicapped;
Goods purchased from state or county correctional institutions;
Purchases under state and county contracts and surplus and secondhand purchases from another governmental entity.
The individual making the purchase will document the decision that a purchase is not subject to competitive bidding in writing. This documentation may include written or verbal quotes from vendors; a memorandum from the purchaser indicating how the decision was arrived at; a copy of the contract indicating the source which makes the item or service provided exempt; a memorandum from the purchaser detailing the circumstances which led to an emergency purchase, or any other written documentation that may be deemed appropriate by the Office of Fiscal Management.
All goods and services will be secured by use of written requests for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations (followed by written confirmation of the verbal quote within three business days) or any other method, as determined by the Office of Fiscal Management, that assures the goods will be purchased at the lowest price and that favoritism will be avoided except as follows:
Purchase contracts over $10,000;
Public works contracts over $20,000;
Goods or services purchased pursuant to State Finance Law § 162 (agencies for the blind or severely handicapped);
[Amended 2-19-2009 by L.L. No. 5-2009]
Goods or services purchased pursuant to § 186 of the Correction Law (state or county correctional institutions);
Goods or services purchased pursuant to § 104 of the General Municipal Law (purchases made under state contract);
Goods or services purchased pursuant to § 103, Subdivision 3, of the General Municipal Law (purchases made under county contract);
The following methods of purchase will be used when required by this policy in order to achieve the highest amount of taxpayer savings:
A good faith effort shall be made to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations. If the department head (purchaser) is unable to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations, the department head will document, in writing, the attempt made at obtaining the proposals. In no event shall the failure to obtain the proposals be a bar to the procurement.
Written documentation is required of each action taken in connection with each procurement.
Written documentation and explanation by the department head is required whenever a contract is awarded to other than the lowest bidder. This documentation will include an explanation of how the award will achieve savings or how the low bidder (or bid) was not responsible. The determination that the low bidder (or bid) is not responsible shall be documented by the department head and may not be challenged under any circumstances.
Pursuant to General Municipal Law § 104-b, Subdivision 2, f, the procurement policy may contain circumstances when or types of procurement for which, in the sole discretion of the Town Board, the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interests of the municipality. In the following circumstances it may be in the best interest of the Town of Stillwater 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, responsibility, skill, education and training; judgement integrity and moral worth. These qualifications are not necessarily found in the individual or company that offers the lowest price and nature of these services are such that they do not readily lend themselves to competitive procurement policies and procedures.
In determining whether a service fits into this category, first the Office of Fiscal Management and then the members of the Stillwater Town Board 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;
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 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 a municipally owned property;
Computer software or programming services for customized programs or services involved in substantial modification and customization 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 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 Town is precluded from purchasing surplus and secondhand goods at auctions, online or through specific advertised sources where best prices are usually obtained. It is also difficult to try to compare prices of used goods and a lower may price may indicate an older and less efficient product.
Goods or services over $250 require a signed requisition (purchase order) to be prepared by the head of the department wishing to make said purchases. This requisition will also require verification from the Town Budget Officer that the funds are available for this purpose, including purchases required for special taxing districts (water, sewer and lighting).
Goods or services under $250. 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 minimus contracts would be awarded based on favoritism.
All payments made by the Town of Stillwater will be made by the voucher system. Invoices for goods or services provided will not, by themselves, form the basis for payment by the Town. All vouchers must be prepared and signed by the department head. Invoices, receipts or any other form that confirms cost or products received are in fact in good working order will be attached to vouchers submitted for review by the Budget Officer, Office of Fiscal Management and Town Clerk. Invoices submitted without a voucher complete and properly signed will be returned to the department head for compliance with this procurement policy.
Vouchers submitted on behalf of the Town Attorney and Town Engineer will be first audited by the Town Supervisor or Deputy Town Supervisor prior to submission to the Office of Fiscal Management. Professional fees for the Town Attorney and Town Engineer will be authorized for payment at the business meeting of the Town Board only (once every 30 days).
Only those documents attached to this procurement policy will be considered as authorized forms for the purpose of payment by the Town of Stillwater.
Editor's Note: The procurement procedures/price quotes document is on file in the Town offices.
This policy shall go into effect on April 7, 2005. It will be reviewed annually and may not be changed without a recommendation by the Office of Fiscal Management and a majority vote of the Stillwater Town Board.