[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of East Greenwich 7-11-2005 by Ord. No. 758. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Competitive bidding — See Charter § C-28.
Prohibited contracts and expenditures — See Charter § C-29.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Award of municipal contracts — See R.I.G.L. § 45-55-1 et seq.
This chapter is adopted in accordance with R.I.G.L. Title 45, Chapter 55, Award of Municipal Contracts, §§ 45-55-1 through 45-55-17. The Town shall comply with requirements of Chapter 55, if not specifically stated herein.
The primary purpose of this policy is to prescribe the manner in which materials, supplies, equipment and contracted services are obtained. In providing a framework for purchasing activities, the policy also makes clear the Town's position that all qualified vendors have an opportunity to do business with the Town.
The policy is intended to provide sufficient flexibility to allow for small individual purchases and purchases of an emergency nature. There shall be no deviation from the policy except in an emergency. The department head, in writing, must explain any deviation to the Town Manager.
The Town Manager or his or her designee shall serve as the Purchasing Agent.
The Purchasing Agent shall have the following powers and duties:
To purchase materials, supplies and equipment, and the procurement of contracted services requisitioned by any agency of the Town, subject to the provisions of federal, state and local regulations;
To maintain high standards of quality in materials, supplies, equipment and services for the lowest reasonable cost;
To take advantage of bulk, seasonal or cooperative purchasing, where possible;
To dispose of obsolete or unusable personal property of the Town; and
To coordinate and assist departments and agencies of the Town and School Department in purchasing and contract matters, and otherwise observe practices in the best interests of the Town and the School Department.
In order to achieve the goals of the purchasing policy, the following set of procedures is established. The guidelines recognize the need for convenience and flexibility in making routine and small individual purchases. This is balanced with the principles of effective budget management at the department level, and the interests of the Town in making purchases with consistently high standards of quality at reasonable prices.
The following items shall be exempt from the purchasing procedures contained in this policy:
Expense reimbursement, under $100.
Office equipment maintenance and repairs.
Vehicle and equipment maintenance and repairs (except major repairs exceeding $2,000, which shall require a purchase order).
Equipment lease payments under an approved original lease agreement.
Identical recurring purchases such as uniform rental, cleaning services, etc. (except that the original contract must be authorized prior to any payments).
Service or maintenance contract payments (except that the original contract or agreement must be authorized prior to any payments).
Purchase orders must be requested and approved by the Purchasing Agent and the Town Manager prior to placement of an order. All laws of the State of Rhode Island shall be adhered to at all times regarding purchasing.
Purchase orders shall be required for individual purchases of more than $1,000. The distribution of copies of the approved completed purchase order is as follows:
The Purchasing Agent may request further information about the purchase. The Purchasing Agent shall approve the purchase requisition prior to the Town Manager indicating that all the requirements of this policy have been met.
Approved purchase orders shall be mailed or delivered directly to the vendor. Direct mail purchase orders must be accompanied by vendor order forms where necessary.
Purchase orders that are not approved by the Purchasing Agent and Town Manager shall be returned to the department placing the order accompanied by a memorandum explaining why the purchase order was not approved.
Competitive purchases are required in accord with R.I.G.L. § 45-55-9 and as amended.
Written quotations from at least three qualified vendors are required for individual purchases of $1,500 to the limit established by R.I.G.L. §§ 45-55-1 through 45-55-17. Copies of written quotations must be submitted to the Finance Department along with the purchase order requisition as proof for this level of competitive purchasing.
Exceptions. Quotations may not be required if the department placing the order can demonstrate that competitive purchasing requirements have already been satisfied through other means (i.e., state contract, federal contract, other municipality, regional cooperative purchase). The department requesting an exception on a particular purchase must file a request with the Purchasing Agent, with a copy to the Town Manager, stating the reasons for the exception. The request for an exception must be approved prior to making the purchase.
Under certain circumstances, such as, but not limited to, a declared emergency, the interests of the Town are best served by quick action. To that end, observance of these purchasing policies may be temporarily suspended as a means of satisfying an immediate need.
In the event of an emergency, the department head shall have the authority to make such immediate purchases as deemed necessary, provided that all reasonable efforts to contact the Purchasing Agent or Town Manager have failed. Once the emergency has been resolved, the department head shall submit a detailed report of all emergency expenditures, the circumstances, and justification for all purchases to the Town Manager.
Following the development of specifications or the scope of work, as appropriate, the timetable for the competitive selection process will be set up by the department head and Purchasing Agent. The Purchasing Agent will review bid documents prior to advertisement.
A notice will be placed in the legal classified section of a newspaper of general circulation and posted in at least two public places with the following information:
Brief description of the item or service desired.
Identify a contact for questions or copies of specifications, scope of work, request for proposals (RFP) or request for qualifications (RFQ).
The mailing address for response to the notice (Town of East Greenwich, Town Manager's Office, P.O. Box 111, East Greenwich, RI 02818).
Other applicable information about the form in which submissions should be made (i.e., how packages are to be labeled, specific items to be included).
The deadline for receipt of responses to the notice.
Information about the opening of responses (i.e., date, time and place).
Statement reserving the exclusive right to accept or reject any or all responses to the notice.
Notices shall appear in a newspaper of general circulation and be posted in at least two public places not less than seven days prior to the last date for receipt of responses. Notices of RFP or RFQ for professional services or other significant items or projects shall be advertised at least seven days, but usually not more than 30 days, prior to the last date for receipt of responses. In all cases, notice to potential vendors shall be made early enough to provide reasonable opportunity to participate and prepare responsible proposals.
If property is to be disposed of, the Town Manager must give prior approval to the disposal with the award of the bid by Town Council. The method of disposal will be determined by the Purchasing Agent and may include sealed bid, auction, trade in, or any other method deemed appropriate.
Sealed bid. Notice shall be placed in a newspaper of general circulation with the following information:
Auction. In situations where a large number of items are to be disposed of, an auction may be held in which prospective bidders view and make bids at a specific time and place. Notice of auction shall be posted in at least two public places and advertised in a newspaper of general circulation not less than seven days prior to the date of the auction, which notice shall include:
The award of a contract or purchase, or sale of Town property, shall follow the competitive selection process. Consistent with the other provisions of these guidelines, the criteria for award shall be flexible enough to allow consideration of all factors involved, yet still provide a clear sense of public policy intent.
After bids or proposals have been received through the competitive selection process, the bids or proposals shall be reviewed for completeness. The bids or proposals shall be reviewed to determine how well they meet the specifications or scope of work, the input from references, or other aspects indicating the overall ability of the prospective vendor to provide the goods or service desired. In all cases, the goal of the award shall be to select the vendor offering the best overall value to the Town; the "lowest/best" bidder. Price, quality, service and experience, either demonstrated through other clients or with the Town of East Greenwich, shall be included in the determination of award.
Bids for property being sold by the Town shall be awarded to the bidder making the highest responsible bid. In making this determination, bidders may be requested to supply proof of their ability to meet their bid before the final award is made.
Specifications for any purchases under the advertised competitive selection process shall be reviewed by the Purchasing Agent prior to the purchasing process. Specifications shall adequately define the operating characteristics, performance requirements, or scope of work to be performed. They shall not be so specific as to unnecessarily restrict competition but shall be complete enough to represent superior value for the Town.
Any specifications maintained by individual departments or agencies for particular items or services shall be reviewed periodically and revised if necessary. All specifications for products or services shall be placed on file in the respective departments.
This policy shall be effective immediately upon its adoption by the Town Council.