[Cass County Order No. 97-04 of 5-22-2000; Cass County Order No. 97-04 of 1-11-2001; Cass County Order No. 12-01 of 1-20-2012; Cass County Order No. 12-03 of 4-9-2012]
The following procedures regulate the purchase of goods and services. They are developed pursuant to public policy, accepted purchasing practices and State law. All offices and/or departments shall adhere to these procedures.
Purchases under one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). The purchase of goods or services totaling one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or less from a single vendor may be initiated by the office or department. The office or department does not need to secure phone quotes for purchases of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or less, but employees are expected to obtain the lowest price and best value possible.
Purchases from one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) to six thousand dollars ($6,000.00). On purchases in this range from a single vendor, the requesting officer or department must obtain three (3) phone quotes for purchases that exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and are less than six thousand dollars ($6,000.00). The telephone quote should be written down to record the competitive quotes, including specifications, vendor name, representative name, total quote including any shipping and handling charges, and date quote requested and received. A "no quote" response will qualify as a required quote.
Purchases of six thousand dollars ($6,000 00) and over. Purchases of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00) and over must be advertised and handled as formal bids. Utility charges and goods or materials purchased from the spot commodity market shall be exempt from the sealed bid procedures. Bids requiring written specifications will have their specifications drafted by the office or department making the purchase. The County Commission shall make the final bid award and has sole authority to obligate the County.
Cooperative procurement programs. Missouri law authorizes political subdivisions to participate in cooperative agreements, including cooperative procurement. County offices and departments are authorized to participate in cooperative procurement, more specifically agreements/contracts that have been established utilizing a formal competitive bid/rfp process which allows the use of such by other political subdivisions, thereby saving money on the purchase of goods and/or services through the economies of scale and through the reduction of administrative costs. Any cooperative procurement transaction that requires a signed agreement must be approved by the County Commission.
Single feasible source. In some instances, a particular good or service may only be available from one (1) vendor. In these instances, the regular procurement quote/bid processes are waived. All requests for single feasible source (also known as "sole source") purchases must be submitted to the County Commission with sole source justification. The County Commission must determine in writing and entered into the Commission minutes that there is only a single feasible source for the supplies. Immediately upon discovering that other feasible sources exist, the Commission shall rescind the waiver and proceed to procure the supplies through the processes as described herein. A single feasible source exists when:
Supplies are proprietary and only available from the manufacturer or a single distributor; or
Based on past procurement experience, it is determined that only one (1) distributor services the region in which the supplies are needed; or
Supplies are available at a discount from a single distributor for a limited period of time.
Emergency purchases. The County Commission may waive the requirement of competitive bids or proposals when the County Commission has determined that there exists a threat to life, property, public health, or public safety or when immediate expenditure is necessary for repairs to County property in order to protect against further loss of, or damage to, County property, to prevent or minimize serious disruption in County services or to ensure the integrity of County records. Emergency procurements shall be made with as much competition as is practicable under the circumstances. After an emergency procurement is made by the County Commission, the nature of the emergency and the vote approving the procurement shall be noted in the minutes of the next regularly scheduled meeting.
Professional services. Professional services are considered to be non-competitive in nature and are therefore not subject to the competitive bidding requirements.
Engineering, architectural and land surveying services. Missouri law provides for a selection process based on a qualification based system, rather than a competitive price bidding system, with regard to procuring engineering, architectural and land surveying services. Sections 8.285 — 8.291, RSMo. The County should encourage firms to annually submit a statement of qualifications and performance data. When the County requires engineering services, it should review the qualifications on file along with any others which may be submitted, and rank order its top three (3) firms, select the firm it considers to be the best qualified and capable of performing the work, and then negotiate a contract.
Budget expenses other than purchases.
Request for payment of budgeted expenditures other than purchases shall be made on an Encumbrance Requisition Form.
This Encumbrance Requisition Form shall be submitted to the County Clerk. The County Auditor will provide written verification of the availability of unencumbered funds for the budgeted expenditures. The County Clerk shall present the encumbrance form to the County Commission for approval.
Approved encumbrance requisitions shall be returned to the County Auditor for accounting purposes.
Conflict of interest. It shall be considered a conflict of interest and a violation of the County's policy for a County employee or an immediate family member to attempt to conduct, or conduct, business with the County as a vendor of goods or services if the employee is involved directly or indirectly with the County's procurement process of the respective goods or services.