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Town of Smithfield, RI
Providence County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Smithfield 6-19-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-04.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bid bonds — See Ch. 7.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 81, Purchasing Policy, adopted 10-15-1996 (Ch. 2, Art. III, Div. 5, of the 1985 Code of Ordinances), as amended.
A. 
Established. This chapter represents the official Town policy for all purchases by and on behalf of the Town of Smithfield to include purchases by the Smithfield Water District, Smithfield Sewer Authority and Smithfield Ice Rink. The Town will strive to buy the best quality goods and services at the lowest price. Where this policy conflicts with the Town Charter or state law governing municipal purchases, the latter shall govern.
B. 
Objective. The objectives of the purchasing system herein established are as follows:
(1) 
Procure materials, supplies, equipment, and services of all types at the lowest cost consistent with quality requirements.
(2) 
Establish the responsibility for the purchasing function in a central purchasing office. Under the general supervision of the Town Manager, the Finance Director or his representative shall be the purchasing agent for every Town department or agency, including the School Department, for selected purchases.
(3) 
Exercise positive financial control of the purchasing function.
(4) 
Provide an efficient and cost effective means for procurement of materials, supplies or equipment, avoiding duplication and overstocking.
(5) 
Establish and maintain standards of quality in materials, equipment and services.
(6) 
Insure all purchasing transactions are in compliance with G.L., Title 45, Chapter 55.
The purchasing agent shall be responsible for establishing a centralized purchasing system to incorporate requisitions and purchase orders for all purchases made on behalf of the Town, except as hereinafter provided. In establishing specifications for purchases, the purchasing agent shall solicit and consider the requirements of the user department as articulated by the applicable department director. The purchasing agent may promulgate rules, consistent with this chapter, to further its objectives. The purchasing agent shall also consult with the Town Manager and Director of Finance, as necessary, in developing proposed specifications for more complex or expensive purchases. The Town Manager is authorized to resolve any interdepartmental conflict involving the relative importance of quality requirements and estimated price in developing the specifications.
A. 
Scheduled buying. The purchasing agent shall schedule buying for items which are used on a reoccurring volume basis. Each Town department shall submit department supply and material requests, together with anticipated annual usage to the purchasing agent for the creation of proper and necessary buying schedules. The purchasing agent shall consolidate multiple department requests for common-use items into one large purchase, to reduce unit prices, when practical.
B. 
Cooperative purchasing. Whenever feasible, the purchasing agent shall consider arrangements for purchases in conjunction with other units of government. This will generate larger volume, which may create more attractive unit prices by creating a larger volume purchase.
C. 
School Department purchases. The purchasing agent shall implement the provisions of § C-5.18(a) of the Town Charter, which provides that all supplies, materials and equipment required by the School Department, excluding instructional materials, such as textbooks, workbooks, and curriculum materials, shall be purchased under the supervision of the purchasing agent.
D. 
Projects. All purchases of equipment, real property, or for construction which are included in a project as defined by § C-4.16 of the Town Charter shall be supervised by a building committee appointed by the Town Council.
E. 
Exemptions. Certain items of expense may be processed for payment without submitting a requisition for a purchase order. Expenses of this nature are usually reoccurring obligations of the Town, such as utility services, provided there is a specified billing period, to include electricity, gas, water and sewer, telephone, and the following:
(1) 
Postage, freight, maintenance/service contracts.
(2) 
Pension contributions and payments, FICA contributions.
(3) 
Judgments and claims.
(4) 
Travel reimbursements.
(5) 
Authorized employee benefit payments.
(6) 
Petty cash reimbursements.
(7) 
Authorized payroll deductions.
(8) 
Appropriations to agencies authorized at the Financial Town Meeting.
F. 
Local purchasing. In purchasing materials, goods and services, preference will be given to Smithfield vendors, where price and quality are judged to be equal by the purchasing agent or Town Council, as applicable.
G. 
Contracts. All contracts required to memorialize the purchase of goods or services shall be in a form approved by the Town Solicitor.
The following procedures are prescribed to initiate requests for materials, supplies, equipment or services (including professional services) for the Town:
A. 
In general. A requisition memo is used as the initial step in the purchasing procedure. This memo is designed to advise the purchasing agent of the need for these items. The requisition memo shall be submitted to allow sufficient time for review and solicitation of bids by the purchasing agent. The rate of consumption of items requisitioned shall be carefully considered in arriving at the quantity requested. Requisitions for the same material or service shall not be artificially divided so as to circumvent this chapter.
B. 
Preparation.
(1) 
Requisition forms are available from the purchasing agent, Finance Department, or may be photocopied. On the requisition form are spaces for the following: a requisition number (use optional); vendor's name, address and vendor number; the department originating the requisition; whether the purchase order will confirm a verbal order already placed with the vendor; the purchase order number (if known at the time the requisition is prepared); the vendor's product number and description (insert catalog page number, if applicable); the selling unit (ton, gallon, etc.); the quantity, unit price and extended price; the full account number; shipping and handling charges (most deliveries should be f.o.b. Smithfield and incur no shipping charges); the person submitting the requisition (department director or a duly authorized representative); the date the requisition is prepared and the approval signature by the purchasing agent. Unless otherwise specified, the delivery of the material will be scheduled directly to the department ordering the material.
(2) 
The description of the item(s) shall be sufficiently complete to enable the purchasing agent to proceed with the purchase or to order from an existing price agreement contract without requesting supplementary information. Common use items should be described by their popular names, supplemented by number, size, style or other identifying data. Departments must exercise care to avoid using a "closed" description or specification which describes the product of one manufacturer exclusively and prevents the obtaining of competitive bids. A requisition may specify a model number and brand name "or equal thereto" to denote a minimum standard of quality.
C. 
Routing. Upon completion of the form, the preparing department will send the requisition to the purchasing agent who will verify the availability of funds for the purchase, sign it, if approved, and prepare a purchase order or return it to the originating department for a purchase order. The purchasing agent may waive requests for requisitions to expedite purchases. Requisitions disapproved by the Finance Director will be returned to the department concerned, along with an explanation for the disapproval. The purchasing agent will solicit sealed bids when required, once requisition approval is secured under all applicable provisions of this chapter.
The following sets forth the policies and procedures for processing purchase orders:
A. 
General. The purchase order is the vendor's authorization to provide the equipment, materials, supplies or services specified. If there is no other contract between the parties, the purchase order constitutes the contract between the Town and the vendor. The purchase order, prior to expending funds, is initiated by the requisition's originating department and is next forwarded to the purchasing agent for review of available funding, approval and signature. The Town Manager next receives the purchase order for approval and signature. After being signed by all the proper officials, distribution of the purchase order will be as follows:
(1) 
The original copy (white) is mailed to the vendor by the requisitioning department.
(2) 
The second copy (yellow) is retained by the requisitioning department for filing along with the department copy of the requisition memo.
(3) 
The third copy (pink) is the receiving report which is sent to the requisitioning department to be used upon receipt of the material/services to substantiate payment.
B. 
Change orders. The change order is used to change, correct or cancel any purchase order. Change orders will be prepared by the purchasing agent whenever a change to the original purchase order makes it necessary. Change orders will not be used to purchase items which were not contemplated in the original invitation to bid. A purchaser order form is utilized as a change order. The statement "Change Order to Purchase Order No." is entered on the purchase order, along with reference to the original purchase order number. The processing and distribution of the change order is the same as that of the purchase order.
Requisitions and purchase orders are not required when the purchase will not exceed $5,000 or a lower amount set by the Town Manager. For all purchases, a payment voucher will be used to indicate receipt of the material/service and permit the invoice to be processed for payment. The payment voucher will be approved for payment by the department director, Finance Director and Town Manager. Where time is of the essence involving unscheduled repairs to vehicles and equipment, a payment voucher may be used in lieu of the requisition/purchase order system.
A. 
An invoice represents the vendor's charges against the Town for materials or services rendered. An invoice should have a specific number supplied by the vendor. The original invoice is needed for payment processing. Invoices and purchase orders contain similar information.
B. 
The invoice will be mailed to the office which issues the purchase order, i.e., the department director. The receiving department shall attach the invoice to a payment voucher, sign it and forward to the Finance Director for payment processing. In all circumstances, an original invoice must be combined with the receiving report for payment processing.
C. 
The Finance Director will examine the invoice, purchase order and payment voucher. After verification of terms, discounts and calculations, the Finance Director will, by affixing his/her signature, approve payment, and forward it to the Finance office for processing.
A. 
General policy. The policy of the Town is to purchase all materials, supplies and services at the lowest possible cost while meeting minimum quality requirements. All purchases of $1,000 or more, up to $10,000, or some other amount set at an annual Financial Town Meeting, shall require at least two written quotations. Copies of all written quotations shall be transmitted to the Finance Director or his designee for the opening and recording of all bid documents. All bid documents and specifications for equipment or construction reasonably estimated to cost in excess of $10,000 shall receive prior approval of the Town Council.
B. 
Bids over $10,000.
(1) 
The purchase of materials and services costing over $10,000 shall require written, sealed bids pursuant to § C-5.18 of the Town Charter. The Town Council shall award all contracts in excess of $10,000. The solicitation of contracts for professional services shall also be governed by § 81-8 of this chapter, or Subsection C of this section. Bids shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, and the requesting department with the assistance of the purchasing agent shall be responsible for preparing the entire bid document, which shall include:
(a) 
Advertisements.
(b) 
Instructions to bidders.
(c) 
General conditions.
(d) 
Special conditions.
(e) 
General specifications.
(f) 
Detailed specifications.
(g) 
Proposal form.
(h) 
Any applicable state or federal guidelines or requirements.
(2) 
The standard form of these bid documents shall be promulgated by the purchasing agent and approved by the Town Manager. Any requirements made necessary by federal or state funding shall be specified in the bid documents. Competitive bids in excess of $50,000 shall require bidders to include a bid bond or other bid security in an amount equal to 5% of the bid. The public notice shall follow standard requirements and shall state when the bids will be opened and publicly read aloud by the purchasing agent.
C. 
Lowest qualified evaluated bid price. Where the qualifications of the bidder are important, the purchasing agent may determine to use lowest qualified evaluated bid price in determining a contract award. This shall be so stated in the bid documents and advertisement. The bid document shall also include the objective measurable criteria to be utilized in making the award.
D. 
Exclusions.
(1) 
Sole source. A contract may be awarded for a supply, service, or construction item, without competition, when the purchasing agent determines, in writing, that there is only one source for the required supply, service or construction item. Any department director requesting a purchase on a "sole source" basis shall advise the purchasing agent in writing with justification for the request.
(2) 
Emergency purchases. In the event of an emergency of sufficient gravity that compliance with the competitive bidding requirements set forth in this chapter endanger the health or welfare of the community, or a portion therefor, or would involve significant financial risk or loss to the Town, as certified by the Town Manager, a purchase in excess of the sealed bid limit may be made without competitive sealed bids. In all such instances, however, three or more verbal quotations followed by a written confirmation, shall be solicited and on file with the purchasing agent.
(3) 
State contracts. The purchasing agent may satisfy the competitive bidding requirements of this chapter by participating in cooperative purchases with the State of Rhode Island, other municipalities or other states, so long as the intent of this chapter is followed.
A. 
Alternative methods for competition. The Town shall use either a competitive sealed bid process with the award based on the lowest qualified evaluated bid price, or the competitive negotiation process set forth in this section in selecting professional services to include architectural and engineering services, planning and design services and other related professional services and property, casualty, and workers compensation insurance obtained pursuant to G.L.§ 45-5-20.1, specifically excluding legal services, which are exempt from this chapter. The Town Manager shall decide which process to follow, based on consultation with the appropriate department director and the purchasing agent.
B. 
Request for proposals. The competitive negotiation process is initiated by the requisition submitted to the purchasing agent by the department director who will directly manage the professional services requested. In consultation with the department director, the purchasing agent shall make a reasonable estimate of the professional services and convene a meeting with the Town Manager and appropriate department director to determine which process to follow in selecting the best professional services at the lowest price. The department director with the assistance of the purchasing agent shall be responsible for preparing the request for proposals (RFP). The RFP shall indicate that the professional services will be awarded on a competitive negotiation basis and shall state the general criteria for selection, specific professional information about the offer to be submitted, scope of work, offeror's approach and other information deemed appropriate by the purchasing agent. The normal public notice requirements for competitive bidding shall be followed. Proposals may also be directly solicited from potential offerors in order to obtain the largest number of qualified offerors. Proposals submitted shall be sealed and opened on the date and time specified in the RFP notice.
C. 
Selection committee. Where the cost of professional services is reasonably estimated to equal or exceed $50,000, a selection committee shall be formed by the Town Manager to include the Town Manager or designee, the applicable department director, purchasing agent, director of finance, and a Council member selected by the Council, unless waived by the Council. Professional services estimated to cost less than $50,000 require a selection committee composed of the purchasing agent, Finance Director and applicable department director. Additional members may be appointed by the Town Manager.
D. 
Pre-proposal conference. The purchasing agent may require a pre-proposal conference where all potential offerors, who have obtained a copy of the RFP, are invited to discuss the professional services with the purchasing agent and applicable department director. This generally occurs when an on-site review of the area or facility to benefit from the professional services would be helpful.
E. 
Selection process.
(1) 
The selection committee may interview one or more of the offerors to help determine the most qualified offeror. While the RFP shall require the submittal of tentative price for the services solicited, the RFP shall also provide that the Town shall reserve the right to negotiate price with the offeror it deems most qualified, based on professional competence, technical merit, experience with similar work and price.
(2) 
The Town Manager and purchasing agent shall negotiate compensation which they determine to be fair and reasonable with the most qualified offeror, as determined by the selection committee. This amount shall be reported back to the committee, and if acceptable, shall be recommended to the Town Council for approval, subject to the contract language, acceptable to the Town Solicitor. If the manager and purchasing agent or committee are unable to negotiate a satisfactory contract, the negotiation shall be terminated, and negotiations begun with the second most qualified offeror, until a satisfactory contract is recommended or the number of qualified offerors is exhausted. The Town Council shall be responsible for the final decision to select the most qualified offeror and to award the contract.
A. 
Disposal of surplus and obsolete personal property valued below $10,000.
(1) 
Occasionally, a department may have materials or equipment which are surplus to its needs or which may have become obsolete. The Town Manager will dispose of surplus personal property items valued below $10,000 in a manner which provides the maximum return to the Town.
(2) 
The purchasing agent will periodically request a report of any obsolete, surplus, or worn-out material and equipment. A summary of these items will then be made available to department directors to determine if they might have use of any of this material or equipment. After this interdepartmental screening, surplus material will be offered for sale through advertisement and competitive bidding. For material without significant residual value, the purchasing agent will discard the material and maintain a record of all such disposals.
(3) 
In advertising and accepting bids for surplus or obsolete property, the purchasing agent will insure that the practices of competitive bidding are followed. The use of electronic advertising for the electronic auction of personal property valued below $10,000 is permitted under this chapter. The highest, qualified bid will be sought in all cases. A public bid opening will be scheduled. When necessary, a bid surety may be required of prospective bidders. The amount of this surety may be designated by the purchasing agent. Determination of the highest and best bidder will be made by the purchasing agent.
B. 
Surplus real estate and personal property valued at $10,000 or more.
(1) 
The Town Council will direct the disposal method to be followed for surplus Town real estate, and for surplus Town personal property valued at $10,000 or more.