Town of South Berwick, ME
York County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of South Berwick 10-25-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purposes of the regulation are to standardize the purchasing procedure of the Town of South Berwick thereby securing for the Town the advantages of a centralized and uniform purchasing policy saving the taxpayers' money and increasing public confidence in the procedures for municipal purchasing; to promote the fair and equitable treatment of all suppliers of goods and services; and to set forth the duties and responsibilities of the department heads and the Purchasing Agent, thereby fostering interdepartmental cooperation and trust in the purchasing system.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BID MOST ADVANTAGEOUS TO THE TOWN
A bid chosen on the basis of price, quality of merchandise, suitability of merchandise, and service reputation of the vendor, and therefore may not necessarily mean the lowest bid received.
COMPETITIVE BIDDING
The process of obtaining the bid most advantageous to the Town for any purchase, whether through formal or informal bidding procedures.
COOPERATIVE PURCHASE
A purchase made by the Town in conjunction with or from another governmental or quasi-governmental agency, such as, but not limited to, the State of Maine, Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG), the School District, the Sewer District or another municipality.
FORMAL BID
A written quotation obtained in a sealed envelope from a vendor or through advertisement and opened at a specific day, place and time.
INFORMAL BID
A written quotation obtained from a vendor but not required to be opened publicly at a specified day, place and time.
PURCHASE
Buying, renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring supplies or services for a price.
PURCHASING AGENT
The Town Manager or the Town Manager's designee.
SERVICES
The lease or rental of all grounds, buildings, offices, space or equipment required by the Town, the repair or maintenance of equipment or real property owned by or the responsibility of the Town and all labor furnished to the Town by persons, firms, individuals or corporations not part of or connected with the Town government. "Services" shall not include professional services provided to or for the Town by lawyers, architects, engineers, auditors and consultants; nor shall "services" include utilities such as electricity, water, and phone services.
SUPPLIES
All supplies, materials and equipment.
Responsibilities of department heads shall be as follows:
A. 
To practice economy in the use of materials.
B. 
To maintain equipment in serviceable condition.
C. 
To plan future purchases to provide ample time to secure favorable prices.
D. 
To ensure compliance by employees with purchasing regulations and procedures.
E. 
To assure that a sufficient unencumbered balance in the department's appropriation is available before a purchase is made.
F. 
To insure purchases are not split with the direct intention of circumventing the purchase order system.
[Added 12-12-2005[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This enactment also redesignated former Subsections F through H as G through I, respectively.
G. 
To supply the Town Manager with a list of estimated annual requirements of frequently used supplies, thereby fostering cooperative purchasing.
H. 
To report to the Town Manager the following:
(1) 
Items beyond use.
(2) 
Items being replaced or to be replaced.
(3) 
Items no longer of use to department operations.
I. 
To be empowered to reject any unacceptable supply or commodity on the grounds of high cost or low quality, and provide the Town Manager with a written detailed report of any rejection.
Purchase limits are as follows:
Purchase Amount
Process
$1,000 or less
No purchase order
Over $1,000
Purchase order required
Between $2,500 and $10,000
Informal bidding
Over $10,000
Formal bidding
A. 
Purchases of $1,000 or less.
(1) 
Authority. Department heads are authorized to make purchases from vendors when the total cost is $1,000 or less if budget funds are available. Department heads are expected to investigate the local market and select items best suited for their needs by both quality and price.
(2) 
Purchase orders are not necessary for all purchases of $1,000 or less.
B. 
Purchases over $1,000.
(1) 
Authority. Department heads are authorized to make purchases from vendors when the total cost is over $1,000 only after approval from the Finance Department and Town Manager.
(2) 
Purchase order. Purchase orders are necessary for all purchases. Purchase orders will be submitted for all purchases exceeding $1,000 and will be approved by the department head, followed by the Finance Department and Town Manager. A copy of the P.O. will be sent to the vendor or the purchase order number will be relayed to the vendor for placement on the invoice.
(3) 
Invoice necessary. The person making the purchase will ensure that the invoice is to the Town of South Berwick and should also ensure that the vendor provides a legible and complete description of the item purchased on the invoice. A copy of the supplier's invoice signed by the person making the purchase will be delivered to the department head. The department head shall verify (by signing the invoice) the receipt of the item and ensure that the invoice reflects the department and activity for which the purchase was made. The invoice shall also have the corresponding purchase order number clearly printed on the invoice so that the Finance Department can expeditiously pay the invoice. Invoices shall be delivered to the Finance Department as soon as possible.
A. 
Department heads shall exercise prudence and care to insure that the appropriate vendor selection method is utilized.
B. 
Vendor selection method.
(1) 
"Blanket" puchase orders for ongoing purchases of supplies or seasonal contracts shall be renewed annually.
[Added 12-12-2005]
(2) 
An informal purchase process may only be used in the purchase of items under $2,500 or in an emergency. Department heads are expected to investigate the local market and select the items best suited for their needs by both quality and price.
(3) 
Informal bidding shall require three quotations to be obtained from a vendor in writing. Under this method the request for quotations are not publicly advertised nor is there a formal bid opening. All informal purchases shall, whenever possible, be based on at least three competitive quotations and be awarded in accordance with the standards set forth in this chapter. Generally, an informal bidding process shall be used whenever a purchase or contract exceeds $2,500 but is less than $10,000. If written quotes are not possible, a log shall be retained by the department head.
[Amended 12-12-2005]
(4) 
Formal bidding. Purchases and contracts of $10,000 or more shall normally require the use of the following bid process:
(a) 
Notice of invitation to bid should be published in the newspaper or mailed to a bidder's list. Notification shall be made whenever possible at least five days preceding the last day acceptable for receipt of bids. In addition to the invitation to bid, each prospective bidder will be furnished a specification sheet and a bid proposal form.
(b) 
Bids shall be submitted, sealed and identified as bids on the envelope. They shall be opened by the Town Manager or his designee, in public, at the time and place stated, and a tabulation of all bids shall be available for public inspection.
(c) 
When deemed necessary by the Town Manager, bid deposits will be required. Unsuccessful bidders shall be entitled to return of their deposit, while the successful bidder shall forfeit the bid deposit upon failure on their part to enter into a contract within 10 days after award.
(d) 
Before entering into a contract, the Town Manager shall have the authority to require performance bonds in such amounts as he/she shall find necessary to protect the best interest of the Town.
(e) 
The Town Manager may make cooperative purchases without competitive bidding if the Town Manager determines the purchase is being made after competitive bidding by the cooperative entity or at price more advantageous than the Town would be likely to obtain by competitive bidding.
(f) 
The Town Manager may waive the requirements for competitive bidding for purchases of $10,000 or less in cases of emergency or when the purchase is inappropriate for competitive bidding due to the nature of the item, time constraints or other factors, provided that the Town Manager shall file a full and complete statement of the reasons for waiving competitive bidding.
(g) 
The Town Council may waive the requirements for competitive bidding for purchases of $10,000 or more in the case of a nonemergency purchase when the purchase is inappropriate for competitive bidding due to the nature of the item, time constraints, or other factors.
[Added 12-12-2005]
(h) 
The Town Manager may waive the requirements for competitive bidding in any amount in all emergency situations, provided the Town Manager shall file a full and complete statement with the Town Clerk of the reasons for waiving competitive bidding and notify the Chairman of the Town Council of such.
[Added 12-12-2005[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This enactment also redesignated former Subsection B(4)(g) and (h) as B(4)(i) and (j) respectively.
(i) 
All purchases requiring utilization of the formal bidding process shall be subject to Council approval prior to the initialization of the formal bid process.
(j) 
All purchases requiring a formal bid shall require confirmation by the Town Council subject to the Town Manager's recommendation.
(5) 
Specifications. The responsibility for preparing specifications rests with the department head, subject to approval by the Town Manager.
(6) 
Quotation or bid summary form. Upon return of the bid proposals or the request for quotation form from the vendors, the department head will summarize the prices offered on a quotation summary form and recommend to the Town Manager the vendor to be chosen. The Town Manager will determine the lowest and best bid. A summary of the bid process will be provided to the Town Council.
(7) 
The following factors shall be considered in awarding each bid:
(a) 
The stated bid price.
(b) 
The ability, capacity and skills of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the purchase within the time specified without delay or interference.
(c) 
The character, integrity, judgment, experience and efficiency of the bidder.
(d) 
The quality of performance of previous contracts or purchases.
(e) 
The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with the laws and ordinances relating to the contract for service.
(f) 
The sufficiency of the financial resources and ability of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the purchase.
(g) 
Quality, availability and adaptability of the contract or purchase.
(h) 
The ability of the bidder to provide future maintenance service on the items to be purchased.
(i) 
The number and scope of conditions attached to the bid.
(j) 
If all bids received are the same total amount or within a 10% variance, with quality and service being equal, the contract shall be awarded to a South Berwick business establishment.
The department head will notify the Finance Department upon receiving the goods or services, by stamping the purchase order with the receiving stamp and forwarding the stamped copy of the purchase order form, together with the statement, invoice and other documents accompanying the shipment to the Finance Department.
A. 
Accepting equipment on trial. No equipment or accessory may be put to use by any department for the purpose of testing its suitability, or fitness in advance of purchase, without the prior written approval of the Town Manager.
B. 
Joint purchasing. The Town Manager shall have the authority to join with other units of government in cooperative purchasing when the best interests of the Town would be secured.
C. 
Disposal of property. All municipally owned property, real or personal, shall be disposed of either by:
(1) 
Trade-in on purchase of new equipment. Any item that is offered as a trade-in shall also be offered for sale by competitive bid. The higher amount of the two (trade-in allowance or bid) shall be accepted.
(2) 
Sealed bids.
(3) 
Auction.
(4) 
Donated with Council approval.
(5) 
Equipment or material that is obsolete, valueless, or surplus is to be reported to the Town Manager for disposition instructions.