Common council OK's new purchasing policy

The Oneida Common Council approved a resolution July 5 to create a uniform purchasing policy for all city departments.

The procedures for the purchase of commodities, equipment or goods are divided by dollar amount. Purchases from $1 to $1,499 may be made at the discretion of the department head. For purchases from $1,500 to $2,999, department heads must obtain documented telephone quotes from at least three separate vendors, if available. Formal written or faxed quotes from three separate vendors (if available) must be obtained for purchases from $3,000 to $9,999. Sealed bids in conformance with General Municipal Law, Section 103. For public works projects and contracts, procedures are identical, the only difference being the last range before formal bids are required. For public works projects or contracts from $3,000 to $19,999, formal written or faxed quotes from three separate vendors or a formal request for proposal is required. Sealed bids in conformance with General Municipal Law Section 103 are required for projects/contracts costing $20,000 or more.

Provisions have been made within the new purchasing policy for emergency purchases. The police defines an emergency as existing wherein the delay cause by soliciting quotes would endanger the health, welfare or property of the City of Oneida, or more important, the individual taxpayer. A true emergency does not exclude the need for securing competitive pricing, only the formal bidding process, the policy says, and cautions that lack of anticipation or planning cannot be deemed as a cause for declaring an emergency. An explanation of why the purchase is an emergency must accompany the purchase order.

Purchases of $50 or more require the use of a purchase order, which is to contain the date, vendor name, terms, vendor number, description of goods, explanation of their purpose and use, quantity, unit price, total cost and department head signature. In all instances, purchase orders must be completed and approved by the comptroller's office before a purchase is made, the only exception being in the event of an emergency purchase, as defined by the policy.

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