JONESVILLE — An ordinance that spells out the Town of Jonesville’s purchasing procedures was approved by Jonesville Town Council this week.
The ordinance is composed of seven sections which cover not only the bidding and awards process for contracts and other purchases by the town, but also the responsibilities of the council, mayor and town employees in the process, penalties for any violations of the process, and the non-discrimination policies of the town.
Section One of the ordinance designates the town clerk as the purchasing agent for the town. The ordinance states that the clerk, under the direction of the mayor, is responsible for purchasing supplies, materials, and equipment for the town; the storage and distribution of all supplies, materials, and equipment required by any office, department or agency of the town; maintain an inventory of all equipment, real property, and vehicles owned by the town; and obtaining competition on any purchases, contracts, and sales.
Section Two of the ordinance deals with formal contract procedures, bidding, exceptions, and seal bid procedures.
and states that council members, under the direction of the mayor, shall seek equipment, material or services as agreed upon by the council and mayor. The section also states that a vote of council is required any if the cost of any supplies, contractual services or equipment exceed $1,000. It also states that, in the case of purchases exceeding $1,000, competitive bids must be solicited with at least three bids or proposals required per each purchase.
Neither a vote of council or three bids are required if word needed for day-to-day operations costs less that $500. Any work or purchase made must be approved by the mayor, recorded on the monthly reports, and entered into the minutes for review by council.
If, however, there’s an emergency that affects the public welfare, health or safety, the provisions of Section Two will not apply to purchases required to deal with the situation. The town clerk will, however, file a full report of the circumstances of the emergency purchase with council and enter it into the minutes.
The section also spells out the procedures for sealed bids which, first, shall be brought to the town hall to be opened on the day advertised. The bids will then be opened by the town clerk and opened in public at the time and place stated in a public notice. A tabulation of all bids received will then be made available for public inspection.
Bids will be awarded by council to the “lowest responsible bidder.” In awarding the bid, council, in addition to price, will also consider:
• The ability, capacity and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required;
• Whether the bidder can perform the contract or provide the service promptly, or within the time specified, without delay or interference;
• The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience and efficiency of the bidder;
• The quality of performance of previous contracts or services;
• The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with the laws and ordinances relating to the contract or services;
• The sufficiency of the financial resources and ability of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service;
• The quality, availability and adaptability of the supplies or contractual services to the particular use required;
• The ability of the bidder to provide future maintenance and services for the use of the subject of the contract;
• The number and scope of conditions attached to the bid.
If, however, the bid is awarded to someone other than the lowest bidder, the town clerk is required to prepare a full and complete statement of the reasons for doing so. The statement must then be filed with the paperwork related to the transaction and kept for at least 12 months.
In the case of tie bids, the contract will be awarded to the local vendor. If there are tie bids involving two or more local vendors, the contract will be awarded base on a public drawing of lots.
Section Three prohibits the members of council and employees of the town from having any “financial interest in any contract or in the sale of to the town or to a contractor supplying the town of any land or rights or interests in any land, material, supplies or services.” The only exception to this is if a majority of the council determines that the exception is in the best interest of the town with the provision “that no councilman whose interest is involved shall vote on the question.”
The section further states that, “any willful violation … shall constitute malfeasance in office, and any employees of the town found guilty thereof shall forfeit his office or position.”
Section Four states that the town clerk is required to keep a record of all open market orders and bids submitted and these records are open to public inspection.
Section Five forbids town employees, council members and the mayor from accepting, either directly or indirectly, from any individual or business to which a purchase order or contract is awarded or may be awarded, any “rebate, kickback, or money except when given for the use and benefit of the town.”
Section Six states that it is the policy of the town to provide minorities and women with equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of the town’s contracting and procurement programs. It further states that town policy prohibits discrimination against any person or business “on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, or veteran status.”
Section Seven deals with protest procedures and states that any protests by prospective bidders or suppliers in connection with any aspect of the bidding process must be received within 10 days of the bid or purchase date. They be in writing and mailed via certified, registered or overnight mail to the Jonesville Mayor, P.O. Box 785, Jonesville, S.C. 29353.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.