This policy sets forth the principles and procedures established by the North Shore Public Library District to meet the requirements of New York General Municipal Law, Section 104-b.
Purchase and public work contracts which are not required by law to be awarded pursuant to competitive bidding must be procured in a manner so as to assure the prudent and economical use of public moneys, in the best interests of the taxpayers, to facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost under the circumstances, and to guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud, and corruption. To further these objectives, the Board of Trustees of the North Shore Public Library District is adopting internal protocols governing all procurements of goods and services which are not required to be made pursuant to the competitive bidding requirements of New York General Municipal Law, Section 103, or of any other general, special, or local law. The term of all executed contracts (one year or greater) will be determined by the nature of the contract and defined as proprietary or governmental and in compliance with New York State Law.
2. Determining Whether Procurements are Subject to Formal Bidding
- All purchase contracts for commodities which can reasonably be expected to exceed TWENTY-THOUSAND DOLLARS ($20,000) during a given fiscal year shall be subject to competitive bidding pursuant to Section 103 of General Municipal Law and awarded by competitive offering in consideration of “best value” (NYS Finance Law 163 (1)(j)) or to the lowest responsible bidder.
- All contracts for public works expenditures including services, labor or construction which can reasonably be expected to exceed THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($35,000) shall be subject to competitive bidding pursuant Section 103 of General Municipal Law and awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.
- There are several exceptions to the competitive bidding and competitive offering (“best value”) requirements under Section 103 of General Municipal Law.
- Qualifying purchases made through the NYS office of General Services, purchases made through certain county and federal contracts, purchases made through the use of certain contracts let by other states or political subdivisions, emergency purchases, professional services and purchases from a legitimate sole source or preferred sources are excluded. For the purposes of this section, professional services shall mean those services involving a relationship of trust and confidence that require specialized skills, use of expert judgment and/or a high degree of creativity and knowledge of the field for which the professional is being retained. Although professional services are not subject to bidding requirements, the Library may issue a Request for Proposals (RFPs) when it is deemed to be in the best interest of the Library to do so.
- Operating Leases are excluded. Documentation shall include written quotations and a cost-benefit analysis of leasing versus purchasing.
- Insurance is excluded. However, documentation shall include specifications, awarding resolution, and documented quotations.
- Surplus and second-hand supplies, materials or equipment may be purchased without competitive bidding by way of competitive offering from the federal government, New York State or from any other political subdivision, district or public benefit corporation.
3. Statutory Exceptions from These Policies and Procedures
Except for procurements made pursuant to General Municipal Law, Section 103(3) (through county contracts) or Section 104 (through state contracts), State Finance Law, Section 175-b (from agencies for the blind or other severely handicapped, special employment programs for the mentally ill or veteran’s workshops), Correction Law, Section 186 (articles manufactured in correctional institutions), or the items excepted herein, alternative proposals or quotations for purchase contracts or public work contracts shall be secured by use of written requests for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method of procurement which furthers the purposes of General Municipal Law, Section 104-b and this policy.
4. Non-Bid Procurements
The following method of purchase will be used when required by this policy and New York General Municipal Law, Section 104-b in order to achieve the most responsible purchase:
Estimated Amount of Purchase Contract —- Mode of Solicitation
$1,500 – 3,999 ——— 2 Verbal quotations
$4,000 – 9,999 ——— 2 written/fax quotations
$10,000 – 19,999 ——- 3 written/fax quotations or written request for proposals
$20,000 and up ——— Public Bid
Estimated Amount of Public Works Contract —— Mode of Solicitation
$2,500 – 4,999 ——– 2 Verbal quotations
$5,000 – 9,999 ——– 2 written/fax quotations
$10,000 – 34,999 —— 3 written/fax quotations or written request for proposals
$35,000 and up ——– Public Bid
A good faith effort shall be made to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations. If the Library is unable to obtain the required number of proposals or quotations, the Library will document the attempt made to obtain proposals. In no event shall the inability to obtain proposals be a bar to the procurement.
5. Documentation for Non-Bid Procurements
- Verbal Quotations: The record should include at a minimum the date of the quotation, item or work desired, price quoted, name of vendor, and name of vendor’s representative.
- Written Quotations: Vendors should provide at minimum the date of the quotation, description of items or details of work to be provided, price quotation, and name of contact. Quotations transmitted by telefacsimile are acceptable provided such transmissions include the aforementioned information.
- Requests For Proposals: The Library shall award contracts for professional services only after an appropriate number of professionals are contacted directly asking for the submission of written proposals. Requests for proposals and evaluations of proposals can consider price and other factors such as experience, staffing, and suitability for needs and may include negotiations on a fair and equal basis.
6. Awards on Bids and Non-Bid Procurements to Other than Lowest Dollar Offerer
- Whenever any award is made to other than the lowest dollar offerer, the reasons such an award is made should be documented as follows:
- memorandum to the file that details the manner in which the award comports with the statutory criteria permitting awards to other than the lowest dollar offerer.
- Record of vendors contacted and price quotations received.
- Any purchase of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($5,000) or more of commodities awarded to other than the lowest dollar offerer shall be made on the basis of “best value” or “lowest responsible bid” with the prior approval of the Board of Trustees.
7. Items Excepted From Policies and Procedures by Board of Trustees
Pursuant to General Municipal Law Section 104-b(2)(f), the procurement policy may contain circumstances when, or types of procurements for which, in the sole discretion of the governing body, the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interest of the municipality. In the following circumstance it may not be in the best interest of North Shore Public Library District to solicit quotations or document the basis for not accepting the lowest bid:
- Professional services or services requiring special or technical skill, training, or expertise. The individual or company shall be chosen based on accountability, continuity, reliability, responsibility, skill, education and training, judgement, integrity, and moral worth. These qualifications are not necessarily found in the individual or company that offers the lowest price and the nature of these services are such that they do not readily lend themselves to competitive procurement procedures.
- In determining whether a service fits into this category, the North Shore Public Library District shall take into consideration the following guidelines; (a) whether the services are subject to State licensing of testing requirements; (b) whether substantial formal education or training is a necessary prerequisite to the performance of the services; and (c) whether the services require a personal relationship between the individual and Library officials. Professional or technical services shall include but not be limited to the following: services of an attorney; services of a physician; technical services of an engineer or architect engaged to prepare plans, maps, and estimates; securing insurance coverage and/or services of an insurance broker; services of a certified public accountant; investment management services; printing services involving extensive writing, editing, or art work; management of municipally owned property; and computer software or programming services for customized programs, or services involved in substantial modifications and customizing of pre-packaged software.
- Emergency purchases pursuant to Section 103(4) of the General Municipal Law. Due to the nature of this exception, these goods or services may be purchased immediately as a delay (in order to seek alternate proposals) may threaten the life, health, safety, or welfare of patrons and/or staff or the integrity of the physical plant. This section does not preclude alternate proposals if time permits.
- Goods or services under $1,500. The time and documentation required to purchase may be more costly than the item itself and it would therefore not be in the best interest of the taxpayer.
8. Input from Officers
Comments concerning their regulations and procedures and any modifications thereof shall be solicited from staff of the Library involved in the procurement process prior to the enactment of the regulations and procedures, and will be solicited from time to time hereafter.
9. Annual Review
The Board of Trustees shall annually review these policies and regulations. The Library Director shall be responsible for conducting an annual review of the Procurement Policy and for an evaluation of the internal control structure established to ensure compliance with the Policy.
10. Unintentional Failure to Comply
The unintentional failure to comply with the provisions of New York General Municipal Law, Section 104-b shall not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the North Shore Public Library District or any officer or employee thereof.