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Procurement Policy
Approved by the Kingston Library Board on September 15, 2011

This resolution sets forth the policy and procedures of the Kingston Library District to meet requirements of General Municipal Law (GML), section 104-b.

  1. Purpose

    Goods and services that are not required by law to be procured pursuant to competitive bidding must be procured in a manner as to assure the prudent and economical use of public moneys in the best interest 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 governing board is adopting an internal policy and procedures governing all procurements of goods and services which are not required to be made pursuant to the competitive bidding requirements of General Municipal Law, section 103 or of any other general, special, or local law. To honor our commitment to our Climate Smart Pledge, Kingston Library will consider purchasing and using environmentally friendly or "green" products when we are able to do so in a fiscally responsible manner.

  2. Procedures for Determining Whether Procurements are Subject to Bidding

    The procedures for determining whether a procurement of goods or services is subject to competitive bidding and documenting the basis for any determination that competitive bidding is not required by law is as follows:

    1. Procurement Exempt from Bidding Requirement

      Determine whether the purchase is exempt from bidding requirements per the exceptions discussed in the next section.

    2. Purchase Contract or Public Work

      Determine whether purchase will be considered a purchase contract or a public works contract. "In general, for purposes of the bidding thresholds, purchase contracts involve the acquisition of commodities (materials, supplies, or equipment), while contracts for public work involve services, labor, or construction... As a general rule, if a contract involves a substantial amount of services so that the acquisition of commodities is only incidental to the work, it should be considered a contract for public work for purposes of the bidding threshold."[1]

    3. Bidding Threshold Exceeded

      Evaluate whether the bidding threshold will be exceeded during the year. The thresholds per GML, section 103, are Purchase Contracts $10,000, and Public Work $20,000. "In determining the necessity for competitive bidding, the aggregate amount known or reasonably expected to be expended for like commodities or services in a calendar year (whether from a single vendor or multiple vendors) must be determined...As a general guide, items or work of the same or similar nature, which are customarily handled in the marketplace by the same groups of vendors or contractors, should be treated as a single item for purposes of determining whether dollar thresholds will be exceeded. The dollar thresholds specified in the bidding statutes may not be avoided by artificially splitting or breaking up contracts into lesser agreements, or entering into a series of agreements, for sums below the bidding thresholds."[1]

    4. Documentation

      An annual binder or file will be maintained by the Library Director documenting the evaluation of purchase vs. public work and bidding thresholds for procurement decisions.

  3. Statutory Exceptions from Quotations/Proposals Requirements of this Policy and Procedures
    1. Sources of Goods and Services

      The following statutory exceptions from bidding are available. Persons making procurement decisions should always evaluate the cost effectiveness of utilizing the following sources. These sources may or may not be the best choice for the Kingston Library District.

      1. Preferred Sources

        NYS enacted legislation to advance "special social and economic goals" giving certain vendors preferred source status. These include the Department of Correction Services' Correctional Industries Program (CORCRAFT) and certain not-for-profit agencies. NYS Office of General Services (OGS) publishes a "List of Preferred Source Offerings" on its website (www.ogs.state.ny.us).[1]

      2. State Contract

        NYS OGS awards contracts for which 'piggybacking' may authorized for local governments and others. Consult the contracts on the OGS website identified above.

      3. County Contracts

        Ulster County may allow 'piggybacking' for local governments and others. The Purchasing Agent should be contacted regarding the availability of such opportunities.

    2. Nature of Goods or Services

      All determinations that the nature of goods or services triggers one of the following exceptions from bidding shall be documented.

      1. Emergencies

        There are three criteria which need to be met for this exception from bidding to apply:[2]

        1. The situation arises out of an accident or other unforeseen occurrence or condition
        2. The circumstances affects public buildings, public property or the life, health, safety or property of the Kingston Library District's residents
        3. The situation requires immediate action which cannot await competitive bidding. While the situation requires immediate action due to an imminent threat or danger, the public interest still dictates that the lowest possible costs be pursued albeit through less formal means.
      2. Sole Source

        There may be limited situations where, in the public interest, the Kingston Library District requires particular goods or services for which there is no substantial equivalent and which are, in fact, available from only one source. In making this determination, the Library must document the unique benefits of the item compared with other items available in the marketplace, that no other item provides similar benefits, and that the cost is reasonable.

      3. Professional Services

        These services require specialized or technical skills, expertise or knowledge, the exercise of professional judgment, or a high degree or creativity.[1] The situations must be examined on a case-by-case basis since court cases provide much of the guidance in this area. Engineers, architects, land surveyors, attorneys and others have been held to be professional services by the courts.[2] Requests for proposals (RFP) should be considered for procurement of professional services as a method to foster competition in these situations where award of contracts is not required to be based on price alone.

      4. True Leases

        "Competitive bidding requirements may not be avoided by simply casting an agreement which is truly a purchase or contract for public work as a lease or rental."[2]

      5. Insurance

        These contracts do not require competitive bidding although periodically RFPs should be considered as a method to foster competition for insurances such as health, fire, liability and workers' compensation.

      6. Surplus/Second-hand Materials, Supplies, Equipment form Certain Other Governments

        Only surplus/second-hand purchases from other governmental units are exempted from the bidding requirement. See GML, section 103(6).

    Except for procurements made pursuant to GML, section 103(3) (through county contracts) or section 104 (through State contracts), State Finance Law, section 162, Correction Law, sections 184 and 186 (from "preferred sources," including articles manufactured in correctional institutions), or the items excepted herein (see above), alternative proposals or quotations for goods and services shall be secured by use of either written requests for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method of procurement that furthers the purposes of the GML, section 104-b. in accordance with the guidelines below for methods of competition.

  4. Standardization of Materials or Equipment

    From time to time, the Board of Trustees may establish standardization criteria for certain materials or equipment in the public interest. Such standardization criteria will be reevaluated at least bi-annually. An example would be computer equipment where operational maintenance and efficiency are maximized by consistency in manufacturer equipment and software. While standardization criteria may be adopted, procedures for competition in procurement still apply.

  5. Methods of Competition to be Used for Non-Bid Procurements

    The minimum procedures to be used are as follows for all non-bid procurements that are not exceptions due to the nature of the goods or services:

    Thresholds Procedure
    Up to $2,000 Discretion of Library Director
    $2,001 to $5,000 Three (3) documented verbal quotes, or State contract, County contract or preferred source
    $5,001 to $9,9999 for Purchase Contracts; $5,001 to $19,999 for Public Work Three (3) written quotes, or State contract, County contract or preferred source
  6. Adequate Documentation

    Documentation of actions taken in connection with each such method of procurement is required as follows:

    • An annual binder or file will be maintained by the Library Director documenting the evaluation of purchase vs. public work and bidding thresholds for procurement decisions.
    • Documentation of compliance with this policy or GML bidding requirements will be maintained by the Library Director or accompany the voucher and related paperwork which support payment for such goods or services. Quote documentation should include dates, description of items or services, price and name of contact. Copies of any resolutions of the Board of Trustees related to procurements should be included with the other documentation maintained.
  7. Awards to Other than the Lowest Responsible Dollar Offerer

    Whenever any contract is awarded to other than the lowest responsible dollar offerer, the reasons that such an award furthers the purpose of GML, section 104-b, as set forth herein above, shall be documented by including specific facts and details of prior history or other criteria used to determine that it was not in the public interest to award to the lowest offeror.

  8. Items Excepted from this Policy and Procedures by the Board of Trustees

    The Board of Trustees sets forth the following circumstances when, or types of procurements for which, in the sole discretion of this governing body, the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interest of the Kingston Library District.

    • Purchase of library materials (books, videos, audios, etc.)

      Consideration will be given to price, availability of titles, ease of use, promptness of service, cataloging services, and compatibility with the current integrated library system among other services.

  9. Individuals Responsible for Purchasing
    Name Title
    Margaret Menard Library Director
    Kristin Charles-Scaringi Librarian I
    Mary Lou Decker Principal Clerk
    LJ Cormier Library Assistant - Circulation Manager
    Stephanie Morgan Library Assistant - Children's Services
    John Armstrong Custodian
    Michael Terpening Custodian
  10. Insufficient Appropriations

    No individual responsible for purchasing should order any goods or services for which there are no available funds in the budget/appropriation line for such purchase. If a budget modification is deemed necessary by the Library Director to enable a purchase and it is submitted to the Board of Trustees for consideration, no order should be placed until the Board takes positive action on such on the budget modification request. The Board may decide not to take action on a requested budget modification in accordance with their authority and responsibility. Without adequate appropriations, there is no authority to make a purchase by ordering goods or services.

  11. Ethics and Conflict of Interest

    Since "procurement is a function where the private and public sectors meet to conduct business," it is critical that all employees, trustees and officers "maintain high ethical standards of conduct and avoid situations where there is even the appearance of impropriety."[1] The Kingston Library District requires notification of potential conflicts of interest of its employees, trustees and officers in procurement. Prohibited interests are avoided. In the event that a conflict or potential conflict of interest is identified, the Board of Trustees will review the situation and take action as appropriate.

  12. Input from Library Director

    Comments have been solicited from the Director of the Kingston Library District involved in the procurement process prior to the enactment of this policy and procedures, and will be solicited from time to time hereafter.

  13. Annual Review
    • The Board of Trustees shall annually review and, when needed, update this policy and procedures.
    • The Finance Committee under the advisement of the Board Treasurer shall be responsible for conducting an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of the procurement policy and procedures and an evaluation of the control procedures established to ensure compliance with the procurement policy, and shall be responsible for reporting back to the Board.
  14. Unintentional Failure to Comply

    The unintentional failure to comply fully with the provision of GML, section 104-b shall not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the Kingston Library District of any trustee/officer or employee thereof.

  15. Resolution

    Adopted on August 20, 2009 by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees of the Kingston Library District.

References

  1. Excerpts taken from "Local Government Management Guide: Seeking Competition in Procurement" RMD48_2009 published by the NYS Office of the State Comptroller Division of Local Government and School Accountability available on the NYS Comptroller's website.
  2. Excerpts taken from "Local Government Financial Management Guide" published by the NYS Office of the State Comptroller issued 10/85 revised 10/93.