BRAG Purchasing Policy 2021

Revised and Re-adopted by the BRAG Governing Board on June 24,2020

 

 BEAR RIVER ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENTS
PURCHASING POLICY

ARTICLE 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS

A. The purposes of this policy are:

  1. To ensure fair and equitable treatment of all persons or agencies that wish to, or do conduct business with the Bear River Association of Governments (BRAG) also referred to as “Association”.
  2. To provide for the greatest possible economy in BRAG procurement activities.
  3. To foster effective broad-based competition within the free enterprise system to ensure that BRAG will receive the best possible service or product at the lowest possible price.

B. Compliance – Exemptions from this policy.

  1. This policy shall not prevent BRAG from complying with the terms and conditions of any grant, gift, or bequest that is otherwise consistent with law.
  2. When procurement involves the expenditure of federal or state funds administered by BRAG, BRAG shall comply with applicable state and federal laws, regulations and policies.

C. Definitions:

  1. “Business” means any corporation, partnership, individual, sole proprietorship, joint, stock company, joint venture, or any other private legal entity.
  2. “Change order” means a written order signed by the purchasing agent, directing the contractor to suspend work or make changes, which the appropriate clauses of the contract authorize the purchasing agent to order without the consent of the contractor or any written alteration in specification, delivery point, rate of delivery, period of performance, price, quantity, or other provisions of any contract accomplished by mutual action of the parties to the contract.
  3. “Contract” means any BRAG agreement for the procurement or disposal of supplies, services or construction.
  4. “Invitation for bids” means all documents, whether attached or incorporated by reference, used for soliciting bids.
  5. “Person” means any business, agency, individual, union, committee, club, other organization, or group of individuals.
  6. “Procurement” means buying, purchasing, renting, leasing, leasing with an option to purchase or otherwise acquiring any supplies, services, or construction.
  7. “Purchasing Agent” means the person duly authorized by the governing body of the Bear River Association of Governments to enter into and administer contracts and make written determinations with respect thereto.
  8. “Purchase description” means the words used in solicitation to describe the supplies, services, or construction to be purchased, and includes specifications attached to or made a part of the solicitation.
  9. “Request for proposals” means all documents, whether attached or incorporated by reference, used for soliciting proposals.

 

ARTICLE 2
PURCHASING AGENT

A. The Executive Director of the Association shall serve as the Purchasing Agent and may delegate procurement responsibilities to other staff as appropriate.

B. The Executive Director and his/her designee shall be responsible to make procurement, solicit bids and proposals, enter into and administer contracts, and make written determinations for the Association.

 ARTICLE 3
SOURCE SELECTION AND CONTRACT FORMATION – GENERAL PROVISIONS

A. Purchases not requiring sealed bids or Requests for Proposals.

  1. Purchases costing less than or equal to $5,000 in total shall not require bids or proposals of any type (However, price quotations are encouraged). Purchases shall not be artificially divided so as to constitute a small purchase under this section.
  2. Purchases costing between $5,000.01 and $30,000 shall require a Request for Quotation (RFQ). Acceptable quotations may be provided in writing, by telephone, fax, or electronic forms. Three quotations are required, unless circumstances are such that three cannot be obtained.  BRAG may award the contract immediately on the date and time of the RFQ due date, or continue soliciting and receiving quotations for a reasonable time thereafter.  Vendors are encouraged to provide an immediate response to an RFQ since the time period is often short, and awards can be prompt.
  3. Purchases made through cooperative purchasing contracts administered by the State Division of Purchasing.
  4. Purchases made from a single–source provider.
  5. Purchases required during an emergency, i.e., an eminent threat to the public’s health, welfare, or safety. However, as much competition as practical should be obtained; and, such purchases should be limited to amounts necessary to properly mitigate the emergency.

B. Purchases requiring sealed bids or Request for Proposals (RFP).

Purchases costing more than $30,000 in total shall require either a competitive sealed bidding process, or a Request for Proposal (RFP) process.  A minimum of 3 bids or proposals are required, respectively, in accordance with sections B, C, and D below.  A competitive sealed bidding process may be used when BRAG is in need of a specific service or product in order to get the most competitive price.  An RFP process may be used when the service or product needed is more complex and may require negotiations in order to get the most beneficial service or product available.

  1. Purchases requiring sealed bids

a. An invitation for bids shall be issued when a contract is to be awarded by competitive sealed bidding. The invitation shall include a purchase description and all contractual terms and conditions applicable to the procurement. Public notice of the invitation for bids shall be given at least 14 days prior to the date set forth therein for the opening of bids. The notice may include publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

b. Bids shall be opened publicly in the presence of one or more witnesses at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. The amount of each bid and any other relevant information, together with the name of each bidder, shall be recorded. The record and each bid shall be open to public inspection.

c. Bids shall be unconditionally accepted without alteration or correction, except as authorized in this policy. Bids shall be evaluated based on the requirements set forth in the invitation for bids.

d. Correction or withdrawal of inadvertently erroneous bids before or after award, or cancellation of awards or contracts based on such bid mistakes, shall be permitted. After bid opening, no changes in bid prices or other provisions of bids prejudicial to the interest of the Association or fair competition shall be permitted. All decisions to permit the correction or withdrawal of bids or to cancel awards or contracts based on bid mistakes shall be supported by a written determination made by the Purchasing Agent.

e. The contract shall be awarded with reasonable promptness, by written notice, to the lowest bidder whose bid meets the requirements and criteria set forth in the invitation for bids.

  1. Use of competitive sealed Request for Proposal (RFP) in lieu of bids.

When the purchasing agent determines that the use of competitive sealed bidding is either not practicable or not advantageous to the Association, the contract may be entered into by competitive sealed proposals. Competitive sealed proposals are most appropriately used for professional service-type contracts.

a. Proposals shall be solicited through a Request for Proposals (RFP). Appropriate public notice of the RFP shall be given at least 14 days prior to the advertised date of the opening for proposals.

b. Proposals shall be opened so as to avoid disclosure of contents to competing offerors during the process of negotiation. A register of proposals shall be prepared and shall be open for public inspection after contract award.

c. The RFP shall state the relative importance of price and other evaluating factors.

d. Offerors shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussion and revision of proposals, and revisions may be permitted after submissions and prior to award for the purpose of obtaining best and final offers. In conducting discussions, there shall be no disclosure of any information derived from proposals submitted by competing offerors.

e. Award shall be made to the person whose proposal is determined, in writing, to be the most advantageous to the Association, taking into consideration price and the evaluation factors or criteria shall be used in the evaluation. The contract file shall contain the basis on which the award is made.

 

C. Cancellation and rejection of bids.

  1. An invitation for bids, a request for proposals, or other solicitation may be cancelled, or any or all bids or proposals may be rejected, in whole or in part, as may be specified in the solicitation, when it is in the best interest of BRAG. The reasons shall be made part of the contract file.

 

D. Architect-Engineer services.

  1. Architect-Engineer services are qualification-based procurement. Requests for such services should be publicly announced. Contracts should be negotiated by the Association based on demonstrated competence at fair and reasonable prices. See section 63-56-42 through 44 of the Utah Code.

E. Determination of nonresponsibility of bidder.

  1. Determination of nonresponsibility of a bidder or offeror shall be made in writing. The unreasonable failure of the bidder or offeror to promptly supply information in connection with an inquiry with respect to responsibility may be grounds for determination of nonresponsibility with respect to the bidder or offeror. Information furnished by a bidder or offeror pursuant to this section shall not be disclosed outside of BRAG without prior written consent of the bidder or offeror.

 

ARTICLE 4
SPECIFICATIONS

A. All specifications shall seek to promote overall economy and best use for the purposes intended and encourage competition in satisfying BRAG needs, and shall not be unduly restrictive. Where practical and reasonable, and within the scope of this article, service providers and vendors located in the Bear River Region (Box Elder, Cache and Rich Counties) shall be given preference.

ARTICLE 5
APPEALS

A. Any actual or prospective bidder, offeror or contractor who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation or award of contract may appeal to the purchasing agent. An appeal shall be submitted in writing within 5 working days after the aggrieved person knows or should have known of the facts.

B. The purchasing agency shall promptly issue a written decision regarding any appeal, if it is not settled by a mutual agreement. The decision shall state the reasons for the action taken and inform the protestor, contractor, or prospective contractor of the right to appeal to the Governing Board.

C. The BRAG Governing Board shall be the final appeal body.

ARTICLE 6
ETHICS IN PUBLIC CONTRACTING

A. No person involved in making procurement decisions may have personal investments in any business entity which will create a substantial conflict between their private interests and their public duties.

B. Any person involved in making procurement decisions is guilty of a felony if the person asks, receives or offers to receive any emolument, gratuity, contribution, loan or reward, or any promise thereof, either for the person’s own use or the use or benefit of any other person or organization from any person or organization interested in selling to BRAG.

ARTICLE 7
DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS EQUIPMENT/PROPERTY

A. Disposal of surplus equipment/property.

  1. Surplus or unneeded equipment will be disposed of in accordance with policy or regulation of the program which provided funding to purchase the equipment/property.
  2. If no clear disposal policy or regulations are available from the funding source, BRAG will dispose of the item using one or more of the following methods:
    • Using State Surplus Property disposition.
    • Public sale using sealed bids or auction.
    • Donating items with an estimated value of $50 or less to Deseret Industries or other charitable organizations.
    • Discarding items with an estimated value of $10 or less.

Estimated values will be certified by the Purchasing Officer in writing and the BRAG controller will be informed in writing of equipment/property disposal so that the item may be removed for the property inventory.

 

ARTICLE 8
REIMBURSED EXPENSES

 When it becomes necessary for staff members who use their own resources to purchase items on behalf of BRAG with the intent of being reimbursed, prior written approval from the BRAG Purchasing agent (Executive Director) is required for expenses of $500 or more.

ARTICLE 9
PURCHASE CARDS

A. The accounting office or card holder shall keep purchase cards secure and controlled with limited access.

  1. Cards issued to the entity as a whole, shall keep a log documenting which employee checked out the card and when the card was checked out.

B. Card users shall follow BRAG and state purchasing policies.

C. Receipts shall be retained for all purchases and turned into the accounting office coded and signed/authorized by the proper department head.

D. Card reconciliations will be performed monthly to ensure all receipts are present.

E. Individual expenditures made on purchase cards shall be recorded in the accounting records according to the approved BRAG chart of accounts.

F. ATM transactions, cash advances, or personal use are strictly prohibited.

G. Violation of purchase card policy, including not retaining documentation of purchases or making personal purchases, may result in card cancellation, disciplinary action, or criminal prosecution.

H. Monthly limits shall be established based on purchasing authority.

I. An internal review will be performed to periodically select purchase card statements to verify that BRAG policies and procedures are being followed, and that purchases are appropriate, documented, and coded to the proper funding sources.

J. Lost or stolen cards shall be immediately reported to the proper authority