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Purchasing

We are good stewards of public dollars.

All City procurement documentation (receipts, invoices, credit card statements, etc.) is public record and is subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.

As City employees, we are entrusted--and held accountable--to spend public dollars wisely. With every purchase, consider the following:

  • Is there a good explanation as to why the expenditure is appropriate? Has it been documented?
  • Could the amount spent be comfortably defended under public scrutiny?
    • Would you be free from worry if the expense was selected for audit?
    • If the expense was on the front page of the newspaper, would you feel comfortable explaining it to a taxpayer?

Making our Tax Payer Dollars go far

All goods and services should be competitively procured. Additionally, we should periodically test our internally provided services to ensure we are providing services in the most cost-efficient manner.


Local Preference

When the cost is equal, preference should be given to San Rafael businesses (SRMC 2.55.190).


 

Award Authority - Goods and Services

The thresholds outlined in the table below are for purchases of goods and services: any and all work performed or services rendered by independent contractors, with or without the furnishing of material, excluding contracts for public works projects or professional services; and any and all articles or things which shall be furnished to or used by any department of the City.

 

Amount
SRMC 2.55.080
Award Authority

Requirements
SRMC 2.55.070(a)

<$10,000 Department Director Informal Bidding Procedures
$10,000 - $75,000 City Manager Informal Bidding Procedures
>$75,000 City Council Formal Bidding Procedures

 

Goods and services purchased for a public works project may be exempt from these requirements. See the Public Works Projects requirements referenced below (SRMC 11.50.020 (h)(6)).

Emergency purchases and contracts for supplies, materials, equipment and services may be made free of the bidding requirements when determined by the City that an emergency exists.


 

Award Authority - Professional Services

The thresholds outlined in the table below are for the procurement of professional services: services such as, but not limited to, the services of attorneys, physicians, architects, engineers, surveyors and other consultants or individuals or organizations possessing a high degree of technical skill.

Professional Services includes support systems: work performed or services rendered by independent contractors, with or without the furnishing of material, such as custodial services, building and equipment maintenance, machinery and equipment rental, and telephone, gas, water, electric light and power services (SRMC 11.50.020 (j), 11.50.030 – “support services”).

 

Dollar Amount
Award Authority

Competitive Bidding Requirements

<$10,000 Department Director None; Competitive Bidding Recommended
$10,000 - $75,000 City Manager None; Competitive Bidding Recommended
>$75,000 City Council None; Competitive Bidding Recommended

 

Goods and services purchased for a public works project may be exempt from these requirements. See the Public Works Projects requirements referenced below (SRMC 11.50.020 (h)(6)).

Emergency purchases and contracts for supplies, materials, equipment and services may be made free of the bidding requirements when determined by the City that an emergency exists.


 

Award Authority - Public Works Projects

The purchasing/procurement procedures for public works projects differ substantially from purchasing/procurement procedures for non-public works projects.

What's a public works project?

  1. The construction, improvement, alteration, modification and repair of public buildings, works and facilities
  2. Work in or about streams, bays, waterfronts, embankments or other works for protection against overflow
  3. Construction of streets and related improvements including installation of lighting and signaling systems
  4. Construction of drainage systems
  5. Construction of parks, playgrounds and other recreational improvements, scenic improvements, and enhancement projects
  6. Furnishing materials and supplies for any such project
  7. Maintenance and repair of public works
  8. Other similar work

 

Dollar Amount Award Authority Requirements
SRMC 11.50.090(a)
<$30,000 DPW Director Competitive bidding preferred, not required
$30,000 - $175,000 DPW Director Competitive bidding procedures
>$175,000 City Council Formal bidding procedures

 

 

 

 

 

The City Council may waive bidding in the following circumstances:

  • There is an emergency: a sudden, unexpected occurrence that poses a clear and imminent danger, requiring immediate action to prevent or mitigate the loss or impairment of life, health, property, or essential public services (SRMC 11.50.090)
  • Limitations on the source or the scope and nature of the contract are such that no more than one contractor is available to meet the technical specifications and/or quality considerations of the project
  • The work is of a highly specialized nature
  • There would be no competitive advantage to requiring bidding for the contract
  • The cost of the work would be significantly increased or its completion significantly delayed
  • There exist other specific considerations justifying the waiver of the bidding requirements

In order for the City Council to waive bidding requirements, the purchase must still be presented at a City Council meeting, describing in detail why the competitive bidding waiver is requested.


 

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