The Union Recorder

May 8, 2013

County reviews new purchasing policy

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The county's purchasing policies are so old they were typed on a typewriter, according to hired policy consultant Paul Glick's synopsis to the Baldwin County Commissioners during Tuesday's work session. 

With the help of committee including commissioners, local business advocates and the county finance department, Glick developed a procurement policies and procedures handbook. The new handbook helps reach goals of increased competition and spells out actions already practiced.

“We are doing a lot of the stuff that's in the new policies, but it's not documented,” Glick said. “What we are doing is documenting it to be consistent. I think that will be good for the county.”

The commission discussed an additional local vendor preference featured in the extensive manual.

Though not originally a fan, Glick said current economic landscapes favor a local lean.

“If we can buy locally the way this policy is designed, it won't cost you anymore,” Glick said.

The way the local bidder preference portion reads all county purchases with an estimated cost at $100,000 or lower fall under the policy. If the local bidder's price is within a certain percentage ranging from three to seven percent depending on estimated total cost, the local bidder has five working days to match the out of town price.

All things considered equal, the local business gets the nod per the new handbook.

This policy defines a county bidder as one with either a Baldwin County or City of Milledgeville business license or a physical address within county lines for at least one year prior to the procurement award.

Commissioner Sammy Hall, District 3, wanted that statement clarified adequately identifying the local bidder.

“A physical business location does not mean you have a license,” Hall said Tuesday.

Finance director Dawn Hudson said purchasing policy committee members brought up that there are businesses with main locations in other counties doing business here for years.

“When we make a purchase, we do make sure they have a business license,” Hudson said. “As far as saying a business license and a physical location, that may eliminate some of your local bidders.”

Commissioner Henry Craig, District 4, urged the board to rectify this important buy local policy.

County attorney David McRee suggested adding the sentence “all bidders must have a valid state, city or county business license.”

The commissioners agreed on the adjustment. County legal council will review and make any changes to the overall purchasing handbook setting up a vote for adoption in the May 21 regular meeting.

• County becomes fiscal agent

Janie Reid, a Putnam County Commissioner and the Chairperson of the Middle Georgia Consortium, asked the county to become the fiscal agent for the Middle Georgia Workforce Investment Board. 

The consortium has provided job-training services for 10 Middle Georgia counties for the last 34 years. For continued service, Reid said recent Georgia legislation requires the consortium's fiscal agent to be a city or county government.

“We actually serve as the fiscal agent for other groups such as the Ocmulgee Drug Task Force and the Drug Court. Our involvement is to oversee all the laws are being followed as far as the grant funds being received,” Hudson said.

The board accepted the fiscal agent role.

• Solicitor General request granted

Solicitor general Maxine Blackwell requested the commission upgrade Office of Solicitor General secretary Julia Shropshire's status to full-time employee based on her increased workload and vital role in operations. The secretary has worked and been paid for about 40 hours a week over the last four years.

Blackwell said the Victim's Services fund would pay Shropshire's salary and benefits through the end of the year.

“There would be no cash outlay from the county for the rest of the year,” Blackwell said.

The Solicitor's office handles ever-increasing misdemeanor offenses and traffic violations. They can't afford to lose an employee, according to Blackwell.

The board passed the personnel request.

• Landfill has some private interest

County manager Ralph McMullen said the advertisement for the county landfill went over well with over a dozen solid waste and landfill operators at last week's Association County Commissioner's of Georgia conference. 

“We talked to just about all the vendors down there, and we have generated some interest,” McMullen said.

Two vendors have already requested and received bidding packages, according to the county manager.

“It would be wonderful to get at least four bids on this,” he said.

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