Article V. Purchasing Contracting and Bidding

Section 2-16. Procurement Policy


(A)  General Procurement Provisions:  Except as otherwise provided in this Section, the following provisions shall apply to all contracts for the procurement of supplies, materials, equipment, construction of public improvements, or contractual services entered into by the Town after the effective date of this Section.  A contract may not be subdivided to avoid the requirements of this Section. 

(i)  Under $5,000.  Expenditures, including petty cash, involving less than $5,000 shall be made by either the Mayor, Town Manager, Town Finance Officer, or the Town’s various department heads, provided that the procurement is for a budgeted item.

(ii)  Between $5,000 and $50,000.  Expenditures involving $5,000 or more, but less than $50,000 shall be made by either the Mayor, Town Manager or Town Finance Officer provided that the procurement is for a budgeted item.  To the extent practical, the Town shall receive a quotation from at least three sources. 

(iii)  $50,000 and above.  Expenditure involving $50,000 and above shall be advertised for sealed bids for written contracts pursuant to the provisions set forth below.

(B) Public Bidding Requirements:  All expenditures that are required to be advertised for sealed bids for written contracts shall be subject to the following provisions:

(i)  The Town shall advertise for bids in a forum and in a form approved by the Town Manager.

(ii)  The bids shall be opened in public.

(iii)  The Town shall award the bid to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder.  In determining the lowest responsible and responsive bidder, in addition to considering price, the Town Council shall consider:

(a) The ability, capacity, and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required;

(b) The sufficiency of the financial resources and ability of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the services. 

(c)  Whether the bidder can perform the contract or provide the service promptly, or within the time specified, without delay or interference;

(d) The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience, and efficiency of the bidder;

(e)  The quality of performance of previous contracts or services of the bidder;

(f)  The previous and current compliance by the bidder with laws and ordinances relating to the contract or service;

(g)  Whether the bidder is in arrears to the Town on any debt or contract, is in default on any surety to the Town, or is delinquent as to any taxes or assessments; and

(h) Any other information that may have a bearing on the decision to award the contract.

(iv)  The Town may re-advertise for new bids.

(v)  The Town may accept and reject any and all bids or part thereof and may waive technical defects or irregularities.

(vi)  The Town may accept the bid which represents the best value to the Town and acceptance of which is in the best interest of the Town. 

(vii)  The Town may require successful bidders to furnish security conditioned upon the faithful performance of their contract and conditioned upon the payment of the wages and compensation of all laborers employed on work for which a contract is made by the contractor, or subcontractor.

(C)  Exceptions to Requirement for Public Bidding:  The Town shall not be required to use competitive bidding in the following instances, regardless of the amount in question: 

(i)  The occurrence of an actual emergency, which is hereby defined to mean a situation which has suddenly and unexpectedly arisen and which requires immediate action in the public interest;

(ii)  Contracts for professional services or for personal services requiring special training and skill;

(iii)  Contracts for insurance or for public utility services;

(iv)  Contracts in which the Town receives a contract price negotiated by the State, County, or other governmental entity pursuant to a valid contract;

(v)  Contracts for the purchase of special machinery and equipment, and maintenance and replacement parts therefor, or other special materials and supplies having an exclusive source of supply, provided that in each instance, the purchase is for a budgeted item and that it is subject to the approval authority for the various amounts set forth in paragraph (A);

(vi)  Contracts where competition is precluded because of the existence of patent rights, copyrights, secret processes, control of basic raw materials, or similar circumstances. 

(vii)  Contracts for the purchase, exchange, leasing, or acquisition of any interest in real property by the Town, and contracts for the sale, exchange, leasing or other disposition of any interest in real property owned by the Town, provided that the Town complies with any applicable law and procedure for those actions; and

(viii)  In any instance where the Town in its discretion decides to use its own forces for the construction or reconstruction of public improvements. 

(D)  The provisions in this Section do not apply to purchases and sales made by the Easton Utilities Commission.

(E)  For the procurement of all materials and services pursuant to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Programs, when bids are solicited, the town shall incorporate into such solicitation a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the material, product, or service to be procured.  Such description shall not contain features which unduly restrict competition.  The description may include a statement of the qualitative nature of the material, product or service to be procured and when necessary, shall set forth those minimum essential characteristics and standards to which the material to be procured must conform if it is to satisfy its intended use.  Detailed product specifications shall not be used if at all possible.  When it is impractical or uneconomical to make a clear and accurate description the technical requirements, a “brand name or equal” description may be used as a means to define the performance or other essential requirements of the material, product or service to be procured.  The specific features of any named brand which must be met by the material, product or service to be procured shall be clearly stated and any solicitation for bod.  The town, in making a solicitation for bid, shall clearly set forth all requirements an offer must fulfill and all factors to be used in evaluation bids and proposals.  

(Ordinance 100 effective 5/10/1981, historical reference 519 aka E-34 326, Ordinance 729 effective 1/28/2019)