Chapter 3.24
PROCEDURES FOR PAYMENT OF
CLAIMS AND PURCHASES

Sections:

Article I. General Provisions

3.24.010    Applicability of provisions.

3.24.020    Purpose of provisions.

3.24.030    Purchasing authority designated—Powers and duties.

3.24.040    Purchasing manual.

3.24.050    Purchase documents.

3.24.060    Bidding procedures—Use of not required when.

3.24.070    Authority to hire consultants.

3.24.075    Environmentally preferred purchases.

Article II. Open Market Purchase Procedure

3.24.080    Purchase authorization.

3.24.090    Quotations—Notice of invitation.

3.24.100    Quotations—Submission in writing—Recordkeeping.

3.24.110    Quotations—Number required.

3.24.120    Quotations—Rejection.

3.24.130    Award of purchase orders.

Article III. Formal Contract Procedure

3.24.140    Requirements for purchase.

3.24.145    Job order contracting.

3.24.150    Bids—Notice of invitation and submission.

3.24.160    Bids—Security requirement.

3.24.170    Bids—Opening and retention.

3.24.180    Bids—Rejection.

3.24.185    Bids—None received.

3.24.187    Bids for construction projects—In excess of limit.

3.24.190    Contract award.

3.24.200    Requiring bond of successful bidder.

3.24.210    Determination of lowest responsible bidder.

Article IV. Payment Procedure

3.24.220    Payment requirements.

3.24.230    Warrant preparation—Accounting documents required.

3.24.240    Payment date.

3.24.250    Warrants—Finance director to sign—Payment.

3.24.260    Disbursement record inspection.

Article I. General Provisions

3.24.010 Applicability of provisions.

All expenditures by the city for supplies, services, equipment and public works projects not controlled by the Charter shall be made only in accordance with and pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2950.1)

3.24.020 Purpose of provisions.

A purchasing control system for the city is adopted in order:

A. To secure those items set out in Section 3.24.010 at the lowest possible cost commensurate with quality requirements;

B. To ensure effective financial control over expenditures;

C. To clearly define authority and accountability for the purchasing function;

D. To minimize the written documentation, administrative actions and expense of processing purchase transactions;

E. To assure the quality of purchases made on behalf of the city; and

F. To facilitate accurate forecasting and planning of department needs and expenditures. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2950.2)

3.24.030 Purchasing authority designated—Powers and duties.

The city administrative officer, or his designated representative(s), shall be the purchasing authority whose functions shall include the following powers and duties:

A. To develop and prescribe, for the departments, such administrative policies, forms and files as may be reasonably necessary for the internal management and operation of these purchasing procedures;

B. To purchase or contract for those items listed in Section 3.24.010 and required by departments in accordance with these purchasing procedures;

C. To negotiate and recommend execution of contracts for purchase of those items listed in Section 3.24.010;

D. To procure the needed quality in supplies, services, equipment and public works projects not controlled by the Charter, at minimum expense;

E. To ensure as full and open competition as possible on all purchases;

F. To consolidate department orders for like items, ensuring quantity discount pricing whenever possible;

G. To develop and maintain department awareness of purchasing and pricing principles, marketing conditions and new products;

H. To inspect supplies and equipment delivered, as well as contractual services performed, to determine their conformance with the specifications set forth in the orders and contracts; and, in this connection, to have the authority to require chemical, physical or other tests of samples submitted with quotations or bids, or of delivery samplings, which may be necessary to determine quality and conformance with specifications;

I. To establish procedures for, and assign duties to, personnel engaged in receiving, storing and issuing purchased supplies, thereby ensuring that supply levels are consistent with usage requirements;

J. To facilitate the transfer of surplus or unused supplies and equipment among departments as needed; and

K. Subject to Charter Section 906, to sell or exchange surplus supplies and equipment; provided, that the same cannot reasonably be used by any department. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2950.3)

3.24.040 Purchasing manual.

Pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the city administrative officer shall approve and implement a manual of purchasing policies and procedures and shall make such manual available to the council for inspection. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2950.4)

3.24.050 Purchase documents.

All departments shall expend money for those items set forth in Section 3.24.010 only in such manner, at such times and by submission of such purchase documents as the purchasing authority shall prescribe. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2950.5)

3.24.060 Bidding procedures—Use of not required when.

Purchase of those items listed in Section 3.24.010 shall be by bid procedures set forth in this chapter. Such procedures may be dispensed with, at the discretion and judgment of the purchasing authority as to the best interests of the city, as follows:

A. When the amount to be expended is less than the bid requirement amount which shall be specified by resolution of the council;

B. When an emergency purchase is made to address a situation that creates an immediate and serious need for equipment, supplies, or services that cannot be met through normal purchasing procedures and where the lack of such equipment, supplies or services would seriously threaten the functioning of city government, the preservation of property, or the health or safety of any person;

C. When the item(s) to be purchased can be obtained from only one vendor or supplier;

D. When supplies or equipment have been uniformly adopted in the city or otherwise standardized;

E. When the purchase will be made cooperatively with one, or more, other units of government, or from a local dealer within the city limits that can provide the same brand, model and configuration of item(s) identified in cooperative purchase agreement(s) at or below the cooperative purchasing net cost within the same terms and conditions;

F. When reasonably necessary for the preservation or protection of public peace, health, safety or welfare of persons or property; or

G. When, given the indeterminate nature of the city’s need, a request for proposal will result in a more favorable and efficient comparison of supplies, equipment and/or services. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 1608 § 1, 2014; Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2950.6)

3.24.070 Authority to hire consultants.

The restrictions and provisions of this chapter shall not apply to contracts involving the acquisition of professional or specialized services such as, but not limited to, those rendered by architects, attorneys, engineers and other specialized consultants. Selection for such services will be made using one of the following criteria:

A. An evaluation of proposals solicited from capable professionals, and approved by the purchasing authority, whenever the cost of the work to be performed is of an estimated value less than the council specified amount if, in the discretion of the purchasing authority, selection based upon the evaluation of proposals would better serve the interest of the city.

B. An evaluation of proposals solicited from capable professionals, and approved by the council, whenever the cost of the work to be performed is of an estimated value in excess of the amount specified by council resolution.

C. Selection from an approved list of on-call consultants that is established by a formal request for qualifications (RFQ) process. The council shall approve the RFQ, and the purchasing authority is authorized to execute agreements with selected consultants. The finance director is authorized to execute and amend purchase orders for individual consultant services contracts in an amount not to exceed the authorized project budget. On-call consultant lists shall be renewed at least every five years by a new RFQ process. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2950.7)

3.24.075 Environmentally preferred purchases.

A. It is the intent of the city council that the city of San Luis Obispo take a leadership role not only in recycling its waste products but also in the purchase of recycled products for use in the delivery of city services. It is the purpose of this section to provide direction to the city administrative officer in the procurement and use of recycled products. For the purpose of this section, “recycled materials” are defined as any materials (e.g., glass, paper, plastic, etc.) that are separated by type, reprocessed by industrial methods, and used as raw materials for the manufacture of new products.

B. It is the policy of the city of San Luis Obispo to purchase and use recycled products whenever possible to the extent that such use does not negatively impact health, safety, or operational efficiency.

C. It is the policy of the city of San Luis Obispo to encourage the purchase of products which can be recycled or reused.

D. The city will purchase and use recycled paper for masthead stationery, envelopes and printing purposes. In addition, recycled paper shall be purchased and used in all copy machines which will accept it. City staff will encourage the copier industry to develop high-speed copiers which will accept recycled paper.

E. City departments shall examine their purchasing specifications and, where feasible, purchase equipment, supplies, and services that result in less harm to the natural environment. This involves the purchase of equipment, supplies, and services in a manner that uses less harmful materials, employs recycled or recovered materials (where appropriate and available), and utilizes techniques intended to result in less impact on the environment than other available methods.

F. A ten percent preference, not to exceed one thousand dollars per contract, may be given to recycled products. The fitness and quality of the recycled product must be at least equal to unrecycled products as determined by the city. The preference percentage shall be based on the lowest bid or price quoted by the supplier or suppliers offering nonrecycled products.

G. Price preferences may be offered in excess of the ten percent ceiling established in this section, if it can be shown that purchase of a recycled product or material will result in greater long-term savings to the city. Award of a bid in excess of the ceiling, however, requires the approval of the city administrative officer or city council as established in the city’s purchasing manual. (Ord. 1618 § 1 (Exh. A (part)), 2015: Ord. 1178 § 1, 1990)

Ord. No. 1178 added § 3.24.080, which the editor has renumbered § 3.24.075 since the chapter already contained a § 3.24.080.

Article II. Open Market Purchase Procedure

3.24.080 Purchase authorization.

Purchases of supplies, equipment and contractual services, except those controlled by the Charter, having an estimated value less than that specified by council resolution for bid, may be made by the purchasing authority in the open market without observing the formal contract procedures set out in Article III of this chapter. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2951.1)

3.24.090 Quotations—Notice of invitation.

The purchasing authority shall invite, either by verbal or written request, quotations from prospective sellers, vendors, suppliers or contractors. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2951.2)

3.24.100 Quotations—Submission in writing—Recordkeeping.

Written quotations shall be submitted to the purchasing authority, who shall keep a record of open market quotations and orders for a period of ninety days after the receipt of such quotations. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2951.3)

3.24.110 Quotations—Number required.

Open market purchases shall be based, whenever reasonably possible, on at least three quotations. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2951.4)

3.24.120 Quotations—Rejection.

The purchasing authority may reject:

A. Any quotations which fail to meet the specific purchase requirements in any respect; or

B. All quotations, for any reason whatsoever, and may invite new quotations. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2951.5)

3.24.130 Award of purchase orders.

Purchase orders shall be awarded by the purchasing authority to the person submitting the lowest responsible quotation, except as follows:

A. If two or more quotations are received for the same total amount or unit price, quality and service being equal, and if, at the discretion of the purchasing authority, the public interest will not permit the delay of inviting new quotations, then the purchasing authority may accept the lower quotation obtained through negotiation with the persons submitting the tie quotations;

B. Sellers, vendors, suppliers and contractors who maintain places of business located within the limit of the city shall be given preference if quality, price, service and all other relevant factors are equal; or

C. If no quotations are received, the purchasing authority may make the required purchase without further notice. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2951.6)

Article III. Formal Contract Procedure

3.24.140 Requirements for purchase.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, purchases and contracts for supplies, services, equipment and construction projects, which are equal to or in excess of the bid requirement amount specified by council resolution, shall be by written contract with the lowest responsible bidder pursuant to the procedures prescribed in this article. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.1)

3.24.145 Job order contracting.

As provided in Section 901(E) of the Charter, the city may perform maintenance-related construction projects for repair, remodeling or other repetitive work under a unit-price contract for all necessary labor, materials and equipment, subject to the following conditions:

A. Such contracts are secured on a competitive basis in accordance with the procedures set forth in this article;

B. No new construction will be performed under such contracts;

C. The specifications for such contracts provide for unit-price terms for all work that will typically be performed under individual task orders;

D. The specifications for such contracts establish any limits on the amount of individual task orders to be issued under the contract; or on any minimum or maximum cumulative amounts of task orders to be issued under the contract;

E. The council will specify limits on the authority to approve individual task orders by resolution. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003)

3.24.150 Bids—Notice of invitation and submission.

A. Notices inviting bids shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1. A general description of the item(s) or service(s) to be purchased, or the public work to be constructed or improved;

2. The location where bid blanks and specifications may be secured;

3. The time and place assigned for the opening of sealed bids;

4. The type and character of bidder’s security required, if any; and

5. The location and deadline for submission of bids.

B. Notices inviting bids shall be made as follows:

1. For supplies, services and equipment, notices inviting bids shall be published at least once in the official newspaper of the city, with the first publication occurring at least ten calendar days before the date of opening the bids.

2. For construction projects below an amount specified by council resolution, notices inviting bids shall be mailed to a list of qualified contractors, identified according to categories of work, at least ten calendar days before the bids are due. The city engineer is responsible for developing and maintaining this list based on the criteria determined by the California Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Commission (hereinafter referred to as Commission in this chapter). Notices shall also be mailed within ten calendar days before the bids are due to all construction trade journals as required by the Commission. If the city does not have a list of qualified contractors for the particular type of work to be performed, notices inviting bids will only be sent to the construction trade journals as required by the Commission. If the product or service is proprietary in nature and can only be obtained from a certain contractor or contractors, notices inviting bids will only be mailed to such contractor or contractors.

3. For construction projects above an amount specified by council resolution, notices inviting bids distinctly describing the project be published at least once in the official newspaper of the city, with the first publication occurring at least fourteen calendar days before the date of opening the bids. Notices inviting bids distinctly describing the project shall also be mailed at least thirty calendar days before the date of opening bids to all construction trade journals as required by the Commission.

4. The city may also give such other notice as it deems appropriate.

C. Sealed bids shall be identified as bids on the envelopes and shall be submitted to the purchasing authority. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 1291 § 1, 1996; Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.2)

3.24.160 Bids—Security requirement.

Bidder’s security may be required when deemed necessary by the purchasing authority. Bidders shall be entitled to return of bid security. However, a successful bidder shall forfeit his or her bid security upon refusal or failure to execute a contract within fifteen days after notice of award of that contract, unless the city is responsible for the delay. The contract may be awarded to the next lowest responsible bidder upon the refusal or failure of the successful bidder to execute the contract within the time herein prescribed. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.3)

3.24.170 Bids—Opening and retention.

Sealed bids shall be opened in public at the time and place stated in the notice inviting bids. A tabulation of all bids received shall be made available for public inspection until the award of a contract. All bids shall be retained on file for a period of not less than two years. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.4)

3.24.180 Bids—Rejection.

The purchasing authority may reject:

A. Any bid that fails to meet the bidding requirements in any respect; or

B. All bids, for any reason whatsoever, and may readvertise for new bids or abandon the purchase;

C.  In the case of construction projects, the council may, by passage of a resolution by a four-fifths vote, declare that the project can be performed more economically by employees of the city and may have the project done by force account. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.5)

3.24.185 Bids—None received.

If no bids are received, the purchase may be made through negotiated contract or other process approved by the purchasing authority, including, in the case of construction projects, performing the work by employees of the city by force account. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003)

3.24.187 Bids for construction projects—In excess of limit.

In the event that all bids received for a construction project are more than the maximum allowed under Section 22034(f) of Public Contract Code, and bids were invited pursuant to the provisions of Section 3.24.150(B)(2), the council may, by adoption of a resolution by four-fifths vote, award the contract, in an amount not to exceed the maximum set forth in Section 22034(f) of Public Contract Code, to the lowest responsible bidder, if it determines that the cost estimate was reasonable. Otherwise, the bids shall be rejected, and if the agency decides to go forward with the project, shall be re-bid in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 3.24.150(B)(3). (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003)

3.24.190 Contract award.

Subject to the prior approval of the city administrative officer, contracts shall be awarded by the purchasing authority to the lowest responsible bidder, except as follows:

A. If, at the time of bid opening, two or more bids received are for the same total amount or unit price, quality and service being equal, and if in the discretion of the purchasing authority the public interest will not permit the delay of readvertising for bids, then the purchasing authority may accept the one she or he or she chooses or the lowest bid obtained through subsequent negotiation with the tie bidders.

B. Sellers, vendors, suppliers and contractors who maintain places of business located within the limit of the city shall be given preference if quality, price, service and all other factors are equal. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.6)

3.24.200 Requiring bond of successful bidder.

The purchasing authority may require as a condition to executing a contract on behalf of the city, a performance bond or a labor and material bond, or both, in such amounts as the purchasing authority shall determine appropriate to protect the best interests of the city. The form and amounts of such bond(s) shall be described in the notice inviting bids. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.7)

3.24.210 Determination of lowest responsible bidder.

In addition to the bid or quotation price, criteria for determining the lowest responsible bid or quotation, for the purposes of the Charter and this chapter, shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

A. The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience and efficiency of the bidder (this may include an analysis of previous work performed for the city);

B. The ability of the bidder to perform the contract, or provide the supplies, equipment or services required, within the time specified, without delay or interference;

C. The ability of the bidder to provide future maintenance, repair parts and replacement of purchased equipment or supplies;

D. Compliance by the bidder with federal acts, executive orders and state statutes governing nondiscrimination in employment; and

E. The results of any evaluation relating performance and price, such as testing, life-cycle costing, and analysis of service, maintenance and technical data. (Ord. 1435 § 1 (part), 2003: Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2952.8)

Article IV. Payment Procedure

3.24.220 Payment requirements.

All purchases not otherwise provided for in the Charter shall be made by requisition, or other prescribed document, signed by the purchasing authority and paid by warrant signed by the finance director. Payment will only be made upon the satisfaction of the finance director that:

A. Sufficient moneys have been appropriated for the purchase;

B. The expenditure is in accordance with budget authority; and

C. The proposed expenditure is legal. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2953.1)

3.24.230 Warrant preparation—Accounting documents required.

The finance department shall prepare a warrant after receiving properly completed accounting documents as prescribed by the finance director and the purchasing authority. Such accounting documents include, but are not limited to, purchase authorizations, purchase orders, receiving reports and vendor invoices. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2953.2)

3.24.240 Payment date.

The finance director shall determine and assign the dates of warrant preparation, the frequency of which shall be no less than twice each month. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2953.3)

3.24.250 Warrants—Finance director to sign—Payment.

The finance director shall sign each warrant, which shall be honored if there is sufficient money in the city’s account. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2953.4)

3.24.260 Disbursement record inspection.

Following each disbursement a copy of the warrant register, including all warrant numbers and dollar amounts, will be made available for inspection by the council and the city administrative officer. (Ord. 954 § 2 (part), 1983: prior code § 2953.5)