Purchasing and Bidding
Public libraries, as governmental entities, are required to bid any expense over $20,000, excluding professional services, or to purchase from vendors on the “State Price Contract” list.
Spending public money does not stop with such simplicity, however. The Model Procurement Code (MPC) is an avenue open to libraries but it is not mandatory. It must be adopted by the board as its official way to purchase, and until officially rescinded, remains the procedure by which a given board must continue to operate. It is found in KRS 45A.345 – 45A.460 and it spells out in great detail how a government agency may and may not spend funds. The MPC also covers selling surplus property under KRS 45A.425.
In order to gain the benefits of the MPC the library must adopt the code verbatim, as outlined in KRS 45A.343, not create a new policy based on the MPC. A simple motion such as “The ________ County Public Library adopts the provisions of the Kentucky Model Procurement Code, sections KRS 45A.345 – 45A.460, effective January 30, 20__” should be sufficient.
If you adopt a Procurement Policy which is only based upon the plan, you lose most benefits of the adoption. If you adopt the Code verbatim, no other statutes governing purchasing shall apply to the library, but this is not the case if the Code is not adopted as it appears in statute. Further, if the Code is not adopted verbatim the library would have to defend their work as if it were an original effort if the policy is challenged, losing most of the legal protection of adopting the code.
If your library has not adopted the MPC, there is a statute relating to purchasing by local districts – KRS 424.260 which requires all library districts making a contract, lease, or other agreement for the purchase of materials, supplies, equipment, or contractual services for an amount exceeding $20,000 to first advertise for bids pursuant to KRS 424.130.
Adopting the Code:
- Allows flexibility in making purchasing decisions
- Consolidates buying power of state/local governments
- Increases public confidence
- Provides alternative methods of source selection
- Minimizes political influences
- Provides direction and policy
- Gives the library director full and final authority to make procurement decisions
- Allows for an audit trail of purchases
- Keeps all procurement matters documented at a centralized location.
Revised March 30, 2016
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