Archive for March 13th, 2014

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Two of the most important responsiblities of an elected official are (1.) to ensure taxpayers that we procure the most economically beneficial and qualified service providers, and (2.) that procurements are free from favoritism.


I found this to be of interest today:

“The law provides that goods and services not required to be competitively bid must be procured in a manner to assure the prudent and economical use of public moneys in the best interest of the taxpayers; to facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost; and, to guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption.

Ethics and Conflicts of Interest
“Generally, local governments and school districts are required to have a code of ethics that sets forth standards of conduct reasonably expected of its officers and employees. Although a code of ethics is an entity-wide document, it may be beneficial to include standards for procurement activities in your code since procurement is a function where the public and private sectors meet to conduct business. Public procurement officials need to have a clear understanding of what business practices are permissible and what ones are not. It is also important that all local government and school district officers and employees maintain high ethical standards of conduct and avoid situations where there is even the appearance of impropriety.

Among the ways in which procurement activities may be addressed in your code of ethics are by the inclusion of provisions:
Purchasing activities are to be conducted in a manner that is in accordance with law, in the best interests of the local government or school district, avoids favoritism, wastefulness, extravagance, fraud and corruption, and fosters honest competition to obtain the greatest economic benefit for every tax dollar expended.
• Procurement officials should insist on and expect honesty in sales representation whether offered verbally or in writing, through the medium of advertising, or in the sample of a product submitted.
• Procurement officials must treat all vendors and prospective vendors fairly and equally.
• Procurement officials should discourage the offer of gifts, and decline gifts that in any way might influence or have the appearance of influencing the procurement of goods or services.”

“Seeking competition in the purchasing cycle isn’t just a matter of ensuring compliance with laws and local policy. The people who are directly responsible for making procurement decisions should help to create a cost-conscious and thrifty procurement environment, in which seeking competition becomes intuitive and “second nature” for the organization. The benefits of seeking competition, including the potential for cost savings, should motivate a culture of competition within your procurement function.”

New York State Office of the State Comptroller,
Division of Local Government and School Accountability,
LOCAL GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT GUIDE – Seeking Competition in Procurement.

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