Salina City Commission Approves Revisions to Purchasing Policy

In a decisive move during Monday's City Commission Meeting, commissioners unanimously passed Resolution 23-8171, ushering in significant updates to the purchasing policy for the City of Salina. The resolution, aimed at enhancing efficiency and transparency, also saw the repeal of Resolution 20-7900 and Ordinance 23-11188, which involved amendments to Chapter 2 of the Salina code, specifically focusing on administration by eliminating Article XII concerning Public Improvement Procedures.

The existing purchasing policy, initially adopted by the City Commission in 2020, underwent meticulous revisions recommended after an extensive review process. This process involved studying purchasing policies from other municipalities, evaluating the current purchasing procedures, accounting practices, and software capabilities.

The 2020 policy aimed to bolster public confidence in purchasing processes, secure the best value for the City, establish effective purchasing controls, and encourage widespread competition. Over the past few years, these changes have proven effective in achieving their intended goals. Staff, recognizing the policy's successful implementation, now proposes additional adjustments. Notably, discussions at the City Commission included considerations for augmenting the City Manager's purchasing authority to enhance overall efficiency.

Key Policy Changes:

  1. Section 4.0 Purchasing Thresholds:
    • Proposed increase in the purchase amount requiring a purchase order from $1,000 to $2,500, accounting for inflation and job performance efficiency.
    • Recommendation to elevate the City Manager's purchasing authority from $30,000 to $50,000, aligning with the practices of peer communities.
  2. Section 8.0 Cooperative Purchasing & State/Federal Bids:
    • Proposal to update language to accommodate modern cooperative purchasing methods, including the use of qualification-based processes alongside price considerations.
  3. Section 11.0 Routine Maintenance, Repair or Operational Cost:
    • Recommended additions to operational purposes, encompassing park items, annual street and utility maintenance projects, health and dental insurance premiums, and vehicle lease payments.
  4. Section 12.0 Project Authorization When the City Acts as the Project Manager:
    • Introduction of a new section outlining the approval process when a City employee serves as a project manager.

In addition to these revisions, staff advocated for the repeal of Article XII, Public Improvement Procedures of the Salina Code, adopted in 1995. This section imposes stringent requirements for a sealed bid process on public improvement projects exceeding $20,000. The repeal is proposed to align with the more flexible guidelines outlined in the updated purchasing policy, aiming to enhance public confidence, secure optimal value, and foster competition.

Fiscal Note:
No additional expenditures are associated with the updated purchasing policy.

The Resolution and Ordinance were each passed 5-0.

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