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The Library encourages competitive bidding in order to obtain the greatest response to requests for purchase or requests for proposals. The Library shall do everything in its power to encourage the submission of proposals from local vendors, including the notification of all listings within a particular category in the various area yellow pages. However, the Library has a responsibility to its residents to insure that the maximum value is obtained for each public dollar spent. It is expected that local vendors who wish to do business with the Library will offer the lowest possible quote for the item being purchased. The Library welcomes bids from minority- and women-owned businesses and actively solicits bids from such companies where possible.
Approved July 16, 2002
The Library will informally bid from multiple suppliers for all purchases over $500. This may be obtained by comparison pricing through direct contact, advertisements, catalogs, or web pages.
Purchases with an anticipated bid amount of $4,500 or greater shall be listed for at least seven days on the Library's web page. Where practical to elicit greater responses for bids, additional listings may be made on cooperating web pages and notices may be sent to potential bidders.
Purchases with an anticipated bid amount of $25,000 or greater shall be advertised in at least one paper with broad general distribution within Cole and Osage Counties.
In order to obtain the best price, the Library shall be allowed to enter into cooperative purchasing agreements with federal, state or local units of government, or not for profit corporations. Cooperative agreements may be entered into, or already negotiated contracts may be assumed. Existing bids may be renegotiated or extended if it is to the Library's benefit.
Bids may be received by mail, e-mail, or fax. Sealed bids may be received by mail or delivery only. No negotiation will be allowed as to bid amount after submission, unless such options are clearly spelled out in the bid document. Occasionally, bid documents may contain deducts for options that the vendor feels would provide a superior product for less cost. The Library reserves the right to negotiate such changes with the submitting vendor, or other vendors if that would result in savings. The Library reserves the right to use cooperative purchasing agreements or listed advertisements for purchases if that results in a lower cost, even if these sources do not respond to the Library's bid notices.
Although price shall normally be a major consideration in all purchases, the Library reserves the right to take such factors as durability, timeliness, availability and operating cost into consideration when awarding a bid. Low bidders may be rejected where serious reservations about the quality or suitability of items or services exist. The Library reserves the right to waive minor irregularities in submitted bids, or to waive normal bidding procedures in an emergency when it is in its best interest to do so.
Where practical, utilities and telecommunications services shall be competitively bid. However regular payments for such utilities shall not require special management approval.
Library books and materials as well as single-source equipment necessary for library operations are not subject to these procedures or to bid requirements. Purchases for these items are made under appropriation approval through the library’s annual budget.
Professional services include, but are not limited to audit and banking services, equipment and custodial maintenance contracts as well as special one-time consultant service needs. Depending on the nature of the service, professional services may be solicited through the bid process or by requests for proposals. Contracts for ongoing services shall be rebid every three to six years.
Requests for Proposal (RFP)
The Library reserves the right to secure products and services through a request for proposal when that is in the best interests of the Library. Requests for proposal shall normally be limited to complex projects, especially those with multiple or unknown ways of accomplishing a certain objective. Requests for proposal may involve intellectual property or the quest for new ideas that do not lend themselves to traditional bidding. In general, the Library shall advertise requests for proposals in the same manner as bids, however the Library shall reserve more latitude in considering low price as the primary indicator of acceptance.
The branch or departmental manager must ordinarily approve purchases. Purchases of $500 or less may be made at the department level with no other approval.
Purchases over $500 require the approval of the Assistant Director for Buildings and Finance. The exception is for previously bid items, commodity items and supplies for which uniformity is crucial, or computer equipment which exists on a local or wide area network.
Construction purchases, change orders and large unbudgeted expenses require a motion by the Library Board of Trustees.