City aims for more transparency with new purchasing policy 0
Coun. Peter Bouwsema
City council updated its purchasing policy to reflect new provincial legislation and other municipalities and be more transparent.
"Now we can demonstrate where we get quotes," Michael Minchin, corprorate services director told council at its June 25 meeting.
This is council's first major look at the purchasing policy since 2006.
The updated policy, which incorporates the province's New West Partnership (NWPTA), is expected to increase openness and competition in bidding for city business and help with lower costs for the purchase of goods, said Minchin.
In April 2010, the governments of Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan signed the NWPTA an unprecedented and comprehensive agreement on trade, labour mobility and investment, which came into effect July 2010.
City administration used wording in the policies from the cities of Spruce Grove and Grand Prairie.
The new policy emphasizes lowest cost, efficiency and fairness. For the first time, the policy introduces a request for proposal process, eliminating the previous informal quotation process for items between $1,000 and $2,500, which means city managers will now have to do a formal quotation process for all goods and services that cost more than $1,000.
The policy also clearly outlines spending authorities and process for administration. New rules will be introduced for formal tenders and the involvement of employees. It also idenitifies where the chief administrative officer will create administrative directives.
"It's important that we deal with our local suppliers of goods and services no matter what and every manager needs to consider local options first," said Coun. Peter Bouwsema.
He added he's concerned the lowest bid, which could come from outside the city, would get the contract.
But Minchin said other factors such as quality, timeline of delivery, ability to service and maintain, are taken into consideration.