Friday, September 5, 2014

Prince Rupert Council adopts new purchasing policy

It took a couple of attempts to complete, but at Tuesday evening's City Council session,  Corinne Bomben the City's Financial Officer finally found approval for her revamped policy when it comes to purchasing at the City of Prince Rupert.

The current policy was created in July of 2003 and updated in May 2005, making the current revision the first revisit to the policy in place in nine years.

As we reviewed on the blog earlier this week, the first try at delivering the new purchasing policy was put back a few weeks, that after Councillor Joy Thorkelson requested that Council be provided with a copy of the current policy, so as to provide for a proper comparison with the proposed new procedurals.

That comparison apparently proved favourable for Ms. Bomben's new proposal, as Council reviewed and then adopted the new Purchasing Policy, with little in the way of comment or concern.

During the Tuesday council session, Ms. Bomben outlined some of the highlights of the new policy and the objectives that the City hopes to achieves with it.

One of the key aspects of the new policy is that it will  which will permit a higher threshold before a quote process is required, as well, the new policy provides latitude to make cost-effective decisions while providing guidance on value for money.

It will also offer up guidelines as to when a competitive procurement process is undertaken and when sole source purchases are permitted.

Any potential Goods and Services under the new policy will have to be approved in the budget and where they are not within the approved budget amount, will have to be submitted to Council for approval.

For the most part the new policy is designed to bring the City's procedures in line with current industry practices, as well as to provide clarification for staff to ensure that all purchases and procurement processes are conducted at a high level of integrity and are open, transparent and fair to all involved.

One particular aspect of the policy that did make for discussion with council is the goal of continuing to seek out local sourcing for city operations requirements, with the Mayor calling on Ms. Bomben to provide an overview on the nature of local sourcing and the opportunities that the new policy may provide for them.

She outlined that the new policy still indicates that local sourcing is preferred, while not making it the only emphasis.

In response to a question from Councillor Cunningham seeking clarification on the nature of purchases under 5,000 dollars,  Ms. Bomben outlined the process required by the city to receive verbal quotations and the nature of the record keeping when it comes to quotes received by the City.

To bring the motion to a conclusion, Councillor Garon offered up her thanks to staff for their work in revising the policy and making matters more efficient for the city.

Councillor Thorkelson also offered up her thanks for the work of staff, particularly in offering up the comparison between the current policy and the proposed revisions, providing her praise for the new policy. 

You can review some background on the Purchasing policy from notes from the Agenda of Tuesday evening (pages 13 - 35 )

The full discussion from Tuesday's council session is available from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the 30 minute mark and continues on until the 39 minute mark.

For more items of interest on developments at Prince Rupert City Council see our archive page.

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