The Purchasing Division operates in strict compliance with federal and state laws, local laws and regulations, internal policies and professional purchasing principles. To uphold its responsibility and accountability in the expenditure of public funds, the office maintains a competitive bidding process in accordance with the city's Purchasing Code, below, from Chapter 2, Article VI, Division 2 of the Complete Code of City Ordinances.
Sec. 2-241. Purchasing agent; specified duties.
The city manager, or an officer of the city designated by the city manager, shall be the purchasing agent for the city. He shall be responsible for:
(1) The purchase of supplies, materials and equipment and contractual services required by any office, department or agency of the city government.
(2) The storage and distribution of all supplies, materials and equipment required by any office, department or agency of the city government.
(3) Establishing written specifications, whenever practicable, for supplies, materials and equipment required by any office, department or agency of the city government. Such specifications shall be definite and certain and shall permit competition.
(4) Maintaining, whenever practicable, a perpetual inventory record of all materials, supplies or equipment stored in store rooms or warehouses.
(5) Soliciting and maintaining an up-to-date list of qualified suppliers who have requested their names to be added to a "bidders list." The purchasing agent shall have authority to remove temporarily the names of vendors who have defaulted on their quotations, attempted to defraud the city or who have failed to meet established specifications or delivery dates.
(6) Obtaining as full and open competition as possible on all purchases, contracts and sales. (Code 1980, § 1-5-33)
Sec. 2-242. Formal contract procedure.
All supplies and contractual services, except as otherwise provided herein, when the estimated cost thereof shall exceed $5,000.00 shall be purchased by formal, written contract from the lowest responsible bidder, after due notice inviting proposals. No contract or purchase shall be subdivided to avoid the requirements of this section. All sales of personal property which has become obsolete or unusable, when the estimated value shall exceed $5,000.00, shall be sold by formal written contract or at a public auction to the highest responsible bidder, after due notice inviting proposals and bidders. (Code 1980, § 1-5-34)
Sec. 2-243. Competitive bidding required for certain purchases, contracts.
Before any purchases or contracts for supplies, materials, equipment or services exceeding $2,500.00 are made, the purchasing agent shall give ample opportunity for competitive bidding. No purchase shall be subdivided to avoid the requirements of a $2,500.00 limit on local purchase orders. For purchases or contracts not exceeding $5,000.00, oral bids may be accepted. All other bids shall be in writing. Competitive bidding shall be encouraged for all contracts, purchases or sales. If any of the low bids received are for the same total amount or unit price, quality and service being equal, the contract shall be awarded to the local bidder. If two or more of such bids are submitted by local bidders, the purchasing agent shall award the contract to one of the local tie bidders by drawing lots in public. If local bidders are not involved in the tie bids, the purchasing agent shall award the contract to one of the outside tie bidders by drawing lots in public. However, in the event of an emergency affecting the public welfare, health or safety, the provisions of this section shall not apply. A full report of the circumstances of an emergency purchase shall be filed by the purchasing agent for a period of no less than 12 months, a copy of which will be forwarded to the city manager. (Code 1980, § 1-5-35)
Sec. 2-244. Award to lowest bidder; advertising, when required.
All contracts for city improvement, materials, equipment or services costing more than $5,000.00 shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder after publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city at least five working days before the last day set for receipt of proposals; provided, however, that in case of professional services, this section shall not apply. The newspaper notice required herein shall include a general description of the articles or services to be purchased, shall state where bid blanks and specifications may be secured and the time and place for opening bids. (Code 1980, § 1-5-36)
Sec. 2-245. Bid deposits.
When deemed necessary by the purchasing agent, bid deposits shall be prescribed in the public notices inviting bids. Upon entering into a contract, bidders shall be entitled to return of bid deposit where the purchasing agent has required such. A successful bidder shall forfeit any bid deposit required by the purchasing agent upon failure on his part to enter into a contract within ten days after the award; provided, however, that the city, in its uncontrolled discretion, may waive this forfeiture. (Code 1980, § 1-5-37)
Sec. 2-246. Sealed bid procedures.
Procedure for sealed bids shall be as follows:
(1) Sealing. Bids shall be submitted to the purchasing agent securely sealed in an envelope, and shall be identified on the envelope in accordance with bid instructions.
(2) Opening. Bids shall be opened in public at the time and place stated in the public notices.
(3) Tabulation. A tabulation of all bids received shall be available for public inspection.
(4) Rejection of bids. The purchasing agent shall have the authority to reject all bids, parts of all bids, or all bids for any one or more supplies or contractual services included in the proposed contract.
(5) Bidders in default to city. The purchasing agent shall not accept the bid of a vendor or contractor who is delinquent in the payment of taxes, license or other monies due the city.
(6) Award of contract.
a. Authority in agent. The purchasing agent shall have the authority to award contracts within the purview of this article; provided, however, that contracts in excess of $1,000.00 shall not be awarded without prior approval of the city manager. Written purchase orders shall not fall under this requirement.
b. Lowest responsible bidder. Contracts shall be awarded to the "lowest responsible bidder." In addition to price, the purchasing agent shall consider:
1. The ability, capacity and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required;
2. Whether the bidder can perform the contract or provide the service promptly or within the time specified, without delay or interference;
3. The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience and efficiency of the bidder;
4. The quality of performance of previous contracts or services;
5. The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with laws and ordinances relating to the contract or services;
6. The sufficiency of the financial resources and ability of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service;
7. The quality, availability and adaptability of the supplies or contractual services to the particular use required;
8. The ability of the bidder to provide future maintenance and service for the use of the subject of the contract;
9. The number and scope of conditions attached to the bid.
(7) Award to other than low bidder. When the award is not given to the lowest bidder, a full and complete statement of the reasons for placing the order elsewhere shall be prepared by the purchasing agent and filed with the papers relating to the transaction and held for a period of no less than 12 months.
(8) Tie bids. If any of the low bids received are for the same total amount or unit price, quality and service being equal, the contract shall be awarded to the local bidder. If two or more of such bids are submitted by local bidders, the purchasing agent shall award the contract to one of the local tie bidders by drawing lots in public. If local bidders are not involved in the tie bids, the purchasing agent shall award the contract to one of the outside tie bidders by drawing lots in public.
(9) Performance bonds. The purchasing agent shall have the authority to require a performance bond, before entering into a contract, in such form and amount as he shall find reasonably necessary to protect the best interests of the city.
(10) Payment bond/labor and material bond. The purchasing agent may require a payment bond and a labor and material bond, before entering into a contract, in such form and amount as he or she shall deem necessary to protect the best interest of the city.
(Code 1980, § 1-5-38)
Sec. 2-247. Materials testing.
The purchasing agent shall have the authority to require chemical and physical tests of samples submitted with bids and samples of deliveries which are necessary to determine their quality and conformance with the specifications. In the performance of such tests, the purchasing agent shall have the authority to make use of laboratory facilities of any agency of the city government or any outside laboratory. (Code 1980, § 1-5-39)
Sec. 2-248. Financial interest of city officials and employees prohibited.
No member of the city council or any officer or employee of the city shall have a financial interest in any contract or in the sale to the city or to a contractor supplying the city of any land or rights or interests in any land, material, supplies or services; except when a majority of the city council determines such exception is in the best interest of the city; provided, that no councilmember whose interest is involved shall vote on the question. Any willful violation of this section shall constitute malfeasance in office, and any officer or employee of the city found guilty thereof shall thereby forfeit his office or position. Any violation of this section with the knowledge express or implied of the person or corporation contracting with the city shall render the contract voidable by the city manager or the city council. (Code 1980, § 1-5-40)
Sec. 2-249. Records of open market orders and bids.
The purchasing agent shall keep a record of all open market orders and the bids submitted in competition thereon, and such records shall also be open to public inspection. (Code 1980, § 1-5-41)
Sec. 2-250. Stock reports.
All offices, departments or agencies of the city government shall submit to the purchasing agent, at such times and in such form as he shall prescribe, reports showing stocks of all supplies which are no longer used or which have become obsolete, worn-out or scrapped. (Code 1980, § 1-5-42)
Sec. 2-251. Surplus stock.
The purchasing agent shall have authority to transfer surplus stock to other offices, departments or agencies of the city government. (Code 1980, § 1-5-43)
Sec. 2-252. Supplies unsuitable for public use, sale or exchange.
The purchasing agent with the approval of the city manager shall have the authority to sell all supplies which have become unsuitable for public use, or to exchange the same for, or trade in the same on, new supplies. Such sales shall be made to the highest bidder, and in conformance with section 2-242. All monies received from such sales shall be paid into the appropriate fund of the city. (Code 1980, § 1-5-44)
Sec. 2-253. Standards of conduct.
In all actions involving the procurement of supplies, services, or construction for the city, the provisions of the State Ethics Act shall be complied with in full. (Code 1980, § 1-5-45)
Sec. 2-254. Cooperative purchasing.
The purchasing agent shall have authority to join with other units of government in cooperative purchasing plans when the best interests of the city would be served thereby; provided, that the purchasing agent of the city is given the authority to make purchases of supplies and equipment through the property division of the state budget and control board, without the formality of publication and receiving competitive bids. (Code 1980, § 1-5-46)
Secs. 2-255--2-259. Reserved.
843-918-2170 (office) or 843-918-2182 (fax)
City of Myrtle Beach
P.O. Box 2468
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578