DISTRICT PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES
EAWSD is a governmental entity and must comply with State statutes and administrative rules governing the purchase of goods and services. There is some latitude in these rules and the District Board is in the process of formalizing District policy and procedures for purchases. The Board relies on guidelines for compliance written by NMED/Construction Bureau (NMED/CB) as well as legal advice from District counsel. The objective for District policy is to ensure compliance with state requirements for purchasing and to do so as efficiently as possible.
There are four major classifications for purchases:
ONE - The first is for supplies, materials and non- professional services where the total is less than $10,000. The vendor offering the best pricing is selected. NMED/CB recommends that bids or quotes be solicited from at least 2 vendors, but this is not required.
TWO - The second is for supplies and materials when the total is less than $20,000, and for professional and engineering services when the total is less than $60,000. NMAC 126.96.36.199 requires that “insofar as is practical...no fewer than three businesses shall be solicited to submit written quotations” for the requested goods or services. Reasons for non-compliance with the three-quote rule must be documented and kept in the records for the procurement. The vendor offering the “lowest acceptable quotation” is selected.
THREE - The third is for supplies and materials when the total is $20,000 or more, and for professional and engineering services when the total is $60,000 or more. A competitive sealed bid process is required for purchases in this category. Issuance of an RFP/RFB and formal bids by potential offerors (vendors) are required. Additional regulations apply to Architectural and Engineering services in this category.
After an invitation for bids has been issued, the board appoints an evaluation committee to review bids or proposals received and to recommend the winning vendor to the board for award of a contract.
There are differences in the regulations for RFPs and RFBs. The RFP process is more flexible. In the case of an RFB, the award (of a contract) is to be made to the “lowest responsible bidder.” In the case of an RFP, the award (of a contract) is to be made to the “offeror whose proposal is “most advantageous [to the District], taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth” in the RFP.
FOUR - The final classification of purchases is for exceptional circumstances. These include “Sole Source” and Emergency purchases. A good-faith review of available sources is required to determine that there is only one vendor available to provide the required goods or services. Justification for the determination must be documented and kept in the records for the procurement.
Emergency purchases may be made when there “is a situation which creates a threat to public health, welfare safety or property.” Priority is given to timely procurement. “Given this constraint such competition as is practical shall be obtained.” Emergency procurements must be documented and kept in the District’s records for three years.
For more information:
Recent EAWSD RFPs and Procurement Activity:
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