The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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General Information (Sample)

Reference Number: MTAS-1744
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: August 12, 2015
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Federal Excise Tax
The city is exempt from the payment of excise taxes imposed by the federal government, and suppliers should be requested to deduct the amount of such taxes from their bids, quotations, and invoices.

Standardization Requirements
Standardizing supplies and materials that can be bought in large quantities can save a great deal of money. Thus, department heads should adopt as standards the minimum number of quantities, sizes, and varieties of commodities consistent with successful operation. Where practical, materials and supplies should be bought on the basis of requirements for a six-month period.

Inspection of Deliveries
No invoices for supplies, materials, or equipment shall be accepted for payment until such supplies, materials, etc., have been received and inspected by the department head.

Correspondence with Suppliers
Copies of any correspondence with suppliers concerning prices, adjustments, or defective merchandise shall be forwarded to the purchasing agent. All invoices, bills of lading, delivery tickets, and other papers relating to purchases shall be sent to the purchasing agent.

The purchasing agent shall prosecute all claims for shortages, breakages, or other complaints against either shipper or carrier in connection with shipments.

Public Inspection of Records
The purchasing agent shall keep a complete record of all quotations, bids, and purchase orders. Such records shall be open to public inspection.

When a position such as purchasing agent, finance officer, or department head is mentioned, their assistants or designees are acceptable substitutes if they have written permission to do so.


  • Customarily Purchased: Items that are purchased regularly under specific circumstances considered reasonable and appropriate. (Example: After two consecutive years; then, not required for two consecutive years of not attaining the total amount of $2,500*).
  • Like Items: Items that are similar and may be bought at the lowest common denominator, such as size, color, etc.
  • Lot: A single grouping of like items to be purchased at one time.
  • Single Source of Supply: When only one vendor is available for a product or service within a reasonable marketable distance of the city.
  • Proprietary Product: A brand-name product made and marketed by one having the exclusive right to manufacture and sell.
  • Within the Limits of the Approved Budget: Purchases must stay within appropriation limits in funds requiring budgets either by law, regulation, or policy. Appropriation limits do not apply to nonexpendable funds not requiring budgets, such as enterprise funds, intra-governmental service funds, and nonexpendable trust funds.
  • Performance and Bid Bonds: Performance and bid bonds as may be determined by the purchasing agent or the governing body.
  • Architect or Engineer Required: Plans, specifications and estimates for any public works project exceeding $25,000 must be prepared by a registered architect or engineer as required by T.C.A. § 62-2-107.


*Limit may be lowered or increased to a maximum of $10,000 by the governing body.