The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Purchasing Procedures (Sample)

Reference Number: MTAS-1720
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: August 12, 2015
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CITY OF _____________________________________, TENNESSEE

As designated in Ordinance No. _______________, the _________________ shall act as purchasing agent for the city, with power, except as set out in these procedures, to purchase materials, supplies, equipment; secure leases and lease-purchases; and dispose of and transfer surplus property for the proper conduct of the city's business. All contracts, leases, and lease-purchase agreements extending beyond the end of any fiscal year must have prior approval of the governing body.

The purchasing agent shall have the authority to make purchases, leases, and lease purchases of more than $1,000 and less than $2,500* singly or in the aggregate during any fiscal year and, except as otherwise provided herein, shall require three  competitive bids or quotations, either verbal or written, whenever possible prior to each purchase. Competitive bids or quotations for the purchase of items that cost less than $1,000 are desirable but not mandatory. All competitive bids or quotations received shall be recorded and maintained in the office of the purchasing agent for a minimum of seven  years after contract expires. When requisitions are required, the competitive bids or quotations received shall be listed upon that document prior to the issuance of the purchase order. Awards shall be made to the lowest and best bid.

A description of all projects or purchases, except as herein provided, that require the expenditure of city funds of $2,500* or more shall be prepared by the purchasing agent and submitted to the governing body for authorization to call for bids or proposals. After the determination that adequate funds are budgeted and available for a purchase, the governing body may authorize the purchasing agent to advertise for bids or proposals. The award of purchases, leases, or lease-purchases of $2,500* or more shall be made by the governing body to the lowest and best bid.

Purchases amounting to $2,500* or more, which do not require public advertising and sealed bids or proposals, may be allowed only under the following circumstances and, except as otherwise provided herein, when such purchases are approved by the governing body:

  • Sole source of supply or proprietary products as determined after complete search by using the department and the purchasing agent, with governing body approval.
  • Emergency expenditures with subsequent approval of the governing body.
  • Purchases from instrumentalities created by two  or more cooperating governments.
  • Purchases from nonprofit corporations whose purpose or one of whose purposes is to provide goods or services specifically to municipalities.
  • Purchases, leases or lease-purchases of real property.
  • Purchases, leases, or lease-purchases, from any federal, state, or local governmental unit or agency, of second-hand articles or equipment or other materials, supplies, commodities, and equipment.
  • Purchases through other units of governments as authorized by the Municipal Purchasing Law of 1983.
  • Purchases directed through or in conjunction with the state Department of General Services.
  • Purchases from Tennessee state industries.
  • Professional service contracts as provided in T.C.A. § 12-4-106.
  • Tort liability insurance as provided in T.C.A. § 29-20-407.
  • Purchases of fuels, fuel products or perishable commodities.
  • Purchases of natural gas and propane gas for re-sale.

The purchasing agent shall be responsible for following these procedures and the Municipal Purchasing Law of 1983, as amended, including keeping and filing required records and reports, as if they were set out herein and made a part hereof and within definitions of words and phrases from the law as herein defined.


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