The Montgomery County Commissioners have modified their procurement policy as it applies to professional services. As approved in April, it required department heads to solicit proposals from architects, engineers and others and wait for the commissioners to approve them. Chairman Jim Matthews says most products and services costing more than $10,000 go out for competitive bidding, but in April they added more documentation for things costing less than $10,000. He says the latest modification makes an exception for emergencies.
“If we needed chillers, or we needed a major engineering thing if something broke, you can’t shut down the courthouse for two weeks while you wait for a vote, so we wanted to add exigent circumstances for under $10,000 as well. We’re confident now that, because of the purchase order system and the contract requirements, this is going to be totally transparent. Nobody’s going to be able to pull anything off under $10,000.”
Matthews says they still require documentation for emergency purchases, but department heads can provide it later.