The town has adopted a new purchasing policy that ups the threshold for when a purchase order is required from $100 to $250. The policy went into effect July 1.
The new policy comes after audits in recent years found issues with credit card purchases.
Former Public Works Director Tracy Pedigo resigned in 2012 after a controversial purchase of tires for personal use on the town’s account at Just Tires on Village Park Drive. Pedigo called it “an honest mistake,” but then-Town Manager Seth Lawless reported to police that the town had been defrauded at Just Tires.
Pedigo was not named in the police report and no charges were filed.
There are exceptions to the $250 threshold, including annual dues and licenses, employee reimbursements, insurance premiums, debt service payments and legal fees.
Major credit cards are issued to the town manager, purchasing agent and each department head. Those cards are to be used when deemed appropriate by the user.
Local store credit cards are available for check out from Purchasing Agent Brent Quick for vendors including: Advance Auto Parts, Best Buy, The Home Depot, Northern Tool and Equipment, Office Max and Walmart.
The policy requires employees to avoid paying for items personally and requesting reimbursement in order to prevent the town from paying sales tax. Exceptions include tuition, clothing and shoe allowances and cellphones.
The policy also allows emergency purchases to protect the public health of citizens or when immediate repair is necessary to prevent further damage to public property, machinery or equipment, but the policy notes that such purchases generally result in a higher cost to the town and says they should be limited and will be monitored.
If a violation occurs, according to the policy, the responsible department director is to submit a memo to the town manager acknowledging the violation with all supporting documentation. “Depending on the nature of the violation,” the policy reads, “appropriate disciplinary action may be taken.”
In addition to complying with the legal and ethical requirements of public purchasing, the policy is designed to ensure that vendors the town uses comply with E-Verify, a tool of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to determine workers’ eligibility to work in the United States.
In addition to an E-Verify affidavit, for a new vendor to be approved for town purchases it must submit an Internal Revenue Service W-9 form and a vendor registration form.
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826