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Public Purchasing Procedures for Declared Emergency Situations

In accordance with §15-5-6(g) of the West Virginia Code, the governor has the authority to suspend certain laws, rules and/or regulations regarding the acquisition of commodities and services by public organizations in the event the governor declares an emergency.

Public purchasing procedures have been developed and, effective immediately, are to be implemented by all public organizations in declared emergency situations.

The purpose of establishing such procedures is to ensure that, even in such emergency situations, public officials are to conduct business in an ethical and efficient manner by seeking competition for commodities and services and maintaining complete documentation for all purchasing transactions.

Public Purchasing Procedures
For Declared Emergency Situations

(Issued January 10, 2003)

The Governor of the State of West Virginia has the inherent constitutional authority to declare an emergency situation.

In the event the Governor declares such an emergency, the Governor has the authority to suspend certain laws, rules and/or regulations relating to the acquisition of commodities and services by public organizations pursuant to W Va. Code §15-5-6(g).

It is of the highest importance that state government responds quickly and effectively to safeguard the public safety and welfare during states of emergency. Yet, even under those circumstances, the acquisitions of commodities and services must be effectuated in a fair and accountable manner.
Accordingly, should the Governor suspend said laws, rules and/or regulations, the following procedures shall apply:

  1. The employees or representatives of the public organizations shall exercise sound judgment and discretion when acquiring commodities and services related to the emergency.

  2. The employees or representatives of the public organizations shall operate with highest ideals of honor and integrity and strive to avoid the appearance of perceived impropriety.

  3. No person shall corruptly combine, collude, or conspire with one or more persons to lessen competition, cause a higher price to be paid or cause one vendor to be preferred over one or more other prospective vendors.

  4. No person shall solicit or receive anything of value, directly or indirectly, now or in the future, from any vendor or person supplying commodities or services in relation to the emergency.

  5. The acquisition of commodities and services not on contract and in excess of $1,000 but less than $5,000 shall at all times be based on three competitive bids. Bids may be verbal but shall be summarized and documented and include the date of purchase, vendor, dollar amount, commodity or service description, quantity, number of bids obtained and whether the award was made to the low bidder.

  6. The acquisition of commodities and services not on contract and in excess of $5,000 shall be based on three written bids which shall be documented and include the date of purchase, vendor, dollar amount, commodity or service description, quantity, number of bids obtained and whether the award was made to the low bidder.

  7. If, in the opinion of the public organizations, using sound judgment and discretion, time does not permit written bids to be received, verbal bids shall be obtained and documented, with written bids received within five working days of the request.

  8. The public organizations shall be responsible for developing specifications for commodities and services that do not favor a particular brand or vendor.

  9. If, in the opinion of the public organization, using sound judgment and discretion, time does not permit verbal bids to be received, the public organization must secure written approval from the agency head (mayor, county commissioner, governor, etc.) to secure necessary services and supplies without bids for only that period of time absolutely necessary to abate the emergency.

  10. All purchase order and/or contract awards shall be made to the lowest, responsible bidder meeting specifications.

  11. Should the award not be made to the lowest priced bidder, a written justification shall be placed on file with the bids that documents the reason the low price was rejected. This justification must be signed by the head of the public organization.

  12. Any contract and/or purchase order in excess of $100,000 shall be reviewed, approved and signed by the head of the public agency.

  13. The public organizations shall document each expenditure and include specifications, bids, no-bids, award justifications and any other relevant data.

  14. The documentation for each expenditure shall be complete and shall be kept in an orderly manner that will enable any interested party to understand specifics of the expenditure.

  15. A complete written record of all expenditures relating to the emergency shall be submitted to the Governor within 30 days of the expiration of the declaration of the emergency.

  16. The written record shall include a summary sheet that details all acquisitions for the emergency and lists date of purchase, vendor, dollar amount, commodity or service description, quantity, number of bids obtained and whether the award was made to the low bidder.

  17. The Governor reserves the right to remove the spending authority at any time during the emergency and appoint a person or organization to manage the emergency expenditures and/or transfer that authority to another organization.

  18. All emergency expenditures are subject to complete review and/or thorough audit as requested by the Governor.

  19. The Governor reserves the right to amend, alter, or cancel these procedures as necessary through written amendments, alterations or cancellations with justification and documentation of specific situations and reasons.

Note to Agencies under the Authority of the Purchasing Division

Emergency purchases may only be made if the Purchasing Director, exercising sound judgment and discretion, concludes in good faith and upon reasonable and sufficient grounds that some unforeseen or unexpected circumstance has suddenly created a situation requiring that commodities or services be immediately purchased by a state spending unit. The Purchasing Director must approve in writing such a purchase.

Refer to Section 8.6 of the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook for more information.




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