New Mesa Purchasing Policy: Take It or Get Blacklisted, Vendors Warned

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
December 02, 2010 /

Arizona – Mesa City could now blacklist prospective vendors from making contracts with the city government for up to three years if found violating the new purchasing policy.

The new ordinance that contains revision of the current purchasing policy of Mesa City came after an audit has found out a number of anomalies in the way the city acquires goods and services from vendors.

Expected to be announced on Monday, the new purchasing policy is believed to gain mixed impressions from the city council, with a yes-or-no vote being eyed to meet the ordinance on December 13.

Vendors can be found guilty of violating the purchasing policy if they would be convicted obtaining a contract fraudulently, rigging a bid, and failing to carry out the terms and conditions of a contract.

The new procedures in purchasing were conceived in light of the report released this fall by city auditor Jennifer Ruttman. Although no actual instances showing that an abuse is committed, Ruttman’s report indicated cases in which sums of money have been wasted out of poor oversight.

Specifically, Ruttman discovered several problems with the need for the city council’s authorization for purchases worth $25,000. For instance, she found out that only one vendor has been enjoying a contract worth more than $25,000 with Mesa City for an entire year without the scrutiny of the city council. In another case, a contract duly approved by the council has been altered without its full knowledge.

In the new purchasing policy, contracts worth more than $25,000 would require public bidding. It would also seek to scrap alterations in contracts with the same value if they are not approved by the city council.

Vendors may give their quotes to the city for purchases around $5,000 to $25,000. But if only one vendor has the capacity to offer certain goods or services, no bidding would be required, only a public notice that the city would release seven days ahead of time.

The purchasing policy also prohibits vendors from seeking communication with any member of the city council, as this is believed to allow for the possibility that the contract might be influenced with biases.


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