For the first time since 1993, the Tooele City Council is looking to update its purchasing policy and procedures for employees.
During its work meeting last Wednesday, the City Council reviewed proposed changes to its purchasing policy from Tooele City recorder Michelle Pitt, who has been working on the policy update. During the meeting, Pitt outlined some of the changes to the policy, including necessary updates and housekeeping corrections.
Pitt said the purchasing policy updates were written to reflect current practices by city employees. One change is the current code from 1993 only allows the purchasing agent to make purchases, but in reality many city employees have been empowered to make necessary purchases.
The current code doesn’t allow officials, department heads or employees of the city to purchase any materials, supplies, equipment, goods, wares, merchandise or services, except through the purchasing agent.
Under the proposed update, the purchasing agent, who is also the city recorder, will administer the purchasing policy and have the authority to approve purchase orders for all of the city’s departments. Department heads, the mayor, and other approved individuals are given more authority to make purchases, under the purview of the purchasing agent.
The purchasing policy would also be adjusted to meet current practice on purchases up to certain amounts. The ‘93 policy requires City Council approval on purchases or contracts of $8,000 or more, while the City Council currently approves purchases of $20,000 or more. The policy update would reflect the current $20,000 limit, with purchases from $1,000 to $19,999 requiring the mayor’s approval.
The proposed policy update would also include a section on credit cards or lines of credit, which are not included in the ‘93 policy. The city possesses a few store-specific credit cards, such as Walmart and Home Depot, and lines of credit at some stores, including Macey’s.
The update also removes some references to state code sections that no longer exist, according to Pitt. Other changes through technology, such as no longer using carbon copies, are included in the update.
City Council Chairman Steve Pruden praised Pitt for her work on the proposed policy update.
“As you can see by what she highlighted, there’s a lot of things that are antiquated,” Pruden said. “Some of it’s housekeeping verbiage that needs to be changed.”
City Councilman Scott Wardle also requested some minor additional changes, including additional verbiage for clarification. The City Council directed staff to move ahead with the creation of an ordinance to approve the policy update with Wardle’s suggested changes.
The City Council will likely vote to approve the updated purchasing policy during its June 19 meeting.