Ordinance 2547: Qualified Purchasing Agent

The codification of a Qualified Purchasing Agent, also known as a QPA, is set to be made into law at the September 20th Mayor & Council meeting.

Ordinance 2547 will establish the compensation, qualifications, duties, and responsibilities of the position.

The appointed term will be based on a contract, not automatically annual, and will have to be qualified by obtaining and maintaining certain certifications.

The detailed responsibilities and duties will require the QPA to:

  1. Work to ensure the Borough of Roselle Park’s compliance with the provisions of the New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law.
  2. Develop and recommend comprehensive purchasing procedures for use by the Borough of Roselle Park and its agencies.
  3. Develop and recommend comprehensive guidelines for vendors or other entities seeking to do business with the Borough of Roselle Park.
  4. Develop and recommend methods to continually modernize and update the procurement systems and techniques used by the Borough of Roselle Park.
  5. Work cooperatively with Borough departments, personnel, and contracted professionals to ensure the effective and timely delivery of goods and services.
  6. Oversee and execute all procurement functions on behalf of the Borough of Roselle Park, including, but not limited to:
    1. Finalizing bid specifications.
    2. Finalizing proposal solicitation documents.
    3. Reviewing quotes as received by end-user departments.
    4. Receiving bids on behalf of the Borough.
    5. Reviewing bid documentation as received.
    6. Recommending action on publically bid items.
    7. Researching cooperative and other group purchasing opportunities.
  7. Perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Mayor and Council.

The salary range for the position, as established in a previous ordinance (link) is between $15,000 and $50,000.

For a municipality, one advantage of having a QPA is that the bid threshold goes from $17,500 to a maximum of $40,000. It would be up to the governing body what the new bid threshold would be and it would be formalized through a resolution.

The way purchases over $17,499 work now, bids are advertised for at least 10 days, awarded by the governing body, and then the purchase order is signed by the chief financial officer (CFO), assistant treasurer and two members of the governing body – the Finance Committee chairperson and Sub-Committee chairperson. The purchase order is sent to the vendor, returned signed with an invoice by the vendor, and paid upon approval of the governing body once work or product is delivered.

The new proposed procedure would have the municipality solicit, at least, two (2) quotes – not bids – and then have a purchase order generated which is signed by the CFO, assistant treasurer, and the QPA. It avoids having the governing body review and sign off on the purchase order. On the one hand, it streamlines the process by not delaying payment by having to wait for the governing body to review and sign. On the other hand, it removes the review of such purchase orders from the formal review by the governing body. It leaves that protocol up to the QPA.

For purchases over the new as yet undetermined bid threshold, the steps are the same as the current one with putting out bids, having them awarded, and paid. The only difference with a QPA would be that, again, the purchase order is reviewed and signed by that person as opposed to the governing body.

For all new proposed bid threshold protocol, the final approval and authorization for purchases would still need approval by the governing body through approval of the bill list which is included in almost every meeting as an agenda item. It would be, as it currently is, the responsibility of the governing body to examine all line items on a bill list.

Another advantage to a QPA is that the threshold for quotes would increase from the current $2,000 limit to possibly up to $6,000.

The major difference between a bid and a quote is that bids have a minimum of a ten-day period to allow for multiple bidders while a quote does not have that time constraint.

The public hearing and council vote on Ordinance 2547 is on tonight’s 7 p.m. municipal meeting agenda. The meeting will take place at the Roselle Park Municipal Complex located at 110 East Westfield Avenue.

A copy of Ordinance 2547 is included below for review and/or download:

Download RP Ordinance 2547