The buying section is responsible for the purchase of goods and services. Within this realm of responsibility, the buying section ensures the most economical purchase within the following guidelines:
• purchases under $5,000 are subject to competitive verbal quotes when deemed economically appropriate when in the County’s best interest to do so;
• purchases between $5,000 and $14,999 are subject to competitive verbal quotes;
• purchases between $15,000 and $50,000 are subject to competitive informal written quotes;
• purchases $50,000 and over will be handled through a formal competitive sealed solicitation process and shall be handled by the contracts section; and
• purchases $50,000 and over will be awarded by Commissioners’ Court based on results of the competitive sealed solicitation process.
The buying section may also establish low value contracts, not to exceed $50,000, in order to obtain fixed pricing for many county departments rather than have pricing for individual county departments.
The contracts section is responsible for the administration of the formal competitive solicitation process of purchases that exceed $50,000. In addition the contracts section provides the following services to the county departments.
Review specifications submitted by user departments:
• to prevent unnecessarily restrictive requirements and to allow for fair competitive bids;
• to ensure the information is complete and understandable so as to prevent undue questions from vendors at later dates;
• to ensure the Purchasing Department has an understanding of what is being requested in the event vendors have questions that are non-technical;
• to ensure that there are no terms and conditions contained in the specifications that conflict with Brazoria County terms and conditions;
• to ensure that all of the required contract attachments are included in the package (i.e., bond requirements, insurance requirements, equipment requirements, software requirements);
• to ensure all costs are requested and that there will be no hidden costs (i.e., freight, warranties, installations) to the County; and
• to ensure the pricing is requested in a way that allows an equal comparison that will allow a determination of award.
Additional services include:
• offer county departments additional cost savings by suggesting the request of added value items, such as upgrades, warranties and other costs to be included in the contract at no additional charge to the County;
• act as a negotiator and/or mediator between the county departments and vendors for contract negotiation or poor vendor performance;
• perform contractual audits to ensure costs are invoiced and paid in accordance with the terms of the contract; and
• make award recommendations to Commissioners’ Court based on the results of the competitive sealed solicitation process.
In short the Purchasing Department is a second pair of eyes for the county departments and a service to the entire County of Brazoria. The Buying Section and the Contracts Section are continuously working with county departments and reviewing purchasing data in order to determine potential cost saving contracts for the future.
The Purchasing Department is responsible for the proper disposition of surplus property through inter department transfers, online auctions or sealed bids where appropriate as well as physical asset management.
If you have any questions, please contact us.