Procurement Policies

Purchasing Related to Homeland Security1

Updated July 2015

Step 1:  Each Council evaluates and discusses the region’s ability to respond to specific acts of terrorism and/or natural events, taking into account input from KDEM (Kansas Department of Emergency Management) and representative interests present on the Council.

Step 2:  The Council calls for proposed projects; which includes a list of needed equipment and/or planning, training and exercise activities and budget which address the region’s needs identified earlier. Such proposals come from various disciplines and representative interests present in the region, including those on the Council itself. The Chair establishes a date and time when the Council as a whole reviews each proposal and develops a prioritized list of projects whose aggregate cost is equal to or less than the estimated regional budget for the fiscal year in question. This is typically done with the Kansas Highway Patrol who is the designated State Administrative Agency (SAA) in the room to ensure all set asides are being met and that each project meets the eligibility criteria of the Homeland Security program. Once complete, the list is turned over to the Kansas Highway Patrol for final review and comment.

Step 3:  Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP) announces the region’s budget and produces a list of approved projects. (If the projects exceed the total funding the Chair will call a special meeting to reprioritize the projects.)

Step 4:  KHP develops and issues a contract for fiscal agent services, submitting that document to the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC) for processing. Once accepted and signed by both parties, procurement of goods and services associated with the fiscal year in question can begin.

Step 5: Council forms project committees and a Committee Chair for each project; if not already done during the project proposal meeting. The Committees, led by the Committee Chair, review their list of needed equipment and/or planning, approved training and exercise activities; determine product specifications being sought, vendors they wish to work with, and the estimated budget. That information is brought back to the Council for final approval before orders are placed or bids are sent out.

All Council and Committee members will adhere to the Code of Conduct in the Procurement of Goods and Services. Any member who directly incurs financial benefit from activities or funding disbursements as a result of decisions or funding allocations approved by the Council shall be prohibited from participating in the decision making process of the Council in matters that may involve financial benefit to that member.

Step 6:  The Committee determines who the benefiting counties, cities, departments, etc. are and sends Acceptance Agreements to each benefiting party identified for signature to ensure all parties involved are willing to accept both the equipment and eventual responsibility for the equipment.

Step 7:  Following accepted rules for federal grants management2, the NCRPC determines the steps necessary to procure the goods and services associated with each project and provides that information to each Committee Chair. This typically assumes the following form and detail.

Small Purchase

Small purchase procedures are less formal, relatively simple processes for purchasing goods, services and supplies. Governmental grantees are authorized to use these techniques for purchases that in the aggregate fall under the $5,000. Purchases under $5,000 do not require competition; however, competition is certainly encouraged.

The NCRPC instructs each Regional Council Committee to develop a list of equipment items to be purchased and to present that list to at least three (3) reputable vendors although receiving two (2) quotes is sufficient so long as the vendors involved are competitive and possess equal capacity to provide the good or service being sought. These quotes can be handwritten or electronic mail from vendors. That information is sent to the NCRPC for review and issuance of a purchase order.

Individuals cannot purchase or place orders for goods/services without going through the procurement process with the Fiscal Agent.

Sealed Bids

Under the sealed-bid method, the NCRPC must make a firm fixed-price award to the bidder whose bid responds to the invitation and is most advantageous to the grantee. While price is the single factor in determining the winning bid for many advertised procurements, the Project Committee can consider other factors such as discounts, transportation costs, taxes and life-cycle costs. However, if the grantee is going to consider factors other than price in determining the winning bid, the invitation for bids must describe clearly these other factors and how they will be applied in determining the successful bid.

NCRPC can reject any and all bids according to applicable state and local laws, rules and regulations. To prevent the procurement process from becoming bogged down in such proceedings, the Project Committee is advised to construct a well-documented rationale when deciding to reject bids.

Before going to bid, the NCRPC instructs each Committee to develop a complete list of products, including product specifications being sought and a list of at least three (3) vendors from whom they wish to receive a bid. That information is sent to the NCRPC; who then creates the bid document.

For Homeland Security purchases over $5,000 and under $25,000, the bid invitation is published on the NCPRC website for at least three (3) days and direct solicitation of at least three (3) vendors is provided by the Committee.

Purchases over $25,000 shall be advertised by notice published on the NCRPC website and in the Kansas Register for at least ten (10) business days before the date in notice for the opening of the bids and direct solicitation of at least three (3) vendors is provided by the Committee.

No electronic mail bids will be acknowledged or accepted.

Competitive Proposals or Qualification Statements

Competitive proposals are generally used when circumstances do not permit the use of the sealed-bid method. They can result in the award of either a fixed-price or cost-reimbursement type contract. NCRPC will use a request for proposal to identify all criteria that will be used in evaluating proposals. Awards are made to the firm, whose proposal/qualifications will be most advantageous to the program, considering price and other factors.

The Committee is to provide the details of the needed professional services. The NCRPC will then produce the corresponding documentation as well as mail out the Request for Proposals/Qualifications to a list of prospective services providers developed by the Project Committee.

Noncompetitive Proposals & Sole Source

The NCRPC may use noncompetitive proposal or sole-source procurements only when the small purchase, sealed-bid or competitive proposal methods are not feasible, and one of the following circumstances exists:

  • The item is only available from one source;
  • There is a public exigency or emergency need for the item that will not permit the delay associated with competitive solicitation;
  • The awarding agency authorizes noncompetitive proposals; or
  • After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined inadequate.

Sole Source procurements must be reviewed by the Kansas Highway Patrol. The NCRPC Executive Board will have the opportunity to review and consent to the Sole Source undertaking.

Step 8:  The NCRPC reserves the right to waive any informalities or reject any and all bids. Once bids are publicly opened they are presented to the Project Committee for review and acceptance before Purchase Orders or Contracts are issued. In certain circumstances; recommendations of the Project Committee and the NCRPC are presented to the Council who then determine if it agrees or disagrees with the findings presented and votes either to proceed or not to proceed with the project.

Vendors are encouraged to attend the public bid openings to record the bid information at that time. A bid tab sheet will be posted after the announced bid opening on the NCRPC website and will remain posted for approximately one (1) week or until either a contract or Purchase Order has been accepted by the vendor providing the lowest and/or best bid that meets the specifications for the product or service requested. If a vendor wishes to appeal the award they must send a written notice to the NCRPC within fifteen business days of posting of bid results.

Step 9:  Once the vendor is selected, the NCRPC uses one of two methods to secure the quote/bid. The first is by contract and the second is by purchase order.

  • All Contracts must be reviewed by the Kansas Highway Patrol. Contracts are then sent to the Committee Chair for approval and then the Fiscal Agent or Project Chair submits the contract to the vendor for signature.
  • Purchase Orders are sent to the Committee Chair for approval and then the Fiscal agent or Project Chair submits the P.O. to vendor.

Step 10:  Once the invoice is received and equipment is delivered and in good working order, the fiscal agent will produce the Transfer of Property Agreement pertaining to the equipment purchased.

The document is sent to each agency/organization identified as having primary responsibility for the equipment or to the Committee Chair to send on to each agency/organization identified as having primary responsibility for the equipment.

Step 11:  Monitoring and inventory is conducted by the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Step 12:  KHP Audits generally occur with the grantee near the end of each fiscal grant year.

1Source: State of Kansas Department of Administration Division of Purchases; Policy and Procedure Manual
2Source: Federal Grants Management Handbook; Grants Management Advisory Service