Special Town Board Meeting
January 25, 2012
The Town Board held a joint meeting with staff to consider changes to the Town’s Procurement Policy.
Supervisor Grace opened the meeting by talking about complaints and concerns he had received from town staff about delays in paying bills and ordering goods and services. He said that it was difficult to assess the Town’s financial situation when the town had $4 million in open purchase orders and he couldn’t get a straight number as to what the Town’s fund balance was. He said that the meeting wasn’t to point fingers but rather to figure out a better system while fulfilling the town’s fiduciary responsibility of making sure that taxpayer money was being spent appropriately. He thought that some of the comments in the recent state auditor’s report were super silly, petty and unfounded.
The focus of the meeting was a presentation from KVS, the software company whose product the Finance Department uses to manage the Town’s financial records as well as the purchase order system which is currently part electronic and part manual. The presentation described how the system could become 100% electronic and still comply with state laws that require original hard copies of certain financial documents for audit purposes. He added that the state was currently reviewing its guidelines regarding original vs electronic copies.
Supervisor Grace said that other revisions to the Procurement Policy that are being considered, along with the move to an electronic system which he appeared to support, are giving department heads greater discretion in approving orders, with possibly different thresholds for different departments, and getting bids for auto parts that are needed on a routine basis. He said that the town should try to purchase from local vendors.
Supervisor Grace asked for feedback from staff before deciding if the investment in the new software was worthwhile.