Reference Number: 
CTAS-896

The County Purchasing Law of 1957 is one of the two optional general law statutes of local application that a county may adopt to centralize the county’s purchasing functions. The County Purchasing Law of 1957—

  • Is codified in T.C.A. §§ 5-14-101 et seq.
  • May be adopted by the majority of voters in a referendum or by two-thirds vote of the county legislative body (T.C.A. § 5-14-102).
  • Is one of three companion Fiscal Control Acts of 1957: the County Budgeting Law of 1957 (budgeting), the County Fiscal Procedure Law of 1957(accounting), and the County Purchasing Law of 1957 (purchasing). The county may enact any or all three acts; however, it is difficult to implement less than all three acts because each refers to certain provisions of the others. For example, T.C.A. § 5-14-109 states that purchases and contracts are not to be awarded until it has been certified by the director of accounts and budgets, or other county official or employee in charge of the central accounting records of the county, and that the unencumbered balance in the appropriation chargeable with the purchase obligations is sufficient to cover the cost of the order or contract.

Applicability to the Department of Education. The provisions of this act are not applicable to county school funds for any purpose unless approved by the State Commissioner of Education (T.C.A. § 5-14-115).

Liability for Purchases. The county is liable for the payment of all purchases of supplies, materials, equipment and contractual service made in accordance with the provisions of the County Purchasing Law of 1957, but not for the payment of purchases made contrary to its provisions (T.C.A. § 5-14-113).