Competitive Bidding under the 1981 Law

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The rules concerning bidding under the County Financial Management System of 1981 are set out in T.C.A. § 5-21-120, and do not provide the level of detail as is found in the County Purchasing Law of 1957. The details for the competitive bidding process under this act must be set out in the policies and procedures established by the financial management committee with the assistance of the purchasing agent.

Bid Thresholds—The financial management committee sets the dollar limitation over which formal competitive bids are required. This amount is not to exceed the amount authorized under state law for the highway and education departments or other such amounts as established by law. T.C.A. § 5-21-120(a).

Biddable Items—“Biddable items” means any need of the county where more than one bidder or contractor in the county‘s trade area can provide the material or service. Specifications cannot be written to exclude vendors and contractors or limit the bidding to a specific bidder or contractor. T.C.A. § 5-21-120(b).

Specifications Development—The development of specifications is to be made by the department, agency, or official to receive the merchandise, construction, or service. The specifications must be reviewed by the purchasing agent and changed as necessary to allow for maximum competition of prospective bidder. T.C.A. § 5-21-119(b)(4) and (5).

Sale of Surplus Property—Under this act, the finance director/purchasing agent is responsible for the public sale of all surplus materials, equipment, buildings, and land. T.C.A. § 5-21-118(b)(4).