Report 2011-131 Recommendation 19 Responses

Report 2011-131: City of Vernon: Although Reform Is Ongoing, Past Poor Decision Making Threatens Its Financial Stability (Release Date: June 2012)

Recommendation #19 To: Vernon, City of

To better control contract expenditures and ensure that it receives the best value for the services it purchases, the city should continue its efforts to develop and implement policies and procedures for a competitive bidding process, including clearly defining the circumstances under which forgoing competitive bidding is appropriate.

1-Year Agency Response

On December 18, 2012 (effective January 17, 2013), the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 1200, the Competitive Bidding and Purchasing Ordinance. Section 2.17.12 of the Ordinance provides eleven (11) exemptions from competitive bidding and competitive selection. Among them are, labor or services rendered by one City department to another City department, contracts for proprietary or sole-source labor, material, supplies, or services, contracts for or relating to the acquisition of real property, and contracts for emergency work. On June 25, 2013, the Finance Department issued the City of Vernon Purchasing Manual to all City departments, as adopted by the City Administrator pursuant to the City's Competitive Bidding and Purchasing Ordinance (Ordinance No. 1200). The Purchasing Manual was prepared by the Finance Department, with significant input from the City Attorney's Office and all City departments. The Purchasing Manual sets forth all of the requirements of the Purchasing Ordinance as they apply in a practical manner to the day to day operation of the purchasing system.

  • Completion Date: December 2012
  • Response Date: July 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

The city council adopted Ordinance 1200, the competitive bidding and purchasing ordinance in December 2012. Additionally, in June 2013, the finance department issued the city's purchasing manual, adopted by the city administrator, which sets forth all the requirements, including circumstances under which the city may forgo competitive bidding.

6-Month Agency Response

In December 2012 the city council adopted a competitive bidding and purchasing ordinance. However, this ordinance is not effective until July 1, 2013 to allow for a transition period for existing agreements. By the end of June 2013, the city expects to adopt written administrative procedures through a purchasing manual which will set forth requirements of the ordinance as they apply in a practical manner to the day-to-day operation of a purchasing system.

  • Response Date: January 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

60-Day Agency Response

The city states that a top priority for its recently appointed city attorney will be to finalize the proposed comprehensive contract and purchasing ordinance that establishes an open and competitive bidding process for service contracts as required by the city charter, but it did not give a timeframe for completion. (See 2013-406, p. 194)

  • Response Date: August 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

All Recommendations in 2011-131

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.