Sedgwick County weighs new purchasing policy that shakes up bid board

Sedgwick County could be changing how it contracts with local businesses.

A resolution before county commissioners on Wednesday would govern how the county chooses its providers of goods and services ranging from legal ads to undercover sheriff’s vehicles.

County Manager Michael Scholes did not return a request for comment on Tuesday. He said earlier that he asked county staff members last year to develop a new purchasing policy to ensure a “fair and honest process.”

 

This new policy will help make the process not only legal and ethical but as fair and transparent as possible.

Michael Scholes, Sedgwick County manager

“This new policy will help make the process not only legal and ethical but as fair and transparent as possible,” Scholes said.

It changes the leadership of the county’s board of bids and contracts, which makes the final recommendation on contracts before the five-member Sedgwick County Commission.

“All purchases will be given an equal review based on an unbiased process,” Scholes wrote. “This includes a bid board that is diverse across Sedgwick County, including representatives from management, elected officials and others.”

 

Deputy County Manager Tom Golden would chair the meetings. An elected official such as the sheriff, register of deeds, treasurer, clerk or district attorney would be the vice chairman.

The existing policy made accounting director Sara Jantz and public works director David Spears the chairwoman and vice chairman, respectively.

The bid board would still feature a representative from the 18th Judicial District and a representative from an elected official’s office. The fifth and final bid board member would be picked by Scholes and could be a person who is not a county employee.

The deputy county manager position was created last February and was filled by Golden. Scholes and Golden both previously served in the Georgia Army National Guard.

If commissioners approve the policy, it would replace Charter 65 as the county’s governing purchasing policy. That resolution was approved in December 2011 and went into effect in February 2012.

(Read more: Wichita Eagle)