CENTREVILLE – After a unanimous vote, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners changed the county’s procurement policy to give a slight advantage to county businesses.
“This is a wonderful step forward,” said Commissioner Mark Anderson. “An effective Economic Development program must recognize the value of existing businesses and should have a program like this to give tax paying local businesses a competitive incentive”
Commissioner Robert Buckey spearheaded the effort to find a way to help local businesses, compete against large out-of-town corporations. He formed a team of staff and citizens to research the best way to do this. In the group were Buckey, Todd Mohn, Jamie Gilbert, Peter Bonora, Jack Wilson and Sheldon Hudson.
Buckey said, "I am very pleased that my fellow commissioners and I took a major step forward today for Queen Anne's County businesses by unanimously passing a new county procurement policy that insures Queen Anne's County businesses have the opportunity to provide services to our county."
"I feel that it is important that we take every action possible to create jobs and opportunities right here in Queen Anne’s County. This new policy will give local vendors preference in the county bidding process and will create more jobs in the county," Buckey said. "I am also excited about the trickle-down effect of putting our tax dollars to work in our community with locally owned businesses. This policy is designed to keep Queen Anne's County tax dollars at home working in our community and the residual effect will be great for the entire county."
The changes to the policy are targeted to provide incentives to local vendors providing goods/services in the county, to create a bid review committee and to streamline the process for small procurement.
The policy gives a local vendor preference using a 10-percent allowance with a $50,000 cap for
certified Queen Anne’s County vendors for all solicitations that are exclusively funded with local dollars. This provision provides an economic benefit to local vendors with the objective of keeping local funds in the hands of county businesses. A certified local vendor must be designated in SDAT with Queen Anne’s County as their principal place of business or has identified Queen Anne’s County as the county of residence on their most recent Maryland Income tax return (for sole proprietorships only). In addition, an acceptable local vendor bid must be at least 50-percent of the overall contract value to be considered.
Local vendors will be required to complete a bid affidavit for each solicitation which must be included with their bid. Local vendors can also submit a prequalification form so they are included in a local vendor resource database for notifications of county procurements. This provision was modeled after a policy established in Saint Mary’s County in 2012.
The policy change also formalizes the use of a county commissioner appointed Bid Review Committee for solicitations where lowest responsible bid is not the sole deciding factor for bid award (i.e. quality based selections and design build). This committee will assist with the development of the selection criteria and make recommendations in conjunction with county staff to the commissioners.
The changes to the policy will streamline operational efficiency by increasing the amount a department head can approve from $10,000 to less than $25,000.