Upsala to adopt purchasing policy

After a nearby city fell victim to an online scam, Upsala is now implementing its own purchasing policy to ensure it doesn’t happen there.

Mayor Rollie Johnson said that after it became known what happened to their neighboring town, Swanville, several Upsala residents inquired about the city’s policy.

“Losing that kind of money is devastating to a small town,” Johnson said.

Even though Upsala has had its own standard procedure of how purchasing and payments are made, Johnson realized that any predecessors may not always follow it unless there was a solid policy in place.

Some of the procedures Upsala already has in place is to have one of the council members, Johnson and City Clerk Michelle Stevens review the city’s bills. All checks that were issued required two signatures, as well — Johnsons’ and Stevens’.

The city also never engages in any bank wire transfers, Johnson said.

Per Johnson’s request, Stevens produced a standard purchasing policy for the Council to review until the next meeting, Sept. 5. The Council will then approve it as is or with changes.

Some of the suggestions in the purchasing policy include that petty cash and purchases of $300 or less may be made by the department head or his or her designee with the supervisor’s prior approval.

Three quotes are needed to be obtained for any purchases of $301 – $999.99.

Any purchases of $1,000-$49,999.99 not only require three quotes or a quote from the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), but also Council approval.

Any purchases over $50,000 would require a formal preparation of specifics, bids advertised in the city’s legal newspaper, publicly opened and approved by Council resolution.

The use of credit cards is addressed, as well. If a city officer or an employee makes a purchase on behalf of the city, they are personally liable for the amount of the purchase.

All claims that are presented to the city for payment must also be in writing and itemized. Any billings from credit card companies don’t meet this requirement, so the city must retain the original invoices and receipts for all items that are charged on the city credit card.