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Purchasing Laws
Title 6 - Contracts and Purchasing
Annotated Code of Maryland References
  • Written contracts for work to be done for counties -- See Article 25, § 29.
  • Interest of County Commissioners in contracts -- See Article 25, § 30.
  • Inapplicability of provisions concerning competitive bidding for county contracts to Calvert County -- See Article 25, § 3(l).

§ 6-101 Competitive bidding [1985, chapter 715, § 2; 1989, chapter 69]
  • Except as otherwise provided in this title, contracts for the purchase by the county of supplies or services involving $15,000 or more shall be by formal bidding procedures and the contract shall be awarded at a regularly scheduled meeting of the commissioners or by the official authorized to contract for the county to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications. A contract may not be subdivided to avoid the requirements of this section. [Amended 1998, chapter 84; 2000, chapter 166]
  • The commissioners or the official authorized to contract for the county shall invite proposals for all contracts subject to this section by publishing a notice in at least two county newspapers for two consecutive weeks. The notice shall state that in not less than three weeks the commissioners or the official authorized to contract for the county will meet in public session to receive bids for the described purchase or contract, state the time and place of the meeting, and reserve the right to reject any and all bids. [Amended 2000, chapter 166]
  • In determining the lowest responsible bidder, in addition to considering price, the commissioners or the official authorized to contract for the county shall consider:
    • The ability, capacity, and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required
    • Whether the bidder can perform the contract or provide the service promptly, or within the time specified, without delay or interference
    • The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience, and efficiency of the bidder
    • The quality of performance of previous contracts or services
    • The previous and current compliance by the bidder with laws and ordinances relating to the contract or service
    • Whether the bidder is in arrears to the county on any debt or contract, is in default on any surety to the county, or is delinquent as to any taxes or assessments
    • Any other information that may have a bearing on the decision to award the contract
  •  If a contract is not awarded to the lowest bidder in price, the reasons for the decision shall be stated in the minutes of the meeting at which the contract is awarded.

§ 6-102 Exceptions to competitive bidding [1985, chapter 715, § 2; 1989, chapter 69]
  • The following types of contracts may be awarded without complying with the bidding procedures otherwise required under this subtitle:
    • Purchases or contracts involving less than $15,000 [Amended 1998, chapter 84]
    • Purchases of supplies or services that are available only through one source
    • Contracts for professional services such as those of attorneys, physicians, architects, engineers, accountants, consultants, and others possessing a similar high degree of technical skill and expertise, provided that to the extent appropriate for the particular service to be provided, an attempt is made to secure competitive proposals for these services
    • Purchases or contracts made when the County Commissioners determine that an emergency exists, provided that the commissioners publish an explanation of the circumstances deemed to constitute the emergency in at least two county newspapers
    • Purchases based on federal, state, county, or municipal contracts that are established by a legal competitive process[Amended 1997, chapter 402]
    • For purchases or contracts involving less than $250,000 where the county is acting as the general contractor, the purchase or contract may be awarded after the county obtains quotes for the purchase or contract from at least three vendors or subcontractors [Added 2003, chapter 329]

§ 6-103 Multi-year contracts [1985, chapter 715, § 2]
  • When it is advantageous to the county to do so, the county may contract to purchase supplies or services for periods of more than one year if:
    • Funds for the total cost of the contract are available at the time of the contract is executed; or
    • A contract requiring the payment of funds from appropriations of more than one fiscal year is approved by resolution of the commissioners, and is not for more than a three-year term.

§ 6-104 Contracts for sale of real property [1985, chapter 715, § 2]
  • Notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the county may grant and convey any county interest in real property other than by formal bidding procedures if the commissioners determine that it is in the best interest of the county to do so, provided that:
    • The consideration for the transfer is not less than the highest of two independent appraisals, and
    • The commissioners set out on the record the reasons for their determination.
  • Before conveying any property interest under this section, the commissioners shall publish a notice describing the property and the sale for at least two consecutive weeks in at least two county newspapers.

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