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ALP Manual Section 1:
Authority for Local Purchase

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Table of Contents
Section 1: Authority for Local Purchase
Section 2: General Purchasing Procedures
Section 3: Exceptions to the Solicitation Process
Section 4: Vendor Issues

ALP Manual Section 1: Authority for Local Purchase


1.1 Commissioner of Administration. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 16C.03, subd. 3, the commissioner of Administration acquires all goods, services, and utilities needed by agencies.

1.2 Delegated Authority. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 16C.03, subd. 16, the commissioner of Administration may delegate duties to an agency head or any subordinate of the agency head. The authority for local purchase (ALP) is a delegation from the commissioner of Administration to individuals in agencies of State government to directly purchase certain goods and services. This delegation may be rescinded at any time. The authority delegated to individuals in agencies belongs only to that individual and cannot be transferred, assigned or otherwise delegated. Because the individual is a delegated representative of the commissioner of Administration, he or she is required to oversee all agency purchasing under $2,500 conducted by anyone. The certified ALP purchaser ensures that State purchasing laws, rules, policies, and procedures are known by agency staff, and checks to see that they are followed.

1.3 Applicability. All departments and agencies making direct purchases in accordance with this authority must follow the procedures and instructions contained in this manual and all applicable laws and rules, including Minn. Stat. Chs. 16A, 16B and 16C and Minn. Rules Ch. 1230 and the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted by the State.

1.4 Purchasing Card and Field Purchase Order. The procedures in this manual must be followed when the State Purchasing Card or Field Purchase Order (FPO) is used. The purchasing card is intended for small purchases. The purchasing card has some restrictions; please refer to Admin Policy 99.4 (see Appendix N) and your agency's purchasing card policy. The FPO is intended for use in immediate-need situations when a employee is not in his or her primary work location and normal purchasing procedures cannot be followed. See Appendix N, Purchasing Policies and Procedures.

1.5 Levels of Authority for Local Purchasing

1.5.1 Up to $2,500 A State employee may, if permitted by the employee's agency, make purchases up to $2,500 (including FPOs and use of the State Purchasing Card) without certification from OSP. OSP requires that the certified agency ALP purchaser review, approve and initial the purchases of other agency staff. The certified agency ALP purchaser, as a delegate from the commissioner of Administration, has the responsibility to ensure that State purchasing laws, rules, policies, and procedures are followed on all purchases.
1.5.2 Up to $5,000 Certification up to $5,000 is available to State employees after attending $5000 ALP training and successfully completing the $5,000 ALP certification test. Purchasers must be recertified every three years. See the OSP website for training and recertification information.
1.5.3 Up to $25,000 Certification up to $25,000 is available to State employees who have completed MAPS procurement training and who are certified at the $5,000 level. To obtain certification at the $25,000,eligible purchasers must:
- Attend the $25,000 ALP training,
- Successfully complete the in-class $25,000 ALP test,
- Process a minimum of six solicitations between $2,500 and $25,000 in MAPS within six months after passing the test, and
- Successfully pass a review/audit by OSP.
Purchasers must be recertified every three years. See the OSP website for training and recertification information.
Note: Even if certified to purchase at a higher level, agency purchasers are limited to $25,000 for public works contracts.
1.5.4 Special Delegations. Special delegations granting authority in excess of $25,000 are available to individuals after demonstrating a need for the authority and the ability to conduct purchasing at this level in accordance with all laws, rules, policies and procedures. Requests for special purchasing authority must be submitted in writing to the OSP Acquisition Manager, specifying the goods or services for which the additional authority is needed, listing the names and purchasing qualifications of the individuals who need the special delegation and explaining how value is added by conducting the purchases at the local level. Approval of such requests is at the discretion of the Office of State Procurement. All special delegation requests and approvals must be in writing.

1.6 Exceptions to Levels of Authority

1.6.1 Emergencies. When acting in response to an emergency, purchasers may exceed their delegated purchasing authority and do not need to follow the solicitation process. Pursuant to statute, an "emergency" is a threat to public health, welfare, or safety that threatens the functions of government, the protection of property, or the health or safety of people. When an agency head determines that an emergency exists, agency personnel should enlist the assistance of the appropriate Acquisition Management Specialist before making an emergency purchase if time permits. If time does not permit, the agency head is expected to act promptly to address the emergency.In all cases where action has been taken in response to an emergency, agencies must report the incident to the OSP Acquisitions Manager, in writing, as soon as possible. The report must include a description of the emergency, the action that was taken and the cost of goods and/or services purchased in response to the emergency.
1.6.2 Public Works Contracts. Certified agency purchasers are limited to $25,000 for public works contracts even if they are certified to purchase at a higher level. All public works contracts require proof of insurance prior to beginning work. (See Section 2.40, Insurance.) See Appendix Q, Instructions for Construction Solicitations. The only exception to this is if an agency or an individual has a written special delegation.
1.6.3 OSP Contract Items. Purchasers need not stay within their delegated ALP authority limits when making purchases from available contracts established by OSP. See Section 2.3 detailing procedures for making contract purchases.
1.6.4 Purchases from MINNCOR. Most products available from MINNCOR are on contract and agencies should follow the procedures set forth in Section 2.3. For those items not on contract, purchasers may exceed their delegated authority when purchasing from MINNCOR. Purchasers may procure goods and services from MINNCOR directly without obtaining competitive responses. However, if a State agency chooses to solicit responses from multiple vendors for items available from MINNCOR, the solicitation must be forwarded to MINNCOR to ensure that MINNCOR has an opportunity to submit a response. Information on where to submit a solicitation to MINNCOR is available on the OSP website. If a certified purchaser chooses to solicit responses from multiple vendors, the estimated value of the solicitation must be within his/her delegated purchasing authority. Note: A task force has established performance goals for public entity purchasing from MINNCOR. If the goals are not achieved in two consecutive fiscal years, public entities will be required to purchase itemsavailable from MINNCOR.
1.6.5 Purchases from the Communications Media Division (Comm.Media)(Central Mail & Minnesota's Bookstore). Purchasers do not need to stay within their delegated ALP authority limits when making purchases directly from Comm.Media, nor do they need to go through the solicitation process. Within their delegated ALP authority, a certified purchaser can choose to solicit responses for services from outside vendors only if no state agency can do the work. For services solicited from outside vendors, a Service Contract Certification Form (see Appendix D, Forms) must be completed and it becomes part of the purchasing file (see Sections 2.44-46).
1.6.6 One-Time Delegations. If the need arises for an acquisition that exceeds a purchaser's ALP authority and time constraints do not permit the normal MAPS requisition and ordering process, the purchaser must call the AMS responsible for thatcommodity. If the AMS agrees there is a special need, the purchaser must submit a writtenrequest by fax or email to the AMS in OSP. If the written request is approved, it will be signed by the AMS granting the purchaser a one-time special delegation of authority. The written approval must be kept in the file documenting the purchasing action. Special delegations of authority will only be made in writing. See Appendix N, Purchasing Policies and Procedures.


1.7 Best Value for Commodities and Services: Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 16C.03, subd. 3, all decisions involved in the acquisition process, unless otherwise provided for by law, shall be based upon deriving the "best value" for the State. Deriving the "best value" in purchasing means conducting an evaluation of price and considering other factors, such as environmental considerations, product quality and vendor performance. If criteria other than price are used, the solicitation must state the relative importance of price and other factors, (Minn. Stat. § 16C.03, subd. 3).

1.8 Building Construction: All building and construction contracts must be awarded to the responsible vendor that submitted the lowest-priced response meeting specifications and other conditions imposed in the solicitation document. Note: Building construction acquisitions are governed by Minn. Stat. § 16C.25 through 16C.28, and other applicable laws.

1.8.1 Responsible Vendor: "Responsible vendor" means a vendor who:

(a) is a manufacturer of, deals in, or is an agent of a manufacturer, with full knowledge of the products to be furnished, but is not a broker; and

(b) if services are to be provided, has the necessary skills to, or is in the business of supplying these services; and

(c) can demonstrate a satisfactory credit standing, lack of tax liability, and the financial capability to perform a contract as evidenced by the ability to obtain bonding when required; and

(d) has no unresolved record of failure to perform or of unsatisfactory performance of contracts for the State or other customers; and

(e) is not currently debarred by another government entity for any cause, including defaults on contracts, late deliveries, products not meeting specifications, substandard installation, or service; and

(f) is otherwise qualified under rule and law, including incorporation in or registration to do business in Minnesota; and

(g) has not engaged in unlawful practices, associated with organized crime, or operated under false names or fronts as a small business or a socially or economically disadvantaged small business; and

(h) is in compliance with all the laws of Minnesota, as evidenced by timely filing of all required returns, reports, payments, and possession of all applicable stamps, licenses, or other permits and freedom from any judgment, lien, or seizure of assets or property to satisfy tax payments or duties; and

(i) is willing to furnish all information necessary to determine responsibility as outlined in the above items (a) to (h) within 30 days or less or within a reasonable amount of time as determined by OSP.

1.9 Records Retention: All responses and all documents pertaining to the award of the solicitation, such as envelopes or other time-stamped documents, shall be kept on file in accordance with Minn. Stat. §§ 138.163 and 138.17, governing the preservation and disposal of public records.

1.10 Targeted Vendor Program: Minn. Stat. § 16C.16 authorizes a program for vendors to be certified as economically or socially disadvantaged. Utilization of these vendors at the local purchasing level is strongly encouraged. Information about the program listings of certified businesses is available on the OSP web page or through the OSP Helpline by calling 651.296.2600.

1.11 Ethics in Purchasing: Agency purchasing staff are covered by Minn. Stat. § 16C.04, Ethical Practices and Conflict of Interest, and Minn. Stat. § 43A.38, Code of Ethics for Employees in the Executive Branch. All employees involved in any phase of the purchasing process should review these statutes regularly to ensure understanding and compliance as they shall be held accountable to the highest standard.

1.12 Misconduct of Public Officer or Employee: As stated in Minn. Stat. § 609.43, a public officer or employee who does any of the following, for which no other sentence is specifically provided by law, may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both:

"(2) In the capacity of such officer or employee, does an act knowing it is in excess of lawful authority or knowing it is forbidden by law to be done in that capacity; . . . "

1.13 Environmentally Preferable Purchasing. Certain federal and state laws support or require environmentally preferable purchasing by the public sector. These laws are designed to show that government can lead by example and help pave the way for more options in the marketplace for consumers and businesses.

1.13.1 Purchases Utilizing Federal Funds. Federal Executive Order 13101 provides guidance to federal agencies on buying recycled-content and plant-based products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued the federal Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines to assist agencies in following the Executive Order. In some cases, State and local government must also follow the recycled-contentguidelines when purchasing certain items using federal funds. (See "Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines" in the Glossary, Appendix B, for more information.) Those not required to comply with the federal standards are still encouraged to use these guidelines when purchasing.
1.13.2 Recycled Products. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. §16B.121, State agencies must purchase products made with recycled material when the price does not exceed comparable nonrecycled products by more than 10 percent.
1.13.3 Recycled Copy Paper. All copier paper purchased by State agencies must contain at least 10 percent post-consumer recycled material by fiber content. The 1999federal standard is a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer recycled material. The Department of Administration supports the federal standard and encourages meeting that standard when practicable. Agencies are encouraged to purchase from Office Supply Connection, where copier paper is available that meets or exceeds the federal standard.
1.13.4 Less-Toxic, More-Durable, or Reusable Products. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 16B.122, subd. 2, State agencies are required to place special emphasis on reducing the quantity and toxicity of materials in waste. Bid specifications are to consider the extent to which a commodity or product is durable, reusable, or recyclable and marketable through the State Resource Recovery Program and the extent to which the commodity or product contains post-consumer material.
1.13.5 Prevent Pollution Through Specifications. Minnesota Executive Order 99-4, Providing for the Implementation of Pollution Prevention and Resource Conservation by State Government, directs State agencies, in cooperation with the Department of Administration, to encourage pollution prevention through their purchasing policies and specifications. (See Appendix O.)
1.13.6 Environmental Printing Guidelines: All printing requirements must conform to the procedures in Minn. Stat. § 16B.122, subd. 2 (a) which states:

Whenever practicable, a public entity shall:

(1) purchase uncoated office paper and printing paper;

(2) purchase recycled content paper with at least ten percent post-consumer material by weight;

(3) purchase paper which has not been dyed with colors, excluding pastel colors;

(4) purchase recycled content paper that is manufactured using little or no chlorine bleach or chlorine derivatives;

(5) use no more than two colored inks, standard or processed, except in formats where they are necessary to convey meaning;

(6) use reusable binding materials or staples and bind documents by methods that do not use glue;

(7) use soy-based inks; and

(8) produce reports, publications, and periodicals that are readily recyclable within the state resource recovery program.

1.14 Definition of Practicable. The statute defines "practicable" as capable of being used, consistent with performance, in accordance with applicable specifications, and available within a reasonable time.

1.15 Human Rights Compliance: The amended Minnesota Human Rights Act (Minn. Stat. § 363A.36) divides the contract compliance program into two categories. Both categories apply to any contracts for goods or services in excess of $100,000.

The first category applies to businesses that have had more than 40 full-time employees within Minnesota on a single working day during the previous 12 months. The businesses in this category must have submitted an affirmative action plan to the commissioner of Human Rights by the time responses are due and must have received a Certificate of Compliance prior to the execution of the contract or agreement.

The second category applies to businesses that have had more than 40 full-time employees on a single working day in the previous 12 months in the state in which they have their primary place of business, if not in Minnesota. The businesses in this category must have either a current Certificate of Compliance previously issued by the Department of Human Rights, or certify to the contracting State agency that they are in compliance with federal affirmative action requirements before execution of the contract. See Appendix F, MAPS Text, Buyer Message AMPGHR, for the entire new wording.


1.16 Site Visits. Agencies will be visited periodically by a representative of OSP and/or the Office of the Legislative Auditor to review purchasing activity.

1.16.1 The review provides the agency personnel an opportunity to make comments, express concerns and ask questions. However, agency personnel are strongly encouraged to contact OSP at any time questions or concerns arise.
1.16.2 A number of solicitations, orders and payments will be reviewed by OSP to ensure knowledge of, and compliance with, existing policies, procedures, and statutes.
1.16.3 Based on the results of this review, further training may be required, an additional review may be scheduled, or recission of the certified agency purchaser's local authority may occur.


1.17 Quarterly Reports. A Buyer's Quarterly Environmental Purchasing Report must be completed and submitted at the end of the quarter whenever environmentally responsible purchases are made and the environmental code is not entered on a Minnesota Accounting and Procurement System (MAPS) screen. The report must be submitted to the OSP Acquisitions Manager. The January-March report is due on or before April 30. The April-June report is due on or before July 31. The July-September report is due on or before October 31 and the October-December report is due on or before January 31. See Appendix D for a copy of the report form.

1.18 Violations.

1.18.1 Violations of Minn. Stat. § 16A.15, subd. 3. If a violation of Minn. Stat. § 16A.15 occurs, the individual who caused the violation or the certified purchaser must complete a Purchasing Violation form (see Appendix D, Forms). If the violation was within the limits of the buyer's ALP level, the form must be included in the purchasing file. If the amount of the violation exceeded the buyer's ALP level, the original of the form must be kept with the purchasing file, and a copy sent to the Acquisition Manager in OSP along with a copy of the purchasing file. See Appendix H, Minnesota Statues.
1.18.2 Violations of Minnesota Statutes Chapters 16B and 16C and all other applicable purchasing statutes, rules, policies and procedures. In the event other violations of purchasing-related statutes, rules, or procedures occur, they should be reported by the individual who made the violation or the certified purchaser. If the discovery is made by someone else and the individual who caused the violation is not readily available, the discoverer or the certified purchaser must report the violation on the Purchasing Violation form (see Appendix D, Forms). The original of the violation form must be kept with the purchasing file and a copy sent to the Acquisitions Manager in OSP with a copy of the purchasing file. See Appendix H, Laws & Rules Governing State Purchasing & Contracting, and Appendix N, Purchasing Policy 14.

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