The Dauphin County Purchasing Department consists of 4 full-time employees and 1 part-time employee. The Department co-ordinates and reviews the needs from the various County offices. Purchases under $500 (with the exception of capital equipment and contracts) may be done by the individual Departments through use of a Field Limited Purchase Order and only need Department Directors' authorization. All requests over $500 (and all capital equipment and contract requests, regardless of dollar amount) are reviewed by the Purchasing Director and submitted to the Commissioners, on a bi-weekly basis, for final approval. Purchases between $10,000 and $18,500 require at least 3 quotes from qualified vendors; those purchases that are over $18,500 require formal, advertised Bids, must be opened at a public meeting and must be awarded to the lowest responsible Bidder. (There are some exceptions to these rules, such as professional services, maintenance and repairs and copyrighted or patented products) In lieu of bidding, the County participates in the State Contract Piggyback Purchasing Program, which allows us to take advantage of the States' bulk purchasing power.
Dauphin County operates a Bulk Storage/Warehouse facility, which is also under the Purchasing Departments' direction. Items are stored there that are commonly used by various departments throughout the County. Deliveries are made to the County facilities as needed. A stockroom is also maintained in the Central Purchasing Office in which administrative supplies (again, commonly used by various departments) are stored for distribution. In addition, the County has started a Co-op Purchasing Program in which the local municipalities can purchase items from our "Central Supplies" as needed. These items are delivered to the participating municipalities on a weekly basis. Items delivered to the County Departments are billed monthly through a "charge-back" system. Invoices are sent monthly to the participating municipalities for their purchases and payments are received by the Purchasing Department and processed to the Treasurer.
The Purchasing Department assists other County departments with cost estimates during Budget preparations. Our office maintains vendor files and "Bidder Lists" to insure that all companies who wish to do business with Dauphin County are treated fairly.
Surplus county property is disposed of by the Purchasing Department. Items are collected and stored at the warehouse and then sold to the highest bidder.
All County Purchasing procedures are governed by Article XVIII of the County Code.