(Herald Independent (Winnsboro, SC) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 11--WINNSBORO -- Fairfield County Council recently unanimously agreed to renew its contract with the accounting firm Elliott Davis for three more years for auditing services.
Fairfield County Administrator Milton Pope said the action is important and did need council's approval. The motion passed 6-0. District 3 Councilman Mikel Trapp was absent.
Auditing services are required each year and, according to Pope, multi-term contracts are permitted in the procurement policy. He cited one part specifically.
"It is appropriate when it is in the best interest of the county to obtain uninterrupted services extending over one fiscal year," he read from the policy. "The contractual obligation of both parties in each fiscal year period succeeding the first is subject to appropriation and availability of funds thereof. The contract shall provide that in the event funds are not available for any succeeding fiscal period, the remainder of the contract shall be cancelled. Total contract years shall not exceed five years for a contractual period."
Pope noted that most government contracts are approved in that way. The auditing service was previously approved during the budgeting process, but a public voted had not been held.
"I think it is very important we don't have an interruption in our auditing services because they are very familiar with our books," he said.
Elliott Davis previously did work on the Local Option Sales Tax and Pope told District 2 Councilwoman Carolyn Robinson the firm has been used by Fairfield County for at least five years. He strongly encouraged for council to approve the extension so service is not interrupted.
"Based upon where the county is right now it is very important to keep some consistency with auditing procedures," Pope stated.
He noted Elliott Davis does a tremendous amount of local government work and is one of the leading firms in the state in that field.
After passing the recommendation of the committee, council postponed a vote to approve revisions in the county's procurement policy.
Following a motion to approve, Robinson requested council not vote immediately before having time to review the amendments.
"I respectfully request that we not vote on this tonight," she stated. "That we postpone it for the next regular scheduled meeting so that we could review it a little bit more."
Council agreed to take more time in the review of the amendment.
The motion was taken off the floor and Council Chairman David Ferguson told Pope the amendment would be considered at the next regular scheduled meeting on July 8.
Changes in the policy included requiring council's approval for any purchase over $25,000. Other changes include giving the Director of Procurement the power to purchase up to $15,000 but orders changed by less than 10 percent of the original price or in the amount of $10,000 will require approval from the county administrator.
Purchases that change more than 10 percent of the original price or more than $10,000 will require council's approval.
Other policy amendments include changing the definition of close family as it relates to county employees. "Close family" members include a spouse, sibling, in-laws, aunts, uncles or cousins. The change in definition is intended to avoid conflicts of interest when awarding county contracts.
During the June 23 meeting, Pope also advised council of language added under the item "Duty of Contractor."
Pope specified that the inspection services of the governing local building officials may be made available for construction plumbing heating air conditioning and electrical work and the contractor shall obtain and require that each of its sub-contractors for these special contracts apply for, obtain and pay any applicable costs for all required permit and inspection fees for especially which he is a sub-contractor.
"We added this in for what we thought would be an improvement in the process," Pope said.
The procurement policy revisions can be viewed in full at www.fairfieldsc.com.
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