Public purchasing is the process of acquiring all those goods and services that are necessary to provide the public with those services that they require. Private sector purchasing has several goals. Among these are to:
- Purchase the proper goods or services to suit the businesses’ needs
- Get the best possible price for goods or services
- Have the good or service available when and where it is needed
- Assure a continuing supply of needed goods and services
- Guard against any misappropriation of the business’ assets procured by purchasing
Public purchasing has these goals as well, but public purchasing must also assure that:
- Responsible bidders are given a fair opportunity to compete for the County’s business. This is done partially by the statutory requirements for competitive bids and proposals, and partially by the County’s own purchasing procedures.
- Public funds are safeguarded. Although the purchasing office does not usually designate the types of purchases to be made, it should see that the best value is received for the public’s dollar.
- Public spending is not used to enrich elected officials or County employees, or to confer favors on favored constituents.