Claremore Daily Progress

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October 10, 2012

Helm splits $55,300 job, avoids statutory bidding

CanServ installs system on same day, but purchase orders show differently

(Continued)

CLAREMORE —

The total expected price, according to the quote was approximately $55,300, depending on additional hose or braided line that would be needed at the time of installation.
Statutes require all purchases that exceed $10,000 to be competitive bid. In this case Helm did not put out the installation for competitive bid, despite CanServ’s quote of $55,300.
Each installation was completed and listed on a separate invoice, even though the work was included in a single quote for the same system.
Title 19 of the state statute states that “splitting purchases for the purpose of avoiding competitive bidding and paying an amount in excess of [$10,000] is prohibited. Any persons convicted of violating this provision will be guilty of a misdemeanor and will forfeit their position or office.”
Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones interprets the bid limit mentioned above, to mean that the expenditure of more than the bid limit within a year (not necessarily a fiscal year) for the same item, service, system, etc. would be a violation of this provision and would constitute splitting purchase orders under most circumstances.
Helm said when asked about following bidding procedures. “I can not explain why there was a shortfall. I wait until they give me a quote.”
CanServ sent representatives out on multiple dates to complete the work.
The first installation was completed on April 5, 2012 and purchase order 207229 for $9,800.
Two other installations were completed during the month of April 2012, according to purchase order 207848 for $7,800 and purchase order 207747 for $9,800.
These two systems were installed on April 13 for a total cost of $17,600.
The work orders provided by CanServ to the Claremore Progress show details of the transaction, including a change to the invoice number.
It appears the invoice number was changed to reflect two separate invoices, despite the work being done on the same day.
Additionally, Helm’s department filed the purchase orders almost a week apart with the receiving reports reflecting different dates, yet both items were completed on the same day. 

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