Purchasing Policy, Which Came About After Costly Overruns, Approved by Town

The long talked about procurement policy for the Town of Elkton, which the administration says is in line “with practices used by Cecil County Government,” was approved at the Aug 5th town meeting. The need for better fiscal management controls were discovered after the town got entangled in a purchasing mess related to information technology and the web site in the first half of 2008, spending nearly $100,000 while just over $7,000 was budgeted.  When Commissioner Storke asked about the excessive, unanticipated costs, no one seemed to know where the work authorizations came from. About as far at that line of query got was that some said the mayor was managing the technology contracts and had personally selected the vendor. As they worked to straighten out the mess, a vendor contract was terminated and the town board learned that the municipality did not have purchasing guidelines since the responsibility was informally delegated to each department head. Thus the commissioners ordered the creation of formal processes to control purchases. Periodically since last summer, Commissioner Storke would ask where the town stood on the development of a policy as he worked to have the policy implemented.


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