NEWS HEADLINES

New procedure to add oversight to city purchases

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Chico City Council Tuesday voted unanimously to adopt new purchasing policies proposed by Mayor J. D. Clark.

Clark said the new purchasing procedures should be more cost-efficient and save local tax dollars. The new policies will require employees to submit purchase orders to a purchasing associate who will keep track of spending in the individual budget accounts. After the purchasing associate has signed off on the request, the purchase order will then be reviewed for final approval by either the mayor, the director of public works, or the fire chief, depending on the department.

“It became clear to me in recent months that the purchasing policies traditionally used by the City of Chico were much too lax and don’t provide enough oversight of how our tax dollars are being spent,” Clark said in a prepared statement. “These new policies will eliminate wasteful spending and unnecessary purchasing.”

In the past, there has been no formal system of requesting permission for expenditures and purchases; instead, employees could make purchases without coordinating with each other or the office staff.

The new policies will go into effect Feb. 1.

The council also signed the annual code of ethics written by Clark.

“The people of Chico are entitled to a local government that is fair, ethical, and accountable,” Clark wrote in the introduction of the code. “To achieve this, elected officials must respect and adhere to the American ideals of government and live and work each day as exemplary models of ethical public servants. The Chico City Council has adopted this Code of Ethics to encourage public confidence in the integrity and intentions of the local government.”

The 10 areas addressed in the code include acting in the public interest, fairness, transparency, respect for the law, conduct of members, conduct in meetings, improper influence, gifts, special treatment and city resources.

“I want our behavior to be a model to all future members of the Chico City Council who come after us and to city councils across Wise County,” Clark said. “This code of ethics is a promise and a reminder to our community of what we stand for and of what we are doing in our community. I want this to be a Chico tradition that continues long after all of us have finished serving.”

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