A policy that will allow departments to spend up to $250 without filing a purchase order has been approved by the full Warren County Commission.
The measure was sent for consideration from the county Financial Management Committee, which passed it unanimously. However, the same cannot be said for the full commission as the measure passed 22-1 on Tuesday night.
Commissioner Charles Morgan voted against raising the spending limit from $100 to $250.
“When we adopted the 81 Act, it was supposed to make it more difficult to waste money," said Morgan. "Instead, we are systematically making it easier for them to spend with less oversight. I see no reason why we couldn’t have a paper trail when money is being spent through the county. That’s my view.”
The paper trail is this: When items are needed and quotes exceed the spending limit, the department must contact the county Finance Department to request a purchase order. Once the purchase is made, the department director must sign the receipt as authorization and send it back to the Finance Department for payment. The Finance Department then matches the receipt to the purchase order and payment is made.
The county has already passed a resolution increasing its bid limit from $5,000 to $10,000 allowing department directors to spend up to that amount without being required to undergo a competitive bidding process.
Morgan was opposed to the bid limit increase too.
“We’re making it easier and easier for them to spend money,” said Morgan. “I’m not saying any of them will take something or do something wrong, but if you want accountability, why are you making it easier for them to not be held accountable?"
Being a resolution, departments can now spend up to $250 without requesting a purchase order.