BERNALILLO — Sandoval County Manager Dianne Maes found herself in the hot seat when discussing a procurement process with the county commission Thursday night.
Commissioner Jay Block had a few questions regarding the county’s procurement process during an item Maes was presenting to award a bid for attorney services.
“I ask this every time: ‘Was this contract reviewed by you and the county attorney and is your signature on it?'” Block asked.
Maes replied that the contract had been through the procurement process, having been posted and out for bid for 30 days.
“This particular firm was the only responsive bid, but it did meet all of the requirements,” Maes said.
Block said he talks with the county clerk and a fellow commissioner about each contract that goes through the procurement process with the county.
“It is my understanding that every contract should be going through you and the county attorney?” Block asked.
Maes said that if there is any fiscal impact, a contract will also go through the county finance committee, but Block was ultimately correct.
“Any kind of fiscal responsibility or obligation on behalf of the county that would impact the budget or any money that is coming in goes through this process. We also review contracts coming through that will be awarding money,” she said. “So everything goes through finance, the attorney and myself.”
Block refuted Maes, saying there was one contract — not the one under discussion at that time — that did not go through the proper process.
“I would like you to take a look at that and see why,” he said. “It’s related to an employee here in Sandoval County that left her employment in one of the departments here and then came back as a contract employee.”
Maes said in this instance, an employee moved from a full-time status and was placed on a contract to help the county maintain the integrity of its human resources system.
“This person was working after hours after doing her duties at her other position temporarily to keep us afloat,” Maes said.
Block said he didn’t want to get into the details, but to make sure that no one was being treated differently when it came to the procurement of contracts.
“I was under the assumption that everything should be reviewed by you as the county manager and the county attorney,” he said.
Maes said this situation was not procurement, so the process was different.
“This person is already an employee, so if anything, the impact to the budget is going to be salary savings,” Maes said.
Block clarified his question by asking if there was a reason why the county manager and attorney were not involved with this type of contract.
Maes replied that she would look into it.
In other matters, Block asked the commission to consider outsourcing the management of the county’s landfill.
“This would potentially promote efficiencies in the landfill’s longevity, while maintaining control over tipping fees and revenues,” he said.
The commission agreed to add Block’s suggestion as an agenda item at a future commission meeting.