City of Batavia – Awarding Contracts for Goods and Services (2013M-296)

Issued Date
January 24, 2014

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the City’s purchasing process for the period April 1, 2012 through September 6, 2013.


The City of Batavia is located in Genesee County and has a population of 15,645. The City is governed by a City Charter, general laws of the State of New York, and local laws and ordinances. The City has an appointed City Manager who also performs the duties of the Director of Finance and a nine-member elected City Council. The City’s 2013-14 fiscal year general fund budget totaled approximately $15.5 million.

Key Findings

  • The City did not properly award all contracts and has not annually reviewed the procurement policy, as required by General Municipal Law (GML). We found that 17 vendors’ contracts totaling approximately $1 million were not executed by the Council President as required by the Charter, but rather by the City Manager. We found exceptions with the procurement of goods and/or services from certain vendors.
  • City officials did not regularly seek competition or indicate the selection basis, such as using requests for proposals (RFPs), when procuring professional services. The City awarded contracts to four out of seven professional service providers without evidence of any cost-benefit analysis, or having applied and evaluated the procurement policy factors. Generally, the City selected these vendors as a result of their past history of providing services to the City. Payments to these four vendors totaled $260,987 during our audit period for: legal services ($131,257), insurance ($73,699), engineering services ($36,915) and financial software support ($19,116). In addition, the City paid another professional service provider approximately $129,000 for insurance.

Key Recommendations

  • Annually review the procurement policy, as required, and update as needed. Execute all contracts in accordance with the Charter.
  • Periodically seek requests for proposals for professional services to ensure they are receiving the desired service at a competitive price.