Q There is a proposed group purchasing program for counties, which will utilize reverse auctions, comply with all procurement laws, and require each participating county to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) agreeing to the terms. Does our county have the authority to enter into such an agreement?

A The Attorney General has consistently opined that government agencies may employ or negotiate contracts for personal services, especially professional services, without advertising for bids. The county may therefore enter into a contract with a third party to perform bidding services, including a reverse auction, in order for the county to make purchases of certain frequently used materials, commodities and equipment at the lowest cost to the county. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Moseley, December 20, 2013)