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The Municipal Purchasing Law of 1983

Reference Number: MTAS-1834
Reviewed Date: 12/21/2021

The Municipal Purchasing Law of 1983 is where you’ll find the statement “All purchases made from funds subject to the authority of this part shall be made within the limits of the approved budget, when required, and the appropriations, when required, for the department, office or agency for which the purchase is made.” T.C.A. § 6-56-303. As if you didn’t already know, you can’t spend it if it wasn’t approved.

This law also covers advertising and bidding requirements, the exceptions to those requirements, and the authority of municipalities to increase and/or lower advertisement and bidding amounts. One of the exceptions to the advertising and bidding requirements is emergencies.

T.C.A. § 6-56-304(3) states:

… A record of any such emergency purchase shall be made by the person or body authorizing such emergency purchases, and shall specify the amount paid, the items purchased, from whom the purchase was made and the nature of the emergency. A report of any emergency purchase shall be made as soon as possible to the municipal governing body and the chief executive officer of the municipality, and shall include all items of information as required in the record.

The purchasing law also refers to Part 10 of the Public Purchases Chapter of T.C.A. Title 12 regarding purchases for local governments: public auctions, buying from other local governments, competitive bidding, and cooperative purchasing agreements. Compliance with these regulations is very much a part of budget management and control.