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Political Subdivisions

Political Subdivisions Defined

As used in South Carolina's laws, the term "political subdivision" does not have a single, universal definition. For purposes of the Consolidated Procurement Code and its accompanying regulations, the term is defined as follows:

"Political subdivision" means all counties, municipalities, school districts, public service or special purpose districts"

Determining whether an entity is a county, municipality, or school district under the laws of South Carolina is usually straightforward. While the same is true for most public service or special purpose districts, such entities can be more difficult to categorize. For additional information, see the links for Using Statewide Contracts and for Resources under the heading for Political Subdivisions on our Home Page.

With several important exceptions, the Consolidated Procurement Code does not apply to political subdivisions.

Section 11-35-5310 restricts the ability to require that a surety bond be furnished by a particular surety company or through a particular agent or broker.

Section 11-35-5320 provides that "All political subdivisions of the State shall adopt ordinances or procedures embodying sound principles of appropriately competitive procurement no later than July 1, 1983." For court opinions discussing the meaning of this phrase, see the link for Resources under the heading for Political Subdivisions on our Home Page.

Section 11-35-5330 governs the purchase of goods or services from an entity which employs or uses inmates of a correctional system of another state.

Section 11-35-5340 requires some school districts – those whose budget of total expenditures, including debt service, exceeds seventy five million dollars annually - to adopt procurement rules. For details, see the link for School Districts under the heading for Political Subdivisions on our Home Page.

Article 19 governs intergovernmental agreements.

Click here for the Consolidated Procurement Code.

In 1981, with enactment of Act No. 148, the General Assembly required the Budget and Control Board, in cooperation with the Procurement Policy Committee (which is now defunct) and subdivisions concerned, to create a task force to draft model ordinances, regulations, and manuals for consideration by the political subdivisions. The results of that effort is attached below.