The School offers the following publications relating to purchasing and contracting. Please see the School's publications page for more related titles, prices, and ordering information.


A Legal Guide to Construction Contracting with North Carolina Local Governments, Fifth Edition, 2014
Norma R. Houston
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

For North Carolina local governments and private sector contractors, architects, engineers, and others interested in the legal requirements for local government construction and professional design services contracting, this loose-leaf book provides the guidance you need. Each chapter provides a summary of the legal requirements for various aspects of the construction contracting process, and every topic is accompanied by frequently asked questions and answers.

In addition to competitive bidding requirements for public construction and repair projects, the book also discusses exceptions to competitive bidding and the legal requirements for contracting with architects, engineers, surveyors, and alternative construction delivery methods under the state's Mini-Brooks Act.

This volume is the fifth edition of the book published under the title, Construction Contracts with North Carolina Local Governments, and replaces the previous fourth edition, 2007, written by A. Fleming Bell, II.

This publication is available in print and as an eBook. eBooks can be downloaded and read on your desktop, laptop, and/or a variety of mobile devices with an e-reader application. eBooks are only licensed for use by one individual and cannot be shared. For more information about ebooks, click here. To purchase the eBook version of this publication, click here.

A Legal Guide to Purchasing and Contracting for North Carolina Local Governments, 2004 Edition with 2007 Supplement
Frayda S. Bluestein
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Provides a description of legal requirements for North Carolina local government contracts in a question-and-answer format. The appendix includes the text of the major statutes governing purchasing and contracting, as well as reprints of articles on the "piggybacking" exception and the "responsiveness" requirement in evaluating bids. The second edition has been revised to include legal requirements for local school units which are now subject to the procedures explained in the book.

The book contains updates, which incorporate recent legislative changes, and a revised Dollar Thresholds Chart, dated November 1, 2015. Effective July 27, 2005, the coverage of the informal bidding statute, G.S. 143-131 has changed.

"If only everyone had this book, how much easier our lives would be. No one can remember all these laws, so I continually refer to this book. How do you think we become 'experts'? We simply know where to find the answers."

Dewey Peck, CLGPO, A.P.P.
Purchasing/Project Manager
City of Salisbury
Basic Local Government Contracting and Procurement
Norma R. Houston
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Online module

This self-paced online module gives an overview of the basic legal requirements for local government contracting, purchasing, and bidding, with interactive exercises to reinforce learning.

North Carolina Local Government Contracting: Quick Reference and Related Statutes
Norma R. Houston
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A quick reference for the contracting, bidding, and property disposal requirements applicable to North Carolina local governments, this publication provides general guidance to public officials and others interested in the public contracting process. Selected North Carolina General Statutes governing contracting and bidding are also included.

This edition revises two previously published guides, An Overview of Contract Bidding Requirements for North Carolina Local Governments, by Frayda S. Bluestein, and An Outline of Statutory Provisions Controlling Purchasing by Local Governments in North Carolina, by Warren Jake Wicker.

This is an eBook. You can download and read eBooks on your desktop, laptop, and/or a variety of mobile devices with an e-reader application. For more information about ebooks, click here. To purchase the eBook version of this publication, click here.

HUB Participation in Building Construction Contracting by N.C. Local Governments: Statutory Requirements and Constitutional Limitations
Jessica Jansepar Ross, Norma R. Houston
Friday, February 1, 2013

This bulletin focuses on the legal requirements for Historically Underutilized Business [HUB] participation in local government contracting: Part I outlines the statutory requirements under North Carolina law for HUB participation in public construction and repair projects, and Part II examines the constitutional limitations placed on such programs by federal court jurisprudence. To have legally valid HUB programs, local governments must understand their obligations under both state and federal law.

lglb131.pdf (pdf, 564.19 KB)
Local Government Property Transactions in North Carolina
David M. Lawrence
Monday, September 25, 2000

Examines special rules that govern property transactions including unexpected case law doctrines, the context in which statutes have been enacted, and judicial interpretations of the statutes. Provides guidance in implementation of rules, especially statutory procedures for disposing of property.

Property Disposal forms are available online.

"I am embarrassed to pull out this book because it is so worn and frayed from constant use, but it has kept me out of more trouble than I like to admit!"

Dewey Peck, CLGPO, A.P.P.
Purchasing/Project Manager
City of Salisbury


Introduction to Local Government Finance, Second Edition
Kara A. Millonzi
Monday, August 18, 2014

A new edition is forthcoming in fall 2016

This multi-authored book provides an overview of the financial management laws and practices applicable to local governments and public authorities in North Carolina. The book is divided into three main sections.


  1. Financial Management Chapters within this section provide an overview of the Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act and discuss budgeting; cash management and disbursements; and accounting, financial reporting and auditing requirements.
  • The Local Government Budget and Fiscal Control Act, by Kara A. Millonzi
  • Budgeting for Operating and Capital Expenditures, by Kara A. Millonzi and William C. Rivenbark
  • Managing and Disbursing Public Funds, by Gregory S. Allison and Kara A. Millonzi
  • Accounting, Financial Reporting, and the Annual Audit, by Gregory S. Allison
  • RevenuesThese chapters detail revenue sources available to fund both operating and capital expenses. This section includes a detailed discussion of the property tax administration and provides revenue forecasting tools for local officials.
    • Revenue Sources, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Property Tax Policy and Administration, by Christopher B. McLaughlin
    • Financing Capital Projects, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Revenue Forecasting, by Whitney B. Afonso
  • ExpendituresThe final section highlights some of the major expenditure areas for local governments, including general purchasing and contracting, public enterprises, public schools, and community and economic development.
    • Purchasing, Contracting, and Disposal of Property, by Norma R. Houston
    • Ethics and Conflicts of Interest, by Frayda S. Bluestein and Norma R. Houston
    • Financing Public Enterprises, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Financing Public Schools, by Kara A. Millonzi
    • Financing and Public-Private Partnerships for Community Economic Development, by C. Tyler Mulligan

    This edition covers legislative changes through the 2013 session of the North Carolina General Assembly. It replaces the first edition published in fall 2013.

    Administrative & Financial Laws for Local government in North Carolina, 2008-2009, with CD-ROM
    Kara A. Millonzi
    Friday, January 9, 2009

    This indexed compilation of laws is excerpted from the North Carolina General Statutes that identify the basic legal requirements under which local government must operate. It includes changes enacted through the 2008 session of the North Carolina General Assembly. The book and CD-ROM contain the most important laws that govern local government finance and administration, including the general statutes governing cities (Chapter 160A), counties (Chapter 153A), local government finance (Chapter 159), procurement (Chapter 143, Article 8), and other statutes governing particular local government functions. Each reproduced statute includes all annotations, historical citations, cross references, and notes found in the complete volumes of the General Statutes.

    County and Municipal Government in North Carolina, Second Edition, 2014 (Hard Copy Format)
    Frayda S. Bluestein
    Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    This reference book on North Carolina county and municipal government provides a comprehensive treatment of the legal foundations, organization, and the administration of the state's counties and cities. This book describes the legal framework and common administrative practices that are currently in use and explains what counties and cities in North Carolina do, and how they do it.

    County and Municipal Government in North Carolina is designed to meet the needs of elected and appointed county and city board members and the employees who, on a day-to-day basis, carry out the functions mandated and authorized for North Carolina local governments. It will also appeal to citizens, civic leaders, high school and college students, state employees, legislators, members of the media, and any others who need basic information about the legal authority and responsibilities of North Carolina counties and cities.

    This edition will also be available for purchase in its entirety as a PDF file, or you may buy individual chapters in PDF format.

    Ethics, Conflicts, and Offices: A Guide for Local Officials, Second Edition
    A. Fleming Bell, II
    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Since this esteemed text was first published in 1997, the General Assembly of North Carolina has made important revisions to conflicts of interest law as well as enacted a law requiring local governments to adopt a code of ethics and local elected officials to receive ethics training and an ethics and lobbying law that, though intended for state officials, has important implications for local governments. This new edition of Ethics, Conflicts, and Offices greatly expands and updates the first version to reflect these significant changes in the law.

    Also updated are discussions of ethics in public life, multiple and incompatible office-holding, and legal cases, and numerous sample codes of ethics that can be used as guides in drafting local codes of conduct.

    "Ethics, Conflicts, and Offices: A Guide to Local Officials is a valuable and timely resource for new and experienced local government officials as they strive to comply with the letter and spirit of their ethical obligations. It provides a thoughtful, in-depth analysis of the philosophical, legal, and practical aspects of ethics in public life, and helpful guidance on key issues such as conflicts of interest, multiple office-holding, and drafting an ethics code."

    Kimberly Hibbard
    General Counsel
    North Carolina League of Municipalities

    "Fleming Bell has done it again. The second edition of Ethics, Conflicts, and Offices is important reading for public officials, government staff, and government attorneys. Bell writes clearly and engagingly and offers true-to-life scenarios about ethics challenges that may face government officials and staff. As a result, he draws readers into deeper reflection about the interplay of ethical principles and relationships. 

    Whether you want deeper insight about core principles underlying 'public ethics' or a quick refresher on the evolution and current legal requirements relating to conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and dual office-holding, this is the book for you. I know I'll value it as part of my own library."

    Judith Welch Wegner
    Burton Craige Professor of Law and Dean emerita
    The University of North Carolina School of Law

    "We live in a time of intense scrutiny of the behavior of those in public service, and in a time of concerted efforts to restore trust between those who govern and those who are governed. For these reasons, it is particularly important that we attend to and try to understand the principles, standards, and ideals discussed in this book. All of us who serve in elective or appointed positions of public service, and those who contemplate such service, should be prepared to analyze these principles and their underlying premises."

    James B. Blackburn
    Legislative Counsel (Retired)
    North Carolina Association of County Commissioners