Policy Information
Series 5000 - NON-INSTRUCTIONAL/BUSINESS OPERATIONS
PURCHASING
Purchasing
Policy # 5410

SUBJECT:    PURCHASING

         The District's purchasing activities will be part of the responsibilities of the Business Office, under the general supervision of the Purchasing Agent designated by the Board of Education. The purchasing process should enhance school operations and educational programs through the procurement of goods and services deemed necessary to meet District needs.

Competitive Bids and Quotations

As required by law, the Superintendent will follow normal bidding procedures in all cases where needed quantities of like items will total the maximum level allowed by law during the fiscal year, (similarly for public works-construction, repair, etc.) and in such other cases that seem to be to the financial advantage of the School District.

A bid bond may be required if considered advisable.

No bid for supplies shall be accepted that does not conform to specifications furnished unless specifications are waived by Board action. Contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder who meets specifications. However, the Board may choose to reject any bid.

Rules shall be developed by the administration for the competitive purchasing of goods and services.

The Superintendent may authorize purchases within the approved budget without bidding if required by emergencies and are legally permitted.

The Superintendent is authorized to enter into cooperative bidding for various needs of the School District.

Request for Proposal Process for the Independent Auditor

         In accordance with law, no audit engagement shall be for a term longer than five (5) consecutive years. The District may, however, permit an independent auditor engaged under an existing contract for such services to submit a proposal for such services in response to a request for competitive proposals or be awarded a contract to provide such services under a request for proposal process.

Procurement of Goods and Services

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to ensure the development of procedures for the procurement of goods and services not required by law to be made pursuant to competitive bidding requirements. These goods and services must be procured in a manner so as to:

 

                       a)        Assure the prudent and economical use of public moneys in the best interest of the taxpayer;

         b)      Facilitate the acquisition of goods and services of maximum quality at the lowest possible cost under the circumstances; and

         c)      Guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud and corruption.

 

These procedures shall contain, at a minimum, provisions which:

         a)      Prescribe a process for determining whether a procurement of goods and services is subject to competitive bidding and if it is not, documenting the basis for such determination;

         b)      With certain exceptions (purchases pursuant to General Municipal Law, Article 5-A; State Finance Law, Section 162; State Correction Law, Section 184; or those circumstances or types of procurements set forth in (f) of this section), provide that alternative proposals or quotations for goods and services shall be secured by use of written request for proposals, written quotations, verbal quotations or any other method of procurement which furthers the purposes of General Municipal Law Section 104-b;

         c)      Set forth when each method of procurement will be utilized;

         d)      Require adequate documentation of actions taken with each method of procurement;

         e)      Require justification and documentation of any contract awarded to other than the lowest responsible dollar offer, stating the reasons;

         f)      Set forth any circumstances when, or the types of procurement for which, the solicitation of alternative proposals or quotations will not be in the best interest of the District; and

         g)      Identify the individual or individuals responsible for purchasing and their respective titles. Such information shall be updated biennially.

Any unintentional failure to fully comply with these provisions shall not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the District or any District employee.

The Board of Education shall solicit comments concerning the District's policies and procedures from those employees involved in the procurement process. All policies and procedures regarding the procurement of goods and services shall be reviewed annually by the Board.

Best Value

         Effective January 27, 2012, General Municipal Law (GML) Section 103 was amended to permit a school district or BOCES to award purchase contracts in excess of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) on the basis of "best value", rather than on the basis of the lowest responsible bid. The Board of Education must adopt a resolution at a public meeting authorizing the award of bids based on "best value." The Board of Education may also approve "best value" bid award recommendations on an individual bid basis at a scheduled public meeting. A best value award is one that optimizes quality, cost and efficiency, typically applies to complex services and technology contracts and is quantifiable whenever possible.

"Piggybacking" Law - Exception to Competitive Bidding

On August 1, 2012, General Municipal Law (GML) Section 103 was amended to allow school districts to purchase certain goods and services (apparatus, materials, equipment and supplies) through the use of contracts let by the United States or any agency thereof, any state, and any county, political subdivision or district of any state. The amendment authorizes school districts and BOCES to "piggyback" on contracts let by outside governmental agencies in a manner that constitutes competitive bidding "consistent with state law."

This "piggybacking" is permitted on contracts issued by other governmental entities, provided that the original contract:

a)      Has been let by the United States or any agency thereof, any state (including New York State) or any other political subdivision or district therein;

b)      Was made available for use by other governmental entities and agreeable with the contract holder; and

c)      Was let in a manner that constitutes competitive bidding consistent with New York State law and is not in conflict with other New York State laws.

         The "piggybacking" amendment and the "best value" amendment may not be combined to authorize a municipality to "piggyback" onto a cooperative contract which was awarded on the basis of "best value." In other words, while a school district or BOCES may authorize the award of contracts on the basis of "best value", it may not "piggyback" onto a purchasing contract awarded by another agency on the basis of "best value."

Alternative Formats for Instructional Materials

         Preference in the purchase of instructional materials will be given to vendors who agree to provide materials in a usable alternative format (i.e., any medium or format, other than a traditional print textbook, for presentation of instructional materials that is needed as an accommodation for each student with a disability, including students requiring Section 504 Accommodation Plans, enrolled in the School District). Alternative formats include, but are not limited to, Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio, or an electronic file in an approved format as defined in Commissioner's Regulations.

         As required by federal law and New York State Regulations, the District has adopted the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) to ensure that curriculum materials are available in a usable alternative format for students with disabilities. Each school district has the option of participating in the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). Whether a district does or does not participate in NIMAC, the district will be responsible to ensure that each student who requires instructional materials in an alternate format will receive it in a timely manner and in a format that meets NIMAS standards. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recommends that school districts choose to participate in NIMAC, because this national effort to centralize the distribution of instructional materials in alternate formats will help guarantee timely provision of such materials to students.

         For school districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), State-operated schools, State-supported schools and approved private schools that choose to participate in NIMAC, contracts with publishers executed on and after December 3, 2006 for textbooks and other printed core materials must include a provision that requires the publisher to produce NIMAS files and send them to the NIMAC (this will not add any cost to the contract).

         For more information regarding NIMAC including model contract language, Steps for Coordinating with NIMAC and an IDEA Part B Assurances Application, see website: http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/persprep/NIMAS.pdf

Geographic Preference in Procuring Local Agricultural Products

         Schools participating in Child Nutrition Programs such as the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and/or Special Milk Program are encouraged to purchase unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products. A School District may apply an optional geographic preference in the procurement of such products by defining the local area where this option will be applied. The intent of this preference is to supply wholesome unprocessed agricultural products that are fresh and delivered close to the source.

         A geographic preference established for a specific area adds additional points or credits to bids received in response to a solicitation, but does not provide a set-aside for bidders located in a specific area, nor does it preclude a bidder from outside a specified geographic area from competing for and possibly being awarded a specific contract.

Computer Software Purchases

         Software programs designated for use by students in conjunction with computers of the District shall meet the following criteria:

a)      A computer program which a student is required to use as a learning aid in a particular class; and

b)      Any content-based instructional materials in an electronic format that are aligned with State Standards which are accessed or delivered through the internet and based on a subscription model. Such electronic format materials may include a variety of media assets and learning tools including video, audio, images, teacher guides, and student access capabilities as such terms are defined in Commissioner's Regulations.

Environmentally Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance Products

         In accordance with Commissioner's Regulations, State Finance Law and Education Law, effective with the 2006-2007 school year, the District shall follow guidelines, specifications and sample lists when purchasing cleaning and maintenance products for use in its facilities. Such facilities include any building or facility used for instructional purposes and the surrounding grounds or other sites used for playgrounds, athletics or other instruction.

         Environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products are those which minimize adverse impacts on health and the environment. Such products reduce as much as possible exposures of children and school staff to potentially harmful chemicals and substances used in the cleaning and maintenance of school facilities. The District shall identify and procure environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products which are available in the form, function and utility generally used. Coordinated procurement of such products as specified by the Office of General Services (OGS) may be done through central state purchasing contracts to ensure that the District can procure these products on a competitive basis.

         The District shall notify their personnel of the availability of such guidelines, specifications and sample product lists.

*Apparel and Sports Equipment Purchases

Competitive Bidding Purchases

         The Board of Education will only accept bids from "responsible bidders." A determination that a bidder on a contract for the purchase of apparel or sports equipment, is not a "responsible bidder" shall be based upon either or both of the following considerations:

         a)      The labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment including, but not limited to, employee compensation, working conditions, employee rights to form unions, and the use of child labor; or

         b)      The bidder's failure to provide information sufficient for the Board of Education to determine the labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment.

Non-Competitive Bidding Purchases

         The Board's internal policies and procedures governing procurement of apparel or sports equipment, where such procurement is not required to be made pursuant to competitive bidding requirements, shall prohibit the purchase of apparel or sports equipment, from any vendor based upon either or both of the following considerations:

         a)      The labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment including, but not limited to, employee compensation, working conditions, employee rights to form unions, and the use of child labor; or

         b)      The bidder's failure to provide information sufficient for the Board of Education to determine the labor standards applicable to the manufacture of the apparel or sports equipment.

Contracts for Goods, Services and Public Works

No contracts for goods and services shall be made by individuals or organizations in the school that involve expenditures without first securing approval for such contract from the Purchasing Agent.

No Board member or employee of the School District shall have an interest in any contract entered into by the Board or the School District.

         Per General Municipal Law Section 103(5), upon the adoption of a resolution by a vote of at least three-fifths (3/5) of all Board members stating that for reasons of efficiency or economy there is need for standardization, purchase contracts for a particular type or kind of equipment, materials or supplies of more than twenty thousand ($20,000) dollars may be awarded by the Board to the lowest responsible bidder furnishing the required security after advertisement for sealed bids in the manner provided in law. In addition, the Board is required to award all contracts for public works in excess of thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) to the lowest responsible bidder after advertising for public sealed bids.

 

7 CFR 210.21, 215.14(a) and 220.16

20 USC Section 1474(e)(3)(B)

Education Law Sections 305(14), 409-I, 701, 751(2)(b), 1604, 1709, 1950, 2503, 2554 and 3602

General Municipal Law Articles 5-A, 18 and Section 103

State Finance Law Sections 162 and 163-b

8 NYCRR Sections 155, 170.2, 200.2(b)(10), 200.2(c)(2) and 200.2(i)

 

 

NOTE:      Refer also to Policy #5660 -- School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)

 

Adoption Date:    Revision Date:  11/1/16

 

Policy References:
7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 210.21, 215.14(a) and 220.16
20 United States Code (USC) Section 1474(e)(3)(B)
Education Law Sections 305(14), 409-I, 701, 751(2)(b), 1604, 1709, 1950, 2503, 2554 and 3602
General Municipal Law Articles 5-A and 18
State Finance Law Sections 162 and 163-b
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 155, 170.2, 200.2(b)(10), 200.2(c)(2) and
200.2(i)

NOTE: Refer also to Policy #5660 -- School Food Service Program (Lunch and Breakfast)

Adoption Date: 12/20/2011, Revised: 4/23/2013; Revised 11/1/16
5000 - NON-INSTRUCTIONAL/BUSINESS OPERATIONS