II. Administration (formerly #3321)
A. All records of the Purchasing Office shall be open to public scrutiny.
B. Purposes and Guidelines for Purchasing Policy:
1. Educational welfare of student should be foremost consideration when making any purchases.
2. Public should expect and get greatest possible return for every dollar spent.
3. Those who use material should have a decision in selection of materials.
4. Essential information should be included I bid forms, quotations forms, and purchase orders.
5. No contract will be awarded contrary to the public interest.
6. Advertisements for bids shall be made in sufficient time to permit “full and free competition”.
7. It is desired that flexibility and professional judgment will be possible.
8. School Committee having secured bids, shall not be obliged to accept the lowest bid, if in its opinion, it would not be in the best interest of the school system.
9. All contract or obligations entered into by the Narragansett School System prior to the effective date of this policy shall continue in full force and effect.
C. In order to encourage maximum response, bid specifications, whenever possible, should be generic in nature and broad in scope. Specifications will never be narrowly constructed for the purpose of targeting, pre-selecting, or excluding a specific brand, dealer, or manufacturer. If it is deemed necessary that a brand or brand-like specification be stipulated in the bid offering, then a minimum of three such brand names as well as the generic product or description will be indicated. The “or equal” clause will be prominent in all offerings.
D. All purchases, of any nature whatsoever, which obligates the School Committee for payment, shall be made by a purchase order signed by the Director of Business Operations or his/her designee.
E. In accordance with requirements of the Purchasing Policy, the department requesting goods or services shall obtain and forward to the Director of Business Operations for approval:
for purchases of from $ 500 - $ 999 – 3 telephone quotes
for purchases of from $ 1000 - $ 2499 – 3 written quotes
for purchases of from $ 2500 - $ 3999 – 3 written quotes with School Committee approval
for purchases of from $ 4000 – above – advertised, sealed bids with School Committee approval
F. A Blanket Order is a purchase order issued to cover the need for many miscellaneous routine or small items for using department in instances when the quantity of apportionment cannot be anticipated or where it is not practical or feasible to provide adequate storage.
Requests for blanket order purchases shall be made on a standard purchase requisition indicating the estimated cost of purchases needed for a one-month period. After the blanket order is issued, the using department shall draw on the order and keep a record of the cost of items delivered until the maximum dollar value is reached. If purchases in excess of the approved amount for the monthly period are necessary from the same vendor, these items will be requisitioned by the using department as a separate purchase. No payment will be made for any purchases in excess of the authorized maximum dollar amount of the blanket purchase order. At the end of the purchasing period, the Department of Schools shall forward the receiving copy of the purchase order with all delivery tickets attached to the Business Office.
The Director of Business Operations shall be responsible for setting the maximum amount to be covered on a blanket order subject to the limits as prescribed by the Purchasing Policy. Each Department or School involved with blanket orders shall be responsible for maintaining dollar control within the limits of the order.
Blanket purchase orders are prepared on standard purchase requisition order forms and shall contain the following information:
a. Description of the items covered by the purchase order.
b. Unit prices, if covered by a bid, and a price agreement.
c. The period of time the blanket order will remain valid.
d. The maximum amount which cannot be exceeded.
e. Instructions to vendor to invoice monthly, sending supporting signed counter tickets.
The accounts payable clerk shall match the signed delivery ticket and receiving report from the using department with the invoice and supporting counter tickets from the vendor. Processing for payment shall be initiated when documentation is complete.
G. Bids shall be requested on any single purchase about $4,000 or on multiple purchases totaling over $4,000 and available through a single vendor.
1. Advertising for such bids shall take place in a newspaper with town-wide circulation.
The preparation of specifications is the joint responsibility of the Director of Business Operations and the using department or division. Specifications shall be definite and certain and permit competition except on non-competitive types of material or services.
3. Invitation to Bid
The Invitation to Bid packet sent or placed into the hands of prospective bidder is a form of notice to bidders. Notice should contain the following instructions and information.
a. Bids must be sealed.
b. The latest time, date, and place of receiving and/or opening of bids.
c. The procedure for opening bids.
d. The desired number of bid copies.
e. A full description of the material and specifications
f. Bidder must state manufacturer, manufacturer’s brand or trade name, and catalogue number.
g. Variance to requested specifications should be specifically stated by the bidders.
h. No change of any kind will be allowed unless specifically stated by the bidders.
i. Bids must specify any and all warranties and include literature when available.
j. Bids must indicate delivery date and terms of sale.
k. Bids are to include all shipping charges to points of delivery.
l. Bids will only be considered on the basis of delivery price unless otherwise stated in the specifications.
m. Bids must be plainly marked on the outside of envelope, the material bid and the time and date of opening.
n. The Narragansett School System reserves the right to reject any or all bids, to waive any formalities in a bid, to make awards to separate bidders to make awards more than one bidder or to accept that bid or bids which in the judgment of the proper official is to the best interest of the Narragansett School System to do so.
o. Bidders must certify on the bid form that the items they are bidding meet specifications.
4. Bid Bond/Deposits
When the Director of Business Operations deems it necessary, bid bond deposits shall be prescribed in the public notices inviting bids. Unsuccessful bidders shall be entitled to return surety where the Director has required such. A successful bidder shall forfeit any surety required by the Director upon failure on his part to enter a contract within the time specified after the awards.
5. Disposition of Bids
Bids shall be opened in public at the time and place stated in the public notices. A tabulation of all bids received will be made and be available for public inspection. The Director of Business Operations shall submit via School Committee Agenda Item all bids and recommendations requiring School Committee Approval to the Superintendent of Schools for School Committee approval.
H. Petty Cash Purchases shall not be encouraged in the purchasing program. Petty cash shall be expended only when absolutely necessary for the day-to-day operation of the school system offices.
I. Emergency Purchases shall not be encouraged. Emergency purchase should reflect a true emergency situation and not the result of poor planning.
Emergency purchases of supplies shall take place only under those conditions when delays in operation on the part of the using department or school would seriously affect the life, health, safety, or welfare of students and staff.
Under emergency conditions, the head of a using department or school will contact the Director of Business Operations prior to purchasing the necessary supplies directly. The Director of Business Operations will notify the Superintendent of School of all emergency purchases.
a. If the emergency occurs after School business hours or on the weekend, the Department head or Administrator may directly purchase the necessary supplies.
b. In all instances of emergency purchasing, the Department Head or Administrator shall complete and send to the Director of Business Operations a purchase order within twenty-four hours, or on the first business day following a weekend, together with the delivery ticket. The Department Head or Administrator shall submit at the same time a full written report describing the emergency.
J. Provisions not included in the policy shall be governed by Title 37 of the General Laws of the State of Rhode Island, when it is in the best interest of the Narragansett School System to do so.
K. Nothing herein contained shall affect any contract made on behalf of the Narragansett School System even though the requirements of this policy are not followed.
1st Reading: December 13, 1978
Adopted: January 11, 1979
Revised: October 12, 1983
Revised: December 14, 1983
1st Reading: January 11, 1989
2nd Reading: February 8, 1989
Revised: September 19, 1990
1st Reading: May 20, 1992
2nd Reading: June 17, 1992
1st Reading: May 18, 1994
2nd Reading: June 29, 1994
1st Reading: May 17, 2006 Narragansett School System
2nd Reading: June 21, 2006 Narragansett, Rhode Island