3323-R - Revised: April 29, 2019
PURCHASING PROCEDURES REGULATION
The following sets forth the procedures for the procurement of goods and services by the District:
Best Value: optimizing quality, cost and efficiency. The basis for best value shall reflect, whenever possible, objective and quantifiable analysis, and may also take into consideration small businesses or certified minority-owned or women-owned business as defined in State Finance Law §163.
Purchase Contract: a contract involving the acquisition of commodities, materials, supplies or equipment.
Public Works Contract: a contract involving services, labor or both materials and labor for a project such as construction.
II. General Municipal Law
The General Municipal Law requires that purchase contracts for materials, equipment and supplies involving an estimated annual expenditure exceeding $20,000 and public works contracts involving an expenditure of more than $35,000 will be awarded only after responsible bids have been received in response to a public advertisement soliciting formal bids. Similar procurements to be made in a fiscal year will be grouped together, when reasonably possible, for the purpose of determining whether a particular item must be bid.
III. Competitive Bidding Required
A. Method of Determining Whether Procurement is Subject to Competitive Bidding
1. The District will first determine if the proposed procurement is a purchase contract or a public works contract.
2. If the procurement is either a purchase contract or a public works contract, the District will then determine whether the amount of the procurement is above the applicable monetary threshold as set forth above.
3. The District will also determine whether any exceptions to the competitive bidding requirements (as set forth below) exist.
4. All advertised bids shall include the statement required by General Municipal Law §103-g (Iran Divestment Act of 2012).
B. Contract Combining Professional Services and Purchase
In the event that a contract combines the provision of professional services and a purchase, the District, in determining the appropriate monetary threshold criteria to apply to the contract, will determine whether the professional service or the purchase is the predominant part of the transaction.
C. Opening and Recording Bids; Awarding Contracts
The Purchasing Agent will be authorized to open and record bids in conjunction with the Assistant Superintendent and the appropriate Department Head or Supervisor. Contracts will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder or a purchase contract bid of best value (as recommended by the Assistant Superintendent for Business and the Purchasing Agent), who has furnished the required security after responding to an advertisement for sealed bids. If a question arises about the responsibility of a bidder, the Purchasing Agent will consult with the Superintendent and School Attorney.
In order to be considered a responsible bidder, entities must certify that they are not on the list created and maintained by the State Office of General Services cataloging significant investment in the Iranian energy sector. Entities that cannot make this certification may only be awarded the bid if:
- The entity’s investment activities in Iran were made before April 12, 2012; the investment activities in Iran have not been expanded or renewed after that date; and the entity has adopted, publicized and is implementing a formal plan to cease the investment activities in Iran and to refrain from engaging in any new investments in Iran; or
- The Purchasing Agent in conjunction with the Assistant Superintendent of Business makes a determination, in writing, that the goods or services are necessary for the District to perform its functions and that, absent such an exemption, the District would be unable to obtain the goods or services for which the contract is offered.
D. Documentation of Competitive Bids
The District will maintain proper written documentation which will set forth the method by which it determined whether the procurement is a purchase or a public works contract. Proper written documentation will also be required when a contract is not awarded to the vendor submitting the lowest quote, setting forth the reasons therefore.
A quote which exceeds the bid limit will be awarded only when such award is in the best interests of the District and otherwise furthers the purposes of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law. The District will provide justification and documentation of any such contract awarded.
E. Purchase of Instructional Materials
In accordance with Education Law, the District shall give a preference in the purchase of instructional materials to vendors who agree to provide materials in alternative formats (i.e., any medium or format for the presentation of instructional materials, other than a traditional print textbook, that is needed as an accommodation for a disabled student enrolled in the District, including but not limited to Braille, large print, open and closed captioned, audio or an electronic file in an approved format.)
The District will establish and follow a plan to ensure that every student with a disability who needs his or her instructional materials in an alternative format will receive those materials at the same time that they are available to non-disabled students.
F. Leases of Personal Property
In addition to the above-mentioned competitive bidding requirements, section 1725 of the Education Law requires that the District will be subject to competitive bidding requirements for purchase contracts when it enters into a lease of personal property (e.g., photocopiers).
Documentation: The District will maintain written documentation such as quotes, cost-benefit analysis of leasing versus purchasing, etc.
G. Environmentally-Sensitive Cleaning and Maintenance Products
The District will purchase and utilize environmentally sensitive cleaning and maintenance products whenever feasible. The purchasing agent will consult with the Green Guidelines provided by the Office of General Services.
Any legal issues regarding the applicability of competitive bidding requirements will be presented to the School Attorney for review.
IV. Exceptions to Competitive Bidding Requirements
The District will not be subject to competitive bidding requirements when the Board, in its discretion, determines that one of the following situations exists:
- emergency situations where:
a. the situation arises out of an accident or unforeseen occurrence or condition;
b. a District building, property, or the life, health, or safety of an individual on District property is affected; or
c. the situation requires immediate action which cannot await competitive bidding.
However, when the Board passes a resolution that an emergency situation exists, the District will make purchases at the lowest possible costs, seeking competition by informal solicitation of quotes or otherwise, to the extent practicable under the circumstances.
Documentation: The District will maintain records of verbal (or written) quotes, as appropriate;
2. When the District purchases surplus or second-hand supplies, materials or equipment from the federal or state governments or from any other political subdivision or public benefit corporation within the state.
Documentation: The District will maintain market price comparisons (verbal or written quotes) and the name of the government entity;
3. When the Board separately purchases eggs, livestock, fish and dairy products (other than milk), juice, grains and species of fresh fruits and vegetables directly from New York State producers or growers or associations of producers or growers, subject to the requirements of General Municipal Law §103(9) and Commissioner’s Regulations §114.3. The amount expended in any fiscal year by the District may not exceed an amount equal to fifteen cents multiplied by the number of days in the school year multiplied by the total enrollment of the District.
Documentation: The District will maintain documentation consistent with §114.3. of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education;
4. When the Board separately purchases milk directly from licensed milk processors employing less than forty (40) people. The amount expended in any fiscal year by the District may not exceed an amount equal to twenty-five cents multiplied by the number of days in the school year multiplied by the total enrollment of the District or exceed the current market price.
Documentation: The District will maintain documentation consistent with section 114.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education;
5. When the District purchases goods, supplies and services from municipal hospitals under joint contracts and arrangements entered into pursuant to section 2803-a of the Public Health Law.
Documentation: The District will maintain the legal authorization, Board authorization and market price comparisons; or
6. When there is only one possible source from which to procure goods or services required in the public interest.
Documentation: The District will maintain written documentation of the unique benefits of the item or service purchased as compared to other items or services available in the marketplace; that no other item or service provides substantially equivalent or similar benefits; and that, considering the benefits received, the cost of the item or service is reasonable, when compared to conventional methods. In addition, the documentation will provide that there is no possibility of competition for the procurement of the goods.
The District will require that a vendor who believes they are a sole source for a specific service or good submit a letter to the District explaining their status as such with clear justification. The District will write up a description and reason why this vendor should be considered sole source which will be reviewed by the School Attorney. Any documentation should be attached to the claim packet for review by the Claims Auditor.
7. When the District purchases professional services that require special skill or training, such as but not limited to, audit, medical, evaluation and related services provider (e.g. OT, PT, Speech/Language), legal, architect, construction management or insurance services, or property appraisals.
Documentation: The District will keep proper documentation in accordance with policy 6740; or
8. When the District purchases through the contracts of (or “piggybacks” onto) other governmental entities, as authorized by law, for certain goods and services permitted by law. Factors relevant to the decision to “piggyback” may include cost, staff time, delivery arrangements, quality of goods and services, and suitability of such goods and services to the District’s needs.
Documentation: The District will keep documentation indicating why “piggybacking” is in the best interests of the District, and that the originating contract was let in a manner reasonably consistent with the applicable competitive bidding requirements.
V. Quotes When Competitive Bidding Is Not Required
Goods and services which are not required by law to be procured by the District through competitive bidding will be procured in a manner so as to ensure the prudent and economical use of public monies in the best interests of the taxpayers. Alternative proposals or quotations will be secured by requests for proposals, written or verbal quotations or any other appropriate method of procurement, as set forth below.
A. Methods of Documentation
1. Verbal Quotations: a written log or other record will set forth, at a minimum, the date, item or service desired, price quoted, name of vendor, name of vendor’s representative;
2. Written Quotations: vendors will provide, at a minimum, the date, description of the item or details of service to be provided, price quoted, name of contact. For example, with regard to insurance, the District will maintain documentation that will include bid/RFP advertisements, specifications and the awarding resolution. Alternatively, written or verbal quotation forms will serve as documentation if formal bidding is not required.
3. Requests for Proposals: when appropriate, the District will utilize RFPs to engage professional services providers as necessary.
VI. Quotes Not Required When Competitive Bidding Not Required
The District will not be required to secure alternative proposals or quotations for those procurements as permitted by state law:
1. under a county contract;
2. under a state contract;
3. under a federal contract;
4. under a contract of another political subdivision;
5. of articles manufactured in state correctional institutions; or
6. from agencies for the blind and severely disabled.
VII. Procurements from Other than the “Lowest Responsible Dollar Offeror”
The District will provide justification and documentation of any contract awarded to an offeror other than the lowest responsible dollar offeror, setting forth the reasons why such award is in the best interests of the District and otherwise furthers the purposes of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law.
VIII. Federal Grants
A. Purchases Directly Charged to a Federal Award
To the extent that its requirements are not already included in this Policy, the District will comply with the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principals and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, 2 CFR Part 200, ("Uniform Guidance") when making purchases directly charged to a federal award. The District's contracts with respect to these purchases will contain the applicable provisions set forth in Appendix II to Part 200, Contract Provisions for Non- Federal Entity Contracts under Federal Awards.
As required by the Uniform Guidance, the provisions below apply only to procurements for goods and services that are directly charged to a federal award and are to be applied in addition to all other provisions set forth in this Policy. The provisions below do not apply to indirect costs.
B. General Procurement Standards
- The District will maintain oversight to ensure that contractors perform in accordance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of their contracts or purchase orders.
- The District will maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the actions of its employees engaged in the selection, award and administration of contracts. No employee, officer, or agent may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by a Federal award if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest. A conflict of interest would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization that employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from a firm considered for a contract. The officers, employees, and agents of the District may neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors or parties to subcontracts. However, the District may set standards for situations in which the financial interest is not substantial or the gift is an unsolicited item of nominal value. The standards of conduct will provide for the possibility of disciplinary action for violations of such standards by officers, employees, or agents of the District.
- The District's procedures will avoid acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. Consideration should be given to consolidating or breaking out procurements to obtain a more economical purchase. Where appropriate, an analysis will be made of lease versus purchase alternatives, and any other appropriate analysis to determine the most economical approach.
- The District will maintain records sufficient to detail the history of procurement. These records will include, but are not necessarily limited, to the following: rationale for the method of procurement, selection of contract type, contractor selection or rejection, and the basis for the contract price.
- The District may use a "time and materials type contract" only after it determines that no other contract is suitable and provided that the contract includes a ceiling price that the contractor exceeds at its own risk. "Time and materials type contract" means a contract for which the cost to the District is the sum of:
- The actual cost of materials; and
- Direct labor hours charged at fixed hourly rates that reflect wages, general and administrative expenses, and profit.
- Since this formula generates an open-ended contract price, a time-and- materials contract provides no positive profit incentive to the contractor for cost control or labor efficiency. Therefore, each contract will set a ceiling price that the contractor exceeds at its own risk. Further, the District will assert a high degree of oversight in order to obtain reasonable assurance that the contractor is using efficient methods and effective cost controls.
- The District alone will be responsible, in accordance with good administrative practice and sound business judgment, for the settlement of all contractual and administrative issues arising out of procurements. These issues include, but are not limited to, source evaluation, protests, disputes and claims. These standards do not relieve the District of any contractual responsibilities pursuant to its contracts. The Federal awarding agency will not substitute its judgment for that of the District unless the matter is primarily a Federal concern. Violations of law will be referred to the local, state, or Federal authority with proper jurisdiction.
- All procurement transactions will be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with the standards of this policy and applicable law. In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals will be excluded from competing for those procurements.
- Contracting with Small and Minority Businesses, Women’s Business Enterprises (SMWBE) and Labor Surplus Area Firms
The District, when procuring property and services under a federal grant, will take the following affirmative steps to assure that minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms are used when possible (MWBEs):
- Place qualified small and minority businesses and women's business enterprises on solicitation lists;
- Assure that small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises are solicited whenever they are potential sources;
- Divide total requirements, when economically feasible, into smaller tasks or quantities to permit maximum participation by small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises;
- Establish delivery schedules, where the requirement permits, which encourage participation by small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises;
- Use the services and assistance, as appropriate, of such organizations as the Small Business Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce; and
- Require the prime contractor, if subcontracts are to be let, to take the affirmative steps listed above.
The District must retain back-up documentation of compliance for audit purposes. This documentation will be maintained in the Business Office, in the grant file.
- Federal Awarding Agency or Pass-Through Entity Review
- The District will make available, upon request of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity, technical specifications on proposed procurements where the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity believes that review is needed to ensure that the item or service specified is the one being proposed for acquisition. This review generally will take place prior to the time the specification is incorporated into a solicitation document. However, if the District desires to have the review accomplished after a solicitation has been developed, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity may still review the specifications, with the review usually limited to the technical aspects of the proposed purchase.
- The District will make available upon request, for the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity pre-procurement review, procurement documents (for example, requests for proposals or invitations for bids, or independent cost estimates).
- The District is exempt from the pre-procurement review in paragraph (b) above if the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity determines that its procurement systems comply with the standards of the Uniform Guidance.
- The District may request that its procurement system be reviewed by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity to determine whether its system meets these standards in order for its system to be certified. Generally, these reviews will occur where there is continuous high-dollar funding, and third party contracts are awarded on a regular basis;
- The District may self-certify its procurement system. Such self-certification will not limit the Federal awarding agency's right to survey the system. Under a self-certification procedure, the Federal awarding agency may rely on written assurances from the District that it is complying with these standards. The District will cite specific policies, procedures, regulations or standards as being in compliance with these requirements and have its system available for review.
F. Payroll Certification Forms
Payroll Certification Forms (PAR) are required to be completed for time spent working on federal programs. PAR forms must be completed for staff where the contractual salary (all or in part) are paid for by federal sources.
The Business Office will be responsible for tracking the payroll expenditures for the federal programs. For those payroll expenditures associated with contractual salaries, the Business Office will prepare the necessary PAR forms, and distribute to the employee and/or administrator in charge of supervising the particular federal program.
The administrators in charge of each federal program will determine which staff members to charge to each federal program in accordance with the federal program guidelines.
IX. Internal Control
The Board authorizes the Superintendent or designee, with the assistance of the Purchasing Agent, to establish and maintain an internal control structure to ensure, to the best of their ability, that the District’s assets will be safeguarded against loss from unauthorized use or disposition, that transactions will be executed in accordance with the law and District policies and regulations, and recorded properly in the financial records of the District.
The unintentional failure to fully comply with the provisions of section 104-b of the General Municipal Law or the District’s regulations regarding procurement will not be grounds to void action taken or give rise to a cause of action against the District or any officer or employee of the District.