Purchasing

PURCHASING: COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND OFFERING

Except as otherwise provided by law, all contracts for public work involving an expenditure of more than $35,000 and all purchase contracts involving an expenditure of more than $20,000 will be awarded by the District to the lowest responsible bidder furnishing the required security after advertisement for sealed bids. However, the District may, in its discretion, award purchase contracts on the basis of “best value” to a responsive and responsible bidder or offerer, provided the Board has authorized this action by rule, regulation, or resolution adopted at a public meeting.

No bid or offer will be accepted that does not conform to specifications furnished unless those specifications are waived by Board action. The District may, in its discretion, reject all bids or offers and readvertise for new bids or offers in a manner consistent with New York State law.

All contracts requiring public advertising and competitive bidding or offering will be awarded by resolution of the Board.

Except as authorized by law, no Board member or employee of the District will have an interest in any contract entered into by the District.

Standardization

Upon the adoption of a standardization resolution by a vote of at least 3/5 of all Board members, purchase contracts for a particular type or kind of equipment, materials, or supplies of more than $20,000 may be awarded by the Board to the lowest responsible bidder or offerer furnishing the required security after advertisement for sealed bids in the manner provided in law. This resolution must state that, for reasons of efficiency or economy, there is a need for standardization and must contain a full explanation of those reasons. Upon the adoption of a valid standardization resolution, the District may provide in its specifications for a particular make or brand to the exclusion of others.

“Piggybacking” Exception to Competitive Bidding

The District may, in its discretion, purchase certain goods and services (apparatus, materials, equipment, and supplies) at costs beyond the above-referenced thresholds 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.

This method of procurement 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; 

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, or was awarded on the basis of best value, and is not in conflict with other New York State laws.

Annual Review

Comments concerning the District’s bidding and purchasing policies and procedures will be solicited from those District employees involved in the procurement process from time to time.

The Board will annually review its bidding and purchasing policies and procedures. The School Business Official will be responsible for conducting an annual review of such policies and for an evaluation of the internal control structure established to ensure compliance with the procurement policy.

General Municipal Law Articles 5-A and 18
State Finance Law §§ 162, 163, and 163-b

USE OF SERVICE PLUS CARD

The Board permits the use of Hannaford’s Service Plus Cards to be used by the Family Consumer Science teachers for the purchase of approved materials and supplies to meet the instructional and curriculum requirements of students. A list of those individuals that will be issued a Hannaford’s Service Plus Card will be maintained in the Business Office and reported to the Board each year at its reorganization meeting in July.

The District will establish a maximum of $500 per month for each card.

The relationship between the District and Hannaford will be such that the District preserves its right to refuse to pay any claim or portion thereof that is not expressly authorized, does not constitute a proper District charge, or supersedes any laws, rules, regulations or policies otherwise applicable. In addition, no claim will be paid unless approved by the Internal Claims Auditor.

Service Plus Cards may only be used for legitimate District expenditures. The use of Service Plus Cards is not intended to circumvent the District’s policy on purchasing.

Users must take proper care of these Service Plus Cards and take all precautions against damage, loss, or theft. Any damage, loss, or theft must be reported immediately to the Business Office and to the appropriate financial institution. Failure to take proper care of Service Plus Cards or failure to report damage, loss, or theft will subject the employee to financial liability.

Purchases that are unauthorized, illegal, represent a conflict of interest, are personal in nature or violate the intent of this policy will result in Service Plus Card revocation and discipline of the employee.

Users must submit detailed documentation, including itemized receipts for actual and necessary expenses which have been incurred in connection with the purchase of the materials and supplies for students.

Each cardholder will be apprised of the procedures governing the use of the Service Plus Card and a copy of this policy will be given to each cardholder.

The Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services will periodically, but no less than twice a year, monitor the use of each Service Plus Card and report any serious problems and/or discrepancies directly to the Superintendent and Board. 

PROCUREMENT OF GOODS AND SERVICES

Purchasing Authority

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. The Purchasing Agent is authorized to enter into cooperative bidding and cooperative purchasing arrangements to meet the various needs of the District. No contracts for goods and services will be made by individuals or organizations in the school that involve expenditures without first securing approval for the contract from the Purchasing Agent.

Except as authorized by law, no Board member or employee of the District will have an interest in any contract entered into by the District.

Purchasing Process

The Board 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 will be procured in a manner so as to:

a) Assure the prudent and economical use of public moneys in the best interests 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 will 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, provide that alternative proposals or quotations for goods and services will 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. This information will be updated biennially.

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

The District will develop administrative regulations to establish procedures for the procurement of goods and services.

Professional Services

Professional services are generally those services that require specialized skills, training, professional judgment, expertise, and creativity. Examples include attorneys, architects, and engineers. The procurement of professional services falls within an exception to competitive bidding. In order to procure professional services, the District will use the request for proposals (RFP) process as set forth in General Municipal Law in order to protect the District’s interests and to avoid the appearance of favoritism or impropriety. Although not necessarily bound to select the lowest bidder in response to its RFP, the District will adequately document its selection process to demonstrate its economical and prudent use of public monies and to ensure fair competition.

Education Law §§ 1604, 1709, 1950, 2503, 2554, and 3602
General Municipal Law Articles 5-A and 18
General Municipal Law § 119-o

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 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.

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. The District will 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 District will establish a plan to ensure that instructional materials in a usable alternative format for each student with a disability (including students requiring Section 504 Accommodation Plans) are based upon the student’s educational needs and course selections, and will be available at the same time as those instructional materials are available to non-disabled students.

The Plan will:

a) Specify that the District gives a preference in the purchase of instructional materials it has selected for its students to those vendors who agree to provide such instructional materials in alternative formats;
b) Specify when an electronic file is provided, how the format will be accessed by students and/or how the District will convert to an accessible format;
c) Specify the process to be used when ordering materials to identify the needs of students with disabilities residing in the District for alternative format materials;
d) Specify ordering timelines to ensure that alternative format materials are available at the same time as regular format materials are available; and
e) Include procedures so that when students with disabilities move into the District during the school year, the process to obtain needed materials in alternative formats for those students is initiated without delay.

20 USC § 1474(e)(3)(B)
8 NYCRR §§ 200.2(b)(10), 200.2(c)(2) and 200.2(i)

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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