The School Board expects all purchases made by the school department to be consistent with applicable laws and sound business practices. The Superintendent shall be responsible for developing and implementing administrative procedures for bidding and purchasing consistent with this policy.
This policy is intended solely as an internal guide to purchasing by the school department. It does not afford any vendor any property or contractual rights against the school department. No vendor shall have any enforceable rights against the school department based upon this policy or alleged violations of this policy. No vendor shall have any rights against the school department until such time as a written contract between the vendor and the school department is executed by the vendor and an authorized representative of the school department.
A. Bidding Required by Law
Maine law requires the Board to competitively bid property and casualty insurance; school bus and transportation contracts in excess of $4,000; certain school building construction, alterations and repairs over $100,000; bond anticipation notes for state-subsidized school construction projects; and lease purchase financing of buildings whose lease purchase costs qualify for state subsidy
- Competitive Bidding of Other Purchases
Where bidding is not required by law, it shall be the policy of the school department to competitively bid purchases of equipment, supplies, materials or services over $20,000 provided that it is practical and cost-effective to specify the materials or services with sufficient particularity to allow meaningful comparison of bids.
If competitive bidding is not utilized, the Superintendent may seek Requests for Proposals (RFP) for purchases over $10,000. Proposals may be negotiated in the best interest of the school department. An RFP identifies the need the school department intends to meet, but permits the vendor to propose the manner in which the work is to be performed and the materials to be used.
The Superintendent may forego the competitive bid or RFP process only when he/she determines that quality, expertise, time factors, or other important considerations outweigh the possible benefits of bidding or requesting proposals. In each such case, the Board shall be informed of the Superintendent’s decision and the reasons for it in advance of entering into a contract.
C. Procedures for Bidding and Requesting Proposals
The method of notification that the school department uses to solicit bids and proposals shall be reasonably designed to attract qualified vendors. Depending upon the circumstances, such notification may include public advertising; mailing of notices to potential vendors; and/or telephone calls to potential vendors (in the case of RFPs).
A. The notification shall specify the deadline for submitting bids and the time and place of bid opening. Bid alternates shall be permitted at the discretion of the Superintendent. The notice shall reserve the right of the school department to reject any or all bids, and to waive technical or immaterial nonconformities in bids if in the best interest of the school department, and to exercise judgment in evaluating bids.
B. Written bids. Bids shall be in writing, sealed with outside envelope or wrapper plainly marked “Bid, not to be opened until (insert appropriate date),” and mailed or filed with the Superintendent of the department.
C. Time of opening. A School Board member or employee of the school department may not open a bid until the appointed time.
D. Public opening. At the time and place stated in the public notice, and open to the public, all bids shall be opened by the Superintendent or, in the Superintendent’s absence or disability, by any School Board member designated for the purpose by the Chair of the School Board.
E. Reading. If any citizens who are not School Board members or employees of the school department or any representatives of the press are present, bids shall, at that time, either be made available for examination by them or shall be read aloud in a manner to be heard plainly by those in attendance.
F. In general, the School Board will award contracts to the lowest bidder that the Superintendent and School Board deem can satisfactorily fulfill the contract.
A. Proposals should be submitted in the manner specified in the RFP, which shall be appropriate for the goods or services being purchased. If requests for RFPs are made by telephone, at least three vendors shall be contacted.
B. Proposals are to be evaluated based on criteria appropriate for the project in question, and the contract will be awarded to the vendor whom the Superintendent and School Board deem best able to meet the requirements of the school department.
Procurement Methods for Federally Funded Projects
- The Superintendent or his or her designee shall be responsible for developing, updating as necessary, and implementing a written administrative procedures manual (hereafter, the “Federal Procurement Manual”) to govern the procurement and purchase of property, goods, and services using any federal award1 that is subject to the Uniform Grant Guidance, codified at 2 CFR Part 200 (“UGG Federal Award”). The Federal Procurement Manual shall be consistent with all applicable federal laws and rules.
- Notwithstanding any policy provision to the contrary, the procurement and purchase of property, goods, and services using a UGG Federal Award, in whole or in part, must comply with the Federal Procurement Manual. Wherever this policy or any of the school unit’s administrative procedures are inconsistent with federal laws or rules, the provisions of the federal laws or rules shall control.
Legal Reference: 5 MRSA § 1743-A
20-A MRSA §§ 1001(14), 5401(13)(D); 5402
20-A MRSA § 1314
30-A MRSA § 6006-E
Maine State Board of Education Rules for Major Capital
School Improvement Projects (Chapter 61, § 11(5))
Maine Department of Education and Maine Municipal Bond
Bank Rules for Maine School Facilities Program and School
Revolving Renovation Fund Program (Chapter 64, § 6)
ADOPTED: December 13, 2005 [Policy DJ: Bidding & Purchasing]
REVISED & RE-CODED: May 14, 2013
REVISED December 12, 2017