This purchasing manual is designed to enable employees of The District School Board of Pasco County to obtain merchandise and other services in accordance with School Board rules, State Regulations and Good Purchasing Practices.
It is our goal to utilize all funds available to benefit our students, classrooms, teachers, and support personnel by providing information for the acquisition of equipment, materials, supplies, and services at a fair and reasonable price.
Updates will be provided periodically as information and/or the laws change.
State of Florida Department of Education Rules/Board Policy
The State of Florida Department of Education and School Board of Pasco County have established specific rules to govern business affairs.
Rules governing School District purchasing policies and bidding procedures can be found in Department of Education of the State School Board Rules Manual Chapter 6.
The Red Book published by the State of Florida Department of Education contains the standards acceptable by the State for budgeting and financial accounting requirements.
IN NO CASE SHOULD THE PURCHASE PRECEDE THE DATE OF THE REQUISITION
STATE BOARD EDUCATION 6A.1.01
All purchases of supplies, materials, equipment and services made from district school funds shall be the responsibility of the Superintendent or the Purchasing Agent. No other person, unless authorized by the Superintendent or acting on the basis of School Board rules, may make any purchase involving the use of school funds; and no unauthorized expenditure will be approved by the School Board.
Before making a commitment as a result of a formal bid (as a result of the applicable State Board of Education threshold), the Purchasing Agent shall obtain a sworn statement from the vendor attesting to the fact that the vendor has not been convicted of a public entity crime.
Bids/RFPs shall be requested from three or more sources for any purchase of materials, services or equipment exceeding the formal bid threshold unless the item is purchased on the basis of an established state contract exempt from bidding by law or State Board of Education Rule 6A-1.012(5).
Formal bids/RFPs shall be received at the office of the Purchasing Agent at the time and date designated in the bid/RFP document.
It shall be the responsibility of the Purchasing Agent, with other invited and qualified personnel, to recommend the lowest and best responsive, responsible bidder meeting specifications and conditions of a bid invitation. In any case where the Purchasing Department makes a determination that it wishes to accept a bid other than the low bid meeting specifications, it shall submit to the School Board, all relevant and available information, including reasons for recommending a bid other than the low bid. (See Evaluation section below for more information.)
Identical or tie bids (in every respect to terms, conditions, price, quality and service) will be awarded generally as outlined in School Board policy (i.e., drug free workplace, coin toss, etc.)
Bids/RFPs will be evaluated by the Purchasing Agent or a designee and recommendations will be made to the School Board. Any bid received after the designated date and time will not be accepted or considered.
The School Board shall reserve the right to reject any or all bids and such reservation should be indicated in all advertising and bid invitations.
If approved by the Superintendent or by the Purchasing Agent, they may be requested by telephone or in writing and returned as emergency necessitates. All emergency bids shall be tabulated and presented to the School Board for action. The official Minutes of the Board shall show the nature of the emergency and why the regular bid procedure as prescribed herein, would have caused a delay, which would have been contrary to the public interest.
An emergency purchase is defined as one brought about by a sudden unexpected turn of events (i.e., Acts of God, riot, fires, floods, accidents, or any circumstances or cause beyond the control of the cost center head in the normal conduct of its business) involving health, welfare, injury, or loss to the District School Board of Pasco County, and which can be rectified only by the immediate purchase or equipment, supplies, materials, or services.
1) Statement Under Oath – The head of the cost center shall file with the Purchasing Department, a short statement outlining the conditions and circumstances requiring an emergency purchase. This statement should be submitted within five (5) days after issue date of purchase order number and shall include details surrounding the event(s) which created the emergency. The statement must accompany the purchase order.
2) Responsibilities – The Purchasing Agent is not responsible for any purchases made under the declaration of an emergency, as the burden of proof rests with the cost center head; however, all statements will be reviewed by the Purchasing Department and should there be any reasonable doubt that an emergency did exist, an opinion will be filed with the Superintendent for his review.
Bids/RFPs for materials and services shall be evaluated by employees who are familiar with the specific materials, as well as the Purchasing Agent or a designated member of his/her staff. The Purchasing Agent will make recommendations to the Board for awarding of contracts, giving careful consideration to prices, quality of materials, services, responsibility of the bidder and other factors consistent with good purchasing practices. In the evaluation process, consideration may be given to specific brands/products should the following conditions exist:
1) District’s cost of ownership of the product is reduced by reasonable cost-savings through the use of existing in-house repair services and/or inventory of compatible parts and,
2) The bid price varies no more than 5% from the low bid meeting specifications. The District School Board of Pasco County is not bound by the Purchasing Agent’s recommendation and may award to the bidder they deem in their best interest.
The Purchasing Agent may remove any firm, which has proven to be unreliable or unqualified from the bid list.
All formal sealed bids must receive School Board approval.
Lease and Lease/Purchase
All agreements or contracts that obligate The School District are to be forwarded to the Purchasing Agent prior to signature or obligation. The Purchasing Agent shall review the documents and advise the cost center of any changes or legal prohibitions.
No employee or official of the School Board shall use bid prices, school prices or receive any other preferential treatment in the making of personal purchases. Neither, shall any employee or official, make purchases for personal use through a school or School District account.
Public employment is a public trust. Any attempt to realize personal gain through conduct inconsistent with the proper discharge of the employee’s duties is a breach of public trust. It shall also be a breach of ethical standards for any employee to participate directly or indirectly in a procurement when the following conditions are known:
Acquisition of Contractual Services: The Superintendent, Purchasing Agent or designee is authorized to contract for professional or other services in order to carry out projects or activities authorized or approved by The Board. All contracts, including letters of engagement, must be processed through the Purchasing Services Department.
Any contract or commitment for professional or other services which exceeds the formal bid threshold provided by State Board of Education, rule 6A.1.012(5) shall be awarded on the basis of competition (bids, request for proposals, requests for qualifications), with exceptions in accordance with State Statutes or Department of Education rules and regulations. Such exceptions include but are not limited to: self-insurance administrators, academic program reviews, educational consultations, medical services, and legal services.
Consulting services more than $1,000 but less than $49,999.99 will require the completion and proper execution of a MIS #218 document (APPENDIX B). Services in the amount of $50,000 or more will require an MIS #218 or contract properly executed and approval by The School Board.
Prior to entering into a contract for $50,000 or more for the procurement of goods or services utilizing federal monies, a certification is to be obtained from the vendor stating:
1) The vendor and its principals are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible or voluntarily excluded from participation in federally funded transactions.
2) The sub-recipient is knowledgeable of and operating in accordance with applicable laws and regulations of both the Federal and State Governments.
3) Appropriate audits (meeting the requirements of the single audit act) will be undertaken by the sub-recipient at their cost and copies provided to the District and the Auditor General of the State of Florida.
Piggybacking or Tagging on to Other county Bids
In lieu of requesting bids/quotes from three (3) or more sources, The District may make purchases at the contract prices awarded by other city or county governmental agencies, other School Boards, community colleges or state university system cooperative bid agreements. The District reserves the right to piggyback if it is determined to be to the economic advantage of the Board.
Use of District Bids for Internal/Student Activity Accounts
If the School District has an open bid in effect for specific commodities or service, all purchases from internal funds for the products or services shall be made through the approved vendor.
The requirements pertaining to purchases and securing bids on purchases made from public tax funds shall be observed when purchases are made from internal funds.
Specifications for all commemorative items will be developed by Purchasing Services along with the school administrators. The awarded contracts will be used to purchase commemorative items on an annual basis.
Consumer’s Certificate of Exemption
A consumer’s certificate of exemption number has been issued by the Florida Department of Revenue to the School Board of Pasco County. This tax exempt status applies to purchases made and paid for by the District School Board of Pasco County. It cannot be used for the personal benefit of any individual. A copy of the District’s tax exemption certificate can be found on the Purchasing Services’ website.
Methods of Purchase
The following purchasing methods are used by the District to acquire products, services, and equipment:
Purchases of supplies, materials, equipment, and services are usually accomplished via an electronic district requisition-purchase order. Small dollar ($999 or below) expenditures i.e., supplies, travel, software and non-capitalized equipment may be purchased with district procurement cards. In accordance with Best Practices Management, procurement cards are recommended for small dollar expenditures.
Purchases costing less than $5,000 should be made using good purchasing practices. Items that are currently under bid must be issued to the contracted vendors. Typically, the District has existing supply bids for the following commodities: Office, classroom, physical education, math, science, exceptional student, and art supplies. If you are unsure about items that may be covered by a current bid and do not find the bid information on the purchasing current bid list, please contact your purchasing team for assistance.
Bid packages or requests for proposals are prepared with appropriate terms, conditions, and detailed specifications, including items to be bid, units, instructions for bidding, delivery information as well as any special requirements for bidding. Also included are assigned dates for pre-bid meetings (if any), site inspections (if any), and the public opening.
Bids and proposals are available electronically through https://pascok12.ionwave.net/Login.aspx, a third party that has contracted with the board to provide documents to vendors or the District’s website. This service is at no cost to the District.
ITB’s or RFP’s are publicly opened and read at the time designated in the documents. Public openings are usually held in the office of the Purchasing Agent, conference room located at 20430 Gator Lane, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638.
All merchandise called for in the District’s ITB’s/RFP’s shall be delivered in good order F.O.B. destination, freight prepaid, inside delivery, within the specified time. Packing lists must accompany all shipments. Failure to read or comply with the ITB’s/RFP’s general information in no way relieves the bidder(s) from any liabilities arising in the invitation to bid or the request for proposal.
Vendors are instructed to return their bids or proposals in envelopes, sealed and clearly marked on the outside “Sealed bid or Sealed RFP” with the appropriate bid/proposal number listed as well as the company’s name. A cut-out label is provided with each document for this purpose.
All bids or proposals are to be submitted on the District’s forms, signed by an authorized officer of the company, with the company name, date, etc. Failure to comply or execute the bid/proposal document in its entirety (including the official signature page) will result in the bid being disqualified.
Bids and proposals are evaluated based upon the specification criteria (including testing, if required) as outlined in the documents. Bids are usually evaluated by the end-user or a committee of end-users. The evaluation process is usually monitored by the buyer for that commodity line. Evaluations are reviewed and approved by the Purchasing Agent, who in turn, will provide a final recommendation for the School Board’s consideration and ultimate award or rejection.
The School Board reserves the right to waive minor informalities in any bid and to accept any bid which they consider to be in the best public interest and to reject any or all bids. However, awards will be made to the lowest and best responsive bidder in the opinion and at the option of the School Board. Their decision shall be final and conclusive.
The School Board of Pasco County normally holds meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. Tabulations are posted in accordance with the Florida Administrative Procedures Act: Bid or RFP’s tabulations/recommendations are posted in the office of the Purchasing Agent for a minimum of 72 hours prior to the School Board meeting on which official action will be taken. It shall be the interested party’s responsibility to ascertain the actual date of posting and/or School Board meeting for the specific bid of interest. Postings are available on the District’s website or during normal School Board hours in the Purchasing office.
When bids are utilized, the requisitioning department must indicate the bid number and Board approval date on the requisition notes. Bids that are frequently utilized by schools and departments are listed in the “Current Bid List” on the Purchasing webpage. In addition, the Purchasing Department provides “current bid” information via electronic e-mail and/or written documentation.
Additional exemptions may be granted by the purchasing agent in the School Board’s best interest and allowed by a referenced statute, rule or regulation. Typical exemptions are:
The requirement for requesting bids from three or more sources is waived as authorized by Florida Administrative Rule 6A.1-012(11)(b) for the purchase of professional or educational services, educational tests, textbooks, printed instructional materials, computer software, films, filmstrips, video tapes, disc or tape recordings, or similar audio-visual materials, and for library reference books and printed library cards, where such materials are purchased directly from the producer or publisher, the owner of the copyright, an exclusive agent within the state, a governmental agency or a recognized educational institution.
Some purchases are exempt from the bidding process as outlined in the Department of Education’s regulation 6A-1.012 and considered “sole source items” (i.e., sole source items, instructional materials, educational training, etc.). However, these items require Board approval if the purchase exceeds the $50,000 threshold.
If a purchase is being made as a result of a “sole source bid exemption”. the sole source information must be listed on the requisition under the vendor sourcing note and a copy of the letter must be uploaded in TCM.
Before entering into any agreement, contract or arrangements that obligate the School Board to pay a sum of money or otherwise perform in some manner, a properly executed purchase order must be issued. The purchase order should contain such essential information as quantity, description, and price, applicable terms and conditions, delivery and transportation criteria, as well as other factors or references pertinent to the purchase and execution by the vendor. Acceptance of a purchase order constitutes a contract.
The District School Board of Pasco County’s Purchasing Card Program (P-Card) is designed to improve efficiency in processing purchases by allowing approved District employees to purchase approved goods and services directly from a vendor using the P-Card as the payment vehicle. Purchasing cards can be used to make purchases in accordance with the District's procedures that can be found on the Purchasing Services' website.
Substitution is defined as shipment of an item that materially conforms to the specifications, but is technically different from the item bid and or specified. Substitution requires the approval of the buyer prior to shipment. Any products delivered that do not meet the specifications or substitute products shipped without prior approval will be returned to the vendor at the vendor’s expense. When shipments or products are unacceptable or not made with the buyer’s prior approval, the vendor must make immediate replacement with acceptable merchandise or the District may seek remedies for default.
Invoicing and Payment
To ensure prompt payment of a purchase order, invoices containing the proper information must be submitted to the Accounts Payable Department address indicated on the purchase order (7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638). Invoices must be in triplicate, reference the purchase order number and must contain the proper quantities, unit and total prices as stated on the purchase order. Payments are normally issued within 30 days from receipt of invoice provided the goods and/or services have been received in a satisfactory, proper, and timely manner.
Conflict of Interest
Any award made by the District is subject to provisions of Chapter 112, Florida Statutes. All bidders must disclose with their bid, the name of any officer, director, or agent who is also an employee of The District School Board of Pasco County. Further, all bidders must disclose the name of any School Board of Pasco County employee who owns directly or indirectly, an interest of five percent (5%) or more in the bidder’s firm or any of its branches.
Equal Employment and Educational Opportunities
The District School Board of Pasco County hereby stipulates and affirms its policy of offering Equal Employment and Educational Opportunities for all persons regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age or handicap. The failure of any contractor supplier to the Board to comply with the terms of this Equal Employment Opportunity Policy will subject any contract or purchase order to revocation.
Chaining or Splitting purchases
The deliberate attempt to split requisition purchase orders, where the purpose is to keep total costs on each purchase below the minimum quote or bid threshold. The Attorney General has ruled that the deliberate attempt to chain or split purchase orders is an evasion of the State Purchasing Law and therefore, unlawful.
Central Warehouse Items
The District’s Central Warehouse carries items to provide for your office supplies, classroom supplies, health supplies, janitorial supplies, and food and nutrition supplies as well as a selection of the most common school/office furniture. Please check with the warehouse and purchase items stocked rather than purchasing from an outside.
Items purchased with Grant Money
Grants carry rules and regulations concerning what can and cannot be purchased. Please read your grant documents carefully. Many grants have expiration dates. Please make sure you expend grant monies within the parameters given. Do not wait until the last minute to encumber and spend these dollars. If invoices are not received before the expiration date of the grant, you may have to find other dollars to cover your purchases.
Personnel authorized to receive and/or sign for merchandise are responsible for the safekeeping of the goods. Boxes have to be counted to verify receipt, and inspected for noticeable damage.
If you receive damaged merchandise, it is YOUR responsibility to notify the shipper and/or vendor of the damage immediately.
If a shipment arrives at your location noticeably damaged, indicate this on the receipt the delivery person presents for your signature.
If, after opening a box you detect hidden damage, notify the vendor immediately and follow their instructions for repair or replacement.
Do not return merchandize without obtaining a return authorization number from the vendor.
If you receive an invoice and have not received the merchandise, call the vendor and ask for proof of delivery. Then track down the signer of the delivery ticket. Make sure packages delivered when you are not in-house are locked in a safe place.
Your school or department is responsible for all merchandise signed for by your personnel. If merchandise is lost or stolen, it will have to be paid for if the vendor can prove delivery.
Copies of the complete documents should be maintained with the instruction book showing the use and care guidelines for the items(s) purchased.
The following information should be captured and recorded on these documents:
Purchase Order Number
Date of Invoice(s)
Gifts and Gratuities
The process of public purchasing should be conducted in an impeccable and open manner, without conflict of interest, in order to eliminate any possibility of, or even the appearance of, improper business relationships. In this regard, The Board prohibits the acceptance of gratuities, gifts or other favors that might give rise to doubts of impartiality.
If a school/department needs a vendor set up in Munis, please send W-9 forms to email@example.com. To obtain a copy of a blank W-9 form, please download a copy located on the Purchasing Services’ website.
If you know a vendor that would like to register to be notified of District bid solicitations, please have them go to IonWave by clicking the link below and following the registration process: https://pascok12.ionwave.net/Login.aspx
Contract for Services by Independent Contractors/Consultants
Contracted services by an independent contractor/consultant must be processed through the Purchasing Services Department. If the services are $50,000 or more, the expenditure and MIS 218 form must be approved by The Board. If Board approval is required, the Purchasing Services Department will include the purchase request in the next Board Packet. Vendors should be requested to forward invoices to the Accounts Payable Department.
Requisition for Purchase Order
The requisition for a purchase order should be prepared via Munis for all items requiring the receipt of goods and or services unless a purchasing card is utilized. Once a need is established, it must be determined who will provide the best service, equipment and/or merchandise for the dollar. In other words, “Where is the best place to purchase these items?” The Purchasing Services Department has established numerous bids and contracts to assist you with this decision. A list of bids and contracts is available for review on the Purchasing Services’ website and is updated periodically as contracts and bids are established.
Procedure for merchandise pick up/Return Vendor Copy
If a school or department desires to pick up the merchandise from the vendor and needs the vendor copy returned to them (end-user), please note in Munis using the “RVC” code. When “RVC” is listed in the Buyer Section of the purchase order, the Purchasing Services Department will send the vendor copy of the purchase order to the school/department.