DJ Bidding/Purchasing Requirements


The School Board expects all purchases made by the school unit 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 unit. It does not afford any vendor any property or contractual rights against the school unit. No vendor shall have any enforceable rights against the school unit based upon this policy or alleged violations of this policy. No vendor shall have any rights against the school unit until such time as a written contract between the vendor and the school unit is executed by the vendor and an authorized representative of the school unit.

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; school building construction, alterations and repairs over $25,000 (except contracts for professional architectural and engineering services); and bond anticipation notes for state-subsidized school construction projects. 

B. Competitive Bidding of Other Purchases 

Where bidding is not required by law, it shall be the policy of the school unit to competitively bid purchases of equipment, supplies, materials or services over $5000 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 $5000. A RFP identifies the need the school unit 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.

C. Procedures for Bidding and Requesting Proposals 

The method of notification that the school unit uses to solicit bids and proposals shall be reasonably designed to attract qualified vendors. Depending upon the circumstances, such notification may include public advertising and/or mailing of notices to potential vendors. 

Bid Procedures 

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 unit to reject any or all bids, and to waive technical or immaterial non-conformities in bids if in the best interest of the school unit, 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 unit. 

C. Time of opening. A School Board member or employee of the school unit 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 unit or if 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 which the Superintendent and School Board deem can satisfactorily fulfill the contract. 

RFP Procedures 

A. Proposals should be submitted in plain envelopes clearly marked “Proposal, not to be opened until (state time and date).” The RFP shall state the time and date that proposals shall be opened, and no proposals shall be opened before that time. Public opening is not required.

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 unit. 

Legal Reference:         
5 MRSA § 1743-A
20-A MRSA §§ 1001(14), 5401(13)(D); 5402
20-A MRSA § 1314
§ 13 c (Maine State Board of Education Rules for School Construction Projects)

Cross Reference:        BCB – Board Member Conflict of Interest
DJH – Purchasing and Contracting Procurement Staff Code of Conduct
KCD – Public Gifts/Donations to the Schools

Adopted: April 10, 1990
Reviewed: November 4, 2009

M.S.A.D. #4