Policy 705.01: Purchasing – Bidding
|Original Adopted Date: 07/01/1996| Last Reviewed Date: 06/19/2023|
The board supports economic development in Iowa, particularly in the school district community. As permitted by law, purchasing preference will be given to Iowa goods and services from locally-owned businesses located within the school district or Iowa based companies if the cost and other considerations are relatively equal and meet the required specifications. However, when spending federal Child Nutrition Funds, geographical preference is allowed only for unprocessed agricultural food items as a part of response evaluation. Other statutory purchasing preferences will be applied as provided by law, including goals and reporting with regard to procurement from certified targeted small businesses, minority-owned businesses, and female-owned businesses.
Goods and Services
The board shall enter into goods and services contract(s) as the board deems to be in the best interest of the school district. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to approve purchases, except those requiring board approval as described below or as provided by in law. The superintendent may coordinate and combine purchases with other governmental bodies to take advantage of volume price breaks. Joint purchases with other political subdivisions will be considered in the purchase of equipment, accessories, or attachments with an estimated cost of $50,000 or more.
Purchases for goods and services shall conform to the following:
- The superintendent shall have the authority to authorize purchases without prior board approval and without competitive request for proposals, quotations, or bids for goods and services up to $50,000.
- For goods and services costing at least $50,000 and up to $139,000, the superintendent shall receive proposals, quotations, or bids for the goods and services to be purchased prior to board approval. The quotation process may be informal, and include written or unwritten quotations.
- For goods and services exceeding, $139,000, the competitive request for proposal (RFP) or competitive bid process shall be used and received prior to board approval. RFPs and bids are formal, written submissions via sealed process.
In the event that only one quotation or bid is submitted, the board may proceed if the quotation or bid meets the contract award specifications.
The contract award may be based on several cost considerations including, but not limited to the following:
- The cost of the goods and services being purchased;
- Availability of service and/or repair;
- The targeted small business procurement goal and other statutory purchasing preferences; and
- Other factors deemed relevant by the board.
The board may elect to exempt certain professional services contracts from the thresholds and procedures outlined above.
The thresholds and procedures related to purchases of goods and services do not apply to public improvement projects.
The board shall enter into public improvement contract(s) as the board deems to be in the best interest of the school district. ‘Public improvement’ means “a building or construction work which is constructed under the control of a governmental entity and for which either of the following applies: (1) has been paid for in whole or in part with funds of the governmental entity; (2) a commitment has been made prior to construction by the governmental entity to pay for the building or construction work in whole or in part with funds of the governmental entity. This includes a building or improvement constructed or operated jointly with any public or private agency.”
The district shall follow all requirements, timelines, and processes detailed in Iowa law related to public improvement projects. The thresholds regarding when competitive bidding or competitive quotations is required will be followed. Competitive bidding is required for public improvement contracts exceeding the minimum threshold stated in law. Competitive quotations are required for public improvement projects that exceed the minimum threshold amount stated in law, but do not exceed the minimum set for competitive bidding. The board shall approve competitive bids and competitive quotes. If the total cost of the public improvement does not warrant either competitive bidding or competitive quotations, the district may nevertheless proceed with either of these processes, if it so chooses.
The award of all contracts for the public improvement shall be awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. In the event of an emergency requiring repairs to a school district facility that exceed bidding and quotation thresholds, please refer [Insert your district’s Emergency Repairs policy here] to IASB sample policy 802.03 – Emergency Repairs.
The district shall comply with all federal and state laws and regulations required for procurement, including the selection and evaluation of contractors. The superintendent or designee is responsible for developing an administrative process to implement this policy, including, but not limited to, procedures related to suspension and debarment for transactions subject to those requirements.
NOTE: While Iowa law dictates threshold amounts for quotes and bids for public improvement projects, there is no such requirement for goods and services. The district has discretion in this area to set the amounts required for the purchasing process.
NOTE: Districts should compare the discretionary purchasing limits in the section regarding goods and services with purchasing limits set in other policies (e.g., expenditures) to ensure consistency.
|Legal Reference:||Iowa Code §§ 26; 28E; 72.3; 73; 73A; 285; 297; 301.
261 I.A.C. 54.
281 I.A.C. 43.25.
|I.C. Iowa Code||Description|
|Iowa Code § 26||Bidding|
|Iowa Code § 285||Transportation Aid|
|Iowa Code § 28E||Joint Exercise of Government Power|
|Iowa Code § 297||School Houses/Sites|
|Iowa Code § 301||Textbooks|
|Iowa Code § 73A||Public Contracts and Bonds|
|Iowa Code § 73||Preferences|
|Iowa Code §72.3||Divulging Contents of Sealed Bids|
|I.A.C. Iowa Administrative Code||Description|
|261 I.A.C. 54||Economical Development – Iowa TSB Program|
|281 I.A.C. 43.25||Transportation – Purchasing|
|705.04||Expenditures for a Public Purpose|
|705.04-R(1)||Expenditures for a Public Purpose – Use of Public Funds Regulation|
|803.01||Disposition of Obsolete Equipment|
|803.02||Lease, Sale or Disposal of School District Buildings & Sites|