Purchasing Law and Policy (PDF)
Topic: Purchasing Law and Policy
Reference or Contact: Executive Director of Purchasing/Contract Services
This section, based on governing law, statutes, and policy, is included to provide general knowledge regarding how the laws apply to the District.
§ Lubbock ISD Board Policy, CH (Local), Purchasing Authority
The Board delegates to the Superintendent or designee the authority to make budgeted purchases for goods or services. Except as provided in this policy, however, any single, budgeted purchase of goods or services that costs $50,000 or more, regardless of whether the goods or services are competitively purchased, shall require Board approval before a transaction may take place.
§ Texas Education Code 44.031. Purchasing Contracts
- Except as provided by this subchapter, all school district contracts for the purchase of goods and services, except contracts for the purchase of produce or vehicle fuel, valued at $50,000 or more in the aggregate for each 12-month period shall be made by the method, of the following methods, that provides the best value for the district:
- competitive bidding for services other than construction services;
- competitive sealed proposals for services other than construction services;
- a request for proposals, for services other than construction services;
- an interlocal contract;
- a method provided by Chapter 2267, Government Code, for construction services;
- the reverse auction procedure as defined by Section 2155.062(d), Government Code; or
- the formation of a political subdivision corporation under Section 304.001, Local Government Code.
- Except as provided by this subchapter, in determining to whom to award a contract, the district shall consider:
- the purchase price;
- the reputation of the vendor and of the vendor's goods or services;
- the quality of the vendor's goods or services;
- the extent to which the goods or services meet the district's needs;
- the vendor's past relationship with the district;
- the impact on the ability of the district to comply with laws and rules relating to historically underutilized businesses;
- the total long-term cost to the district to acquire the vendor's goods or services;
- for a contract for goods and services, other than goods and services related to telecommunications and information services, building construction and maintenance, or instructional materials, whether the vendor or the vendor's ultimate parent company or majority owner:
- has its principal place of business in this state; or
- employs at least 500 persons in this state; and
- any other relevant factor specifically listed in the request for bids or proposals.
§ Texas Education Code 44.032. Enforcement of Purchase Procedures: Criminal Penalties; Removal; Ineligibility.
In this section:
- “Component purchases” are purchases of component parts of an item that in normal purchasing practices would be purchased in one purchase.
- “Separate purchases” are purchases made separately of items that in normal purchasing practices would be purchased in one purchase.
- “Sequential purchases” are purchases made over a period of time that in normal purchasing practices would be purchased in one purchase.
Any school district official or employee commits a criminal offense if he or she knowingly or with criminal negligence engages in “component,” “separate,” or “sequential’ purchases for the purpose of avoiding or circumventing the purchasing requirements of the Education Code and/or the Local Government Code.
If a district decision-maker purchases items in one of the prohibited ways, he or she commits a Class B or C misdemeanor which may result in the official being fined and/or jailed. In addition, board members may be removed from office and administrators may be dismissed from employment. Thus, school decision-makers are well advised to stay informed of and comply with purchasing requirements.
The purchasing department will make the initial determination as to whether competitive procurement is required. Competitive procurement is required when over the course of a twelve-month period; the district will spend in excess of the $50,000 spending threshold for the same or similar commodities/items or services other than construction. Purchases may not be “split” on two or more orders to circumvent this policy.
Competitive procurement laws are designed to guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance, fraud, conflict of interest, and corruption and to foster honest competition so that the district obtains the best goods and services at the lowest possible price. All purchases, regardless of dollar amount, should follow this policy.