Washoe Country School District

July 26, 2014

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Purchasing Procedure Overview

The Purchasing Department of the Washoe County School District is authorized by the Board of Trustees to oversee the purchasing of all supplies, equipment and services required by the District.

All purchasing activities are centralized under the immediate supervision of the Purchasing Supervisor and will be conducted in compliance with the State of Nevada Statutes (NRS 332), in accordance with the interpretations of law as specified by authorized legal counsel.

Responsibility and Objectives

It is the responsibility of the Purchasing Supervisor to establish standards of quality consistent with the principles of obtaining the best quality, delivery, timeliness, appropriate product(s), price and supplier.

To achieve this goal, the Purchasing Department has been charged by the Superintendent and the Board of Trustees with the responsibility for the following:

  • Secure competitive bids whenever possible to obtain maximum value from the expenditure of District funds.
  • Maintain liaison with suppliers who service the District's needs.
  • Coordinate the procurement of goods and services for all District requirements. *
  • Develop sources of supply to assure that the District has an adequate number of dependable suppliers from which to obtain supplies, equipment and services.

Expenditure of Funds

All funds deposited with the Washoe County School District, regardless of source, are District funds and must be handled in accordance with District procedures. Although schools, departments and divisions are allocated funds in their budgets for a given period, this allocation is only an authority to requisition, not to purchase. All requests for purchase regardless of the sources of funds must be processed through the Purchasing Department on the IFAS software system or by using a District-issued P-card.

*Please note that making an unauthorized purchase using District funds is in violation of the District's Administrative Regulations, and anyone responsible for such a purchase may be held personally responsible for payment of said order.

Supplier Selection

Suppliers are selected for their capability to serve the needs of the District in the most economical and efficient manner possible. Past performance and cooperation are important factors. Suppliers must comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (Executive Order 11246 as amended) since it is the policy of the District to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity. They must also comply with other laws and directives as they are issued.

Bids and Quotations

Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) requires all public agencies to follow general guidelines as stated in NRS 332.

Late Bids

It is the supplier's responsibility to ensure that their bids are received in the Purchasing Department no later than the appointed hour and date as specified in the Request For Bid (RFB). Late bids will not be considered and will be returned unopened to the bidder.

All bids will be date and time stamped as verification that they were (or were not) received prior to the requested date and time.

Confidentiality of Quotations

Price quotations are given to the District in confidence and shall not be revealed to any other supplier or unauthorized person before the time and date of closure. At that time prices and terms become part of the public record, and are available to any person or business wishing to know them.

Lowest Responsible Bidder

All valid responsible bids shall be considered in determining, which is best value. Purchasing staff will take into consideration delivery, terms and conditions, discounts and conformity with the specifications.

Rejection of Bids

The District may reject any and all bids and/or waive any informality in any bid. In all instances, the decision rendered by the Board of Trustees shall be final.

Bid Opening

Bid openings are public and may be attended by anyone, including those who may not have a direct interest in the bid. Following a recommendation of award, bids are available for inspection by any interested party, as long as Washoe County School District personnel are available as witness.

Protesting and Award of Bids

Any unsuccessful bidder may appeal a pending bid award prior to award by the Board of Trustees. Appellant shall submit a written appeal to the Purchasing Supervisor not later than six (6) days prior to the date scheduled for award.

Legislative, Governmental & Professional Activities

Nevada Revised Statute 332.215 requires purchasing officers in counties whose population exceeds 100,000 to be participants in a local commission to study governmental purchasing.

The Commission is to meet at least quarterly, and study practices in governmental purchasing and laws relating thereto and make recommendations with respect to those laws to the next regular session of the legislature.

Washoe County School District has actively participated in the Commission since its inception. The Commission monitors legislative activities while the Legislature is in session, lobbies on issues pertaining to public purchasing, provides professional testimony at hearings, and makes recommendations to legislators regarding changes in Nevada Revised Statutes.

Northern Nevada Consortium for Cooperative Purchasing

Washoe County School District Purchasing Department personnel were instrumental in establishing the Northern Nevada Consortium for Cooperative Purchasing (NNCCP) in 1984. The mission behind the NNCCP, which operates as a non-profit organization (Business League) under IRS 503(c)(6), is to promote the sharing of procurement knowledge, expertise, resources and information electronically and cooperatively within the State of Nevada.

NNCCP meets monthly and the group includes various governmental purchasing entities within the State of Nevada including multiple counties, cities, townships, political subdivisions, utilities, general improvement districts, school districts and colleges.   

NNCCP provides professional development opportunities to its members and other interested purchasing professionals. Classes and study groups are organized on an as-needed basis, depending on the needs and interests of its members. Members are encouraged to attend classes, workshops, supplier shows and seminars at local institutions of learning as well as those sponsored by other professional purchasing groups such as the Institute of Supply Management (ISM), NAPM of Northern Nevada, The National Purchasing Institute (NPI), National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), California Association of Public Purchasing Officers (CAPPO), and California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO). 

District Warehouse

The Purchasing Department has been assigned to stock the District's warehouse with furniture, equipment and supplies commonly used by all sites. The purpose of the warehouse is to allow for volume purchase of commonly and frequently used items to take advantage of improved pricing and to have materials on hand when needed.