4004: General Purchasing and Procurement

  1. Applicability of this policy.
    1. Purchases made with federal funds, whether those funds are derived directly from the federal government (e.g. award of a federal grant) or are derived by pass-through awards from the Nebraska Department of Education (e.g. special education funds, school lunch funds, Title I funds) are subject to the policy on Purchasing and Procurement with Federal Funds, which is found elsewhere in this section. 
    2. This policy applies to all other purchases made by the ESU other than construction, remodeling, repair and site improvements.
  2. General Purchasing Policy
    1. The ESU’s budget shall be the guide for all purchases. No employee of the ESU may make a purchase that is not provided for in the budget without board or administrative approval.
    2. The board intends to purchase competitively, whenever possible, without prejudice and to seek maximum educational value for every dollar expended.
    3. The acquisition of services, equipment and supplies shall be centralized in the administration office under the supervision of the administrator, who shall be responsible for developing and administering the purchasing program of the ESU.
    4. Purchases or commitments of ESU funds that are not authorized by this policy will be the responsibility of the person making the commitment.
  3. Building-Specific Purchasing
    1. ESU buildings are operationally under the control of building administrators. Administrators have control and responsibility for the building and grounds, for all supplies and equipment housed at the building, for all ESU-related activities in the building, and for all employees assigned to the building.
    2. Administrators and/or Directors, in consultation with their staff, are responsible for requisitioning, managing, distributing, and utilizing supplies within the building.
    3. The administrator or his designee is responsible for the requisitioning, managing, distributing, and utilizing of supplies for maintenance and transportation.
    4. The administration is responsible for purchasing of goods, services and supplies and for providing the necessary forms for establishing efficient procedures to facilitate the process.
  4. Purchasing Procedures
    1. ESU personnel must secure the approval of an authorized administrator before making any purchases.
    2. Employees seeking reimbursement for a purchase made with their personal funds must attach an itemized receipt or invoice to all requests for reimbursement; must sign all purchase receipts or charge slips; and must submit itemized receipts and any purchasing card or credit card receipts to the office of the superintendent no later than one week prior to the next regular board meeting. A non-itemized credit card receipt is not sufficient.
    3. Employees making purchases with a ESU credit card or purchasing program must comply with the steps set forth in the ESU’s Purchasing (Credit) Card Program.
    4. All purchases of goods and services made with ESU funds must be made on a properly executed purchase order.
    5. All purchases shall be initiated with a purchase order. Purchase orders are signed by the person responsible for that particular budget and finally by the superintendent.
    6. For purchases of more than $10,000, authorized staff members must secure written quotes and/or estimates from a reasonable number of vendors. Staff will purchase from a responsible vendor with the lowest price unless the board approves the purchase from the more expensive vendor.
  5. Relations with Vendors
    1. The board wishes to maintain good working relations with vendors who supply materials, supplies and services to the ESU. The ESU shall not extend favoritism to any vendors. Each order shall be placed on the basis of quality, price and delivery, with past services being a factor if all other considerations are equal. The administrative team may, in its discretion, use a Nebraska state-wide cooperative purchasing program in lieu of obtaining quotes or bids under this policy to the extent such a bid or quote is not otherwise independently required by law.
    2. No purchase shall be made that violates any conflict of interest policy or law.
    3. No employee shall endorse any product of any type or kind in such a manner as will identify him/her in any way as an employee of the ESU.
    4. The board believes in patronizing local businesses. Consequently, when proposals are judged to be equal in terms of quality, price, and/or service, the contract or purchase will be awarded to the firm that is located within the ESU. However, the board will not sacrifice either quality or economy to patronize local businesses.

Adopted on: November 10, 2008
Revised on: February 12, 2019
Reviewed on: October 10, 2011