Doing What’s Best for Kids

Business Administration AP 515: Purchasing


The Division supports competitive methods of purchasing in order to ensure effective use of its financial resources. All pricing will be evaluated on the basis of quality, service, availability, environmental impact and other criteria as deemed appropriate.


  1. The objectives related to procurement are to:
    1. Maintain continuity of supply with the minimum in inventory, consistent with educational needs, safety, and economic advantage;
    2. Avoid duplication, waste, obsolescence of materials and equipment;
    3. Maintain standards of quality in relation to suitability of use;
    4. Acquire materials and equipment at a cost consistent with quality and service required;
    5. Maintain a record-keeping system that provides administration with useful reports;
    6. Provide a process for procurement that is consistent with legal requirements.
  2. Competitive Pricing Requirements – Competitive prices shall be obtained for purchases of either goods or services as follows:
    1. $ 0 - $ 4,999 No formal requirement to obtain competitive prices. Although common sense and value for money must still be respected for these lower dollar value acquisitions.  
    2. $5,000 - $14,999 Verbal Quotes – normally three (3) quotes – rationale should be documented if less than three quotes are obtained.  
    3. $15,001 - $74,999 Written Quotes/Proposals.
    4. Public Tenders in accordance with interprovincial trade agreements, such as the Federal Agreement on Interprovincial Trade (AIT) and the provincial New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPT), public tender processes shall be followed at or above the following threshold levels:
      1. Goods and Services $75,000 or greater;
      2. Construction Projects $200,000 or greater.
  3. Consortium or Government Standing Offers – If goods or services are bought through a consortium that follows formal tendering and price negotiation practises - and the Division is able to acquire the consortium or government standing offers - this will be considered compliance with article (2) above.
  4. Executive Discretion – Notwithstanding (2 or 3) above, the Superintendent of Schools, or in the absence of the Superintendent the Associate Superintendent Business and Finance, may waive the purchasing procedures of public tender, invitational tender, or request for proposal to pursue a specific proposal when:
    1. Division Interest – it is deemed to be in the best interest of the Division, or
    2. Sole supplier – there is only one vender who can supply the particular good or service, or
    3. Time is of the essence – normally this is under emergency or emergency repair circumstances.
  5. Schools or Departments – May perform the purchasing function that normally
    would be conducted through the Business Administration Department, however they
    1. Follow the purchasing practices outlined in this policy.
    2. Purchase Cards – In lieu of purchases orders they may use purchase cards within the limits set on the cards and/or up to $1,500.
    3. Purchase Orders – All purchases over $1,500 shall be made by purchase order and require authorization as described in Section 7, Disbursement Approvals, below.
    4. Honorarium/Wages – Under no circumstances will schools or departments make payments directly to individuals for honorariums [i.e. salary or Wages].
    5. Under no circumstances will schools or departments make payments directly to employees.
    6. Technology – purchases of hardware and software must be consistent with information technology guidelines and, prior to an acquisition the request will be coordinated through the Information Technology Department.
    7. Facility Repairs and Renovations – prior to the purchase of goods and/or services orders shall be coordinated through the Operations & Maintenance Department.
    8. Requests for Bids and or Quotes are to be either fixed bid and or time and material whichever is anticipated to result in the best outcome for the Division.
  6. Purchase Orders – Under normal circumstances, goods or services shall not be ordered until they are preapproved by way of a duly approved purchase order. A purchase order shall not be required for the following goods or services:
    1. orders of less than $1,500 in aggregate, or
    2. items bought on purchasing cards, or
    3. recurring goods or services (such as utilities) or
  7. Tender and Disbursement Approvals – Any purchase or purchase order for the supply of a good or service shall require the following additional approvals:
    1. $0 to $4,999 - Principal or Department Manager
    2. $5,000 - $14,999 – Director Business Services,
    3. $15,000 or greater – Associate Superintendent Business and Finance.
  8. Tendering Documents and Process:
    1. Sealed Tenders and Opening – All tenders and replies to requests for proposals must be submitted in a sealed envelope and addressed to the Associate Superintendent Business and Finance or his designate. Tenders and replies to requests for proposals will be opened at the time specified and will normally be open to the general public.
    2. Withdrawal of Tenders – Tenders and replies to requests for proposals may be withdrawn prior to the scheduled opening. Those tenders and replies to requests for proposals received after the specified date and time of opening will not be considered.
    3. Conditions – All tender calls and requests for proposals will be subject to any or all of the following conditions:
      1. The Division reserves the right to reject any or all tenders, bids, and replies to requests for proposals and to accept that tender, bid, or reply to request for proposal which appears to be in the best interests of the Division.
      2. The Division reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal and, further, reserves the right to negotiate with the selected firm to clarify and enhance the contract tender or proposal.
      3. The Division reserves the right to seek proposal clarification with the proposers to assist in making evaluations.
    4. Evaluation – Tenders and requests for proposals may consider factors beyond pricing – including but not limited to:
      1. service,
      2. quality,
      3. availability and
      4. the supplier’s ability to fulfil the requirements of any standards or
        specifications that form part of the tender documents.
    5. Tendering Venue – Normally all tenders will be either posted on either the
      Alberta Purchasing Consortium (APC) website or the Alberta Construction
      Association (COOLNet) website.