Maine School Administrative District No. 31
The School Board expects all purchases made by the school unit to be consistent with applicable
laws and sound business practices. The Superintendent shall be responsible for developing and
implementing administrative procedures for bidding and purchasing consistent with this policy.
This policy is intended solely as an internal guide to purchasing by the school unit. It does not
afford any vendor any property or contractual rights against the school unit. No vendor shall
have any rights against the school unit until such time as a written contract between the vendor
and the school unit is executed by the vendor and an authorized representative of the school unit.
A. Bidding Required by Law
Maine law requires the Board to competitively bid property and casualty insurance;
school bus and transportation contracts in excess of $5,000; school building construction,
alterations, and repairs over $50,000; and bond anticipation notes for state-subsidized
school construction projects – except those authorized through the Revolving Renovation
Fund/Maine Bond Bank.
B. Competitive Bidding of Other Purchases
Where bidding is not required by law, it shall be the policy of the school unit to
competitively bid purchases of equipment, supplies, materials, or services over $5,000
provided that it is practical and cost-effective to specify the materials or services with
sufficient particularity to allow meaningful comparison of bids.
If competitive bidding is not utilized, the Superintendent may seek Request for Proposals
RFP) for purchases over $5,000. An RFP identifies the need the school unit intends to
meet, but permits the vendor to propose the manner in which the work is to be performed
and the materials to be used.
The Superintendent may forego the competitive bid or RFP process only when he/
she determines that quality, expertise, time factors, or other important considerations
outweigh the possible benefits of bidding or requesting proposals. In each such case, the
Board shall be informed of the Superintendent's decision and the reasons for it in advance
of entering into a contract.
C. Procedures for Bidding and Requesting Proposals
The method of notification that the school unit uses to solicit bids and proposals shall
be reasonably designed to attract qualified vendors. Depending upon the circumstances,
such notification may include public advertising and/or mailing of notices to potential
A. The notification shall specify the deadline for submitting bids and the time and place of
bid opening. Bid alternates shall be permitted at the discretion of the superintendent.
The notices shall reserve the right of the school unit to reject any or all bids, and to waive
the technical or immaterial non-conformities in bids if in the best interest of the school
unit, and to exercise judgment in evaluating bids.
B. Written bids. Bids shall be in writing, sealed with outside envelope or wrapper plainly
marked "Bid, not to be opened until (insert appropriate date)", and mailed or filed with
the Superintendent of the unit.
C. Time of opening. A school board member or employee of the school unit may not open
a bid until the appointed time.
D. Public opening. At the time and place stated in the public notice and open to the public,
all bids shall be opened at the appointed time by the Superintendent or, in the
Superintendent's absence, by the Superintendent's designee.
E. Reading. If any citizens who are not School Board members or employees of the school
unit, or if any representatives of the press are present bids shall at the time either be made
available for examination by them or shall be read aloud in a manner to be heard plainly
by those in attendance.
F. In general, the School Board will award contracts to the lowest bidder which the
Superintendent and School Board deem can satisfactorily fulfill the contract.
A. Proposals should be submitted in plain envelopes clearly marked "Proposal, not to be
opened until (state time and date)." The RFP shall state the time and date that proposals
shall be opened, and not proposals shall be opened before that time. Public opening is
B. Proposals are to be evaluated based on criteria appropriate for the project in question, and
the contract will be awarded to the vendor whom the Superintendent and School board
deem best able to meet the requirements of the school unit.
Legal reference: 5 MRSA § 1743-A (ALL)
20-A MRSA §§ 1001.14, 5401.13 D; 5402 (ALL)
20-A MSRA § 1314 (MSAD)
§ 13 c (Maine State Board of Education Rules for School Construction Projects) (ALL)
First Reading: 10/13/1999
First Reading: 10/17/2007