Bidding/Purchasing Requirements


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


Bid Procedures

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.

RFP Procedures

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

not required.

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

Adoption: 10/13/1999

First Reading: 10/17/2007

Second Reading:11/28/2007