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Novato USD |  BP  3300  Business and Noninstructional Operations

Expenditures/Expending Authority   

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The Board of Education recognizes its fiduciary responsibility to oversee the prudent expenditure of district funds. In order to best serve district interests, the Superintendent or designee shall develop and maintain effective purchasing procedures that are consistent with sound financial controls and that ensure the district receives maximum value for items purchased. He/she shall ensure that records of expenditures and purchases are maintained in accordance with law.

(cf. 3000 - Concepts and Roles)

(cf. 3100 - Budget)

(cf. 3350 - Travel Expenses)

(cf. 3400 - Management of District Assets/Accounts)

(cf. 3460 - Financial Reports and Accountability)

(cf. 9270 - Conflict of Interest)

Expending Authority

The Superintendent or designee may purchase supplies, materials, apparatus, equipment, and services up to the amounts specified in Public Contract Code 20111, beyond which a competitive bidding process is required. The Board shall not recognize obligations incurred contrary to Board policy and administrative regulations.

The Superintendent or designee may enter into contracts and purchases on behalf of the district. The Board shall adopt an operating budget and a capital budget providing funds to purchase supplies and equipment for schools and departments for the entire school year. It is expected that those budgeted amounts will be sufficient to meet the needs of the various departments for the given school year. Purchases exceeding these budgeted amounts may not be made without approval of the Board. Prior approval must be obtained if there are not sufficient funds to cover the excess costs in any other account except unrestricted unappropriated ending balances.

The procurement function is one of the major business responsibilities of the Board.

The Board has the authority and responsibility for all purchases of the district. This authority and responsibility can be delegated, in accordance with law.

The purchasing authority and responsibility is to be centralized under the Chief Financial Officer or designee or such other person officially designated by the Board.

(cf. 3311 - Bids)

(cf. 3312 - Contracts)

The Board shall review all transactions entered into by the Superintendent or designee on behalf of the Board every 60 days. (Education Code 17605)

The Superintendent or designee may authorize an expenditure, which exceeds the budget classification allowance against which the expenditure is the proper charge only if an amount

sufficient to cover the purchase is available in the budget for transfer by the Board.

(cf. 3110 - Transfer of Funds)

District funds shall not be expended for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. (Education Code 32435)

Purchasing Procedures

Insofar as possible, goods and services purchased shall meet the needs of the person or department ordering them at the lowest price consistent with standard purchasing practices. Maintenance costs, replacement costs, and trade-in values shall be considered when determining the most economical purchase price. When price, fitness, and quality are equal, recycled products shall be preferred when procuring materials for use in district schools and buildings.

(cf. 3314.2 - Revolving Funds)

(cf. 3440 - Inventories)

(cf. 3511.1 - Integrated Waste Management)

All purchases shall be made by formal contract or purchase order or shall be accompanied by a receipt. In order to eliminate the processing of numerous small purchase orders, the Superintendent or designee may create a "blanket" or "open" purchase order system for the purchase of minor items as needed from a vendor. He/she shall ensure that the "open" purchase order system details a maximum purchase amount, the types of items that can be purchased under this order, the individuals authorized to approve purchases, and the expiration date of the "open" order.

The Chief Financial Officer will ensure that purchases are made within the limitations prescribed by law, by legal options, and in accordance with Board policies.

Specific Purchasing Assignments

1. The Chief Financial Officer or designee approves all purchases made by formal contract or purchase order for the district.

2. The Chief Financial Officer shall establish practical and efficient office procedures, reports, records, and systems that will allow the department to give maximum effort to the acquisition of supplies, equipment, and services for the educational program and assist the administration in its role of management.

3. The Chief Financial Officer shall, when warehousing responsibilities are assigned, maintain a system of warehouse inventory control to account for available equipment and supplies. A catalog of current warehoused items should be maintained and distributed to all departments annually.

4. The Chief Financial Officer or designee shall handle the disposal of all personal property declared surplus or obsolete by the Board in accordance with Education Code 39510.

Purchasing and Staff Relationships

1. Only the Chief Financial Officer or designee has the authority to commit the expenditure of funds for supplies, equipment, and services.

2. Purchases made directly by district employees should be avoided. When this does occur, reimbursement will only occur when accompanied by the original receipt.

3. It is the responsibility of each department to determine the quality and kind of supplies, equipment, and services required; however, the Chief Financial Officer may question and/or make recommendations relative to quality, safety, health, and economy.

Purchasing and Vendor Relationships

1. Opportunity shall be provided to all responsible vendors to do business with the district. Visits should be promptly acknowledged and interviews granted, depending upon the circumstances. The Chief Financial Officer should let the vendors know his/her preference in handling visits.

2. Employees of the district shall not extend favoritism to any vendors. Each order should be placed on the basis of quality, price, service, delivery, and any other applicable factors.

3. Employees of the district shall not receive funds, gifts, use of any facilities or materials from vendors for personal gain or favor, or publicly endorse or promote commercial products.

4. Open purchase orders, given to a local merchant to cover no more than six month's purchase of miscellaneous items may be used. Purchase orders must list authorized purchasers, date purchase order will cover and have a maximum amount listed covering that specific period of time.

5. All equipment, supplies, and services purchased by the district shall be used for district needs only.

Legal Reference:


17604 Delegation of powers to agents; liability of agents

17605 Delegation of authority to purchase supplies and equipment

32435 Prohibited use of public funds

35010 Control of district; prescription and enforcement of rules

35035 Powers and duties of superintendent

35272 Educational and athletic materials

38083 Purchase of perishable foodstuffs and seasonal commodities

41010 Accounting system

41014 Requirement of budgetary accounting


20111 Contracts over $50,000; contracts for construction; award to lowest responsible bidder


adopted: September 9, 2008 Novato, California