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  • Section D: Fiscal Management


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.The Superintendent and/or their authorized delegate shall have the power within the limits of the approved budget to approve and direct all purchases and expenditures in conformance with appropriate administrative procedures.

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 enforceable rights against the school unit based upon this policy or alleged violations of this policy. No vendor shall have any rights against the school unit until such time as a written contract between the vendor and the school units is executed by the vendor and an authorized representative of the school unit.

 I. Legal Requirements Applicable to Bidding/Purchasing

A. Maine Legal Requirements. 

Maine law requires the Board to competitively bid (1) property and casualty insurance; (2) school bus and transportation contracts in excess of $4,000; (3) certain school building construction, alterations and repairs over $250,000; (4) bond anticipation notes for state-subsidized school construction projects; and (5) lease purchase financing of buildings whose lease purchase costs qualify for state subsidy.

B. Federal Legal Requirements regarding Procurement Methods for Federally-Funded Contracts.

The Superintendent or their designee shall be responsible for developing, updating as necessary, and implementing written administrative procedures (hereafter, the “Federal Procurement Manual”) to govern the procurement and purchase of property, goods, and services using any federal award that is subject to the Uniform Grant Guidance, codified at 2 CFR Part 200 (“UGG Federal Award”). The Federal Procurement Manual shall be consistent with all applicable federal laws and rules.

Notwithstanding any policy provision to the contrary, the procurement and purchase of property, goods, and services using a UGG Federal Award, in whole or in part, must comply with the Federal Procurement Manual. Wherever this policy or any of the school unit’s administrative procedures are inconsistent with federal laws or rules, the provisions of the federal laws or rules shall control. 

II. Procurement Method Where Bidding/Purchasing Is Not Required by Law

  1. Procurement by Competitive Bidding

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 $50,000 provided that it is practical and cost-effective to specify the materials or services with sufficient particularity to allow meaningful comparison of bids. 

  1. Procurement by Request for Proposal (RFP) 

If competitive bidding is not utilized, the Superintendent may seek Requests for Proposals (RFP) for purchases over $50,000. 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. 

  1. Exception to Procurement by Competitive Bidding and Request for Proposal

The Superintendent may forgo the competitive bid or RFP process only when they determine that quality, expertise, time factors, or other important considerations outweigh the possible benefits of bidding or obtaining an RFP. In each such case, the Board shall be informed of the Superintendent’s decision and the reasons for it as soon as practicable. 

III. Procedures for Bidding and Requests for Proposals 

  1. Bid Procedures.

1. Notification. 

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 mailing to potential vendors.

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 notice shall reserve the right of the school unit to reject any or all bids, and to waive technical or immaterial nonconformities in bids if in the best interest of the school unit, and to exercise judgment in evaluating bids.

2. Writing Requirement. Bids shall be in writing, sealed with an 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.

3. Time of opening. A School Board member or employee of the school unit may not open a bid until the appointed time.

4. Public opening. At the time and place stated in the public notice of the request for bid, which must be open to the public, all bids shall be opened by the Superintendent or their designee.

5. Reading. If any citizens who are not School Board members or employees of the school unit or any representatives of the press are present, bids shall, at that time, either be made available for examination by them or shall be read aloud in a manner plainly audible by those in attendance.

6. Awards. Bids 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.

  1. Request For Proposal Procedures

1. Solicitation and Submission. Proposals should be submitted in the manner specified in the RFP, which shall be appropriate for the goods or services being purchased. If requests for RFPs are solicited by direct contact with potential vendors, at least three vendors shall be contacted.

2. Contract Awards. 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

20-A MRSA §§ 1001(14), 5401(13)(D); 5402

20-A MRSA § 1314

30-A MRSA § 6006-E

Maine State Board of Education Rules for Major Capital School Improvement Projects (Chapter 61, § 11(5))

Maine Department of Education and Maine Municipal Bond Bank Rules for Maine School Facilities Program and School Revolving Renovation Fund Program (Chapter 64, § 6)

34 CFR Parts 74 and 80 (Education Department General Administrative Regulations (“EDGAR”)) (for federal awards made prior to 12/26/2014)

2 CFR Part 200 (Uniform Administrative Requirements) (for federal awards made on or after 12/26/2014) 

Cross Reference: 

DJH — Purchasing and Contracting: Procurement Staff Code of Conduct


Adopted: 04/12/99

Amended: 04/24/01

Amended: 10/19/09

Amended: 08/21/17

Reviewed: 02/08/21

Amended: 2/27/23



  • Section D