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Purchasing Procedures & Guidelines

The Kenton County Board of Education has adopted KRS 45A – Model Procurement as the legal procurement form for the district. Under KRS 45A the district is responsible to make purchases utilizing our Small Purchase Procedure, Competitive Sealed Bidding, Competitive Negotiations, or by using Non-Competitive Negotiations.  
The Small Purchase Procedure shall be followed for purchases which do not exceed in aggregate $40,000.00 over the fiscal year. Contracts or purchases shall be awarded by competitive sealed bidding when the amounts in aggregate exceed $40,000 over the fiscal year with the Board of Education approving the lowest and/or best bid, except as otherwise provided by KRS 45A.370, KRS 45A.375, and KRS 45A.380, and KRS 45A.385; or when other governmental contracts exist including but not limited to Cooperative, Local Governmental, State, and/or Federal Contracts for the desired goods or services.  
Principals may purchase in the instances and in the manner provided for by administrative procedures for small purchases, and by non-competitive negotiation in connection with the purchase of items for resale as provided herein. Each principal is vested with the authority to utilize the small purchase procedure in connection with purchases from their school’s activity funds when a purchase does not exceed $40,000.00 or the aggregate amount district wide does not exceed $40,000.00.  Principals may also utilize non-competitive negotiation procedures for the purchase of proprietary items for resale, upon their finding and determination that the items to be purchased are proprietary items for resale.
The Director of School Food Services is vested with authority to contract for perishables purchased on a weekly or more frequent basis by non-competitive negotiation.  Each Director is vested with the authority for his division under small purchase procedures when a purchase does not exceed $40,000.00, or the aggregate amount does not exceed $40,000.00.
The intent of the purchasing procedures is to establish a framework so that purchasing activities for the School District are carried out in a prudent and economical manner. Fundamentally, the objective is to purchase supplies and equipment from the qualified vendor who submits the lowest or best bid for products or services that are equal or better than the specifications in the bid documents. The supplier who may be awarded the bid need not be the lowest bidder, but rather the best evaluated bidder for the quality, service, and quantity of items as specified.
The following are general interpretations of KRS 45A – Model Procurement, which are to be considered in carrying out the purchases for the School District:
Small Purchase
The Small Purchase Procedure may be used in connection with purchase of supplies, services or construction when the aggregate amount of the contract during a fiscal year does not exceed $40,000.00.  When practicable, price quotations shall be obtained from several reputable sources before purchases are made.  Documentation of oral and written quotations shall be maintained.
Aggregate Amount: “Aggregate amount” of a contract shall refer to the total dollar amount during a fiscal year in connection with items of a like nature, function and use, the need for which can be reasonably determined at the beginning of the fiscal year.  (Items need not be included in an aggregate amount, if the need for such items could not reasonably be established in advance.)  If the total dollar amount exceeds $40,000.00, general procurement procedures, rather than small purchase procedures, shall be used for the purchase of such items.
Determination that the “aggregate amount” does not exceed $40,000.00 shall be made in writing; shall include the written findings upon which the determination is made; and shall be kept in the file relating to the contract.  This written determination is only required when items of a like nature, function and use are purchased, the need for which can reasonably be determined at the beginning of the fiscal year.  Supplies, equipment or services normally supplied as unit cannot be artificially divided for the sole purpose of using small purchase procedures.
Supplies, equipment or services to be provided over a period of time at the same unit price shall be considered a single purchase contract.  If the amount of the purchase contract exceeds $40,000.00, other procedures shall be utilized.
Supplies, services or construction, the need for which cannot be reasonably established in advance, or which were unavailable because of a failure of delivery, may be obtained utilizing the small purchase procedure, if the price, at the time of awarding contract, does not exceed $40,000.00.
Officials authorized to determine if the aggregate amount of any contract exceeds $40,000.00 shall make such decisions in good faith and shall not use small purchase procedures to circumvent the general requirements of the Model Procurement Code.
Invitations to Bid: Competitive Sealed Bidding shall fully comply with KRS 45A.365. All invitations for competitive sealed bids shall state whether the award shall be made on the basis of the lowest bid price or the lowest evaluated bid price.  If the latter is used, the objective measurable criteria to be utilized shall be set forth in the invitation for bids.  The "evaluated bid price" shall mean the dollar amount of a bid after bid price adjustments, pursuant to objective measurable criteria which affect the economy and effectiveness in the operation or use of the product, such as reliability, maintainability, useful life, residual value, and time of delivery, performance, or completion.  In order to utilize "objective measurable criteria" in connection with bids where the award is to made on the basis of the lowest evaluated bid price, the invitation to bid shall include the weight to be given to various qualities or items in the product or service to be furnished, together with the method of evaluation so that the evaluation of bids may be determined with reasonable mathematical certainty and, where appropriate, criteria may be utilized which are otherwise subjective, such as taste and appearance.
(1) All contracts or purchases shall be awarded by competitive sealed bidding, which may include the use of a reverse auction, except as otherwise provided by KRS 45A.370 to 45A.385 and for the purchase of wholesale electric power by municipal utilities as provided in KRS 96.901(1).
(2) The invitation for bids shall state that the award shall be made on the basis of the lowest bid price or the lowest evaluated bid price. If the latter is used, the objective measurable criteria to be utilized shall be set forth in the invitation for bids. The invitation for bids shall include the reciprocal preference for resident bidders described in KRS 45A.494.
(3) Adequate public notice of the invitation for bids and any reverse auction shall be given prior to the date set forth for the opening of bids. The notice may include posting on the Internet or publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the local jurisdiction at least seven (7) days before the date set for the opening of the bids and any reverse auction. Nothing in this section shall prohibit additional notice, posting, or publication, nor shall additional notification, posting, or publication extend the required notice period. The public notice shall include the time and place the bids will be opened and the time and place where the specifications may be obtained.
(4) The bids shall be opened publicly or entered through a reverse auction at the time and place designated in the invitation for bids. Each written or reverse auction bid, together with the name of the bidder, shall be recorded and be open to public inspection. Electronic bid opening and posting of the required information for public viewing shall satisfy the requirements of this subsection.
(5) A contract shall be awarded with reasonable promptness by written notice to the responsive and responsible bidder whose bid is either the lowest bid price or the lowest evaluated bid price after the application of any reciprocal preference for resident bidders required by KRS 45A.494.
(6) The local public agency may allow the withdrawal of a bid where there is a patent error on the face of the bid document, or where the bidder presents sufficient evidence, substantiated by bid worksheets, that the bid was based upon an error in the formulation of the bid price.
Advertisement for Bids: All notice of invitations for bids shall be either published under the legal section of the Kentucky Enquirer or posted on the Internet. Adequate public notice (not less than seven (7) days before the date set for the opening of the bids) shall be given. 
When the purchasing officer determines in writing that the use of competitive sealed bidding is not practicable, and except as provided in KRS 45A.380 and KRS 45A.385 , a contract may be awarded by competitive negotiation, KRS 45A.370.
(1) A local public agency may contract or purchase through competitive negotiation, which may include a reverse auction, upon a written finding that: (a) Specifications cannot be made sufficiently specific to permit award on the basis of either the lowest bid price or the lowest evaluated bid price, including, but not limited to, contracts for experimental or developmental research work, or highly complex equipment which requires technical discussions, and other nonstandard supplies, services, or construction; or (b) Sealed bidding is inappropriate because the available sources of supply are limited, the time and place of performance cannot be determined in advance, the price is regulated by law, or a fixed price contract is not applicable; or (c) The bid prices received through sealed bidding are unresponsive or unreasonable as to all or part of the requirements, or are identical or appear to have been the result of collusion; provided each responsible bidder is notified of the intention to negotiate and is given a reasonable opportunity to negotiate, and the negotiated price is lower than the lowest rejected bid by any responsible bidder.
(2) Proposals shall be solicited through public notice pursuant to KRS 45A.365(3) or any other means which can be demonstrated to notify an adequate number of qualified sources to permit reasonable competition consistent with the nature and requirement of the procurement. The request for proposals shall indicate the factors to be considered in the evaluation, including the reciprocal preference for resident bidders required by KRS 45A.494, and the relative importance of each factor, and the procedures to be followed if a reverse auction is used in the procurement.
(3) Written or oral discussions shall be conducted with all responsible offerors who submit proposals determined in writing to be reasonably susceptible of being selected for award. Discussions shall not disclose any information derived from proposals submitted by competing offerors. Discussions need not be conducted: (a) With respect to prices, where such prices are fixed by law, regulation, or reverse auction, except that consideration shall be given to competitive terms and conditions; or (b) Where time of delivery or performance will not permit discussions; or (c) Where it can be clearly demonstrated and documented from the existence of adequate competition or accurate prior cost experience with that particular supply, service, or construction item that acceptance of an initial offer without discussion would result in fair and reasonable prices and the request for proposal notifies all offerors of the possibility that award may be made on the basis of initial offers.(4) If discussions pertaining to the revision of the specifications or quantities are held with any potential offeror, all other potential offerors shall be afforded an opportunity to take part in such discussions. A request for proposals based on revised specifications or quantities shall be issued as promptly as possible, shall provide for an expeditious response to the revised requirements and shall be awarded upon the basis of the lowest bid price or lowest evaluated bid price after application of the reciprocal preference for resident bidders required by KRS 45A.494 submitted by any responsive and responsible offeror. No discussion shall be conducted with offerors after submission of revised proposals except for a compelling reason as determined in writing by the local public agency. The request for proposals shall state that an award is to be made without discussion except as herein provided.
(5) Award shall be made to the responsible offeror whose proposal is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the local public agency based upon the evaluation factors set forth in the request for proposals and the reciprocal preference shall be given for resident bidders required by KRS 45A.494.
The Kenton County School District may contract or purchase through non-competitive negotiation in accordance with KRS 45A.380  when there has been a written determination by the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee that competition is not feasible and further determination by one of the foregoing that:
(1) An emergency exists which will cause public harm as a result of the delay in competitive procedures;
(2) There is a single source within a reasonable geographical area of the product or service to be procured;
(3) The contract is for the services of a licensed professional, such as attorney, physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, certified public accountant, registered nurse, or educational specialist; a technician such as a plumber, electrician, carpenter, or mechanic; or an artist such as a sculptor, aesthetic painter, or musician, provided, however, that this provision shall not apply to architects or engineers providing construction management services rather than professional architect or engineer services;
(4) The contract is for the purchase of perishable foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, egg products, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruits;
(5) The contract is for replacement parts where the need cannot be reasonably anticipated and stockpiling is not feasible;
(6) The contract is for proprietary items for resale;
(7) In school districts the contract relates to an enterprise in which the buying or selling by students is a part of the educational experience
(8) The contract or purchase is for expenditures made on authorized trips outside of the boundaries of the local public agency;
(9) The contract is for the purchase of supplies which are sold at public auction or by receiving sealed bids;
(10) The contract is for group life insurance, group health and accident insurance, group professional liability insurance, worker's compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance;
(11) The contract is for a sale of supplies at reduced prices that will afford a purchase at savings to the local public agency; or
(12) The contract is with a private real estate developer and contains a requirement: (a) That the developer increase the size or otherwise improve the collection capacity of the sanitary sewer or storm water pipe serving the affected private real estate development; and (b) That the local public agency pay only the proportional cost of increasing the size, or otherwise improving the collection capacity, of the sanitary storm water pipe over the original collection capacity.
*   These items or services, in connection with a school activity, may be obtained by non-competitive negotiation whenever a written determination is made by the Principal.  The Principal immediately shall forward a copy of any such determination to the Purchasing Department.
Corrective Action Request (C.A.R.)
When an incident occurs with a contracted vendor that The Kenton County School District deems unacceptable, The Kenton County School District may issue a Corrective Action Request (C.A.R.) to the vendor. 
The procedure is as follows:
  1. The Kenton County School District’s Purchasing Department will issue a written C.A.R. to the vendor in question detailing the incident, problem, and/or issue(s) relating to the contract. This letter may be sent to vendor via certified mail.
  2. The vendor may have up to two (2) weeks from the date of issue to respond to Kenton County Schools in writing.
  3. The Kenton County Purchasing Department will review the vendor’s response, evaluate it, and determine whether or not the proposed solution is suitable to Kenton County Schools.
  4. Once the written response received from the vendor is deemed suitable by Kenton County Schools’ Purchasing Department, Kenton County Schools will issue a C.A.R.- Response detailing the action proposed by the vendor and agreed upon by Kenton County Schools.
  5. If Kenton County Schools’ Purchasing Department does not receive a response from the vendor, the contract shall be dissolved and considered null and void. In addition, the Bidder may not bid on future contracts until such a time that the Kenton County Schools’ Purchasing Department deems suitable.
  6. If the written response received from the vendor is deemed unsuitable by Kenton County Schools’ Purchasing Department, Kenton County Schools will issue a C.A.R.- Response defining what action will be taken. Kenton County Schools may revoke the contract and refuse potential bids from the vendor until such a time is deemed suitable by Kenton County Schools.
Playground Equipment Purchasing
When interested in purchasing or modifying playground equipment, the Building Principal must contact the Maintenance Supervisor. The Maintenance Supervisor will assist the Building Principal to select playground equipment that meets or exceeds the District Playground Equipment Safety Standards. The Maintenance Supervisor will be involved in the selection, design, site preparation, installation and final inspection phases of the purchase.
The Maintenance Supervisor will review the proposed manufacturer design and ensure that all components meet District Playground Equipment Standards.
The Maintenance Supervisor will meet with the approved supplier to review each design for compliance, establish installation criteria as well as outline any site preparation that is needed for the equipment.
The Maintenance Supervisor will sign off on design plans, affirming that the plans meet District standards, prior to purchase.
The District Purchasing Department will order new pieces or alterations of existing playground equipment only with the written approval of the Maintenance Supervisor.
All playground equipment installed on district property will conform to District Playground Equipment Standards regardless of the original source of funds.
Any proposed modifications to existing playground equipment must have the written approval of the Maintenance Supervisor, who will ensure that any changes will remain within the scope of the manufacturer’s approved design and installation.
The Maintenance Supervisor will inspect the equipment following the installation before approving the final payment.


Cellular Telephones

The District has a contract for cellular services. No District employee is authorized to contact our carrier to change any services as it pertains to cellular service. The District is committed to providing communication phones; however the District will not purchase phones that have options that are not necessary to meet these communication needs. Any employee that feels he/she must have options that are not standard for the district must provide written approval from their Supervisor with budgetary authority with valid chargeable account number to the purchasing department.

The Board authorizes the purchase and employee use of telecommunication devices, as deemed appropriate by the Superintendent. These devices shall include, but are not limited to pagers and cell phones.
Telecommunication devices may be assigned or made available on a temporary or on-going basis when it is determined that:
  1. Assignment of device to an employee is a prudent use of District resources.
  2. The employee’s job responsibilities require the ability to communicate frequently and access to a District of public telephone is not readily available.
  3. The employee’s job involves situations where immediate communication is necessary to ensure the security of District property or safety of students, staff or others while on District property or engaged in District-sponsored activities.
District-owned telecommunication devices shall be used for authorized District business purposes. Personal use of such equipment is prohibited except for emergency situations. Employees shall reimburse expenses incurred for emergency personal use.
Please refer to KRS 160.290.
Employees must reimburse the Board for personal cell minutes used for emergency personal use. The charge for this usage has been set at $0.10/minute. This rate may fluctuate based upon charges to the Board from our cellular telephone provider.  
Checks need to be made payable to “Kenton County Schools”. If you identify any calls that were billed to the board erroneously, please note them as such below. Return the completed provided signed form, the invoice, and a check made payable to “Kenton County Schools” if applicable to the Accounts Receivable Department. 

 Local & Long Distance Telephone Service
All changes pertaining to local and long distance telephone phone service must be processed through the district Purchasing Department. Do not call any phone carrier to change services. Please do not to use directory assistance unless absolutely necessary. Telephone companies charge fees to use these special services.
Phone use is for district business. Do not use district phone lines to make long distance personal calls. This is considered a misuse of public funds.

Security Equipment & Services Purchases
All purchases relating to security equipment or services including two-way radios, security cameras, security alarms, monitoring services etc. cannot be procured unless approved by the Purchasing Department.
Purchase Order Amendments
If a purchase order is issued incorrectly, or an item needs to be changed, increased, canceled, etc. a Purchase Order Amendment Request Form must be processed.  A copy of the original purchase order should be attached to the Purchase Order Amendment Request Form which must be completed in its  entirety, detailing what needs to be changed on the Purchase Order.
The Purchase Order Amendment Request Form should be submitted to the Purchasing Department for processing. Once the change has been completed the revised purchase order will be sent to the originator and the supplier. A Purchase Order Amendment Request Form is available at the following link for you to print, complete, and send to the Purchasing Department.

Disposal of Surplus Equipment and Material
The School District may sell or otherwise dispose of any personal property which is not needed or has become unsuitable for public use, or which would be suitable, consistent with the public interest, for some other use.
A written determination as to need of suitability of any personal property of the district shall be made; and such determination shall fully describe the property; its intended use at the time of acquisition; the reasons why it is in the public interest to dispose of the item; and the method of disposition to be used.
Surplus or excess personal property as described in this section may be transferred, with or without compensation, to another governmental agency; or it may be sold at public auction or by sealed bids in accordance with KRS 45A.365.
In the event that the district receives no bids for surplus or excess personal property, either at public auction or by sealed bid, such property may be disposed of, consistent with the public interest, in any manner deemed appropriate by the district. In such instances, a written description of the property, the method of disposal, and the amount of compensation, if any, shall be made.
Any compensation resulting from the disposal of surplus or excess personal property shall be transferred to the general fund of the local public agency.
The Board may chose to dispose of its surplus technology in accordance with KRS 160.335.
In order to notify the Purchasing Department of equipment needing to be dispositioned as surplus material, the employee must complete the Surplus Material Disposition Form and forward it to the Purchasing Department. The Fixed Asset Transfer and Disposal Form must also be completed for each fixed asset item.