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C-640-AP: Purchasing


  • C-640-AR
  • New West Partnership Agreement Regulations
  • Education Act, Section 229

Proper purchasing procedures are to be followed. Appropriate documentation to support authorized expenditures is to be maintained.

  1. Supplies and Services
    1. All school division purchases of supplies and services are paid through the Division Office Accounts Payable department (including employee expenses claims) or with a division purchasing card.
    2. By September 15th of each year, principals and service area administrators must provide financial services with the following documentation:
      1. a list of employees authorized to approve invoices on behalf of the school or department, as well as samples of their signatures; and  
      2. a list of employees authorized to use purchasing cards on behalf of the school or department, their single and monthly transaction limits and their default accounting codes for each employee.
    3. Invoices and purchasing card statements must be appropriately coded for payment and authorized by an administrator or designate and submitted to Accounts Payable at division office.
  2. Services
    1. The site that is requesting a service provider becomes an approved vendor is responsible for ensuring the following accurate information is submitted to accounts payable:
      1. general sub-contractors and service providers must provide the documents required in the “Sub-Contractor Requirements Checklist”.  Insurance documents must be updated annually. Criminal record checks must be updated when new employees will be working on site, or every five years for continuous employees; and
      2. tour agencies and operators must provide the required information in the “Tour Agencies and Operators Request for Information” form. Tour agencies and operators must be vetted annually.
    2. Requests for vendor authorization for independent contractors requires the pre-approval of the secretary treasurer.
  3. Consulting Services
    1. Consulting services are to be selected based on the following criteria:
      1. qualifications, skills and experience;
      2. project approach or methodology;
      3. availability of resources and capacity to complete the project within the required time;
      4. total cost; and 
      5. references.
  4. Large Dollar or Capital Purchases
    1. The purchase of goods and services with an estimated aggregate acquisition cost exceeding:
      1. $5,000 but less than $10,000, requires documented telephone or email solicitations from a minimum of three potential supplies
      2. $10,000 but less than $75,000, requires written quotations from a minimum of three potential supplies; and
      3. $75,000 are to be formally tendered.
    2. Construction projects with an estimated aggregate cost exceeding:
      1. $5,000 but less than $10,000, requires documented telephone or email solicitations from a minimum of three potential supplies;
      2. $10,000 but less than $200,000 requires written quotations from a minimum of three potential suppliers; and
      3. $200,000 are to be formally tendered.
    3. All large purchases of the types and amounts specified in 3.1.3 and 3.2.3 must comply with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement regulations.
  5. Tendering Process
    1. Tender specifications should be developed by the staff member in consultation with the secretary treasurer. Expenditures of this magnitude, which are not specifically approved in the budget, are to be approved by the Board of Trustees.
    2. All tender solicitations must indicate:
      1. the date and time after which tenders will no longer be accepted;
      2. the place where tenders are to be delivered; and
      3. that the lowest or any tender will not necessarily be accepted.
    3. All tenders must be date and time stamped upon receipt and must not be opened until the specified closing time.
    4. Any tender received after the closing date and time shall be returned unopened to the originator. This includes any tender delayed by mail or courier.
    5. The opening of tenders is to occur immediately after closing time and be attended by the secretary treasurer or designate and a minimum of one other division staff member. The Board of Trustees is to be informed of the opening of major tenders of a more substantial dollar value in order to allow trustees the opportunity to observe.
    6. The approval of the superintendent of schools or designate is to be obtained prior to accepting a tender for an item that was budgeted and reoccurring in nature. The superintendent may request approval of the Board of Trustees for tenders of a more substantial dollar value or ones that are of a large capital nature such as a modernization project or a new school.
  6. Purchase of Used Items from Individuals
    1. On rare occasions, purchasing a used item from an individual for a nominal amount may be the best alternative for a school or service area.
    2. An independent fair value for an item must be established before the purchase occurs. Third-party valuations from qualified sources are preferred.
    3. Consult with the secretary treasurer for guidance before purchasing used items.
  7. Appropriate Documentation
    1. All purchases must be supported by an invoice or receipt that includes the:
      1. name and address of the vendor;
      2. GST number and GST amount, if applicable;
      3. quantity, cost, and description of individual supplies and services purchased; and
      4. terms of payment, if applicable.
    2. Documents that are insufficient and therefore cannot be used as supporting documentation include:
      1. vendor statements;
      2. purchasing card or credit card slips that are not accompanied by a detailed receipt or invoice;
      3. hotel invoices that contain room service charges that do not provide details of the charges; and
      4. documentation that is too vague to properly support the purchase, such as “food” on a restaurant or hotel receipt.
    3. The principal or designate of the school or site making the purchase will ensure documents are properly coded, appropriately authorized and submitted to division office within a reasonable time. Purchasing card statements and backup must be submitted to division office by the 10th of the following month.
    4. Invoices or receipts submitted for employee expense reimbursement or with a purchasing card statement that do not contain appropriate documentation must be further supported by a “Request for Reimbursement from Non-Itemized Receipt” form.
  8. Misplaced Documentation
    1. In the event that an employee submits an expense reimbursement form or a purchasing card statement without documentation, the employee may complete a “Request for Reimbursement from Non-Itemized Receipt” form. The division will accept the form provided that:
      1. the total amount is relatively small;
      2. the amount can be reasonably justified as a school or division business;
      3. the employee has the authority to make the purchase;
      4. the employee’s supervisor authorizes the form for payment; and
      5. the “without documentation” situation is not re-occurring. If it is a re-occurring situation, the unsupported claim may be rejected and considered a personal purchase.
    2. Occurrences of having inappropriate supporting documentation repeatedly year after year, even for items of a small dollar value, will result in a review of the employee’s ability to make purchases on behalf of the division.
  9. Request for Reimbursement from Non-Itemized Receipt Forms
    1. Under special circumstances, the division may accept up to two forms per school year per employee for either supporting an insufficient document or replacing misplaced documentation.
    2. All further occurrences that school year may be considered personal purchases.
  10. Personal Purchases
    1. Notwithstanding Section 8, invoices or sales slips that do not contain or are not accompanied by a descriptive listing of all charges may be considered personal purchases.
    2. Personal purchases do not qualify for reimbursement.
    3. All alcoholic beverages are considered personal purchases unless an exemption has been previously approved by the Board of Trustees or superintendent.
    4. If a division purchasing card has been used for a personal purchase, the employee is required to reimburse the division immediately upon becoming aware of the error.
    5. The employee’s purchasing card may be suspended if two such instances of personal purchases on the division purchasing card occur.  The employee’s card may be reissued when the following steps have been completed:
      1. all outstanding personal purchases have been reimbursement to the division;
      2. the employee attends a purchasing card orientation; and
      3. the employee’s administrator requests that the card be reissued.
    6. The employee’s purchasing card will only be reissued once.
  11. The administration procedures are intended to correct errors that may occur.  Any suspected fraudulent activities may result in more severe consequences up to and including termination, police investigation and/or criminal charges.