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DJ4 Purchasing/Procurement

Purpose

This Purchasing/Procurement Policy sets out the general principles that shall govern the procurement of goods and services by or on behalf of Albuquerque Public Schools and establishes a framework for decision-making with respect to such procurement. Detailed procedures and process governing how each procurement shall be conducted are contained in the APS Purchasing/Procurement Directive, APS Purchasing Department End User Manual, and APS Purchasing Department Standard Operating Procedures Manual that are subject to the approval of the superintendent in consultation with the Cabinet. The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that Albuquerque Public Schools obtains the best value for taxpayer money in the procurement of goods and services by requiring the application of a clear and consistent approach to procurement that is based on the procurement laws, regulations and principles.

Applicability

This Policy applies to all APS employees, board members, consultants, and vendors who do business with APS. It is the responsibility of such covered individuals to acquaint themselves with and adhere to this policy, related procedures/processes, and the statutory penalties that enforce them.

Code of Conduct

The standards of conduct that shall govern the performance of covered individuals in relation to the procurement of goods and/or services for or on behalf of APS and the administration of contracts for such goods and/or services are specified in the APS Employee Code of Conduct, State of New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act, and Federal Uniform Guidance. Any additional standards of conduct that apply specifically with respect to procurement may be specified in the APS Purchasing Directive.

Procurement Principles

The procurement of goods and services for or on behalf of Albuquerque Public Schools shall be conducted in a manner that is based on the principles set out below.

Competition

Procurement shall be carried out on a competitive basis to the maximum practical extent.

Competition thresholds

The extent of competition required in the procurement of goods and/or services shall be based on thresholds specified in the APS Purchasing Directive. Such thresholds shall be established by reference to the estimated value of goods and/or services to be procured. In addition, specific competitive processes may be established in the Procurement Regulations for particular categories of goods and/or services based on risk management considerations.

Exceptions to competition 

Exceptions to competition thresholds and processes shall be allowed in exceptional situations only as allowed by law and regulations. Such exceptions can only be approved by the Executive Director of Procurement and shall include fact based justifiable documentation.  It is anticipated that the establishment of a portfolio of awarded contract suppliers, as well as timely procurement planning on the part of users, will minimize the need for exceptions to competition.

Efficient and Effective Procurement

Procurement shall be conducted in a manner that maximizes the efficient use of Albuquerque Public Schools resources and ensures that the goods and/or services procured effectively meet the requirements of the users. 

Impartiality, Transparency and Accountability

Procurement shall be conducted in an impartial, transparent, and accountable manner.

In ensuring impartiality, potential suppliers of goods and/or services shall be afforded equal treatment and their offers shall be evaluated based on their legal, technical, and financial abilities.

In promoting transparency, information relating to procurement process shall be documented in a manner that facilitates appropriate scrutiny of procurement activities, as described in the APS Purchasing End User Manual and APS Purchasing Standard Operating Manual. 

In encouraging accountability, covered Individuals shall be accountable for their acts with respect to procurement based on the lines of accountability established in APS Code of Conduct, State of New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act and Federal Uniform Guidance.

Procurement Committee(s)

Vendor Committee

The Vendor Committee shall review vendor requests from schools and departments to ensure a vendor meets IRS requirements, has appropriate business license, has State of New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax Certificate, has Conflict of Interest self-disclosure, is not APS staff, and meets procurement requirements.

Request for Proposal (RFP) Evaluation Committee

The RFP Evaluation Committee is a recommending body that reviews proposals from various RFPs and makes recommendations to the Board of Education on which vendor should be selected for a particular purchase. The evaluation criteria are the qualitative factors that the RFP Evaluation Committee will use to evaluate a proposal and select the most qualified proposer/offering agent.

Unlawful Employee Participation Prohibited

It is unlawful for any APS employee to participate directly or indirectly in the procurement process when the employee knows that either a) the employee; or b) any member of the employee’s immediate family has a financial interest in the business seeking or obtaining a contract.

Penalties

APS employees who violate the Purchasing Directives have also violated the Employee Code of Conduct. APS supervisors may discipline employees for violations of the Code of Conduct, including but not limited to warnings, reprimands, suspension with or without pay, and termination/discharge, depending on the severity of the violation.

Vendors/contractors who violate the APS Purchasing Directives may be decertified as registered vendors.  The Procurement Department will have sole discretion to make final determination, regarding the decertification of vendors, in compliance with the State of New Mexico Procurement Code (NMSA 13-1-177-178-179-180).

Furthermore, any APS employee or vendor/contractor who willfully violates the directives of the Procurement Department may also be criminally liable under the Procurement Code and guilty of:

  • a misdemeanor if the transaction involves fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or less; or
  • a fourth degree felony if the transaction involves more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).

Where procurements involve federal funds, federal penalties may also apply. APS internal authorities will report violations of state law to either the New Mexico Attorney General and/or the Albuquerque Police Department and violations of federal law to the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico.

APS personnel and vendors/contractors are individually responsible for their compliance with the Purchasing Directives and applicable state and federal laws.

Internal Controls

Internal Controls in business processes will ensure the integrity of the procurement process, promote accountability and assist in the prevention of fraud, waste and abuse of APS resources.

Administrative Position: Chief Financial Officer

Department Director: Executive Director of Procurement

References:

Legal Cross Ref.:

  • §10-16-1 et. seq. NMSA 1978 (New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act)
  • §13-1-1 et. seq. NMSA 1978
  • §13-1-77 NMSA 1977 (State of New Mexico Procurement Code)
  • §13-4-1 et. seq. NMSA 1978
  • §13-5-1 et. seq. NMSA 1978
  • §13-7-1 et. seq. NMSA 1978
  • § 13-1-177 et. seq. NMSA 1978
  • §22-5-4 NMSA 1978

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: DJ

Introduced: December 8, 2021
Adopted: December 8, 2021