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 The following information is provided as a general reference for Albuquerque Public School (APS) employees and vendors. Specific questions should be directed to the Procurement Department. All district purchasing shall be completed in compliance with applicable federal and state statute and regulation, including, but not limited to, the Procurement Code, the Governmental Conduct Act, and Federal Uniform Guidance.

Albuquerque Public Schools shall provide for the fair and equitable treatment of all persons/businesses involved in public procurement, to maximize the purchasing value of public funds and to provide safeguards for maintaining a procurement system of quality and integrity.

All purchases that expend public school money, including but not limited to operational funds, capital funds, grants, and school activity funds, shall comply with state and federal statute and regulation.


The Purchasing Directives ensure the prudent, economical use of public money and apply to all APS personnel and vendors who do business with APS. All personnel who make purchases, including personnel who submit purchase orders or request to register vendors, are subject to these directives and the statutory penalties that enforce them.


All APS employees are responsible for the expenditure of taxpayer money and have a duty to ensure that their conduct does not raise suspicion or give the impression they are in violation of the public trust. All APS employees, including but not limited to the Procurement Department, shall report corruption and unethical practices in purchasing, wherever and whenever discovered, to the chief financial officer, and take any other preventative action as warranted by the circumstances, including filing a report with the New Mexico State Auditor’s office.

Grant Fund Purchases

Grants shall not be exempt from public purchasing statutes and all applicable state and federal requirements. Any such appropriation shall be accomplished within district guidelines. The fact that certain businesses or individuals may be contacted for cost projections or other information shall not guarantee that business or individual any payment or future work within the grant.

Professional services as well as the purchase, rental or lease of any equipment and/or supplies that are to be provided under the grant shall be completed in compliance with this procedural directive.

Purchasing Thresholds

Equal to or less than $10,000 = – Small Purchase

  • Purchases shall be made at the best obtainable price.  A written quote shall be obtained by the user.

More than $10,000- but less than $60,000 - Three (3) written quotes

  • Purchases shall obtain three written quotes obtained by the user that include but are not limited to date, company, price, person quoting, manufacture number, description, freight charges, etc.

Equal to, or more than, $60,000 (including Professional Services) – Formal Procurement (Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal, etc.)

  • Purchases that equal to, or more than, $60,000 shall be formally procured by the APS Procurement Department.

Purchase Order (PO)

A Purchase Order (PO) is the written contract submitted to a supplier formalizing all the terms and conditions of a proposed transaction, such as a description of the requested goods or service, cost of goods or service being purchased, deliverables, delivery schedule, terms of payment, and transportation requirements, etc.

In accordance with the State of New Mexico Procurement Code 13-1-77 NMSA 1977, a PO directs a vendor to provide goods, services, and construction.

The PO must be issued prior to a verbal or written commitment to a vendor requesting goods and/or services.  No purchase, acquisition, engagement of services, or other performance may occur prior to the issuance of an approved APS purchase order issued by APS Procurement.

Description of Goods or Services

Both the PO and invoice shall specify with clarity what is being procured so that the goods or service is clearly identifiable to the purchasing agent. The description of the goods or services shall not contain short-hand, technical terms (unless a definition is provided), or jargon and must be understandable to the purchasing agent. Descriptions in POs or invoices that are unclear to the purchasing agent shall be rejected by the Procurement Department.

Unauthorized Purchase (After the Fact Purchases)

Unauthorized purchases occur when vendors/contractors provide goods and/or services prior to the establishment and issuance of a valid approved purchase order. Under no circumstances should a vendor/contractor start or deliver goods/services prior to the issuance of a valid purchase order fully executed by APS Procurement. Unauthorized purchases expose the district to unnecessary liability when vendors/contractors begin to perform work on the district’s behalf and many times on district premises without the authorization of a purchase order. There is liability because many legal requirements such as unavailability of funds, procurement statutes or regulations, insurance, fingerprinting, and scope of work was not detailed in an executed contract.

If such violation occurs, an Unauthorized Purchase Form must be completed and approved through the appropriate chief or associate superintendent. It shall state why the policy and procedure was not followed and what measures are being made not to repeat the violation.  After-the-fact purchases are also violations of the Employee Code of Conduct and APS employees may receive disciplinary action and/or restricted procurement privileges, as a result of a fact-based determination. Vendors/contractors who violate this directive may be decertified as vendors.

Cumulative/Aggregate Purchases

APS Procurement monitors repetitive district-wide small purchases of same goods and/or services that are $10,000 or less. If repetitive cumulative district wide small purchases exceed established purchasing thresholds the dollar threshold will be identified and the appropriate procurement method will be followed

Splitting a Purchase

It is unlawful to split or separate into smaller work orders/projects any work, project, service, or purchase for the purpose of evading the competitive process (13-1-125-D NMSA 1978). No person shall willfully split a single transaction into a series of transactions for the purpose of evading the requirements. Internal control verification will be conducted routinely to monitor and provide oversight to prevent splitting. These are also violations of the Employee Code of Conduct and APS employees may receive disciplinary action and/or restricted procurement privileges. Vendors/contractors who violate this directive may be decertified as vendors. Furthermore, APS employees or vendors/contractors in violation of this directive and statute shall be reported by the APS Procurement Department Director to the New Mexico Attorney General.

APS Materials Warehouse

The APS Materials Warehouse offers lower prices by taking advantage of APS large purchasing volume.  The APS Materials Warehouse price includes all delivery.  Schools and departments shall purchase supplies and materials from the APS Materials Warehouse before ordering from an external vendor so school and department budgets can be better utilized for other resources.

Technology Purchases

Purchases for technology systems, software and hardware require the approval of the executive director of the Technology Department. This approval review ensures technology purchases are inter-operable and compatible with current APS systems.

Procurement Related Committees

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.

All vendor requests will be reviewed by the Vendor Committee and approved or declined at their sole discretion.

The Vendor Committee shall be comprised of:

  • Executive Director of Accounting (Chair)
  • Executive Director of Procurement
  • Executive Director of Technology
  • Executive Director of Educational Technology
  • Director of Procurement - Operations
  • Comptroller
  • Accounts Payable Manger

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.

The RFP Evaluation Committee must have no conflicts of interest and been approved by the executive director of Procurement. The committee may be comprised of APS employees, consultants, other governmental staff or private sector individuals.

RFPs issued for technology systems, services, software and hardware require the chief information officer or designee to serve on RFP Evaluation Committee.

RFPs issued for Facilities, Design and Construction (FDC) require the director of FDC, or designee, to serve on the RFP Evaluation Committee.

Change Orders/Purchase Order Revisions

Change Orders or Purchase Order Revisions will be approved if they are related to the original scope of work and intent of purchase and no changes will be made for services or goods that are not related per the determination of the executive director of Procurement. 

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.


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 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.

Administrative Position:

  • Chief Financial Officer

Department Director:

  • Director of Procurement


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

Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Reviewed: January 1, 2001
Revised: July 22, 2008
Reviewed: April 29, 2011
Revised: May 20, 2011
Reviewed: April 14, 2013
Revised: April 16, 2013
Reviewed: June 16, 2021
Revised: June 23, 2021