Purchasing/Procurement

The Purchasing and Procurement Procedural Directives are controlling administrative rules that ensure the prudent, economical use of public money at Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and apply to all APS personnel and vendors who do business with APS. The following directives cover broad topics, but more specific questions may be directed to the Procurement Department. All district purchasing shall be in compliance with all applicable federal regulations and state statutes, including, but not limited to, the Procurement Code, the Governmental Conduct Act, and Federal Uniform Guidance.

APS shall provide for the fair and equal 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.

Applicability

These directives apply to all APS employees, board members, consultants, and vendors who do business with APS. APS personnel who make purchases, including personnel who submit purchase orders or request to register vendors, must comply with these directives and the statutory penalties that enforce them.

This directive applies to all purchases that expend public school money, including but not limited to operational funds, capital funds, state and federal grants and school activity funds.

Authority and Responsibility

APS maintains a procurement system that delegates considerable decision-making authority to departments and schools.

These decision-making activities include:

  • Determining which products and services they need to run their programs.
  • Initiating requisitions to vendors.
  • Ensuring that services/goods are up to standards necessary and as ordered

Employees involved in the purchasing process take full responsibility for understanding APS’ Policies and Procedural Directives regarding purchasing and vendor relations. Purchasing decisions are business decisions made on behalf of APS and therefore should be made with the utmost consideration for what is in the best interest of APS. 

The segregation of duties and responsibilities in the purchasing process provides proper controls. As the dollar value and complexity of a purchase increases, so does the level of authority and responsibility required to obligate APS for a purchase.

An example of segregation of duties within a department or school is as follows:

  • Requester/end user (teacher, secretary, aide, maintenance worker, etc.):
    • Determine what they need
    • Determine whether the need can be fulfilled by a current vendor
    • Research vendors
    • Obtain quotes
    • Analyze costs and assess other important factors (i.e., delivery, customer service, etc.)
    • Identify a vendor
    • Initiate an electronic requisition through APS’ Procurement System
    • Follow your purchase –track documents and paperwork flow
    • Ensure the proper receipt of ordered goods or services
  • Approver (superintendent, principal, director, etc.):
    • Validate the legitimate business purpose of the transaction
    • Verify the need can be fulfilled by a current vendor
    • Approve requisitions
    • Validate adequate funding is available
    • Ensure compliance with APS’ account code standards 
    • Monitor and reconcile purchase transactions and associated financial statements and reports
    • Review and approve reimbursement requests and other special purchasing transactions
    • Monitor budgets as appropriate.  District level approvers may or may not have detailed budget information for each department they oversee.
    • Ensure proof of receipt of services or goods

Ethics

Ethical business standards shall govern all procurement transactions. Disciplinary action for those violating ethical business standards will be taken in accordance with applicable APS policy, up to and including the termination of employment.

Conflicts of Interest

All staff conducting purchasing activities on behalf of APS must avoid conflicts of interest. APS employees must:

  • Avoid the intent, appearance, and conduct of unethical or compromising practice in relationships, actions and communications;
  • Diligently follow all applicable laws, policies, and procedures;
  • Avoid procuring goods or services from a vendor that participated in advising, developing, or drafting the scope of work and/or specifications for an APS formal procurement; and
  • Never use APS funds for personal expenses or purchases that are not made on behalf of APS or for use by APS.

If an APS employee believes that he or she may have a conflict of interest, even if he or she is not certain, that individual must promptly and fully disclose the possible conflict to his or her supervisor and suspend his or her participation in the purchase until the conflict has been resolved.  The supervisor, together with the relevant offices, will assess the conflict and determine whether the purchaser can resume participation or if a management plan is needed. 

Unlawful Employee Participation

It is unlawful for any APS employee to participate directly or indirectly in any step of 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.

Confidentiality

Discussions between vendors and APS concerning quotes for prices, terms, or conditions are confidential. APS employees shall protect a vendor’s confidentiality as well as the interests of APS by refraining from disclosing the content of any such confidential discussion to another vendor as required by procurement statutes.

Segregation of Duties

Departments involved in purchasing shall ensure that the responsibilities for a purchase are not all shared by a single individual. For example, a single employee cannot both enter a requisition and approve a requisition.

APS employees shall safeguard and shall not share access to any APS accounts that have been authorized to them.  Use of another employee’s APS-authorized account, user I.D., and/or password is strictly prohibited. This prohibition includes individual access to APS Financial Systems and banking access.

Anti-Kickbacks

All APS employees shall act with integrity and good judgment and recognize that accepting personal gifts from vendors may cause favoritism. No employee of APS shall solicit or accept any personal favor, gift, gratuity, or offer of entertainment directly or indirectly from a vendor who is doing, or seeking to do, business with APS unless the gift received from the vendor is under the de minimis value of $250 (NMSA 10-16B-1 et seq). It is always unlawful to accept any amount or gift if conditioned upon, or given in exchange for, promised performance of an official act.  Any person who knowingly and willfully violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a fourth degree felony and shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of Section 31-18-15 NMSA 1978.

Rebates, Premiums, Incentives, and Kickbacks

APS employees must contact the Procurement Department director if any vendor, prospective or current, offers or suggests that the employee or the employee’s school or department accept something of value that is not part of the vendor’s official offer.

APS employees shall not accept any “kickbacks” from a vendor. “Kickback” is defined as any personal favor, gift, gratuity, or entertainment provided to an employee in exchange for that employee facilitating a transaction between APS and the vendor.  APS employees shall not accept premiums, rebates, or incentives for a school or office from a vendor, unless they are clearly defined in the vendor’s official offer.

APS employees may not use incentives or rebates for personal benefit. In addition, employees, assisted by the Procurement Department, must negotiate either quantity or trade discounts in lieu of accepting incentives or entering into rebate agreements with suppliers for all methods of purchase. APS employees shall not accept incentives or offers for rebates from a supplier without explicit advance approval from the Procurement Department.

If a vendor proposes incentives or rebate agreements to an employee, the employee must refer the vendor to the Procurement Department director. The Procurement Department director will review the conditions of such an offer to determine if:

  • it is reasonable;
  • more favorable prices are available from other vendors; and
  • either the rebate or incentive value can be applied toward the purchase price.

“Rebates” are defined as offers from a supplier either to return part of the cost of the order to the purchaser or to provide additional consideration or compensation to encourage the purchase of goods and/or services. Examples are:

  • cash or credit based on total purchases;
  • value-added goods or services offered at a substantially reduced price; and
  • checks to either the purchaser or APS.

If a manufacturer rebate is offered on a purchase made by an APS employee, the rebate check must be payable to Albuquerque Public Schools, and the credit of the funds must be returned to the same fund source as the expenditure. APS employees must submit the rebate check to the Accounting Department and must indicate to which funding line the rebate shall be credited. Failure to do so may result in an internal investigation, criminal prosecution, and disciplinary action.

Reporting and Whistleblower Complaints

All APS employees shall report corruption, fraud, and unethical practices in purchasing, wherever and whenever discovered, to the chief financial officer, directly, or through their direct supervisor, and shall take any other preventative action as deemed necessary , including filing a fraud report with the Office of the New Mexico State Auditor.

If an employee suspects or is concerned about possible fraudulent activity, the employee is strongly encouraged to file a whistleblower complaint via the confidential APS online whistleblower hotline at:

https://www.aps.edu/news/2013-2014/report-fraud-waste-throught-whistleblower-hotline

For details about the confidentiality of the whistleblower complaint process, please refer to the Whistleblower procedural directive.

Grant Fund Purchases

Purchases made using state or federal grant funding are not exempt from state and federal procurement statutes and regulations and other applicable law. Any such appropriation shall be made in full compliance with all APS Policies and Directives. The fact that a business or individual may be contacted by an APS employee for a cost projection or for information pursuant to a grant application does not guarantee that business or individual any payment or future work. 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.

Requisitioning

Purchasing Thresholds and Approvals

  • 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, piggyback on approved contract, etc.)
    • Purchases that equal to, or more than, $60,000 shall be formally procured by the APS Procurement Department.
    • APS administration shall obtain approval from the Board of Education for any district purchase or expenditures that equal or exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) or are projected to equal or exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) by the end of their completion.

Required Approvals

Financial transaction approval (such as approving purchase requisitions) ensures that financial transactions are “proper.”

“Proper” means a transaction is:

  • authorized by law (constitutional, statutory or contractual mission); and
  • for the public benefit and purpose; and
  • a necessity; and
  • has appropriation, budget, and available resources.

Approvers are responsible for the review of financial transactions submitted to them, and for making informed judgments about the necessity and reasonableness of those transactions, authorizing or rejecting those transactions in a timely manner. Approvers are responsible for knowing the applicable policies, procedural directives, and other requirements and regulations where relevant (i.e., state or federal statutes, grant requirements, etc.).  

Knowledge of the transaction: All APS financial transactions must have an authorized approver who has sufficient knowledge to make an informed judgment that the transaction is appropriate.

An approver must either have direct knowledge about the transaction or circumstances to validate the expense or, if the approver does not have direct knowledge, the approver must rely on compensating procedures to gain a reasonable level of assurance that the expense is valid.

Due diligence: An approver must perform due diligence if the approver has questions or concerns about an expenditure. It is the approver’s responsibility to seek help from an appropriate resource until the questions or concerns are resolved. 

Approval of Purchasing Requisitions

Purchasing requisitions shall be approved electronically in the APS procurement software system. All purchases may be subject to all four approval levels depending on amount of purchase, cost account, and funding source.

Approval Level

Approver

Amount

Site Administrator

Principal or Department Head

All amounts

Control Agent

Capital Controller (Assets)

 

 

Chief Information Officer or designee (Software and Hardware)

 

Chief level or Associate Supt. Or Executive Director

 

 

Assets- all amounts using an asset account

 

Software and Hardware- all amounts using a software or hardware account

 

Over $10,000

Program/Project

Depends on funding: Capital, Legislative or Grant

Executive Director or Associate Supt. or Chief level

Capital 

 

All amounts

Finance

Depends on Funding Operational, Capital, Legislative or Grant

All amounts

APS highly discourages having the same individual approve at more than one approval level.  All effort will be made to identify a separate, appropriate individual for each approval level.

Additional Approvals Required

Technology Purchases – Software and Hardware:  All purchases for technology systems, software, and hardware require the approval of the chief information officer or designee. 

Board of Education Approval

All district purchases and expenditures which equal or exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), or that are projected to equal or exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) by the end of their completion, shall be taken to the Board of Education by the appropriate Albuquerque Public Schools department for approval. 

Expenditures made in the cases of an emergency, as approved in writing by the superintendent, or his/her designee, in compliance with applicable federal and state statute and regulation, shall be exempt from prior Board of Education approval but shall be approved by the Board of Education at the next appropriate Board of Education meeting.  Other purchases exempt from Board of Education approval may be defined through administrative procedural directive but that procedural directive shall be reviewed by the Board of Education before being implemented.

All proposed projects, for which district purchases and expenditures will equal or exceed two-hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000), implemented by Albuquerque Public Schools shall be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Board committee(s) and the Board of Education.

District purchases and expenditures included in a project approved by the Board of Education that equal or exceed two-hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) shall not require separate and/or additional Board of Education approval other than the initial approval done at the time the entirety of the project was approved.

Purchasing

Purchase Order (PO)

A Purchase Order (PO) is a written contract submitted to a vendor by the APS Procurement Department. The PO formalizes 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, transportation requirements, etc.

As defined under the New Mexico Procurement Code, NMSA 1978 Section 13-1-77 NMSA (1984), a “purchase order” means the document issued by the state purchasing agent or a central purchasing office that directs a contractor to deliver items of tangible personal property, services or construction

The PO must be issued by the Procurement Department prior to a verbal or written commitment with 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 PO 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 services are 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.

Funding and Estimated Dollar Value

APS employees must first ensure that adequate contract funding exists.  Federal “Anti-Deficiency” law prohibits contracting officers from entering into contracts unless the contracts can be fully funded.

Do not submit procurement requests without having enough money to cover the complete payment obligations of the contract (or for at least the first year of contract performance, in the case of a multi-year contract request). Contract requests will not be processed until the Procurement Department can confirm that adequate funding exists.

Purchases with Federal Funds

The Federal Uniform Guidance requires APS to consider ways to prevent the purchase of unnecessary or duplicate items.  In addition, when possible, purchasers should compare the cost of leasing versus buying and assess the feasibility or consolidation, breaking out a purchase or sharing a product or service to reduce overall costs. 

Unauthorized Purchase (After-the-Fact Purchases)

An unauthorized purchase occurs when vendors provide goods or services prior to the establishment and issuance of a valid approved PO. A vendor shall not  start services or deliver goods prior to the issuance of a valid PO fully executed by APS Procurement Department.

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

Cumulative/Aggregate Purchases

The APS Procurement Department monitors repetitive district-wide small purchases of same goods and/or services that are $10,000 or less. If the cumulative amount of such repetitive district-wide small purchases exceeds the purchasing threshold then the cumulative amount, a minimum of one year, will be treated as the dollar threshold amount.

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 (NMSA 1978, §13-1-125-(D) (1984). No person shall willfully split a single transaction into a series of transactions for the purpose of evading the threshold 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.

Receiving the Purchase (Goods)

To acknowledge receipt of an order, the APS employee receiving a shipments of goods, items or merchandise shall conduct an inspection to verify the following minimum conditions:

  • The products conform to the purchase order requirements and other relevant documents (for example: correct model number, description, size, type, color, ratings, etc.);
  • The quantity ordered against the quantity shipped or delivered;
  • There is no damage or breakage;
  • The unit of measurement count is correct (e.g., if the unit of measurement on the purchase order is one dozen, there should be 12 in the package);
  • Delivery documentation (packing list, certifications, etc.) is acceptable; and
  • Products are operable or functional.

As soon as the delivery and inspection are complete, the process of “receiving” must be entered into the procurement system within 15 days of receipt.

Vendors should be paid within 30 days of a purchase. Failure to properly complete the receiving process delays timely payment to the vendor.

Unauthorized Receiving

Receiving in the APS Financial System should only be performed if goods have been physically delivered and inspected as operational/functional.  If an APS staff performs “receiving” when good(s) are not physically delivered, it is an unauthorized receiving.  

If such violation occurs, an Unauthorized Receiving 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 to not repeat the violation.  Unauthorized Receiving is also a violation 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.

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.

Emergency Procurements

A school or department must obtain approval from the executive director of Procurement in advance of an emergency procurement.

The APS Procurement Office may make emergency procurements when there exists an emergency condition requiring procurement under emergency conditions; provided that emergency procurement shall still be subject to the competitive process, as is practicable under the circumstances.

An “emergency condition” is defined a situation that creates a threat to public health, welfare or safety, such as floods, fires, epidemics, riots, acts of terrorism, equipment failure, or similar events.

The existence of an emergency condition creates an immediate and serious need for services, construction, or items of tangible personal property that cannot be met through normal procurement methods and the lack of which would seriously threaten:

  • Functioning of government;
  • The preservation or protection of property; or
  • The health or safety of any person

The purchasing office shall use due diligence in determining the basis of the emergency procurement and for the selection of the particular contractor.  The determination shall be in writing and shall be part of the procurement file.

Within three business days of awarding an emergency procurement contract, the purchasing office shall post the contractor’s name, address, amount and term or the contract, listing of services, construction or items under contract, and justification for procurement on the APS website.

Sole Source Procurements

Sole source procurement is an exemption to the statutorily-mandated competitive process. The exemption is based on the justification that only one source for the required goods or services exists. APS is committed to upholding the competitive process and to the good stewardship of public funds.  Therefore, the use of the sole source exemption shall be very limited. Every effort must be taken by schools and offices to use the competitive process when procuring goods and services.

A Certified Procurement Officer (CPO) shall determine whether a given justification is adequate to prove that a vendor is in fact the sole source of the goods or services required by APS. The CPO may request additional documentation from the requestor to determine whether such exemption applies.

Requests for Sole Source Procurements

A requestor must provide a fully filled-out sole source justification form obtained from procurement for the CPO to review.  The justification must include the following information:

  1. The necessity of the purchase for APS;
  2. Why the specific vendor was selected;
  3. Why the goods or services are unique;
  4. Documentation that demonstrates the vendor is the only source within the state;
  5. Known compatibility issues;
  6. Capacity issues;
  7. Whether the sales channel is dictated by geographic or industry boundaries (e.g. exclusive distribution)
  8. An explanation of why the competitive process would not apply in this instance;
  9. How a fair price was established. Details and supporting documentation must be provided about the vendor’s pricing and how such pricing is the best value for APS; and
  10. Any anticipated ramifications if such purchase were not exempted and subjected to the competitive process.

Public Posting of Sole Source Procurements

Sole source procurements must be posted on APS Procurement website and State of New Mexico Sunshine Portal for a minimum of 30 calendar days prior to awarding the purchase order/contract.  Other businesses or individuals may protest a sole source procurement within the first 15 calendar days after posting. A sustained protest negates the sole source exemption and a competitive procurement method must be used instead.

Inappropriate Sole Source Justifications

  1. Sole sourcing is not appropriately justified when used as a method of selecting a preferred vendor.
  2. A District requirement for a particular proprietary product or service does not automatically justify a sole source procurement if there is more than one potential bidder or Offeror for that item or service or its equivalent.
  3. A particular brand name preference does not justify a sole source.
  4. A product’s or service’s “uniqueness” alone may not qualify the producer or supplier as a sole source, particularly if the “unique” feature is not essential to the district’s operation.
  5. An emergency condition does not by definition create a sole source justification.

Sole Source – Using Federal Funds

The Uniform Guidance (2 C.F.R. § 200.324(b)) states that an entity must negotiate profit as a separate element of the price for each contract in which there is no price competition. Additionally, a cost analysis shall be performed to establish fair and reasonable pricing.

Competitive Sealed Bids- Formal Competition

New Mexico state law requires that, unless an exception or exemption applies, all procurement shall be achieved by competitive sealed bids, Sections 13-1-103 through 13-1-110 NMSA 1978. These bids are solicited through an Invitation to Bid (ITB).

Alternatively, procurement may be achieved pursuant to Sections 13-1-111 through 13-1-122 NMSA 1978, competitive sealed proposals. Proposals are solicited through a Request for Proposal (RFP).

Therefore, APS requires formal competition for supplies, equipment, and services in amounts above the State-mandated thresholds.

The dollar thresholds previously discussed above indicate when the competitive process is required. Formal competition is conducted solely by the Procurement Department staff. Federally-funded projects similarly require a competitive process (34 C.F.R. § 80.36). Competitive solicitation be publicized and must identify all evaluation factors and their relative importance. Competitive solicitation must also be from an adequate number of qualified sources and technical evaluations must be conducted.

Specifications

APS employees are prohibited from writing specifications to match a specific vendor’s product. Furthermore, vendors who write the Statement of Work or the RFP violate the Contractor Code of Conduct if they submit a bid. Preparing specifications or Statements of Work is the individual responsibility of APS employees. Employees who submit a SOW or RFP specification written by a vendor, even if only partially written or drafted by a vendor, violate the Employee Code of Conduct.  Vendors who participate or assist in drafting specifications may not submit a bid or offer to an Invitation to Bid or Request for Proposal issued by APS.

The Procurement Department will review an SOW for exclusionary specifications. Any SOW with an exclusionary specification will be rejected. The Procurement Department can help re-word the SOW so that the language is not exclusionary.

APS employees must:

  • Obtain the best value for APS, which requires an evaluation of all the service quality, cost, schedule, and other objectives of APS’ operating functions;
  • Maintain compliance with all applicable federal, state, local, and APS procurement requirements;
  • Understand that the business interests of vendors conflict in many ways with the duties of a public employee;
  • Establish clear, professional boundaries, control or lessen the possibility of corruption or unethical practices; and
  • Make vendors accountable for specific deliverables by defining them clearly.

Statement of Work

A Statement of Work (SOW) shall be drafted in clear, simple, and concise statements. The SOW shall leave no question as to what work is to be completed, or what the contractor is obligated to do. Requirements shall be clearly stated to easily determine compliance to the contract. All requirements shall be described in sufficient detail to assure clarity. Every effort must be made to avoid being ambiguous.

APS will not accept a SOW which does any of the following:

  • Fails to use complete paragraphs or begins every sentence in a paragraph with a verb. For example:
    • Oversees all tasks performed in the public relations department. Creates the public relations strategy and ensure it matches with goals. Aligns efforts to improve the promotion of products and services. Reports the performance of digital and print campaigns.
  • Uses technical or industry jargon. For example, educational jargon:
    • Higher-order thinking, common core aligned, balanced reading, IEP, chunking, differentiated instruction, formative assessment, inquiry-based learning, mainstreaming, flexible grouping, SMART goals, DIBELS, etc.
  • Fails to address a point or goes off-topic. For example, “Scope” should not contain a description of a vendor’s business or product, nor should it speak generally about educational issues.

Cone of Silence

Upon completion of the ITB or RFP, it will be released to the general public. It is APS policy that once the solicitation is released, APS employees and bidders must uphold a “cone of silence.” A cone of silence prohibits bidders from lobbying or marketing to APS from the moment the solicitation is publicized until the moment a final contract is publicized.

Prohibited – Splitting Purchases to Avoid the Competitive Process

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. No person shall willfully split a single transaction into a series of transactions for the purpose of evading the requirements.

Moreover, it is against Board policy to split professional service contracts to avoid the competitive negotiation requirement. Internal control verification will be conducted routinely to monitor and provide oversight to prevent splitting. Violations may result in disciplinary action and/or restricted procurement privilege.

Procurement Card (P-CARD)

Procurement card purchases must follow the APS Procurement User Manual and applicable APS Policies and Procedural Directives.  Procurement Card Cardholders shall follow the P-Card Policy and Procedures found on APS Accounts Payable Website:

https://www.aps.edu/finance/accounts-payable/documents/purchasing-card-policy

Contracts

Only designated personnel within APS may enter APS into a binding contract with a third party. Authority to sign contracts is limited to those employees who have been authorized by the APS Board of Education Directive – Signatory Authority for Contractual Agreements, which may be reviewed here:

https://www.aps.edu/about-us/policies-and-procedural-directives/procedural-directives/d.-fiscal-management/signatory-authority-for-contractual-agreements

Circumstances will determine if an APS employee may be personally liable to APS for any and all money that APS paid as a result of that employee entering APS into an unauthorized contract.

Notwithstanding the above, any contract or agreement signed by an unauthorized person, or for an amount exceeding that individual’s authorization level, is not legally-binding, will not be honored by APS, nor will payment be made for any services rendered.

Purchase Orders are enforceable contracts.

Contract Amendments and Extensions

A contract may be amended to extend the period of performance, increase the contract amount to obtain additional services, allow for a change in the contract’s current scope of work, or any combination of the above. Any change or alteration of a contract shall be specified in writing, processed through the Procurement Department, and the cost shall be agreed upon by APS.

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 Manager

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. 

Penalties

APS employees who violate the Purchasing/Procurement Procedural Directives are in violation of 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 has sole discretion to make any and all final determinations, 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 New Mexico 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 will report 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

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.:

Forms:

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
Reviewed: December 8, 2021
Revised: January 7, 2022