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Policy Number: 
Board File: DJ

The Board of Education shall approve all single contractual purchase obligations $500,000 or greater, and all purchases with an aggregated annual amount payable to a single vendor of
$500,000 or greater.

The Superintendent or designee is authorized to make purchases on behalf of the District for any amount not meeting the above Board-approval thresholds.

Competitive Purchasing

The Board of Education shall ensure fiscally responsible spending to promote open and fair competition through the use of competitive purchasing processes where appropriate. The primary purpose for using the bidding process is to secure best value to the District while being a good steward of the taxpayers’ dollars and ensuring transparency throughout the process.

Small purchases of up to $1,000 shall not require a competitive process, but shall nevertheless be made in a commercially prudent manner. Purchases in which the estimated total of goods or services is over $1,000 and up to $5,000 shall be made using informal means of obtaining competitive pricing as determined by the Superintendent or designee through procedures established by the Superintendent. Purchases in which the estimated total cost of the goods is greater than $5,000 and up to $24,999 shall require three quotes. Purchases in which the estimated total cost of the goods or services is greater than $25,000 shall require a formal competitive process (RFQ or RFP).

Purchases, purchase orders or contracts shall not be divided, split or manipulated by any employee or department for the purposes of circumventing the otherwise required competitive process, District purchasing policies, or Board of Education approval thresholds.


Specifications will be written in such a manner to stimulate competition among all levels of sales, manufacturing, and service organizations such as vendors who handle the lines, or vendors who handle competitive lines. All specifications shall be written by the District’s purchasing department and conflicts of interest shall be avoided.

Award of Bid

The award of a bid shall, barring extenuating circumstances, be made to the lowest responsible bidder who meets the qualifications for quality, price, terms, and service. However, the District reserves the right to reject any and all bids/proposals in part or in whole and to accept that bid/proposal which appears to be in the best interests of the District. If two or more bidding firms are equal in price and other factors and one firm is located within the boundaries of the District, the local firm will receive the order.

Dispute Resolution

The Superintendent or designee is authorized to settle and resolve questions regarding any protest concerning the solicitation, consideration, or award of a bid/proposal, or controversies arising between the District and a vendor with regard to contracts. If deemed necessary, District counsel shall be consulted.

Public Information on Bids

After the bids have been opened, tabulated, and awarded, they shall be available for those interested. Responses to requests for proposals are not subject to public inspection until a recommendation of award is made.

Noncompetitive/Sole Source Purchases

Purchases are to be made competitively as described above with the exception of the following:

  1. If a competitive process will result in higher cost or otherwise adversely affect the District as determined by the Superintendent or designee.

  2. If the service is a professional service that requires a high degree of professional skill such as engineering and architectural services, professional management or educational consulting, legal services, medical services, technology services or other services as determined by the Superintendent or designee.

  3. If a particular product or service is required to standardize or maintain standardization, reduce financial investment or simplify administration.

  4. If a particular product or service is required to maintain interchangeability or compatibility as part of an existing system.

  5. If purchases are made in cooperation with federal, state, other local government units, other school districts or other approved cooperative purchasing organizations when it is in the best economic interest of the District as determined by the Superintendent or designee.

  6. If the product or service is the subject of an insurance claim or a change order.

  7. Sole source purchases are characterized as the one and only source, regardless of the marketplace. The Superintendent or designee is responsible for approval of requests for sole source purchases. Appropriate substantiating documentation is required.

Emergency Purchases

Emergency situations shall be defined as those instances which may adversely affect the health, welfare or safety of students, employees or the general public, when any delays would place an excessive financial burden on the District, or when delays would cause significant harm to the District. In the case of an emergency requiring the immediate purchase of goods or services, the employee managing the emergency shall have the authority to authorize the purchase of necessary goods or services in the open market regardless of the amount of the expenditure.

The Superintendent is authorized to issue administrative policies detailing purchasing and bidding procedures, including policies governing the use of purchasing cards for purchases under $1000.


Adopted: October 3, 1978
Revised: November 15, 1994
Revised: December 3, 2002
Repealed by the Board and re-enacted and revised by the Superintendent: March 20, 2006 Adopted by the Board: July 15, 2014 (replaces Board File: DJE-R)
Revised:  March 20, 2018


C.R.S. 22-32-109(1)(b) Board of Education-specific duties


DJ-R, Purchasing Procedures