All purchases shall be made in accordance with the Charter of the Town of Smithfield. In addition, the Business Office shall make all reasonable efforts to identify efficiencies and to make sound purchasing decisions to both benefit students and be responsible to the taxpayers of Smithfield. These include seeking multiple cost estimates, utilizing state and regional Master Price Agreements (MPA), maintaining inventories, and evaluating needs.

Central Purchasing

Items specific to instructional needs, including, but not limited to, textbooks, workbooks, and curriculum materials, may be purchased directly by the School Department. Other supplies, materials and equipment required by the School Department shall be processed for solicitation and purchased centrally by the Purchasing Agent under the direction of the Town Finance Director, including solicitation for contractual services.

Competitive Bidding

No purchase of supplies, materials, or equipment, nor any contract for work performed for the School Department whose costs shall exceed an amount set by the Town Council, shall be authorized except after competitive bidding that will comply with state law.

Potential suppliers or contractors shall be notified publicly to submit bids in such a manner and under such general rules and regulations as the Town Council may prescribe by Ordinance. All such purchases and contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder except that the Town Finance Director may be directed by the Town Manager to reject all bids and re-advertise. Bids, specifications, and all other factors being equal, preference shall be given to the bidder whose place of business is in the Town. No transaction which is essentially a unit shall be divided into a series of orders for the purpose of circumventing this requirement or State Law.

Purchasing and Emergencies

In the event of an emergency of sufficient gravity that compliance with the competitive bidding requirements would endanger the health or welfare of the community or a portion thereof or would involve significant financial risk or loss to the Town, and upon certification by the Town Manager that such emergency conditions exist, a purchase whose cost would exceed the minimum bid limit may be made without competitive bidding. In any such case in which the gravity of the emergency permits, and in all cases of purchases whose cost shall exceed the minimum bid limit, three (3) or more verbal quotations followed by written confirmation shall be solicited and purchases made on the basis of the lowest feasible quotation received. Notation of said verbal quotations shall be entered in the record of each such purchase.

ADOPTED: February 4, 2019

REVISED: May 6, 2019; October 18, 2021