All purchases shall be made in accordance with the Charter of the Town of Smithfield.

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 at the annual Financial Town Meeting, 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 Finance Director may be directed by the Town Manager to reject all bids and readvertise. 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.

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 with the costs thereof charged to the appropriate budget item. All other supplies, materials and equipment purchased by the School Department requiring competitive bidding, shall be purchased centrally under the direction of the Finance Director, provided, however, that Central purchasing shall occur in such manner and under such procedures not inconsistent with the provisions of the Charter of the Town of Smithfield, or as may be prescribed by the Town Council by Ordinance.

Purchasing and Emergencies

In the event of an emergency of sufficient gravity that compliance with the competitive bidding requirements set forth in the town Charter that 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.

School Department purchases or contracts for any supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services, independent and contrary to the provisions of the town Charter or the rules and regulations may be voidable by the Town Council.

Minority/Women Business Enterprises (MBE/WBE)

The School Department reserves the right to give additional consideration to bid proposals submitted by small and/or minority/women business enterprises and labor surplus area firms provided that such bid proposal is fully responsive to the terms and conditions of the solicitation, and the bid price is determined, in the discretion of the Smithfield School Department, to be within a competitive range.

Steps the district will take to address this provision include:

(1) Placing qualified small and minority businesses and women's business enterprises on solicitation lists, when known;

(2) Assuring that small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises are solicited whenever they are potential sources;

(3) Dividing total requirements, when economically feasible, into smaller tasks to permit maximum participation by small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises;

(4) Establishing delivery schedules, where the requirement permits, which encourage participation by small and minority businesses, and women's business enterprises;

(5) Whenever feasible, using the services and assistance, as appropriate, of such organizations as the Small Business Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce; and

(6) Requiring the prime contractor, if subcontracts are to be let, to take the affirmative steps listed in paragraphs (1) through (5) of this section.

Adopted: February 4, 2019

Revised: May 6, 2019