The District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County welcomes the opportunity for a business relationship with interested merchants in the community. The District’s Purchasing Services Department is interested in fostering participation by all qualified business persons offering commodities and/or services that may be used by the District. The Purchasing Services Department is responsible for making the most economical acquisition of quality materials and services which will assure efficient operation of the school system. It is essential that business persons interested in working with the District become familiar with these purchasing policies and procedures.
This manual will serve as a general guide. Specific questions and concerns not addressed here should be directed to the Purchasing Director.
District By-Laws and Policies
To view the District's Purchasing By-Laws and Policies (related to the purchase of products and services, emergency purchases, standards and specifications, competitive bidding/solicitation requirements, thresholds, tie bids, contracts, purchase order approval, bid exemptions, debarment, notice of recommended decision, protest, right to request a hearing, cooperative purchasing, local purchasing, etc.) please click the link below:
Website to Download Solicitations
The Purchasing Services Department will maintain a relationship with IonWave for the purpose of soliciting bids/RFPs when required. In order to be eligible to bid, vendors must first complete an electronic vendor application on IonWave. Vendors are responsible for signing into IonWave and making changes to their application form including but not limited to: address, telephone number, commodity listings, etc.
To assure the District receives the best possible service from vendors, the Superintendent or the Purchasing Director reserves the right to remove vendors from a bidder’s list for non-performance. Removal shall be for a period of not less than one (1) year but no more than three (3) years. After the suspension period expires, such vendors may have their name reinstated to active status, but only after they have sufficiently demonstrated their ability to perform responsibly. Vendors must initiate a request to be reinstated. In order to keep the bid list current, vendors who fail to respond to three solicitations, whether a no-bid or no response, may have their name removed from the bidder’s list; however, they may reapply and be reinstated at any time by written request and approval from the Superintendent or the Purchasing Agent.
So the District has the ability to make payments and sign contracts with a vendor, a W-9 form must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be added to our ERP system. Emailing a W-9 form to the District will not enable a company to receive bids from the District. Vendors who wish to receive solicitations from the District must complete an electronic vendor application on IonWave.
Effective January 1, 2021, pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 448.095, all Contractors shall use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of all employees hired during the term of an agreement. Contractors shall also require all subcontractors performing work under an agreement to use the E-Verify system for any employees they may hire during the term of the agreement.
Methods of Purchase
The following purchasing methods are used by the District to acquire products, services, and equipment:
Informal Telephone or Written Quote:
Is defined as either a written or verbal quote not requiring a public opening or Board approval.
Bid packages or requests for proposals are prepared with the appropriate terms and conditions and detailed specifications, including items to be bid, units, and total (or estimates) quantity desired, instructions for bidding, delivery information, and any special requirements for bidding. Assigned dates and time for pre-bid meetings (if any) and for the public bid opening are also included.
Notification of bids and RFPs are e-mailed to vendors on the computerized IonWave system for a specific commodity. Current bid solicitations can be viewed on IonWave at any time.
Bids or RFPs are publicly opened at the time designated in the documents. Public openings are usually held in the Purchasing Services’ Conference Room, 20430 Gator Lane, Land O’ Lakes, Florida.
Bids and RFPs are evaluated and recommendations are forwarded to the Board for review, approval, and award.
Tabulations are posted in accordance with the Florida Administrative Procedures Act: Bids, RFPs, tabulations and recommendations are posted on Purchasing Services’ web page at /purchasing/page/board_recommendations/ for a minimum of 72 hours, prior to the special or called School Board meeting on which official action will be taken. It shall be the interested party’s responsibility to ascertain the actual date of posting and/or board meeting for the specific bid of interest. The District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County holds regular meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
Piggybacking or Tagging on to Other Counties’ Bids
In lieu of requesting bids/quotes from three (3) or more sources, The District may make purchases at the contract prices awarded by other city or county governmental agencies, other School Boards, community colleges or state university system cooperative bid agreements. The District reserves the right to piggyback if it is determined to be to the economic advantage of the Board.
Bid Restriction: Public Entity Crimes
Per 287.133 Florida Statutes, a person or affiliate who has been placed on the convicted vendor’s list following a conviction for a public entity crime:
The above restrictions shall be applicable for a period of 36 months from the date of being placed on the convicted vendor list.
How to Submit a Bid
Contents of Solicitation
The Invitation to Bid/Request for Proposal document contains the specifications for the commodity or service being purchased, and the terms and conditions governing the bid/proposal.
Adherence to Specifications
Manufacturer’s names, trade names, brand information and/or catalog numbers listed in a specification are for information and establishment of quality level desired and are not intended to limit competition unless the bid so stipulates. When the bid allows equal or equivalent products that conform to the required specifications indicate on the bid form the manufacturer’s name, model or catalog number as may be required. Submit with your bid complete descriptive literature and/or specifications if requested.
You should also explain in detail the reason(s) why and how the proposed items will meet the specifications and not be considered an exception and submit adequate information to document this claim. The District reserves the right to be the sole judge of what is equal or equivalent. Bids that do not comply with these requirements are subject to rejection. If you fail to name another items(s), it will be assumed that you are bidding on, and will be required to furnish, goods identical in every respect to the bid standard.
All supplies and equipment offered and furnished must be new and of current production unless the request for product and/or bid specifically permits offers of used or recycled items. Remanufactured of reconstructed items are not considered new.
The District may request bids for new equipment employing trade-ins or used equipment. In such cases, a trade-in price quotation will be requested for the trade-in, and separate price quotation without trade-in for the requested equipment. The District reserves the right to purchase equipment either with or without trade-in.
Bidding Prompt Payment Discounts
You may offer a cash discount for prompt payment; however, such discount will not be considered in determining the lowest net costs for bid evaluation purposes. Your bid should reflect the lowest unit price on the bid response form (without deductions for payment discounts).
Unless the Invitation for Bid or Request for Proposal stipulates criteria for determination of an award for tie bids the following will be used when two or more vendors submit the exact same dollar amount as their bid offer, or if two or more firms are deemed equal with the respect to price, quality and service: In order of importance the following will break the tie:
Successful vendors must comply with Chapter 1013.49, Florida Statutes and any items delivered from a contract resulting from a bid must be accompanied by a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The MSDS must include the following:
1. The chemical name and the common name of the toxic substance.
2. The hazards or other risks in the use of the toxic substance including:
A. The potential for fire, explosion, corrosively and reactivity;
B. The known acute and chronic health effects of risks from exposure including the medical conditions, which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the toxic substance; and
C. The primary routes of entry and symptoms of overexposure.
3. The proper precautions, handling practices, necessary personal protective equipment, and other safety precautions in the use of exposure to the toxic substances, including appropriate emergency treatment in case of overexposure.
4. The emergency procedure for spills, fire, disposal, and first aid.
5. A description on common terms of the known specific potential health risks posed by the toxic substance intended to alert person reading the information.
6. The year and month, if available, that the information was compiled and the name, address, and emergency telephone number of the manufacturer responsible for preparing the information.
Generally, bid security is not required on most purchases made by the District. If a bid security is required, the IFB/RFP will indicate the kind and amount of security required. Offers in response to an IFB/RFP which requires bid security will not be considered by the District if the specified security is not enclosed.
Types of security accepted by the District are as follows:
Bid Bond/Performance Bond
When bid bonds are required, the bid must be accompanied by a certified check or cashier’s check, treasurer’s check, or bank draft of any national or state bank (personal or company checks are not acceptable), or bid bond in the amount as specified in the bid documents.
The bid deposit must be made payable to the District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County, Florida as evidence of good faith and ensuring that the successful bidder will execute a contract in accordance with the terms, conditions and prices contained in the bid; and further ensuring that the successful bidder will provide a performance bond and payment bond within 30 calendar days from the date of award of the contract, issued by a surety company qualified to do business in the State of Florida as surety. Such bond shall be for 100% of the contact amount. The bond shall extend as a guarantee bond for one year from the date of acceptance of the completed work. Should the successful bidder fail to provide such performance and payment bond within the prescribed time, the bid bond amount submitted with the bid shall be forfeited to the Board as liquidated damages.
Bid deposit checks or bonds (if requested) will be returned to the successful bidder following acceptance of a signed contract and receipt of the Performance and Payment Bond. Bid deposit check and bonds (if requested) posted by the unsuccessful bidders will be released immediately following the bid award by the Board.
Bids received without a bid deposit or with a bid deposit in an amount less than the required will not be considered.
The submittal of a verbal quote, written quote or bid constitutes an offer by the vendor.
The District’s award of the bid shall not constitute an order. Before any shipments can be made, vendor(s) must receive a purchase order or confirmation of a p-card payment. Shipments shall be made as specified on the order, conforming to the bid form specifications, and general instructions.
Should any bidder fail to enter into any contract with the School District on the basis of the submitted bid by said bidder, bidder acknowledges that bidder shall be liable to the School District for the difference between such bid price and the price the School District pays to secure the merchandise from another source. Failure to pay said amount to the District upon demand would result in the company being removed from the bid list for a period of not less than three (3) year from date of infraction. Thereafter, the bidder may request to be reinstated to the bid list.
General Procurement Information
Purchased commodities and contract for services that fall below the above referenced thresholds shall be acquired in accordance with uniform written procedure prescribed by the District’s Purchasing Agent, and in accordance with prevailing laws or Florida Department of Education rules.
In accordance with specific Florida Statutes and Florida Department of Education rules, negotiations may be utilized in the acquisition of information technology resources; other goods or services may be negotiated when no acceptable bid has been received by the Board, following a formal solicitation.
Before entering into any agreement, contract or arrangements that obligates the Board to pay a sum of money or otherwise perform in some manner, a properly executed purchase order must be issued by the Superintendent or the Purchasing Agent. In their absence, purchase orders may be authorized by one of the Assistant Superintendents or by delegation of the Purchasing Agent. The purchase order should contain such essential information as quality, description, and price; applicable terms and conditions; delivery and transportation criteria; and other factors or references pertinent to the purchase and execution by the vendor. Acceptance of a purchase order constitutes a contract.
The District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County has implemented a purchasing card program through JP Morgan using the Visa network. Vendors may receive payment from the purchasing card in the same manner as other Visa purchases.
Price Increases and Cancellation
Reasonable cost changes may be permitted, provided they are not on a bid or contracted item, but must not exceed 5% of the total order without prior approval in writing from the Purchasing Services Department. We reserve the right to retain any and all shipped merchandise and to deny payment for any charges that are contrary to an awarded contract of this or another governmental agency, or that are beyond the aforementioned 5%.
Price increases over five percent (5%) for items not on bid must be authorized in writing by the Purchasing Agent.
Price increases on bid and quote items are not allowed. Vendors should check their bid prices prior to submittal of bid and to make sure all prices include shipping and handling charges. All bid prices and quotes are to be F.O.B. destination, freight prepaid.
Cancellation of purchase orders may be authorized by the cost center supervisor or principal provided there is adequate justification (due to poor performance or breach). Cancellations made by telephone will be followed up in writing by the Purchasing Services Department.
Substitution is defined as shipment of an item that materially conforms to the specifications, but is technically different from the item bid. Substitution requires the approval of the cost center prior to shipment. Any products delivered that do not meet specifications, or substitute products shipping without prior approval, will be returned to the vendor at the vendor’s expense. When a shipment or product is returned, the vendor must make immediate replacement with acceptable merchandise or the District may seek remedies for default.
Invoicing and Payment
To ensure prompt payment of a purchase order, invoices containing the proper information must be submitted to the Accounts Payable address indicated on the purchase order (7227 Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639). Invoices must be in triplicate, reference the purchase order number, and must contain the proper quantities, unit and total prices as stated on the purchase order. Payments are normally issued within 30 days from receipt of invoices, provided the goods and/or services have been received in a satisfactory, proper, and timely manner.
Confirmation Purchase Orders
No person, unless authorized to do so by the Superintendent, may make any purchase or enter into any contract involving the use of school or district funds, no expenditures for any such unauthorized purchase or contract shall be approved by the Board. The following individuals are authorized to make purchases and enter into contracts on behalf of the District:
Conflict of Interest
Any award made by the District is subject to provisions of Chapter 112, Florida Statutes. All bidders must disclose with their bid, the name of any officer, director, or agent who is also an employee of The District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County, Florida. Further, all bidders must disclose the name of any ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County School Board employee who owns directly or indirectly, an interest of five percent (5%) or more of the bidder’s firm or any of its branches. Any concerns regarding this must be given to the Purchasing Services Department prior to bid submittal for clarification and further direction.
Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
It is the intent of the School Board to follow the MBE classification pursuant to Section 288.703, Florida Statutes Although the School Board does not certify Minority Business Enterprise, it is the intention of the School Board to encourage MBE participation. To that goal, the School Board:
Equal Employment and Educational Opportunities
It is the sole responsibility of the bidder/proposer to comply with provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. The District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County hereby stipulates and affirms its policy of offering Equal Employment and Educational Opportunities for all persons regardless of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age or handicap. The failure of any contractor supplier to the Board to comply with the terms of this Equal Employment Opportunity Policy will subject any contract or purchase order to revocation.
The process of public purchasing should be conducted in an impeccable and open manner, without conflicts of interest, in order to eliminate any possibility of, or even the appearance of, improper business relationships. In this regard, the Board prohibits the acceptance of gratuities, gifts, or other favors that might give rise to doubts of impartiality.
Common Problems That Result in Bids Being Rejected
The following is a listing of some common mistakes/problems that result in bids/proposals being rejected. This is only a partial listing, therefore, the General Conditions and Special Terms and Conditions should be thoroughly reviewed before submitting a bid.
Caution: The District School Board and the Board of County Commissioners are two separate entities and will not accept bids in response to the other entity’s Invitation to Bid. Each has their own procedures for doing business. Should you wish to do business with the Board of County Commissioners, you must contact that entity.
Doing business with our District is easy and convenient. The information provided in this document is to provide clarification of the basic rules and procedures, which are established to protect the taxpayer.
This publication is an attempt to ensure that doing business with the District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County is a positive experience.
Proper communication between the parties will ultimately enhance the business relationship and will avoid confusion and inconvenience. However, no single publication can answer all questions nor solve all problems occurring in even the most simplistic transaction. It is our hope, however that this effort will provide all interested parties with adequate information to avoid the more common pitfalls. This publication has been designed to provide general information to those wishing to do business with The District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County. The procurement activity of the District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County is performed and bound in accordance with applicable law, the District School Board of ÃÛÌÒ´«Ã½ County Board Policy, and other applicable rules and regulations, which govern. This information has been published to summarize various areas of purchasing.