Stevensville Public Schools

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT                                 7320


Authorization and Control

The Superintendent is authorized to direct expenditures and purchases within limits of the detailed annual budget for the school year.  The Board must approve purchase of capital outlay items, when the aggregate total of a requisition exceeds $50,000 except the Superintendent shall have the authority to make capital outlay purchases without advance approval when necessary to protect the interests of the District or the health and safety of staff or students.  The Superintendent will establish requisition and purchase order procedures to control and maintain proper accounting of expenditure of funds.  Staff who obligate the District without proper authorization may be held personally responsible for payment of such obligations.

Bids and Contracts

Whenever it is in the interest of the District, the District will execute a contract for any building furnishing, repairing, purchasing or other work for the benefit of the District if the sum of the contract or work exceeds Eighty Thousand Dollars ($80,000), the District will call for formal bids by issuing public notice as specified in statute.  Specifications will be prepared and made available to all vendors interested in submitting a bid.  The contract shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, except that the trustees may reject any or all bids as per § 18-4-307, MCA as stated below in the legal reference.  The Board, in making a determination as to which vendor is the lowest responsible bidder, will take into consideration not only the amount of each bid, but will also consider the skill, ability, and integrity of a vendor to do faithful, conscientious work and to promptly fulfill the contract according to its letter and spirit.  Bidding requirements do not apply to a registered professional engineer, surveyor, real estate appraiser, or registered architect; a physician, dentist, pharmacist, or other medical, dental, or health care provider; an attorney; a consulting actuary; a private investigator licensed by any jurisdiction; a claims adjuster; or an accountant licensed under Title 37, Chapter 50.

Advertisement for bid must be made once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks, and a second (2nd) publication must be made not less than five (5) nor more than twelve (12) days before consideration of bids.

The Superintendent will establish bidding and contract-awarding procedures.  Bid procedures will be waived only as specified in statute.  Any contract required to be let for bid shall contain language to the following effect:

In making a determination as to which vendor is the lowest responsible bidder, if any, the District will take into consideration not only the pecuniary ability of a vendor to perform the contract, but will also consider the skill, ability, and integrity of a vendor to do faithful, conscientious work and promptly fulfill the contract according to its letter and spirit.  References must be provided and will be contacted.  The District further reserves the right to contact others with whom

a vendor has conducted business, in addition to those listed as references, in determining whether a vendor is the lowest responsible bidder.  Additional information and/or inquiries into a vendor’s skill, ability, and integrity are set forth in the bid specifications.

Cooperative Purchasing

The District may enter into cooperative purchasing contracts with one or more districts for procurement of supplies or services.  A district participating in a cooperative purchasing group may purchase supplies and services through the group without complying with the provisions of 20-9-204(3), MCA if the cooperative purchasing group has a publicly available master list of items available with pricing included and provides an opportunity at least twice yearly for any vendor, including a Montana vendor, to compete, based on a lowest responsible bidder standard, for inclusion of the vendor’s supplies and services on the cooperative purchasing group’s master list.

Legal Reference:         § 18-1-101, et seq., MCA       Preferences and General Matters

  • 18-1-201, et seq., MCA Bid Security
  • 18-4-307, MCA Cancellation of invitations for bids or requests for proposals
  • 20-9-204, MCA Conflicts of interests, letting contracts, and calling for bids – exceptions
  • 20-10-110, MCA School Bus Purchases – contracts- bids

Debcon v. City of Glasgow, 305 Mont. 391 (2001)

Policy History:

Adopted on: Feb. 12, 2002

Reviewed on: Sep. 11, 2018

Revised on: Dec. 17, 2001; Sep. 9, 2008; Apr. 8, 2014; Oct. 22, 2018