School districts can’t give preferential treatment to local business when awarding bids with one exception. A local business with a bid that is within 1 percent of the lowest bid can be given the opportunity to match lowest bid.
That’s according to officials from the Leavenworth school district who reviewed purchasing procedures Monday with the Leavenworth Board of Education.
Kevin Gullett, chief financial officer, and Matt Dedeke, director of facilities, discussed the process the district follows when making purchases. Their presentation included information regarding what is required by law.
The presentation was a follow-up to a discussion about the process from a previous board meeting.
In most cases, the district has to use a sealed bid for any expenditure that is greater than $20,000.
Sealed bids are used for things such as construction work and purchases of vehicles and equipment, Dedeke said.
Gullett said there are exceptions to the sealed bid requirement including payment for services such as architectural or engineering work. He also said district officials don’t have to take bids for things such as food but they do anyway to make sure they’re getting the best price.
He said the district is required to accept the lowest responsible bid.
“The lowest bidder always wins,” he said.
But he said the district has taken advantage of the 1 percent rule to allow local businesses to match the lowest bids. In order to qualify as a local business, a company must be located within the boundaries of the school district.
Dedeke said the district maintains a list of potential suppliers, which is used to notify potential bidders about a project.
He said any supplier can ask to be included on the district’s vendor list.
He said the district spans the spectrum in terms of the vendors it deals with. He said the district accepts bids from large and small business as well as local and out-of-town companies.