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Purchasing Methods

Methods of Purchase

What is a Purchase Order (PO) and when should it be used?

It is a contract between the District and a vendor for goods and/or services. You should use a purchase order for all purchases using district funds.
Please process an electronic requisition through your Admin office. After the purchase requisition is put into the system and approved by the site Administrator, it is them moved on to the District Office for further processing. Once Accounting has approved the budget being used, the electronic requisition is moved on to Purchasing for processing (price check, vendor check, sourcing out). Once all items are checked, the requisition is turned into a Purchase Order, sent for signature by the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, and then the PO (the order) is faxed, emailed or placed online.
How do I make changes to an existing Purchase Order?
You can email Purchasing to do an increase, decrease, cancel/close, or to make necessary changes. Sites and departments must have the funds available for any increase request. Any increase over 10% must be approved by Accounting before any changes are made to the PO.

What is a Service Agreement and when should it be used?

Service agreements are to be used when services rather than goods are purchased, or a consultant/independent contractor relationship exists. You will find that Service Agreements are most commonly used for Consultant Services rather than for the purchase of goods.  Consults will often have their own form of an Agreement. This should be forwarded to Purchasing for review prior to any type of commitment to a vendor. This is done to make sure the best interest of the District is sought, that fingerprint requirements are met, and that all insurances are in place. A requisition is still required to encumber the funds for the service.
When to use a Purchase Order or a Service Agreement
Purchase Order:
A Purchase Order is used:
  • For purchases of deliverable goods,
  • Wherein the PO Terms and Conditions will govern the procurement/purchase,
  • When the vendor provides goods or services within normal business operation and operates in a competitive environment (competes with other vendors who can providing a similar service) providing similar goods and services to a variety of customers,
  • For software licenses,
  • When the vendor provides a continuing or routine service (e.g., copy machine maintenance, pest control services),
  • When the vendor assumes the risk if performance is more costly or time consuming than expected, 
  • For "BIDS" for products or construction

Service Agreement:

A Service Agreement is used:

  • To purchase services rather than goods
  • To cover the acquisition of services that are infrequent and unique, primarily non-competitive in nature, and where the employer/employee relationship does not exist?
  • Consultant/independent contractor relationship may exist if:
  1.  the individual or firm is engaged to independently perform a specific task or service for a stated rate or total fee,
  2.  the individual or firm is solely responsible for determining the manner and details of their performance,
  3.  the District defines the final result or end products only,
  4.  all of the individual's or firm's activities are done at their own risk,
  5.  the individual or firm may elect to perform the required activities on or off-site
  • When the required knowledge or expertise is not available,
  • When the required knowledge or expertise is not available, to the department
  • When the services are only required for a one-time task and short period of time,
  • For Request for Proposals, "RFPs" for professional services

For the Service Agreement, a requisition/PO is always required to set the funds aside to process the invoices when the service is complete.

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