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Austin Public Schools

Policy 716 - Purchasing Policy

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The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines and procedures for purchasing goods and services for District #492.


It is the policy of this school district to purchase goods and services in accordance with the applicable provisions of law.


  • The School Board approved budget document shall be considered as the authority for all expenditures which are made during a fiscal year.
  • The primary concern of the School Board is that overall expenditures for any fiscal year do not exceed the budgeted amount for any one fund. Categorical breakdowns within funds will be used primarily for budget control and for future budget planning.
  • The Superintendent of Schools or Director of Finance and Operations shall approve all purchases and/or contracts made in the name of the school district except those authorized by direct action of the School Board. All claims shall be reviewed monthly by the Treasurer of the School Board and all claims shall be approved by the Board prior to payment except those advance payments authorized in this policy.
  • Bids and/or quotations will be received for the purchase of goods and services as per M.S. 471.,345, Subd. 1-14, and M.S. 471.6161.
  • The procurement of all supplies, equipment, and services shall be initiated by the issuance of an official signed purchase order or administered by purchasing cards through the Superintendent of Schools or the Director of Finance and Operations. Only those supplies, equipment, and services procured by formal contract and by special administrative permission shall be exempt.
  • No “on approval” orders are to be placed by any staff member except through the principal and directors. This applies to books, science equipment, audio-visual films and equipment, musical instruments and equipment, music, computer software, etc.
  • Purchase orders will be on the basis of requisitions filed on the proper form by staff members. The requisition should give all the information requested, such as name of firm, catalog number of articles requisitioned, the number of the catalog or the year it was issued, exact copyright date and title of books or publications requisitioned and, if possible, a definite statement of price of items requisitioned or of repairs or labor, etc. All requisitions should be signed by the building principal, and approved by the department chairperson if applicable.


The business office shall issue checks for all just claims against the school district upon approval by the School Board or by the School Board Designee when only one school board meeting is scheduled to be conducted during the month. The business office is authorized to issue checks prior to the approval by the Board upon a just claim for payment of travel advances, for outstanding bills of the school district that have not been paid within 35 days of the date of receipt because of payment delays which were not the fault of the vendor, for partial payments on construction projects or other formal bid purchases previously approved by the Board, for investments in legally authorized securities, for payment of claims which if deferred until the next Board meeting would result in the loss of a discount privilege, and to make payment of salaries
pursuant to the terms of written contracts entered into by the School Board. All claims for which checks have been issued prior to approval by the Board as provided herein shall be presented for approval at the next Board meeting when claims are normally acted upon.


The District recognizes the value of purchasing goods and services from vendors located within the District, whenever possible. Spending District funds on local goods and services effectively returns tax dollars to the local taxpayers, thereby supporting the District economy and improving the ability of local taxpayers to support their families and the District. Accordingly, the District encourages its employees to consider and provide opportunities to local vendors when purchasing goods or services for the District.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 1203.37 (Contracts)
  • Minn. Stat. § 471.345 (Contract Law)
  • Minn. Stat. § 471.6161 (Group Ins.)
  • Minn. Stat. § 471.64 (Government Contracts)

Policy Adopted: 10/09/06
Revised Policy Adopted: 01/22/07
Revised Policy Adopted: 05/14/12
Policy Reviewed: 12/10/12
Policy Reviewed: 08/11/14
Policy Reviewed: 10/10/16
Policy Reviewed: 5/13/19