Purchasing Department

  • The Boston Public Schools procurement function is centralized to serve our District’s procurement needs in an efficient and timely manner, providing processes that brings the District the best purchase value and helps ensure our purchases are in compliance with applicable laws and District policy.

    The purchasing unit is able to assist you with navigating through the requisitioning process, textbook orders, educational materials, contracts, vendor set-up, bids, publications, RFPs, and procurement of temporary help.

Purchasing Guidelines

  • The State Procurement Law (MGLc30B) establishes uniform procedures to be followed by local jurisdictions when contracting for supplies and services.  Most goods and services purchased by BPS are procured through competitive bid processes.  However, the statute does allow for some purchases to be made without public advertising. The purpose of this guide is to provide you with a brief overview of the requirements and procedures that are necessary to successfully make most purchases.

     The following processes must be followed by all Boston Public School personnel seeking to purchase most materials or services.

     1. <$10,000

    1. Standard for selectionFollow "Sound Business Practices".  The school or department solicits three telephone, written, or catalogue quotes.  The record of quotes remains on file at school or department and is subject to audit.
    2. Required document: Requisition
    3. Authorization: Purchase Order
    4. Turnaround time*: 1 -2 Weeks

    2. $10,000 - $50,000

    1. Standard for selection: Seek written quotes from at least three vendors and award the contract to the responsible vendor offering the supply or service needed at the lowest price or submit a sole source letter
    2. Required documents: Requisition, detailed specifications, or a sole-source letter addressed to the City Auditor must be sent to the Business Office/Purchasing at least four weeks prior to the planned procurement.;
    3. Authorization: Purchase Order and written quote contract (WQC), signed by vendor and approved by the Superintendent and the City Auditor
    4. Turnaround time*: 2 - 4 Weeks 

    3. >$50,000

    1. Standard for selection: Formal advertised bid or unadvertised contract
    2. Required documents: Requisition and a completed Unadvertised Contract Request Form with a detailed written description of the items or services to be purchased
    3. Authorization: Purchase Order and Fully Executed Contract
    4. Turnaround time*: 8 Weeks

    *Note:These timelines may not apply to all procurement requests and should only be used as a guide when trying to plan your activities.

    The turnaround times listed above are approximate and do not apply to peak procurement periods which occur from  08/15 to 09/30 and from 04/15 to 06/30.

    Exempt Purchases

    The procurement statute does allow for the district to purchase of certain categories of goods and services without a competitive bid process being conducted. The most commonly purchased goods and services that are exempt include: direct professional development services, the purchase of textbooks, and the purchase of a good or services from a vendor who has an existing contract with the Commonwealth for that same good or service. 

    However, the fact that a particular good or service is exempt from bidding does not negate the need for an executed contract being in place prior to a purchase being made.  All purchases over $10,000.00 require that some form of written contract be executed prior to the performance of service or the receipt of goods.

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