Doing Business With the District
In the State of South Carolina, school districts are governed by local boards of trustees. In Spartanburg County there are seven schools districts. In Spartanburg School District Seven, the Board of Trustees consists of a diverse nine member elected board. Board members are responsible for setting overall District policies, as well as evaluating and hiring a superintendent to oversee the daily operations of the District. The Superintendent is responsible for the oversight of all aspects of the school district – Instruction, Personnel, Student Services, Finance, Operations and Planning, Communications and Purchasing/Procurement.
District Purchasing Policy
The principle objective of the District 7 Procurement Office and its Procurement Code is to provide for the fair and equitable treatment of all persons involved in public purchasing by the District, to maximize the purchasing value of public funds in procurement, and to provide safeguards for maintaining a procurement system of quality and integrity.
The School District has its own Procurement Code, and as per Chapter 35 of Title 11 of the State Code, the District Code is “substantially similar to the provisions of the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code”. The Procurement Office supports the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) and its state chapter the South Carolina Association of Governmental Purchasing Officials (SCAGPO), which is dedicated to the establishment and maintenance of ethical standards and professionalism in public purchasing.
The Procurement Office primarily uses three types of formal solicitations: (1) Invitation to Bid sometimes called Request for Bid (2) and Request for Proposal and one informal (3) a Request for Quotes. These instruments allow the District to purchase goods and services that meet definitive specifications and quality standards. We are most interested in seeing that ALL Vendors have an opportunity to do business with Spartanburg School District 7, thus strengthening and widening product and service choices while optimizing use of public funds.
Where to Start
Vendors can obtain all formal Spartanburg School District 7 solicitations via our web site. It is important for each vendor to check the site on a regular basis to make sure they do not miss a bidding opportunity. It is also the Vendor's responsibility to check our web site periodically to ensure that Addendums have not been issued against a solicitation during the open period. Invitations to Bid and Request for Proposals are done on an as needed basis.
Invitation to Bid/Request For Proposals and Quotes
Solicitations are issued for the purchase of items costing more than $10,000. These solicitations include detailed descriptions of the commodity and/ or service based on specifications approved by the requestor and the buyer and written with the intent of soliciting competitive bids/proposals or quotes. These specifications, along with instructions and terms and conditions, comprise the total solicitation.
If the commodity description includes one or more brand names or is followed by "or equivalent;" Vendors may quote an alternative, as long as it is of the same quality, design and performance. Generally, descriptive literature is required with the solicitation response. It is the responsibility of the bidder to demonstrate that the alternate item meets specifications. The decision of whether or not to accept an alternate rests solely with the District.
Receipt of Solicitations
Bids and/ or proposals must be received and time stamped in at the District Office, 610 Dupre Drive, Spartanburg, SC 29307 before the time and date indicated on the Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal and Quotes. Delivery to any other location does not constitute compliance with solicitation requirements, and will be rejected as a nonresponsive bid. The District is not responsible for misdirected mail or delivery services.
Evaluation of Solicitations
The process of evaluating and awarding solicitations is one of the primary functions of the Procurement Office. Awards are not always made on the basis of "low bid", especially if the solicitation was a Request for Proposal or Request for Quotes. With an RFP & RFQ, many considerations may be taken into account before an award is made. For example, an item which is of inferior quality or which is delivered too late to serve its intended purpose may not benefit the District, regardless of price. Because numerous considerations must be made when purchasing materials and services, the Purchasing Office has a process that allows it to make awards using the best evaluative score based on criteria, weighted by importance, which needs to be considered in making the purchase. Criteria and determination of importance are established by the Procurement Office in conjunction with the end-user. Examples of evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to: Lowest price based on percentage discount, past performance/prior experience, engineering support, availability, lowest price on selected items, return policy, delivery options, support capabilities (customer service, product support, etc.), life-cycle costing, billing options, quality of product, reliability of service, quality of solutions to meet specified needs, management and financial capabilities.
Award of Contract
Awards will be posted to the District web site. Bids, proposals, and quotes are formalized by the issuance of a purchase order. No merchandise may be shipped or any services performed without a signed District purchase order. Purchase orders are the District's tool for notifying Vendors to provide goods and services. The District can also issue contracts to establish annual requirements.