The Purchasing Office of the Howard County Public School System provides central procurement of instructional materials, furniture and equipment, construction services, maintenance materials and equipment, and other services for use in the public schools. These purchases are made using a competitive bid or quotation process.
Purchasing Department Mission Statement
The Purchasing Department strives to serve and support the educational mission of the Howard County Board of Education. Purchasing’s mission is to facilitate best practices and achieve economies of scale in the acquisition of goods and services necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the school system. Its primary goal is to ensure that each acquisition represents the best value, quality, and timely delivery while maintaining compliance with state and local laws, regulations, and HCPSS policies. Minority participation is highly encouraged in all solicitations and the Purchasing department is committed to equal procurement opportunities through fair and open competition to the fullest practicable extent and to maintaining the highest level of professionalism, ethics and integrity.
The Objectives of the Purchasing Office are to:
- Provide purchasing support to school system programs
- Publish catalogues listing descriptions, prices, and vendors so schools and offices may make requisition requests effectively and efficiently
- ensure construction contracts comply with school facilities policy
- Publish an annual bid schedule
- ensure an open, equitable and competitive bidding process which involves the active solicitation of minority businesses.
Policy and Regulations
The Howard County Public School System operates in compliance with the Public School Laws of Maryland, COMAR § 5-112, and in accordance with regulations developed by the Superintendent, Policy 4050, to ensure that the funds provided to the Board of Education for materials, supplies, equipment, and services are expended and handled most effectively and prudently.
The Board requires competitive bidding except when it is not practical to obtain competitive bids or when the need for certain supplies, equipment, materials, or service is of an emergency nature, then those purchases may be made without competitive bidding with the approval of the Board as appropriate.
Criteria to Determine Method for Procurement
All prices are obtained on a competitive basis. This will be accomplished through one of the following procurement methods:
- Best possible price up to, but not including, $5000
- Three telephone or verbal quotation for purchases of $5000 up to, but not including, $7500
- Three written quotations for purchases of $7500 up to, but not including, $25,000
- Formal written sealed bid for purchases of $25,000 or above for any school building improvement supplies, equipment or services.
Notice of Pending Purchases
All formal bids, construction projects, and requests for contracted services are advertised at on our current bids list.
HCPSS currently sells excess or obsolete school property to the public through Public Surplus, LLC.