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RELATIONS WITH VENDORS
FILE CODE: 3327
X Other Reasons
The board of education wishes to maintain good working relations with vendors who supply materials and services to the school system. Constructive efforts by the administration to seek the advice and counsel of vendors about how to improve such relationships are encouraged.
In the schools, vendors shall be seen by appointment only. Vendors who call upon a school shall be governed by the board's policy concerning visitors to the school. Teachers or supervisors of instruction who have invited vendors to call should notify the principal's office in advance so that proper courtesies may be extended.
No agents, canvassers, or vendors shall have access to teachers during their classes. No business concern which solicits or gains business through the school system shall use school facilities for this purpose.
All vendors shall supply assurances that they do not practice discrimination as described in the administrative code. All vendors shall be informed that harassment of any kind of district pupils or employees by their representatives is prohibited.
Honest and Ethical Relations with Vendors; Pay to Play Restrictions
The district shall maintain honest and ethical relations with vendors and shall guard against favoritism, improvidence, extravagance and corruption in its contracting processes and practices. The school board will not vote upon or award a contract in the amount of $17,500 or greater to any business entity which has made a reportable contribution to a member of the district board of education during the previous one-year period. Such contributions, to any member of the school board, from any entity doing business with the district are prohibited during the term of the contract, including contributions by a vendor’s spouse or child, or contributions by any person having an interest in the business entity. Disclosure of contributions shall be made when contracts are required by law to be publicly bid. However, these limitations do not apply when a district emergency requires the immediate delivery of goods or services.
Debarred Vendors Will Not Be Used
When acquiring goods and services under federally sponsored programs, the school district will not contract with a vendor who is currently either debarred or suspended from doing business with the Federal government. Prior to contract award, and in accordance with Federal requirements, the business administrator or contracting specialist will check the Federal Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) to ensure that the prospective contractor is not found in the EPLS. Results from the EPLS search shall be made part of the purchase order/contract documentation. Should a prospective vendor be found to be debarred or suspended by the Federal government, the business administrator’s office will notify the chief school administrator of this finding and will place a hold on the supplier's registration within the school district financial system.
Strategies to Avoid Excessive Professional Services Expenditures
The board will seek to avoid excessive professional services expenditures, such as by:
- Establishing a maximum dollar limit, for budgetary purposes;
- Following state legal requirements and procedures to obtain the highest quality services at a fair and competitive price or through a shared service arrangement. This may include issuance of such contracts through a request for proposals (RFP) based on cost and other specified factors or other comparable process such as the use of the “fair and open process” as defined in N.J.S.A 19:44A-20.7; and
- Limiting professional services contracts to non-recurring or specialized work for which the district does not possess adequate in-house resources or expertise.
Prudent Use of Legal Services
All contracts for legal services must comply with the payment requirements and restrictions set forth in N.J.S.A. 18A:19-1 as follows:
- Advance payments for legal services are prohibited;
- Services to be provided shall be described in detail in the contract;
- Invoices for payment shall itemize the services provided for billing period; and
- Payment shall only be for services actually provided.
If at any time the district’s legal costs exceed 130 percent of the Statewide average per pupil amount, the procedures set forth in N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.2(a)3 will be implemented, unless evidence can be provided that such procedures would not result in a reduction of cost.
These procedures require the district to:
- Limit and designate the persons with the authority to request services or advice from contracted legal counsel;
- Legal counsel will not be used unnecessarily to make management decisions or to obtain readily available information such as district policies;
- Requests for legal advice shall be made in writing; and
- Contact logs and records shall be kept and reviewed to determine that the requests for legal advice are necessary.
Date: February 11, 2013
N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. Law Against Discrimination
N.J.S.A. 18A:6-8 Interest of school officers, etc., in sale of textbooks or supplies, royalties
N.J.S.A. 18A:11‑1 General mandatory powers and duties
N.J.S.A. 18A:12‑2 Inconsistent interests or office prohibited
N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq. School Ethics Act
N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-1 et seq. Public School Contracts Law
N.J.S.A. 18A:54‑20 Powers of board (county vocational schools)
N.J.S.A. 52:32-44 Business registration for providers of goods and services
N.J.A.C. 6A:7‑1.8 Equality in employment and contract practices
N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-5.2 Public relations and professional services; board policies; efficiency
N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-6.3 Contributions to board members and contract awards
N.J.A.C. 6A:28-1.1 et seq. School Ethics Commission
N.J.A.C. 6A:30-1.1et seq. Evaluation of the Performance of School Districts
N.J.A.C. 6A:32‑14.1 Review of mandated programs and services
Comprehensive Equity Plan, New Jersey State Department of Education