Send a letter with your request to the Chief Finance Officer at 605 West 4th Street, Sylacauga, AL 35150. The letter must give details of goods and services your company wishes to bid on.
The school system purchases all computer hardware from a state or nationwide consortium. Those bids are generated by the Alabama Dept. of Education Technology Initiatives Dept. and U. S. Communities Purchasing Alliance. Requests to be included in technology bids will need to be directed to those organizations.
The school system doesn't purchase more than $15,000 in printers, LCD projectors, etc. each year. Why do those items need to be purchased from the consortium?
According to the ALSDE Funding and Accountability Dept. and our school system's auditors, the $15,000 bid law is considered by category.
According to the ALSDE Funding and Accountability Dept. and our school system's auditors, the $15,000 bid law is considered by category. Those items fall within the information technology (IT) category and are cumulative.
"Individual purchases less than $15,000 may be subject to competitive bidding if a school board can reasonably expect to purchase more than $15,000 for like items during the year. School systems may purchase items without bidding by purchasing from the state bid list; however, a school system may not purchase items without bidding on the grounds that a vendor's price is less than the state bid list."
No. Unfortunately, the school system is bound by bid laws.
Until the law is changed, if the school system purchases like items over $15,000 in a fiscal year, they must be purchased through a bid process. Sometimes the bid law causes the school system to pay a higher price.
If computer hardware purchases must be through a consortium, is the state technology consortium my only option?
The state technology consortium prices can be compared to prices through the U. S. Communities consortium.
The bid law only applies to funds generated through taxes. Why should I purchase from the bid list if I'm using funds generated by my school through fundraisers or Foundation grants?
Computer hardware purchased through the bid process comes with an extended warranty, Microsoft Office, network card and antivirus protection.
Computer hardware purchased through the bid process comes with an extended warranty, Microsoft Office, network card and antivirus protection. If a school chooses to use fundraiser funds or grant funds to purchase computer hardware outside of the bid process, they will be responsible for paying for the equipment to be brought up to the specifications of other equipment in the school system before it is attached to the network. There are no extra copies of Microsoft Office or antivirus protection that can be made available if a computer is purchased without those items. At no time will a computer be attached to the network without the proper antivirus protection since this would put the whole network at risk.
Why does the school system purchase computer hardware (computers, document cameras, smart boards, LCD projectors, student response systems, etc.) from a consortium if I can buy them cheaper at a local retail store?
We must comply with the bid law.
ALSDE has very stringent requirements that must be met by vendors who are allowed to place bids for technology through the technology consortium. All vendors are required to maintain an ISO 9001 Certification, provide a free extended warranty on equipment and guarantee a minimum response time on warranty repairs.
Many times the equipment on bid list exceeds specifications of equipment sold in stores.