Design and implementation of certain purchasing processes will result in more successful school district operations. Although not all inclusive, these processes include:
• Planning and Coordination. The school district should develop a comprehensive plan to determine how various purchasing methods will be implemented and the timing of key activities such as annual bid or proposal requirements. Responsibility for coordination of purchasing activities should be assigned to a responsible administrator to ensure that needs are met.
• Purchasing Infrastructure Development. Comprehensive policies and procedures, implementation of processes to support these procedures, on-going training of users, and monitoring of the overall purchasing function to ensure sound operations require careful development.
• User Responsiveness. To operate successfully, the purchasing function must be responsive. This includes ensuring that communication lines are open and that a user perspective is incorporated into all processes.
• Consistent Compliance with Requirements. The school district should ensure that enforcement mechanisms for laws, regulations, policies and ethical standards are in place and monitored.
Comprehensive information about specific purchasing design issues school districts face follow in this module. They include more detail on the purchasing process, purchasing responsibilities, cooperative purchasing and competitive procurement with examples from representative school districts. The examples can be utilized as references and guides which can be customized to meet individual school district requirements.