This information is being provided as a source to all vendors and prospective bidders who wish to do business with Guilford County Schools. It describes how the Guilford County Schools' purchasing process works, and explains the policies upon which these procedures are based. In doing so, we hope to encourage qualified vendors to compete for the school system's business. All qualified vendors and sales representatives are invited to call on the Purchasing Department and become fully acquainted with the many types of equipment, materials, supplies and construction projects required by the school system.
The Guilford County Schools' Purchasing Department carries out its responsibilities and established procedures in accordance with policies set forth in the purchasing manuals of the State of North Carolina, Purchase and Contract Division, and the North Carolina General Statutes. The school system intends that its purchasing be conducted on an open, ethical and sound basis so that the tax payer receives full value for each dollar spent.
Code of Ethics
The staff of the Purchasing Department is committed to the following Code of Ethics:
*To conduct all purchasing activities according to applicable laws, rules, regulations and policies of the Board of Education
*To uphold the practices and principles of the professional purchaser
*To conduct all purchasing activities in such a manner as to develop and maintain good public, vendor and internal relationships
*To encourage fair and open competition by legitimate and ethical means
*To extend honest, courteous and impartial treatment to all interested and qualified suppliers
*To maintain purchasing integrity at all times, keep free from any personal obligations to vendors and respect their confidence
*To promote the goodwill of the Purchasing Department at all times
*To respect purchasing authority at all times, and not use it for private advantage or gain
Calling on Purchasing
Vendors interested in selling or providing services to the Guilford County Schools are invited to call on the Purchasing Department. A mutually beneficial visit is usually assured by calling ahead and scheduling the time with one of the Purchasing Agents. The Purchasing Agent can also, if desirable, arrange to have a representative on hand from the department that is interested in the vendor's product or service. You may go to the Department Directory to obtain information about which Purchasing Agent you should call. Vendors not in our vendor file are encouraged to complete an application for the Vendors List. A vendor application is available at this site. Simply print, complete, mail, fax or email it to the Purchasing Department. A vendor application may also be obtained by mailing, emailing or telephoning a request to the Purchasing Department. Submission of the application tells us the type of commodities or services offered by the vendor, length of time in business, warehouse facilities, service and trade personnel available and other pertinent facts. This information may be supplemented by vendor catalogs, brochures or other related materials. Applicants who meet reasonable requirements are placed on the active vendor's list. Thereafter, they can receive request to submit or proposals for the commodities or services as indicated on their application. Vendors not on the active vendor's list may still respond to invitations to bid.
Sales Calls Instructions
Sales persons are expected to:
*Call in advance, if possible, to make an appointment at a time convenient to the Purchasing Agent during normal business hours. State clearly when making the appointment that it is to be a sales call, and give a brief description of the product or service offered
*Arrive on time for the appointment
*Have a brief presentation prepared to explain the essential characteristics or features of the product or service
*Keep the presentation within the time agreed upon
The Purchasing Agent is expected to:
*Be available for appointments during normal business hours on reasonable notice
*Be on time to receive the salesperson
*Listen attentively to the presentation, and try to determine whether the product or service will benefit the school system
*Have appropriate staff at the meeting, or arrange a future meeting so that the worth of the product or service is adequately evaluated
Methods of Purchasing and Contracting
Equipment, materials and supplies are purchased in one of two ways:
*Equipment, materials and supplies available on established State Term Contracts or GCS bids are generally purchased in accordance with these contracts
*Equipment, materials and supplies not covered by State Term Contracts and totaling less than$90,000 may be purchased locally by soliciting competitive quotations
Construction projects are bid in one of two ways:
*Formal Bid Procedures are used for construction projects estimated to cost more than $500,000. Projects are advertised publicly and sealed bids accompanied by a 5% bid deposit are received. The successful contractor must provide 100% performance and payment bonds
*Informal Bid Procedures are used for projects estimated to cost $30,000 up to $499,999.99. Written request for quotes are received. Advertising, bid deposit and performance and payment bond requirements are at the discretion of the District
Minority, Women and Disabled-Owned Businesses
Minority-owned, women-owned and disabled-owned business enterprises are encouraged to submit bids for all goods, services and construction projects. The Guilford County Board of Education awards public contracts without regard to race, religion, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, or handicapping condition as defined by North Carolina General Statutes, Section 168A-3.
The Guilford County Schools' Purchasing Department seeks to carry out the purchasing process in the best interest of Guilford County Schools at all times. It does so in accordance with the General Statutes and recognized professional purchasing practices.