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AP 515: Purchasing and Procurement Procedures


Purchasing and procurement of necessary supplies, equipment, and services for use in the educational program and for the various support programs represents a significant expenditure. A competitive method of purchasing shall be utilized to obtain maximum value for every dollar expended consistent with open and transparent procurement practices.

Purchasing and procurement procedures shall reflect sound business, financial and environmentally friendly practices, and value in obtaining prices and shall align with budget priorities and plans.

The Division shall, wherever financially and operationally appropriate, utilize local firms as suppliers of goods and services.


  1. The following factors shall apply in the selection of suppliers:
    1. Cost.
    2. Reliability of the product and the supplier.
    3. Ability to deliver on time.
    4. After sales service, maintenance, and warranty.
    5. Features of a product.
  2. All purchases under $5,000 will be made with the following criteria in mind:
    1. Every effort will be made to obtain the best value for instructional dollars.
    2. Purchases must be made with integrity, accountability and transparency.
    3. The decision as to how to obtain the best price rests with each site based manager.
    4. Purchases involving the acquisition of technology, shall be made in conjunction with the Division’s Information Technology Department.
    5. Purchases of cash gift cards and non-cash gifts or awards require prior approval from the Secretary Treasurer or Designate.
  3. When possible, all purchases under $5,000 will be made with a Division purchase card.
  4. The purchase of goods and services exceeding an aggregate cost of $5,000 are to be forwarded to the Secretary Treasurer or designate for determination of appropriate purchasing/procurement procedure and approval.
  5. Agreements and contracts exceeding $5,000 and/or in excess of a 12 month period must be approved by the Secretary Treasurer or designate.
  6. The purchase of new computer software or hardware may require a privacy impact assessment.
  7. Division owned vehicle purchases shall be made in conjunction with the Director of Transportation.
  8. All proposed expenditures of goods and services in excess of $75,000 or $200,000 in the case of construction projects, must be tendered using Alberta Purchasing Connection Electronic tendering System (APC) in accordance with the New West Trade Partnership Agreement (NWTPA).
  9. Procurement exemptions to the NWTPA Agreement are outlined in Part V of the Agreement and include, but not limited to procurement:
    1. from a public body or a non-profit organization;
    2. of health services and social services;
    3. on behalf of an entity not covered by Article 14;
    4. where it can be demonstrated that only one supplier is able to meet the requirements of a procurement;
    5. where an unforeseeable situation of urgency exists and the goods, services or construction could not be obtained in time by means of open procurement procedures;
    6. when the acquisition is of a confidential or privileged nature and disclosure through an open bidding process could reasonably be expected to compromise government confidentiality, cause economic disruption or be contrary to the public interest;
    7. of services provided by lawyers and notaries;
    8. of goods intended for resale to the public; or
    9. in the absence of a receipt of any bids in response to a call for tenders.
  10. If purchasing is deemed advantageous to the Division by an invitation to bid or a Request for Proposal or a tendering process by the department or site manager then the following shall apply:
    1. The Secretary Treasurer shall oversee all Division level bidding, tendering or RFPs.
    2. The procurement process shall be conducted in accordance with the following guidelines:
      1. Written specifications shall be prepared wherever possible by the department or manager.
      2. Invitations to bid shall be sent to appropriate suppliers or a public invitation to tender shall be advertised through local newspapers where appropriate.
      3. Bids or tenders shall remain sealed until the specified opening date and time and shall be opened in the presence of at least two Division staff members to serve as witnesses,
      4. No bids or tenders will be accepted after a specified deadline.
      5. Suppliers shall be invited to attend the opening of bids or tenders.
      6. The lowest bid or tender price will normally be accepted,
        1. Where the lowest price is not accepted justification shall be provided.
  11. Standing offer contracts shall be reviewed at the end of their term to ensure the lowest possible
    competitive price.