Purchasing Code of Ethics
The Alvord Unified School District shall follow all policies and regulations authorized and adopted by the District’s Board of Education. Additionally, the District subscribes to the following Code of Ethics for the procurement of goods and services, developed by the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) and California Department of Education.
- To regard public service as a sacred trust of the community, giving primary consideration to the interests of the school district by which we are employed.
- To demand truth and honesty in the purchase of goods and services.
- To avoid unfair, unethical, or compromising practices, conflicts of interest or the abuse of our trust as representatives of the District.
- To purchase without a personal interest, private advantage or prejudice, seeking to obtain the maximum benefit for each tax dollar expended.
- To purchase the proper product for the purpose required, when and where it is needed.
- To purchase goods and services at the most competitive price possible with maximum benefit to the District.
- To provide all qualified vendors with an equal opportunity for purchases by the District.
- To treat vendors with the same fairness, dignity and respect that the District wishes to receive.
- To respect the District’s obligations and to require that the vendor respect their obligation(s) to the District.
- To strive constantly for improvement of the quality of products that are purchased and the District’s purchasing methods.
- To counsel and assist fellow purchasing officers in the performance of their duties.
- To cooperate with all organizations and individuals engaged in enhancing the development and standing of the purchasing profession.
- To remember that everything we do reflects on the District, and to govern our every action accordingly.
- To diligently follow all lawful instructions while using professional judgment, reasonable care, and exercising only the authority granted;
- To never solicit or accept money, loans, credits, or prejudicial discounts, and avoid the acceptance of gifts, entertainment, favors, or services from present or potential suppliers which might influence or appear to influence purchasing decisions;
- To provide an environment where all business concerns, large or small, majority or minority owned, are afforded an equal opportunity to compete for the District’s business; and,
- To conduct all purchasing activities in accordance with the laws, while remaining alert to the legal ramifications of the purchasing decisions;
District personnel must conduct all procurement transactions in a manner that allows full and open competition consistent with the standards stated in 2 CFR, Section 200.319. To ensure objective vendor performance and eliminate any unfair competitive advantage, vendors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, invitations for bid (IFB), or requests for proposal (RFP) must be excluded from competing for the bid (2 CFR, Section 200.319[a]).
Actions that restrict competition include, but are not limited to:
- Placing unreasonable requirements on firms in order for them to qualify to do business.
- Requiring unnecessary experience and excessive bonding.
- Conducting noncompetitive pricing practices between firms or between affiliated companies.
- Awarding noncompetitive contracts to consultants who are on retainer contracts.
- Allowing organizational conflicts of interests.
- Specifying brand name product instead of allowing an equal product to be offered by describing product performance or other relevant requirements.
- Engaging in any arbitrary action during the procurement process such as awarding a contract without valid reason to a vendor that did not rank first or lowest in price according to the agency's evaluation criteria when awarding a contract.
Incentives that may serve to induce or influence an employee engaged in the selection, award, or administration of contracts may be unlawful. Examples of incentives include, but are not limited to:
- Extra goods or services that were not solicited
- Gifts (such as free merchandise, extra tickets, gift cards)
- Money for scholarships
- Points that can be redeemed for merchandise
To avoid noncompliance with federal procurement regulations (including, but not limited to 2 CFR, sections 200.318, 200.319, and 400.2) and to prevent bid protests, this written Code of Conduct prohibits staff from accepting any incentives offered by a bidder for any staff member’s personal use.
Incentives solicited by an RFP or IFB may be allowable if the incentive or related item benefits the district operation.
When requesting incentives, the staff must keep in mind the following:
- All responsive bids or proposals, including those without the requested incentives, must be evaluated.
- All requested incentives must exclusively and directly benefit the program; incentives that are retained by the district for non-program use, or given to employees or students as a reward for an accomplishment, are not allowed.
- Soliciting incentives must not create a barrier to full and open competition.
- Eliminating bidders based on the provision of incentives or points programs limits full and open competition by placing unreasonable requirements on those bidders that are unable or unwilling to provide such incentives.
- Requesting incentives may reduce the pool of bidders.
- Unless all bidders can offer the solicited incentives, the staff may not score the solicited item as part of the evaluation criteria.
- Bids and proposals that include unsolicited incentives are considered overly responsive and staff may be required to disqualify overly responsive bids, especially if it causes a material change to the RFP.