DJ: Purchasing

D: Fiscal Management


 The Board of Education of School District No. 39 (Vancouver), in the performance of the duties assigned to it under the terms of the School Act, must of necessity engage in the procurement of goods, services and construction.  In its effort to achieve maximum economy and efficiency in the performance of this function, the Board has endorsed certain fundamental principles it considers applicable to public procurement including Board regulation that gives effect to such policy. 

These Purchasing Policies and Regulations are for the guidance of Board staff and to give notice to prospective proponents and others dealing with the Board of its policies and procedures, with the expectation to: 

(a)       Maximizing economy and efficiency in procurement;

(b)       Fostering and encouraging participation in procurement proceedings by vendors where appropriate;

(c)        Promoting competition among vendors for the supply of the goods, services or construction to be procured;

(d)       Providing for the fair and equitable treatment of all vendors;

(e)       Promoting the integrity of, and fairness and public confidence in, the procurement process; and

(f)        Achieving transparency in the procedures relating to procurement. 


The following are objectives for procurement activity for goods, services and construction consistent with the expectations as identified above. 

  • Procurements are managed consistent with; Board policy, applicable trade and intergovernmental agreements, and  procurement law.
  • Attain value for money.
  • Vendors have fair access to information on procurement opportunities, processes and results.
  • Providing for the fair and equitable treatment of all suppliers and contractors.
  • Acquisition and disposal opportunities are competed, wherever practical.
  • The Board engage in a procurement process as required with the full intent to award a contract at the end of that process.
  • All Board budget sponsors including schools and departments are accountable for the results of their procurement decisions.
  • The Board buying power is leveraged through contractual arrangements and demand aggregation, wherever practical.
  • The cost of the procurement process, to both vendors and the Board is appropriate in relation to the value and complexity of each procurement.
  • Procurements made by the Board consider the health and safety of Board students and staff.
  • Procurements made by the Board consider environmental sustainability. 

Core Procurement Policy 

It is the policy of the Board to procure based on the principles of: fair and open competition, demand aggregation, transparency and accountability, health and safety of staff and students, and so seek the best value for money consistent with the Board’s objective while giving consideration to environmental sustainability. 

All Board department and school purchases regardless of the source of funding must be under the direction of the Board Purchasing department.  Within their authority, all Board schools, departments and programs must identify opportunities for demand aggregation that provide best value for money consistent with the Board’s objectives, and all Board schools and departments must participate in contracts established by the Purchasing department and advise the Purchasing Department of their procurement plans and requirements for common goods, services and construction in advance of program needs. 

Roles and Responsibilities 

The Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible, through and to the Superintendent of Schools, for all purchases required by the Board within the scope of this policy. To carry out the duties involved, a Purchasing Department has been set up within the Secretary-Treasurer's Office, with a Manager Purchasing and Administrative Services as the department head who reports to the Secretary Treasurer. 

The purchasing department is to provide procurement discretion and flexibility for the district, schools and departments within the granted authority and subject to optimizing best value for money for the school district as a whole. 

Purchasing is responsible for: 

  • developing and revising corporate procurement policy and providing official communications and interpretations of this procurement policy;
  • providing support and advice on corporate procurement policy, including development and management of a procurement procedural manual ;
  • providing operational advice to the Boards District Management Team (DMT);  
  • providing advice on all transactions involving Copyright and Intellectual Property;
  • monitoring and reporting for compliance with this procurement policy;
  • establishing, managing and fully documenting the processes to acquire goods, services and construction that will provide best value for money to the Board as required;
  • establish and update  procurement and contract documents as required;
  • record and track all procurement related contracts;
  • managing solicitation and contract award processes in a prudent and unbiased manner that fairly treats all potential proponents;
  • ensuring that contracts for goods, services and construction are designed to provide the best value for money to the Board;
  • develop standards for goods and services in cooperation with district departments and schools;
  • identifying and using existing cooperative and shared services goods and services arrangements when able to meet essential requirements;
  • ensuring that all Board acquisitions and disposals are consistent with policy, applicable legislation, trade and intergovernmental agreements and  procurement law;
  • establishing and managing policy for a formal vendor complaints resolution process;
  • declaring goods surplus when their use to the Board has ended;
  • disposing of all tangible and intangible assets that are surplus to the Board; and ensuring compliance with this policy.  

• General 

This policy applies to procurement contracts (e.g. agreements to procure goods, services and construction) and to contract expenditures chargeable whether funded through ministry provided funds, Vancouver Board of Education revenues or school generated funds.    

Vancouver School Board, School District No. 39 (Vancouver), Vancouver, B.C.

DMT Responsibility: AST-Finance

Adopted Date: 
Friday February 08, 1980
Revision Date: 
Jan 1999
May 2012