Purchasing

Vendor Information

All competitive sealed solicitations issued by the Tucson Unified School District Purchasing Department are posted on www.AZPurchasing.org. TUSD's official bidders list will be maintained by AZ Purchasing. We encourage you to enroll with AZ Purchasing to ensure your access to competitive sealed solicitations from TUSD.

To register, please go to the following website and follow the instructions: www.AZPurchasing.org

AZ Purchasing

If you are already a member of AZ Purchasing, please make sure your contact information is up to date.

This vendor information is posted to familiarize individuals and businesses with TUSD Governing Board Policy #DJ, Purchasing Procedures (available in MS Word | available in Adobe PDF). It is intended to be a general guide only. You may obtain additional information by calling the TUSD Purchasing Department at (520) 225-6080.

Doing Business With Public Entities (in PDF)

  1. Basic purchasing policies of the TUSD Governing Board.
  2. What does TUSD buy & how does my firm get involved?
  3. What are TUSD's quotation requirements?
  4. How does TUSD solicit, award & issue contracts?
  5. How is payment made?
  6. Some important points.

To register with other Arizona school districts, go here: www.mpsaz.org/purchasing/swvendreglinks.

Basic purchasing policies of the TUSD Governing Board

Policies and procedures used by TUSD shall be consistent with the Arizona Department of Education School District Procurement Rules and appropriate sections of the Arizona Revised Statues.

Policies and procedures will be designed to obtain maximum benefit for the educational mission of the Tucson Unified School District.

Policies and procedures will be designed to promote the active participation of qualified vendors, and will provide for fair, open and nondiscriminatory competition.

Conflict of interest of any kind will not be tolerated.

Question What are TUSD’s quotation requirements?

Answer The following requirements apply to all procurement of materials, services and construction.

If the cumulative District purchases from one source will be for less than $10,000, a single firm price quote is normally required. When appropriate, catalog prices may be used for these purchases.

If the cumulative District purchases from one source have a cost of at least $10,000, but less than $50,000, we request oral or written quotations from three or more vendors.

Cumulative District purchases from one source having a cost of at least $50,000, but less than $100,000 requires that we request written quotations from at least three vendors.

If cumulative District purchases from one source will exceed $100,000, we issue a formal invitation for bid or request for proposals.

Emergency and sole source purchases may result in exceptions to these rules.

Question How does TUSD solicit, award & issue contracts?

Answer TUSD awards its procurement contracts to vendors that provide good value, service and reliability. The method for determining the vendor varies by procurement type.

Purchases under the formal competitive procurement threshold, $100,000, are generally awarded to the vendor who offers the low quote, and also meets the specification and performance requirements of the purchase.

If the competitive sealed bid or proposal process is used, notices of invitation for bid or request for proposals are sent to every vendor on the appropriate bidders list. These invitations and requests normally contain all the information needed to make a responsive bid or offer.

All current invitations for bid and requests for proposals are posted in the Purchasing Department. When we have fewer than 5 vendors registered for a formal invitation or request, we advertise it in the daily newspapers before the bid or proposal is due. Offers may be submitted in response to an invitation for bid or request for proposals by any qualified vendor, whether or not registered with the Purchasing Department. It is very important that bids and proposals be responsive. Responsive means that the bid or proposal complies with all material aspects of the invitation or request. In particular, specifications, delivery dates, quantities, and warranty requirements must be met. Failure to do so may result in a bid or proposal being rejected.

Sealed bids and proposals are opened at a public bid opening in the TUSD Purchasing Department. Bid openings are held on the same day that bids or proposals are due. The due date and time can always be found in the solicitation. After bids are opened, a summary or abstract of the bids is prepared, and is available upon request from the Purchasing Department. An abstract is not prepared for proposals, because the information must remain confidential until after award. A late bid or proposal is rejected without opening, and the bidder is so notified.

Bids are awarded to low responsive and responsible bidders, as required by the Arizona Department of Education School District Procurement Rules. Responsive was defined above. Responsible means that the vendor demonstrates the intent and ability to perform an awarded contract.

The low responsive and responsible vendor is often, but not always the lowest cost bid. Because of the responsive and responsible requirement, price is not the sole factor in bid award.

Proposals are awarded to vendors whose offers are determined to be most advantageous to TUSD. Most advantageous means in TUSD’s best interest and is not necessarily the lowest cost.

TUSD reserves the right to accept or reject any bid or proposal, or part thereof, when doing so is determined to be in its best interest.

QuestionHow is payment made?

AnswerPayment is made when the TUSD Finance Department has a valid purchase order, a proper vendor invoice and a proper TUSD receiving document. Generally, payment cannot be made until goods or services are received; however, the District can often pay for partial shipments to encourage prompt delivery. Vendor invoices must refer to the correct purchase order number. TUSDs preferred method of payment is a commercial credit card. TUSD will not pay any additional fees associated with credit card processing. TUSD reserves the right to assess a 5% check processing fee when credit cards are not an available method of payment.

Some important points:

Documents related to a TUSD purchase generally must be available for public inspection. However, a vendor may request that information be considered confidential or proprietary. Upon receipt of a request, TUSD will review the information and notify the vendor as to whether it will remain confidential or be available for public inspection after award of a contract.

A vendor who provides a set of specifications for TUSD to use in a procurement does not jeopardize its eligibility to compete for the procurement.

Bid, performance and payment security may be required for some purchases. The acceptable form of security is generally a surety bond issued by a company licensed to do business in Arizona. Security requirements are listed in the invitation for bid or request for proposals, when applicable.

TUSD is authorized to inspect a vendor's plant, and/or audit its records, when this is deemed necessary to ensure contract performance.

Purchase orders signed by authorized District officials represent valid procurement contracts for TUSD. Vendors should not accept orders for materials, services or construction without first receiving a properly issued purchase order.

TUSD participates in cooperative purchasing, utilizing another public procurement contract, when it is advantageous to the District. Our most common use of cooperative purchasing is through the State of Arizona and the Mohave Educational Services Cooperative.

We trust this provides the general information needed to begin doing business with TUSD. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We encourage your participation in our procurement, and look forward to a positive and productive partnership that supports the education of children in our community.