Procurement Information

To: Needham Public Schools Staff Members
From: Anne Gulati, Director of Financial Operations
Re: Purchasing Supplies and Services 

The information provided below is for the procurement and purchase of supplies and services during the school year. This information includes a description of the Needham Public Schools purchasing process and approved "bid vendors" for the upcoming year. It also includes instructions for using Comm-BUYS(the state's online purchasing system), interlocal cooperative purchasing contracts, and TEC (The Education Cooperative) bid vendors.

Click on the category below to advance to specific selection:
Needham Public Schools Purchasing Process

The attached chart, Purchasing Process Summary Chart, illustrates Needham Public Schools purchasing process. Needham follows Mass General Law, Chapter 30B Uniform Procurement Rules for the purchase of supplies and services. These rules require that:
  • You must purchase educational and administrative supplies, including classroom materials, art supplies, athletic and physical education equipment and supplies, science supplies and equipment, student books, library books, textbooks (except when distributed by a single source), Think Math! materials, educational technology, technology supplies, software, instructional equipment, furniture, office supplies, and medical and therapeutic supplies, from Approved Bid Vendors. These vendors are described below, and include vendors on State Contract, interlocal cooperative purchasing programs, TEC Bid, and MLS (Massachusetts Library System) Bids, as well as vendors selected through competitive sealed procurements conducted by Needham Public Schools. You are not required to purchase proprietary textbooks or curriculum materials, which are commonly distributed by a single source, from the Approved Bid Vendors. Proprietary textbooks and curriculum materials may be procured separately, using the Chapter 30B rules described on the Purchasing Process Summary Chart.
  • If a desired educational or administrative supply is not available from any of the Approved Bid Vendors, and none of these vendors offers a reasonable facsimile supply, schools and departments may conduct a separate procurement following Chapter 30B procurement rules. These rules are described on the Purchasing Process Summary Chart and require that quotes and a contract be solicited for purchases of $10,000-$49,999, and for sealed bids to be issued for purchases over $50,000.
  • For all other materials and services, use the Chapter 30B purchasing procedure described on the Purchasing Process Summary Chart. These materials and services include, but are not limited to: textbooks and curriculum materials, network hardware, specialized technology items, specialized instructional equipment, specialized software and services of all kinds. Some of these items also are available from state contract and NPS bid vendors, which is a quick and easy way to satisfy the procurement requirements.
  • All contracts for the purchase of goods or service must be signed by the Director of Financial Operations or the Superintendent of Schools. Contracts signed by other parties are not legally binding and will be considered null and void. Additionally, before goods and services may be ordered, a valid Needham Public Schools purchase order must be created and approved by the Director of Financial Operations. Needham Public Schools is not obligated to pay for purchases that have been made without a purchase order. An employee who initiates purchasing activity without authorization may be held personnally liable for the purchase. Moreover, Needham Public Schools cannot pay for goods and services that have not been properly procured under the law.
  • When purchasing from the Approved Bid Vendors, you must properly identify the bid vendor on the requisition request, so that it appears on the PO:
  • Contract Name - i.e, "TEC Bid," "MLS," “CREC,” “PEPPM,” “TIPS/TAPS,”“MHEC,” or "NJPA"
  • Contract Number - i.e., "State Contract OFF 20," "TIPS/TAPS #3012612"
  • Contract Expiration Date - i.e. "Expiration 9/30/17"
  • For Interlocal Cooperative (CREC, TIPS/TAPS, PEPPM, MHEC, NJPA) attach a printout of the vendor /contract information from the website, to identify purchase terms and conditions.
The purchase process begins when a school or department submits a purchase requisition. The Central Office Accounting Department converts each requisition to a purchase order.

The process for creating a requisition is simple:
  • Complete the Requisition Request Form (see NPS Forms below) using an Approved Bid Vendor, per the above instructions.
  • Obtain Department Dead or Principal approval for your purchase via signature on the Requisition Request Form.
  • Forward the completed Requisition Request Form to the School Bookkeeper for processing.
The School Bookkeeper is responsible for assembling the required procurement documentation and for conducting any separate procurements that are required, such as when the Approved Bid Vendors do not offer a reasonable facsimile of the desired supply or service. To facilitate this process, Department staff may assist the bookkeeper to obtain quotes or other purchase documentation.

The School Bookkeeper will enter each requisition request into the financial system, including any backup purchase or procurement documetation. Central Office Accounting will review the requisition for accuracy and completeness and will forward the requisition to the Director of Financial Operations for approval.

The Director of Financial Operations will review all requisitions. Upon approval, the Central Office Accounting Department will convert the requisition to a purchase order and will send the purchase order to the vendor (unless it has received instructions to the contrary), and will maintain the official documentation file for each procurement. The Town Accountant is responsible for maintaining the official record of District purchases, for document retention and audit purposes.

Once created, a purchase order may be changed only with the approval of the Director of Financial Operations. State law generally will not permit a purchase order to be increased by more 25%, for prices to increase after the fact, or for items to be substituted that would alter the scope of the original procurement or could be prejudicial to competition.

Additional Information for Staff & Students
Staff members may be reimbursed for their out-of-pocket work-related expenses, under the following circumstances:
  • Conference/travel expenses.
  • Emergencies and extenuating circumstances, at the discretion of the Director of Financial Operations. An example of an extenuating circumstance is when a vendor does not accept purchase orders.
Students may be reimbursed for expenses related to approved student activities.

Needham Public Schools will not reimburse the expenses of non-staff members, such as parents or volunteers.

NPS Forms
Budget Information
Operating budget information has been sent to each Principal and Director under separate cover.

Questions and Assistance
If you have a question or need assistance with the procurement materials, the ordering process, or about a particular vendor, please contact Melane Bisbas in the Business Office. Procurement assistance at the school level is available from your School Bookkeeper.

General Contract Information

State Contracts
Many bid vendors are available through procurement contracts issued by the State. State Contracts are available on Comm-BUYS. Comm-BUYS is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Procurement and Solicitation System. It is the only official procurement record system for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Departments. Comm-BUYS offers free internet-based access to all public procurement information in order to promote transparency, increase competition, and achieve best value for Massachusetts taxpayers.

Information about using Comm-BUYS, and about commonly-used state contract vendors is embedded in this document. For additional information, or to browse all state contracts, visit the Comm-BUYS website at: http://www.comm-buys.com/. For helpful information about using state contracts, or for summary information about a specific contract, visit the State's new use guides webpage at:
http://www.mass.gov/anf/budget-taxes-and-procurement/procurement-info-and-res/buy-from-a-state-contract/statewide-contract-user-guides.html. Unfortunately, staff are not allowed to purchase from an expired state contract, or to use vendors who have not been awarded the successor contract. Additionally, staff members are urged to read the state contract information carefully; in many cases, vendors receive partial or category awards under a bid, so may not be authorized to sell every item.

TEC (The Education Cooperative)
As a member of the TEC Collaborative, Needham Public Schools also participates in the TEC cooperative purchasing program. The cooperative purchasing program is able to realize substantial savings for supplies and equipment in a variety of categories. These categories include Paper, Office, Classroom, Art, and Computer Supplies, Athletics and Physical Education Equipment and Supplies, Food Service Supplies, and Custodial Supplies. Information about TEC bid vendors is presented below, by category or supply.

On July 27, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law Chapter 188 of the Acts of 2010, an Act relative to Municipal Relief (Act). The Act added a new section to M.G.L. c.30B, M.G.L. c.30B, §22, which allows municipalities to purchase from contracts that have already been procured by the federal government, or another state, or local government entity, provided the contract is open to Massachusetts governmental bodies and was procured in a manner that constitutes fair and open competition.

Needham currently has an agreement to participate in cooperative purchasing programs sponsored by the Capital Regional Education Council (CREC), the TIPS/TAPS purchasing cooperative, the Pennsylvania Education Purchasing Program for Microcomputers (PEPPM) the Massachusetts Higher Education Council (MHEC) purchasing program and the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA). All of these programs satisfy the above conditions.

Needham Public Schools Bids
Needham Public Schools issues bids for goods and services. Where available, these bids are noted below.

The next section contains information about the many bid vendors available through these programs.

Using Vendors from Interlocal Cooperative Purchasing Programs (CREC, PEPPM, TIPS/TAPS, MHEC, Sourcewell)

Supplies Only!
Under the law, only supplies may be purchased through these contracts. Intergovernmental cooperative purchasing does not apply to the purchase of services, or to the purchase of construction and construction materials estimated to cost $10,000 or more. Contracts for construction materials estimated to cost less than $10,000 require the use of sound business practices. Please visit http://www.mass.gov/ig/ for more information on cooperative purchasing, including best practices for its use.

Browsing the Contracts
It is best to visit the website of each entity and click through to the vendor section using the directions below. It is worth noting that the vendors will change because the entities go through the bidding process on a rolling basis. Visit the entity websites often to be sure your vendor continues to be affiliated with the entities.

Using the Contracts
The process to use these contracts is very similar to that currently used for state contract vendors:
  • Login to the CREC, PEPPM, TIPS/TAPS, MHEC or Sourcewell website (directions are noted below)
  • Search the contract for the desired vendors or service
  • Fill out a NPS Requisition Request Form for the desired supply item. The requisition request must identify the following: name of the applicable contract, e.g. “CREC,” “PEPPM”, “TIPS/TAPS”, “MHEC” or "Sourcewell" and the contract expiration date.
  • Attach a printout of the vendor/contract (from the website) purchase terms and conditions to the requisition.
  • Attach any other required documentation to the requisition request, such as a vendor-required form or order list.
  • Forward the Requisition Request to your School Bookkeeper for processing.
  • The School Bookkeeper will enter the requisition request into the Financial System.
Central Office Accounting will verify the validity of the vendor contract, process the requisition, and create a purchase order for the Director of Financial Operations to review. Upon approval by the Director of Financial Operations, Central Office Accounting will fax, email, or mail the purchase order to the vendor.

Capital Region Education Council (CREC)

Logging into CREC:
Obtain your Login and Password from Melane Bisbas in the Business Office at (781) 455-0400 x204
  • Go to http://www.crec.org/index.php.
  • Click on Cooperative Purchasing in the Administrators section of the website.
  • Then click on the Awarded Bids link. Here you will be prompted for a user name and password.
Each bid is set up with tabs along the bottom, which are identified as Cover Page, Award Summary, Customer Shipping Information, and individual tabs for each awarded vendor. Pricing and terms and conditions are also provided. Complete your order in the worksheet and attach to the NPS Requisition Request form, along with a printout of the vendor/contract information, and forward to Central Accounting Department for processing.

CREC contracts include, but are not limited to:
  • Audio Visual & Office Machines
  • Projector Lamps and Bulbs
  • Health Supplies
  • Classroom, Office & Art Supplies
  • Multi-Purpose Paper
       
  • Pennsylvania Education Purchasing Program for Microcomputers (PEPPM)

  • Logging into PEPPM:

    There are two ways to log into PEPPM:
    • Log on to www.PEPPM.org. From the Select Other States drop down menu choose Massachusetts.

    No login or password is required to use PEPPM. The price you see or is quoted to you is the price you pay.

    PEPPM contracts include, but are not limited to:
  • Technology hardware and supplies
  • Network hardware and supplies
  • Media hardware and supplies
    PEPPM's representatives are available to help with any questions:

    PEPPM Program
    90 Lawton Lane, Milton, PA 17847
    855-654-5290 (toll free)

    The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS/TAPS)

    Logging into TIPS/TAPS:
  • Direct link: http://tips-usa.com/
  • From the Members tab, select Contract/Commodities to view the list of commodities.
  • Click on the commodity to see awarded vendor/s.
  • Click on the vendor link to be brought to a summary page of vendor details, purchase order requirements, vendor contact information, and link to the vendor website.
    If you have a questions relating to the purchase, please contact the Awarded Vendor Representative, as listed on the vendor page.

    Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC)

    Logging into MHEC:
    Obtain your Login and Password from Melane Bisbas in the Business Office at (781) 455-0400 x204
    • Direct link: http://mhec.net/
    Follow instructions to browse or search for a contract or vendor.

    Logging into MHEC:
    • Obtain your Login and Password from Melane Bisbas in the Business Office at (781) 455-0400 ext 204

    Sourcewell formerly (NJPA)
    No login or password is required to use Sourcewell
    NPS School Member # is: 15733
    General Info 1-877-585-9707
    membership@sourcewell-mn.gov

    Using Needham Public Schools, State Contract and TEC Vendors

    Approved Bid Vendors are listed by category below. TEC bids are noted as "TEC Bid." State contracts are identified by the state contract number (for example, "OFF"). Other bid types are described as well. Expiration dates, catalog discounts, and where noted, instructions from vendors, are presented immediately after the vendor name.

    TEC awarded items are broken out into four separate categories. They are:
    • Category 1: Copy Paper
    • Category 2: Office Supplies
    • Category 3: Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    • Category 4: Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Please contact Melane Bisbas in the Business Office to be set up for online ordering, where available.

    Athletic and Physical Education Supplies

    TEC Bid
    TEC Athletic and Physical Education Supplies bid vendors are listed below. Order forms are also provided. Forward the completed TEC vendor order form to the Central Office Accounting Department for processing. Click here to view the Award Summary document for easy reference of awarded items and vendors.
    Prices in effect through 6/30/2019.
    For all TEC Athletic and Physical Education supply orders, there is $25 minimum.


    State Contracts 

    CLT08 - Expiration Date: 4/30/2020
    Clothing, Uniforms, Footwear, Accessories and Personal Care Hygiene Supplies

    Tips/Taps
    Sporting Goods Contract #170204 Expiration Date 4/23/2020
    Sporting goods Contract #180803 Expiration Date 10/31/2021

    Classroom, Education and Art Supplies

    TEC Bid
    Use the TEC vendor order forms below to place an order. Forward the completed TEC vendor order form to the Central Office Accounting Department for processing. Click here to view the TEC Bid Award Summary document for easy reference of awarded items and vendors.

    Some vendors offer catalog discounts and are noted below. Also, several of the vendors have online ordering capability. Contact Melane Bisbas in the Business Office for more information and to obtain website logins.
    For all TEC orders, there is $25 minimum.

    TEC Bid Vendors - Category #3 Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies:

    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    40% Discount off Laminating Film
    Email: gbc_orders@acco.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20
     
    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: artsupply@nii.net
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Category 4 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: gablanco@gablanco.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Reference "QBM5887" on requisitions
    20% off on non-bid items
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20
    Email: orders@dickblick.com
    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Reference: Bid #89332 on requisitions
    35% off Category 3 on non-bid items excluding furniture and capital equipment and
    direct ship
    Email:  todd@cascadeschoolsupplies.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Category 4 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Email: stewart.hinman@wbmason.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies and Art Supplies
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: levy@nationalartsupplies.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Category 2 - Catalog Discount: 80% on (non-bid items) off list price of the "Business Solutions Catalog 2019 BSD29"
    49% Discount: Category 3 Classroom Catalog 2019 BSD29
    TEC Price check: http://business.officedepot.com Login: tec price check Password: tec
    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Category 4 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: tec.orders@officedepot.com

    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Reference "21519TEC" on requisitions
    10% Catalog Discount: Category 3
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20
    Email: orders@pyramidsp.com 
     
    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    20% off Non-Bid items
    Reference "Tec Bid 1920-Art" on requisition
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20
    Email: cservice@ssww.com
     
    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Reference "7789510798" on requisitions
    32% Discount off non-bid items
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20
    Email: orders@schoolspecialty.com
     
    Category 3 - Classroom Paper, Supplies, and Art Supplies
    Reference "TEC Bid" on requisitions
    Pricing Firm through 4/30/20
    Email: suzy@sheffield-pottery.com

    Category 3 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Catalog Discount: 20% off Category 3
    Reference "44655" on requisitions
    Pricing firm through 4/30/19
    Email: info@triarcoarts.com
     
    State Contracts 

    OFF45 - Expiration Date: 9/30/22
    Art & Instructional School Supplies

    Tips/Taps
    Classroom and Teaching Aids Contract #180902 - Expiration Date: 11/30/21
     
    Furniture

    State Contract

    OFF38 - Expiration Date: 4/14/21
    Office, School, and Library Furniture, Accessories and Installation, Statewide
    • Awarded Vendor/Category/Sub Category chart will be posted when available.
    Tips/Taps
    • Furniture Contract #170302 Expiration Date 5/22/2020
    • Furniture Wayfair Contract #180305 Expiration Date 5/31/2020

    Health / Medical Supplies / Hazardous Medical Waste & Disposal
    State Contracts 
    HSP40 - Expiration Date: 6/30/20
    Medical Commodities
    Tips/Taps
  • • Medical Supplies Contract #170803 Expiration Date 10/29/2020  MHEC
    • Medical Commodities Contract #MC13D-32 Expiration Date 7/30/2020


    Massachusetts Library System (MLS) Material and Supply Cooperative
    FOR USE BY MEDIA CENTERS ONLY

    MLS recently announced a new collaboration with Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC).
    "MLS will be working closely with MHEC to ensure the same materials and supplies will be available, but at better price points."

    Go to MHEC http://mhec.net/ for additional information on participating vendors.

    Office Supplies, Including Copy Paper

    TEC Bid
    Use the TEC vendor order forms below to place an order. Forward the completed TEC vendor order form to the Central Office Accounting Department for processing. Click here to view the TEC Bid Award Summary document for easy reference of awarded items and vendors.

    Some vendors offer catalog discounts and are noted below. Also, several of the vendors have online ordering capability. Contact Melane Bisbas in the Business Office for more information and to obtain website logins.
    For all TEC orders, there is $25 minimum.

    TEC Bid Vendors - Categories #1 Copy Paper, and #2 Office Supplies:

    Category 1 - Copy Paper  
    Pricing firm for all items through 10/31/19. Escalation on Pallets from 11/1/19 through 1/31/20.

    Category 2 - Office Supplies
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    TIPS/TAPS
    Office and School Supplies Contract #18401 - Expiration Date: 6/30/21

    Student Science Supplies
  • Laboratory Supplies & Equipment:

    HSP41 - Expiration Date: 12/31/20
    Laboratory Supplies and Minor Equipment

    TIPS/TAPS
    Science Equipment and Supplies Contract #170804 - Expiration Date: 10/29/20
     
    MHEC
    Science Materials Contract #MC15-D05 Expiration Date 2/28/2019
    Science Materials Contract #MC12-D25 Expiration Date 1/31/2019 
  • TIPS/TAPS
    Books, Library and Education Materials Contract 171002; expires 12/18/20
    Academic Curriculum, Instructional Materials Contract 180302; expires 8/31/21

    Technology Hardware, Technology Supplies, Office Equipment, Copiers, Printers, Fax Machines and Facsimile Supplies, Copier Supplies, Digital Copiers, Laser Printers, Service

    TEC Bid
    For all TEC orders, there is $25 minimum.
    TEC Bid Vendors Category #4:

    Blanco , GA and Sons, Inc

    Category 4 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: gablanco@gablanco.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Category 4- Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Reference Bid #89332 on requisitions
    Email: todd@cascadeschoolsupplies.com
    Pricing Firm through 4/30/20

    Category 4 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Category 4 - 42% discount HP, 26% discount Xerox,21% discount Ricoh/Okidata,
    26% discount Brother/Canon/Dell/Epson, 26% discount misc items.
    Email: stewart.hinman@wbmason.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Category 4 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: tec.orders@officedepot.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Rasix Computer Center, Inc.
    dba Academic Supplier

    Category 4- Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Category 4- 31% discount Brother/Ricoh/Okidata, 46.25% discount HP, 37% discount Xerox, 10% Misc Items discount.
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: jeffrey.kozma@rasixinc.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    Tree House, Inc.
    Category 4 - Computer and Related Technology Supplies
    Category 4 - 44% HP Toner, 30% Xerox/Ricoh/Okidata, 35% Brother/Canon/Dell/Epson
    26% Misc Items discount.
    Reference "Tec Bid" on requisitions
    Email: djirizz@aol.com
    Pricing firm through 4/30/20

    State Contracts 

    IT Hardware:

    ITC47 - Expiration Date: 6/30/20
    IT - Information Technology Hardware, Project Management, Integration, and Maintenance

    IT Software and Services:

    ITS58 - Expiration Date: 6/30/20
    Software Reseller RFR

    Telecommunications:

    ITT46 - Expiration Date: 9/30/19
    Network Services

    ITT57 - Expiration Date: 10/31/19
    Two-Way Radio Systems, Equipment and Services

    MHEC

    Technology Equipment Contract #MC12-F05 Expiration Date 9/30/2019

    Miscellaneous Contracts:

    State Contract
    Home Depot Contract #FAC105 Expiration 7/31/2022

    Tips/Taps
    Music Material/Equipment Contract #180303 Expiration Date 5/31/2021 

    Needham Public Schools Forms to Complete a Purchase
    This section includes the Needham Public School forms you will need for certain situations. They are:

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