Sealed Bid Process

Guidelines for Supplies and Services 

Note: This pamphlet is designed to be a handy reference guide to assist the purchaser.  It should not be viewed as a replacement to the Employee Policies and Procedures Manual, Section 16

To ensure compliance with state law, the Department has mandated that all purchases be made by the Purchasing Office.  In order to make a purchase, follow the steps listed below.  Any deviation from this policy may result in a violation of the state purchasing statute.  Any employee causing a violation to occur shall be responsible for all repercussions, including payments to vendors.

Budget - Make sure you have sufficient budget per category prior to submitting requisitions to Purchasing.  Contact the Budget Office for budget availability and amendment. 

Authority to Purchase:

State Contract - After approval of the requisition and the issuance of a purchase order, state contract items may be purchased for any amount without bids/quotes.

State Contract Catalogs - The state contracts are now on-line.  They are located on the Department of Finance and Administration's web site,  Click Statewide Purchasing,  then click State Contracts.

State Contract Expiration - State contracts are active for an approved period of time.  State contracts expire either after six (6) months or after one (1) year.  Verify the expiration date to ensure current pricing and product information.

Small Purchase Procurement Card - Small Purchase Procurement Cardholders must follow the credit card policy and procedures.  This program is designed to make small purchases (less than $3,500) without going through the traditional purchasing process.  Prudent purchasing is the cardholder's responsibility.  See Small Purchase Card Policy and Procedures under the Office of Accounting's Purchasing Office web page.  (Maintain all tax exempt purchase documents...receipts, credit card tickets, etc.)

Non State Contract purchases are as follows:

  • $0.00 to $3,500        Purchase from any vendor.
  • $3,500 to $15,000    Obtain two (2) or more written quotes (Facsimiles and e-mail are acceptable).
  • Over $15,000           Must be advertised.  Allow 3 1/2 to 4 weeks for bid to be awarded.

Sole Source Items over $3,500

  • Must have letter of justification from vendor stating item is sole source, manufacturer is sole supplier and no other item is suitable
  • Form SC-1 must be completed by Requesting Office
  • Purchase must be approved by DFA, Office of Purchasing and Travel
  • Submit a purchase requisition with the listed forms to purchasing for issuance of a purchase order.
  • Sole Source Justification form

Service Contracts

  • All personal and professional service contracts shall be procured in accordance with MDE contract procurement policy.
  • Any contract for an individual or company over $100,000 must have MS State Board of Education and Personal Service Contract Board (PSCRB) approval prior to date of service.
  • Contracts that require PSCRB approval must be submitted to the PSCRB 15 business days prior to start of contract.  PSCRB meets the first Monday of each month
  • Attach a signed copy of MDE Contract and the approved PSCRB form to the requisition in order to issue a purchase order.
  • The requisition must be approved (initialed) by the MDE Budget Office.

Repair Orders

Repairs do not require a purchase order.  When a repair is made, attach the invoice to a completed Request for Services or Goods form and forward to Accounts Payable for payment.

Receipt of Goods and Invoices 

  • When goods/services are delivered, check for accuracy, sign invoice/packing slip to verify that they have been received.
  • Note on invoice or packing slip any discrepancies with the order and contact the Purchasing Office.
  • Send signed invoice to the Accounts Payable Office for payment as soon as possible.
  • Do not file an original invoice - forward it to Accounts Payable
Request for Services or Goods/Requisition

This is a Microsoft Excel Document.  For a copy of the form, click on the link - Request for Services or Goods/Requisition

For a requisition to be processed it must be the online form or typed and include the following:

  • Complete Description of Goods or Services
  • Approval Signature
  • Complete Vendor's Name and Address
  • Ship-To Code
  • Room Number
  • Budget Year
  • Budget Codes

Printing Guidelines

  • $0.00 to $3,500         Quote from one (1) Vendor (Printing less than $3,500 can be purchased using the credit card).
  • $3,500 to $15,000     Written quotes from two (2) or more Vendors.  Must have at least two!
For printing specifications, please click here.

Printers that MDE has used; however, we are not limited to these printers:

Listing of Printing Company Information

Computer Hardware, Software, Services, Telecommunications Equipment Systems and Related Services: 
To initiate the acquisition of computer related items, submit a requisition to Management Information Systems (MIS).  MIS will review for compatibility, budget, obtain ITS approval and send the requisition to Accounting.

Competitive Sealed Bid Process: 
Sealed bids are required for purchases in excess of $15,000

  • Prepare request for goods and services form (Leave vendor name blank)
  • Invitation for Bids - sent to potential bidders
  • Public Notice - advertise once per week for two consecutive weeks in newspaper
  • Bid Opening - opened publicly at designated location on the eighth (8th) working day after last notice of advertisement
  • Award - after evaluation, award is made by written notice
Copier Rental:
  • Prior to the negotiation of any rental, prepare a request for services and goods form, send it to purchasing for notification, verification and collaboration.
  • We cannot accept the vendors rental agreement.  Only the standard rental agreement is accepted.
  • Exhibit A of agreement shall list detail costs.
  • Purchasing shall approve all copier rental agreements.

Purchasing Violation

The receipt of goods or services prior to a purchase order being issued is a violation of Section 31-7-57, MS Code Annotated, 1972.  The individual who commits a violation may be held personally liable for the purchase.  Never order goods or approve printing prior to a purchase order being issued, unless the small purchase credit card is used to make the purchase.  Never split orders to circumvent purchasing bid requirements.  Splitting orders is considered a violation.

Purchasing Administration:

  • Purchasing responsibility does not end with the issuance of a purchase order.  Our intent is to ensure that goods are received timely and meet the customers' need.
  • Aged Open Purchase Orders - To monitor open encumbrances and budget availability, each month the Office of Accounting submits a report, Aged Open Purchase Order (E641B) to each requesting office.  Offices are required to respond to each open purchase order on the report.  Return completed reports to Purchasing.  See the web site for instructions.
  • Sales Tax Exemption - See the Purchasing web page for a copy of the sales tax exemption letter.
Contact the Purchasing Office if you have any problems or questions.
  • Deborah Giles    359-2115
  • Carol Spann       359-3864
  • Lavailia Black     359-3994
  • Nell Clayborne   359-2066
Vendor Complaint Process:
  • Identify a specific action or problem by a vendor that requires follow-up and corrective action.
  • Vendor Complaint Form - This is a Microsoft Word Document.
  • Vendor Performance Evaluation - Upon completion and delivery of printing services greater than $15,000, please complete a Vendor Performance Evaluation form and return the form to the Purchasing Director.

Small Purchase Procurement Card:

Emergency Procedures - See employee policy and procedures manual

Non-Adopted Textbook Purchases - refer to directory - click Management Information Systems - click Textbooks - click Nonpublic Schools

Employee Reimbursement - Should it become necessary to reimburse an employee, provide the following documentation:

  • Submit a completed requisition (Use SS# as Vendor #)
  • Include itemized receipt(s)


Office of Accounting     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-3525     Fax: (601) 359-2326

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