Welcome to the
Vendor's Guide to Doing Business with DPS
In the State of Colorado, school districts are governed by local boards of education. In Denver, the Board of Education consists of seven members who are publicly elected to four year staggered terms. Five members of the Board each represent a geographic district of the city and two are elected at-large. Board members are responsible for setting overall District policies, as well as evaluating and hiring a superintendent to oversee the daily operations of the District.
The Superintendent is responsible to the Board of Education for carrying out District policy, administering the operation of the District, supervising District personnel and advising the Board of Education on all educational matters for the welfare of the students.
Basic Purchasing Policy
The principle objective of the Denver Public Schools Purchasing Department is to acquire quality goods and services for all District sites through an open, competitive bidding process while adhering to all State of Colorado statutes and Board of Education policies.
The Denver Public Schools Purchasing Department is a member of the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), which is dedicated to the establishment and maintenance of ethical standards and professionalism in public purchasing. We are also members of the Cooperative Educational Purchasing Council (CEPC), which is made up of 25 school districts along the Front Range (from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins). The mission of the CEPC is to support the educational process and enhance the value of public purchasing through cooperative procurement, high ethical standards, fiscal responsibility, networking and professional growth.
The Purchasing Department uses three types of formal solicitations: (1) Invitation to Bid (2) Request for Proposal (3) and Request for Quotes. These three instruments allow the district to purchase goods and services that meet definitive specifications and quality standards. We are most interested in seeing that ALL Vendors have an opportunity to do business with Denver Public Schools, thus strengthening and widening product and service choices while optimizing use of public funds.
How To Start
Denver Public Schools no longer has a Vendor Application.
Vendors can obtain all Denver Public Schools solicitations via our web site at http://purchasingts.dpsk12.org/bids/default.asp. It is incumbent upon each vendor to check the Purchasing web site on a regular basis to make sure they do not miss a bidding opportunity. It is also the Vendor's responsibility to check our web site periodically to ensure that Addendums have not been issued against a solicitation.
We have a yearly calendar, which list the majority of bids and the month they are normally put out to bid. However, numerous Invitations to Bid and Request for Proposals are done on an as needed basis.
Under Commodity Listing on our web site, you can find the Buyer's name and telephone number next to each commodity. You may, at any time, find the appropriate Buyer for the goods or services you provide and contact them for an appointment or additional information.
To protect the staff and program against undue invasion of the school or work day, sales representatives shall not be permitted in schools or other departments for the purpose of making sales unless authorized to do so by the Director of Purchasing or his/her designee. If special or technical details concerning goods or services to be purchased are required, the involvement of vendors should be coordinated through the Purchasing Department. Vendors may send product information through U.S. mail. The schools names and addresses are listed on the District web site at www.dpsk12.org.
The Purchasing Department is open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Offices are closed for major national holidays and other Board of Education approved holidays.
Invitation To Bid/Request For Proposals And Quotes
In accordance with Board of Education policy, solicitations are issued by the Purchasing Department for the purchase of items costing $20,000 or more. These solicitations include detailed descriptions of the commodity and/or service based on specifications approved by the requestor and the buyer and written with the intent of soliciting competitive bidding. These specifications, along with instructions and terms and conditions, comprise the total solicitation.
If the commodity description includes one or more brand names or is followed by "or equivalent;" Vendors may quote an alternative, as long as it is of the same quality, design and performance. Generally, descriptive literature is required with the solicitation response. It is the responsibility of the bidder to demonstrate that the alternate item meets specifications. The decision of whether or not to accept an alternate rests solely with the District.
Receipt Of Solicitations
Bids and/or proposals must be received and time stamped in the Purchasing Department, 900 Grant Street, Room 301, Denver, Colorado 80203, before the time and date indicated on the Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal and Quotes. Delivery to any other location does not constitute compliance with solicitation requirements and will be rejected as a non-responsive bid. The District is not responsible for misdirected mail or delivery services.
Evaluation Of Solicitations
The process of evaluating and awarding solicitations is one of the primary functions of the Purchasing Department. Awards are not always made on the basis of "low bid", especially if the solicitation was a Request for Proposal or Request for Quotes. With an RFP & RFQ, a myriad of considerations may be taken into account before an award is made. For example, an item which is of inferior quality or which is delivered too late to serve its intended purpose may not benefit the District, regardless of price.
Because numerous considerations must be made when purchasing materials and services, the Purchasing Department has a process that allows it to make awards using the best evaluative score based on criteria, weighted by importance, which needs to be considered in making the purchase. Criteria and determination of importance are established by the Purchasing Department in conjunction with the end-user. Examples of evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to:
Lowest price based on percentage discount, past performance/prior experience, engineering support, availability, lowest price on selected items, return policy, delivery options, support capabilities (customer service, product support, etc.), life-cycle costing, billing options, quality of product, reliability of service, quality of solutions to meet specified needs, management and financial capabilities
Award Of Contract
Bids, proposals, and quotes are formalized by the issuance of a purchase order or a contract letter. No merchandise may be shipped or any services performed without a District purchase order or contract letter signed by the Director of Purchasing.
The Purchasing Department is the only District representative with authority to issue a purchase order. Purchase orders are the District's primary tool for notifying Vendors to provide goods and services.
The District also issues contract letters to establish annual, requirements contracts.