Westfield Board of Education learns about purchasing procedures | News, Sports, Jobs

WESTFIELD — Westfield Academy and Central School board of education members reviewed the district’s policies and procedures for purchasing at their supplemental meeting on April 27.

District Superintendent Michael Cipolla told board members that WAC’s bidding and purchasing policies and procedures are based on Policy 5410, which specifies the requirements for purchases of different dollar amounts.

A purchase between $750 and $2,999 requires two verbal quotes, while a purchase of $3,000 to $4,999 must have two written quotations or requests for proposals, and three written quotations or requests for proposals are required for purchases of $5,000 to $19,999, Cipolla said.

“This will give us an opportunity to provide training and support on the district’s purchasing procedures,” Cipolla said. “These procedures are to help ensure the best possible pricing for the district and to avoid any kind of favoritism. It opens us up to the best practices.

District Business Manager Julia Murphy explained the five main steps that district employees must follow when making a purchase. these steps must be followed before payment will be issued to a vendor, he said.

The first step requires that the buyer understand the financial thresholds and determine what documentation is needed to accompany the request for purchase, Murphy explained.

Once quotes have been secured, Murphy said, the purchaser must submit the Request for Purchase and all attached quotes to their supervisor for approval.

The third step requires that the Request for Purchase and the attached quotes for approval be submitted to the business office for review, Murphy said. Following this, verification of the Purchase Order will be sent to the purchaser and their supervisor, and the order can then be placed, she said.

Murphy said that once the product is received, the order must be checked for accuracy.

The final step involves the receipt of the packing slip by the business office, she said. The business office then verifies the signature, the supporting documentation and the reconciliation of the invoice to the purchase order, Murphy said.

Upon completion of the verification procedure, the business office issues payment to the vendor, Murphy said.

Cipolla told the board that the administration and business office will guide employees through appropriate purchasing procedures, He said training has begun to help everyone understand their responsibilities.

“There is a need for further training so everyone understands their roles and responsibilities,” Cipolla said. “We don’t expect everyone to be experts, but we do expect that we have open lines of communication regarding the purchasing procedure.”

Cipolla outlined the timeline for training, noting that the week of May 4 will be devoted working with the business office, the week of May 11 will be for the training of department heads, and once a definitive return to school date is established, training of everyone in the responsibilities of the purchaser will take place.

Board member Deanne Manzilla asked when the Request for Purchase was last updated. “Also, is this something that’s been gone over with the claims auditor?” she asked. “Has she seen it? Is this what she’s look for?”

Board member Tom Tarpley inquired about new teacher orientation, and Curriculum Coordinator Molly Anderson explained that the district holds new teacher orientation a week or two prior to the start of inservice for all staff.

“It is kind of an evolving day, we’ve add a little bit in the last couple of years,” Anderson said. “Both principals are there to speak and give them a tour of the building, the mentor coordinates, Kendra Bills and Laura Wilson are there, and Roxanne comes down from the business office.”

In another matter, Cockram introduced the district’s 2020-2021 calendar for discussion. Cipolla said there are 181 school days, but some staff members questioned the “one-day school week” scheduled for December 21.

The board subsequently approved the district calendar as presented with Dec. 22 as a day off.

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