Board Policies and Administrative Procedures

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425: Purchasing Authority and Procedure

Responsible Administrator: Associate Superintendent Corporate Services


All purchases fall within the framework of budget limitations and shall be consistent with good purchasing practices and the approved educational goals and programs of the Division.

Purchasing competitively and seeking maximum value for expenditures of public funds is an expectation for all Division Schools and Departments. To ensure that open, fair, transparent, and accountable purchasing practices are followed when procuring goods and services, expenditures of public funds must be made in accordance with mandated practices and legislation.


  • The Division will seek the maximum value for every dollar expended, consistent with good educational and purchasing practices.
  • Authorized employees are to purchase locally whenever goods and services of equal quality at competitive prices are available.
  • Sufficient funds must be in the approved budget of the appropriate school/department centre to which the expenditure authority is linked, before initiating a purchase.
  • All items purchased in the name of the Division, using the Division funds, become the property of the Division.


The Associate Superintendent Corporate Services is responsible for establishing and maintaining purchasing procedures.


1.0 The Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Associate Superintendent Corporate Services, Associate Superintendent Human Resources, Managers, Directors and Principals are delegated responsibility for purchasing within the limits of budgets allocated to them.

2.0 All purchases, other than purchases through petty cash accounts, must be made using the Division’s authorized purchasing cards or by forwarding invoices to the Division’s office for payment within a reasonable time.

3.0 Invoices and purchasing card statements must be authorized by an administrator or designate, appropriately coded for payment and accompanied by itemized receipts before submitting them to accounts payable at the Division office.

4.0 Large dollar and capital purchases must adhere to the following requirements:

4.1 The purchase of goods and services with an estimated cost exceeding:

4.1.1 $7,000 but less than $15,000, requires documented telephone or email solicitations from a minimum of two potential suppliers;

4.1.2 $15,000 but less than $75,000, requires written quotations from a minimum of three potential suppliers;

4.1.3 $75,000 and above must be formally tendered via Alberta Purchasing Connection.

4.1.4 Construction projects with an estimated cost exceeding: $7,000 but less than $15,000, requires documented telephone or email solicitations from a minimum of two potential suppliers. $200,000 and above must be formally tendered.

4.1.5 All large purchases of the types and amounts specified in 4.1.3 and must comply with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement regulations.

4.2 Sole or single sourcing is approved by the Superintendent under the following conditions: 4.2.1 Emergency;

4.2.2 Confidential situation;

4.2.3 Urgent purchases that would interrupt the normal business;

4.2.4 Occasional instances where it may be in the best interest of the Division.

4.3 All purchases must be supported by an invoice or itemized receipt.

4.3.1 Invoices or receipts should include: Name and address of the vendor; GST number and GST amount, if applicable; Quantity, cost and description of individual supplies and services purchased; Restaurant receipts should also include the description of the event and attendees; Terms of payment, if applicable.

4.3.2 Documents that are considered insufficient for payment include: Vendor Statements Purchasing card, credit card or debit card slips that are not accompanied by an itemized receipt or invoice; and Hotel invoices that contain room service charges that do not provide details of the charges.

4.4 In the event that an employee submits an expense claim form or a purchasing card statement without appropriate documentation, the employee will be required to fill out a lost receipt voucher. The Division may accept the lost receipt voucher provided that:

4.4.1 The total amount is small (and is approved by the Superintendent);

4.4.2 The amount can be justified as school or divisional business;

4.4.3 The employee has the authority to make a purchase;

4.4.4 The employee’s supervisor authorizes the voucher;

4.4.5 The submission of lost receipt vouchers is not re-occurring. If it is considered a re-occurring situation, the unsupported lost receipt voucher may be rejected, and therefore considered a personal purchase.

4.5 Repeated occurrences of lost receipts will result in a loss of the employee’s ability to make purchases on behalf of the Division.

4.6 Personal purchases do not qualify for reimbursement.

4.7 All alcoholic beverages are considered personal purchases unless an exemption has been previously approved by the Chair on behalf of the Board of Trustees or in the case of staff, the Superintendent.

4.8 If the Division purchasing card has been used for a personal purchase, the employee is required to reimburse the Division immediately upon becoming aware of the error.

4.8.1 The employee’s purchasing card may be suspended if there are multiple instances of personal purchases on the division purchasing card. The employee card may be reissued when all outstanding personal purchases have been reimbursed to the Division and the employee’s administrator requests that the card be reissued.

4.9 All Division credit card holders are expected to read, sign and comply with the Agreement to Accept the Scotiabank Commercial Card. 

4.10 Employees should not purchase cash gift cards or awards and noncash gifts or awards.

      4.10.1 Division branded items of small or trivial value are acceptable.

4.10.2 Gifts, entertainment, trips or other personal services (excepting meals or relatively inexpensive items of an advertising nature such as pens or books) are not to be accepted or solicited by divisional staff.

4.11 A violation ticket issued to any company vehicle driven by a Division employee is considered a personal purchase and must be paid by the employee who was operating the vehicle at the time of the infraction.

4.12 Any suspected purchasing fraudulent activities may result in severe consequences up to and including termination.


5.0 The Board Chair, the Superintendent and the Associate Superintendent Corporate Services have been delegated signing authority for the Division.

5.1 Cheques issued on behalf of the Board shall bear the signatures of the Board Chair and the Associate Superintendent Corporate Services.

5.2 Collective Agreements with staff groups shall be signed by the Board Chair and either the Superintendent or the Associate Superintendent Corporate Services.

5.3 Employment Contracts for staff shall be signed by the Superintendent, with the exception that the Employment Contract for the Superintendent, which shall be signed by the Board.

5.4 Corporate contracts, including the Acceptance of Tenders, shall be signed by the Board Chair, the Superintendent or the Associate Superintendent Corporate Services.


Board Policy 225: Role of the Board
Board Policy 700: Superintendent of Schools
Admin Procedure: 435 Employee Expense Claims and Reimbursement
New West Partnership Trade Agreement


2020 Jan 29 Initial Approval