SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 112
August 7, 1998
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Contracts for Nonessential Services|
In response to recent complaints regarding the issue of contracts for school photographers, we have determined that a review of Attorneys General opinions in this area is timely. Department of Education personnel have reviewed the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) to determine requirements relating to contracts for nonessential services. Section 11-41 G. of the VPPA specifically addresses selected contracts as follows: "Any local school board may authorize any of its public schools or its school division to enter into contracts providing that caps and gowns, photographs, class rings, yearbooks and graduation announcements will be available for purchase or rental by students, parents, faculty or other persons using nonpublic money through the use of competitive negotiation as provided in this chapter, competitive sealed bidding not necessarily being required for such contracts." In addition, Sections 11-72 through 11-80 address ethics in public contracting that are applicable to all persons employed by a public body. Several opinions of Attorneys General have been rendered relating to contracts for nonessential services. Copies of the following opinions are attached for your information: Attachment A - 1985-86 Report of the Attorney General, Pages 45-47 Attachment B - 1984-85 Report of the Attorney General, Pages 435-436 Attachment C - 1982-83 Report of the Attorney General, Pages 411-413 Attachment D - 1976-77 Report of the Attorney General, Pages 232-233 Affiliated organizations such as the PTA and booster clubs generally are not governed by the Public Procurement Act. In specific situations, however, the connection between the procurement activity and the school may be direct enough to require compliance with the act. Local school boards and local officials should seek legal advice from their attorneys as such situations arise. Each school board should take whatever actions it deems appropriate to ensure that all contract activities associated with its schools be handled in accordance with procurement procedures. Additional information regarding procurement issues can be obtained from VDOE's home page at http://www.pen.k12.va.us., including the entire VPPA and the state's contract list. If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Mr. Russell A. Pearce, III, Director of Materiels Management,at (804) 225-3375. PDS/cci Attachments: A hard copy of this memo and its attachments will be sent to the superintendent's office.