P. O. BOX 2120
August 7, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents
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

     "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

  Additional information regarding procurement issues can be
  obtained from VDOE's home page at,
  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.

  Attachments: A hard copy of this memo and its attachments
               will be sent to the superintendent's office.