6210 Procedure – Purchasing Authorization and Control

Bellingham Public Schools has developed the following procedures for processing requests for goods, services, and public work.  The following administrators: superintendent, deputy superintendent, assistant superintendents, directors, principals and any additional staff who have been designated by the superintendent have been delegated the authority to serve as an agent for the district and to commit district funds. All designated staff shall be knowledgeable of and shall follow these procedures.


Specific requirements associated with the bid requirements for goods and services must be adhered to as referenced in Policy 6220 and Procedure 6220P.


A. Petty Cash

Each school is allocated a set amount of money designated as “petty cash.”  These funds may be used to purchase low dollar value items.  Petty cash funds are reimbursed by the business office as requested by the fund custodian.

B. Expense Reimbursement

Employees of the district may, with prior approval of an administrator or other designated staff member, purchase allowable goods with personal funds and apply for reimbursement through the business office.  The proper Travel and Reimbursement Expense Form (Form 51) must be submitted, along with an itemized sales receipt as proof of purchase.  Reimbursement checks will be processed as soon as possible as part of the normal district check run.

C. Requisitions/Purchase Order

Requisitions are the preferred method to initiate a purchasing request.  All items purchased using the requisition process will be received centrally unless size or other conditions dictate that the item or items would be better delivered directly to the requester’s location. All contracts will go on a purchase order.

D. Procurement Card

The procurement card may only be used to make purchases that are currently allowable under the purchase order, imprest account, or expense reimbursement processes.  Refer to Policy 6212 and Procedure 6212P.

E. Open Purchase Orders

In instances where the use of Procurement Cards is not possible or practical, the district will maintain a limited number of Open Purchase Orders to provide schools and departments with an efficient and convenient method to purchase supplies (food services, buildings and grounds, transportation, family and consumer science supplies, fuel, and utilities).  Open Purchase Orders may be used to buy operating supplies only.  Open Purchase Orders have a single purchase limit of $1,000 including tax and any applicable shipping charges and may not be used to purchase any equipment.  (Facilities and Transportation Open Purchase Order limit is $5,000.)  All invoices generated using the open purchase order process must be approved by an administrator or other designated staff member.

F. Contracts/Independent Contractor Agreements

All contracts, including independent contractor agreements, must be reviewed by the business office and approved by the superintendent or designee.

Adopted/Previous Revisions: 08/21/14; 08/13/15; 01/26/18
Updated: 01/13/22
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved