General Guidelines & Regulations


Only those forms provided by the Purchasing Department shall be used for requisitioning and purchasing goods and services.

Standard Requisition

An online form used by schools and departments to requisition supplies, equipment and furniture through the Purchasing Department.

Purchase Orders

A Purchase Order is a legal document issued by the Purchasing Department to vendors for the purpose of contracting for the supply of materials, equipment and services.

The various types of Purchase Orders used by the District in the procurement function are:

  1. Standard Purchase Order- created by the Purchasing Department in response to a requisition, and used when ordering most supplier equipment and services
  2. Publication Purchase Order – used for the purchase of all printed materials (books, school agendas, magazines, periodicals, etc.), and staff conference registrations. These purchase orders are issued directly by the school or end-user to the vendor of choice.  Written procedures and guidelines on how to use this order form are available from the Purchasing Department.

Types of Purchases

  1. Capital Equipment - Equipment with a unit value exceeding $300.00.
    • Due to quality standards and safety regulations that must be met, the purchase of all capital equipment remains the sole responsibility of the Purchasing Department.
    •  Ordering Procedure: The school forwards a requisition to the Purchasing Department.
  2. Technology - All technology purchases are centralized and channelled through the technology & purchasing departments.
    • Ordering Procedure: The school forwards a requisition to the Purchasing Department
  3.  Supplies – Operating supplies and materials whose unit cost is less than $300.00.  The following supplies are tendered annually:
    • General School Supplies
    • Art Materials
    • PE Supplies
    • Caretaking Supplies
    • Ordering Procedure: Requirements are listed on the appropriate tender order form and forwarded to Purchasing.  Tender order forms are issued to the schools by the Purchasing Department as per the timetable below:
      • General School Supplies - October 1
      • Art Materials - October 1
      • PE Supplies - February 1
      • Caretaking Supplies - April 1
  4. Printed Matter – books, publications, periodicals, newspapers, subscriptions and other articles of print.
    • Ordering Procedure: Ordered by schools directly from supplier using the Publications Purchase Order.
  5. Day-To-Day Stationery Supplies - Stationery Contract with Staples Advantage
    • Ordering Procedure: Orders are placed directly by schools via Staples Advantage website or through the Purchasing Department.
  6. Supplies Stocked at the Education Center Warehouse – many commodities used in large quantities by all departments are purchased in volume for distribution to schools as they are required.
    • Ordering Procedure: Using the online warehouse requisition, order these items from Purchasing referencing the product catalogue.

Cancellation or Modification of Orders

Cancelling or making modifications to the quantity, specifications, price, or terms and conditions of Purchase Orders is the sole responsibility of the Purchasing Department.  End-users requesting such changes shall channel their requests to Purchasing as opposed to contacting suppliers directly. Purchasing will issue a Lethbridge School District No. 51 Change Order authorizing the vendor to make the changes and notifying Accounts Payable of any adjustments in the payment terms.

Damages and Shortages

In the event an end-user receives a damaged or short shipment, the Purchasing Department shall be notified immediately.  The end-user should provide Purchasing with the following information:

  • Purchase Order Number
  • Vendor
  • Shipper
  • Shipper’s Bill of Lading Number
  • Description and details of shortage or damage

Regulations, as well as carrier terms and conditions of transport require that the District notify carrier of shortages and damages within 48 hours of receipt of shipment.  Failure to comply with these regulations, terms and conditions, may result in the rejection of your claim.

Return for Credit

Requests by end-users for permission to return supplies or equipment to vendor for adjustment, exchange or credit must be channelled through the Purchasing Department and NOT BY DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE VENDOR.  Acceptance of the return by the vendor is by no means automatic and negotiating the terms of return (i.e. freight charges, restocking charges, etc.) is the responsibility of the Purchasing Department.  Furthermore, a change order must be issued authorizing the return and notifying the Accounts Payable department of any impending credit, restocking charges, etc.

Emergency Orders

In the event of an emergency requirement for supplies or equipment, an end-user may contact the Purchasing Department for immediate processing.

Supply Sources

Although a requisitioner or end-user is encouraged to suggest a possible source of supply when submitting his/her requisition, the authority for the final selection of the vendor is the sole responsibility of the Purchasing Department.


It is the policy and practice of purchasing personnel to decline personal gifts from vendors.  Business lunches are acceptable, but should be reciprocated. All District staff involved in the procurement cycle should exercise this same discretion.

Conflict of Interest

The Purchasing Department, as a general rule, does not enter into contractual agreements with any employee or their immediate families.  Acquisition from a business in which an employee has a financial interest is prohibited unless first approved by the office of the Superintendent.  Financial interest is deemed present if the employee and/or his or her immediate family maintain assets or ownership in a business with which the District does business.

Personal Purchases

It is in contravention of Board Policy to issue District Purchase Orders for personal purchases.  Vendors are under no obligation to offer negotiated District discounts to employees making personal purchases and it is both unethical and unacceptable for employees to use their position as a District employee to request and obtain such discounts.

Surplus and Obsolete Equipment

Capital equipment and furniture that is obsolete, worn out or not required by a user department is considered surplus.  The Purchasing Department has the responsibility for the disposal of all obsolete equipment and furniture.  Surplus and obsolete equipment shall be disposed of in accordance with the Board Policy, generally as a trade in for new equipment, transfer to another school or department, sold through public auction or public sale, or as a give-away to the general public or to a non-profit organization. 

Purchases Made by Schools/End-Users

In those instances where it is deemed necessary for the school or end-user to perform the purchasing function and deal directly with the supplier, the following guidelines shall apply:

  1. School or end-user shall obtain a Purchase Order number from the Purchasing Department prior to contacting the supplier.
  2. Sound, ethical purchasing practices shall be employed
  3. All District purchasing policies and regulations shall be followed.
  4. When the value of the transaction warrants it, three quotations shall be obtained.
  5. Award shall be made in a fair, ethical and unbiased manner.