The Arizona Revised Statutes have been updated to include the revised sections from the 54th Legislature, 1st Regular Session. Please note that the next update of this compilation will not take place until after the conclusion of the 54th Legislature, 2nd Regular Session, which convenes in January 2020.
This online version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is primarily maintained for legislative drafting purposes and reflects the version of law that is effective on January 1st of the year following the most recent legislative session. The official version of the Arizona Revised Statutes is published by Thomson Reuters.
15-213. Procurement practices of school districts and charter schools; violations; classification; definitions
A. The state board of education shall adopt rules prescribing procurement practices for all school districts in this state as follows:
1. The state board shall submit to the auditor general proposed rules consistent with the procurement practices prescribed in title 41, chapter 23, modifying the provisions for public notice of invitation for bids, requests for proposals and requests for qualifications to allow a governing board to give public notice of the invitation for bids, requests for proposals and requests for qualifications by publication in the official newspaper of the county as prescribed in section 11-255, modifying the provisions relating to disposal of materials to comply with section 15-342, paragraph 18, providing for governing board delegation of procurement authority and modifying as necessary other provisions that the state board determines are not appropriate for school districts. The rules shall include provisions specifying that school districts are not required to engage in competitive bidding in order to make the decision to participate in programs pursuant to section 15-382 and that a program authorized by section 15-382 is not required to engage in competitive bidding for the services necessary to administer the program or for purchase of insurance or reinsurance. The rules shall include provisions specifying that school districts are not required to engage in competitive bidding in order to place a pupil in a private school that provides special education services if such a placement is prescribed in the pupil's individualized education program and the private school has been approved by the department of education division of special education pursuant to section 15-765, subsection D. This placement is not subject to rules adopted by the state board of education before November 24, 2009 pursuant to this section. The rules for procurement of construction projects shall include provisions specifying that surety bonds furnished as bid security and performance and payment bonds shall be executed and furnished as required by title 34, chapter 2 or 6, as applicable. The rules shall specify the total cost of a procurement that is subject to invitations for bids, requests for proposals and requests for clarification, using the aggregate dollar amount limits for procurements prescribed in section 41-2535.
2. The state board of education shall adopt rules for procurements involving construction not exceeding $150,000, which shall be known as the simplified school construction procurement program. At a minimum, the rules for a simplified construction procurement program shall require that:
(a) Each county school superintendent maintain a list of persons who desire to receive solicitations to bid on construction projects to which additions shall be permitted throughout the year.
(b) The list of persons be available for public inspection.
(c) A performance bond and a payment bond as required by this section be provided for contracts for construction by contractors.
(d) All bids for construction be opened at a public opening and the bids shall remain confidential until the public opening.
(e) All persons desiring to submit bids be treated equitably and the information related to each project be available to all eligible persons.
(f) Competition for construction projects under the simplified school construction procurement program be encouraged to the maximum extent possible. At a minimum, a school district shall submit information on each project to all persons listed with the county school superintendent by any school district within that county.
(g) A provision, covenant, clause or understanding in, collateral to or affecting a construction contract that makes the contract subject to the laws of another state or that requires any litigation, arbitration or other dispute resolution proceeding arising from the contract to be conducted in another state is against this state's public policy and is void and unenforceable.
3. The state board of education shall adopt rules for the procurement of goods and information services by school districts and charter schools using electronic, online bidding. The rules adopted by the state board shall include the use of reverse auctions and shall be consistent with the procurement practices prescribed in title 41, chapter 23, article 13, modifying as necessary those provisions and the rules adopted pursuant to that article that the state board determines are not appropriate for school districts and charter schools. Until the rules are adopted, school districts and charter schools may procure goods and information services pursuant to title 41, chapter 23, article 13 using the rules adopted by the department of administration in implementing that article.
4. The state board shall adopt rules for the procurement by school districts of any materials, services, goods, construction or construction services that ensure maximum practicable competition as prescribed in section 41-2565 and shall require that a person:
(a) That contracts for or purchases any materials, services, goods, construction or construction services in a manner contrary to the rules adopted by the state board pursuant to this section is personally liable for the recovery of all public monies paid plus twenty percent of that amount and legal interest from the date of payment and all costs and damages arising out of the violation as prescribed in section 41-2616.
(b) That intentionally or knowingly contracts for or purchases any materials, services, goods, construction or construction services pursuant to a scheme or artifice to avoid the rules adopted by the state board pursuant to this section is guilty of a class 4 felony as prescribed in section 41-2616.
(c) That prepares procurement specifications may not receive any direct or indirect benefit from using those specifications.
(d) That serves on a selection committee for a procurement may not be a contractor or subcontractor under a contract awarded under the procurement or provide any specified professional services, construction, construction services, materials or other services under the contract. A person that serves on a selection committee for a procurement and that fails to disclose contact with a representative of a competing vendor or fails to provide required accurate information is subject to a civil penalty as prescribed in section 41-2616.
5. The state board shall adopt rules requiring school districts to obtain and maintain a record of proof that a construction or construction services provider that has been awarded a contract with the school district, or school purchasing cooperative, has a valid license to practice in this state.
6. The auditor general shall review the proposed rules to determine whether the rules are consistent with the procurement practices prescribed in title 41, chapter 23 and any modifications are required to adapt the procedures for school districts.
7. If the auditor general approves the proposed rules, the auditor general shall notify the state board in writing and the state board shall adopt such rules.
8. If the auditor general objects to the proposed rules, the auditor general shall notify the state board of the objections in writing and the state board, in adopting the rules, shall conform the proposed rules to meet the objections of the auditor general or revise the proposed rules to which an objection has been made and submit the revisions to the auditor general for approval.
B. After the bids submitted in response to an invitation for bids are opened and the award is made or after the proposals or qualifications are submitted in response to a request for proposals or a request for qualifications and the award is made, the governing board shall make available for public inspection all information, all bids, proposals and qualifications submitted and all findings and other information considered in determining whose bid conforms to the invitation for bids and will be the most advantageous with respect to price, conformity to the specifications and other factors or whose proposal or qualifications are to be selected for the award, including the rationale for awarding a contract for any specified professional services, construction, construction services or materials to an entity selected from a qualified select bidders list or through a school purchasing cooperative. The invitation for bids, request for proposals or request for qualifications shall include a notice that all information and bids, proposals and qualifications submitted will be made available for public inspection. The rules adopted by the state board shall prohibit the use in connection with procurement of specifications in any way proprietary to one supplier unless the specification includes all of the following:
1. A statement of the reasons why no other specification is practicable.
2. A description of the essential characteristics of the specified product.
3. A statement specifically permitting an acceptable alternative product to be supplied.
C. A project or purchase may not be divided or sequenced into separate projects or purchases in order to avoid the limits prescribed by the state board under subsection A of this section.
D. A contract for the procurement of construction or construction services shall include a provision that provides for negotiations between the school district and the contractor for the recovery of damages related to expenses incurred by the contractor for a delay for which the school district is responsible, that is unreasonable under the circumstances and that was not within the contemplation of the parties to the contract. This subsection does not void any provision in the contract that requires notice of delays, provides for arbitration or any other procedure for settlement or provides for liquidated damages.
E. The auditor general may conduct discretionary reviews, investigations and audits of the financial and operational procurement activities of school districts, nonexempt charter schools and school purchasing cooperatives. The auditor general has final review and approval authority over all school district, nonexempt charter school and school purchasing cooperative audit contracts and any audit reports issued in accordance with this section. If the attorney general has reasonable cause to believe an employee of a school district or school purchasing cooperative, or an employee of an entity that has been awarded a contract by a school district or school purchasing cooperative, has engaged in, is engaging in or is about to engage in any practice or transaction that violates the rules adopted by the state board of education pursuant to this section, the attorney general may:
1. Require that person to file on forms prescribed by the attorney general a statement or report in writing and under oath as to all the facts and circumstances concerning a violation of the rules adopted by the state board pursuant to this section by that person and any other data and information deemed necessary by the attorney general.
2. Examine under oath any person in connection with a violation of the rules adopted by the state board pursuant to this section.
F. In addition to the requirements of sections 15-914 and 15-914.01, school districts, nonexempt charter schools and school purchasing cooperatives, in connection with any audit conducted by a certified public accountant, shall contract for a systematic review of purchasing practices using methodology consistent with sampling guidelines established by the auditor general. The auditor general shall consider cost when establishing guidelines pursuant to this subsection and to the extent possible shall attempt to minimize the cost of the review. The purpose of the review is to determine whether the school district, nonexempt charter school or school purchasing cooperative is in compliance with the procurement laws and applicable procurement rules of this state. A copy of the review shall be submitted on completion to the auditor general. The auditor general may conduct discretionary reviews of school districts, nonexempt charter schools and school purchasing cooperatives that are not required to contract for independent audits.
G. A school district school employee who has control over personnel actions may not take reprisal against a school district school employee for that employee's disclosure of information that is a matter of public concern, including a violation of this section, to a public body pursuant to title 38, chapter 3, article 9.
H. The attorney general or county attorney has jurisdiction to enforce this section. The attorney general or county attorney may seek relief for any violation of this section through an appropriate civil or criminal action in superior court, including an action to enjoin a threatened or pending violation of this section and including an action to enforce compliance with any request for documents made by the auditor general pursuant to this section.
I. The department of education shall enact policies and procedures for the acceptance and disposition of complaints from the public regarding school procurement practices and shall forward all school procurement complaints to the attorney general. Notwithstanding rules adopted by the state board, school districts shall not be required to prepare or submit an annual report on the benefits associated with the use of construction-manager-at-risk, design-build, qualified select bidders list and job-order-contracting methods.
J. The state board of education shall adopt, and the auditor general shall review, rules authorizing school districts to procure construction services by construction-manager-at-risk, design-build, qualified select bidders list and job-order-contracting methods of project delivery. The rules shall not require school districts to obtain bid security for the construction-manager-at-risk method of project delivery.
K. A school district or charter school may evaluate United States general services administration contracts for materials and services. The governing board or governing body may authorize purchases under a current contract for materials or services without complying with the requirements of the procurement rules adopted by the state board of education if the governing board or governing body determines in writing that all of the following apply:
1. The price for materials or services is equal to or less than the contractor's current federal supply contract price with the general services administration.
2. The contractor has indicated in writing that the contractor is willing to extend the current federal supply contract pricing, terms and conditions to the school district or charter school.
3. The purchase order adequately identifies the federal supply contract on which the order is based.
4. The purchase contract is cost effective and is in the best interests of the school district or charter school.
L. Unless otherwise provided by law, multiterm contracts for materials or services and contracts for job-order-contracting construction services may be entered into if the duration of the contract and the conditions of renewal or extension, if any, are included in the invitation for bids or the request for proposals and if monies are available for the first fiscal period at the time the contract is executed. The duration of contracts for materials or services and contracts for job-order-contracting construction services are limited to no more than five years unless the governing board determines in writing before the procurement solicitation is issued that a contract of longer duration would be advantageous to the school district. Payment and performance obligations for succeeding fiscal periods are subject to the availability and appropriation of monies.
M. Notwithstanding the rules adopted by the state board of education, the maximum dollar amount of an individual job order for job-order-contracting construction services is $1,000,000 or a higher or lower amount prescribed by the governing board in a policy adopted in a public meeting held pursuant to title 38, chapter 3, article 3.1. Requirements shall not be artificially divided or fragmented in order to constitute a job order that satisfies the requirements of this subsection.
N. A person who supervises or participates in contracts, purchases, payments, claims or other financial transactions, or a person who supervises or participates in the planning, recommending, selecting or contracting for materials, services, goods, construction, or construction services of a school district or school purchasing cooperative is guilty of a class 6 felony if the person solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any personal gift or benefit with a value of $300 or more from a person or vendor that has secured or has taken steps to secure a contract, purchase, payment, claim or financial transaction with the school district or school purchasing cooperative. Soliciting, accepting or agreeing to accept any personal gift or benefit with a value of less than $300 is a class 1 misdemeanor. A gift or benefit does not include an item of nominal value such as a greeting card, t-shirt, mug or pen.
O. Any person or vendor that has secured or has taken steps to secure a contract, purchase, payment, claim or financial transaction with a school district or school purchasing cooperative that offers, confers or agrees to confer any personal gift or benefit with a value of $300 or more on a person who supervises or participates in contracts, purchases, payments, claims or other financial transactions, or on a person who supervises or participates in planning, recommending, selecting or contracting for materials, services, goods, construction or construction services of a school district or school purchasing cooperative, is guilty of a class 6 felony. Offering, conferring or agreeing to confer any personal gift or benefit with a value of less than $300 is a class 1 misdemeanor. A gift or benefit does not include an item of nominal value such as a greeting card, t-shirt, mug or pen.
P. Any person or vendor convicted under subsection O of this section may be suspended for up to six months or barred for up to three years by the director of the department of administration from doing business with school districts and school purchasing cooperatives. The director of the department of administration shall adopt rules, including administrative procedures, to suspend or bar any person from consideration for award of contracts pursuant to this section.
Q. For the purposes of this section:
1. "Gift or benefit" means a payment, distribution, expenditure, advance, deposit or donation of monies, any intangible personal property or any kind of tangible personal or real property. Gift or benefit does not include either:
(a) Food or beverage.
(b) Expenses or sponsorships relating to a special event or function to which individuals listed in subsection N of this section are invited.
2. "Nonexempt charter school" means a charter school that is not exempted from procurement laws pursuant to section 15-183, subsection E, paragraph 6.
3. "School purchasing cooperative" means an entity that is engaged in cooperative purchasing as defined in section 41-2631.
4. "Total cost" means the cost of all materials and services, including the cost of labor performed by employees of the school district, for all construction as provided in subsection A of this section.