The Department is one of several purchasing jurisdictions in the state of Hawaii and operates a decentralized purchasing system. Under the present budgeting system, operating funds for purchases are allocated to each school. Each school and office initiates their own purchase orders up to their statutory monetary authorization and funds available. Schools and state-level offices determine their own needs, what to purchase, and from whom. Although the Department permits each school and office to make its own purchasing decisions, it requires all purchases conform to state laws, State Procurement Board rules, and DOE policies and procedures.
The Department believes in the principle that purchases should be made on the basis of maximum value for dollars spent commensurate with the needs of the school or office.
The DOE does not maintain a bidders list. The advertising of formal purchases via the internet or visits to PCB normally provide adequate information on the status of solicitations currently under advertisement.
The DOE encourages salespersons to contact the various schools or offices that may have a need for their goods or services. From the perspective of time and protocol, it is strongly recommended that an appointment be made for such visits.
Aligning the Purpose of Purchases
Goods and services purchased by the various schools and offices support the Department's mission and vision for success by aligning to the Strategic Plan, General Learner Outcomes, Nā Hopena A‘o (HǠ), our core values, and the 2030 Promise Plan.
Small purchases (less than $25,000)
Schools and offices are authorized to make small purchases of goods and services not on established price lists. The monetary limit for a small purchase is less than $25,000.00 per purchase of same, similar, or like goods and services. The total amount is inclusive of tax, trade-in, installation, transportation, etc.
Formal purchases ($25,000 or more)
The Department's Procurement and Contracts Branch (PCB) is responsible for advising schools and offices with regard to the purchase of goods and services. PCB is also responsible for conducting solicitations and executing formal competitive procurements and associated contracts.
Expenditures of $25,000 or more normally require formal competition and public advertisement of the purchase. The law prohibits parceling of expenditures to avoid this legal requirement.
Procurement Notices/Advertisements: The DOE follows this legal requirement by advertising as required online at hands.ehawaii.gov/hands and hiepro.ehawaii.gov. Please visit these websites to view all active Procurement Notices.
Price/Vendor Lists: Schools and offices are required to first purchase items from established price lists. These price lists are solicited and established by various cooperative State Purchasing jurisdictions. If an established price list does not exist for the needed items, schools and offices may then proceed with the purchase following small purchase procedures. Established price lists may be viewed at: spo.hawaii.gov/for-vendors/contract-awards/price-vendor-lists. Examples of price list items:
- Forms: Various forms for Department of Education.
- Furniture: Student desks and chairs, and other various school furniture
- School Food Services Products: Such as beverages, disposable food service products, frozen foods (meat & poultry, protein & breakfast items), fruits & vegetable (canned & frozen) and dry groceries.
Invitations for Bid (IFB)/"Bids": Bids will be received through the State of Hawaii eProcurement System (HIePRO) only until the hour and date set for the close of bids. Award, however, is not made until all bids are analyzed.
Request for Proposals (RFPs)/Other Formal Competitive Solicitations: Submittals received in response to these types of solicitations are handled in accordance with the solicitation instructions and addenda, if any. Submittals received by the specified time are considered. Award is not made until all submittals have been evaluated.
Contract/Price List Awards: Awards are normally made to the lowest responsive and responsible Offeror/Applicant. Normally this is the one who submits a bid or proposal without any exceptions and meets all of the specifications requested in the solicitation.
Upon award, the awardee may be required to produce proof of vendor compliance, which may be evidenced by a "Certificate of Vendor Compliance" as issued by the State Procurement Office via the online system, Hawaii Compliance Express. Details regarding this online application process can be viewed at: vendors.ehawaii.gov/hce. Generally the "Certificate of Vendor Compliance" is required upon award of any purchase of $2,500 or more.
Schools/offices are normally staffed to receive goods and services throughout the year, except on weekends and holidays. The hours of operation are generally from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, vendors are advised it is always prudent to call ahead when making deliveries.
Invoicing and payment
Unless noted otherwise, itemized invoices should be sent to the school or office issuing the purchase order or as indicated on the contract. Payments on invoices to the same vendor are normally consolidated by the automated payment system with other invoices processed by other schools or offices within the DOE but such payments are normally accompanied by a payment advice, listing all invoices for which that payment is being made. Payment is made within 30 days after satisfactory receipt of goods and services and/or presentation of proper itemized invoicing, whichever is later, to include the following:
- Delivery of goods/completion of services was in accordance with purchase and was satisfactory;
- Invoice was issued from the same vendor as that listed on the purchase order;
- An original and two copies of the itemized invoice was sent to the proper address. If the invoice is not an original invoice, a signed statement is affixed thereto, reading, "this invoice is being submitted as the original invoice" and signature is an original.
An original tax clearance certificate is required at the time of final payment on all purchases of $25,000 or more. The TCC is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation, and must be dated within 2 months of the final payment. This applies to vendors on the mainland, as well as local vendors. In addition to the tax clearance certificate, the “Certification of Compliance for Final Payment” (DOE Form-22) with an original signature will be required for final payment.
In lieu of the above, the contractor may also submit an original "Certificate of Vendor Compliance" as issued by the State Procurement Office via the
Hawaii Compliance Express.