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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
AP 515 - Decentralized Purchasing

The Board acknowledges the principle of equity of educational opportunity. Generally, the decentralized budget allocations will be determined on the basis of per pupil amounts, but the Board also acknowledges that equitable consideration of need cannot always be satisfied by a straight formula application. The Board has reserved the right to determine decentralized budgetary allocations annually and that may include special and/or conditional grants.


1.  The method and amount of funds allocated to the schools decentralized budget shall be determined annually by the Chief Financial Officer and shall form a part of the Division Annual Budget process for approval of the Board.

2.  The principal will submit a categorized proposal for decentralized budget expenditures to the Chief Financial Officer within 10 days of having received his/her annual school decentralized budget allocation. Items, which are to be paid for from decentralized accounts, are to be ordered by the principal of the school as per the following process:
2.1.  The Horizon School Division Purchase Order system shall be used in the purchase of goods and the appropriate copy of the purchase order form shall be forwarded to the Superintendent of Finance; and
2.2.  The purchase of an individual item valued in excess of $1000 per item line shall have the prior approval of the Superintendent of Finance.
3.  While control over decentralized purchasing delegated to the principal, the Chief Financial Officer shall have exclusive control over the disbursement of public funds. The Superintendent of Finance shall also perform a general supervisory function with respect to the decentralized school budgets.

4.  The principal, shall make conscientious efforts to spend public funds by procuring quality goods and services at the best value for the money spent.

5.  The decentralized school budgeting process shall be governed by the following principles:
5.1.  Decentralized funds shall be allocated to the schools. All per pupil calculations shall be based on the Principal’s September Statistical Report enrolment figures of the current school year. Adjustments may be made in cases of significant enrolment changes;
5.2.  It shall be the duty of the principal, in consultation with his/her staff, to determine needs and to set budget priorities for expenditures within the school. Using the allocations as guidelines, the principal shall formulate a budget based on those needs and priorities. Every school budget will be reviewed with the Superintendent of Finance;
5.3.  Centralized purchasing shall be employed wherever possible;
5.4.  Where quality and cost are competitive, preference shall be given to local suppliers;
5.5.  Preference will also be given to Canadian suppliers;
5.6.  Schools should not anticipate budgetary surpluses or deficits. However, deficits will be considered to a maximum of 15%, at which time the Superintendent of Finance shall have the authority to suspend purchasing. Budgetary surpluses and deficits will be monitored on an on-going basis. Any surplus or deficit shall be carried forward to the next year’s budget allocation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, there may be occasions when a school wishes to spread the cost of very expensive items over a number of years and in those instances procedures shall be established on an ad hoc basis with the Superintendent of Finance and the Chief Financial Officer.
5.7.  Principals shall ensure that the following guidelines are supported through their school operations:
    • An AF-515 Purchase Order Form will be required in all purchasing situations, unless the Superintendent of Finance has approved an alternate arrangement;
    • The appropriate budget and site code to be debited;
    • The unit price, PST, GST and totals for each item ordered are to be included;
    • Shipping instructions, particularly for items that are likely to be delivered in August or September, are to be included;
    • Include a cancellation date for items that are back ordered;  
    • Principal’s authorizing signature; and
    • Area Superintendent of Schools authorizing signature.
5.8.  Purchase orders from the schools for items to be supplied during the summer shall be submitted to the Superintendent of Finance by May 8th;
5.9.  Expenditures are posted as of the date that the goods are received;
5.10.  Once the purchase has been received, a confirmation shall be submitted to the Finance department; and 
5.11.  Purchases shall be charged against the budget code to which they legitimately belong in order to provide an accurate audit procedure for expenditures according to the various categories.
6.  School custodians are responsible to ensure that supplies and equipment are ordered as required in consultation with principals. Custodian supplies and equipment will be ordered from the designated list of approved suppliers based upon the Division’s tendering processes.

7.  No employee shall receive remuneration or recompense, either directly or indirectly, as an agent, vendor or contractor of services or materials to the Division without written authorization from the Director. No employee shall solicit or accept any substantial gift or service from a current or potential vendor. No employer purchasing decision shall be influenced by the consideration of personal gain.

Reference:  Sections 69, 85, 87, 109, 110, 344, 354, Education Act

March 7, 2011