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Federal Small Purchase Threshold Adjustment

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Beneficial Information
To: Child Nutrition Program Sponsors Number: USDA-CNP-09-2012
Attention: Food Service Directors, Business Officials, Superintendents, Administrators, Purchasing Agents, and Finance Directors Date: November 2012
Subject: Federal Small Purchase Threshold Adjustment
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memo SP 01-2013; CACFP 01-2013; SFSP 01-2013:

This Management Bulletin (MB) informs all Child Nutrition Program sponsors of an adjustment to the federal small purchase threshold. Effective immediately, school food authorities that are not subject to a state or local small purchase threshold may use the small purchase threshold set by Title 41, United States Code, Section 403(11), which is $150,000.

This increase in the threshold allows for more small purchase procurements using relatively simple and informal methods for securing services, supplies, or other property (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations [7 CFR] Section 3016.36[d]) provided that each procurement, regardless of amount, is conducted in a manner that ensures free and open competition. Local agencies may set a lower threshold and thereby impose more restrictive procurement procedures as authorized by 7 CFR sections 3016.36(a), 3016.37(a) and 3016.60(a). [Note: Effective October 1, 2015, Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 3016 has been superseded by Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200]. Therefore, all state and local procurement requirements still apply.

As a reminder, public schools and county offices of education must adhere to the state small purchase threshold. This threshold is changed annually, and may be viewed on the California Department of Education Correspondence Web page at Charter schools, private schools, and residential child care institutions may use the federal small purchase threshold. County operated juvenile detention facilities shall use the small purchase threshold established by the county; however, in the absence of one, they may use the federal threshold.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact the appropriate Nutrition Services Division staff member for your agency as indicated below.

School Nutrition Programs

You may find a list of contact information for your School Nutrition Programs (SNP) specialist in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). You may also contact Niki Head, the SNP Office Technician by phone at 916-322-3005.

Child and Adult Care Food Program
You may find a list of contact information for your Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) specialist in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. You may also contact Nancy Charpentier, CACFP Office Technician, by phone at 916-327-2991 or by e-mail at
Summer Food Service Program
You may refer to Form SFSP 01 in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS for a list of Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) specialists. You may also contact Larry Frakes, SFSP Office Technician, by phone at 916-322-8323 or by e-mail at
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 16, 2016
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