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Steps in the Procurement Review Process

School year 2021–22 local agency procurement steps in the process.


The California Department of Education (CDE) will perform an offsite procurement review a minimum of once every three years for all school food authorities (SFA) that contract with a food service management company (FSMC), residential child care institutions, private schools, and camps. The SFAs in this three-year cycle will typically receive the offsite procurement review during the same year that they are scheduled for an administrative review (AR).

The CDE will perform an offsite procurement review a minimum of once every six years for all public school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education operating without an FSMC contract. The SFAs in this six-year cycle will typically receive the offsite procurement review every other time they are scheduled for an AR.

Note: AR and Local Agency Procurement Review (LAPR) are separate reviews that coincide on parallel tracks

Step 1: The CDE Notifies the SFA About the Procurement Review

The CDE will notify SFAs by email before the beginning of the school year that they are scheduled to receive an offsite procurement review. This correspondence will include instructions to access the SFA Procurement Table (a fillable spreadsheet where the SFA enters the required procurement information), a list of all prereview documents that the SFA must submit to the CDE, the due date, and a link to resources to assist the SFA with the review.

Step 2: The SFA Completes the SFA Procurement Table

The SFA will complete the SFA Procurement Table. The SFA will use a Vendor Paid List (VPL) or summary of expenditures from the prior school year to assist them with completing this table. For assistance with information the SFA must include on the VPL, access the VPL Instructions or refer to Child Nutrition Information Payment System (CNIPS), Download Forms, Form ID PRU 02.

Step 3: The SFA Submits Required Prereview Documents to the CDE

The SFA submits the required prereview documents to the CDE by the due date to the Procurement Resources Unit email address at The SFA will submit the following:

  • SFA Procurement Table
  • VPL, or summary of expenditures, from the previous school year
  • Cooperative or group purchasing agreements, if applicable
  • Written Code of Conduct*
  • Written Procurement Procedures*

*SFAs that need assistance with writing the code of conduct and procurement procedure documents can access the Code of Conduct and Procurement Procedures Checklist document in the Resources section of the CDE Procurement in CNP web page. The CDE also provides a sample Code of Conduct in CNIPS, Download Forms, Form ID PRU 08a, and a sample Procurement Procedures document in CNIPS, Download Forms, Form ID PRU 08b.

Step 4: The CDE Selects Procurements for the Review

After reviewing the contracts and other procurement documents listed in the SFA Procurement Table, the CDE will decide which of the SFA procurements (that is, which contracts and supporting documents) they will select for a detailed review. The CDE will select contracts based on the following prioritization:

  • Only one response received to a solicitation
  • Group purchasing, buying, or third-party contracts
  • Highest-priced contracts
  • Procurements that exceeded the applicable threshold. For example, instances when the micropurchase method was used for a $4,000 procurement, which exceeds the $3,500 micropurchase threshold. Please note that effective August 1, 2018, the micropurchase threshold increased to $10,000 per transaction.

Step 5: The CDE Requests Additional Documents from the SFA

The CDE will request contract(s) and supporting documents from the SFA based on the procurements selected for review in Step 4. The CDE will provide the SFA with the due date for submitting these documents.

The CDE developed School Year (SY) 2021–22 Procurement Review Instructions to assist SFAs with examples of the types of documentation the CDE may request.

Step 6: The CDE Conducts the Offsite Review

The CDE will review contract(s) and supporting documents submitted by the SFA using the review questions in the USDA procurement tool available in CNIPS, Download Forms, Form ID PRU 01. These questions address general procurement (e.g., code of conduct and procurement procedure documents), micropurchases, small purchases, formal procurements, FSMC contracts, and USDA Foods processing contracts.

Step 7: Request for Technical Assistance Documentation (TAD)

CDE emails the Superintendent and Chief Business Officer the following emails and database report:

  • Executive Summary Email: This email provides a summary of items found to be noncompliant according to federal regulations. For complete details, including technical assistance (TA), the SFA will receive the Procurement Errors document(s)
  • FSMC Base Year Review Email (if applicable)
  • FSMC Renewal Year Review Email (if applicable)
  • Acknowledgement Form – This form is due within 10 business days
  • Database review (TAD) report

Step 8: Closing Review Guidance

Once the CDE has received your signed Acknowledgment form, the review is closed.

For questions, email the Procurement Resources Unit at or visit the CDE Procurement in CNP web page.

Questions:   Procurement Resources Unit | | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, June 16, 2021
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