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Proper Solicitation of the Point-of-service System

Provides guidance to program operators on the required proper solicitation for a point-of-service system

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: School Food Authorities and Local Educational Agencies Participating in School Nutrition Programs

Attention: All School Nutrition Program Sponsors, County and District Superintendents, Chief Business Officials, Food Service Directors, Charter School Directors, and Residential Child Care Institution Administrators

Number: SNP-04-2019

Date: April 2019

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memorandum SP 04-2018, SP 05-2017, SP 39-2017, SP 12-2016, SP 02-2016; Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200.320; Management Bulletin, CNP 01-2019: Senate Bill 544 (McGuire) Federal Micropurchase and Small Purchase Thresholds

Subject: Proper Solicitation of the Point-of-service System

This management bulletin provides guidance on the requirement for the proper solicitation of your agency’s point-of-service (POS) system. Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 200.318−200.326 requires all program operators to competitively procure all goods and services paid in part or fully with federal funds. The proper solicitation of a POS system includes:
  • Obtaining price or rate quotations from an adequate (2 or more) number of qualified sources

  • Communicating the specifications of the POS system to all interested and  qualified sources

  • Evaluating received proposals based only on the stated specifications

  • Indicating cost as the primary factor during the evaluation and award process

All steps that involve the proper solicitation of your agency’s POS system must be clearly documented and retained in accordance with proper retention requirements.

During the 2017–18 Local Agency Procurement Review, the California Department of Education (CDE) found that procurement documents submitted by reviewed agencies did not include the proper solicitation of their POS system. When solicitation deficiencies are identified, the agency cannot fund the contract costs, including any ongoing and maintenance costs, from the nonprofit school food service account. In order to ensure compliance with federal and state procurement regulations and laws, and to avoid causing a disruption in meal service, the CDE requires the resolicitation of an improperly procured agreement for your POS system no later than July 1, 2021.

Failure to resolicit may result in the disallowance of all contract costs. If this occurs, your agency must repay the federal nonprofit school food service account from a nonfederal funding source.

The CDE Procurement in Child Nutrition Programs web page ( provides additional guidance on the procurement review. It also includes steps in the procurement review process, a YouTube training video, a list of review questions, applicable procurement standards, and updated information and resources.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the Procurement Resources Unit by email at

Questions:   Procurement Resources Unit | 916-319-0636
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 8, 2019
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