Frequently Asked Questions

How do I purchase goods and services?
Camden City School District services uses an electronic purchasing system to acquire good and services. All purchases are performed in accordance to New Jersey Statutes. All acquisitions begin with the dispatching of an authorized Purchase Order. Once goods and/or services are identified, the requestor should perform actions as indicated below. The Purchasing Department serves to guide and assist. The general telephone number is 856-966-2000, ext. 38804.
What is the procedure for obtaining a purchase order?
(1) End user must enter a requisition in SMARTS Budgetary Accounting System for the purchase of goods or services.
(2) Purchasing processes the requisition utilizing the proper procurement method as per NJ procurement statute
(3) The Purchase Order is mailed, emailed or electronically transmitted to the vendor.
What is SMARTS?
SMARTS is an electronic procurement system. The system encompasses all aspects of procurement; from Purchasing (requisitioning, dispatching purchase orders) to Accounts Payable (receiving and payments).
All schools/central locations are required to use the electronic system for all requests for goods and services (exceptions are field trips and staff travel).
What is the approval process for ordering goods/services?
  • Enter a requisition in the SMARTS Budgetary Accounting system.
  • All School Orders must be approved.
  • Orders over $3,500 using grant funds – requires the approval of Sr. Director of Finance and the School Business Administrator.
  • Orders over $6,000 – $39,999 require the approval of School Business Administrator.
  • Orders over $40,000 require the approval of the Superintendent or designee, via resolution.
  • All purchase orders must be approved by the School Business Administrator.
Additional approvals are required for:
  • Technology orders must be approved by Gianfranco Altieri, Sr. Director IT Operations
  • Health supplies must be approved by Renee Wickersty of Health Services.
  • Building and Grounds orders must be approved by Dave Brown, Interim Dir. Of Buildings and Grounds
What is the threshold?
Verbal Quotes
o Purchases that are $1.00 - $5,999 require one written quote
o Goods and services acquired with federal funds require 2 written quotes for purchases
Written Quotes
Purchases that are $6,000 - $39,999 require two written quotes. Quotes must include the vendor’s proposal/scope of services. Vendors paid over $6,000 require a NJ Business Registration Certificate (BRC). The Purchasing department will verify BRC number prior to payment.
Bid Requirement
Orders $40,000 or more require formal bidding and Board approval (Attach a copy of the scope of services and specifications for services requested).
Note
o The New Jersey Public School Contracts law requires that any specific item, class of items, and/or services of a similar nature purchased by a school district totaling more than $40,000, in aggregate, for the entire year must be competitively bid.
o Purchases over $40,000 require bidding and/or School Board resolution/action before services can begin. This process can take from anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
What is a formal bid?
Formal bids are solicitations for goods and/or services that must be advertised, received in a sealed packaging on a specific date at the specified time. Bids may be received by hard copy or through our electronic bidding system. All bids are publicly opened and read.
Bids include the Camden City School District specifications for good and/or services.
  • The bid document lists the items to be purchased.
  • The minimum amount of time allowed for bids are ten days.
  • The bid includes the Camden City School District standard terms and conditions.
Vendors are required to include: NJ Business Registration Certificate, Political Disclosure Statement, W-9, Affirmative Action information certification, etc.
Awarding of contracts through the bidding process must be approved by the Camden City School District Advisory Board. Once approved a contract may be executed.
Goods and Services may be provided only AFTER a contract is fully executed.
What is a Request for Proposal (RFP)?
A Request for Proposal is a method of securing proposals for services that are primarily professional in nature, and for services that requires tailored specification.
  • Advertisement is not always required.
  • Proposals include the Camden City School District specifications, and standard terms and conditions
  • The minimum amount of time allowed for solicitation can be 20 days.
Vendors are required to include: NJ Business Registration Certificate, Political Disclosure Statement, Affirmative Action information certification, etc.
Awarding of contracts through the bidding process must be approved by the Camden City School District Advisory Board. Once approved a contract may be executed.
Goods and Services may be provided only AFTER a contract is fully executed.
What is a professional service?
Professional Services means services rendered or performed by a person authorized by law to practice a recognized profession and whose practice is regulated by law.
Examples: Doctors, Attorneys, Architects, CPA
Professional services may also mean goods and services that are original and creative in character in a recognized field of artistic endeavor.
Examples: Painter, Dancer, Actor, Musician
What is the process for hiring a firm to provide professional development for instructional and administrative staff that exceeds the $40,000?
  • The district must solicit proposals through the competitive contracting process.
  • The process requires an RFP; end user should provide a scope of service, vendor requirements and/or qualifications and a list of potential vendors. The RFP is created in collaboration with the Purchasing Department.
  • The solicitation must be advertised in the newspaper for 20 days.
  • The proposals must be reviewed by an evaluation committee. The committee members names must be submitted prior to the closing for proposal submissions
  • This process can take from 60-90 days.
  • Awarding of contracts must be approved by the School Advisory Board and the Superintendent.
  • All contracts awarded through this process must be publicly advertised.
What is the process for hiring a consultant?
  • Enter a requisition into SMARTS.
  • Provide a clear and concise scope of service.
  • Two written quotes are required for services totaling more than $6,000.
  • The maximum dollar amount for individual consultant is $350.00 per day; any amount higher must be approved by the Chief Operating Officer or School Business Administrator.
  • If the cost of service is more than $6,000, the vendor must have a NJ Business Certification Certificate.
  • If the cost is more than $17,500, the vendor must have a NJ Business Registration Certificate and complete a Political Disclosure form.
  • If the service is above the threshold, the same requirements as RFP/Bids apply.
What is the process for hiring an education consultant?
  • Education consultant must provide copies of license.
  • End user must submit a requisition with the scope of services and written proposal attached.
  • If the service is above the threshold, the same requirements as RFP/Bids apply.
  • Acquire two written quotes for services that are more than $6,000.
  • If the cost of service is more than $6,000, the vendor must have a NJ Business Certification Certificate.
If the cost is more than $17,500, the vendor must have a NJ Business Registration Certificate and complete a Political Disclosure form.
What is the process for using NJ State contracts?
The Camden City School District, without bidding, have the benefit of purchasing goods or services entered into on behalf of the State of New Jersey Division of Purchase and Property.
The state’s website: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/purchase/.
Is the bidding processed required, when the vendor is another local or state agency?
The Camden City School District can enter into contracts with other public agencies without public advertising.
Example: Essex County Educational Services Commission, Rutgers University, University of Medicine & Dentistry, Huntington County Educational Services Commission
A board resolution is required when the amount exceeds $40,000.00.
Goods and services acquired with federal funds require 2 written quotes for purchases over $3,000 and a formal solicitation on purchases over $150,000.
Are there any vendors that are exempt from having a NJ Business Registration Certificate?
The Division of Taxation has determined that contracts that are less than 15% of the bid threshold or >$6,000.00 do not require businesses to provide proof of registration
State, Federal or local government agencies are exempt.
Non-profit organizations, although required to register for tax purposes, are not subject to the proof of registration requirement when contracting with public agencies in this state.
What is the policy for vendors contributing to Board Members campaigns?
All vendors that are issued a purchase order that is in excess of $17,500 must complete a Political Disclosure Form.
The rule prohibits award of all contracts of $17,500 or greater to any vendor that contributed more than the reportable amount (currently $300) to a board member during the previous year, and bars vendors from making contributions of more than the reportable amount (currently $300) to individual board members during the life of the contract.
What accounts do I use to purchase textbooks, general supplies, transportations, admissions, postage?
The object code determines the account used; the account code string is as begins as follows: Fund-Fund-Program-Function-Object
Use account object code 300/320/390
- Professional Services/Consultant Services
- Technical Support Services
Use account object code 420
- Repairs
Use account object code 440
- Rental of facilities/Leases
Use account object code 500/530
- Telephone Service
Use account object code 512/516
- Buses/Student Transportation
Use account object code 600/610
- General supplies including consumable books
Use account object code of 640
- Textbooks
Use account object code 730/731
- To purchase fixed assets (Purchases where the unit price is $2,000 or more)
Use account object code 800/890
- Admissions; Registrations; Memberships; Petty Cash;
- Postage; Magazine Subscription Service; Catering
Why didn’t my requisition pass budget check?
  • Make sure that you entered the correct account number.
  • Make sure that you have adequate funds for your purchase.
What is the process for field trips?
All field trips are processed utilizing purchasing procedures. Please contact Maria Silverman or Abigail Ramos for more information.
What is the process for travel and attending workshops?
  • All travel and workshops are processed by Department leads.
  • All travel and workshops required prior board approval.
  • Reimbursements require receipts of all allowable purchases.
How long will it take to find out if my organization is an approved vendor?
All proposals can be awarded within 60 days after the closing date. Final approval is made by School Board resolution and Superintendent approval. Notification periods may vary. All awards are posted on the School District’s website and the local newspaper. A formal notification will be sent by the Purchasing Dept.
What are the terms of the contract for approved vendors?
All contracts for the provision or performance of goods or services shall be awarded for a period not to exceed 24 consecutive months, except that contracts for professional services pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-5 shall be awarded for a period not to exceed 12 consecutive months. 


How are schools notified of approved vendors?
Once the vendors have been approved and the related contracts are fully executed, the requestor will receive a notification from the Purchasing Dept.
How should vendors market their services within the district?
Vendors should contact the school administrator via their customary methods of marketing. The district does not currently conduct vendors fair.
Administrators allocate funding for various services in accordance with district and school initiatives. Funding capabilities vary.
How does a vendor receive payment for good or services rendered?
The School District customarily renders payment in 45 days following acceptance of the goods or services.
A three way matching process is necessary to ensure accurate payments and protect the taxpayer.
i. Vendors must submit an invoice and signed voucher, certifying delivery.
ii. The requesting Camden City School District location must submit an electronic receipt.
Once all documents are received and accuracy is verified, payment may be issued.
Where should the vendor mail the invoice and voucher?
Documents should be mailed to Camden City School District, Accounts Payable, 201 N. Front Street Camden, NJ 08102
The Accounts Payable department can be contacted via email at accountspayable@camden.k12.nj.us or by telephone at 856-966-2000, ext. 38808.
The procurement process contains many nuances that may affect your particular purchase. The Purchasing Department has an informed staff with the knowledge to provide professional assistance. This FAQ was prepared to outline the requirements for the most common circumstances. Please contact the Purchasing Department by calling 856-966-2000, 38806 or via email at purchasing@camden.k12.nj.us for additional information as needed.
Contact the following staff members with any questions: 
Karen Willis, Interim School Business Administrator
(856) 966-2000, Ext. 38829
Email: kwillis@camden.k12.nj.us
Arlethia Brown, Manager of Purchasing & Food Services
(856) 966-2000, Ext. 38825
Email: abrown@camden.k12.nj.us
Abigail Ramos, Special Assistant
(856) 966-2000, Ext. 38801
Email: aramos@camden.k12.nj.us
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