USDA Procurement Processes

December 22, 2017

TO:                  Business Managers, Superintendents
FROM:            Rebecca Holcombe, Ed.D., Secretary of Education
SUBJECT:       USDA Procurement Processes
DATE:             December 22, 2017


This memo seeks to clarify recent conversations related to procurement for foodservice contracts. Continuing with existing USDA regulations, all school food authorities (SFA) must engage in prescribed procurement practices if they choose to meet foodservice obligations through contracts. In the new rules, schools still have the option of operating their own programs or contracting for food services to meet their school nutrition needs. That decision remains at the local level. You may operate or contract for USDA-supported food services.

Procurement Requirements

USDA requires that a specific federal process be followed by all SFAs when contracting for food services. The Agency of Education (AOE) is charged by USDA with determining the types of Requests For Proposals (RFPs) and Invitation For Bids (IFBs) that SFAs in the state may use. The AOE has opted to begin the transition to a fixed-price contract based on the direction that USDA is taking and the benefits that a fixed price contract will provide. The AOE anticipates that the USDA proposed rule will be codified due to the many benefits and reduced workload associated with oversight of the contract.

Read the full USDA Procurement Processes memo