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CMAS Contract Use and Approval

School districts can participate in the California Multiple Award Schedules (CMAS) program for the purchase of materials, equipment, and supplies provided that the purchases are the same as those made by the Department of General Services and are under the same terms, conditions and specifications at a price lower than the districts can obtain through their normal purchasing procedures.

Education Code (EC) section 17595 and Public Contract Code (PCC) section 20653 authorize school districts to purchase materials, equipment or supplies through the Department of General Services and (PCC) section 10298 specifically authorizes state and local agencies to contract with suppliers who are awarded CMAS contracts without further competitive bidding.

The CMAS program was expanded under PCC 10290, 10290.1, and 12100 to include information technology goods and services. Information technology is defined as including, but not limited to, all electronic technology systems and services, automated information handling, system design and analysis, conversion of data, computer programming, information storage and retrieval, telecommunications which include voice, video and data communications, requisite system controls, simulation, electronic commerce, and all related interactions between people and machines. PCC 10299 authorizes the Director of General Services to consolidate the needs of multiple state agencies for information technology goods and services and to establish contracts, master agreements, multiple award schedules, and cooperative agreements to leverage the state’s buying power. This PCC section specifically states that state agencies and local agencies may contract with suppliers awarded these contracts without further competitive bidding and states that the director may make the services of the Department of General Services available to any school district and that school districts may, without further competitive bidding, utilize contracts, master agreements, multiple award schedules, cooperative agreements, or other types of agreements established by the Department of General Services for use by school districts for the acquisition of information technology, goods, and services.

In order to utilize a CMAS contract, the purchase must be made at a price lower than the district can obtain through its normal purchasing process. This finding or a finding that the CMAS purchase is in the best interest of the district should be made by the governing board of the district or by an employee who has been delegated the authority to make such a finding pursuant to (EC) sections 17604 or 81655. If the district delegates such authority to an administrator, the administrator’s finding of lower price or best interest pursuant to Sections 17604 and 81655 requires the governing board to ratify the administrator’s decision by a motion duly passed and adopted at a public meeting. Such ratification may be part of a motion which is duly passed to approve a consent calendar of a group of items. The administrator should submit documentation with information to the governing board such as the price, name of CMAS vendor, services, materials, equipment or supplies being purchased, the CMAS contract number and the relevant findings made by the administrator.