Strategic Sourcing

We are pleased you are interested in providing products and services to Denver Public Schools!

The DPS Purchasing function is centralized to serve our District’s procurement needs in an efficient and timely manner, providing processes that brings the District the best purchase value and helps ensure our purchases are in compliance with applicable laws and District policy.

In 2015, our team attained re-certification and the Outstanding Agency Accreditation Award by NIGP, the institute for public procurement.

The Strategic Sourcing team strives to maximize the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of district funds in purchases, to provide excellent customer service, and to protect the district through standardized policies and procedures.

Our services include:

  1. Provide for effective, efficient and economical purchases
  2. Procure goods and services at the lowest possible cost (best value)
  3. Establish a continuity of supply sources
  4. Establish key strategic partnerships which will maximize the district’s buying power-locally and nationally
  5. Maintain high-quality standards
  6. Avoid duplication of work
  7. Achieve harmonious, productive work relationships with other departments and suppliers
  8. Accomplish these above objectives at the lowest possible costs to the district

Contact Us!


7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday.

780 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203

Supplier & Vendor Information

We have modernized our business processes to include a two-way, web-based resource for business partners. The benefits extended to our supplier/vendor business partners that register with DPS include:

  • Direct submission of electronic invoices (depending on your contractual relationship).
  • Complete view of your contracts, purchase orders, invoices and payments online through your “Supplier Portal”.
  • Ability to maintain your business profile, points of contact, diversity qualifications, list of commodities you wish to provide, W-9s, certifications and insurance documentation, along with optional subcontractor tracking.
  • Historical record of your interaction and performance with DPS
Future Enhancements will include:
  • Electronic bidding events/solicitations.
  • Bids and proposals sent directly to your personal Supplier Portal account
  • Online bid responses, negotiations, awards, and much more

Schools and departments interested in using a particular supplier should insure that the supplier is registered in the DPS Supplier Portal. Once registered, contact  to have a vendor number assigned to the supplier which completes the process.

Need assistance when using the portal?  Use the link in the Resources to the right to find instructional guides and a video to help you through the registration and invoicing processes.

The principle objective of Strategic Sourcing is to acquire quality goods and services for all district locations through an open, competitive process while adhering to all State of Colorado statutes and Board of Education policies.

DPS Strategic Sourcing is a member of the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), which is dedicated to the establishment and maintenance of ethical standards and professionalism in public purchasing. We are also members of the Cooperative Educational Purchasing Council (CEPC), which is made up of 25 school districts along the Front Range. The mission of the CEPC is to support the educational process and enhance the value of public purchasing through cooperative procurement, high ethical standards, fiscal responsibility, networking and professional growth.

Strategic Sourcing uses three types of formal solicitations:

  1. Invitation to bid
  2. Request for proposal
  3. Request for quotes

These three instruments allow the district to purchase goods and services that meet definitive specifications and quality standards. We are most interested in seeing that ALL suppliers and vendors have an opportunity to do business with Denver Public Schools, thus strengthening and widening product and service choices while optimizing use of public funds.

Online invoicing using your portal account is available for each open purchase order you have been awarded.  However, once an invoice has been processed manually (other than through your portal account) against a purchase order, that purchase order will no longer be available for online invoicing and will disappear from the “Create Invoices from Purchase Orders” tab.  It will not affect the other purchase orders you have open, as each purchase order stands on its own.

The Online invoicing process allows you to attach what would have been the “paper” invoice that you otherwise would have mailed or attached to an e-mail to our Accounts Payable department.  Make sure your attached invoice adheres to the Invoicing Requirements of the District.  The invoicing requirements can be found on page 2 of the AP Vendor Welcome Packet.  Click here to review those requirements.

Rocky Mountain E-Purchasing System (BidNet)

Beginning January 1st, 2018, Denver Public Schools will post solicitation documents on the Rocky Mountain E-Purchasing System site (RMEPS/BidNet). RMEPS provides a way for local government agencies across Colorado and Wyoming to effectively notify vendors of solicitation opportunities. All solicitation documents and related addenda are posted on this website. Vendors are requested to obtain all solicitation information from this site.

Vendors can visit this one site to have instant access to solicitation opportunities for Denver Public Schools, as well as, additional opportunities from other agencies throughout Colorado and Wyoming. Vendors must register with RMEPS to be able to access and download solicitation documents. There is no fee to register, however, vendors may sign up for e-mail or fax notifications for a fee. Vendors who sign up for notifications will receive potential solicitation opportunities from RMEPS that may applicable to their identified product/service offerings. Vendors who do not choose to register for notifications are responsible for monitoring the status of the posted bids and related documentation on their own.

It will be the responsibility of each potential vendor to monitor the RMEPS website regularly in order to be aware of business opportunities and review changes or addenda to bids, quotes or proposals.

Registration is simple:

  1. Go to: BidNet Direct
  2. Click on the orange “Register”
  3. Activate your account

Have registration questions? Contact 800-835-4603 (M-F 8am – 8pm EST)

All independent contractor agreements are to be processed through Strategic Sourcing. Independent contractors, like all other suppliers/vendors wanting to do business with DPS must register online at the Supplier Portal. The procedures below identify the forms and steps necessary to process these agreements orderly and in a timely fashion to the Strategic Sourcing department.

Reference material to assist in understanding the ICA negotiation and approval process can be found here:

Any purchases conducted on a federally funded contract or grant shall be checked against a federal debarment list. These procedures identify the processes to be followed for these reviews.

These procedures review how vendors are qualified and established for usage by the District. Vendors are qualified for usage based upon their quotations, bids, and proposals and then their selection for goods or services support to the District. The District is only performing a ‘pre-qualification’ process for services and projects, within the Facility/Construction Departments

Getting Started

Denver Public Schools no longer has a Vendor Application. However, beginning July 1, 2013, the District will require all suppliers that wish to provide goods and services to the District to “register” on the DPS Supplier Portal.  The District is moving in stages to an e-commerce business platform.  Bid events, supplier responses, negotiations, amendments and award notifications, etc. will be processed and communicated on-line.  Instructions on how to register can be found in the Resources section on this webpage.

Vendors can also obtain all DPS solicitations online here. It is incumbent upon each supplier to check the DPS Supplier Portal on a regular basis to make sure they do not miss a bidding opportunity. It is also the Supplier’s responsibility to check the DPS Supplier Portal web site periodically to ensure that Addendums or other information have not been issued against a solicitation.

We have a yearly calendar, which list the majority of bids and the month they are normally put out to bid. However, numerous Invitations to Bid and Request for Proposals are done on an as needed basis.

Under Commodity Listing, you can find the Buyer’s name and contact information. You may, at any time, find the appropriate Buyer for the goods or services you provide and contact them for an appointment or additional information.

To protect the staff and program against undue invasion of the school or work day, sales representatives shall not be permitted in schools or other departments for the purpose of making sales unless authorized to do so by the Director of Strategic Sourcing or his/her designee. If special or technical details concerning goods or services to be purchased are required, the involvement of vendors should be coordinated through the Strategic Sourcing Department. Vendors may send product information through U.S. mail. The schools names and addresses are listed on the District web site at

Invitation to Bid, Request For Proposals & Quotes

In accordance with Board of Education policy, solicitations are issued by the Strategic Sourcing team for the purchase of items costing $150,000 or more. These solicitations include detailed descriptions of the commodity and/or service based on specifications approved by the requestor and the buyer and written with the intent of soliciting competitive bidding. These specifications, along with instructions and terms and conditions, comprise the total solicitation.

Receipt Of Solicitations

Paper responses must be received and time stamped in the Strategic Sourcing Department, 780 Grant Street, Denver, Colorado 80203, before the time and date indicated on the Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal and Quotes.  The District is not responsible for misdirected mail or delivery services.

The District has future plans to roll out electronic (paperless) bids and/or proposals.  When that occurs, bids and/or proposals received electronically must be submitted before the close date and time on the bidding event.  Our server time will be the official time for these submissions.  Denver Public Schools intends to maintain continuous access to the e-Sourcing website; however, from time to time, access to information and/or documents might be interrupted either because of site problems, user problems or Internet problems. Not all access difficulties can be resolved by the District since some access failures may be due to problems with the computer hardware and/or communication equipment employed by the web site user. In an effort to allow maximum access to users, formal bids will be posted a minimum of 10 days on the supplier portal. Suppliers are reminded that the competitive nature of their offers could be affected if their submissions do not include all amendments. For this reason, suppliers are encouraged to revisit all solicitations to which they intend to respond 1 day prior to their due date.

Evaluation Of Solicitations

The process of evaluating and awarding solicitations is one of the primary functions of the Strategic Sourcing Department. Awards are not always made on the basis of “low bid”, especially if the solicitation was a Request for Proposal or Request for Quotes. With an RFP & RFQ, a myriad of considerations may be taken into account before an award is made.

Because numerous considerations must be made when purchasing materials and services, the Strategic Sourcing Department has a process that allows it to make awards using the best evaluative score based on criteria, weighted by importance, which needs to be considered in making the purchase. Criteria and determination of importance are established by the Strategic Sourcing Department in conjunction with the end-user.Examples of evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to: Lowest price based on percentage discount, past performance/prior experience, engineering support, availability, lowest price on selected items, return policy, delivery options, support capabilities (customer service, product support, etc.), life-cycle costing, billing options, quality of product, reliability of service, quality of solutions to meet specified needs, management and financial capabilities

Award Of Contract

Bids, proposals, and quotes are formalized by the issuance of a purchase order or a contract. No merchandise may be shipped or any services performed without a district purchase order or contract signed by the Director of Strategic Sourcing or appropriate district designee.

VIDEO: How to register as a DPS vendor » How to register as a vendor guide (PDF) » DPS Supplier Portal » Open Bids & Request for Proposals »

In accordance with revised purchasing policies established by Strategic Sourcing and approved by the Board of Education, purchasing operating procedures have been formalized. These procedures are summarized in each of the next sections. These procedures provide the ‘how to’ in terms of conducting purchasing business in behalf of your department, school or the district.

Board policies related to Strategic Sourcing operations can be found at the Board site under section DJ.  Click here to view these and other policies.

  • As per Board Policy DJGA, vendors are NOT allowed to enter schools or place sales calls to schools without prior written permission from the Director of Strategic Sourcing.
  • As per Board Policy DJ, schools and departments must issue an authorized form of payment before ordering goods or services. An authorized form of payment is: Purchase Order, DPS Visa card, or Independent Contractor Agreement (when applicable).
  • There is no “approved vendor list”. Vendors do not fill out a vendor application to become an “approved vendor”.
  • Schools/Departments interested in using a particular supplier should insure that the supplier is registered in the DPS Supplier Portal. Once registered, contact  to have a vendor number assigned which completes the process.

Given our objectives and responsibilities, we must ensure that we fulfill our commitments while upholding a high standard of integrity and ethical business conduct.  To this extent, all are encouraged to anonymously submit information on potential fraud, waste, and abuse of District property, assets, and resources through  (Use DPS Subscriber Code DPSK12).  You can also call the automated phone hotline 24 hours a day at 855-858-3344.

Procurement rules set out in the Office of Man­agement and Budget’s new Uniform Grant Guid­ance will result in changes to the way DPS manages competitive bidding procedures for federally funded service contracts. These new changes will take place effective July 1, 2017.  In the meantime, we are able to participate in a grace period through June 30, 2017, that allows us to continue to comply with previous procurement standards.  We will be updating policies and procedures as necessary and providing training to those impacted departments and schools.  Please check back for more updates.