Report 2016-139 Recommendation 11 Responses

Report 2016-139: California Department of Education: It Has Not Ensured That School Food Authorities Comply With the Federal Buy American Requirement (Release Date: July 2017)

Recommendation #11 To: Stockton Unified School District

To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, Stockton should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.

1-Year Agency Response

Stockton Unified School District (District) has established written policies and procedures to ensure consistent compliance with the Federal Buy American requirement. Sent by way of e-mail is "School Bid Guidelines and Exceptions," an internal document of the District's Purchasing Department which discusses the procedures to be followed relating to the Buy American requirement (see pages 12-14).

The District continues to include Buy American requirement information in Request for Proposal (RFP) documents. Sent by way of e-mail is RFP No. 974 Fresh Produce (Buy American requirement listed as Item 25 in the General Conditions section) and RFP No. 975 Frozen Food Products (Buy American requirement listed as Item 24 in the General Conditions section).

The District will continue to monitor compliance with the Buy American requirement and make adjustments to the written policies and procedures as the need arises.

  • Completion Date: May 2018
  • Response Date: July 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

Stockton Unified School District has established written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement. Those policies and procedures include all elements we recommended except a requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.


6-Month Agency Response

The District continues the process of establishing written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement. The District anticipates completion of this process by April 30, 2018.

The District has included the Buy American language in all bid documents and contracts relating to food for the 2017-18 fiscal year. The District's Purchasing Department monitors these documents to verify that the Buy American language is included.

Please see the response and supporting documents submitted on September 29, 2017 for additional information on our implementation efforts.

  • Estimated Completion Date: April 30, 2018
  • Response Date: January 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

Stockton indicated in its response that it is in the process of establishing written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement.


60-Day Agency Response

Submission e-mailed to Katrina Solorio.

  • Estimated Completion Date: 1/27/2018
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending

Stockton indicated in its emailed response that it is in the process of establishing written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement. It provided evidence that recent food solicitations included a certification sheet that vendors used to certify that the products they provided to Stockton were compliant with the Buy American requirement.


All Recommendations in 2016-139

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.