Top of Page


Find definitions to commonly used procurement terms.



(For Schools Only)

Within iProcurement, user who approves, delegates or rejects requisitions. Requests information, approves cancellations and receipts purchase orders. Requestor and Approver cannot be the same person



Board Approval Process - all department's anticipated needs for the next 18 months appear on the BAP, including dates that proposal, RFPs, kick-off meetings, etc. must occur in order to have the items/services under contract by time of need.

Board Approved Contract

A contract that has been competitively awarded to suppliers to provide items or services to schools and units throughout the district. Different from a district-wide contract, Board Approved contracts can be approved for.


Biddable items tend to be tangible commodities or supplies. Ex: janitorial supplies, office supplies, uniforms. The limit for off-contract/non-Strategic Source Vendor (SSV) spend on Biddable items is $35K.

Board Report

For purchases over $500,000, a Board report is required. When schools require a Board report, work with Network teams to complete the request.


Dept. of Procurement team members in charge of approving requisitions and buying. Buyers work directly with category managers to ensure we are getting the best value for our CPS dollar.


Category Managers

Dept of Procurement team members in charge or negotiating the best price and value for contracts. Category managers develop a professional approach for sourcing core school categories in order to generate significant savings while maintaining or improving the level of service. Ensure that CPS is not exposed to undue risks due to non-compliance of supply flow, CPS responsibility, and ethical behavior.


Chief Procurement Officer


Schools and departments do not have the authority to spend more than $35,000 on non-biddable purchases. In the event a non-biddable purchase between $35,001 and $500,000 needs to be made, a CPOR must be created and submitted to the Department of Procurement for approval. A CPOR requires 3 price quotes. CPOR completion can range in time due to supplier availability; getting 3 quotes for a very specific product or service can take time because locating suppliers may take time. Not only do CPORs require CPO approval and supplier signature before services start/goods are received, a purchase order must also be approved before services start/goods are received.


District-wide Contract

A contract that is centrally negotiated and competitively awarded to be used by any school or unit in the district. Strategic Source Vendors all have district-wide contracts for the items that they have been contracted to sell, which eliminates the Procurement spend threshold when using them for these items.



(For Schools Only)

Oracle iProcurement is the self-service requisitioning application that controls employee spending. Oracle iProcurement provides a Web-based shopping system that allows employees to create, manage, and track their own orders while the Purchasing department retains central control. This helps to ensure that policies and preferred pricing agreements are reflected in every transaction. Easy ordering and seamless workflow provide better service, while non-sourced or off-catalog spending gets the attention it needs from buying professionals. (From the Oracle iProcurement website).



(For Schools Only)

Simplified online shopping tool where most contracted items are available for purchase. Please click here to access the CPS Marketplace. For a complete list of all vendors and categories under contract, please visit



Non-Biddable items tends to be professional services or unique commodities. EX: professional development, educational software, computers. The limit for off-contract/non-Strategic Source Vendor (SSV) spend on Non-Biddable items is $35K.



A purchase that is made with a vendor that does not have a district-wide contract (non-SSV) or a purchase made with a Strategic Source Vendor for the items they are NOT contracted to sell (purchasing furniture from the SSV for office supplies). Procurement spend thresholds apply to off-contract purchases.


A purchase that is made using a Strategic Source Vendor for their contracted services, spending on-contract eliminates the chance of inadvertently stringing and also eliminates the Procurement spend threshold.


(For Schools Only)

Online system used to create all requisitions, purchase orders, invoice, receipting, budgets etc.



Department in charge of facilitating all purchasing for the district, negotiating district-wide contracts that schools and departments can use for items and services at the best prices for the best quality.

Procurement Spend Limits

Under state law and Board rules, spending limits are $35,000 annual cumulative spend for combined Biddable and Non-Biddable items with a certain vendor. These spending limits only apply to non-Strategic Source Vendors for off-contract items. Any attempt to bypass the procurement spend limits is against the law and constitutes stringing. (see Stringing) Procurement spend limits apply to both Board funds & internal accounts dollars.

Purchase Order

Contract used to outline service or good to be provided and terms of delivery. A PO must be signed by the Supplier. Always have a signed PO prior to receiving goods/services or making payment.



(For Schools Only)
Within iProcurement, user who initiates/adjusts requisitions, submits cancellations and receipts purchase orders. Requestor and Approver cannot be the same person.


(For Schools Only)
Request for goods or services. Housed online in Oracle and completed by a requestor (clerk/business manager) and approved by the Principal. Requisitions under the Procurement Spend Limits become Purchase Orders automatically; Requisitions that exceed the Procurement Spend Limits require Procurement approval.


Request for Proposal. Created by the Department of Procurement for services/goods valued over $500,000. An RFP allows suppliers to submit proposals for the goods/services. This is a competitive process. The Procurement department reviews all Proposals and grants the contract to the best value proposed - this includes pricing, service, warranties, etc.


Scope of Services

A description of the goods or services (needs) that you want to obtain on a specific contract.


(For Schools Only)
School Support Center. Contact the SSC with any procurement related questions you may have - 773.535.5800.

Strategic Source Vendor (SSV)

All suppliers that have contracts with the Chicago School District. Always check Strategic Source Vendors on and Marketplace before using an off-contract, non-Strategic Source Vendor.

Strategic Sourcing

Process by which contracts with Suppliers are made. Category Managers and Buyers negotiate contracts with suppliers around pricing, warranty, service, etc. The comprehensive price provides the best value for the district. When buying, always review the Strategic Source Vendor list before resorting to other suppliers.


Any act to avoid the procurement or contracting process. More specifically, stringing is any attempt to bypass the competitive procurement processes set forth in Board Rules 7–2 and 7–3 or any of the limitations on delegated authority in Board Rule 7-13. Stringing is prohibited under Illinois State Law and can result in jail time and termination of employment.

Department of Procurement


773-553-2251 (Fax)

Vendors/External Users, please submit your questions via Procurement Customer Service Request Form.

CPS Internal Users, please submit your questions via Procurement School Support.

Office of Business Diversity


773-553-2998 (Fax)