Are educational entities in the US obligated to buy software through procurement procedures? 1 Answers as of May 07, 2017

There is a company, which can provide educational establishments with FREE software (for example plagiarism checker). Can it offer its product to the educational entities and just sign the contract after negotiation? Will the legal issue be the same if the software is not FREE or when FREE software has some chargeable options?

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Contracts with educational entities in the U.S. will be covered by the bodies that govern the contracts. For example, the procurement procedure for a local school district is something you can obtain from that school district. If you are talking about a college or a university, the procurement policy for each of these will be governed by the Board that runs that college or university. Google the name of the university and the word procurement and this should bring you to a page that tells the procurement policies for that school. Large university systems will have detailed procurement procedures that cover different categories and different price ranges. If you look at the policy of the specific institution, you may find that items below a certain price or items for free, may have a different procurement procedure. Selling or giving items or getting contracts with any school district or university is a complex job that requires someone willing and able to learn all the rules involved with the particular institution. One thing that is almost always illegal in dealing with any public institution is for the software company to offer bribes, gifts, kickbacks or other money or items of value to the person who will be making the purchase decisions. In most cases, the vendor will be required to sign a statement saying no such exchange took place. If you are allegedly giving the software and then charging for some aspects or usage of it, this needs to be clearly stated in any deal.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/7/2017
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