Quave, 011580 MSAGO, 19800115

Docket Nº:19800115
Case Date:January 15, 1980
Court:South Carolina
Mr. R. A. Quave
No. 19800115
Mississippi Attorney General Opinions
January 15, 1980
         Mr. R. A. Quave          Secretary          Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College          207 Fournier Avenue          Biloxi, Mississippi 39532          Dear Mr. Quave:          Attorney General Summer has received your letter of June 21, 1979, and it has been assigned to the undersigned for research and reply.          In your correspondence, you pose five (5) questions and one (1) special inquiry which we now take in chronological order:
         1. Purchase of Library and textbooks (Section. 37-39-9; Section 37-39-13). The question: Is it legal for the administration of M.G.C.J.C. to purchase textbooks and library books without following the bid process required in Section 37-39-9 (providing the books is not a one-source item)?
         The sections you allude to in question one (1), § 37-39-9 and § 37-39-13, Miss. Code of 1972, apply to public school districts and county boards of education. See § 37-39-1(f), Miss. Code of 1972 . However, § 31-7-13 controls the purchase of textbooks and library books by junior colleges, and it is clear from the language of the statute that the bid processes must be complied with, excepting of course as you stated, the one-source item.          What is or isn't a one source item is a factual determination for the board. We recognize that it may be difficult to find text and library books, that have been copyrighted, which are not sold except by one company. However, the board of trustees have the responsibility under the law to require bids where that situation does not exist.
         2. Paying of Invoices Before Board's Approval. Question: Is it legal for the administration of M.G.C.J.C. to disburse college funds (except contract salaries and mandatory expenditures - utility bills) prior to board approval (37-39-9)?
         Section 37-39-9 is inapplicable in this situation; the authority of your Board is contained in § 37-29-411, and it would appear from the general language contained therein that Board approval is necessary except in cases of “emergency” expenditures.
         3. Does Board approval of the budget constitute Board's approval to purchase a given item? The question is: Through the adoption of the budget, does this action of adopting the budget itself grant the authority to the administration to disburse line item expenditures (excluding contracts) prior to board approval (Sec. 37-29-415)?

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