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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Frances N. O'Donnell, Coordinator
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Record-Keeping for Procurement Transactions

      School food authorities (SFAs) must maintain appropriate records for procurement transactions occurring in connection with the Child Nutrition Programs.

      United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Departmental regulations at 7 CFR Parts 3016 and 3019, program regulations at 7 CFR 210.9(b)(17), and the terms of the contract between State agencies and each SFA, require SFAs to retain their program-related records for a period of 3-years from the day the State agencies or SFA’s final allowable payment under the contract has been recorded.  This is true regardless of whether the final payment is recorded prior to the expiration of the contract or subsequent to the expiration date.

      When a procurement contract is continued or renewed at annual or other intervals, the retention period for the records of each contract period starts on the day the final payment is recorded in connection with the final renewal.  It appears that many SFAs incorrectly believe that the 3-year record retention begins with the initial contract execution.  The 3-year record retention period does not begin until the final contract renewal period has expired and/or the final payment is recorded, whichever occurs first.

      Actions such as bid protests, litigation, and audits may result in an extension of this 3-year record retention period.  In all such cases, the records must be retained until: (1) the completion of the action and resolution of all issues arising from it; or (2) the expiration of the regular 3-year period, whichever occurs later.

     Adequate procurement methods are a prerequisite for receiving funds.  If records generated during the performance of the award do not demonstrate compliance with applicable procurement requirements, several possible penalties may follow: disallowance of costs, annulment or termination of award, issuance of a stop work order, debarment or suspension, or other appropriate remedies.  Examples of such records include:

Ø      A written rationale for the method of procurement;

Ø      A copy of the Request for Proposal or the Invitation For Bid;

Ø      The selection of contract type (fixed price or cost reimbursable);

Ø      The bidding and negotiation history;

Ø      The basis for contractor selection;

Ø      Approval from the State agency to support a lack of competition when competitive bids or offers are not obtained;

Ø      The basis for award cost or price;

Ø      The terms and conditions of the contract;

Ø      Any changes to the contract and negotiation history;

Ø      Billing and payment records;

Ø      A history of any contractor claims; and

Ø      A history of any contractor breaches.

    If you have any questions, please contact your representative at (518) 473-8781 or

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.