The Prince George's County school board will review a proposal tonight that would require schools chief Andre J. Hornsby to seek its permission before awarding contracts to vendors without competitive bidding.
The proposal, which board members plan to vote on early next month, calls for creating a committee that would review contracts with "sole source" companies offering products and services valued at more than $25,000. A sole source vendor is one that has no competitors for its product.
The committee -- to be made up of several school system employees, including a legal adviser -- would make a recommendation to Hornsby, who would then present it to the school board for approval.
"It's a check and balance," said Board of Education Chairman Beatrice P. Tignor (Upper Marlboro). "It's good for everyone. I think it saves money, it saves time, but it also allows our vendors to be participatory."
School system policy has allowed Hornsby and his predecessors to award such contracts if the district could get the product or service from only one company.
The district's chief executives also have been allowed to award contracts without competitive bidding to companies that offer professional services.
Tignor said the board had been considering changing its policy even before questions were raised recently about Hornsby's dealings with some vendors.