R.L. Augustine Construction Co. Inc. v. Peoria Unified School Dist. No. 11
In R.L. Augustine Construction Co. Inc. v. Peoria Unified School Dist. No. 11, 188 Ariz. 368, 936 P.2d 554 (1997), the trial court had dismissed the complaint filed by R.L. Augustine Construction Company in superior court against the Governing Board of the Peoria Unified School District, seeking judicial review pursuant to the ARA of a decision by the Governing Board and the subsequent review by a hearing officer appointed by the Governing Board.
The dispute related to delays in construction of an administration center. 188 Ariz. at 369, 936 P.2d at 555. The complaint also sought "a declaration that the Board of Education's procurement rules were unconstitutional because one of the parties to the contract, the Governing Board, as owner, also acted as the final agency decision maker." Id.
The trial court dismissed the complaint on the ground that R.L. Augustine had failed to seek a rehearing pursuant to the Arizona Administrative Code (AAC) R7-2-1182, the Board of Education's procurement rules, which the Board had promulgated pursuant to A.R.S. 15-213(A). Id. at 369-70, 936 P.2d at 555-56.
The court of appeals reversed, holding that the procurement rules were unconstitutional and that the ARA did not apply to school districts. Id.
Vacating the court of appeals decision, the supreme court also reversed the trial court's ruling, finding, as had the court of appeals, that the ARA did not apply. Id. at 371, 936 P.2d at 557.
The supreme court remanded the case to the trial court for a de novo review of the claims R.L. Augustine had raised in its complaint. Id.
As the supreme court noted, the Board of Education's procurement rules were required to be consistent with Arizona's Procurement Code, 41-2501 through 41-2637. Id. at 370, 936 P.2d at 556.
But they differed in significant respects.
First, the Board of Education's rules provided the same two-tiered system of review as the Procurement Code but with one important distinction: the initial decision and final decision were by the same entities, the Governing Board of the School District, also a party to the contract. Id.
Second, the Board of Education's procurement rules did not provide for judicial review of the Governing Board's decision pursuant to the ARA, whereas the Procurement Code does. Id. at 371, 936 P.2d at 557; see A.R.S. 41-2614.