Purchasing Policy & Procedures.
Under the division of Finance & Administration, the Purchasing Department supports the University’s fiscal integrity and operational efficiency through the procurement of goods and services. We support departments in the procurement of goods and services, administration of the University’s credit card program, oversight of the travel approval process, and management of several campus-side contracts.
All employees shall be bound by the following ethics principles in the procurement of goods and services: No employee shall accept any gift, favor, service or other thing of value related in any way to the University official’s duties. Employees or immediate relatives of employees are not eligible to be suppliers of goods or services to the University. No employee should have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his/her duties; No employee should act in his/her official capacity in any matter wherein he/she has a direct or indirect personal financial interest that might reasonably be expected to impair his/her objectivity or independence of judgment; No employee should knowingly act in any way that might reasonably be expected to create an impression or suspicion among the public having knowledge of his/her acts that he/she may be engaged in conduct violative of his trust as an employee; No employee should use or attempt to use his/her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantage for him/herself or others; No employee shall willfully disclose to any person, whether or not for pecuniary gain, any information not generally available to members of the public which he/she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his/her official duties. No employee shall use for the purpose of pecuniary gain, whether directly or indirectly, any information not generally available to members of the public which he/she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his/her official duties.
The authority to enter into a purchase agreement is vested in the Purchasing Department. No individual may obligate the University to a procurement indebtedness, for any goods or services, without prior approval from Purchasing. This authority may be delegated through the use of contracts or purchase orders.
Facilities/Construction – All purchasing of goods and services for maintenance of buildings or grounds must be approved and coordinated by the Facilities department. Any purchase of equipment, supplies, services, etc. requiring the support of Facilities must be coordinated with the Facilities department prior to the purchase being made and prior to delivery.
Information Technology – The purchase of all information technology, including but not limited to software and hardware, must be approved by University Technology.
Contracted Vendors – The University has entered into a number of contracts available to all campus departments. The Purchasing Office will not issue a purchase order for another supplier unless a detailed written explanation is submitted with the requisition.
Departments are required to adhere to the following bidding thresholds:
Purchases up to $5,000 – Price competition (quotes) is not required but highly recommended. Departments must make every effort to obtain the best price for the best value. The Department Chair/Director is responsible for authorizing these purchases. All vendors must comply with the University’s terms and conditions, which should be included and referenced when soliciting quotations.
Purchases over $5,000 but less than $50,000 – Price competition (quotes) is required. Departments must solicit a minimum of three (3) quotes. The lowest quote must be accepted unless there is sufficient justification otherwise. The Department Chair/Director is responsible for authorizing these purchases. All vendors must comply with the University’s terms and conditions, which should be included and referenced when soliciting quotations.
Purchases over $50,000 – Price competition (quotes) is required. Departments must submit written specifications/scope of work, suggested vendors, and any other relevant information to the Purchasing department, who will solicit quotations/proposals on their behalf.
Frequency, term limits – Purchases of goods and services that are reoccurring may be solicited on a multiyear basis provided that the specification/scope of work remains constant from year to year. Solicitations beyond first year should be optional with a maximum term length of 36 months unless otherwise approved by the Purchasing department.
Repetitive Purchases – Departments should make every effort to identify those goods/services being purchased from the same vendor on a repeating basis and conduct bidding processes in accordance with the above thresholds.
The Purchasing department will conduct periodic audits to identify these scenarios and coordinate with the department to conduct such bidding process as needed.
Sole source – In cases where a purchase valued above $5,000 cannot be competitively bid, it is necessary that a Sole Source Justification be attached to the purchase requisition when it is submitted to Purchasing. A supplier is considered a Sole Source in cases where only one product can meet the specification described by the requisitioner and only one supplier can provide that product nor does a viable substitute exist for that product. A Sole Source Justification should include sufficient detail to fully defend the position that a substitution of product or supplier is not possible.
Emergency – In cases of emergency, solicitation of competitive quotes may be waived when the doing so thereof causes delay that adversely affects the health, safety or welfare of the University’s students, faculty/staff, property or community. The Purchasing Department shall be noted immediately and the authorization to proceed shall reside with the individual’s respective Vice President or designee.
Waivers – IT Renewals, Entertainment, Speakers, Timing/Service
In some cases, conducting a bid process is neither feasible nor practical. The following are examples of goods/services where the bidding requirements may be waived, subject to the approval of the Purchasing department:
All waiveable purchases are subject to the review and approval of the Purchasing department.
The University is authorized to purchase goods and services utilizing the following cooperative purchase agreements and organizations:
For assistance utilizing these contracts, including availability of goods/services, pricing, terms, etc., please contact the Purchasing department.
When purchasing under any of these contracts or cooperative purchasing groups, vendors must reference on their quote or departments in their requisitions a contract number or other identifier related to the applicable mechanism.
All purchases of goods and services under these contracts and/or cooperative purchasing groups are subject to review and approval of the Purchasing Department.
A change order is when the value of the original purchase order or change in the scope of work occurs subject to the University Change Order protocol (see attached). The original purchase order may be modified or a new purchase order may be issued. Any change in cost which represents an increase of ten percent requires that a Purchase Requisition be entered in Self Service Banner by the user to begin the process. Once fully approved, the Purchasing department will increase the existing purchase order or assign a new purchase order as needed.