Departmental Procurement Cards issued by the Office of Procurement Services may be utilized for purchases for approved categories in the amount $3,000 or less. Transactions may be made for up to $5,000 monthly. Expenditures for items that are over the threshold may be approved by the Director of Procurement Services by placing a request through the Procurement Card Coordinator prior to the transaction.
Requisitions issued to the Office of Procurement Services shall be utilized for purchases of $3,000 and above, or for amounts under $3,000 in those instances where the Procurement Card may not be used, or when a payment request is not utilized.
Direct pay invoices may be used for after the fact payment processing for purchases from approved categories up to $3,000. A payment request form must be issued, and the invoice must be submitted to Accounts Payable.
Pre-existing contracts of other public entities or groups may be utilized without further solicitation when such contracts can fulfill University requirements.
Competitive solicitations in the form of Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) shall be considered for purchases in the amount of $3,000-$10,000, and are required for all amounts of $10,000 or above.
Exceptions with Brief Documentation of the Rationale:
- Existence of previously bid internal contracts, cooperative contracts, or compacts or programs created by statute and/or administrative regulations that are applicable and desirable to the commodity or service (EC).
- Less than one year has lapsed since the last competition, and the commodity or service can be obtained at the same price as the award from the previous competition (LY).
- Single Feasible source (SFS) purchases, which require departmental justification, and buyer evaluation and approval (SS).
- Emergency procurements, where a threat is present to life, property, public health, or public safety (EP).
- Circumstances where the expiration dates of related contracts need to be aligned together in order to allow for the future collective solicitation of commodities or services (ED).
- Reasonable modifications and extensions of existing or expired contracts with approval of the Board of Governors or University official with proper contracting authority (ME).
- Purchase of supplies for the purpose of resale to the general public in concession operations controlled by the University (RO).
- Purchases, leases, and other transactions under which the University receives rights to occupy or use real property (RP).
- Purchases of legal services and goods and services directly related to the provision of legal services (LS).
- Purchase of insurance through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) Master Property Program (PI).
- Time sensitive transactions, particularly grant funded items where required deliverable dates are driven by grant terms and conditions, research requirements, or classroom/laboratory need [$3,000-$10,000 only] (TS).
- Instances where professional judgment, based on an awareness of market conditions and historical purchases, shows that further vetting of the commodity or service would not be cost effective [$3,000-$10,000 only] (PJ).
- Other purchases at the discretion of the Director of Procurement with approval from the Chief Financial Officer or President, with description of the rationale (OT).
End-users may not enter multiple requisitions for the purpose of reducing the dollar amount of an order below the solicitation threshold. Order splitting is evidenced by the appearance of intent, such as a pattern. Changes and unanticipated requirements are considered reasonable exceptions.
In those instances where it may unclear if a solicitation is required, an assessment should be made to determine the expected annual expenditure before placing a requisition, and the results should be communicated on the requisition to the appropriate procurement buyer. Usage requirements should be estimated to the maximum extent practiced for a year. Historical data and/or other methods available should be utilized to make the determination.
Items that are in the amount of $10,000 or more, where applicable, may be handled as Single Feasible Source (SFS) purchases that shall be justified in writing.
A single feasible source exists when:
- Supplies are proprietary and only available from the manufacturer or a single distributor; or
- Based on past procurement experience, it is determined that only one distributor services the region in which the supplies are needed; or
- Supplies are available at a discount from a single distributor for a limited period of time.
The following are examples that are impractical or impossible to compete, and thus shall not require a written single feasible source justification:
- Services of visiting speakers, professors, and performing artists;
- Works of art and historical items for museum and public display;
- Published books, maps, periodicals, newspapers, and technical pamphlets, on-line library cataloging and other services, and bibliographic library services through consortiums;
- Regulated utility services;
- Trial use or testing specific items for suitability;
- Print, electronic, broadcast, and/or other media advertising.
- Support services only available from the actual manufacturer or service provider for existing systems. Examples include software or copier agreements, or suppliers such as Blackboard (course management system, BearPass card system), Simplex-Grinnell (security access system), SunGard Banner (ERP), or Time Management (work management system), Johnson Controls, Incorporated (energy efficiency improvement systems).
- Fees for Intercollegiate Athletics, i.e. conference membership dues, game guarantees, et cetera.
- Student and employee travel, such as trips/tours/meetings/conferences and all related expenses, i.e. travel agency, air and ground transportation, lodging, meals, fees, et cetera.
- Grant subawards.
- Sponsored Research.
All purchases in the amount of $25,000 and over that result from solicitations shall be:
- Posted as notice of the proposed purchase in the Office of Procurement Services, and
- Solicited as bids by electronic or surface mail, or other reasonable method generally available to the public when such methods are deemed more advantageous for the supplies to be purchased, and
- Provided through an electronic medium available to the general public for at least one day, five calendar days before the bids for such purchases are to be opened, or
Advertised in at least two daily newspapers of general circulation for at least one day, five calendar days before the bids for such purchases are to be opened.
- The requirement for electronic posting or advertising may be waived if not feasible due to the services and supplies being available at a discount for only a limited period of time.
Emergency procurement may be made by waiving the requirement for formal competitive solicitations when there exists a threat to life, property, public health, or public safety, when immediate expenditure is necessary for repairs to state property in order to protect against further loss of or damage to state property, to prevent or minimize serious disruption in state services, or to ensure the integrity of state records. Emergency procedures should only be utilized to purchase those supplies which are necessary to alleviate the emergency.
Procurement for emergency situations shall be made with as much competition as is practicable under the circumstances. Per FEMA guidelines, purchases made under this provision should be completed within 70 business hours of the emergency event.
When emergency procurement procedures are utilized a brief written justification shall be provided.
Board reporting shall also be made per the following occurrences:
- Contracts for the purchase of goods and services estimated to exceed $100,000 must be reported to the Board of Governors for approval.
- Property leases and contracts for the purchase or sale of real estate should be reported to the board for approval, regardless of value.
- Contract amendments that cause the estimated value of a contract to be exceeded by 10% or $25,000, whichever is greater, should be reported to the board for approval.
- Single purchases of more than $25,000 if only one bid is received.
- Single purchases of more than $25,000 if a bid other than the low bid is accepted.
- Single purchases of more than $25,000 that are not competitively bid.
- Any award that is determined to be sensitive or of significant impact to the University, at the discretion of the CFO, a Chancellor, or the President of the University.
The request for and checking of references may take place whenever the buyer determines it to be appropriate per the following guidelines:
- Vendor evaluation may include the required submission of references from sources that are new to the University, or for those vendors that have not been used by the University within the past five years.
- Emphasis should generally be placed on service oriented, technical, longer-term, or larger dollar items.
- Performance checks shall not be made for vendors whose products are routinely carried in the vendor's inventory.
- In obtaining products and services that are valued under $3,000, references shall not be checked unless it is deemed by the buyer that the product or service is of a sensitive nature.
- Procurement of products and services valued at $3,000 and above may require that a list of references be requested from the vendor.
- When variables in addition to price are evaluation factors, a reference requirement may be part of the evaluation criteria. A list of relevant questions may also be developed by the buyer in collaboration with the end-user, and a committee if applicable. Each vendor shall be asked the same set of questions.
- Upon suggestion by the end-user.
- If the vendor is known by the end-user or the buyer, references may or may not be requested or contacted.
A bid or proposal award protest must be submitted in writing and must be received by the Office of Procurement Services within five (5) calendar days after the date of award. The written protest should include the following information:
- Name, address and phone number of the protester;
- Signature of the protester or the protester’s representative;
- Solicitation number;
- Detailed statement describing the grounds for the protest; and
- Supporting exhibits, evidence or documents to substantiate the claim.
Upon receiving a properly submitted bid protest, the Director of Procurement will render a decision on the protest and communicate such decision to the protestor. The protestor may appeal the Director of Procurement’s decision to the Chief Financial Officer by submitting a written notice of appeal to the Office of Procurement Services. The notice must be received by the Office of Procurement Services within five (5) calendar days after the date on which the Director of Procurement initially communicated the decision to the protestor. Upon receiving a properly submitted appeal, the Chief Financial Officer will render a decision on the protest and communicate such decision to the protestor. All claims by disappointed bidders who do not comply with the protest procedures or utilize all available processes set forth herein will be considered waived.
The University reserves the right to award a contract, commence performance of a contract, or otherwise proceed with the applicable procurement processes despite a pending protest if the Director of Procurement determines that time is of the essence.
This policy does not apply to contracts for construction and contracts for the professional services of architects, engineers, and land surveyors negotiated and administered by the Office of Planning, Design and Construction in accordance with G8.06 Contracts for Construction and G8.07 Contracting for Professional Services.
The following language must be included in bold typeface in subcontracts and purchase orders:
This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-741.5 (a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against qualified protected veterans, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and Subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified protected veterans.
Required language for purchase orders and subcontracts (Section 503)
The following language must be included in bold typeface in subcontracts and purchase orders:
This contractor and subcontractor shall abide by the requirements of 41 CFR 60-741.5 (a). This regulation prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability, and requires affirmative action by covered prime contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities.
Reason or purpose for policy
To articulate and inform the University community of the procedures that must be following to purchase goods and services.
Entities affected by this policy
All University departments and offices purchasing goods and services.
Line of authority
Responsible administrator and office: Office of Procurement Services
Contact person in that office: Director of Procurement
Presidential approval: August 5, 2013; revised March 17, 2014