Purchase Requisitions and Contracting
What is my role as Department Head?
Occasionally the Department Head needs to contract for specific services or assets. In most cases, Procurement Services will support with the development of the contract and where necessary, the bidding required, to ensure the best price, quality, and service for the university. It’s also important to note that in most cases, no contract may be executed by anyone other than the Dean, Provost, or the Procurement Services Buyer/Director.
What are the requirements for purchasing goods or services through Procurement Services?
Amounts of $3,000 or above: Requisitions are issued to the Office of Procurement Services through Banner (or for amounts under $3,000 in those instances where a Procurement card may not be used.)
Amounts $3,000 - $10,000: Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP) shall be considered for these purchases by Procurement Services.
Amounts $10,001 to $25,000: Request for Quotation shall be required. 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 and internally posted for a minimum of one, but up to three business days, and are subject to electronic posting or advertising when above $25,000. Contracts shall be issued to the lowest bidder meeting specifications.
Amounts over $25,000: For purchases greater than $25,000, the Procurement Services Department should be consulted to determine the proper steps in the bidding procedure. In order to prepare documents necessary to bid the project, Procurement Services will require the (1) scope of work; (2) specifications and timeline; and (3) evaluation criteria. See Purchasing Procedures.
Note: All vendors must be registered within the Banner Finance/Procurement system to be processed through Banner.
What if only one vendor can provide what we need?
Work with Procurement Services to confirm that the need should be single-sourced. At times, a single source can be appropriate, when compliant with a number of applicable exceptions, such as a single supplier or proprietary product. Examples of single sourcing:
- Services of visiting speakers, artists, professors;
- Published books, periodicals, etc.
- Support services for existing systems that have been competitively procured, such as named software (SunGard Banner), or energy efficiency systems such as Johnson Controls
- Sponsored research
- Emergency procurement
Who can create and approve a purchase requisition?
- An administrative assistant or any designated department employee may create a requisition (within Banner Finance) with approval required by the Department Head.
- A Department head may create a requisition; however the approver will be his or her supervisor (typically the Dean)
- As always, the approved requisition will automatically encumber the applicable amount of funds within your department budget account.
What if we have an emergency and need something now?
Contact your Dean or Procurement Services. Emergency procurement may be made by waiving the requirement of competitive bids 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/damage, and to prevent or minimize serious disruption to state services, or ensure the integrity of state records.
What if I only have an invoice after-the-fact that requires payment?
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. Examples of acceptable services/goods that can be paid by Direct Pay:
- Vendors with invoices up to $3,000 where P-Card is not accepted but the type of business expenditure is acceptable per P-Card
- Hotel / conference payments in advance (typically these may be paid by P-Card by Procurement Services.)
- Emergency purchases where contractor arrived on site and billed later
Are there any timelines or year-end requirements I should be aware of?
Yes. Specific Deadlines apply to the fiscal year end, June 30. Please be aware of these requirements and deadlines to have a purchase processed and be captured within this fiscal year. Also, there are periods of time that are required for solicitation and bidding that may demand significant lead times to enable the purchase to encumber 2010 funds (versus 2011).
On a practical basis – what should I do?
- Be aware of the required processing and timelines of various types of purchases, including contracted goods and services that require the use of Banner Procurement to process the requisition.
- Department Heads may not approve contracts. The Buyer/Procurement Services Director will approve the vendor contract bid, and in some cases the Dean will approve a vendor or consultant contract. If a contract is not processed through Procurement Services, refer to the University Counsel’s “Checklist for approving Contracts."
- Do not hesitate to contact Procurement Services to get assistance in planning a purchase.
- Regardless of your role in the contracting, where necessary, it is a good idea to have one person within the department remit and track requisitions, and ensure that the amount encumbered and posted to your budget is within the time expected and is accurate. Also, make sure that other purchases have not been erroneously posted to your account.
- Always strive to maintain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure for your department.
- Decline personal gifts or gratuities from vendors.
What if I have questions?
Contact Procurement Services:
Michael Wills, MBA, CPM
Director of Procurement Services