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Purchasing Policy #308

Policy #308 Approved: May 17, 2012
Purchasing Policy
Policy #308
Source of Authority: N.C.G.S. Chapter 143, Article 3
Revision Authority: Chancellor
History: First Issued: February 17, 2011
Related Policies: N.C.G.S. § 14-234;
Purchasing & Contracts, N.C.G.S. § 143, Article 3;
Accounts Payable Policy #301;
Cash Management Policy #302;
Conflicts of Interest (Employees) Policy #603
Contracts & Authority to Sign Policy #109;
Fixed Assets Policy #304;
Foundation Funds Use #202;
Improper Activities Reporting Policy #114;
Surplus Property Policy #309;
Travel Policy #310
Responsible Offices: Purchasing Department
Effective Date: May 17, 2012

I. Purpose

This policy explains the various functions performed by the Purchasing Department and the general policies concerning the purchase of all materials, supplies, equipment, and services by UNCSA.

II. Scope

This policy applies to all UNCSA departments and activities. It also applies to purchases expended from all funding sources, including, but not limited to, state-appropriated monies, federal and local funds, gifts, bequests, receipts, fees, and research or grant funds administered either by the State of North Carolina or by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a donation is made for the specific purpose of purchasing certain articles, the conditions imposed by the donor will control the purchase of the item. However, if the selection and purchase of the object are not governed by the terms of the donation (i.e. the funds alone being provided to make the purchase), the purchase is subject to this policy.

III. Definitions

IV. Policy

A. Functions of the Purchasing Department

1. The Purchasing Department provides direct support to UNCSA’s education mission by assisting departments in obtaining products and services of a high quality, at the lowest cost, and in the time needed.

2. Specifically, the Purchasing Department’s functions include, but are not limited to:

a. organizing and administering a purchasing program for all school departments and activities;

b. communicating and interpreting state and federal guidelines governing purchasing practice;

c. training employees in the preparation of electronic requisitions and to administer this process;

d. providing UNCSA with expertise on obtaining goods and services of the best quality at the lowest prices;

e. disposing of all obsolete, used or surplus materials, supplies and equipment; AND

f. coordinating the selection and purchase of federal and state surplus property.

B. Code of Ethics. The Purchasing Department abides by the National Association of Educational Buyers Code of Ethics.

C. Compliance with Purchasing Policy & Guidelines

1. All UNCSA purchase transactions shall be made in strict compliance with the regulations and guidelines imposed by the State of North Carolina.

2. Any employee circumventing established purchasing guidelines is subject to disciplinary action, may be held personally liable for the amount of the transaction, and may have his/her purchasing privileges will be suspended.

3. When a department is non-compliant with this policy or its associated procedures, a memorandum addressing the non-compliance will be sent to the responsible department head and to the next higher authority.

D. Purchasing Authority. Authorization for UNCSA purchases rests exclusively with the Purchasing Department. UNCSA departments or activities may not purchase or contract without requisitioning the purchase of goods or services through Purchasing.

E. Purchasing of Recycled Products. In keeping with State policy and to the extent economically practical, products made with recycled content will be purchased

F. Authority to Question Quantity or Quality. The Purchasing Department has the responsibility and full authority to question the quantity, quality, and kind of material requested by school departments and activities so that the best interests of the school may be served.

G. State Contracts & Competitive Bidding

1. If an item is under State contract, the item must be obtained from the specified vendor(s).

2. Items not under State contract must be obtained under the competitive bidding procedures associated with this policy.

H. Contractual Arrangements. All contractual arrangements for goods and services, except for employment contracts, must be reviewed and approved by the Director of Purchasing.

I. Service Contracts & Maintenance Agreements

1. All service or maintenance contracts must be initiated by submitting a requisition to the Purchasing Office.

2. The Purchasing Director must sign all maintenance contracts.

3. Once equipment is covered on a maintenance contract, service requests should be referred to the contracted vendor for prompt response.

J. Conflicts of Interest

1. Departments shall not make purchases from individuals employed by UNCSA.

2. Employees shall not use the purchasing power of the school and/or the State for personal advantage.

3. Any transaction that may appear to be for individual personal gain, (as determined by the Purchasing Department) must have approval from the CAO/CFO before the transaction will be completed. Additionally, any such transaction must comply with UNCSA’s policy concerning conflicts of interest.

K. Receipt of Gifts & Favors from Contractors or Suppliers

1. In accordance with N.C.G.S. § 133-32, it is unlawful for any contractor, subcontractor, or supplier who has a current contract with a governmental agency, has performed under such a contract within the past year, or anticipates bidding on such a contract in the future to make gifts or favors to UNCSA employees charged with the duty of:

a. preparing plans, specifications, or estimates for public contracts;

b. awarding or administering public contracts; OR

c. inspecting or supervising construction.

2. It is unlawful for such employees to willfully receive or accept gifts or favors from such contractors, subcontractors, or suppliers.

3. This subsection is not intended to prohibit the following, even though a school employee who knowingly receives such gifts or favors must report it to the CAO/CFO if a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier-doing business directly or indirectly with the school made the gifts.

a. Honorariums for participating in meetings.

b. Advertising items or souvenirs of nominal value.

c. Meals furnished at banquets.

d. Donations to professional organizations to defray meeting expenses.

e. Participation by UNCSA employees and officers who are members of professional organizations in any scheduled meeting functions available to all members of the professional organization attending the meeting.

f. Customary gifts and favors between UNCSA employees or officers and their friends and relatives (or friends and relatives of their spouse, minor children, or household members) when the personal relationship rather than the business relationship is clearly the motivating factor for the gift or favor.

L. Campus Visits by Salespersons

1. Salespersons, with the exception of textbook sales representatives who are on campus visiting faculty, may visit school departments or activities only upon prior approval by the Purchasing Department.

2. Salespersons visiting school departments or activities without purchasing approval should be directed to Purchasing Services.

3. Approved salesperson visits will be scheduled by the Purchasing Department, with ample notification to the school department or activity. Textbook sales representatives may schedule visits with faculty at the faculty member’s convenience.

M. Equipment Demonstration & Loans

1. Departments must obtain prior approval from the Purchasing Department for equipment demonstrations or equipment loans.

2. Departments may not accept goods on consignment, pending the issuance of a confirming purchase order.

N. Correspondence with Vendors

1. Once a purchase order has been transmitted to a vendor, all correspondence concerning the purchase is to be handled by the Purchasing Department.

2. When the technical details involved make it advisable to delegate authority to others, the Purchasing Department must receive copies of all correspondence.

3. Exception. Faculty may correspond directly with textbook sales representatives concerning textbook publication and content, the availability of support materials (e.g. study guides, textbooks, etc.) and similar matters.

O. Protest by Vendor of Contract Award

1. Any vendor desiring to protest a contract award handled by UNCSA must submit a written request to the Purchasing Director.

2. If a vendor indicating a desire to protest a contract award contacts a department, the department should refer the vendor to the Purchasing Director, who will provide the vendor with appropriate instructions for filing a protest

P. Particular Means of Requisitioning

1. Small Purchase Orders

a. Small purchase orders may only be used when:

i. purchasing locally;

ii. the end user personally receives the goods; AND

iii. the goods cost less than $300.00 total.

b. The Purchasing Office may limit the number of small purchase order forms distributed to each department.

c. Small purchase orders may not be used for direct pay requests or petty cash transactions, even if they qualify for a small purchase order.

d. Small purchase orders, direct pay requests, and petty cash may not be used to avoid adherence to state contract or other purchasing guidelines.

2. Petty Cash. Use of petty cash is governed by the Cashier Policy.

3. Direct Pay Requests. Direct Pay Requests may only be used for:

a. Registration Fees

b. Membership Fees

c. Subscriptions – both new and renewals

d. Bank Fees

e. Postage Fees

f. Student Emergency Checks

g. Refunds for Deposits

h. Legal Fees

i. Audit Fees

j. Insurance

k. Any other instance where pre-payment is required or payment is required prior to receipt of goods or services

Q. Except in the case of a documented emergency, UNCSA will not honor any vendor invoices for goods and service which do not have an executed purchase order prior to the goods and services beings contracted for.

V. Revision History

A. February 17, 2011 – Adopted by Board of Trustees as part of UNCSA Policy Manual

B. May 17, 2012 – Updated Procedures to reflect changes in the bid and quote processes. 


Purchasing Procedures

Procedure #308

I. North Carolina’s Spending Guidelines

A. Purchases Under $2,500

1. No solicitation of bids or quotes is required.

2. Purchase reviewed by the Purchasing Director.

B. Purchases $2,500 – $4,999.99

1. End user must provide ONE quote on Vendor letterhead.

2. Quote must be itemized and include shipping cost and total cost.

C. Purchases $5,000 – $24,999.99

1. Purchasing Director will solicit bids or quotations on items being purchased with an estimated cost exceeding $5,000.  This action is necessary in order to officially determine the price, terms and conditions of the vendor whose product is being sought.

2. End user must provide the following to process solicitation for bids:

a. Complete the Departmental Bid Information Form and forward it, along with all supporting documentation, to the Purchasing Department.

3. Purchasing Department will contact the End User to set up a meeting to discuss the bid process and determine the timeframe of the bid.

4. The timeframe for processing these bids will be 3-5 weeks (dependent upon current Purchasing workload).

D. Purchases $25,000 – $49,999.99

1. Purchasing Director issues formal bids via the State’s Interactive Purchasing System (IPS).

2. End User must provide the following to process solicitation for bids:

a. Complete the Departmental Bid Information Form and forward it, along with all supporting documentation, to the Purchasing Department.

3. Purchasing Department will contact the End User to set up a meeting to discuss the bid process and determine the time frame of the bid.

4. The timeframe for processing these bids will be 4-6 weeks (dependent upon current Purchasing workload).

E. Over $50,000

1. Bids are solicited by the State Purchase & Contract Division or Information Technology Services (ITS) via the State’s Purchase & Contract Division via IPS.

2. End User must provide the following to process solicitation for bids:

a. Complete the Departmental Bid Information Form and forward it, along with all supporting documentation, to the Purchasing Department.

3. Purchasing Department will contact the End User to set up a meeting to discuss the bid process and determine the time frame of the bid.

4. This posting make take up to 90 days.

5.  Bids will be processed by State Purchase and Contract and submitted to the Purchasing Director for final approval.

II. Small Purchase Order Procedures

A. Each department is given ten (10) small purchase order forms at a time by the Purchasing Office.

B. When used, the pink copy of the SPO and the receipt/invoice for the items purchased must be sent to Accounts Payable within 24 hours of the purchase.

III. Complaints of Vendor Performance

A. School departments should direct all complaints of vendor performance or service to the Purchasing Director via a memorandum. The memorandum should include the following:

1. Purchase order number

2. Full name of the vendor

3. Date of the purchase order

4. Complete description of the problem

5. Chronological listing of the events since the problem was discovered.

B. Departments may call the Purchasing Department for assistance in preparing the memorandum.

C. Upon receipt of the memorandum, the Purchasing Department will contact the vendor for resolution of the problem and/or (as appropriate) will submit a “Complaint to Vendor” form to State Purchase and Contract.

D. The Purchasing Department will notify the department of the outcome.