Purchasing Policies and Procedures
Procurement Through Public Agencies
Public agencies (such as the Pennsylvania Industries for the Blind) which have been granted special status with respect to Commonwealth procurements, shall be given full consideration and used as a source of the goods and services unless it can be determined that lower cost, better service, or some other substantial advantage to the University will result from the use of private vendors.
Consultant Services In Excess of $5000
Requests to enter into consultative service contracts in excess of $5,000 shall be submitted by the Contracting Officer, with the concurrence of the President, to the Chancellor for review and approval. Such requests shall include a copy of the proposed contract and complete justification for the service.
It is the policy of the University that all purchases shall be made in a manner that will maximize the value received for the amount expended. Therefore, competitive bids will be solicited in accordance with the following:
- Purchases and Contracts for a single item or a related series of items and for services with a dollar value of $5,000 or less will not require competitive bidding. The Contracting Officers will always try to obtain the best price, to attempt to secure competitive bids when appropriate and to combine small-dollar items when appropriate so that every advantage of quantity discounts can be realized. These bids can be either telephonic or written.
Purchases and contracts for a single item or a related series of items and for services with a dollar value between $5,000-$9,999.99 may require, as appropriate, the solicitation of bids and public notice. The bids can be telephonic or written.
Purchases and contracts for a single item or a related series of items and for services with a dollar value of $21,300 or greater will require competitive bidding and public notice as detailed in Section 512 of the Commonwealth Procurement Code.
Exemptions to Competitive Bidding Practice
Competitive bidding will not be required under the following situations:
- When the procurement is an exact replacement/repair part, or for service solicited directly from the manufacturer or the manufacturer's representative.
- When the procurement is printed material/media ordered directly from the producer or publisher.
- When the procurement is from the only known source. However, this requires written determination by the contracting officer justifying the use of the sole source. This written justification must be approved by university legal counsel prior to awarding any purchase or contract.
- When the procurement is for items available from the commonwealth warehouse or under commonwealth contracts or public agencies.
Awards shall be made to the lowest bidder except in instances where it shall be deemed that the lowest bidder is not responsible or responsive, or that it is in the best interests of the University to make the award to other than the low bidder.
A contract may be awarded for an item without the necessity of bidding when the Contracting Officer determines in writing that one of the following statutory conditions exists:
- Only a single contractor is capable of providing the product or service;
- A federal or state statute or federal regulation exempts the products or service from competitive procurements;
- The total cost of the product or service is less than $21,300;
- It is clearly not feasible to award the contract on a competitive basis;
- The services involve the repair, modification or calibration of equipment and the work is to be performed by the manufacturer of the equipment or by an authorized dealer, provided the Contracting Officer determines that bidding is not appropriate under the circumstances, or
- The contract is in the best interest of the Commonwealth.
- Sole Source Certification Form
Emergency Contracts are permissible when the Contracting Officer or his designee's determines that there is a threat to public health, safety and welfare or circumstances outside the control of the University create an urgency of need which necessitates the suspension of normal bidding and review requirements.
When possible two bids should be secured. These do not have to be in writing. However, written determination of the basis for the emergency and for the selection of the contractor must be included in the contract file and sent in the form of a certification when the contract is submitted for legal review after the work is completed.
The following items are required for all Emergency Contracts:
- Written Scope of Work
- Contractor's written documentation of its bid
- Performance and Payment Bonds (if required)
- Prevailing Wage Determination (if required)