At Cheyney, we value our relationships with our vendors, and adhere to the highest standards in all of our business dealings. Our Office of Procurement Services operates in complete conformity to the provisions and statutory limitations outlined in the Commonwealth Procurement Code, as well as to policies adopted by the Board of Governors, PASSHE, Cheyney University, and the Cheyney University Council of Trustees.
PURCHASES LESS THAN $19,100
- University Legal Counsel must review all contracts that exceed $5,000.00.
- Prudent business practices must be followed regarding all purchases under $19,100.00.
- Three (3) informal bids with one (1) bid a WBE/MBE when possible should be solicited.
- All procurement activities must be authorized in advance by Procurement Services (PS). All procurement requests will be rejected if PS is not engaged prior to requesting goods and services.
- Under no circumstances should purchases be split up to avoid this dollar threshold.
- “Buying in a series” means making multiple purchases of the same item or service from the same vendor in a twelve month period. This practice is prohibited.
PURCHASES GREATER THAN $19,100
When the cost for a single good or related series of goods (and for any services) is greater than $19,000, competitive bidding is required. Competitive bids must be documented in the form of a formal written bid. Contracting officers will determine the appropriate form of bidding by evaluating the complexity or nature of the purchase.
Exceptions to Competitive Bidding
Exceptions include, but are not limited to
- Contracts funded by federal funds or private donations, regardless of the amount. Bidding will not be solicited for commodities or services purchased from Commonwealth contracts, State System of Higher Education Contracts through public agencies such as the Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind and Handicapped (PIBH/Unique Source), or other commonwealth agencies.
- Purchases from the Department of General Services master contracts by use of a purchase order.
- Contracts where the contractor is the sole source of the requested service.
An unauthorized purchase is a purchase made outside of the authorized procurement processes. Examples of unauthorized purchases include but are not limited to:
- Employee purchases of supplies for the office, writing a personal check for the purchase;
- Placing an order for supplies without prior issuance of a purchase order;
- Employee purchase of a new computer for the office using a personal credit card;
- Employee signing of a supplier contract for services or supplies.
In all four cases above, the employee made a purchase (committed funds) on behalf of Cheyney University without securing the appropriate approvals first or the use of an authorized purchasing method. The purchased items may be appropriate for business use; however, approvals for all purchases must be secured before the purchase is authorized through issuance of a purchase order or contract, or the use of a Purchasing Card.
Factors to consider with unauthorized purchases include the costs of processing invoices and checks, personnel time, and any travel involved to make such a purchase. Many times, these costs offset the perceived savings in the purchase price. Following Cheyney University authorized buying methods ensures that all approvals are properly documented and also ensures that Cheyney University receives the best price.
How to Avoid Unauthorized Purchases
The appropriate utilization of Cheyney University authorized buying methods should be used to satisfy all purchase requirements. If there is a unique requirement that may require special handling, contact the Procurement Department for advice or assistance
PURCHASE ORDERS AND SERVICE PURCHASE CONTRACTS
Purchase Order ( PO) — A purchase order is legally binding and used as an independent purchasing document to obtain commodities, or as an “ordering” document used against an existing contract (e.g. state contract or blueback).
Service Purchase Contract (SPC) — A service purchase contract is a legally binding document that is generally used to obtain straightforward purchases of services. Services that involve many detailed terms and conditions are procured using a blue-back contract.
The SPC document requires the signatures of all parties to the agreement. The contract is sent to the vendor for signature, and then to the University Contracting Officer. If the agreement is of a higher dollar threshold, additional State System signatures are also required.
Listed below are a few examples of service purchases that would apply under this section.
- Consultants or External Reviewers
- Speakers or Entertainers
- Outside Coaches & Athletic Officials for Athletic Camps
- Equipment Maintenance/Repairs
- Annual Inspections and Preventative maintenance
- Bus Trips
NOTE: No one is authorized to sign any agreements on behalf of Cheyney University other than the University’s Contracting Officers. Any University faculty or staff member entering into contracts either verbally or by signing an agreement without the proper authorization may be held personally liable for the cost of the service.
Purchase Requisition (PR)
A purchase requisition is a statement of organizational need for procurement. The information contained in a purchase requisition will be used to create a purchasing document.
Purchase Order ( PO)
A purchase order is a legally binding document and is used as an independent purchasing document to obtain commodities, or as an “ordering” document used against an existing contract (e.g. state contract).
Service Purchase Contract (SPC)
A service purchase contract is a legally binding document and is generally used to obtain straightforward purchases of services. Services that involve many detailed terms and conditions are procured using a blue-back contract.
A blue-back contract is a legally binding document and is used to obtain services where the contract amount is in excess of $19,100 and where the terms are too detailed or complex to fit on the face of a SPC.
Service Bid Contract (SBC)
A service bid contract is a legally binding document and is used as a bidding document to obtain services where the contract amount is in excess of $19,100. The SBC serves as both a bidding document and a contract document.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Agreements between Commonwealth agencies are generally exempt from Attorney General review, but not from PASSHE legal counsel’s review. Agreements with independent Commonwealth agencies are subject to Attorney General review. Bidding is not required.
Agreements within the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
Agreements between PASSHE universities are not contracts. The entire arrangement should be treated as an internal transaction. Bidding is not required. The parties should formalize their expectations in a written agreement between the authorized employees at the appropriate levels of authority.
Invitation for Bid (IFB)
An IFB also known as a competitive sealed bid allows interested vendors to submit written bids defining the cost at which they are willing to provide a commodity. In this process, assuming compliance with the specifications, cost is the only basis for selection. In general an IFB is issued as a service bid contract form (SBC).
Request for Proposals (RFP)
An RFP is used when a department is seeking a vendor’s solution for providing a commodity and believes that giving vendors flexibility in proposing the solution will be to the department’s advantage. In response to a vendor’s proposal, terms of performance will be negotiated with the vendor who was selected on the basis of the quality of their proposal – considering not just cost but also technical merit.
Request for Quotes (RFQ)
An RFQ is generally used to solicit quotes against state contract or from qualified vendors who are part of an existing ITQ solicitation.