Policies and Procedures
Scope of Policy
This policy defines various types, methods and authority of procuring goods and services and the disposal of University property.
By delegation of the President, the Chief Financial Officer is responsible for purchasing functions of the University. The Chief Financial Officer has designated the Director of Purchasing as the person responsible for the procurement of goods and services by the University. Therefore, the Purchasing Department has authority to assist and provide guidance to all University schools, colleges and departments in the acquisition of goods and services in accordance with University policies.
Only persons designated in writing by the Chief Financial Officer are authorized to commit the University to the purchase of goods and services; any expressed or implied commitment by other persons is unauthorized.
The Chief Financial Officer reserves the right to review any acquisitions, commitments and/or contracts for all procurement centers.
Purchases for goods and services must be made in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. The competitive bid process incorporates steps that generally will result in the best pricing and assist in achieving the University’s non-discrimination policy and goals of community and disadvantaged business participation. The use of any form or contract to formalize a purchasing transaction prior to University Counsel review and approval is prohibited.
For purposes of this policy, any agreement that contains an exchange of promises, or undertakings between the University and another person or entity, relative to the University’s procurement of goods and services or the University’s disposal of University property, that binds or purports to bind the University and the other party to reasonably specific terms and conditions to be binding upon the University. All such contracts are subject to prior review and approval by University Counsel and to execution by the Chief Financial Officer or his/her designee.
Approval authority required to execute financial transaction forms (i.e. purchase requisition, financial impact form, etc.) prior to submission for processing. Refer to Policy 5.20.14 and Policy 5.20.15 and 04.50.01 for further detail.
Capital Expenditure Request (CER) Order
Orders which commit University capital funds.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)
Small businesses that are owned or controlled by a majority of persons, not limited to members of minority groups, who have been deprived of the opportunity to develop and maintain a competitive position in the economy because of social disadvantages
Minority or Woman Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE)
Business that is sole proprietary ship owned by a woman or minority, or a partnership, joint venture or corporation where at least 51% of the business interest is held by a woman or minority.
Responsive, Responsible Bidder
A firm that has adequately responded to a request and has demonstrated the ability to meet all aspects of the specifications for bid.
Sole Source procurement refers to non-competitive purchases where there is only one single source that provides a unique product or service. This should be the exception rather than the rule. Justifications for sole source include:
- Unique expertise or technology leadership
- Patent protection or copyrighted materials which are only available from patent or copyright holder
- Supplier is named by funding source where identical equipment is required for continuity of research
- Replacement parts or services which are required from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to insure compatibility and consistency of equipment
- Market studies/surveys result in no suitable competitor to exercise the competitive bidding process
Preference or prior history for one vendor does not constitute a sole source.
University office furniture or equipment that is no longer required in a school, college or department.
The Director of Purchasing has the responsibility for maintaining a uniform set of procedures and forms to implement the bid, proposal, and quotation processes of the University. The Purchasing Department will make forms and detailed procedural requirements available on-line for reference use by the University community.
Schools, colleges and departments are responsible for communicating their requirements to the Purchasing Department by submission of a Purchase Requisition and/or a request for bid that includes detailed specifications and/or requirements.
Schools, colleges and departments are required to adhere to University policies when utilizing sources other than the Purchasing Department for acquisition of goods and services.
Section 1: General Requirements
Solicitation of Bids
Purchases shall be made through a competitive solicitation process whenever feasible. The Purchasing Department maintains a qualified vendor data base, and shall provide assistance in obtaining additional qualified vendors. A competitive solicitation process requires soliciting a minimum of three (3) vendors when circumstances preclude the inclusion of a greater number. When selecting vendors for inclusion in the solicitation process, the University’s affirmative action goals to include disadvantaged businesses and/or community based businesses should be considered. Other considerations include but are not limited to the vendor’s qualifications, past experience, references, and ability to fulfill the requirements of the solicitation. Solicitations shall be simultaneously released to all selected vendors on a specified release date.
Use of TUmarketplace Purchase Requisitions.
Requests for products or services in excess of $3,000 shall be submitted to the Purchasing Department utilizing a properly executed electronic TUmarketplace Purchase Requisition (PR) form. Additional information such as suggested vendors, or attachments such as quotations, Capital Expenditure Request forms (CER’s) or Financial Impact Statements (FIS’s) may also be included with the PR. The Purchasing Department will determine the appropriate form of solicitation required (Request for Quotation (RFQ), Request for Bid (RFB), Request for Proposal (RFP)) when reviewing the PR request and/or detailed specifications submitted. When required, the Purchasing Department will contact the requesting school/college/department for review of responses received and finalization of award.
Sole Source Purchases
When submitting a TUmarketplace request that qualifies as a sole source purchase, a sole source procurement justification is required. This justification can be submitted by attaching a sole source form or entering an internal note to the requisition explaining the sole source justification. The sole source documentation must state the steps taken to determine the sole source status. If the item is a capital expenditure and requires a CER, the sole source explanations should have been communicated when submitting the CER for approval. The determination as to whether the procurement shall be made as a sole source shall be made by the buyer. The Director of Purchasing has final approval when necessary. When a sole source transaction exists, the competitive solicitation process is not utilized. The sole source supplier is required, however, to submit its proposal or quotation in writing.
Use of Contracts and Purchase Orders
- Execution. Purchase transactions must be executed on contract or purchase order forms reviewed and approved by University Counsel. Except as permitted expressly by this Policy, all contracts or purchase orders must be executed by the Chief Financial Officer, the Director of Purchasing, or such other University official as may be designated by the President. The Purchasing Department will forward the contract documents and purchase orders to the awarded vendor with copies to the originating office. The originating office will be responsible for administering the contract.
- Approval purchase order or contracts. Standard pre-approved contract documents are available for Purchase Orders, for Professional (Consulting) Services, Independent Contractors, Professional Design Services, and Construction Services. Any contract for purchase of goods or services that does not utilize a standard pre-approved contract or purchase order form must be submitted to University Counsel for review and approval prior to execution.
Contract Commitment Process
All purchases of goods and services or any other commitments of University resources must be processed in accordance with this policy in order that the University is aware of and able to identify all contracts and contractual commitments, and to capture vendor solicitation and/or award information including demographic, affirmative action initiatives and financial obligations. Such information shall be included on the Financial Impact Statement, as described below.
- Commitment of Contract – Those contracts which require a commitment to the operating budget will be encumbered in the general ledger accounting system by the Purchasing Department.
- Contracts where the commitment is open ended - Those Contracts which do not require a commitment (i.e. no fixed contractual amount, no requirement to purchase) will be assigned a “not to exceed total contract dollar value” blanket purchase order through the Purchasing Department. Blanket purchase orders do not create commitments of the total contract dollar value at the time of execution, but the Purchasing Department will track payments made against the contract.
- Contracts where NO commitment is required – Those contracts which do not require a commitment (i.e. revenue, employment) will not pass through Purchasing
- Payment of Contracts –Contract payment invoicing must reference the unique identification number/purchase order number assigned.
Financial Impact Statements
A completed and executed Financial Impact Statement (FIS) form must accompany all contract purchases in excess of $3,000 submitted to Counsel and not on a purchase order. The FIS form is available on the University’s forms website. The FIS form does not replace a Capital Expenditure Request (CER) form. If a CER is required, a copy of the approved CER form must also accompany the submission. The CER form and instructions may be found on the Facilities Management website.
To assist in completing section III Procurement Information note that the definitions for M/W/DE are listed in the definition section of this policy.
M/W/DBE Certifications are accepted from (but limited to) : Federal Department of Transportation, National Minority Development Council, PA Department of General Services Bureau of Minority & Women Business Opportunities, Minority Development Council of PA, NJ, DE, Women's Business Enterprise National Counsel , SEPTA, Penn DOT, Minority Business Enterprise Council.
Local business are those who have and address which falls in any of the following zip codes: 19121, 19122, 19123, 19125, 19130, 19132, 19133, 19140.
Any information and technology - including, but not limited to, computers and ancillary equipment, instructional materials, software, videos, multimedia, telecommunications, or web-based content or products - developed, procured, maintained, or used in carrying out university activities must be compliant with Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and other related local, state, and federal laws, as well as other related university policies. The Accessible Technology Compliance Committee may grant exceptions to this policy under circumstances including, but not limited to, undue hardship or if a reasonable accommodation can provide appropriate access.
Purchases Under $3,000
An individual school/college/department may purchase non-recurring small dollar (less than $3,000) items direct from a supplier utilizing the University’s TPC program as explained below.
Individual areas should be aware of the existing University-wide contracts posted on the Purchasing Department website. Some contracts will allow for direct order placement by the individual or provide on-line ordering ability to individuals for direct order placement.
Special Review or Approval
Certain types of purchases may require special review and/or approval. For example, the Creative Services Department will process PR’s for brochures or literature related to the image of Temple University or recruitment including printed materials requiring creative design, Computer Business Services will process PR’s for computer hardware and software, and PR’s for radioactive material and hazardous chemicals will be processed by Environmental Health and Radiation Safety. These special processes are explained more fully below.
The Surplus Property Program is managed by the Office of Facilities Management for furniture or the Computer Recycle Center for computers and computer related equipment. Requests to dispose of or obtain surplus furniture must be submitted as a requisition using the TUmarketplace "Work Order Request" form. Visit http://crc.temple.edu for additional computer recycling information.
Section 2: Purchasing Processes
All University solicitations and purchases shall be executed in accordance with the requirements of the applicable purchasing processes listed below.
- Request for Bid Process
- Request for Proposal Process
- Request for Quotation Process
- Independent Contractor Process
- CER Process
- Small Dollar Purchases Process
- Emergency Order Process
- On-Line Ordering Process
- Computer Hardware and Software Process
- Publication Process
- Radioactive Material and Select Chemical Agents Process
- Blanket Order Process
- Surplus Property Process
- Use of Minority or Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) Vendors
These processes are summarized below, including the circumstances under which each process shall be required. Detailed explanations of the procedures to be followed for each process are available from the Purchasing Department.
If more than one process applies to a solicitation or process, each applicable process should be followed. The Purchasing Department in consultation with University Counsel will coordinate the application of the various processes.
Request for Bid (RFB) Process
The RFB process is a formal competitive sealed-bid process for soliciting pricing and availability of goods or services estimated to be $25,000 or higher. Award is based on lowest responsive, responsible bid received. The RFB Process shall be undertaken by the Purchasing Department upon submission of a TUmarketplace PR by a school, college or department. No other University department is authorized to undertake the RFB Process.
To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the RFB process, competitive sealed bids shall be solicited. An RFB document includes standard University conditions related to insurance requirements, indemnification, and confidentiality as well as detailed scope of work and specifications including but not limited to quantity, description, delivery requirements, special conditions, and drawings. Timely RFB responses are opened and results recorded on the specified due date and time. Responses are evaluated and award is made to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder.
Request For Proposal (RFP) Process
The RFP process is a formal process of soliciting proposals for services or projects. The nature of the project or service, rather than the dollar threshold, determines the use of an RFP. The RFP process is utilized for consulting/professional services, design services and major construction projects. In addition to price, award is based on other factors such as the proposer’s experience with similar projects, sufficiency and creativity of the proposal in meeting the University’s objectives, the proposer’s unique experience, and the proposer’s project team.
The RFP Process normally will be administered by the Purchasing Department upon submission of a TUmarketplace PR. If the school, college or department has unique expertise or requirements, the Purchasing Department may authorize it to administer the RFP Process internally. A standard University Agreement for Professional/Consulting Service, Professional Design Services or Construction Services should be included with the solicitation documents. Any self-administered RFP Process must meet all other requirements as set forth in this policy.
The RFP process is similar to the RFB process with respect to University conditions related to insurance, indemnification and confidentiality. However, the RFP process is utilized for services or projects that permit flexibility in responding to the University’s objective, and vendors are asked to submit their proposed solutions for the project. RFP responses are opened and recorded on the specified due date and time. As determined by the Purchasing Department and/or as designated by the President, representatives of one or more University departments, such as the requesting department, Purchasing, and possibly Facilities Management, will evaluate the responses. Vendors may then be asked to make a presentation to further clarify their response and qualifications to fulfill the requirements of the project. The reviewers will then make a recommendation to the appropriate approving authority for award to the vendor determined by the reviewers to have presented the best solution to accomplish the project. The appropriate approving authority will vary from project to project (e.g., Dean, Vice President, Provost or President).
Request for Quotation (RFQ) Process.
The RFQ process is an informal (transmitted via TUebid) competitive bid process for soliciting pricing for goods or services estimated to be $5,000 or more but less than $25,000. The RFQ process shall be undertaken by the Purchasing Department upon submission of a TUmarketplace PR by a school, college or department. No other University department is authorized to undertake the RFQ Process. Upon receipt of a PR, Purchasing will create an RFQ document using TUebid that includes the University’s standard purchase order terms and conditions, any special conditions, details the specific quantity requirements, detailed item description, and required delivery date for the goods or services. Purchasing will record timely RFQ responses, evaluate them, and make an award to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder.
Independent Contractor Process
The independent Contractor process must be utilized when regular employees within the scope of their University employment cannot adequately provide expertise to fulfill a particular University commitment or objective. This process results in an independent contractor agreement with individuals or an entity not in the employment of the University. The legal determination of independent contractor status is guided by federal regulations. Further detail relating to this may be found on the Accounts Payable website.
The individual engaged as independent contractor to perform services is required to complete an Independent Contractor Determination and Certification and submit a “Scope of Work” and total cost on an executed Temple University’s Independent Contractor Service Agreement document.
Independent Contractor Service Agreements that do not exceed a total of $3,000 may be executed by the requesting school/college/ department Dean or Vice President.
Independent Contractor Service Agreements that exceed $3,000 must be attached to a Purchasing Requisition and forwarded to the Purchasing Department with a copy of all IC forms for review and approval by Accounts Payable. Issuance of a contract purchase order signed by the Director of Purchasing will follow upon approval of documentation by Accounts Payable and Purchasing.
Purchases which are subject to the Approval of Capital Expenditure Policy # 04.32.01 will not be awarded prior to receipt of an approved CER form. The two page CER form and instructions for completing the form may be found on the Capital Budgeting website.
Bid solicitation may proceed prior to CER approval, but no award may be made without an approved CER.
Small Dollar Purchase Process - Temple Purchasing Card (TPC) Program
Schools/Colleges/Departments are authorized to purchase non-repetitive, non-contract items (not services) that do not exceed a total cost (including shipping and handling charges) of $3,000. The method of processing small dollar purchases is through the TPC Program.
- To obtain a Temple Purchasing Card, enter a TUmarketplace requisition using the "Purchasing Card Application" form. The form must be completed in its entirety. Approvals for this application will route according to the applicant's FOAPAL within the requisition.
The TPC is issued for the convenience of purchasing small dollar, non-contract, non-repetitive items that otherwise would require submission of a PR to the Purchasing department. The TPC is not intended to replace blanket orders for frequently purchased like items from the same supplier. The TPC is not to be utilized for Travel.
A complete TPC Manual can be reviewed on the Purchasing website.
Emergency Order Process
An emergency order is defined as an immediate need for goods or services. The failure to act expeditiously exposes the University to risk of harm to persons or University property or when failure to act jeopardizes the learning environment.
When the need for an emergency order exists, the school/college/department must enter a requisition in TUmarketplace, using the priority code "Urgent." An internal note should be entered on the requisition stating the emergency and product or service needed. The requestor will need to notify his/her approvers and Purchasing of this request in order for it to process quickly and be assigned a Purchase Order. The Purchasing Department will communicate to the requisitioner the Purchase Order number by phone and a comment will be placed within the requisition. Once the emergency order is received, the requisitioner may contact the vendor to expedite delivery of the product or service requested.
Issuance of an emergency order is at the discretion of the Purchasing Department.
On-Line Ordering Process
On-line ordering is available through TUmarketplace.
Computer Hardware and Software Process
Computer hardware and software requests are to be submitted via TUmarketplace and will be processed through Computer Business Services to ensure technical compliance with the University’s computing strategy. Requests for computer peripherals that fall within the small dollar purchase threshold may be purchased by individual areas utilizing a TPC or TUmarketplace. (Note: CPUs, computer systems, monitors, iPads [or Similar Devices] and printers may not be ordered via the TPC.)
All publications, brochures or literature related to the image of Temple University or recruitment, in addition to printed materials that require creative services and or production (not including scholastic information) regardless of dollar amount, are to be submitted on a TUmarketplace PR and require the review and prior approval of the Creative Services Office.
Radioactive Material and Select Chemical Agents Process
Regardless of dollar amounts Purchase of radioactive materials, certain chemicals and certain biological agents are to be submitted on a TUmarketplace PR and require the review and prior approval of the Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Department (EH&S). Temple University is licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Federal Government to possess radioactive materials, and Environmental Health and Safety has sole authority regarding procurement of radioactive materials for the University.
A list of Select Chemical Agents that require Environmental Health and Safety approval may be found on EH&S’s website.
A Blanket Order is an arrangement with a vendor that does not obligate University funds but allows the flexibility for order placement on as-needed basis for a specified period of time (no greater than 12 months). The blanket order defines the general product or service, total dollar limit for a specified time period, and the transaction dollar limits for each order placement.
Submission of a Blanket Order Form found at TUmarketplace is required when requesting a blanket order.
Surplus Property Process
A Work Order Request Form, found on TUmarketplace, is to be completed for office furniture that is no longer needed for use within the school, college or department. The completed form will route to the Office of Facilities Management (OFM). OFM will determine the usefulness of the surplus item and have the item relocated to another area within the University, stored in surplus property location, or disposed. No school, college or department is authorized to donate or sell surplus property to any outside party. Such arrangements must be authorized by OFM.
Use of Minority or Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) Vendors
Temple University is committed to dealing with all suppliers with an ethical manner to support and encourage business with diverse groups. Temple University's policy is to provide opportunities to all diverse suppliers which include but not limited to minority and women owned businesses. Temple University encourages all internal departments to include diverse suppliers when looking to source a service or commodity. It is Temple University's commitment to do business with any supplier that can provide competitive price and quality for services and commodities which meet Temple University's business needs.
- History: This policy replaces any previously issued Purchasing Policies
- Cross References:
- Board of Trustees Policy # 04.32.01: Approval of Capital Expenditures
- Board of Trustees Policy # 04.32.02: Policy on Competitive Bidding
- Board of Trustees Policy # 04.50.01: Contract Signing – Authorized Signatures
- Board of Trustees Policy # 04.81.01: Ratification of Non-Discrimination Policy
- Presidential Policy # 05.20.13: Presidential Policy on Approval Authorization for Personnel Actions and Internal Financial Transaction
- Administrative Policy # 04.71.13: Administrative Policy and Procedures on Accessibility of Information and Technology
- Administrative Policy # 05.20.14: Administrative Policy and Procedures on Approval Authorization for Personnel Actions and Internal Financial Transactions
- Administrative Policy #05.20.15: Administrative Policy and Procedures on Approval Authorization for Personnel Actions and Internal Financial Transactions Related to Externally Sponsored Agreement
- Temple University Policy and Procedures: http://policies.temple.edu/
- Purchasing Department: http://www.temple.edu/controller/purchasing/
- Facilities/Planning & Design: http://www.temple.edu/facilities/planninganddesign.html
- Employee Forms: https://voyager.adminsvc.temple.edu/EmployeeForms/Default.htm
- Surplus Property: http://www.temple.edu/controller/purchasing/inventory.htm
- Environmental Health And Radiation Safety: http://www.temple.edu/ehrs/
- Accounts Payable: http://www.temple.edu/controller/accounts_payable/index.htm
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Computer Business Services
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