Purchasing Policy and Procedures

 
 
Document Number:
BUSO-0031
Revision #:
v1.0
Document Owner:
Business Office
Date Last Updated:
10/2/2019
Status:
Approved

General Description

Policy Summary:

This policy provides a framework for purchasing goods and/or services and encompasses the processing requirements. Trinity University’s (TU or the University) buying function seeks to procure the highest possible quality of goods and services at the best value. Vendor and product characteristics that are considered include price, provisions for ongoing maintenance, quality of the product or service, lead times, warranties and guarantees, vendor expertise, and prior history. This policy and procedures provides guidance to ensure maximum value for funds being expended and adequate testing and inspection of purchased goods and services. Goods and services purchased must be reasonable and necessary to accomplish the University’s mission. 

Purpose:

To provide a consistent policy framework for sound planning and management of buying activities.

Scope:

Faculty, staff and students involved in the buying process which involves planning, proposing, authorizing, approving or executing procurement activities for goods and/or services.

Exceptions:

None.
Policy Content
Exception:
  1. Departments are not authorized to make capital equipment purchases which require additional approval. Capital equipment consists of equipment equal to or greater than $5,000 per unit. See the Capital Equipment Process Policy for more information.
Purchasing Card (Pcard) purchases:  For purchases less than $5,000, the purchasing card is the preferred method of payment.  The Pcard Program is designed to streamline the order of and payment process for these purchase levels.  Other forms of payment including invoice billing, payment requests and petty cash transactions should be used only when payment by the Pcard is not accepted by the vendor.  See P-Card Policy and Procedures for more information.
P-Card is the preferred method, reference Exceptions above at section 1, Authorization Limits.
  • Chair or Director, a second approval is generally not required. 
  • Some University divisions and/or accounts may have additional requirements regarding signature authority.  Please check with the appropriate division representative.
  • Principal Investigator (PI) signature is required for all charges to grants.
Requisition and Purchase Order required. Federal grant requisitions must include at least two qualified pricing sources (e.g. a vendor’s price list obtained from their website meets this requirement). Attach any contracts or proposals applicable.
  • Chair, Director and VP or designee
  • Principal Investigator (PI) signature is required for all charges to grants.
Requisition and Purchase Order required, department must obtain (3) quotes. Attach any contracts or proposals applicable.
  • Chair, Director and VP or designee
  • Principal Investigator (PI) signature is required for all charges to grants.
Contact the University Buyer who will determine the best buying method to utilize; competitive bids may be required. Competitive bids are required for Federal Grant purchases > $150,000.
  • Chair or Director and VP
  • VP Finance & Administration or AVP Finance or President
  • Principal Investigator (PI) signature is required for all charges to grants.
New vendors doing business with the University must supply a valid IRS Form W-9 (or applicable W-8 for international vendors) that includes a verifiable business address which is not a P.O. Box.Certain vendors (“Approved Vendors”) have been screened in order to do business with the University.Please contact AP to determine if the vendor is an Approved Vendor. Approved vendors have already supplied a W-9, in addition to other documents in order to do business with the University.

Trinity will make a good faith effort to use small or historically under-utilized businesses (HUB), particularly within the local community.
  • Department name, contact person & contact information,
  • Account number(s) and amount(s)
  • Vendor name, address, contact information and tax identification number; the latter number should be provided at IRS Form W-9 or the applicable W-8 form (for international vendors)
  • Description of the merchandise to be purchased and/or services to be provided
  • Specify delivery to building room number
  • Ship to address is 607 Kings Court
  • Include the required delivery date, if necessary and any additional pertinent information
  • Cooperative Purchasing - Purchases made from University approved Purchasing Coops such as: E&I, TXMas, TCPN, Higher Educational programs do not require competitive quotes, since the governing board of these agencies have already completed the competitive pricing. 
  • Capital Improvement Projects – Refer to the Capital Projects policy for requirements.
Sole source procurement from a specified vendor will be considered following the completion and submission of sole source documentation.Sole source purchases occur when there is a single supply source available. Sole source requests and documentation are to be attached to the original purchase requisition along with a vendor quote and all other documentation supporting the proposed procurement . Information regarding sole source justifications, including the form are available at the following link. If the cost of merchandise is unknown, send a fax to Ext. 8229 or email the Purchasing Office at: Purchasing@trinity.edu specifying the exact requirements and suggested source, if known.The Purchasing Office will obtain a quote and advise the department.
If a department has recurring charges with a vendor that does not accept the Pcard, a BPO may be issued to the vendor.  The requisition form has a check box for BPO requests.  A BPO is set up as an authorization for a specific amount for a pre-determined period of time.  With a BPO, AP is authorized to pay invoices, as directed and approved by the department.  A BPO may cover a period up to 12 months.  A BPO generally may not extend past the University’s fiscal year which begins June 1st and ends May 31st.  Exception, plant fund BPOs are not restricted to time periods and may extend into subsequent fiscal years.  To set up a BPO, the following additional information is needed at the requisition:
  1. Estimate the amount of funds to be encumbered to cover the life of the BPO and
  2. Check the box for “Blanket Purchase Order”.
  • Grant name & grant budget account number(s)
  • Project ID
  • Amount per grant number
Chemicals and/or hazardous materials (when applicable):Departments must send the order to the Environmental Health & Safety Director for review and approval.
If merchandise is delivered directly to the department by the vendor, it should be carefully examined to ensure the merchandise is in good condition. Be sure to look for visible signs of damage, especially if the merchandise is fragile or costly.  The person receiving the goods should sign and date the packing slip and forward to Central Receiving.  For more details regarding delivery, please refer to # 3 in the following linked document
An individual’s ability to authorize purchases presumes high expectations of accountability and ethical behavior. Noncompliance with this policy may increase costs to the University, can undermine relationships (with vendors and others) and can result in unnecessary payment delays to vendors.Failure to follow this Policy and procedures may result in administrative and/or disciplinary actions, including cancellation, suspension or revocation of purchasing authority.
Requirements

Approvals:

  • VP for Finance and Administration

Terms and Definitions:

Term:

Definition:

Requisition
A document used in the buying process to initiate an order for goods and/or services. Once all of the necessary approvals are obtained, the requisition becomes a Purchase Order.
Purchase Order (PO)
A document representing an official offer issued by a buyer to a seller indicating types, quantities, and agreed upon terms and conditions, as well as prices for products and/or services.
Blanket Purchase Order (BPO)
A document representing an official offer issued by a buyer to a seller indicating types, quantities, and agreed upon terms and conditions, as well as prices for products and/or services. BPO’s cover recurring goods and/or services and multiple payments.
Payment Request
A document used to issue a payment when a Purchase Order is not required and an invoice is not issued by the vendor. Invoices are preferred for payment purposes.
Capital Assets
Consist of equipment, furniture and furnishings, tools, vehicles, library books or leasehold improvements (walls, doors etc) with an individual item cost of $5,000 or more (i.e. one item with a cost of $5,000 but not two items that cost $2,500 each) and useful life of 5 years or more. The exception to this per unit amount are bulk purchases and/or capital projects. Individual items that cost less than $5,000 may be grouped as one asset when the total value exceeds $25,000 and the useful life is at least 10 years. For additional information on capital projects, refer to the University’s Capital Projects Policy and Procedures.
Attachments
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Revision History Log:

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Date:

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v1.0
8/1/2019 10:35 AM
Holly Warfel