Policies and Procedures

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Formal Bid
Advance Payments
Annual Certification Of Certain Sole Source Products Or Services
Authority To Sign Contracts / Power Of Attorney
Blanket Purchase Orders (BPO)
Certification of Completion of Services
Change Orders
Check With Order
Commodities Or Services Requiring External Approvals
Competitive Solicitation Requirement (Exceptions)
Confirming Orders
Conflict Of Interest
Delivery Services
Department's Responsibility
Emergency Purchase
Equipment (installment plan)
Equipment Lease
Foreign Shipments That Require A Customs Broker And/Or Import Duty
Foreign Vendor Payments / Wire Transfer updated 1/5/2012
Foreign Vendors
Furniture/Seating/Chair Purchases
Gas Cylinders, Research And Industrial
Independent Contractors Versus Employee - Employer Relationships
Insufficient Funds
Interest Payments
Internal University Approvals
Invitation To Negotiate
Lease Or Rental Of Space In A Building Not Owned By The University
Loan/Demo/Evaluation Equipment
Motor Vehicles
Moving Expenses
OCO Vs. Expense
Other Exceptions To The Competitive Solicitation Process
Overview of Policy
Objectives of Policy
Payment Policy
Payment Upon Completion Of Services
Payments (Deferred)
Procurement Card
Purchase Of Used Equipment
Purchase Orders
Purchases Exceeding $75,000
Purchases Of $15,000 Up To $50,000:
Purchases Of $6,000 Or Less
Purchases Of $6,000 Up To $15,000
Purchasing Cycle
Purchasing Services's Responsibility
Receipt Of Unsolicited Goods
Receipts (processing)
Repair Of Tangible Property
Request For Proposal
Requisition (Disallowed products and services)
Requisition (General)
Requisitions Not Required
Sole Source Purchases
Special Situations
Sponsored Research Exemption (SRE)
Stamps From U. S. Postmaster
Subscription Renewals
Trade-In Of University-Owned Tangible Property
Vending Machine Funds
Vendor payments
Vendor returns
Vendor Shows/Exhibits


Responsible Division: Finance and Administration
Approving Official: Kyle Clark
Effective Date: December 15, 2013
Last Revision Date: Unrevised at this time.




Federal OMB circulars, BOG Regulations and Guidelines, and UBOT Regulations, as they exist now and as they may be enacted in the future by a governing body or regulatory agency with authority over University purchases including but not limited to:
Federal OMB Circulars A110, A21, A133
Florida State University Purchasing Regulation 6C2R-2.015
Board of Governors (BOG) Regulations 18.001, 18.002, and 18.003
Florida Statutes 112, 119, 120, 255, 283, 288, 672, 1001.74, 1001.75, and 1004.22.


To specify the methods and responsibilities for requisitioning commodities and contractual services, whether by outright purchase, rent, lease, installment or lease-purchase, in accordance with established statutes, rules, regulations and policies.


All procurement actions for commodities or contractual services from sources outside the University must be processed through Purchasing Services using the OMNI Financials System unless specifically exempted herein. The President, through the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, has delegated the procurement function to the Director of Purchasing to serve as the Chief of Procurement Office. Any acquisition of a commodity or a service made before Purchasing Services issues a Purchase Order may become the personal obligation of the individual obtaining the commodity or service. The Director of Purchasing Services, or a designee, may approve any Purchase Order expenditure up to and including $1,000,000. The University President must approve any Purchase Order expenditure in excess of $1,000,000. Details of purchases in excess of $1,000,000 are reported annually to the University Board of Trustees.

The requirements stated herein apply to all purchases of commodities and contractual services regardless of the funding source. It is the responsibility of the requisitioning department to provide the specifications, including delivery requirements and minimum vendor qualifications. It is the responsibility of Purchasing Services to determine the price and secure the source of supply (vendor) for the purchase. Requisitioning departments shall never assume that their recommended vendor will be the vendor/contractor to whom the Purchase Order will be issued.

Important notification: The published Purchasing policies and procedures shall have precedence over any contracting and purchasing-related information that may appear in any other departmental policies and procedures. Questions relating to issues such as use of a vendor who will not accept a purchase order, who requires advance payment, requires payment upon delivery of goods, payment upon completion of services, or payment terms other than Net 40 shall be directed to Purchasing Services, 850-644-6850.


Emarket is FSU’s electronic procurement catalog system for established contract vendors. Departments should use Emarket when possible to procure their goods/services from the established contract vendors represented in the system. The contracts in Emarket not only provide for cost savings, but they also assist the University with its efforts in cost containment and expense reduction by electronically exchanging product information, purchase orders, invoices, and other necessary information. For role setup information and training go to Purchasing Services website at http://www.procurement.fsu.edu//

The Purchasing Cycle

The Purchasing cycle starts when a department determines a need for a commodity or contractual service. Departments should contact Purchasing Services far in advance of any major purchase to allow sufficient time to plan and accommodate the formal solicitation process. Departments can help in this purchasing cycle, especially during peak times, by planning ahead and submitting requisitions early and observing published deadlines for submitting requests prior to the end of the fiscal year. Purchasing Services reserves the right to consolidate requisitions for similar items to achieve economies of scale. The following are the elements in the Purchasing Cycle.

a. Initiate Request/Requirement for Goods or Services: Identify the business/research requirement for the purchase. The purchase must be for University business purposes. In addition, department should estimate the cost of the purchase, and ensure funding is available.
b. Identify Potential Suppliers: Purchasing Services, working with the department will select from available responsive and responsible suppliers.
c. Placement of Order: Depending upon the type of requirement and dollar amount, Purchasing Services will work with the department to get a Purchase Order processed, use the P-card, order from eMarket, or utilize some other means of procurement. If a formal solicitation must be utilized, Purchasing Services will work with the department to review terms and conditions, warranties, and payment terms.
d. Goods and Services Received: When receiving goods or services, departments must ensure that terms and conditions of the purchase order/contract are met.
e. Invoice Received and Verified: Departments must ensure information on the invoice, such as price, quantity, and quality, match the information contained in the original purchase agreement.
f. Issue Payment: Before authorizing payment, departments must identify the source of funding, which should be the same as when the purchase was initiated, and ensure that sufficient funds are available to cover the payment.
In order to obtain the roles of Requester, Receiver, Approver and/or Power Receiver in OMNI, an eORR is necessary. Requester and Approver roles require written application. For more information regarding these roles, please go to Purchasing Services website at http://www.procurement.fsu.edu/ and navigate to Departmental Information > Forms > OMNI Forms for further instructions or contact Purchasing Services OMNI Security staff.

The Requisition

When a department has a requirement for equipment, supplies, services or materials, the first step is to enter a Requisition for that requirement into OMNI. A contractor should never be allowed to provide a service or deliver a commodity before a requisition is prepared and a Purchase Order issued. The Requisition must contain a complete and correct description for each item or service required. For details of how to enter Requisitions into OMNI, contact Purchasing Services to schedule a date and time to attend an OMNI class or go to Purchasing Services website to view OMNI job aids. Once entered into OMNI, a University employee, with signature authority for the particular Dept. I.D. and fund, must approve the Requisition online. To obtain signature authority, the employee approving the Requisition must be listed on the University Controller's Authorized Signature list attached to the Department Chartfield, which is maintained by the Budget Office. PO Requestors in OMNI must be on the PO Requestor listserv to receive important email notifications or the requestor role may be revoked. PO Requestors will be added to the listserv automatically when the requestor role is setup in OMNI. Requestors must ensure they have email notifications turned on through HR.

Note: If the items on the Requisition are being used to purchase equipment for already existing tagged equipment, the department will need to list the FSU property tag number of the property to which the component will be added, on the Requisition, so that Asset Management will know that the cost of these components will need to be added to the cost of the original property in the inventory record. For more information regarding the purchase of property and property tags, go to: controller.vpfa.fsu.edu/Property-Accounting

a. Quotations

It is the responsibility of Purchasing Services to obtain quotations from suppliers/vendors. Departments are urged to contact Purchasing Services at the beginning of any procurement project, before obtaining quotes or speaking with suppliers/vendors to ensure that the correct procurement procedures are followed. However, for budget purposes, a department may obtain cost information from catalogs, or prior orders. Purchasing Services is not bound to accept quotations secured by departments. When a department chooses to secure quotations, the quote must contain the name of the supplier/vendor; the supplier/vendor representative who gave the quote, the date of the quote, the FOB Point (shipping/freight) point, the payment terms and the price of each item(s). The Director of Purchasing Services has the ability to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis only.

b. Requisitions Not Required
There are several instances where a General Requisition is not always required.
i.  Subscription Renewals

Initial subscription purchases may be processed on a General Requisition , Payment Request Form or University P-card.

Subscriptions may be renewed without submitting a General Requisition to Purchasing. Departments should submit the reorder card or subscription renewal notice from the publisher, along with a Payment Request Form to the Payables and Disbursement Services Office of the University Controller's Office. The Payables and Disbursement Office will send the vendor a check for the subscription with the subscription renewal notice.

Subscriptions and renewals may also be paid on the p-card. All subscriptions, whether paid via Payment Request Form, P-card or Purchase Order, must meet the following criteria:
Subscription time period should be set up for one year at a time, unless the department has evidence that a longer period of time results in a significant savings for the University.

Subscription cannot be sent to the individual's home address

Must have the name of the University on the subscription

ii.  Shipping Services

For overnight letter or package delivery services, the University has contracted rates for both domestic and international courier services, that benefit the FSU main campus, as well as off campus sites like Panama City and Sarasota campuses. Departments can setup an online account or an individual account by contacting Postal Services to ensure you get the University contracted rates.

Your own account: You may be able to have your own account set up if you have special needs such as multiple projects, funds and hazmat materials. Note: having your own account would be determined by Postal Services and your account would need to be set up to receive the University contract rates. Contact Postal Services to get an account number to insure it is connected to the University contract rate structure. You will need to create a blanket purchase order referencing this account number and the FSU contract number. Your department will be responsible for paying all bills to Contractor. If a department wants to use air bills then they will need their own account number and will be responsible for paying their bills. When filling out an air bill, make sure that the departmental shipping account number to be charged is clearly listed on the air bill.

Online system through Postal Services: Getting set up through Postal Services online system provides ease of creating shipping labels on your desktop, ability to manage and view all shipments from your department, automatic billing and less paperwork. You do not need to do a blanket purchase order. Postal Services will pay all bills and automatically charge your department fund number for payment. Make sure that you include your dept. id and fund in the reference code so that Postal Services can properly bill back your department.

It is important to include your department id and fund in the reference code when shipping items. Review all bills for any discrepancies or incorrect charges. Make sure individuals in your department are not using the contract for personal shipping needs. For more information regarding the University Courier Services contract go to: http://postal.fsu.edu/

Note: Whenever incurring shipping for University purchases and it’s possible to do so, provide the vendor with your department contract account number to charge the shipping as the cost may be less than what the vendor charges for standard or overnight shipping.
iii.  Stamps from U. S. Postmaster

Send a Payment Request Form to Payables and Disbursement Services or use your p-card to make payment.

For a listing of other items that do not require a Purchase Order, see the Allowable Unencumbered Disbursements listing located on the Accounts Payables website through the Controller’s Office.

c. Products and Services Which Cannot be Requisitioned

Items for personal use by a University employee or for a University-related organization are not eligible to use the University's state and federal tax exemptions and must not be secured by using University letterhead stationery or Purchase Orders.

The following is a partial list of items that normally cannot be requisitioned purposes unless the department provides specific justification to Purchasing Services, documenting how items will be used in the context of University business.

Brief cases, desk pen and pad sets;
Holiday decorations, greeting cards and postage for such cards;
Coffee pots and coffee brewing devices and supplies;
Congratulatory or condolence telegrams;
Decorative items, globes, statues, plants, picture frames and wall hangings;
Flowers, flower arrangements and vases;
Food and food products, room rental and entertainment, with the following exceptions:
   Products used directly in instruction or research;
   Participant fees were collected for the express purpose of paying for such items.
Heaters, portables;
Microwave ovens and hot plates or stoves;
Personal subscriptions to magazines, trade journals, and newspapers;
Plaques - See Expenditure Guidelines under Awards;
Refreshments, such as coffee and doughnuts;
Telephone Answering machines;
Water, Bottled/Water Dispensers

No items on the above list will be authorized for personal employee use.

Payments for purchase of bottled water for use as drinking water in a department requires certification of unsuitable drinking water or non availability of water in the building.

Payments for purchase of bottled water for authorized refreshments/catering events, on specific funds allowing food purchases, is authorized.

With the exception of telephone answering machines, it may be possible to requisition some of the items listed above if they are specifically authorized by a contract or grant, if their use can be justified as necessary to carry out the educational and research mission of the University or by using Student Government, Vending, Athletic Department or Auxiliary funding. Requisitioning departments shall NEVER assume that these items may be purchased without the prior approval of Purchasing Services and/or the University Controller.

d. Procurement Card (P-card)

Purchasing Services has established a Procurement Card program through an agreement with the University Controller and Bank of America. Procurement Cards are issued to individual University employees who have a need to purchase expense items from a large variety of vendors. For information on the Procurement Card, contact the Procurement Card Administrator in Purchasing or review the Procurement Card Manual on Purchasing Services Web site at http://purchasing.fsu.edu/.

e. Blanket Purchase Orders (BPO) -- Limited Use Only

Blanket Orders by their “blanket” nature do not contain specific product information. This greatly reduces the University’s ability to utilize product information to obtain better quality and pricing for the products ordered. Whenever possible we need to have a written record of what we bought and what we paid for it; for the most part, blankets obscure that information.

Determining eligibility for blanket orders will be on a case-by-case basis by Purchasing Services, and any exemptions granted will be only for one year only should an alternative method of procurement become available in the following fiscal year. Note: Allowing a blanket this year doesn’t equal a permanent exemption from the “no blankets” policy. Any exception to any part of this policy must be justified in writing by the Requesting department and receive the prior authorization/approval by the Director of Purchasing Services or designee.

If a Blanket Order is approved all BPO ending dates, except for Contract & Grant accounts, will be determined each fiscal year or the ending date of the grant. Once the BPO is issued to the vendor, the department deals directly with the vendor. Deliveries may be requested by phone, fax, Internet or in person. Normally, deliveries on a BPO are delivered directly to the requisitioning department but they may be routed through Receiving if that is most convenient. Receiving in the OMNI system and the departmental representative's signature on the vendor's invoice or delivery receipt is required to pay the invoice. Departments are also responsible for making sure the appropriate funding is encumbered on their blanket order and not overspending.

A blanket Order is a purchase order that is not line-item specific. It is a means to set aside a lump sum of money to a specific vendor that a department may use on a recurring basis to order services/consumable supplies for a specified period of time. Some blankets are used to make miscellaneous PURCHASES, and other blankets are used to make miscellaneous PAYMENTS. There are many problems associated with Blanket Orders.

Blankets for PURCHASES are used to buy a wide range of unknown items, in unknown quantities, at unknown prices, throughout the year. (Example: Blanket order for miscellaneous food items from Publix or Winn Dixie).

Blankets for PAYMENTS are used to buy specific items at specific prices, but for unknown quantities, throughout the year. (Example: Blanket order for monthly copier lease payment and excess copies).

A BPO requisition must contain the following information so that the system will recognize it as a BPO and provide the necessary information for the vendor:

• The description area of the requisition must contain a general description of the type of item that the BPO will be used for;
* The name of the person or persons who are authorized to request or receive deliveries;
* The beginning and ending dates of the period to be covered by the BPO;
* The maximum dollar amount to be spent for the entire period.
The following are limitations on the use of BPO's: The maximum dollar amount for a BPO is usually $6,000 or less, but this may be increased at the discretion of the Purchasing Specialist to $15,000 if the Requestor has a special situation.

Blankets are not to be used for equipment or furniture purchases.


Requisitions for Blanket Orders shall not be issued to vendors who are in the University E-Market. E-Market training and job aids exist for staff and faculty who need access to E-Market to become Shoppers and or Requestors. For further details, departments can go to the following links at: http://www.procurement.fsu.edu// or they can contact Purchasing Services to set up training.

Requisitions for Blanket Orders will most likely not be issued to non-contract vendors if there is an existing Campus or University Contract for the same or similar product. Individual, line-item specific purchase requisitions/purchase orders may be processed to the non-contract vendors for those materials/services that are out of stock or unavailable from the contract vendors or P-card may be used (see exemptions below).

Blanket Orders shall never be used to order equipment.

Change Requests/Change Orders:
Requests to increase current fiscal year Blanket Orders that are approved and established, will be screened on a case-by-case basis by Purchasing Services and may be denied should an alternate method of purchase become available.

Departments are strongly encouraged to use the University’s P-card (Visa) for supply and maintenance/repair purchases that are not available through the E-Market, provided the total amount of the purchase does not exceed the limits assigned to the card and further provided that the purchase is appropriate for the P-card.

See the P-card Information site at: http://www.procurement.fsu.edu// for the policy for ordering using the University’s P-card or to obtain a P-card.

For those situations where the vendor is not available in E-Market or where P-card cannot be used or might not be appropriate, consult with the Director of Purchasing or designee to discuss other appropriate procurement options.

It may also be allowable for a P-card holder to have their limit increased or have the card opened up for other merchant category codes that normally are not acceptable based upon their justification of purchase (i.e. Food). Consult with the P-card Administrator for possible options.

Allowable Unencumbered Disbursements List:
See the following link for the items that are on the Allowable Unencumbered Disbursements List that can be paid via PRF as unencumbered payments: http://control.vpfa.fsu.edu/content/download/4219/29831

Make sure to refer to this list often to determine whether the purchase is an allowable unencumbered disbursement.

Equipment Maintenance Program:
If the procurement request is for maintenance of equipment, first refer to the University Equipment Maintenance Program to determine whether the program can save your department money on maintenance coverage. If you choose to convert to the Equipment Maintenance Program, purchase orders will not need to be created. Information regarding the program can be viewed at: http://www.procurement.fsu.edu//

Requisitioning Procedures, General:
Blanket Orders for services (Contracts for Services, Maintenance Service Contracts, Leases/Rentals, etc.) may be issued against established solicitations, or campus, University, State or other governmental entity contracts, in accordance with the prices established for the solicitation and the policy for the respective purchase type. Note: These types of orders are not considered to be true Blanket Orders, as they are supported by documentation that defines pre-established costs.

Blankets for PAYMENTS are not a main concern, but “payment-type blankets” will be evaluated to determine if the vendor accepts Visa. If so, then determine if the items to be purchased are allowable purchases for the P-card, and if the typical order falls within P-card spending guidelines. Approval may not be given to allow blanket orders even for payments, if the P-card is a reasonable alternative.

If only a few purchases a year are made, meaning the blanket format isn’t necessary only preferred, i.e. in lieu of having to type a one or two line itemized requisition a couple of times a year, then the blanket may not be allowed.

No Blankets for E-Market vendors. If certain items can’t be found in the Emarket catalog, you can use a p-card if per p-card guidelines and daily limit or submit a line item requisition for those items.

Check with Copier Services (if for Copier Purchase/Lease) or with the Equipment Maintenance Program if for equipment maintenance.

Refer to the “Goods and Services Procurement Guide” page on Purchasing Services website often as this site is updated periodically: http://www.procurement.fsu.edu// then click on “Goods and Services Procurement Guide”. This site provides helpful information regarding contracts and non-contract suppliers that offer discounted pricing options.

f. Special Situations

i.  Memberships/Dues

Request for payment of memberships or dues should be directed to the University Controller's Office. The requests must be accompanied by a certification, signed by an authorized representative of the organization, stating that their records are open for inspection by any citizen of the State of Florida.

ii.  Trade-in of University-Owned Tangible Property

When an item is being traded-in, the Requisition must contain the following information about the item being traded-in.

* A complete description of the item being traded, including make and model number;

* Serial number, if applicable;

* FSU number, if applicable;

* No trade-ins are permitted on lease/purchase transactions.

Trade-in Memo

iii.  Repair of Tangible Property

If the department wishes to have Purchasing and Receiving participate in the return of items for repair, a Requisition to have an item repaired should be prepared with the following (If applicable):

* A description of the item including the weight;

* The value for insurance purposes;

* The model and serial number;

* The FSU number;

* The desired method of shipment and how shipping charges will be paid by the department or by the vendor;

* Where the item can be picked up (or that it will be delivered to Receiving, and when it is to be delivered) and any other information pertinent to the transaction;

* Vendor's Return Authorization Number.
iv.  Advance Payment/Check with Order

In order to safeguard public funds, Florida Law requires, with few exceptions, that goods and services be received and inspected before payment is made. When the University commits to a purchase from a vendor, the vendor is expected to have adequate resources or working capital in order to provide the requested goods/services. Advance payment to a vendor can incur additional costs for the University, present risk of loss of the funds advanced, and reduce the University’s ability to negotiate in a dispute. However, under the following circumstances the University Controller will allow advance payments for a commodity/service.


Advance payments may be made for maintenance agreements, software license agreements, subscriptions and other purchases, which meet one of the following criteria:

Advance payment will result in a savings which is at least equal to or greater than the interest which the University would earn by investing the funds and paying in arrears,


Commodities or services are essential to the operation of the University and are available only if advance payment is made. Note: This advance payment provision applies only when there is no vendor available that will accept a Purchase Order, not just that the recommended vendor will not accept a purchase order.
The requisitioning department must document to the satisfaction of the Purchasing Specialist that the payment request meets one of the above criteria. The Purchasing Specialist will also review to ensure that the advance payment vs. deliverables is fair and reasonable. In addition, the request must include the following:
  • Written quote from vendor
  • Savings obtained by making payment in advance
  • Note established business practices of the specific industry requesting advance payment
  • Fund used on the payment and whether the purchase and advance payment(s) cross fiscal year(s)
  • Whether a vendor is providing a good built to FSU specifications

Once the Omni requisition is received by Purchasing, prior approval of the University Controller is required for advance payments that equal or exceed $5,000 except as noted under exceptions above. A statement indicating that the payment meets one of the above criteria must accompany requisitions. The department must also provide the appropriate Information Resource Manager approval, if applicable. Orders that require an advance payment portion or full advance payment should be entered on a Requisition in OMNI like a blanket order andor have line items for each payment listed. A Payment Request Form for the advance payment portion must be completed and sent to Payables. Once the item(s) have been received by the vendor, the department must receipt the applicable line items on the OMNI PO.

v.  Lease or Rental of Space in a Building not Owned by the University

The one-time casual rental or lease of 4,999 square feet or less of space for 120 days or less in a building, portable structure, mobile home or trailer not owned by the University, may be requisitioned on a General Requisition. Requirements for space 5,000 square feet or larger or for 121 days or more must be directed to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration. Reference OP-B-3 Leasing of Off-campus Facilities or visit vpfa.fsu.edu/Quicklinks/Leasing

vi.  Gas Cylinders, Research and Industrial

All purchases of industrial and research gases must be initiated by submission of a Requisition through OMNI. Each Requisition shall contain a separate line sufficient to cover the cylinder demurrage charge for the balance of the fiscal year, or until the end of the grant or contract period, whichever occurs first. In the case of a Blanket Order issued for gases, a separate Requisition may be submitted to cover the cost of demurrage charges that may result. Departments must include their account number(s) to be covered by the blanket. A department may elect to issue one Blanket Order to cover the demurrage for their department for one fiscal year. In both of the above cases, Requisitions for gases must reference the corresponding Purchase Order for demurrage charges.

Rental charges are computed on the actual number of cylinders in the possession of the department or researcher at the end of a month. There will be no charges for cylinders that have been used and returned prior to that time. If a department wishes to retain a gas cylinder beyond the period covered by the initial rental encumbrance, it is the responsibility of the ordering department to submit a General Requisition through OMNI to authorize an order solely for rental for a new period. The new period cannot exceed the end of the fiscal year or, in the case of a contract or grant, until the end of the contract or grant, whichever is earlier.

The vendor will automatically pick up cylinders upon the expiration of the rental encumbrance period covered by a Purchase Order. The University will not pay demurrage on a cylinder for a period not covered by a Purchase Order. It is the responsibility of the vendor to pick up empty cylinders within twenty-four (24) hours after notification by a University department.

vii.  Moving Expenses

Under certain circumstances, the University may pay for the packing, storing and shipping of personal household goods or a mobile home for a University employee. The University may pay for uncrating of specialty items such as art work, mirrors, glass tops, televisions and antiques. The University may also pay for set-up/reassembly of major appliances and furniture that was dismantled by the mover only for the move. This would not include recreational items such as swing sets and pool tables. The use of environmentally friendly packing materials may be an allowable expense when it is cost effective and pre-approved by the University. Consult with Purchasing Services for more information on the above. Normal removal, preparation for shipment and installation of appliances such as ranges, refrigerators, washers, dryers, food freezers, and air conditioners are allowable. This does not include parts or labor in “special” installation of pipes, ductwork, wiring, etc. Placement of furniture, rugs, beds are included but hanging of pictures, fixtures, mirrors, curtain rods, or racks are not. The University cannot pay for unpacking, a valuation charge or the personal travel costs of the employee or family members, and the move is normally limited to 15,000 pounds net weight. Requests to pay moving expenses must be approved in advance by a Dean or Director and should initially be directed to the University Human Resources Department on a Request for Approval to Pay Moving Expenses. See OP-C-7-D12

After that form is fully executed, the department responsible for funding the move must submit a Requisition in OMNI and forward a copy of the Form, along with the mover's quote, to Purchasing Services Department with the requisition number referenced. The departmental staff assisting with the move should call Purchasing Services for instruction on the procedure to be used in securing quotations. Basically, the choices are to use one of the available carriers on Contract or secure three guaranteed "Not to Exceed" price quotes from other movers. Go to the Goods and Services Procurement Guide located at http://www.procurement.fsu.edu/ for further contract information.

Request for Approval to Pay Moving Expenses Form is located at http://www.hr.fsu.edu/ under Hiring and Compensation

The Moving Expense Liability release form is located at: http://www.hr.fsu.edu/ under forms.

viii.  Furniture

The following price limits have been established for purchasing office and public area furniture:

1. Chairs (ergonomic) - $675

2. sofas - $1,400

3. love seats - $1,100

4. wing back or other similar chairs - $800

5. end tables - $400

6. coffee or 48" conference table - $600

7. Task lighting - $175 each

If a department needs to purchase a chair that exceeds the established limit, in order to provide a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the agency must process the invoice in accordance with instructions in ADA Section OP-C-7-I. Note: These guidelines are not used when purchasing for dormitories. Contact Purchasing for further information regarding furniture purchases.

ix.  Purchases from Vending Machine Funds

Purchases based on funds from the Vending Machine Account must have the following statement on the Comments section of the requisition: "I certify that this purchase serves the best interest of the program of higher education in Florida". Consult OP-D-1 Auxiliary Operations for more information.

x.  Loan/Demo/Evaluation Equipment

To try out technical equipment or services, only on a short term basis, to evaluate new products or services, the following procedures must be followed:

  1. Contact Purchasing Services to determine whether the products or services require formal competitive solicitation or whether the loan/demo is allowable.
  2. Fill out the Loan Agreement for Short Term Evaluation of Products and Services located on Purchasing Services website at http://www.procurement.fsu.edu/, under forms and obtain the vendor’s signature.
  3. Enter a requisition in OMNI by entering .01 as the dollar amount. Omni will not accept zero dollar amounts. Forward the completed Loan Agreement form to Purchasing, referencing the OMNI requisition number. Once the PO is established, do not verbally change any of the conditions, terms, etc. with the vendor, without backing it up with a change request that has been preapproved by Purchasing Services. The University does not cover any changes made unless it also goes through the official process and results in the supporting Purchase Order/Change Order documentation.

Note: There is risk, if you are personally doing this on your own, without consulting with Purchasing Services, and without setting up a Purchase Order specifying the evaluation, the terms such as freight and time frame of returning the items. Without the PO, the individual requesting the item from the vendor could be personally obligated to cover any and all charges associated with the equipment.

xi.  Motor Vehicles

When purchasing new or used motor vehicles, the dealer must provide Form 82994 DHSMV, Application for Certificate of title and/or vehicle registration and a Florida tag must also be obtained. Payment for new or used motor vehicles must include a copy of the Certificate of Origin, Certificate of Title, Form 82994 HSMV (if needed) and odometer disclosure. Repairs or Maintenance requisitions must include the University property number or the license tag number of the vehicle along with the year/make/model of the vehicle. If repairs are the result of an accident, then a copy of the accident report must be provided for payment.

xii.  Information Technology Resources

For further information regarding Information Technology Services Policies and Guidelines, go to its.fsu.edu

Chapter 282, Florida Statutes requires that information technology resources may only be acquired if approved by the agency Information Resource Manager (IRM) as part of the agency Informaton Resource Operating Plan or any supplement thereto. The University reviews information technology purchases as necessary to meet its commitments.

All software purchases of $20,000 or more are subject to review.

All hardware purchases of communications equipment, network equipment, telecommunications and videoconferencing equipment are subject to review by the Office of Information Technology regardless of dollar value.

g. Purchases Involving Deferred Payments and Interest

i.  Lease, Lease to Own, or Rental of Equipment

The University is allowed to lease or rent equipment. Leases for equipment are subject to the normal purchasing procedures including competitive solicitation. Leases of equipment, including month-to-month leases, must contain a cancellation clause (30 or 60 days), availability of funds clause and a stipulated lease period, not to exceed twelve (12) months or the end of the current fiscal year if Educational and General (E&G) Expense funds are involved. A lease may contain a renewal option clause for a future period subject to the availability of funds, if appropriate. A requisition for lease of equipment, other than for a casual rental or lease, must be accompanied by documentation to support the proposition that it is more economically prudent and cost effective to lease the equipment, as opposed to outright purchase of the equipment. If the cost of the annual lease exceeds $75,000, prior approval of the University Controller is required. For orders under $75,000, approvals may be granted on a case-by-case basis. This does not apply to copier leases per any established contracts.

ii.  Installment Purchases of Equipment

An installment purchase occurs when the University guarantees to buy an item by paying a fixed periodic payment over a period of time until the purchase price is paid, which may or may not involve interest. Installment purchases are subject to a competitive solicitation. Also, since interest is defined as a commodity, if the total amount of interest exceeds the competitive solicitation threshold of $75,000, it too is subject to the competitive solicitation requirement. Installment purchases must be reviewed and approved in advance by the University Controller. The following documentation is required for that review:

* A written justification describing the public purpose served and the agency need for the acquisition and the financial benefit to the State of an installment purchase rather than making an outright purchase.

* A written certification attesting to the availability of current operating capital outlay appropriations to meet the deferred payment obligations of the contract for each fiscal year the equipment is to be financed.

* Fill out the Request for Approval of Installment Purchase form, located on Purchasing Services website at http://www.procurement.fsu.edu/ , under forms. This form must be completed and approved by the Office of the Controller before acquiring equipment through a deferred-payment purchase arrangement.

University Departments may be eligible to use the State of Florida's Consolidated Equipment Financing Program (CEFP). Note: The minimum amount to be financed is $100,000. For more information on financing equipment through the state program, contact the FSU Purchasing Services or visit the Department of Financial Services Web site at:http://www.myfloridacfo.com/aadir/statewide_financial_reporting/

The President, or a designee, shall have the authority to enter into deferred payment agreements, in accordance with Board of Governors debt policies. The University may utilize the State of Florida Department of Financial Services Consolidated Equipment Financing Program if it is deemed advantageous. When the Consolidated Equipment Financing Program is used, the University will submit the contract to the Department of Financial Services for the purpose of pre-audit review and approval prior to acceptance. No agreement shall establish a debt of the State or shall be applied to the faith and credit of the State; nor shall any agreement be a liability or obligation of the State except from appropriated funds.

h. Independent Contractors versus Employee - Employer Relationships

When an individual or a business entity performs a service for the University, a distinction must be made as to whether the individual or business entity is an independent contractor or an employee-employer relationship exists. All payments for personal services of individuals and business entities represent taxable compensation to the recipient. If an employee-employer relationship exists, the compensation is considered wages and is subject to withholding tax and applicable FICA contributions. Wages are delivered through the payroll process. If no employee-employer relationship exists, the recipient is considered an independent contractor and receives payment by means of a Requisition followed by a Purchase Order or a contract.

The factor that distinguishes a contractual service from an employee-employer relationship is the degree of control exercised over the individual performing the service. IRS Regulations generally provide that an employee-employer relationship exists when the University has the right to control and direct the individual performing the service, not only as to the results to be accomplished by the work, but also the details and means by which the result is accomplished. The following three conditions are offered as a means to determine when a Requisition should be submitted for a service. All three conditions must be met before submitting a Requisition:

1.  Reporting Consistency The use of certain category codes ensures that a Form 1099 will be issued to the payee as an independent contractor at the end of the year. The Purchasing Services Office will check each Requisition for contractual services, stipends and honoraria to determine that the category code is appropriate.

2.  Substantive Consistency The University must treat all entities performing similar services the same. Purchasing Services will seek the guidance of Human Resources, or the Dean of Faculties as necessary, before approving purchase Requisitions for contractual services.

3.  Reasonable Basis The University must have a reasonable basis for treating the entity as an independent contractor. This may consist of reasonable reliance on judicial precedent, recognized industry practice, IRS ruling or other reasonable basis. The University has developed an Independent Contractor Checklist to determine whether a reasonable basis exists. The Checklist should be completed by the requisitioning department and filed for future reference before submitting a requisition for contractual services. The checklist should also be completed before submitting Requisitions for honorarium.
Intellectual Property and Copyright Law:

When hiring independent contractors that may be producing original works for the University, there may be occasions where you will need to obtain a Work for Hire form or consult with the Office of Research and Purchasing Services concerning intellectual property and copyright issues. Under intellectual property law, the owner of the original work has exclusive rights to that work, such as musical, literary, and artistic works.

Paying a photographer to take photographs, a writer to write, or an artist to produce are only a few examples of times when you would pay someone to produce a product or service that meets the legal definition of “intellectual property.” Paying the individual or company to produce a product or service does not mean you own it, nor that you have the right to use the product or service any way you choose. To secure these rights, you must have a Work for Hire form and a Purchase Order in place prior to any work performed.

The law in this area is very fluid, and is rewritten regularly. The only way to be sure you do not pay an individual or company to produce a product for you, that you cannot legally use, is to secure your right to use the product in advance.

Examples of original works that may be protected by copyright and trademarks include, but are not limited to:

Software that is written
Software multimedia
Web site development
Other electronic media
Music used in productions
Images used on Web sites and other items
Video film footage
Literary works

When a department needs to obtain a product or service that engages an individual or business in creating original works, the department, working with the vendor, is required to submit a “Work for Hire” form. A department must ensure that the form is signed by someone with delegated Power of Attorney. A Work for Hire is a form that was created by FSU to protect against foreign and domestic copyright law, ownership, and other legal issues with regards to the use of the original work(s). In other words, the individual or business was contracted with to create the work. Works for hire are not owned by the author, and shall be the sole and exclusive property of FSU, and it’s successors. The Work for Hire form can be obtained by navigating to Purchasing Services website at http://www.procurement.fsu.edu/, under forms.

i. Foreign Vendors and Identification for Foreign Vendors
When a department needs to requisition something from a foreign vendor and the vendor cannot be located on the vendor file in OMNI, it is necessary to suggest a vendor and provide the appropriate address and contact information for the vendor file. The vendor file team will add the vendor to OMNI and a vendor number will be assisgned, just as other vendors are added. It is the requisitioning department's responsibility to make certain that the vendor does not already have a vendor number even though they may be located in a foreign country. Requisitioning departments should ask if the parent company is foreign and if it is not, they usually have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEID#) for the parent company in the United States.

i.  Information required for Foreign Vendor Purchases
The following information is needed from any vendor you plan to use, whether a corporation or an individual:

Company (vendor) name (full legal name of the corporation or individual)

- U.S. Federal Employer's Identification Number or Social Security Number (if available) if vendor is an individual rather than a corporation)

- Contact name for product and/or service information

- Contact name for billing and funds transfer information

- Email address

- Mailing address . Telephone number

- Fax number

- Bank transfer information including (1) bank name, (2) account number, and (3) swift code

- Detailed description of product or service to be provided. If services are required, evidence of performance is required for payment.

- Period of service (start and end date) for services or estimated delivery date of product

- Cost per item (including shipping and handling, if applicable)

- Total cost

- Number of invoices and in what amounts if the vendor prefers to be paid in installments.
Note: - the vendor must invoice FSU for the products and/or services each time they want payment. In addition, a Payment Request Form must also be filled out and submitted to Purchasing Services. This form is located on the Payables and Disbursements website: http://controller.vpfa.fsu.edu/Payables-Disbursement-Services.
ii.  Requisitions for Contractual Services from Nonresident Foreign Aliens (NRA's)

Special immigration and tax regulation apply to payments made to nonresident alien individuals for contractual services. These are often referred to as individuals that do not have a "green card". Departments who requisition contractual services, honoraria or stipends involving NRA's as the recommended vendor should ensure that:

* The NRA holds a visa type that permits the payment.

* The NRA has a social security number or an individual tax Identification number.

* NRA is advised that the payment may be subject to 30% withholding pursuant to IRS s. 1441(a) Requisitioners should contact Tax Services Administration in the Controller's Office at 644-9464 for additional information concerning visa, taxpayer identification and tax withholding requirements.
j. Foreign Shipments that Require a Customs Broker and/or Import Duty

If merchandise is purchased outside the United States, an import duty is often imposed on the shipment by the U.S. Department of Customs. In most cases, it will be necessary to appoint a customs broker to process the shipment through customs. The requisitioning department must submit a Requisition to appoint a broker and pay the fee after ordering the merchandise. Scientific equipment may be exempt from import duty. Formal application to the Commissioner of Customs must be made to qualify imports for duty free entry. Applications and special instructions may be obtained from the U.S. Customs Bureau.

Before an application is submitted to the Commissioner of Customs, an OMNI Requisition should be submitted to Purchasing Services. If the ordering department is prepared to pay the duty, an order may be placed before or at the time the application is made. If the ordering department is not prepared to pay the duty, the application should be submitted and approval obtained before the order is placed. The approval process may take from four to five months.

For more information regarding Nonprofit organizations being exempt from paying Customs Duty on permanent imports go to: http://help.customs.gov or http://www.cbp.gov/

k. Foreign Vendor Payments / Wire Transfers

When a foreign vendor does not take a US check or requests payment by electronic means, a wire transfer is necessary.  An OMNI Requisition is required like any other order.  Once the goods/services have been physically received and payment is ready to be made, the department should receive upon the appropriate line(s) on the Purchase Order in OMNI.  The department will also need to submit the Foreign Vendor Wire Form to Accounts Payable so payment can be issued via wire transfer.  The form can be found at controller.vpfa.fsu.edu/Controller-Forms#PDForm.  See OP-D-2-C5, under E for Foreign Vendor Payment Requests.

l. Payment Upon Completion of Services

On rare occasions certain types of vendors may require payment upon completion of services. When this is the case, the requisitioning department must clearly indicate on the requisition comments that payment upon completion is required and the reason for the request, based on one of the two factors listed below. Purchasing Services will pass this request to the Controller's Office to prepare a University check to be sent to the Contract Manager for delivery to the vendor after the services have been completed. "Payment upon Completion" requisitions will be automatically accepted only in the following two instances:

* Professional artists (this does not include deejays), primarily those contracted through a booking agency. Non-artists hired through booking agencies will not automatically be eligible for payment upon completion of services. See correct procedure below.

* Foreign individuals, immediately returning to their own country.

Unless the contractor clearly falls under one of the categories above, the requisitioning department must contact Purchasing Services for approval before submitting a Requisition requesting payment upon completion. Requisitions that have not received prior approval will be considered simply as requests. Payment upon completion should only be requested when it is an absolute requirement of the contractor and the requirement is supported by a valid reason. All contractors should be advised that the University's payment terms are "Net 30 Days from Receipt of invoice and Certification of Completion". Cash flow problems experienced by a vendor or departmental preference are not justifiable reasons to bypass the University's payment rules. Purchasing Services may require the vendor to submit a written statement attesting to the fact that payment terms have never been extended to another agency or firm, and that the service will not be rendered unless they are guaranteed that payment upon completion will be made.

The Requisition with the appropriate documentation supporting the request must be in Purchasing Services no less than ten (10) full working days before the check is required. The following information must be included on the requisition:

. Description of the service. The description of the service should be sufficiently detailed so that the Purchasing Specialist and the contractor will know exactly what is to be provided under the Purchase Order.

. Date and time that check is to be ready (Last work day, usually noon or 2:00 PM).

. Contract Manager name and telephone number.

. Name and telephone number of person to pick up check - usually the Contract Manager.
m. Certification of Completion of Services

Upon completion of services, "receiving in OMNI" is required for the payment to be processed. Receiving in OMNI is the same thing as vouching that the services have been "satisfactorily rendered". Therefore, caution should be used to make sure that all services have been rendered/completed according to the purchase order/contract.


University policy requires that other University departments approve Requisitions for certain commodities and contractual services before the Requisition reaches Purchasing Services. After the department completes the Requisition and it is approved at the departmental level, the OMNI System automatically routes to the next level approver based on the category code. Approvers can only approve or reject a Requisition. They cannot alter the Requisition. If rejected, OMNI will return the Requisition to the work screen of the employee who entered the Requisition.

Below are commodities or services requiring additional external approvals and the department or unit that reviews and approves the Requisitions as they move through OMNI workflow:

Commodity or service External Approver
Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Environmental Health and Safety
Computing equipment (over $20,000) Information Resource Mgr. (IRM)– Information Technology Services
Contract and Grant requisitions Sponsored Research
Controlled Substances Environmental Health and Safety
Copiers Copier Program (Business Services)
Fans, heaters, air circulators, etc.* Environmental Health and Safety
Law enforcement equipment and supplies
Forensic supplies
Traffic control & Personal Safety Devices
University Police
FSU Facilities Campus facilities construction, repairs or upgrades
Golf Carts (see requirements below) Environmental Health and Safety
Hazardous waste* Environmental Health and Safety
Legal services * Office of General Counsel
PECO construction and FCO expenditures Accounting Services Construction Accountant
Printing and copying Printing Services and Publications Approver for Business Services
Radiological material Environmental Health and Safety
Renovations* Campus Design
Security systems and fire alarms Information Technology Services
Signs, exterior (permanent)* University Sign Committee
Tax free alcohol* Environmental Health and Safety
Telephones and telephone equipment Information Technology Services
Uniforms or clothing for employees* University Human Resources
*Not Reviewed Online via OMNI

1.   Hazardous Materials, Controlled Substances

To ensure the proper compliance of hazardous materials, radiation, ether, prescription or legend drugs and controlled substances, campus departments are required to observe the procedures prescribed by the University's Environmental Health and Safety Department in the identification, purchase, use and disposal of goods, material and equipment. See OP-G-1.5.2; OP-G-1.7.1 and OP-G-1.10.2

2.  Prerequisite - See OP-C-7-D13

For prerequisite information regarding justification and procedures for furnishing items and/or services to individual employees in instances where such items or services are not normally provided to all employees (i.e. safety shoes, uniforms, safety glasses) go to:

Prerequisite of Goods
3.  Golf Carts

In accordance with FSU Policy, non-licensed vehicles (carts) must meet the following at a minimum: A cart that is used between sunrise and sunset on campus must have the following safety equipment:

Rear view mirror
Break lights
Turn signals
Parking Brake
Red reflectorized warning devices on the front and rear
Key ignition or power shutoff
In addition to the above, the carts must have efficient brakes, reliable steering and safe tires (designed for the type of driving surfaces).

Carts designed for use from sunset to sunrise must also be outfitted with additional equipment as required to include:
Tail lights

Only University personnel specifically granted a power of attorney, in writing by the President, are authorized to sign contracts or agreements that financially commit the University, or require the University to make payment of any kind. Those with power of attorney shall only sign contracts within the limit stated in the power of attorney. Nor shall any department or individual, unless specifically delegated via a power of attorney to do so, sign any contract or agreement that represents in any manner whatsoever to an individual or business that the signor possesses the authority to bind the University. Even when legal authority exists via a power of attorney, all contracts and agreements that will a purchase order, require review and approval by Purchasing Services prior to the signing of the contract document, and a Requisition must be submitted, and a Purchase Order issued, before any contract documents are released to the contractor/vendor. If this policy is not followed, the individual signing the contract may be personally liable for any costs incurred.

For further information please refer to the memo from the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, located under Purchasing Sense Memos, under Departmental Information at www.purchasing.fsu.edu

D. Purchasing Services' Responsibility
Purchasing Actions

Purchasing Services reserves the right to select the vendor and determine the price based on the quality and quantity specified by the department. The department shall never assume that the vendor specified will be used. Upon receipt of a Requisition via OMNI, a Purchasing Specialist will take one of the following actions:


The Purchasing Specialist may accept the price listed on the Requisition, apply a contract price or seek competitive pricing.

PURCHASES OF $6,000 UP TO $15,000

The Purchasing Specialist will determine whether or not it is in the best interest of the University to secure competitive pricing, but will at all times determine, in his or her professional opinion, that the Requisition price is fair and reasonable before issuing a Purchase Order.

PURCHASES OF $15,000 UP TO $75,000:

Under most circumstances, the Purchasing Specialist will attempt to secure competitive pricing by fax, email, written quotations, telephone or a competitive solicitation. The turn-around time for securing written quotations normally will not exceed three to five days, depending on the circumstances. If a department believes that a commodity or service is available from only one source, or an emergency situation exists, justification in support of that belief must be entered on the Comments section for that requisition. It will be at the sole discretion of the Purchasing Specialist involved as to whether the sole source or emergency justification is accepted.


BOR Regulation 6C2R-2.015, requires that all purchases exceeding $75,000 shall be competitively procured by the University Purchasing Services, except under certain circumstances as outlined in the Regulations and these policies and procedures. Requisitioning departments without specific delegated authority as listed MAY NOT, under any circumstances, issue bids without going through Purchasing Services. The Attorney General has ruled that attempts to split items among different Requisitions to keep the total below the competitive solicitation threshold is unlawful. The following are acceptable methods of competitive solicitation:

a. Formal Bid

The requisitioning department develops a specification for the commodity or service desired and submits it to Purchasing Services in the form of a Requisition in OMNI, unless arrangements are made with the Purchasing Specialist to submit the bid specs in another format, such as by email or fax. The requisitioning department may be asked to send the specifications to Purchasing Services by attachment to an email using Word, to facilitate preparing the bid. Purchasing Services applies the appropriate terms and conditions, develops, along with the requisitioning department, a list of bidders. Vendors' bid responses are formally received at the prescribed date and time indicated in the Invitation to Bid. In accordance with Ch. 119, Florida Statutes, Purchasing Services may choose not to make the contents public for thirty (30) days after opening, or until FSU has posted notice of a decision, whichever occurs first.

After the bidders' responses to the Invitation are opened, the department may be asked to review the bids in an effort to determine the lowest bidder meeting specifications. The bid must be awarded to the qualified, responsive bidder who meets the specifications and offers the lowest cost. See Regulation BOG 6C2R-2.015 for legal procedures to be followed in the event the University receives only one or no responses to a competitive solicitation.

b. Request for Proposal

A Request for Proposal is prepared and distributed in the same manner as a formal bid. However, there are two major differences. A Request for Proposal is used in cases where a definite specification cannot be written. Another difference is the University is not required to accept the proposal offering the lowest price. The award of a Request for Proposal is based on the evaluation of criteria according to a point or scoring system enumerated in the Request for Proposal. The price may account for only a small percentage of the award points. Because they are more complicated, a Request for Proposal generally requires more time to make an award.

c. Invitation to Negotiate

The negotiation process is used when it is difficult to determine the scope or extent of possible solutions to an acquisition problem. The Invitation to Negotiate process is labor intensive since it requires face-to-face discussions between the committee members and representatives involved in the negotiation. The Invitation to Negotiate process is much more lengthy and time consuming than the previously mentioned procurement methods.

An Invitation to Negotiate is extended to a list of prospective firms or individuals notifying them of the University's interest in receiving suggestions and solutions in regard to an acquisition problem or issue. The potential negotiators submit responses that give broad outlines of the type and size of the solution that their firm could offer. These responses are evaluated by a small committee of University personnel to select the firms that will be asked to participate in the final round of negotiations. Oral and written negotiations may be held with the finalist in the process to determine which firm offers the best solution for the University's problem. The award decision is by consensus of the committee.

d. Advertising

In some instances, where the value of the competitive solicitation is in excess of $ $75,000, it may be prudent to advertise a competitive solicitation in the Florida Administrative Weekly on the Web. An exception is advertising for construction, which is required and must be done in the paper issue of the Florida Administrative Weekly and adds about ten (10) days to the process. The determination to advertise a competitive solicitation will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Purchasing Specialist responsible for issuing the competitive solicitation. While advertising may increase the time required to process a competitive solicitation, the decision to advertise will be based solely on the need or the benefits to be derived from the additional exposure provided by the advertisement. The decision not to advertise will not require any action on the part of the Purchasing Specialist.

Exceptions to the Competitive Solicitation Requirement

Under certain limited circumstances it is possible for a requisitioning department to provide appropriate documentation that allows Purchasing Services to issue a Purchase Order without resorting to the competitive solicitation process.

a. Sponsored Research Exemption (SRE)

When it can be documented that a purchase from a particular vendor is necessary for the efficient or expeditious prosecution of a research project, purchases using Contract and Grant funds may be exempted from the competitive solicitation requirement. To initiate such a request, the requisitioning department must submit a memorandum with appropriate documentation detailing the circumstances and conditions pertaining to the research project to the Vice President for Research. At the same time, the requisitioning department must enter a Requisition for the covered commodity or service into OMNI and submit it to Purchasing Services. To alert Purchasing Services that the department has applied for an SRE, there must be a note to that effect in comments. An SRE will not be issued if a contractor is allowed to begin a contractual service before the SRE is approved.

After reviewing the memorandum submitted by the requisitioning department, a representative from the Office of the Vice President for Research will forward to Purchasing Services, an email concerning the certification and a hardcopy of the certification form to the Purchasing Specialist assigned to the Requisition indicating the action taken by that Office, approving or disapproving the SRE request. If the SRE request is approved, Sponsored Research staff will conduct a cost and price analysis to document that the price charged is acceptable and Purchasing Services will immediately issue a Purchase Order. If the SRE is not approved, Purchasing Services will proceed with the competitive solicitation process unless the requisitioning department opts to cancel the requisition. When the Purchase Order is processed, the Purchasing Specialist has the certification scanned into Document Managment System for viewing by the University Controller's Office for payment of the voucher. The Purchasing Specialist should also include in either the header or line comments of the order, the SRE Special Action Statement. See Request for Sponsored Research Exemption form at www.research.fsu.edu/contractsgrants/forms.html

b. Emergency Purchase

When the delay incident to the competitive solicitation process would result in an immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare of the University if a purchase were not made immediately, the department involved must prepare an Emergency Purchase Request. This form is available for downloading from Purchasing Services Home Page. The Emergency Purchase Request should be completed, signed by the appropriate authority and routed to Purchasing Services for review and a recommendation. At the same time, the department should prepare and submit a Requisition via OMNI with a note in comments indicating the date and method of transmitting the Emergency Purchase Request to Purchasing. Purchasing Services staff will make a recommendation regarding the request from a purchasing perspective for the benefit of the Vice President for Finance and Administration and deliver the form to that office. An Emergency Purchase Request will not be approved if is necessitated as a result of inadequate planning. After the Vice President for Finance and Administration takes action on the request, it will be picked up by Purchasing Services. If the request was approved, an order will be issued immediately. If the request was not approved, Purchasing will notify the requisitioning department and, with the consent of the requisitioning department, begin the competitive solicitation process.

Emergency purchases of $75,000 or less do not require a signed Emergency Purchase Request form, but must be documented by adding a detailed note of explanation on the OMNI Comments section. Purchasing Specialists have the authority to waive competitive solicitation on emergency purchases of $75,000 or less based on an acceptable justification. Emergency Form

c. Sole Source Purchases

When a commodity or service with a total cost in excess of $75,000 is available only from one source and no suitable equivalent is available, the Director of Purchasing Services or a designee may waive the competitive solicitation requirement. The term "Sole Source " is strictly construed to mean absolutely no other source for the commodity or service is available, including dealers or distributors. The "Sole Source" process is not a quick process and should not be adopted by requisitioning departments in order to facilitate getting a Purchase Order issued quickly.

"No Substitutes; No Alternates; No Equivalents"

Departments must distinguish between situations where the commodity or service itself is available from only one vendor, and situations where the commodity or service may be available from more than one vendor, but the requisitioning department can justify not considering alternate or equivalent products for this purchase. In a "no substitutes" situation the Sole Source process is not applicable. However, prior to preparing a "no substitutes" requisition, Purchasing recommends that the department contact the appropriate Purchasing Specialist to discuss the "no substitutes" issue prior to preparing and submitting a requisition in OMNI. The requisitioning department may proceed with entering the requisitions so long as a detailed justification is entered in the Comments section.

To initiate a Sole Source request, the requisitioning department must prepare, sign and submit a "Sole Source Certification" form to Purchasing Services giving detailed justification for the sole source. Sole Source justifications shall provide proof that the commodity or service is not available from another source, and shall not simply restate that the item or service is not available from another source. The "Sole Source Certification" form is available for downloading from Purchasing Services Home Page. The requisitioning department may enter a Requisition at the same time the Sole Source Form is prepared and transmitted to Purchasing Services, or may work with the Purchasing Specialist to determine if the Sole Source is going to be approved before entering a Requisition in OMNI. Requisitioning departments should contact the appropriate Purchasing Specialist to work out the logistics of Sole Source requests on a case-by-case basis.

Purchasing Services must research each Sole Source request. This may involve activities such as contacting vendors deemed capable of supplying the requisitioned commodity or service to determine if they can offer a commodity or service that will meet the specifications on the Requisition. This can be a lengthy process and may take several weeks to complete. If a vendor other than the one listed on the General Requisition as the Sole Source for the purchase appears to meet the required specifications, a competitive solicitation will be required. If no other possible vendor is identified, Purchasing Services will:

* Obtain a written quotation from the sole supplier if not supplied by the requisitioning department.

* Prepare a Cost & Price Analysis; based on information supplied by the requisitioning department and the vendor, documenting the fact that the price offered by the vendor is reasonable and acceptable when compared with a similar item.

* Prepare a document for the file justifying the Sole Source status and the method used to establish that status.

* Post for 72 hours (not counting weekends and holidays) a notice of the decision to issue the Purchase Order without a competitive solicitation.

* Issue a Purchase Order.
d. Annual Certification of Certain Sole Source Products or Services

The Director of Purchasing has the authority to waive competitive solicitation on an annual basis for certain products and services that are purchased on a regular or continuing basis and are available only from a Sole Source. Competitive solicitation may be waived on the following products or services:

* Repair or replacement parts for existing equipment or systems from the original provider when no other manufacturer’s parts can be used;

* Copyrighted and single source instructional materials, tapes, publications, manuscripts, films, and personal library collections;

* Live animals and animal feed required to obtain certain research and instructional objectives;

* Software, proprietary supplies and accessories for existing equipment and systems where no other manufacturer's product can be used;

* Technical instruments and supplies for medical instruction, medical research or health care based on the expert opinion of the user directly responsible for the establishment of the objectives served by the acquisition.

*The acquisition of services involving officiating during sport events or activities pursuant to educational accreditation.

*The acquisition of used equipment and supplies.

*The acquisition of renovations, modifications, maintenance or repair services for leased office or laboratory space which are specifically provided for in the lease agreement and/or are required to be accomplished by the owner/landlord and subsequent reimbursed by the University.
e. Other Exceptions to the Competitive Solicitation Process

Purchases from competitively secured Contracts and Negotiated Annual Price Agreements established by the State or other governmental entities, other public or private educational institutions, and educational cooperatives and educational consortiums are not subject to further competitive solicitation.

Construction Direct Purchase Program. Commodities to be incorporated into any public work (as that term is defined in 12A-1.094, F.A.C.), which are procured by the University in accordance with the requirements of the University's direct purchase program, are not subject to any further competitive solicitation.

Commodities and contractual services that are exempt from the competitive solicitation process include:

Academic reviews

Accountant Services


Artistic services

Auditing services

Health services involving examination, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, medical consultation or administration;

Implementation/programming/training services available from owner of copyrighted software or its contracted vendor;


Legal services, including attorney, paralegal, expert witness, appraisal, and arbitrator or mediator services

Long distance telecommunications

Prescriptive assertive devices for medical, developmental or vocational rehabilitation including, but not limited to prosthetics, esthetics, and wheelchairs, provided the devices are purchased on the basis of an established fee schedule or by a method that ensures the best price, taking into consideration the needs of the client

Programs or continuing education events that are offered to the general public for which fees have been collected from individual participants to pay all expenses associated with the program or event

Purchases for resale

Purchases from the Annual Certification List developed by the University Purchasing Services

Purchases of materials, supplies, equipment, or services for research purposes when the Vice President for Research, or a designee, certifies that, in a particular instance, it is necessary for the efficient or expeditious prosecution of a research project.

Regulated public communications

Regulated utilities and government-franchised services

Renewal of an existing contract if the terms of the contract specify renewal option(s)

Services or commodities provided by any governmental entity, other state universities or independent colleges and universities

Training and education services

When a Purchasing Specialist has completed work on a Requisition, a Purchase Order is prepared. The Purchase Order is the document by which a requirement for commodities or services is conveyed to a vendor. It is the vendor's authority to send the goods or provide the service and to invoice as per the specifications, terms and prices. Upon acceptance by the vendor, the Purchase Order becomes a legally binding contract and cannot be changed by either party without prior approval of the other. Purchase Order monitoring must be performed by the Budget Account Managers for open purchase orders. See OP-D-2-C11 for further information regarding Purchase Order Monitoring.

1. Confirming Orders

A Confirming Order is a purchase, letter of intent to purchase, or requests for scheduling in advance of an order that is made by a person who lacks the proper authorization to commit funds. A confirming purchase usually becomes evident, after the fact, on a Purchase Requisition with a request that Purchasing Services issue a Confirming Purchase Order. Occasionally, such a purchase may be evidenced only by an invoice from the vendor or by a request for issuance of a check.

Use of Confirming Requisitions and Purchase Orders to authorize retroactively unofficial commitments made to vendors by personnel are a violation of University policy.

Confirming Requisitions are not permitted under FSU's written policies and procedures, absent an emergency situation meeting the legal definition of any emergency. Detailed justification describing the emergency situation must be submitted with the Confirming Requisition. Purchasing Services will review all Confirming Requisitions on a case-by-case basis, and will have the option to disapprove any request that was not determined to be an emergency, or when a Purchase order could have been obtained. Disapproval will result in the cost of the Purchase Order being borne by the individual who contracted with the vendor without a Purchase Order number. Neither Payables & Disbursements nor UBA's will process Payment Request Forms for purchases that could have and should have had Purchase Orders in advance. Submission of a Payment Request Form after notification that no University funds may be used to make payments may result in additional sanctions. Any invoice submitted for unencumbered payment that is not on the Allowable Unencumbered Disbursement list will be returned to the department by Payables to follow the Confirming PO process as detailed by OP-D-2-C8.

NOTE: It is the department's responsibility to ensure that all staff is made aware that Purchase Orders are required before goods or services may be ordered or received. Submitting a requisition after goods or services are ordered, but before they are received, also constitutes submitting a Confirming Requisition. Purchasing Servives will not approve payment for Confirming Requisitions submitted with the justification that an employee was new, or in a new position, and was not aware of proper procedure. Lack of knowledge of proper procedure is not grounds for the approval of after-the-fact Requisitions submitted. Foundation funds or the individual's private funds must be used to make payment. The policy applies to the purchase of commodities and to the acquisition of independent contractor services.

Note: Departments are encouraged to contact Purchasing Services for alternative procurement options when in doubt.

a. For unneeded items or items whose purchase would not otherwise be approved, the individual could be required to pay either the full amount or the amount of any cancellation charges incurred when cancellation can be arranged.

b. For needed and proper items, the individual could be required to pay the difference between the charges such individual incurred and those the University would be reasonably expected to have incurred.

The following procedures should be followed when Confirming Orders have occurred:

Individual requesting payment to a vendor initiates a "Confirming Order Justification" form. See http://www.procurement.fsu.edu//forms.html and attaches a copy of the receipt/invoice for Purchasing Services review.


Department Head or designee directs responsible individual to return items not needed by department or to pay charges if return is not possible.


For an item that would otherwise be purchased by department, ensures that circumstances of purchase and steps taken by the department to prevent repetition of confirming purchases is fully documented on the Confirming Order Justification Form and signs (approves) the form.

Requestor initiates, as appropriate, a Departmental Requisition in OMNI and forwards a copy of the vendor invoice, to pay the vendor and signed Confirming Order Justification Form, to Purchasing Services.

Note: For confirming purchases under $5,000 and first occurrence by initiator, the form is signed by initiator only. Initiator will be counseled by Purchasing Services. For second through fourth occurrences by initiator, under $5,000, signature of Department Head will be required. Under $5,000, the Department Head disapproves/approves and instructs initiator on proper procedures.

Note: For all Confirming purchases over $5,000, and for Confirming Orders after the fifth occurrence, the Dean/Vice President or designee disapproves/approves and instructs Department Head on proper procedures.

2. Purchase of Used Equipment

Purchases of used equipment are allowable if determined to be in the best interest of the University. A determination will be made on a case-by-case basis that the purchase of used equipment is the best "overall" value for the University, taking into consideration a number of key variables, which affect the total cost of the equipment.

The purchase of used equipment requires a slightly different process, as it presents some unique variables that should be considered before making a purchase. The requesting department should first identify the minimum specifications required, and then identify the specific used equipment that is acceptable. All used equipment in consideration should be in excellent condition. The requesting department should apply their best efforts to determine that the purchase of the equipment would be in the best interest of the University and be prepared to document their conclusion via the "research" they have conducted. This might include: going to several Web sites to find the market trend for used equipment, or quotes for similar used equipment, or contact known equipment suppliers, brokers, or colleagues to establish a fair market value.

Departments/individuals should first check for used equipment available on campus via Surplus Property. See www.vpfa.fsu.edu/control/surplus/

Used equipment identified outside of the University should be purchased through the competitive bid process whenever possible unless the purchase meets the requirements of sole source or small purchases.

Criteria to consider in making the determination of purchasing "used" versus "new" equipment:
1. Manufacturer or brand, type, use and life expectancy of "new" versus "used" equipment.

2. The purchase price of "new" vs. "used" equipment, and "used" vs. "used" equipment. (Compare at least 2 used equipment quotes).

3. Risks presented by "used" vs. "new" equipment (e.g. possible contamination from prior usage, modification of equipment that might pose safety hazards, etc.)

4. The relative price and general condition of used equipment.

5. Warranty offered for "used" vs. "new".

6. Service, maintenance plans, and parts availability of used versus new.

7. Payment terms.

8. Consideration of the freight charges and F.O.B. Point.
3. OCO vs. Expense

OCO is defined, as "equipment, fixtures, and other tangible personal property of a non-consumable and non-expendable nature, the value or cost of which is $5,000 or more and the normal life of which is one year or more. Determination of whether a purchase should be made from Expense funds or OCO is based on functional unit. For example, a functional unit for the purchase of computer equipment would be to include the Central Processing Unit (CPU), which includes minimum RAM, monitor, keyboard, floppy drive and hard drive. Total system upgrades or the adding of components should be paid from OCO funds. However, upgrades, repairs, or replacements of individual components may be made from Expense funds if the cost of the item is less than $5,000.


When there are insufficient funds available in the departmental Dept. I.D./Fund/Project listed on a Purchase Order to cover the items listed on the requisition, a Purchase Order cannot be issued. "P.O. fails budget" appears in the Budget Status field with "Error" - when there may not be sufficient funds in the designated account. It is the requisitioner's responsibility to ensure that sufficient funds are deposited in the appropriate account to cover the cost of the purchase. Budget errors can occur on purchase orders due to bad chartfield combinations, budget not yet booked or insufficient funds. Budget managers or requestors will be notified when budget errors occur to resolve the budget error status.


The issuance of a Purchase Order initiates a binding contract between the University and the vendor. After a Purchase Order is dispatched, either party cannot unilaterally change the purchase order and it cannot be changed at all without just cause. It is the ordering department's responsibility to secure the vendor's approval of a correction or cancellation of a Purchase Order. It is important to know if an item has already been shipped because a restocking charge might be involved.

An item cannot be returned to a vendor until the ordering department has secured a return authorization (RA) from the vendor. Contact Purchasing Services for further instructions on returning items to a vendor. Once the vendor's approval is secured, the department that initiated the underlining requisition must create and submit a Change Order Request Form. OMNI should be used to determine when a Change Order has been issued by Purchasing Services. A Change Request is required to:

* Decrease or increase Purchase Order quantities when absolutely necessary;

* Add or cancel items on a Purchase Order;

* Make any substantial changes on a Purchase Order that will result in a cost differential;

* Cancel the Purchase Order;

* Extension of dates of service

FSU Purchase Order Reduction & Change Request


The Business Services Department includes a Receiving Department, which is the central receiving office for the University. The Receiving Department strives to deliver items to a department within twenty-four (24) hours after they are delivered to the Receiving Department. However, in cases where that is not practical or the circumstances are such that a shipment needs to be delivered directly to a department or some other location, OMNI allows this to be done by selecting the departmental Ship To address in the Requisition. Personal shipments or shipments for locations other than Florida State University cannot be shipped to or from the Receiving Department. State resources may not be used for private purposes. Deliveries made daily by vendors require much of the available space in the warehouse and must be moved out quickly. Receiving cannot provide storage for items ordered by departments.

1. Items delivered to the Receiving Department

When the items are received in the Receiving Department from vendors, they are visually inspected by Receiving Department personnel. To prevent the possibility of damage, lost parts, instructions or calibrations, crated, technical or scientific items are not unpacked. Items received are compared to those listed on the packing slip. If receiving personnel discover a damaged item they either refuse to accept the shipment from the carrier or file a claim.

2. Deliveries to a Department by the Receiving Department

Receiving will only deliver shipments to the "location" that a department enters on the requisition. Receiving does not have the personnel to re-deliver shipments. Departments should inspect each shipment immediately upon receipt. Any visible damages or discrepancies between the items being delivered and the items listed on the receiving report and the packing list should be recorded on the delivery ticket. Failure to do this may make it impossible to file a claim later. An authorized person must sign the delivery ticket before the Receiving Department personnel can deliver the item(s). The signer should print their name below their signature and indicate how many boxes or packages were received. The delivery ticket must be returned to the employee making the delivery. Once items are delivered, the original requester or a designated individual within the department must process a receipt in the OMNI system to authorize Payables and Disbursements to pay the invoice. When processing a receipt for services, departments should determine that the work has been completed satisfactorily before authorizing payment. The contract manager is responsible to certify that all services have been performed prior to processing the receipt in OMNI for contractual service orders.

Departments who receive unordered items should notify the Receiving Department immediately so that those items can be picked up and delivered to the proper location.

3. Items Delivered Directly to a Department

The requisitioning department should indicate on the OMNI Requisition that certain items should be delivered directly to the department. These items include refrigerated items, perishable items, bulky items, very large shipments, magazines, newspapers, other subscriptions and items covered by a Blanket Order. When a vendor delivers items on a Purchase Order directly to the requisitioning department, the department must process a receipt in OMNI. Departmental personnel who receive a direct shipment should inspect the packages for external damage and sign the carrier's shipping document to acknowledge their receipt. A designated department should process a receipt for partial shipments to facilitate payment to the vendor for that portion of the order. Department must ensure they adjust the quantity and/or receive only the items physically received when processing a partial receipt in OMNI.

Departments that requisition refrigerated or perishable items must ensure that personnel are available to accept delivery at the designated location. Departments who do not have personnel available when delivery is attempted assume full responsibility for damage or loss.

Departments should plan ahead to receive oversized, heavy items or items that need assembling or installation. When items require assembly, installation or are too large to pass through the available entrance, it may be necessary for the department to prepare a job order to get Maintenance to perform the work. Receiving personnel do not have the expertise or tools to perform such work. The department is responsible for preparing the proper paper work to have the Maintenance Department perform the work or a Requisition if an outside firm with specialized equipment is to do the work. With adequate notice, Receiving Department personnel will assist truckers with unloading items delivered directly to a department. When a department does not receive a requisitioned item(s) from a vendor in a timely manner, they should ask the vendor to have their carrier trace the shipment to determine its location. If a vendor maintains that delivery has been made to the Receiving Department, the department should require the vendor to provide proof of delivery and forward that information to the Receiving Department Manager for action.

      Also see OP-D-2-C3 University Prompt Payment Policy

4. Receipt of Unsolicited Goods

In accordance with s. 570.545, FS, a person is not obligated to return unsolicited goods to the sender. The law also states that unsolicited goods shall be deemed a gift and the recipient may use or dispose of them in any manner without obligation to the sender.

5. Return to Vendor

Occasionally it is necessary to ship an item back to a vendor and Purchasing Services can be of assistance in this process, if so requested by the ordering department. The return may be necessary for a number of reasons including concealed damage, an over-shipment, or the item is incorrect or defective.

To initiate this process, the requisitioning department must contact Purchasing Services. Purchasing Services will ask for the vendor's name, the reason for the return, the purchase order number, and any other necessary documentation regarding related to damage or defects. Purchasing Services will determine that there is a legitimate reason for the return. Purchasing Services will also require that the vendor agree to the return by providing a Return Authorization (RA) form. If approved by Purchasing Services, they will instruct the Receiving Department to pick up the item from the department. If possible, the department should pack the item for shipment before Receiving personnel pick it up to safeguard the item in transit to Receiving and to expedite shipment. If crating is required, the department should submit a work order to the Maintenance Department to have a crate constructed before the Receiving Department is notified to pick the item up. The Receiving Department does not have the skills or tools to do carpentry work. However, Receiving can assist with the packing of regular shipments if the department does not have the necessary supplies available.

6. Payments to Vendors

Departments are encouraged to promote a "zero overrun" tolerance policy when dealing with invoice price discrepancies. Invoice price discrepancies should be approved by Purchasing Services prior to payment of the additional amount.

7. Prompt Payment Policy

All payments made by the University are subject to University Policy and Rules as approved by the University's Board of Trustees. It is the policy of the University that documentation authorizing payment of an invoice shall be approved for payment not later than 40 days, after receipt of the invoice and receipt, inspection, and approval of the goods or services, except that in the case of a bona-fide dispute the voucher shall contain a statement of the dispute and authorize payment only in the amount not disputed. All payments shall be disbursed within 40 days after approval for payment.

i.  Approval and inspection of goods or services shall take no longer than 5 days unless the bid specifications, purchase order, or contract specifies otherwise. The 40-day payment requirement may be waived in whole or part by the University Controller on a showing of exceptional circumstances in accordance with rules of the University. For the purposes of determining the receipt of invoice date, the department is deemed to receive an invoice on the date on which a proper invoice is first received at the location designated by the University.

ii.  The University is deemed to have received an invoice on the date of the invoice if the department has failed to annotate the invoice with the date of receipt at the time the department actually received the invoice or failed at the receipt at the time the department actually received the invoice or failed at the time the order is placed or contract made to designate a specific location to which the invoice must be delivered.

iii.  The University may make partial payments to a contractor upon partial delivery of goods or services or upon partial completion of construction when a request for such partial payment is made by the contractor and approved by the Controller.

iv.  If the terms of the invoice provide a discount for payment in less than 30 days, the University shall preferentially process it and use all diligence to obtain the savings by compliance with the invoice terms.

v.  The University shall authorize advance payments for goods and services within certain guidelines. Refer to Section OP-D-2-C3.

vi.  Payments not made on a timely basis are subject to an interest penalty payment at a rate established annually by the Board of Trustees of the University. It will be on the unpaid balance from the expiration of such 40-day period until such time as the payment is issued to the vendor. Such interest shall be added to the invoice at the time of submission to the Controller for payment whenever possible.

vii.  Invoices received from vendors that fail to supply the University with a complete and accurate W-9 or other form that provides all necessary data to determine 1099 status will be deemed insufficient for payment until such information is received.

viii.  For goods or services that are acquired using a University contract, with a pre-approved cost per item, approved by the Board of Trustees, inspection and approval is not required. Upon certification of receipt by the department, payment will be issued by the Controller's Office or the appropriate University Business Administrator within the timeframe necessary to meet the terms and conditions of the Prompt Payment Policy. See OP-D-2-C1 for further information regarding the Prompt Payment Policy.


All University employees engaged in the procurement process, including requisitioning, purchasing, receiving and related activities, shall conduct business dealings in a manner above reproach in every respect. Transactions involving the expenditure of public funds require the highest degree of public trust to protect the interest of the University and the taxpayers of the State of Florida. All University personnel are bound by the standard of conduct for public officers and employees set forth in s. 112, Part III, Florida Statutes. Certain University officers and procurement personnel are required to file a signed conflict of interest statement annually.

1. Conflict of Interest

Section 112.313, Florida Statutes, places restrictions on University employees who, acting in a private capacity, attempt to rent, lease or sell any realty, goods or services to their own agency. At all times it is the responsibility of the faculty or staff member to know and abide by the State's Conflict of Interest laws. The burden of violating the State's Conflict of Interest laws never shifts to the University. It also places restrictions on an employee who has a contractual relationship or who holds a material interest in a business entity, which is doing business with any agency which he or she is an employee. In general, an employee of the University may not requisition a commodity or service from a source in which he or she or a member of his or her immediate family will receive a benefit, has an arrangement for employment or has a financial interest, unless:

* The total amount of the transaction does not exceed $500 per calendar year, OR;

* The acquisition is made as the result of a competitive solicitation and the employee involved has no role in the preparation of the competitive solicitation specification, terms and conditions or the evaluation and award of the competitive solicitation, AND;

* The employee, prior to the time of the submission of the competitive solicitation response, has filed the required statement with the Florida Department of State disclosing any interest in a private concern.
2. Gratuities

It shall be a breach of the University's ethical standards for any employee to solicit, demand, accept, or agree to accept, a gratuity of any kind, in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, or recommendation, affecting a University purchase or contract. An item with a value of less than $10.00, which is normally distributed by a vendor for advertising purposes that can be used in the daily work of the employee, is exempted from this policy.

J. Vendor Shows/Exhibits
Before speaking with vendors and scheduling any type of show or exhibit, departments must consult the following policy and contact Purchasing Services:

Vendor shows, which include open houses, product exhibits, or product demonstrations, must be approved in advance by the Director or designee of Purchasing Services in order to:

The sponsoring University department shall notify the Director or designee as far in advance as possible, but at least ten (10) business days prior to scheduling a vendor show.

A vendor show is a product demonstration or exhibit to which vendor(s) are invited on campus for the purposes of marketing Goods or Services. Product or equipment demonstrations may not always be considered a vendor show but departments are advised to consult with Purchasing Services before scheduling. The Director or designee has the final authority to determine what constitutes a vendor show.

If your department would like to host or sponsor such vendor show(s), you need to complete and submit the Vendor Show Approval Form located on Purchasing Services website at: www.purchasing.fsu.edu under Forms.

Questions regarding vendor shows should be directed to the Director and or designee in Purchasing Services.

Artistic Services

Services provided by an individual, group of individuals or a business who profess and practice a skill in the area of music, dance, drama, folk art, creative writing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic arts, craft arts, industrial design, costume design, motion pictures, television, radio or tape and sound recording or in any other related field.

Blanket Purchase Order

An arrangement where Purchasing Services issues a Purchase Order to a vendor to provide departments requirements for an item or a group of items or a service, on an as needed basis. The Purchase Order prescribes the length of the contract, the maximum amount of money that may be spent and the University's employees who are authorized to seek a release against the Purchase Order. Each release requested under a Blanket Purchase Order must be of the type covered by the order and no OCO item, except books, may be purchased using a Blanket Purchase Order.

Budget Account Manager

Deans, Directors, and Department Heads (DDDHs) are ultimately responsible for all financial activity transacted on OMNI Departments assigned to their units; however, they routinely delegate these individuals with authority to approve expenditures on an OMNI Department. These persons are referred to as "Authorized Signers" and their names appear on the OMNI link "Chartfield Values" for "Department". The Budget Office maintains this list. There is also a version of an authorized signature list for Sponsored Research Projects. For funds 520-570, anyone with the project role of PI or SPPROJMGR on the project team is an authorized signer. Project team may be found by going to OMNI and navigating to: Project Costing > Project Definition > Team. Enter the Business Unit and Project and search.


Any corporation, partnership, individual, sole proprietorship, joint stock company, joint venture and any other private legal entity which has commodities and/or contractual services available for which the University has a requirement.

Certification of Completion of Services

Processing of a receipt in OMNI and vouching that the goods or services have been delivered or completed.


Any of the various supplies, materials, goods, merchandise, food, equipment or other personal property, including a mobile home, trailer or other portable structure, which are purchased, leased, lease-purchased or otherwise contracted. Commodity also includes interest on deferred-payment contracts entered into by the University for the purchase of other commodities.

Competitive Solicitation

An Invitation to Bid, Request for Proposal or Invitation to Negotiate to competitively select a contractor.

Confirming Requisition

A Requisition with appropriate documentation submitted by the requisitioning department after receipt of a commodity or service without a Purchase Order being issued. The Requisition must be submitted as soon as possible after the material or services are received. A note must be entered on the description, indicating this is a Confirming Order, detailing the reason that the Requisition was not submitted before the receipt of the commodity or service in accordance with published University procedures. Once a Purchase Order number can be viewed by the department in OMNI, the department must submit the vendor's invoice with the PO number written on the invoice to University Payables and must enter receiving information in OMNI before the vendor can be paid. Commodities or services ordered received without a Purchase Order may become the responsibility of the individual placing the order, at the discretion of the Director of Purchasing Services, unless an emergency situation existed. For complete details regarding Confirming Requisitions See section E. Purchase Orders, item 1. Confirming Orders.


A recognized expert in a particular field who provides information, advice or technical assistance to faculty or staff. When a requisition is submitted to initiate a purchase order or a contract for a consultant, depending on the amount of compensation requested, the requisitioning department may be required to attest to the fact that based on the education, experience and training of the consultant, the fee is reasonable under the circumstance.


Any agreement or purchase order for the purchase or disposal of commodities or services

Contract Manager

The Contract Manager is a full-time University employee responsible for overseeing the performance of a vendor in regard to the terms, conditions and specifications of a contractual service Purchase Order or contract. The Contract Manager serves as a liaison with the vendor and Purchasing Services and certifies to Payables and Disbursements that the services were satisfactorily completed. Contract Managers are responsible for knowing all Policies and Procedures relating to managing contracts and should consult the University operating procedures for additional instructions as to the various tasks involved in this role.

Contractor/ vendor

A person, business or firm who sells or provides commodities or services to the University.

Contractual Service

The rendering by a contractor of its time and effort rather than the furnishing of specific commodities. The term applies only to those services rendered by individuals and firms who are independent contractors, I. e. they have no connection with the University. Contractual service does not include labor or materials for the construction, renovation, repair or demolition of facilities entered into pursuant to s. 255, Florida Statutes.


The building, alteration, improvement, repair or demolition of any real property owned or leased by the University, pursuant to s. 255, Florida Statutes.


A budget entity, which has been assigned a department ID, and fund by the University.

Emergency Purchase

A purchase necessitated by a sudden unexpected turn of events (e.g., acts of God, riot, fires, floods, accidents or any circumstances or cause beyond the control of the University in the normal conduct of its business) where the delay incident to competitive bidding would be detrimental to the interests of the State.

Exceptional Purchase

Exceptional purchase means any purchase of commodities or contractual services exempted by law or regulation from the requirements for competitive solicitation or acquisition, including, but not limited to, purchases from a single source, purchases upon receipt of less than two responsive bids or proposals, or a purchase of commodities from other than a University term contract vendor.


An increase in the time allowed for the original contract period due to circumstances for which neither party is at fault.


The term literally means “free on board”. It is defined as the time and place of the actual transfer of title to the goods from seller to buyer. F.O.B. Destination means legal title passes to the buyer at the time the shipment of goods is delivered by the carrier. F.O.B. Shipping Point means legal title and risk of loss passes to the buyer at the time of shipment of goods is delivered to the carrier.

Formal Bid

Formal bid means a written solicitation for competitive sealed bids with the title, date, and hour of the public competitive solicitation opening designated and specifically defining the commodity, group of commodities, or services for which bids are sought. It includes instructions prescribing all conditions for bidding and shall be distributed to all prospective bidders simultaneously. The Formal Bid is used when the agency is capable of specifically defining the scope of work for which a contractual service is required or when the agency is capable of establishing precise specifications defining the actual commodity or group of commodities required.

General Terms and Conditions

Standard clauses and requirements incorporated into all solicitations and resulting contracts which are derived from laws or administrative procedures of the government agency (Also called "Boiler Plate").


A payment given for services for which fees are not legally or traditionally required and which by custom a fixed price is generally not established. Honoraria are considered taxable compensation to recipients. Accordingly, the same rules that apply to payments for contractual services and employee compensation are applicable. If a requisitioning department combines an amount intended to reimburse travel and business with an honorarium fee, the individual should be informed that the entire payment would be reported as taxable compensation. Travel and expense reimbursements processed by the Travel Office are paid under IRS accountable plan rules and are not considered taxable compensation to recipients.

Independent Contractor

A person or firm who provides a service to the University, but does not have any employment or other relationship or connection to the University, except as provided in s. 112.313, Florida Statutes (See Appendix III).

Information technology resources

All equipment, hardware, software, firmware, programs, systems, networks, infrastructure, supplies, media and related material, services, personnel and facility resources used to automatically, electronically, and wirelessly collect, receive, access, transmit, display, store, record, retrieve, analyze, evaluate, process, classify, manipulate, manage, assimilate, control, communicate, exchange, convert, converge, interface, switch, or disseminate information of any kind or form.


Examination and testing of goods and services to determine whether the goods and services furnished conform to contract requirements.

Invitation to Negotiate

An invitation extended to prospective contractors by the University, whether by advertisement, written solicitation, electronic media or any other form of communication, to define the specifications, terms and conditions of a contract for commodities or contractual services. Cost may or may not be a consideration in the initial stages of negotiating.


An individual who speaks or conducts seminars on a specified subject over a period of not more than seven (7) days. If the series of lectures or seminars covers a longer period, the individual is considered an instructor whose services require a competitive solicitation if the cost of these services is $75,000 or more. A lecturer who provides consulting services is considered a consultant whose services may also require a competitive solicitation if the cost of these services is $75,000 or more.

Minority Business Enterprise

The term "Minority Business Enterprise" means a company that is at least 51 percent owned, controlled and operated by a person(s) representing a racial minority group and is a citizen of the United States (African Americans, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans). This term also refers to American women and veterans who are not a member of an ethnic minority classification pursuant to Florida Statute 288.703(3)(e). See OP-A-8 for further information regarding Supplier Diversity.


A bargaining process between two or more parties, each with its own viewpoints and objectives, seeking to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement on, or settlement of, a matter of common concern.


A person who makes an offer in response to a competitive solicitation.

Payment upon Completion of Service

A purchase involving a contractual service where the contractor requires payment immediately upon completion of the service or performance as opposed to the normal invoicing process.


The procedures for obtaining goods or services, including all activities from the planning steps and preparation and processing of a requisition, through receipt and acceptance of delivery and processing of a final invoice for payment.

Proprietary Specification

One that restricts the acceptable products or services to those of one manufacturer or vendor. A common example would be a specification by brand name which excludes consideration of proposed "equals". Although all sole source specifications are proprietary, all proprietary specifications are not sole source. Proprietary items may be available from several distributors through competitive bidding.


A written complaint about an administrative action or decision brought by a bidder or offeror to the appropriate administrative section with the intention of receiving a remedial result.

Public Posting

The display of procurement notices in a public area designated or the web and regularly used for that purpose that is available to the public during normal working hours.


An acquisition of commodities or services by Purchase Order or contract obtained through the University's Purchasing Services, whether by rent, lease, installment- or lease-purchase or outright purchase. A written or electronic record of each purchase shall be maintained.

Purchase Order

An offer in the form of a document submitted to a vendor by Purchasing Services to request that the vendor provide goods or services in accordance with the terms and conditions listed on the Purchase Order documents. If the vendor accepts the offer, it becomes a legal contract binding on both parties. The vendor may accept the offer verbally, in writing or by taking some action in response to the offer, such as shipment. In the case of a Purchase Order issued as the result of a competitive solicitation, the issuance of the Purchase Order creates a binding contract based on the vendor's response to the competitive solicitation.

Purchases for resale

The purchase of commodities or contractual services acquired for the purpose of selling or distributing them to the general public. Items which are purchased by a University department and distributed to other campus units or units within the same department are not considered to be resold within the intent of this definition. Items purchased using Auxiliary funds when funds have not been collected for the specific purpose of acquiring the commodities listed on the requisition, or when the commodities will not actually be given away to those who pay the fees ARE NOT considered to be Purchases for Resale. Examples: The purchase of A/V equipment for use in conferences in which participants pay a fee to attend would NOT be a Resale purchase. The one-time rental of A/V equipment for use at a specific conference may be considered resale, since the use of the fees paid by conference attendees are paying for equipment used for that particular conference only. Note: Printing is not exempt.

Purchasing Officer

A person, delegated the authority by the University President, to enter into, award, modify or terminate contracts and make related determinations and findings. The term includes any authorized representatives of the purchasing officer acting within the limits of their authority.

Qualified bidder, Responsible bidder, Qualified Offeror, or Responsible Offeror

The above terms refer to a person or firm that has the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements and has the integrity and reliability which will assure good faith performance.


A written, electronic or verbal response from a potential vendor providing pricing information regarding a commodity or a service. Quotations do not require a public opening at a specific date and time and the total price cannot exceed the established competitive solicitation limit. A quotation must contain all information pertinent to the commodity or service to be purchased, including the shipping information and the vendor's terms.


Contracting with the same contractor for an additional period of time after the initial contract term provided the original terms of the agreement specify an option to renew.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Request for proposals means a written solicitation for competitive sealed proposals with the title, date, and hour of the public opening designated. The request for proposals is used when the agency defines the scope of work in general terms for which the commodity, group of commodities, or contractual service is required and when the University is requesting that a qualified offeror propose a commodity, group of commodities, or contractual service to meet the specifications of the solicitation document. A request for proposals includes, but is not limited to, general information, applicable laws and regulations, functional or general specifications, statement of work, proposal instructions, and evaluation criteria. Requests for proposals shall state the relative importance of price and any other evaluation criteria. Typically, the contract award is made to the responsive proposer that receives the highest number of evaluation points.


A formal electronic request sent to Purchasing Services via OMNI authorizing the expenditure of funds from a designated account to procure commodities or services on behalf of a program area.

Responsive bid or Responsive Proposal

These terms refer to a bid or proposal submitted by a responsive or qualified bidder that conforms in all material respects to the formal bid, request for proposal, or invitation to negotiate.

Sealed Bid

A bid which has been submitted in a sealed envelope to prevent its contents from being revealed or known before the deadline for the submission and opening of all bids.

Shipping Terms

Commonly referred to as the FOB point, it generally determines where the liability of a shipper ends and the point to which the shipper is obligated to pay the freight. For example, FOB shipping point means that the vendor's liability for a shipment that is damaged or lost ends at the moment it is given to the carrier. As used at the University, it also typically means that the University is responsible for shipping costs. On the other hand, FOB Tallahassee or FOB Destination typically means that the shipper/vendor is liable for loss or damage of a shipment and for shipping costs until the shipment is unloaded at the University. The OMNI default is Destination, Freight Prepay and Add, which means that title doesn't pass until it is received by the destination location and vendor is to prepay the freight and add it to the invoice.

Strategic Sourcing

Strategic Sourcing is the collaborative and structured process of critically analyzing an organization's spending and using this information to make business decisions about acquiring commodities and services more effectively and efficiently. This process helps agencies optimize performance, minimize costs, improve vendor access to business opportunities, and otherwise increase the value of each dollar spent.

Sole Source Purchase

The purchase of a commodity or service that is non-competitive in specifications or use and is available from a single vendor. If a commodity or service is available from more than one dealer, it is not a sole source.

Term Contract

A technique by which a source of supply is established for a specific period of time. Term contracts are established for a specific period of time. Term contracts are established based on indefinite quantities to be ordered "as needed", although such contracts can specify definite quantities with deliveries extended over the contract period.


One who sells goods or services.