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Policies and Procedures

Finance & Administration

4-OP-A-6 Procurement Services

Responsible Division: Finance and Administration
Approving Official: Vice President for Finance and Administration
Effective Date: December 15, 2013
Last Revision Date: 1/31/2015
   

I. INTRODUCTION

Florida State University (FSU) supports a procurement environment that recognizes university organizations and departments have specialized knowledge and expertise, and are typically in the best position to determine what they need to procure in order to run their programs.  The role of Procurement Services is to facilitate the procurement of necessary commodities and contractual services in a timely, efficient, and cost effective manner. The purpose of this policy and the procedures available on the Procurement Services website includes:

  • establishing clear and uniform guidelines to help the procurement process move as rapidly and efficiently as possible;
  • obtaining the best value for FSU factoring in a wide variety of variables in defining value, including, but not limited to price, quality, specifications, compatibility, consortia leverage, and terms and conditions;
  • ensuring fair and ethical business practices;
  • ensuring the appropriate stewardship of FSU resources;
  • ensuring that FSU procurements are made in accordance with applicable Federal, State and local laws, regulations, codes, and ordinances;
  • encouraging the use of Small, Minority, Veteran and Women Owned Business Enterprises.

This policy applies to the procurement of all commodities and contractual services regardless of the funding source. This policy and any proceduresformstraining aids, etc. available on the Procurement Services website shall have precedence over any contracting and procurement-related information that may appear in any other departmental policies and procedures.

II. POLICY

A. Authority

The President, through the Vice President for Finance and Administration, has delegated the FSU procurement function to the Director of Procurement Services to serve as the Chief Procurement Officer exercising the powers, duties and functions relating to the procurement of commodities and contractual services. The Chief Procurement Officer may execute purchase orders/contracts for the procurement of goods and services, limited to $5,000,000 in expenditures or liability.

B. Definitions 

Commodity – Supplies, materials, goods, merchandise, food, equipment or other property, including a vehicle, trailer or other portable structure, which are purchased, leased, lease-purchased or otherwise contracted for by the University. “Commodity” also includes interest on deferred-payment contracts entered into by the University for the purchase of other commodities. Printing of publications and photocopying as well as software license agreements shall be considered a “commodity.” 

Contractual Service – The rendering by a contractor of time and effort rather than, or in addition to, the furnishing of specific commodities. This term applies only to those services rendered by individuals and firms who are independent contractors as opposed to being employees of the university.

Independent Contractor – A person or firm who provides a service to FSU, but does not have an employment or other relationship or connection with FSU as prescribed in 112.313, F.S.

Procurement – The overarching function that describes the activities and processes to acquire commodities and contractual services such as evaluating total cost of ownership, conducting market research, vendor evaluation, negotiation of contracts, implementation of best in class cost reduction solutions, and traditional purchasing activities.

Purchasing – Refers to the process of ordering and receiving goods and is a subset of the procurement process. Purchasing is generally considered a transactional process for the exchange of goods and/or services for money.

Scope/Statement of Work (SOW) – An SOW is a detailed description of the specific services or tasks a contractor is required to perform and should include deliverables, project timeline and how success will be assessed.

Total Contract Value - means the entire potential monetary worth of a project from beginning to end, including the initial contract period and any renewal terms with a specific vendor. It also means the entire purchase amount whether via PO or Purchasing Card (P-Card) to include the cost of shipping for an item(s) or service(s) with a specific vendor.  Purchases may not be arbitrarily subdivided to avoid competition threshold requirements.

C. Roles and Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the requisitioning department to provide the specifications or scope of work relating to the needed commodity or contractual service, including delivery requirements and minimum vendor qualifications. It is the responsibility of Procurement Services to determine the price and secure the source of supply (vendor) for the purchase.

Procurement Services Responsibilities

  • Deliver procurement tools, systems, policies, standards and procedures needed to accomplish the mission of FSU.
  • Provide excellent customer service, training, and quality assurance for procurement tools and business processes.
  • Provide assistance and consultation in the procurement of commodities and contractual services in a timely and economical basis.
  • Manage the formal competitive solicitation process for all procurements.
  • Mitigate risks, secure best available pricing and additional value added benefits
  • Engage vendors for quotations, negotiating best value, and determining the source of supply (vendor).
  • Provide guidance to ensure compliance with Federal, State, and local laws, procurement regulations, policies, and procedures.

Department Responsibilities

All university departments and employees are required to comply fully with the policies and established procedures related to the procurement of commodities and contractual services. Departments are responsible for the following when purchasing commodities and contractual services:

  • Ensuring that individuals making purchasing decisions are knowledgeable of, and comply with, the university procurement and related policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring that all purchases made with university funds are appropriate, necessary, reasonable and directly related to the goals and mission of the university. Under no circumstances may university financial resources be used for personal expenditures
  • Using the appropriate procurement system and mechanism for all procurements of commodities and contractual services.
  • Clearly defining the specifications and/or scope of work for any commodity and/or service in need including delivery requirements and minimum vendor qualifications.

D. The Procurement Process

As a public entity, FSU must ensure fair and open competition exists in all procurement activities (excluding Authorized Exemptions) in order to avoid the appearance of and prevent the opportunity for favoritism and to inspire public confidence that contracts are awarded equitably and economically.

There are three primary methods of procurement which are listed below in order of precedence:

1)  Buying on an Existing Contract - often the most efficient and most economical means of procurement.

2)  University P-Card – Purchase is less than the P-Card single transaction limit and the commodity or service is not available from SpearMart, FSU’s Electronic Procurement System.

3)  Competitive Process – Formal or Informal Solicitation process depending upon the Total Contract Value of the procurement. All competitive solicitation procurements must be administered so that they are not arbitrary, capricious, contrary to competition or clearly erroneous.

For complete details on the procurement process including detailed procedures, visit the Procurement Services How to Buy webpage.

The only Authorized buying means for FSU are an Official University PO or a University P-Card Number. See Guidelines for Unencumbered Payments for exceptions.

Purchase Orders

In order to facilitate the most efficient and effective use of University resources, the minimum PO amount is $100.00 (excluding SpearMart catalog orders). Departments must use SpearMart (preferred) or their P-Card for orders less than this amount as applicable. Procurement Services will manage exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

POs are not intended to be used strictly as a payment tool. They are an important planning tool and a critical part of the university’s system of controls for the expenditure of public funds. Therefore, the PO must be created prior to the actual commitment or obligation being made. POs submitted after the commitment has been made and/or after the commodity and/or contractual services are received and/or performed will constitute non-compliance (See Confirming Orders procedures).

Unauthorized Purchases

FSU employees are not to purchase commodities and contractual services nor commit FSU to the purchase of commodities and contractual services without processing the procurement request through Procurement Services. Procurements that bypass Procurement Services or established policies and procedures may expose FSU and the requesting department, school or unit to unnecessary liability and legal costs. FSU employees who make an unauthorized purchase may have their procurement responsibilities suspended or revoked, may face additional disciplinary action, and may be held personally liable for any charges incurred.

E. Authority to Sign Contracts

Only FSU personnel specifically granted a power of attorney, duly executed in writing, 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 possess the authority to bind the University.

Even when legal authority exists via a power of attorney, all contracts and agreements for goods and/or services require review and approval by Procurement Services prior to the signing of the contract document. A requisition must be submitted, and a purchase order issued, before any contract documents are released to the contractor/vendor.  Procurement Services is here to help in emergency situations.

F. Conflict of Interest and Ethics

All individuals shall act in accordance with the standards of professional ethics set forth in university policies and procedures, including those outlined below. Section 112.313, Florida Statutes, places restrictions on University employees who, acting in a private capacity, attempt to rent, lease or sell any realty, commodities or contractual 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 transactions in the aggregate 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.

The above is not intended to be exhaustive. See Florida Statutes for additional details.

Prohibition on Gifts and Gratuities

Employees shall not solicit, demand, accept, or agree to accept, a gift/gratuity of any kind, in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, or recommendation, affecting a University purchase or contract.

If a gift is not in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, or recommendation, affecting a University purchase or contract and is valued at $100 or less, employees may accept it.

Employees may also accept gifts in excess of $100 in value if:

  • the employee accepts the gift on behalf of FSU and the employee receiving the gift does not maintain custody of the gift any period of time beyond that reasonably necessary to arrange for the transfer of custody and ownership of the gift; OR
  • the gift is from an entity of the Florida legislative or judicial branch, a department of commission of the executive branch, a water management district, South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, a county, a municipality, an airport authority, or a school board if a public purpose can be shown for the gift; OR
  • the gift is from an FSU direct-support organization (DSO), and the employee is officially supported by the DSO.

The above is not intended to be exhaustive. See Florida Statutes for additional details.


Personal Purchases

University funds must not be used for personal purchases for FSU faculty, staff or students at any time. Similarly, a department may not place a personal order for an individual employee or student and then have that individual reimburse the department.

G. Order of Precedence

In the event there is a conflict or question about policies or procedures, the precedence is as follows:

III. LEGAL SUPPORT, JUSTIFICATION, AND REVIEW OF THIS POLICY

The Florida BOG has enacted Regulation 18.001 which requires that the FSU Board of Trustees adopt regulations establishing basic criteria related to procurement. FSU Regulation 2.015 details this criteria and the delegated authority from the University Board of Trustees with respect to the powers, duties, and functions of the university’s procurement jurisdiction. Establishing an FSU Procurement Policy is within the Chief Procurement Officer’s authority.

The Vice President of Finance of Administration shall be responsible for review of the provision of this policy and for making any necessary revisions.