Basic Purchasing Procedures

1.  Purchases with a dollar total of $5,000 or less, do not require competition. However, each request must be submitted with a current quotation (30 day period).

 2.  The University is required to issue a written request for quotations for purchases that exceed $5,000 and are less than $25,000. Generic specifications/scope of work should be submitted to the Purchasing Office with a valid purchase request (signatures and budgets in place). The attached request should cover the estimated amount of the purchase.

 3.  Purchases between $25,000 and $100,000 require a formal bid process. The Purchasing Office is required to post the Information for Bid (IFB) on the State's Interactive Purchasing System located at www.ips.state.nc.us/ips/pubmain.asp. This posting is required for a period of ten (10) calendar days prior to the proposal/bid due date.

 4.  Purchases in excess of $100,000 may be bid at the University level or through the North Carolina Division of Purchase and Contracts (Raleigh). (IFB) received at the University level, are tabulated in Purchasing, reviewed by originating departments and a desired vendor is chosen. The originating department then sends a letter of recommendation to the Purchasing Office. This decision is reviewed. If in agreement, the Purchasing Office will send a recommendation to the Division of Purchase and Contracts (supporting the using department) for review and approval. If favorable, the Division will send a certification to purchase to the University. If purchases are bid at the Division, again generic specifications are sent and the Division wil post the IFB, receive it, tabulate it and send it to the University for a recommendation. That recommendation is reviewed at the State level and again if favorable a certification for purchase is sent to the University.

 5.  If an originating department desires a specific vendor without competition, a written request for quotation must be sent to the "sole sourced". A written statement (waiver of competition should accompany the request if it is deemed that this is "exclusive or otherwise limited" to the vendor listed. Request should not be held intentionally, thus making time constraints the criteria of support for sole source. Example of a sole source procurement include:

  • Items which must be compatible with existing equipment or systems and are available only from the original manufacturer.
  • Items that have specific features essential for the completion of the task or project at hand that are available from only one source.
  • When changing brands or manufacturers would compromise the continuity of the research project or proprietary items; e.g copyrighted software, publications, etc.

    Justification will include features which are unique and essential for the extended use that other manufacturers of like products do not offer.

    • Preference for one vendor, product or service, quotations, acquisition or demonstration/testing by a department does not constitute a sole source. These preferences must be determined through a competitive RFQ/RFP process issued by the Purchasing Office.
    • Submission of the sole source request to Purchasing does not preclude the requirement to obtain a written and signed quotation. Additionally, budgetary considerations are not sufficient grounds to approve a sole source purchase.

    Remember that if your requirement is available from more than one source, it is not considered a sole source.

6. Using departments should not divide request into smaller orders to avoid seeking competition, or divide an order into two or more orders under the University's $100,000 benchmark to circumvent the necessity of the request being sent to STATE PURCHASE AND CONTRACT (Raleigh) for bid and/or approval.

Purchasing Exceptions

A. Purchases requested from a North Carolina Term Contract shall follow the terms and conditions of the contract. These items have been bid by State Purchase and Contract and do not require more competitiveness.

1. Supplies, equipment, and services should be purchased from contract vendors and follow quantity amounts listed for that contract. Term Contracts may be found at http://www.doa.state.us.nc/PandC. Numerical and keyword listings are available.

2. The Purchasing Office may direct purchases to other sources if a better value is available, if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the University, or if an opportunity is identified to make use of a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB).