Purchasing Guidelines and Thresholds
Procurement Guidelines and Competitive Bidding
The practice of competitive bidding, whether formal or informal, not only tends to assure reasonable prices, but will guard against favoritism, improvidence, and fraud. Therefore, competitive bidding shall, to the extent practicable, be solicited and purchases shall be at the lowest available price consistent with quality requirements as will best promote the public interest.
Dollar Limit Requirements
0 - $2,500.00
The Campus may purchase commodities or services from a responsible vendor. While no competition is required the department should take the steps to ensure that prices are reasonable.
$2,500 - $14,999
The Campus may purchase commodities or services from a responsible vendor. While no competition is required the department should take the steps to ensure that prices are reasonable. Written documentation should be maintained to support the selection of the vendor and the reasonableness of the price. (3 quotes is preferred)
$15,000 - $50,000
The Campus may purchase commodities or services from a responsible vendor. While no competition is required the department should take the steps to ensure that prices are reasonable. Written documentation should be maintained to support the selection of the vendor and the reasonableness of the price. (3 or more quotes is preferred)
The Procurement Lobbying Law became effective January 1, 2006, constitutes a significant legislative effort to regulate lobbying on government procurement contracts. The legislation will have substantial impact on the Campus's procurement activities to obtain commodities and services and to undertake real estate transactions. The legislation enacts two new sections to the State Finance Law ("SFL"), §§139-j and 139-k. Generally, the law distinguishes between permissible and impermissible contacts between a potential vendor, or a person acting on behalf of the vendor, including its lobbyist, and the officers and employees of the procuring campus. An impermissible contact is an attempt to influence the award, denial or amendment of a contract in excess of $15,000, or contact with personnel other than a contact person designated by the campus, during the "restricted period" (the time commencing with the earliest written notice of the proposed procurement and ending with the final contract award). A permissible contact involves the normal flow of information between a campus and all competing vendors (e.g. the vendor's submission of an offer or participation in post-award contract negotiations). The campus must record all contacts, both permissible and impermissible, which occur during the restricted period, and, generally, must deny an award of a purchase order or contract to a vendor involved in a knowing and willful impermissible contact. The campus is developing guidelines and procedures regarding permissible contacts and procedures for the reporting and investigation of impermissible contacts. The campus's procurement record must demonstrate compliance with these new requirements. In order to comply with the provisions of the new law any campus procurement over $15,000 should be reviewed with the Purchasing Associate prior to any request. A campus procurement over $15,000 would start by a solicitation request such as a fax requesting a price, a similar e-mail request, or advertisement of the procurement from this office. Should any bidder contact any campus staff after the initial solicitation or advertisement, it must be reported to the Purchasing office to be included in the procurement record. The campus Purchasing Department will provide guidance for each procurement. State Contracts (also known as "P" contracts) do not apply to the new provisions of the law so campus business practices utilizing those contracts are unaffected. For more information on State Finance Law ("SFL"), §§139-j and 139-k, click here. For a quick link to explain the law, click here.
NOTE: Business Office Purchasing Staff are the only Campus Designated Contacts, and may designate other campus staff for specific types of procurements.
$50,001 - $125,000
A minimum of three bids or proposals, written proposals, or written quotations, must be solicited from responsible vendors offering such commodities or services. The procurement must be advertised in the NYS Contract Reporter and respondents given the opportunity to submit a quote.
$125,001 - $250,000 + up
A minimum of five sealed bids or proposals must be solicited from responsible vendors through an Invitation for Bid (IFB) or a Request for Proposal (RFP). The procurement must be advertised in the NYS Contract Reporter and respondents given the opportunity to quote. Contracts competitively bid over $250,000 may require approval by the New York State Attorney General and the New York State Comptroller.
Exemptions and Important Notes
1. The Campus may elect to purchase any commodities or services, regardless of amount from an existing Office of General Services (OGS) contract or a "PREFERRED SOURCE" (CorCraft, Industries for the Blind etc.) without the need to solicit competitive bids or proposals.
2. Purchases from Small, Certified Minority or Women Owned Businesses, or for Recycled or Remanufactured commodities or technology: Exemption from bidding up to $200,000 (campus must still document reasonableness of price) for the purchase of commodities or services from New York State small businesses or certified Minority or Women-owned Business Enterprises or for the purchase of commodities or technology that are recycled or remanufactured. Contract Reporter advertising required. Contact the Purchasing Associate for further information.
Procurement Protest Procedures
A protesting party may submit a protest in accordance with the State University of New York Contract Award Protest Procedure.
An EMERGENCY situation is an unanticipated, sudden, and unexpected occurrence beyond the control of the campus which threatens:
a) the life, health, safety, or welfare of any person, or
b) the continued public use or function of property of the State of New York.
A CRITICAL situation is defined as a situation, excluding an emergency, that will or has occurred which impacts a significant campus operation requiring immediate campus action. A campus departments failure to properly and timely plan, in advance, for all procurements which then result in a situation in which normal procurement practices cannot be followed will not constitute a critical situation.
The campus procurement staff may assist in determining if a purchase is an Emergency purchase, a Critical purchase, or non-emergency/non-critical operating purchase.
Gifts may come in many forms and from many people: a keychain from the company that delivers overnight mail; tickets to the ball game from a vendor who deals with your agency; even flowers from a satisfied taxpayer. Some companies consider the distribution of such "freebies" to be part of an effective marketing plan, while others consider it good public relations.
Under State Law, State officers and employees may not accept or solicit a gift of more than nominal value under circumstances in which it could be inferred that the gift was intended to influence or reward the recipient for performing official duties. The Commission has defined "nominal" as no more than a regular cup of coffee. For more information see the New York State Commission on Public Integrity.
Refreshments, Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners
Refreshments such as coffee, tea, juice, sodas, donuts, bagels, alcoholic beverages, etc. are not proper state charges for state employees either while on campus or in travel status off-campus. Lunches for state employees are not a standard reimbursable expense while on campus or in travel status off-campus. Breakfasts and/or dinners are not a reimbursable expense while on campus.