Purchasing Policies & Procedures

Functions of Procurement Services

Procurement Services helps all departments of the college procure equipment, furnishings, supplies, and services. NOTE: If your project requires construction or significant services on campus, contact legal counsel and FMS (410-337-6166) prior to soliciting bids.

It functions also:

a) To obtain written or verbal quotations and bids and to place or assist in placing orders for all goods or services exceeding $1,000.

b) To act as an informational resource to the college community regarding sources of supplies and services.

c) To effect savings and economy of the college resources.

d) To track the progress of all orders exceeding $1,000 from the time it is issued until the goods or services are received or services have been performed satisfactorily.

To ensure that the work of each department is effective, it is necessary that each college representative:

A. Anticipate Requirements

Anticipate your requirements sufficiently in advance to permit the purchase of goods and services in an efficient and effective manner.

B. Specifications

Submit clear and concise specifications in every detail. Specifications should permit Procurement Services sufficient latitude of choice that it may contribute either to improvement of quality or to economy.

C. Unauthorized Commitments

Unauthorized commitments may result in reimbursement to the college, suspension of employment or procurement responsibilities or termination of employment.

There are approved exceptions to this policy:

1) Purchase of materials and supplies and services costing less than $1,000 may be authorized by departments provided the price is considered fair and reasonable.

2) Repair of equipment may be authorized by departments when the costs do not exceed $1,000.

3) Breakdown of essential services or programs during the non-duty hours of the- Department of Procurement and Auxiliary Services may be handled by departments. A confirming requisition must then be forwarded to the Procurement Services at the earliest practical time with a full explanation of why the matter had to be handled in an emergency manner.

4) Department of Facilities Management Services construction or renovation projects.

Review Section III entirely for detailed Information regarding procurement requirements.

D. Confidentiality

Keep strictly confidential, all information and quotations submitted by competing vendors.

E. Inspection and Acceptance

All items must be checked and accepted by requesters to ensure that the goods or services meets specifications or conforms to industry standards, within 30 days of receipt so that adjustments can be made. Notify the director of Procurement of any problems. When damaged shipments are received, visible or concealed, the requesting department must note on all copies of the delivery receipt any damages observed; then contact the Procurement office for instructions.

F. Return of Materials

Damaged or incorrect items must not be returned to a vendor without prior approval from the vendor. This can be accomplished by contacting the vendor and obtaining a Return Authorization number (R.A. #). Contact the Shipping and Receiving Department or the director of Procurement if assistance is needed in these matters.

G. Purchases Less Than $1,000

1) Purchases that are routine and do not exceed $1,000, where a vendor has already been established (vendor record on file in the Accounts Payable system), may be placed by the requester. Orders can be placed verbally or by sending the vendor the "Vendor Copy" of the purchase request. Departments are authorized to place these orders without the assistance of the Purchasing Office.

2) Any problems or follow-up resulting from orders of this type are the responsibility of the person or requester initiating the order.

3) The purchase request and all supporting documentation must be forwarded to Purchasing, i.e., Procurement Services, and the Shipping and Receiving Department prior to the Shipping and Receiving Department's delivery of equipment or materials to the requester.

4) Any aggregate order with a value greater than $1,000 must not be procured using a Goucher credit card.

H. Competitive Quotes

1) Purchases under $1,000 do not require multiple quotes; however, the purchase price must be competitive, fair and reasonable.

2) Purchases over $1,000 but not exceeding $5,000 require at least two competitive verbal or written (preferred method) quotes by competing vendors. Refer to the Section on Sole Sources for specific information.

3) The director of Procurement Services may be involved, if necessary, in obtaining additional quotes, depending on the nature of the order.

4) All procurement transactions shall be conducted in a manner to provide to the maximum extent practical, open and free competition. Individuals shall be alert to organizational conflicts of interest as well as noncompetitive practices among contractors that may restrict or eliminate competition or otherwise restrain trade.

I. Competitive Bids or Proposals

Purchases of goods or services over $5,000 require a formal bid or request for proposal process, when practical. The director of Procurement and auxiliary services will be responsible for obtaining formal bids or proposals.

J. Blanket Orders

1) Blanket Orders are to be used when necessary, to take advantage of discounts, to facilitate order processing, and to ensure timely, shipments. In some cases the size of the order may require requests for formal bidding or proposals before Blanket Orders can be prepared.

2) The director of Procurement will be responsible for issuing Blanket Order agreements.

K. Cash Terms and Discounts

Cash discounts are to be taken whenever available. All college personnel should attempt to obtain discounts even when the vendor does not normally provide them.

L. Incentives, Gifts or Gratuities

1) Goucher College prohibits vendors from offering its faculty and staff any kinds of incentives, gifts or gratuities in exchange for conducting business. The college expects its faculty and staff to have no personal interest in suggesting or specifying vendors and that there be no direct incentives or rewards, financial or otherwise, for conducting business with a vendor.

2) Should an office/department of the college believe a vendor or its representatives have acted in an improper or unethical manner, such behavior should be reported to the director of Procurement. Likewise, should a vendor believe it has been asked to render goods and/or services to an office/department in a manner contrary to any agreements it has with the college, or act in a manner it considers to be inappropriate, such behavior should be reported to the director of Procurement.

M. Sole Source

If a specific vendor or brand name product is specified on the purchase request and the originating department requests to have the purchase order awarded on a basis other than a competitive one, sufficient documentation justifying why it is not possible or practical to award the order to any vendor or for any brand name product, other than the one specified must accompany the purchase request.

N. A Purchase Request IS required

1) For most purchases that involve delivery of the order to the Receiving Department.

2) When a supplier requires that a purchase order number be assigned to the order being placed for billing purposes.

3) For purchases of goods over $1,000, especially capital equipment orders, requiring a second quote.

4) For purchases from suppliers who require that a formal purchase order be faxed or mailed before delivery can take place.

5) For any orders for non-capital equipment that are individually valued as an item at less than $1,000, however, the aggregate purchase is over $1,000.

O. A Purchase Request IS NOT required

1) For books & subscriptions. They require a signed copy of order form with an account number, which is submitted to Accounts Payable for processing. A college corporate credit card may also be used for this type of transaction.

2) For purchases of small orders for pickup from local suppliers, an invoice is obtained, which is assigned an account number and submitted to Accounts Payable. A college corporate credit card may also be used for this type of transaction.

3) The preferred method for placing office supply orders is by using the OfficeMax office supply website (www.officemaxsolutions.com). Contact Procurement to establish an account (410-337-6134). Office supply orders are charged to the account holders Goucher credit card.

P. Award of Contract

Awards shall be made to the bidder or offer or whose bid or offer is responsive to the solicitation and is most advantageous to the college, price, quality and other factors considered.

Q. Tax Exempt Purchases

1) The college's tax exempt number is 31001796. The college will not reimburse departments or individuals for taxes paid for equipment or supplies. The following is information published by the Comptroller of Maryland regarding items qualifying for tax exemption:

2) An organization may use its exemption certificate to purchase tangible personal property that will be used in carrying on its work. This includes office supplies and equipment and supplies used in fund-raising activities, but does not include items used to conduct an "unrelated trade or business" as defined by Section 513 of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

3) An exemption certificate is not transferable and applies only to purchases made by the registered organization. It may not be used to purchase items for the personal use of officials, members or employees of the organization, or to purchase items that will be donated to the organization.

NOTE: Some of the items referenced should be considered general guidelines. For more specific information, contact the director of Procurement services at extension 410-337-6134.

Procurement TERMS and CONDITIONS


The performance of this contract shall be governed solely by these terms and conditions, notwithstanding any language contained on any invoice, shipping order, bill of lading or other document furnished the vendor at any time. The acceptance by the college of any goods or services furnished hereunder shall not be construed as acceptance by the college of any terms or conditions which are inconsistent with the terms and conditions here stated. All terms and conditions under the solicitation, and any amendments thereto, are made part of this contract.


The purchase order hereto and these terms and conditions, together with any other documents incorporated herein by reference, constitute the sole and entire agreement between the college and seller with respect to the subject matter hereof, superseding completely any oral or written communications unless the terms thereof are expressly incorporated herein. Where seller's quotation is referred to herein, such quotation is incorporated in this document only to the extent of specifying the nature or description of the goods ordered, and only to the extent such items are consistent with the other terms herein.


Vendor guarantees that the sale and/or use of the goods offered will not infringe upon any patent or copyright. Vendor will at his/her own expense, indemnify, protect and save harmless the college, its trustees, employees, agents and students with respect to any claim, action, cost or judgment for patent or copyright infringement, arising out of the purchase or use of these goods.


All goods received shall be subject to inspection by the college. The college shall have a reasonable time within which to inspect the goods and shall not be obligated to inspect goods purchased as spare parts, inventory or for future use until the same are to be used by the college. Excess or defective goods, or goods not in accordance with the college specifications will be held for a reasonable period of time for disposition in accordance with seller's instructions at seller's risk and expenses and, if seller directs, will be returned at seller's expense. Payment for goods or services furnished or performed by seller shall not constitute acceptance by the college, and such payments shall be deemed to have been made without prejudice to any and all claims the college may have against seller.


Time is of the essence in the performance of this agreement.


Failure by the college to demand strict compliance with any term or terms shall not constitute a waiver of any claim, right or remedy of the college hereunder, and all claims, rights and remedies of the college shall be cumulative such that any particular demand by the college shall not constitute a waiver of any other claim, right or remedy hereunder, or any other claim, right or remedy at law or in equity.


If the college has reasonable cause to believe vendor is insolvent, or if any petition in bankruptcy or under any law for the relief of debtors is filed by or in respect of vendor, then this contract may immediately terminate at the option of the college. In no event shall the contract become an asset in any such proceeding, nor shall the college be bound by the contract after any act of bankruptcy by vendor. Any delay by the college in the exercise of the right to terminate under this section shall not diminish or waiver that right.


The college is generally exempt from Federal and Maryland taxes. Exemption Certificates are available upon request. Vendor shall be responsible for the payment of any and all applicable taxes resulting from any award and/or activities hereunder, including but not limited to any applicable amusement and/or sales taxes.


• Vendor hereby expressly agrees that all items covered by this agreement shall be manufactured, produced or rendered in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended. To that end, vendor agrees that all invoices will contain the following or substantially similar language:

• "The items covered by this invoice were manufactured, produced or rendered in compliance with all applicable requirements of the Fair Standards Act of 1938, as amended.


Vendor agrees not to discriminate in any manner on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, sex, age, or disability in its programs and activities. Vendor further agrees to post in conspicuous places notices setting forth the provisions of this non-discrimination clause and to take affirmative action to implement the provisions of this section.


Vendor hereby declares and affirms that, to its best knowledge, none of its officers, directors or partners and none of its employees directly involved in obtaining contracts has been convicted of bribery, attempted bribery or conspiracy to bribe under the laws of any state or the Federal Government.


When vendor has not performed or has unsatisfactorily performed the contract, payment shall be withheld at the discretion of the college. Vendor's failure to fulfill contractual obligations shall be considered just cause for termination of the contract and vendor is not entitled to recover any costs it incurred up to the date of termination.


The college may terminate all or any part of the purchase order and these terms and conditions for any reason at the college's convenience upon written notice to the Supplier. Upon such termination seller agrees to waive all claims for damages, including those for loss of anticipated profits, and to accept as its sole remedy for termination the value of all work performed prior to the termination and reasonable costs occasioned by termination; provided, however, that the college shall have no liability whatsoever for goods which are seller's standard stock.


Any dispute arising under this contract which is not disposed of by agreement shall be decided by the college director of Procurement Services or a designee. Pending final decision of the dispute, vendor shall proceed diligently with contract performance. Nothing hereunder shall be interpreted to preclude the parties from seeking, after completion of the contract, any and all remedies provided by law.


Vendor shall maintain all documents and records relating to the subject matter of this contract, including but not limited to all charges to the college, for a period of three (3) years from the date of final payment under this contract.

16. AUDIT:

Vendor shall permit audit and fiscal and programmatic monitoring of the work performed under any contract issued. The college shall have access to and the right to examine and/or audit any records, books, documents and papers of vendor and any subcontractor involving transactions related to this contract during its term and for a period of three (3) years after final payment under this contract.


Vendor hereby declares and affirms that neither it or any of its representatives has employed or retained any person, partnership, corporation, or other entity, other than a bona fide employee or agent working for vendor, to solicit or secure a contract, and that it has not paid or agreed to pay any person, partnership, corporation, or other entity, other than a bona fide employee or agent, any fee or any other consideration contingent on the making of this contract.


The college director of Procurement Services or a designee may at any time, by written order, make changes within the general scope of the contract in the work and service to be performed. If any such changes cause an increase or decrease in vendor's cost of, or the time required for, performance of this contract, an equitable adjustment shall be made, and the contract shall be modified in writing accordingly.


Vendor will be required to have proper identification, showing vendor name and technician name, at all times while on campus. Vendor shall maintain such insurance as will indemnify and hold harmless the college from Workmen's Compensation and Public Liability claims for property damage and personal injury, including death, which may arise from vendor's operations under this contract, or by anyone directly or indirectly employed by vendor.


The college is committed to providing a work and study environment that is free from discrimination and harassment. Behavior contrary to this philosophy, which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, will not be tolerated by the college, and it is vendor's responsibility to ensure that such behavior by its employees, agents and subcontractors does not occur. This policy extends to maintaining an environment free from sexual harassment.


Vendor agrees to comply, at no additional expense, with all applicable Executive Orders, Federal, State, bi-county, regional and local laws, ordinances, rules and regulations in effect as of the date of this contract and as they may be amended from time to time,.


This contract shall be construed and interpreted according to Maryland law.


- Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations (OMB Circular 110):

1.     §215.42 No employee, officer, or agent shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by Federal funds if a real or apparent conflict of interest would be involved.

2.     §215.43 In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, invitations of bids and/or requests for proposals shall be excluded from competing for such procurements.

3.     §215.44(1) Recipients avoid purchasing unnecessary items.

4.     §215.44(2) Where appropriate, an analysis is made of lease and purchase alternatives to determine which would be the most economical and practical procurement for the Federal Government.

5.     §215.44(3) Solicitation for Goods and Services, provide the following: (ii) Requirements which the bidder/offer or must fulfill and all other factors to be used in evaluating bids or proposals. (iii) A description, whenever practicable, of technical requirements in terms of functions to be performed or performance required, including the range of acceptable characteristics or minimum acceptable standards. (iv) The specific features of "brand name or equal" descriptions that bidders are required to meet when such items are included in the solicitation. (v) The acceptance, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, of products and services dimensioned in the metric system of measurement. (vi) Preference, to the extent practicable and economically feasible, for products and services that conserve natural resources and protect the environment and are energy efficient.

6.     §215.45 Recipients of sub-awards shall comply with the non-procurement debarment and suspension common rule implementing Executive Orders 12549 and 12689, "Debarment and Suspension." This common rule restricts sub-awards and contracts with certain parties that are debarred, suspended or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in federal assistance programs or activities. Specifically, the college is prohibited to make contracts with vendors or contractors listed on the General Services Administration's List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement or Nonprocurement Programs, which can be found at https://sam.gov .

Revised October 2011