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Purchasing Procedures

Chapter 6310
Revised July 1, 2017, October 1, 2020, July 8, 2021, September 1, 2022

Table of Contents

.010 General Purchasing Policy
.015 Overview of Purchasing and Contract Services Functions
.020 Procurement Responsibilities
.025 Purchasing from Established Contracts
.030 Competitive Bidding Procedures and Thresholds
.035 Exemption from Competitive Bid
.040 Additional Purchasing Procedures
.045 Board of Regents Policy on Contracts in Excess of $1,000,000
.050 University Contracts Process
.060 Business Procurement Card
.070 Reporting Damaged, Substitute or Unsatisfactory Merchandise
.080 Paying for Material or Service Received
.090 Insurance
.100 Telecommunications Equipment Acquisition
.110 Lease of Real Property
.130 Vendor Information
.140 Vendor Debarment
.150 Purchasing Forms
.160 Questions

.010 General Purchasing Policy

The mission of Purchasing and Contract Services is to support and facilitate the instructional research and public service mission of the university by applying the best methods and business practices when the university is acquiring commodities, property and services. Within K-State, Purchasing and Contract Services promotes the development and use of purchasing processes that, in turn, promote the pursuit of excellence and the best interests of the university, while maintaining the highest possible integrity, broad based competition, fair and equal treatment of the business community, and increased economies and efficiencies in the purchasing process. Purchasing and Contract Services communicates and collaborates with other state universities and the State of Kansas to ensure that all procurement opportunities, where mutual benefit can be obtained, are achieved.

This revised chapter supersedes all previous purchasing procedures and special authorizations.

.015 Overview of Purchasing and Contract Services Functions

Purchasing and Contract Services performs the following primary tasks:

1. Facilitates the procurement of goods and services to support the research, programs and activities of the university.

2. Uses best practices to obtain the highest quality equipment, supplies and services at the least total cost.

3. Develops strategic supplier relationships.

4. Processes enhanced competitive solicitations and other complex procurements.

5. Facilitates contractual review and negotiation of terms and conditions with suppliers.

6. Ensures compliance with university, state of Kansas, and federal laws, rules and procedures.

.020 Procurement Responsibilities

University officials and employees who purchase goods or services are responsible for understanding and following the university purchasing and contracting procedures, including familiarizing themselves with PPM 3070. This includes, but is not limited to:

1. Purchases from university departments whenever feasible.

2. Purchases from university or State approved contracts or price lists whenever feasible, see PPM 6310.050 and PPM Chapter 6312.

3. Seek competition in bidding, whenever possible, maintaining appropriate and required documentation to demonstrate competition practices were followed or provide sufficient information for why competition could not be sought.

4. Prepare specifications in a manner to effectively include all responsible bidders offering comparable supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services.

5. Submit a solicitation request for items that meet the competitive bid threshold early enough to allow time to effectively obtain competitive bids.

6. Do NOT divide invoices to keep purchases below the dollar threshold limitation.

7. Purchase from the lowest responsible bidder conforming with the specifications, terms of delivery and other conditions as specified in the bid.

8. Approve all invoices for payment as soon as the material or services have been received in acceptable condition.

9. Maintain records of all transactions for at least five years.

.025 Purchasing from Established Contracts

Established university-wide and state-wide contracts may be used for purchasing without a competitive bidding process and are strongly encouraged. See PPM Chapter 6310.050.

Purchases using established contracts are the most efficient use of university resources, providing the best overall value for K-State. Established contracts are contracts with suppliers that have been through a competitive process and the terms have been secured at the best value and are available to authorized departments university-wide. These suppliers provide goods and services with favorable terms for pricing, delivery and other factors and thus are the preferred source for purchasing goods or services from external entities.

Items covered by university approved contracts and price lists or manufactured by a K-State department or other state agency may be purchased from the contract vendor, the K-State department or state agency and do not require competitive bid. Purchases of contract items from other than the above sources may become the personal responsibility of the individual authorizing the purchase. View a complete list of established contracts or contact Purchasing and Contract Services at kspurch@k-state.edu or 785-532-6214 for additional information.

When purchasing from an established contract totaling $10,000 or more (i.e., KSU, State of Kansas, political subdivision, approved consortium or cooperative) or for any purchases from established contracts requiring additional terms and conditions, submit a request in the CLM system for additional review. Established contracts include: K-State contracts, State of Kansas contracts, and pre-approved contracts through a consortium, cooperative or political subdivision.

.030 Competitive Bidding Procedures and Thresholds

All purchases of goods and/or services utilizing university funds must follow competitive bidding procedures. To better facilitate this process, departments, under the director of their Unit Heads, may conduct competitive bids, at their discretion, for acquisitions up to $10,000. Unit Heads are responsible for ensuring that any binding terms and conditions or agreements from the vendor are submitted through the Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system and reviewed, in accordance with PPM 3070, prior to signing.

Unit Heads ma request an additional delegated competitive bidding authority up to $50,000 by submitting the Delegation of Bid Authority form. By accepting either of the above delegations, Unit Heads assume the responsibility of ensuring purchasing procedures have been followed. This includes adequate review of procedures, assurance of competition, use of appropriate procurement methods, compliance with state and federal regulations and conformance to audit standards while still carrying out the specialized requirements and the sensitive needs of purchases.

Procurement Thresholds and Authority:

1. Small Purchases: Single procurement of goods and services for which the aggregate cost does not exceed the established small purchase threshold.

a. Departments, under direction of Unit Heads, have authority to purchase commodities and/or services with a total cost (includes service, maintenance, freight and handling) of less than $10,000, understanding that competitive bids should be sought when feasible.

b. Departments may request assistance from Purchasing and Contract Services in seeking competitive bids for goods and services costing less than $10,000.

c. Any purchase orders provided to the vendor or terms and conditions by the vendor the university is required to agree to must comply with the policies and procedures herein and those set forth in PPM 3070.

2. Simplified Solicitation: Process of an approved delegated purchasing liaison soliciting competitive bids (quotations) from three or more suppliers in writing (email, mail or fax) or phone bids, utilizing a pre-approved template, and submitting to Purchasing and Contract Services for review, in the CLM system.

a. Departments that have received approval for additional delegated bidding authority, under the direction of their Unit Head, have authority to purchase goods and/or services with a total cost greater than $10,000 and less than $50,000, understanding that a minimum of three written competitive bids must be obtained and submitted to Purchasing and Contract Services for review and approval through the CLM system prior to proceeding with purchase. The following items must be attached to the Simplified Solicitation Request in the CLM:

1. Minimum of three vendor bids/quotes using applicable template.

2. If no vendor Terms and Conditions present, attached a completed KSU purchase order (located in Eforms).

3. If there are vendor Terms and Conditions, include a copy of any contracts, agreements or terms and conditions, and confirm the vendor has reviewed and accepted the KSU-146a. The following contractual provisions attachment statement needs to be incorporated in any vendor contract, agreement or terms and conditions:

"The provisions found in Contractual Provisions Attachment (form KSU-146a, rev. 7-20), which is attached hereto, are hereby incorporated in the contract and made a part thereof."

4. If this is an IT purchase and involves sharing of data or accessibility of online software tools, Purchasing and Contract Services will submit the contract and required security documents for IT Technical Review prior to purchase approval.

b. Departments that have not received approval for delegated bidding authority must submit a solicitation request in the CLM to begin the process. Purchasing and Contract Services will review the request and determine whether to conduct a solicitation using the simplified solicitation process described above, or an enhanced solicitation with written, secured bids from multiple suppliers for goods and/or services. Enhanced solicitations will be publicly advertised and require secured bid responses due at a specified date and time. A K-State purchasing agent will be assigned to facilitate the simplified or enhanced solicitation process in conjunction with key stakeholders. To prevent delays, requests should be submitted at least 60 days prior to desired start or delivery date for equipment and minor service agreements, and requests for IT software, consulting and complex goods and/or services should be submitted at least 120 days prior to desired state or delivery date.

3. Waiver of Solicitation: To request an exemption from competitive solicitations for special purchases (sole source, emergencies, etc.) totaling $10,000 or greater, departments must submit a request in the CLM documenting which exemption category applies. This process is required for all waiver requests, regardless of bidding authority, when the competitive bid process cannot be used. See PPM 6310.035 for additional information.

Departments must obtain and submit the following items with the Waiver of Solicitation request in the CLM:

1. If no vendor Terms and Conditions present, attach a completed KSU purchase order (located in Eforms).

2. If there are vendor Terms and Conditions, include a copy of any contracts, agreements or terms and conditions, and confirm the vendor has reviewed and accepted the KSU-146a. The following contractual provisions attachment statement needs to be incorporated in any vendor contract, agreement or terms and conditions:

"The provisions found in Contractual Provisions Attachment (form KSU-146a, rev. 7-20), which is attached hereto, are hereby incorporated in the contract and made a part thereof."

3. If this is an IT purchase and involves sharing of data or accessibility of online software tools, Purchasing and Contract Services will submit the contract and required security documents for IT Technical Review prior to purchase approval.

.035 Exemption from Competitive Bid

Purchasing policies require competition to be sought in all purchases. However, there are times when the competitive bid process is not reasonable. When special circumstances arise where bidding is not possible, departments must submit a request in the CLM noting which exemption categories apply and provide documentation to support the exemption. Units providing inadequate supporting documentation will be asked to complete the appropriate competitive bidding process. Special approval purchases are reported and made available to the Board of Regents and the State Legislature. The following exemption categories may apply.

1. Sole source: Purchase of goods or services is only available from a single supplier. Due to unique feature and need of the end-user, the item cannot be obtained from any other source. Supplier provides expertise of a specialized nature not offered by other vendors.

2. Emergency purchases (public or research): Purchases of goods or services for public emergencies present an immediate need for life, safety or health of the public. Purchases of goods or services for research emergencies warrant an immediate need for vital preservation of research. During these situations, normal procurement requirements cannot be met. Kansas Statute or Federal Legislation-Purchase from vendor is required by statue or legislation. The Waiver of Solicitation form is not required for State Contract vendors.

3. Highly unique or specialized services: Supplier provides an expertise or highly unique product of a specialized nature not offered by other vendors.

4. Renewals, amendments or change orders: Current supplier is better positioned due to knowledge and familiarity of commodity or service to continue work. Engaging a new supplier would cause project delays and introduce additional costs.

4. Used equipment/compatible or proprietary equipment: Must provide additional details regarding the equipment on the Waiver of Solicitation form.

5. Other miscellaneous noncompetitive purchases including patented and copyrighted materials, university affiliates, animal and animal care materials, government or higher education entities, membership/subscription/database access (excluding software), speaker/lecturer/entertainers, and utilities are considered non-biddable by their nature.

The following object code series are not subject to competitive bid and do not require submittal of a waiver:

  • 1000 - Salaries and Wages;
  • 5000 - Grants, Claims, & Shared Revenue;
  • 6000 - Debt Service; or
  • 7000 - Non-expense Items.

For further description of the sub-object codes and for the K-State sub-object codes, refer to PPM 6320.

For special purchasing procedures pertaining to sponsored research projects, see PPM 6310.030.

.040 Additional Purchasing Procedures

1. All federal purchasing guidelines as per Federal OMB 2CFR-200 and any special constraints of the sponsored project imposed by the sponsor must be observed and followed by the department for purchases. Also, more restrictive departmental policies will supersede the policies stated above.

2. The following state statutes, state and federal regulations, and purchasing policies must be observed when purchasing with state or grant funds.

a. Purchases from State Use Catalog vendors

b. Telecommunication purchases

c. Purchase of insurance

d. Federal Regulations in Federal OMB 2CRF-200g

e. Prompt Payment Act

f. Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

g. State Engineering and Architectural Services

h. Hospitality (meals, lodging, entertainment)

i. Moving expenses

j.  Building and grounds

.045 Board of Regents Policy on Contracts in Excess of $1,000,000

The executive director of the Kansas Board of Regents must be notified of any contract in excess of $1,000,000 prior to execution of the contract.

To assist in the implementation of this regent's policy, please notify in writing the Division of Financial Services when processing proposed contracts involving funds in excess of $1,000,000. The notification should contain the following information:

1. Name of party with which the university entity proposes the contract.

2. The purpose of the expenditure.

3. The amount of the proposed expenditure.

4. The source of funds for the proposed expenditure.

This information will be assembled by the Assistant Vice President for the Division of Financial Services and forwarded to the Kansas Board of Regents. Please be aware that it is not the intent of this policy that the Kansas Board of Regents approve each contract, but rather that the Board gather information regarding contractual obligations by regent's institutions. Therefore, execution of the contract may continue according to its normal schedule once the above notification is sent.

.050 University Contracts Process

Acquisition contracts are contracts that obtain goods or services requiring the payment of funds to parties outside the university or its controlled corporations, regardless of the funding source (e.g., Foundation, grant, donor funds, etc.). All contracts will be evaluated in accordance with PPM 3070. Contract policies and procedures are based on level of risk, considering both dollar value of the contract and other risk factors. Contracts that are initiated under the unit's delegated solicitation authority will require the additional review and approval through the CLM if they meet the medium or high risk categories outlined in PPM 3070. Contracts meeting these levels must be submitted through the CLM for review and approval prior to procuring goods or services.

.060 Business Procurement Card

Kansas State University has a business procurement card (BPC) program to be used for the purchase of small dollar items (in lieu of a PO). K-State employees with purchasing responsibilities in their duties are eligible to receive a BPC. Training on the use of the card and purpose of the program is a requirement prior to receiving a card.

For further information, the BPC manual and forms are available on the General Accounting website. Contact General Accounting (785) 532-6202 for the training schedule and any additional questions.

.070 Reporting Damaged, Substitute or Unsatisfactory Merchandise

Shipping terms for all purchases should be FOB Destination Freight Prepaid and Allowed or DDP (Delivered at Place). Freight, trucking, railroad and express companies usually will not pay for damaged shipments, even when the damage is visible on the outside of the carton, unless the damage is noted on the delivery ticket before it is signed by the receiver. Concealed damage (that which is inside a carton and is not apparent at the time of delivery) is usually prorated equally among the transportation company, vendor and purchaser. Therefore, the following steps should be taken before accepting a shipment and signing the delivery ticket.

1. If possible, open each carton and inspect the contents. If this is not possible without unduly delaying the delivery person, be sure to count and inspect the outside of each carton before signing the receiving ticket.

2. If there appears to be a substantial amount of damage or shortage, refuse the shipment. Notify your vendor and request another shipment.

3. If the amount of damage or shortage appears minor:

a. Make a note of the damage or shortage on the delivery ticket before signing it and accepting the shipment.
b. Do not move the shipment.
c. If any carton is opened, retain the packing cases(s).
d. Immediately request the transportation company to make an inspection. This request must be made within 15 days of delivery.

4. Always obtain a copy of the delivery ticket from the delivery person.

5. When a shipment is accepted without opening the carton(s), they should be opened at the point of delivery and the contents inspected as soon as possible, at least within 10 days. If concealed damage or shortage is found, retain the packing case(s), do not move the shipment, and immediately request the transportation company to make an inspection. This request must be made within 15 days of delivery.

Upon request, the transportation company will send a representative to inspect the shipment and prepare a claim report. This claim and a copy of the freight bill should be submitted to the vendor along with a request that they send a replacement if the damage is major, or a request that they repair the item if the damage is minor. Be sure to submit the claim to the vendor rather than to the transportation company to expedite the replacement or repair and to minimize the handling of funds.

If items sent by insured parcel post are damaged when received, the department should return the damaged shipment to the U.S. Post Office for their inspection and assistance in preparation of a claim. The shipper should be notified and requested to send a replacement and file a claim with the U.S. Post Office. If the department files the claim, the U.S. Post Office may send a payment, but this will create the same problems mentioned above.

If an uninsured parcel post shipment is damaged, the claim must be filed with the vendor, retaining the packing case for their inspection.

If substitute or unsatisfactory merchandise is received, the department should contact the vendor immediately to request permission to return the merchandise for adjustment. A copy of the letter should be sent to Purchasing and Contract Services. If the vendor has shipped the wrong merchandise they are usually cooperative in making the adjustment if properly contacted.

If an error was made by the department, usually the vendor will allow the return of the incorrect merchandise. However, in some cases a restocking fee is charged plus the transportation costs of returning the merchandise. Do not return any merchandise without first securing permission of the vendor and notifying Purchasing and Contract Services.

If unsatisfactory items or delivery cannot be resolved by the department and the vendor, the department should contact Purchasing and Contract Services.

.080 Paying for Material or Service Received
Each department should make a record of the receipt of all materials and services when they are received. This may be recorded on the departmental copy of the purchase order or on some other form.

Invoices should be sent directly to the department by the supplier. Invoices which are sent to Purchasing and Contract Services are forwarded to the departments.

All invoices should be reviewed immediately upon receipt. If the invoice is correct, materials received in good working order and/or service completed to specifications, the invoice should be promptly processed for payment to take advantage of discounts and avoid inquiries about payments. If the items have not arrived in a reasonable time, contact the vendor. Payment should be made referencing any associated contract numbers.

Prompt Payment Act (K.S.A. 75-6403) requires all State agencies to pay the full amount due for goods and services within 30 calendar days after receiving the item(s) or the invoice(s) for them whichever arrives last. If payment is not made within the above 30 calendar days limit, the vendor may make a written request for payment with interest.
.090 Insurance

All purchases for any type of insurance must be coordinated through the University Risk and Compliance Officer.

.100 Telecommunications Equipment Acquisition

The acquisition of telecommunications and web and video conference hardware, services, software, supplies, etc. should be coordinated with the Division of Information Technology, regardless of cost. See PPM 3310.040.

.110 Lease of Real Property

All leases of real property, including when KSU is the lessor or lessee, must be submitted through the CLM for review and approval, prior to executing. See PPM 7650 for additional policies and procedures related to the purchase or lease of real property.

.130 Vendor Information

Refer interested vendors to the Purchasing and Contract Services website for:

1. Posting of solicitations

2. Information on doing business with K-State

3. Sites to register as disadvantaged business enterprises

4. Other information (e.g., Open Records requests, W-9 form, State tax issues, etc.)

.140 Vendor Debarment

Purchasing and Contract Services researches vendor backgrounds prior to placing an order or establishing a contract. A vendor may be debarred from doing business with Kansas State University for any of the following reasons:

1. Conviction of a criminal offense in relation to obtaining or attempting to obtain a K-State contract or in the performance of such contract;

2. Conviction under under State of Kansas or Federal statutes of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records or receiving stolen property;

3. Conviction under State of Kansas or Federal antitrust statutes arising out of the submission of bids or proposals;

4. Failure to perform in accordance with the terms of one or more contracts following notice of such failure, or a history of failure to perform, or of unsatisfactory performance on one or more contracts;

5. The vendor is currently under debarment by any other governmental entity that is based upon a settlement agreement or a final administrative or judicial determination issued by a Federal, state or local governmental entity.

.150 Purchasing Forms

Forms, training and additional information is available on the Purchasing and Contract Services website.

.160 Questions

Any questions related to purchasing regulations should be referred to Purchasing and Contract Services, (785) 532-6214, kspurch@k-state.edu. Questions related to travel purchases should be referred to the Division of Financial Services, General Accounting, (785) 532-6202.