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For policy update questions, please contact policy@ksu.edu.

Purchasing Procedures

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

Table of Contents

.010 General Purchasing Policy
.015 Overview of Purchasing Office Functions
.020 Procurement Responsibilities
.030 Purchasing Procedures and Thresholds
.035 Board of Regents Policy on Contracts in Excess of $1,000,000
.040 Exemption from Competitive Bid
.050 Contract Items
.055 Procurement Methods and Limitations
.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
.160 Questions

Related Materials

.170 Purchasing Forms
.190 Purchase Order (PO)
.200 Contractual Provisions Attachment, Form KSU-146a
.210 Purchasing Signature Authority
.220 Complaint to Vendor

.010 General Purchasing Policy

Kansas State University Purchasing's mission is to support and facilitate the instructional research and public service mission of the university by applying the best methods and business practices when K-State is acquiring supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, printing and services. Within the context of the K-State environment, K-State Purchasing will promote the development and use of purchasing processes that, in turn, promote the pursuit of excellence and the best interests of K-State 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. K-State Purchasing communicates and collaborates with other state universities and the State of Kansas Procurement and Contracts 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 Office Functions

The Purchasing Office 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, the state of Kansas, and federal laws, rules and procedures.

.020 Procurement Responsibilities

University officials and employees who purchase services, supplies or equipment are responsible for understanding and following the university purchasing procedures. 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 Chapter 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 bid 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.

.030 Purchasing Procedures and Thresholds

To expedite purchasing functions, Unit Heads are authorized by the university to approve small purchase orders up to $10,000, understanding that any binding terms and conditions or agreements from the vendor must be reviewed by the KSU Office of General Counsel, in accordance with PPM 3070, prior to signing. Unit Heads may request additional delegated competitive bid 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 which includes adequate review of procedures, assurance of competition, use of appropriate procurement methods and compliance with state and federal regulations and 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 K-State Purchasing in seeking competitive bids for goods and services costing less than $10,000.

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) and submitting to K-State Purchasing for review, using the Simplified Solicitation Request Form.

a. Departments, under direction of their Unit Head, have authority to purchase items 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 using the Vendor Written Bid form and submitted to K-State Purchasing for review and approval as documented on the Simplified Solicitation Request form with the following items included:

1. Minimum of three vendor written bids/quotes using the Vendor Written Bid form.

2. KSU-146a, located on page 2 of the Vendor Written Bid form, initialed by vendor.

3. Copy of Contract, Agreement, Terms & Conditions, or eForms created PO with the provisional attachment statement incorporated.

"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. Verification of IT Technical Review if it is an IT purchase and involves sharing of data or accessibility of online software tools.

5. Completed K-State OGC Contract Review Checklist to accompany Contract, Agreement, or Terms & Conditions.

b. Departments who do not have an approved delegated purchasing liaison must submit the Enhanced Solicitation Request form for items/services costing greater than $10,000 and less than $50,000 to K-State Purchasing for competitive bidding. This request must include detailed specifications and at least three potential vendors for items or services requested. K-State Purchasing will evaluate and utilize the simplified bids on behalf of the department if the aggregate cost is less than $50,000.

Documentation regarding any binding terms and conditions or agreements from the vendor will be reviewed and forwarded by the K-State Purchasing Office to the KSU Office of General Counsel for review in accordance with PPM 3070.

3. Large Dollar Enhanced Solicitation Process: Process of soliciting written, secured bids from multiple suppliers. Requires that the solicitation be publicly advertised and secured bid responses are due at a specified date at a specified time. Enhanced solicitations require specifications development and/or evaluation criteria from the requesting unit.

a. Enhanced Solicitation Request forms for purchases totaling $50,000 or more are to be submitted to K-State Purchasing for competitive bid process by K-State Purchasing. A KSU purchasing agent will be assigned to facilitate the enhanced bid process in conjunction with key stakeholders.

Documentation regarding any binding terms and conditions or agreements from the vendor will be reviewed and forwarded by the K-State Purchasing Office to the KSU Office of General Counsel for review in accordance with PPM 3070.

4. 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 Waiver of Solicitation form to K-State Purchasing, documenting which exemption category applies. This is required when the competitive bid process cannot be used based on the exemption, regardless of delegation of bidding authority. See section 6310.040 for additional information.

Departments must obtain and submit the following items with the Waiver of Solicitation form:

1. KSU-146a initialed by vendor.

2. Copy of Contract, Agreement, Terms & Conditions, or eForms created PO with the provisional attachment statement incorporated.

"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. Verification of IT Technical Review if it is an IT purchase and involves sharing of data or accessibility of online software tools.

4. Completed K-State OGC Contract Review Checklist to accompany Contract, Agreement, or Terms & Conditions.

Documentation regarding any binding terms and conditions or agreements from the vendor will be reviewed and forwarded by the K-State Purchasing Office to the KSU Office of General Counsel for review in accordance with PPM 3070.

Additional Purchasing Procedures:

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

2. 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.

3. 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

.035 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.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact K-State Purchasing at (785) 532-6214.

.040 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 Waiver of Solicitation form 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. 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.

.050 Contract Items

Items covered by university approved contracts and price lists or manufactured by other state agencies may be purchased from the contract vendor, a K-State department or another state agency and do not require additional 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 university and state contracts or contact K-State Purchasing at kspurch@k-state.edu or (785) 532-6214 for additional information.

.055 Procurement Methods and Limitations

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 Chapter 6320.

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

.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

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 K-State Purchasing. 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 K-State Purchasing.

If unsatisfactory items or delivery cannot be resolved by the department and the vendor, the department should prepare and submit a Complaint to Vendor form. See PPM Chapter 6310.220 for sample form and preparation instructions.

 .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 K-State Purchasing are forwarded to the departments.

When an invoice is received, a department official should verify that the material or service has been received and conforms with the specifications and quantities. If all items have been received in satisfactory condition, 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.
All invoices should be reviewed immediately upon receipt. If the invoice is correct and the items have been received in satisfactory condition, the invoice should be promptly processed for payment to take advantage of discounts and avoid inquiries about payment. If the items have not arrived in a reasonable time, contact the vendor.
.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. may require prior approval from the Division of Information Technology, regardless of cost, see PPM 3310.040.

.110 Lease of Real Property

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 K-State Purchasing 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

K-State Purchasing 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.

.160 Questions

Any questions related to purchasing regulations should be referred to K-State Purchasing, (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.

.170 Purchasing Forms

Forms and completion instructions are available on the K-State Purchasing website.

.190 Purchase Order (PO)

To be used by department ordering directly from a vendor in which a contract, agreement or other terms and conditions were not provided or in conjunction with an agreement as requested by the vendor. Purchase Orders (PO) are to be prepared with the following information. View the Purchase Order form.

P.O. No.Purchase Order Number, assigned by the department, is printed in this space.
Doc. No.System assigns number.
Document DateSystem date PO prepared.
Modified DateLeave blank.
FEIN or SSNIf new vendor, leave blank. Request vendor submit W-9 to KSU through the secure vendor upload portal.
Vendor InfoInsert complete vendor information. Include order address, city, sate, zip, as taken from the vendor's quote or contract.
Paying Agency responsible for invoicesInsert address including name of department, building, street address, city, state, zip code, contact person, and phone number.
Shipping AddressComplete the shipping address section.
AmountInsert the appropriate dollar amount for each object code.
ProjectInsert the K-State 10-digit account number from which payment is to be made and the four-digit sub-code.
AwardApplicable when grant funds are used.
SourceInsert the four-digit general ledger segment, which represents the fund and index.
OrgInsert the five-digit number representing the university department.
Object CodeInsert the general ledger segment used to classify the accounting expense, e.g. E2440
Purchase RequisitionLeave blank unless making an order against a PR. Insert department's assigned requisition number, if applicable.
TermsInsert terms of payment if appropriate, e.g. net 30 days.
F.O.B.Usually "Destination Prepaid & Allowed".
ContractInsert contract number if items are covered by contract or quote number; otherwise, leave this space blank.
Delivery DateInsert the date you desire to receive the material or service, take into consideration the time involved for processing the form, placing the order and delivery of items. Do not use expressions such as "at once", "immediately", or "ASAP". Indicate a specific date.
Document TotalInsert total amount of the document. If continuation sheets are used, total amount goes on last continuation sheet.
QuantityInsert the number of units.
UnitInsert the unit such as, "dozen", "each", "ream", "pounds", etc.
Description of Material or ServiceInsert a complete description of items to be ordered. Description must be sufficient to allow a person not familiar with the item to understand the item and to be able to assign a proper object code. Any special comments or conditions you wish to make in connection with the purchase should be included in this space.

If all the items cannot be listed on the PO, type the following statement in the description area: See attached continuation sheet. Prepare a continuation sheet, attaching a copy behind each copy of the PO.

Unit PriceInsert estimated price for items being ordered. The word "lot" can be substituted if unit price is rounded and does not compute out to total shown on PO. CONTRACT ITEMS MUST SHOW UNIT PRICE.
AmountInsert extended price for each item ordered.
Document TotalInsert total amount of the document. If continuation sheets are used, total amount goes on last continuation sheet.
Agency Purchasing CertificationSignature of person authorized to spend from the project(s).
DistributionThe department forwards the order to their Dean's Office, if so requested by their Dean, and sends copy directly to vendor. Department retains one copy for receiving information.
Payment From More Than One FundIf payment is to be made from more than one fund, object code or K-State account, complete items 19 through 24 for each.
Contractual Provisions AttachmentInclude contractual provisions attachment statement. See 6310.200.
.200 Contractual Provisions Attachment, Form KSU-146a

The Contractual Provisions Attachment contains several provisions derived from State of Kansas laws and regulations, which must be addressed in all contracts that are entered into by Kansas State University. Some provisions are mandatory and others are for the protection of the state/university but can be changed or deleted. Specific questions should be directed to K-State General Counsel Office. The Contractual Provisions Attachment, KSU-146a, must be attached to the contract or the KSU-146a language incorporated in the contract. If the KSU-146a is attached, the following provision that is shown at the beginning of the KSU-146a must be included in the contract:

"The Provisions found in Contractual Provisions Attachment (Form KSU-146a, Rev. 7-20), which is attached hereto, are hereby incorporated in this contract and made a part hereof."

View the Contractual Provisions Attachment - Form KSU-146a.

Contract No.Complete if known, otherwise leave this space blank.
DateInsert day, month, and year contract is signed.
DistributionThe department attaches one copy to each copy of the contract or agreement.
InitialsVendor initials to acknowledge acceptance.
.210 Purchasing Signature Authority

The delegation of authority to purchase goods or services up to $10,000 with departmental funds is formalized through the creation and Division of Financial Services' retention of the Department Purchasing Signature Authorization form. The Signature Authority, Dept Purchase/Contract form is available on the K-State Purchasing website. This form can be used to certify the delegation of procurement signature authority to campus department personnel for purchasing documents (POs, prior authorizations, contracts, etc.) as allowed by the State of Kansas, Kansas Board of Regents and Kansas State University policies and procedures. Please complete this form and forward it to the Purchasing Office in Unger Complex, 2323 Anderson Avenue, Suite 500, when there are departmental personnel changes that affect the positions responsible for approving departmental purchases. Questions concerning this form or those departmental officials who are currently authorized to approve purchases may be forwarded to the Purchasing Office, (785) 532-6214 or kspurch@k-state.edu.

.220 Complaint to Vendor

If problems arise with a product/vendor, departments are to contact the vendor first and give them the opportunity to correct the situation. Keep a log of calls made to the vendor's staff throughout the problem resolution attempt. Should the problem persist and the vendor is not responding, a Complaint to Vendor form needs to be filled out and sent, with any appropriate documentation, to the K-State Purchasing Office. In turn, K-State Purchasing will review the situation and contact the vendor. Failure on the vendor's part to respond may result in the removal from the vendor list.

Notice of Complaint to Vendor forms are to be prepared as follows. View the Complaint to Vendor Form KSU DA-112.

DateInsert the date the form is prepared.
Vendor InformationInsert name and address of vendor on form.
Department InformationInsert name and address of department.
Purchase Order/Contract. No.Insert applicable number, whether a PO or contract number.
Date of Purchase OrderInsert date order was placed.
ComplaintInsert an "x" in the appropriate block(s) to identify the complaint.
RemarksDescribe the complaint. Be specific and accurate. List chronically the steps taken with the vendor to correct the problem.
Person Initiating ComplaintSignature and title of person(s) initiating complaint.
Authorized SignatureSignature of Director or Department Head.
DistributionSubmit via email to kspurch@k-state.edu.