Skip to main content

Policies

Go Search
Home
  
Policies > Wiki Pages > 12 Section Guidelines  

12 Section Guidelines

12.0        PROCUREMENT/RECEIVING GOODS AND SERVICES

 

12.1        PURPOSE

 

                The purpose of this Manual is to ensure that:  Procurement at the University is conducted under the terms of Chapter 15A, Section 24 of the Massachusetts General Laws, as amended.  This section states, in part, “notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, each board of trustees shall have the authority to make any purchase or purchases in the amount of two thousand dollars or less, and to purchase without limitation of amount library books and periodicals, educational and scientific supplies and equipment, printing and bidding, emergency repairs and replacement parts, and perishable items, without recourse to any other state board, bureau, department or commission; provided, however, that in so doing the University shall follow modern methods of Procurement and shall, wherever practicable, invite competitive bids...”

 

                The Director of Procurement administers centralized Procurement control for all areas of the University.  The Director coordinates procurement, delivery, receiving and inventory of goods and services used on campus.  In order to effectively accomplish these goals, the Director adheres to Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ procurement regulations, including competitive bidding, monitoring of contracts, and inclusion of minority and women owned Procurementes.  The University participates in several group Procurement arrangements including the Operational Services Division, the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium, (MHEC) and the Worcester Consortium for Higher Education.  These organizations prepare, post, and evaluate competitive bid contracts which allow the University to quickly process orders and take advantage of their high volume group Procurement power.

 

12.2        POLICY

 

                The University will competitively obtain the most suitable goods and services at the best possible price.  To do this the University will use competitive bidding and/or available state, MHEC, Worcester Consortium for Higher Education, or other contracts wherever possible.  Whenever Procurement goods and services, the University will comply with all state rules, regulations and laws governing Procurement.  This applies to any purchase, whether funded from state sources or trust fund sources.

 

                Only properly prepared and approved purchase requisitions will be accepted for Procurement action.  A purchase order will not be issued without adequate budgeted funds.  This applies to state and non-state funded purchases.

 

                The responsibility for Procurement goods and services is entirely apart from the responsibility for providing proof of receipt of those goods and services.  Procurement personnel of the University does not have the responsibility for receiving. 

               

12.3        PROCEDURE

 

                The University funding can be divided into two broad categories: Maintenance Appropriation Funds and Trust Funds.  Maintenance Funds are appropriated by the Commonwealth for the operation of the University and its facilities.  The funds are generally used for physical plant, payroll, and major equipment and service purchases.  In addition, at various times, Capital Outlay and/or supplemental funding may be authorized by legislation or the DHE, formerly BHE, or DCAM for Procurement items following very specific guidelines.  Trust Funds are generally University or student fee generated monies which are allocated to specific academic and support programs.  When these monies are available, the appropriated guidelines are made available to those persons impacted.  All purchases, regardless of funding, are subject to general controls and regulations which are outlined in the following sections.  Specific rules for certain purchases are further identified in appropriate sections.

 

 

 

 

                This simplistic workflow shows an identified need to a requisition to the final stage of a check issuance.

 

12.3        PROCEDURE

 

                The University funding can be divided into two broad categories: Maintenance Appropriation Funds and Trust Funds.  Maintenance Funds are appropriated by the Commonwealth for the operation of the University and its facilities.  The funds are generally used for physical plant, payroll, and major equipment and service purchases.  In addition, at various times, Capital Outlay and/or supplemental funding may be authorized by legislation or the DHE, formerly BHE, or DCAM for Procurement items following very specific guidelines.  Trust Funds are generally University or student fee generated monies which are allocated to specific academic and support programs.  When these monies are available, the appropriated guidelines are made available to those persons impacted.  All purchases, regardless of funding, are subject to general controls and regulations which are outlined in the following sections.  Specific rules for certain purchases are further identified in appropriate sections.

 

 

12.4        REQUISITION PROCESSING

 

                Procurement of any item regardless of funding source is initiated by the use of Colleague’s financial systems.  Completion of a requisition is the first step and all required fields must be appropriately filled-in prior to approval and further action.  Internal controls are embedded in the software which require electronic approvals 

All Colleague users are required to go through training prior to gaining access to Colleague Financials.  Please see the following like for specific information: 

 

http://sharepoint.worcester.edu/external/it/guides/Shared%20Documents/Colleague_Datatel/Online_Purchase_Requisiton.mht .

 

It is the University’s policy that items are purchased FOB; shipping and delivery charges are included.  Vendor must understand this policy and reflect this in pricing. 

               

Enter budget line and amounts to be charged either for appropriated or non-appropriated funds.  At least one account number needs to be specified per item.  Additional accounts can be specified to distribute the cost of item.  For example, if you wanted to split the cost of an item between two trust funds, you would enter each account number and its corresponding amount.  If you need to distribute to more than three accounts for an item, continue down the account number and account columns leaving the other areas to the left blank.  For manageability, no more than five (5) line items may be entered on a single requisition. 

 

                Enter comments which will appear on Purchase Order as additional information for the vendor.  The following must be included when applicable.  MHEC, State or COWC vendor cost of delivery not included

 

                Contact Procurement for emergency purchase orders and be prepared to address the validity of the urgency.  The request is handled the same as completed requisitions: they are reviewed by the Procurement Office staff in the Procurement Office; verifying the accuracy of the object code used, signature of authorized department head, availability of funds in all accounts being charged and completeness of vendor information. 

               

 

12.5        VENDOR FILE

 

                In order to process a requisition/purchase order or payment, a vendor must be in active status in the Colleague database.  Prior to any additions to the database, the Procurement Office staff require a completed W-9 from the vendor; a determination is made from this documentation for tax reporting purposes. The Federal tax ID number is required for all vendors and Government types while a Social Security Number is required for a 1099 or miscellaneous vendor.

 

                The Procurement Department is responsible for maintaining the vendor file.  The system automatically assigns a seven digit vendor number for all new vendors.  This number then uniquely represents that vendor for all areas within the University’s computer system.

 

When creating a vendor in MMARS the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth prevail.  See http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=oscsubtopic&L=5&L0=Home&L1=Guidance+for+Agencies&L2=How-To&L3=Document+Profiles&L4=Vendor-Customer&sid=Aosc.

 

ARRA specific vendors’ W-9s must include, and be reviewed for, the DUNS number, and the four (4) digit extension to zip codes. 

 

 

12.6        PURCHASE ORDER PROCESSING

 

                A properly completed requisition is the initial step prior to a Purchase Order issuance.  Depending on the type of purchase being provided, i.e., repetitive purchases during the fiscal year verses one-time items, the Procurement Department staff decides whether to process as a regular Purchase Order (PO) or as a Blanket Purchase Order (BPO).

 

                There are two types of encumbrances: the purchase order or the blanket purchase order.   The difference between the two types is that multiple payments can be process against Blanket Purchase Orders.  Only one payment can be processed against a regular Purchase Order (PO).

 

                The Procurement Department processes the Purchase Orders utilizing Colleagues’ Procurement module. The system sequentially numbers the Purchase Orders.  The Blanket Purchase Orders utilize the same format but begin with B.  Following the fiscal year is five sequential numbers.  Therefore, the first Purchase Order for F/Y96 is numbered P9600001.  The first Blanket Purchase Order is B9600001.

 

12.7        Change Orders and Cancellations

 

                Changes to Trust Fund Purchase Orders to increase, decrease, correct, or cancel are prepared by the Procurement department upon receipt of a written request from the originating department.

 

a.       Price increases require review by the Procurement Department for funding availability and appropriateness.  Significant increases may require additional review and/or approval at the departmental and/or vice presidential levels.

 

b.       Only Procurement makes a modification to the COLLEAGUE encumbrance.

 

Insert workflow from identified need to a public bid process to purchase order.

 


 

12.8        BID PROCESSING

 

12.8.1     Purpose

 

                The purpose of this operation is to properly purchase all items exceeding $5,000 through a competitive bid process and funded via appropriated and non-appropriated funds.

 

Regards to ARRA funding, built into the specs will be the following mandated forms:  Contract Attachment, Notice of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, W-9 which must include DUNS number and the four digit zip code extension, Know Your Rights under the Recovery Act and How to Post Recovery Jobs. The Davis Bacon Act will also be included along with the Prevailing Wage Rates for a particular trade(s).

 

 

12.8.2       Request for Responses (RFR)

 

An RFR shall be used to solicit and select responses from qualified bidders under a competitive procurement. The goal of all RFR’s shall be to obtain the best value of commodities and/or services for the University. An RFR may include attributes of any of the methods of competitive procurement formerly referred to as a request for proposals, request for response, qualifications, or quotes, invitation for bids or good Procurement practices.

 

The Procuring Department shall draft an RFR, which it deems appropriate, efficient and cost effective for the type of procurement required, in accordance with applicable policies and procedures of the University. These policies and procedures may include total contract value thresholds, minimum procurement requirements and legal or regulatory restrictions, including limitations on the Procurement of certain types of restricted commodities or services or from certain restricted bidders, and requirements and allowable preferences for Procurement of certain types of commodities and services.

 

An RFR shall include the acquisition method to be used; whether single or multiple Contractors are sought; whether additional Departments will have access to the procurement as outlined in this section of this policy; the anticipated duration of the Contract including anticipated renewal options; the available funding or anticipated compensation for the Contract, if relevant; detailed specifications or the anticipated goals or outcomes to be accomplished by the Procurement; instructions for submission of responses; and a deadline date for submission of responses.

 

RFR's may be used to establish criteria, which prospective bidders must satisfy in order to be placed on a list of qualified contractors. These criteria may include, but are not limited to, technical expertise, experience, quality of performance, location, availability of commodities and services, rates, prices, catalogs of commodities and/or services or other criteria relevant to a particular Procurement.

 

Any Response to an RFR submitted by a bidder shall be considered a firm offer and shall remain effective unconditionally for a minimum of 45 days unless a longer period is specified in an RFR, or unless extended by the University upon prior notice to bidders.

 

1. Identification of Bidders or Public Notice: The University shall be responsible for identifying bidders capable and willing to provide the University with the best value of commodities and/or services. WSC shall identify potential bidders through public notice, newspaper or electronic advertisements or other methods or as required by law. For large procurements, the posting of such notice(s) or advertisement(s) shall be not less than two weeks prior to the time specified for the receipt of responses. To solicit responses to an RFR, WSC may, at its discretion, utilize the Commonwealth Procurement Access and Solicitation System (COMM-PASS).

 

2. Procurement Amendments: WSC may, at any time prior to the execution of a contract, and without penalty, amend procurement or change the procurement requirements, scope, and budget or procurement schedule upon written notice to Bidders. If an amendment is made after the deadline for submission of responses and before the response evaluation period has started, WSC shall provide notice in the same manner as stated above and allow a reasonable time for the acceptance of amended or new responses from the bidders who submitted responses and any new responses from other bidders.

 

3. Procurement Cancellation: WSC may for any reason, and at any time prior to the execution of a contract, and without penalty, notify bidders of a cancellation of procurement and the rejection of all responses.

 

4. Corrections or Clarifications to a Submitted Response: WSC shall determine whether to allow a correction of minor informalities in a Response. Minor informalities are matters of form rather than substance and include clerical errors or minimal or insignificant mistakes that can be corrected without prejudice to other bidders. WSC may, upon written request of a bidder, allow a correction of a minor informality in a response, which is clearly evident, such as a typographical error, transposition error or arithmetical error where the correct answer is obvious, or if the University discovers the mistake, WSC may note the correction on the response. If WSC requires a clarification of any particular section of a response; the University must provide all bidders that submitted responses with the same notice and opportunity for clarification of the identified section in the response. Clarifications are explanations of what is stated in a response and may not be used as an opportunity to submit supplemental information or a change to a Response, unless the University specifically requests these submissions or changes as part of the clarification of all responses. No correction or clarification of response prices, terms and conditions or the submission of supplemental information prejudicial to the interests of other bidders or to fair competition shall be permitted.

 

5. References: The University shall have the right to request references at any time during the Procurement process and at any time during the period of contract performance. WSC may verify any references included in a bidder's response and conduct any other reference or credit checks, as the University deems appropriate. The University may consider any written references, including documentation of performance records of a bidder on file at the University or solicited from any other Department or entity, documentation of reference checks or other documentation solicited by or submitted to the University during the procurement process.

 

6. Disqualification: WSC shall disqualify any response that the University determines to be unresponsive, including, but not limited to:

 

a.       Responses which are received after the deadline for submission specified in an RFR:

 

b.       Responses that fail to meet, address or comply with material requirements in an RFR, including instructions for submission, content or format;

 

c.        Responses which indicate collusion or unfair trade practices by one or more bidders agreeing to act in a manner intended to avoid or frustrate any of the provisions of this policy or any other law or regulation; or,

 

d.       Responses submitted by a bidder, or which identify a subcontractor, currently subject to any State or federal debarment order or determination. If the identified subcontractor is replaceable without a material effect on the bidder's response, the bidder may be given the opportunity to select another subcontractor prior to execution of the contract.

 

7. Evaluation of Responses and Selection of Bidder(s): The University shall have the authority to evaluate responses and select a bidder(s) that it determines has offered the best value response to the goals and performance requirements outlined in the RFR.               

 

8. Notification of Selected Bidders: The University shall determine the timing and method of notifying bidders of the bidder(s) selected for contract negotiation or the contractor(s) that has executed a contract. Notice may be limited to those bidders who submitted responses to an RFR.        .

 

9. Press Conferences or News Release Restrictions: No bidder shall make any press conference, news releases or announcements concerning its selection or non-selection for a Contract prior to the University public release of said information or prior to the written approval of the University.

 

10.    Debriefing: An RFR may contain the opportunity for non-successful bidders to request a debriefing to be conducted after contract execution with selected bidder(s). Debriefings are designed to identify the weak areas of a bidder's response and suggest improvements for future procurements. Comparisons with other responses will not be made during a debriefing. If an RFR is silent as to an opportunity for a debriefing, the University shall have the option to grant or deny a debriefing and may limit the number of debriefings granted.

 

11.    Dispute Resolution Procedures for Human and Social Service Procurements: OSD may issue policies and procedures for conducting debriefings and appeals for Human and Social Service Procurements.

 

12.8.3       Procedures for Awarding a Bid

 

1.       References are checked on the lowest responsible vendor prior to an award.  The process includes references provided by the bidder, the Better Procurement Bureau, state debarred vendor list, and the federal excluded parties list.

 

2.       A recommendation is presented along with the letter of intent for the awarding of the contract to the VP of Administration and Finance.  If the recommendation is approved, the letter of intent is signed and returned to the evaluation team.

 

3.       Required contract documents and the letter of intent are then forwarded to the vendor, who has anywhere between 5-10 days, pursuant to M.G.L, to return the fully executed contract documents as well as  payment and performance bonds, certificate of liability, etc..

 

4.       Upon return from the awarded bidder, the executed contract documents are forward to the VP of Administration and Finance for signature.  It is requested that the requisition process begin in Colleague.

 

5.       A copy of the fully executed agreement is then sent to the awarded vendor and the requesting department.

 

12.9        STATE-APPROPRIATED PURCHASES

 

                The encumbrance of State-appropriated funds will only begin when an identified department in control of State funds acknowledges a need to procure.  Upon approval of the budget manager and final review by the Procurement Office, the encumbrance in the MMARS systems begins.  All actions taken in MMARS are per the standards and guidelines issued by the Office of the Comptroller. Most frequently used MMARS documents processed by Worcester State University follows:

 

.

General Accounting Encumbrance (GAE)-

 

The GAE form is used as an encumbrance for goods that do not require a procurement and /or contract.  An open order GAE is processed up to an amount not to exceed the approved budget line.  Individual purchase orders are prepared through the previously described requisition process and are generated with the Colleague system. 

 

Contract Encumbrance (CT)

 

The CT form is issued to encumber funds for Construction, Lease, and Service Contracts. The vendor is required to sign the Commonwealth required Contract, i.e. Standard Vertical Construction, Standard Contract etc.  They are to be completed and signed by the vendor and the authorized University official must sign. The contract documents are signed by the Vice President of Finance. 

 

The Procurement Department reviews for clarity, accuracy, completeness, proper authorization, and fund availability.  Any necessary clarification is obtained from the originating department or the vendor. b. The invoice is then forwarded to Accounts Payable; the invoice is signed by the Director of Procurement/Procurement Manager or the Comptroller.  The Contract for Services is signed by the Vice President of Finance.  The document is then entered into MMARS.

 

The CT form is copied and the original CT form and the original of the Contract for Services or Bid Document, is filed in the Procurement Office.  The document number is referenced in the award notice, and a copy of the Contract for Services, or an original of a Counteraction Contract is forwarded to the vendor at this time.

 

Commodity Purchase Order (PC)

 

The Commodity Purchase Order (PO) form is used to encumber funds for all goods.  The PC form is processed through the MMARS system in accordance with the same procedures as the CT form (See Section 3). 

 

 Recurring Purchase Order (RPO)

 

The Recurring Purchase Order (RPO) form is used to encumbrance for ready and recurring payment contracts.  The RPO is processed through the MMARS system in accordance with the same procedures as the CT form (See Section 3).

 

Changes to CT,PO,RPO

 

Changes to MMARS documents must be initiated through the same approvals as the original documents.  All changes to increase, decrease, cancel, or otherwise correct documents are sent to the Procurement Department where they are reviewed and forwarded to Accounts Payable.

 

When the requisition form authorizing the change is received in Procurement, the appropriated MMARS document is prepared and processed in accordance with the same procedures as original documents, except the ACTION field on the MMARS form is coded “E” to edit.

 

12.10     VENDOR MAINTENANCE

 

                         If there is no vendor code on the MMARS system for the vendor, the Procurement Office will ensure the necessary OTC protocol is followed to add the vendor to the State system.

 

                The VCC Document in MMARS stands for Vendor Customer Create.  Vendors and Customers are all located in one table (VCUST), and are entered into the system using the same document, the VCC.  This Document records the addition of a Vendor to the Commonwealth database of Vendors.  A Vendor is an entity from which goods or services have been purchased.

 

When creating a vendor in MMARS the rules and regulations of the Commonwealth prevail.  See http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=oscsubtopic&L=5&L0=Home&L1=Guidance+for+Agencies&L2=How-To&L3=Document+Profiles&L4=Vendor-Customer&sid=Aosc.

 

ARRA specific vendors’ W-9s must include, and be reviewed for, the DUNS number, and the four (4) digit extension to zip codes. 

 

 

12.11      MMARS Document Distribution and Filing

 

MMARS encumbrance documents are filed in the A/P office for seven (7) years. 

Last modified at 11/24/2010 3:00 PM  by Polakowski, Renee