business policies

Guidelines for Purchasing Activities

Guidelines for Purchasing Activities

I. Organization, Objectives, and Responsibility

  1. Structure

    The Executive Vice President for Business is assigned the overall responsibility for the purchasing practices of the College District. The Purchasing Administrator shall be specifically responsible for the implementation of College guidelines relating to the purchasing function.

  2. Objectives

    The Purchasing Department shall seek to accomplish the following objectives:

    1. To serve the needs of educational programs and services for supplies, equipment, furnishing, and related needs in a manner consistent with the requirements of prudent judgment and sound financial trusteeship.
    2. To achieve the best value in all purchases, balancing the advantages in quality, durability, and appearance as they relate to the educational program and other non-price considerations against price so as to obtain the maximum combined advantage of all.
    3. To foster good College-vendor relations.
    4. To achieve efficient and effective management of purchasing affairs, seeking to minimize cost of purchasing operations.
    5. To solicit a reasonable number of bids or price quotations on all purchases.
    6. To afford an opportunity for responsible vendors to bid or submit price quotations on all purchases (especially when they have requested such opportunity).
    7. To maintain a reasonable inventory of frequently used items.
    8. To maintain a supply of spare and replacement parts consistent with College requirements, vendor supplies, price-quality relationships, and other factors.
    9. To foster sound property management practices throughout the system.
    10. To foster a reputation of complete honesty and reliability in the conduct of all purchasing services.

II. Quantity Estimates and Purchase Limitations

  1. Purchasing Guidelines
    1. The Purchasing Administrator, upon approval of the Executive Director of Financial Services and/or the Executive Vice President for Business, shall have authority to negotiate all purchases and award contracts and leases, except as otherwise provided.
    2. Whenever practical, all purchases of supplies and equipment shall be made on the basis of competitive pricing to appropriate specifications. All bids and specifications shall be available for inspection by the parties involved.
    3. All expenditures shall be restricted to the sums allocated in the budget and to the purpose prescribed therein, except upon authorization to meet emergencies. In no event will the budget be exceeded without prior approval of the Executive Vice President for Business or their designee.
    4. The purchase of any item or group of related items with a cost of $53,000 or more shall require sealed bids, wherever possible, initiated by the Purchasing Department from at least three qualified vendors. Bids will be opened in a public forum. Upon authorization by the Board of Trustees an award may be made.
    5. The purchase of items set forth in 4 above may be authorized by the Executive Vice President for Business provided such action is based strictly on price, supply, or lead-time considerations. When such approval is given, notification will be made to the Board of Trustees at the next regular meeting.
    6. The limitations and process of 4 above shall not be applied to the purchase of textbooks, programmed materials, contracted instructional services, single-source instructional items, or artistic contract for performances negotiated by the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts.
  2. Cooperative Purchasing

    Cooperative purchasing with other school districts or governmental agencies may be practiced whenever such practice is economical and/or desirable. Where bids and quotations have been secured under cooperative purchasing arrangements, bid and quotation requirements herein will be waived.

III. Competitive Bids

  1. General Practices
    1. Bids shall be solicited from sources believed able to offer the best prices, namely; the manufacturer, jobber, wholesaler, and retailer in the order named. Direct purchases may only be made in the case of single-source items.
    2. In the case of sealed bids, such bids shall be date and time stamped when received, stored in a designated file, and opened publicly at the time specified.

IV. Awarding Bids

  1. General Practices
    1. The advice and assistance of the requesting department shall be considered in making selection of services, supplies and equipment.
    2. The College will select the vendor(s) which it believes offers a proposal which offers acceptable quality and service and is in the best interest of the institution.
    3. Whenever the lowest bidder does not receive the award, specific reasons for this decision shall be made a matter of record.

V. Vendors

    1. Reference Files
      1. An up-to-date bidder reference file will be maintained. All pertinent information regarding the vendor such as name, address, city, state, telephone number, representative's name, discounts offered, terms, and f.o.b. point shall be recorded.
    2. Performance

      Important information concerning vendor performance and condition shall be accumulated and evaluated periodically to determine the following:

      1. Whether or not the vendor meets delivery dates;
      2. Quality of products;
      3. Vendor's policies and practices regarding making adjustments on defective merchandise; and
      4. Vendor's financial condition and apparent ability to perform.
    3. Surplus Materials
      1. Disposal of vehicles and other equipment shall be handled in the following manner;
        1. As a trade-in to the successful bidder who has incorporated such trade-in to arrive at the net price.
        2. As a direct sale to the highest bidder which equals or exceeds an acceptable resale value as determined by the purchasing administrator.

VI. Conflict of Interest/Disclosure

No company or corporation in which an employee of the College has a direct or indirect interest shall transact business with the College unless such interest is disclosed to the Purchasing Department prior to entering into any contract or agreement with the College. Further, the employee shall not take any part in the negotiations for or approval of such a contract or agreement.

VII. Exception to Guidelines

Any deviation or exception to the guidelines set forth herein will require the approval of the Executive Vice President for Business and the President. Reasons for such variations will be set forth in writing and will be kept on file in the Purchasing Department.
The dollar limitation of this policy shall be adjusted annually using the United States Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers. The change from year to year will be measured by the change in annual average as reported by the State Treasurer.

Approved by the Board of Trustees
Macomb Community College
December 15, 1992
Updated pursuant to Board authorization (1/24)