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Purchasing Tools:

  • Request for Proposal (minimum of three bids required)
  • Purchase Requisition
  • Purchase Order (PO)
  • Contract

Purchasing Authority (See Purchasing Authority Thresholds)


A bid is a vendor's formal statement in response to a formal document outlining, in exact specifications, that they will supply the specified good or service at a specified rate. This is a commitment in writing from a vendor.

Request for Proposal

Purchases for goods or services greater than $25,000 may require a request for proposal. This requires departments to create a Request for Proposal document detailing the goods and services they desire to purchase, as well as any other necessary qualifying characteristics (time frame for delivery, evaluation criteria, deadlines, etc.)

Request for Proposal Process

  1. Department identifies required specifications for goods or services, as well as any other qualifying characteristics.
  2. Department identifies evaluation criteria for vendor selection.
  3. Department creates the Request for Proposal, including the first two items above with the assistance of the appropriate department (Facilities Procurement, CIS or Accounts Payable.)
  4. Department identifies vendors and sends out the Request for Proposal with a copy to the Accounts Payable department.
  5. Vendors submit responses to Request for Proposal and department selects vendor.
  6. Department initiates a purchase requisition or contract (see Contracts section)

Capital Furnishings and Fixtures and Facility-Related Contracts

All purchases related to facility contracts and fixtures or furnishings must be processed through the associate director of project design (Facilities.) This area is responsible for maintaining facility standards, as well as assisting with any related Requests for Proposal. The individiual department will identify required specifications and work with the associate director or project design (Facilities) to develop the Request for Proposal and identify appropriate vendors for response.

Telecommunications, Computer Equipment and Software

Computer and Information Systems (CIS) is responsible for telecommunication, computing, audio, and video standards across campus, as well as assisting with any related Requests for Proposals. The individual department will identify required specifications and work with CIS to develop the Request for Proposal and identify appropriate vendors for response.

Note: The Accounts Payable department will assist with all other Requests for Proposal for purchases not specifically identified above.


Once a vendor is selected, the conclusion of the process may require a formal contract. Reach out to the Office of Business and Finance who can assist in any contract development. Requests for Proposal for services typically require a contract, while capital purchases typically only require a purchase order. The final contract will then be signed by the department manager responsible for contract administration in line with Purchasing Authorities. 

Purchase Requisition / Purchase Order 

  1. Department identifies required specifications and selects appropriate vendor to provide goods or service.
  2. Department completes purchase requisition for purchase of goods/services and forwards it to the Accounts Payable department. 
  3. Accounts Payable department verifies budget and Purchasing Authority and prepares the Purchase Order. Copies of the purchase order are forwarded to originating department and vendor. Funds are encumbered for the amount of the purchase order.
  4. Vendor ships goods or provides services to department.
  5. Vendor forwards invoice to the Accounts Payable for processing.
  6. Accounts Payable checks the invoice and forwards to originating department for payment approval via JIRA.
  7. Department completes payment portion of purchase order to confirm goods and/or services have been received and returns to Accounts Payable via JIRA.
  8. Accounts Payable issues payment to vendor.
  9. Typical turnaround time for a purchase requisition into a purchase order is 24 hours, provided the above criteria (appropriate Purchasing Authority and budget verification) are met.

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