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Procurement and Contract Services General Guidelines
- Basic Procurement Policies
- Blanket Orders
- Change Orders
- Code of Ethics
- Emergency Orders
- ICSUAM (Integrated CSU Administrative Manual)
- Public Works
- Request for Proposal
- Rush Orders
Committed to the continued growth and development of California State University, Bakersfield and in support of the University's academic goals, the mission of Procurement and Contract Services is to procure quality, cost-effective goods and services for the campus community through dedicated, ethical, customer-oriented service. Specifically, we:
- Award purchase orders to vendors in accordance with University, CSU, and State requirements.
- Provide information about leases and establish leases and coordinate financing
- Prepare Requests for Information (RFIs), Requests for Quotes (RFQs),
Invitation for Bids (IFBs), and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that
are sent to various vendors and/or contractors.
- Take action to ensure equal opportunity in University business contracting.
- Review campus-wide needs and award agreements.
- Search out new products on request.
- Arrange for demonstrations of products.
- Maintain purchasing and contracting records and handle CSU and State
- Support CSUB’s recycling and waste reduction programs.
- Support CSUB’s DVBE and Small Business development program.
Basic Procurement Policies
Our purchasing authority is contingent upon strict adherence to various state, CSU, and campus procurement regulations. The procurement policies we follow ensure our compliance to these regulations and that the University is receiving the best procurement value for its money. There are only seven basic policies from which all the procurement regulations flow. It is important that you understand and comply with these policies when obtaining products and services for your department. These policies apply to all funds administered through the University’s Fiscal Services Department, regardless of source. The seven basic policies are:
- Authority to Contract:
You must have specific authority to obligate the University to pay for goods and services. Campus departments have been delegated the authority to purchase only those products and services that qualify for the Procurement Card, or Direct Payment process. All other purchases must be made by Procurement and Contract Services Department.
Please do not sign any contracts or agreements with a vendor. Instead, send it to Procurement and Contract Services for review. Buyers are familiar with state laws governing the CSU system's authority. Also, buyers may be able to negotiate a better contract for you.
Requisitions submitted to Purchasing after the order has been placed with the vendor or after the University has received the products or services are called Confirming Orders. Confirming orders are not allowed. There are several potential problems associated with confirming orders; such as the receipt of duplicate shipments, violations of legal requirements, the issuance of redundant payments, missed discounts, delays in settlements, lost items, and unidentified invoices. Any faculty or staff member who buys products or services without following the proper process assumes the possibility of personal liability for payment.
- Open Process:
As a public institution, the University's purchases are open to public inspection and oversight. Formal sealed bids are opened publicly and the amount of each bid is announced and recorded. Formal sealed proposals are also announced publicly, with only the names of the proposers announced and recorded. Completed solicitations are public records and available for inspection by the public.
- Selection of Vendors:
The University purchases from the lowest cost vendor who can meet our requirements. Vendors are selected by the informal bid, formal bid, or formal proposal process. There are two exceptions: Sole Brand and Sole Source purchases.
Sole Brand items have unique performance features not found in other items, but are available on the open market from multiple sources. Sole Source items have unique performance features not found in other items and are available only from a single manufacturer or from a dealer with exclusive distribution rights. If you think your web requisition order may qualify, please complete either a Sole Brand Justification Form or a Sole Source Justification Form: http://www.csub.edu/BAS/fiscal/solesource.html
- Vendor Outreach Programs:
The University seeks to do business with small businesses and disabled veteran businesses. We do this by setting annual purchasing goals; instituting changes to purchasing procedures that will enhance the program; and documenting, tracking, and reporting our success to the CSU Chancellor's Office and the State Department of General Services.
The State requires that the University purchase on a public competitive bid basis and award orders to the lowest responsible bidder meeting specifications. Best value is assured when the University obtains products and/or services of the highest quality required at the lowest possible price.
- Purchase Transactions below $50,000: Competition is sought when the
buyer determines that competition is desirable to acquire the best price
and/or delivery, develop a source, confirm prices, or other compelling business
reasons. It is our standard business practice to confirm that reasonable
prices have been quoted before making a commitment. Typically, buyers will
obtain quotes for orders above $5,000.
- Purchase Transactions Above $50,000: Competition is
sought through the formal bid process with awards being made to the lowest
responsible bidder meeting specifications through Invitation for
Bids, and the highest ranked vendor on our Requests for Proposals. Awards
shall be determined on the basis of one of two methods: (1) cost alone or
(2) on a cost per quality point basis.
- Product or Service as Unique or Proprietary, Single or Sole Source: The requirement for competitive bidding of products and services in excess of $50,000 shall not apply when a Sole Source Justification that meets strict State and CSU criteria has been approved by the Director of Procurement and Contract Services. The criteria for sole source requires that a product or service have the characteristics and functions of which are such that only a single product or service will properly satisfy the University's needs and all other products or services will be unacceptable for such needs.
Certain commodities are standardized to take advantage of quantity discounts, avoid numerous small orders, and comply with state legislation. All office supplies should be ordered from OfficeMax to take advantage of reduced prices negotiated by a CSU Master Enabling Agreement. Also, State legislation has mandated that 50% of all purchases by State agencies must meet recycled product guidelines, so recycled products should be ordered whenever possible.
- Conflict of Interest:
University employees may not personally benefit from their official positions or decisions. Any University employee who has, or whose relative has, a substantial interest in providing a product or service to the University, shall make known that interest and shall refrain from participating in the procurement decision making process.
University employees shall not accept or solicit, directly or indirectly, anything of economic value as a gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, or loan which is or may appear to be designed to influence official conduct in any manner, particularly from a person who is seeking to obtain contractual or other business or financial arrangements with the University (e.g. a vendor, who has interests that might be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duty).
Blanket Orders are primary source agreements designed to accommodate campus needs on an on-going basis for a specified period of time. They usually specify a category of products and/or services that can be purchased, a maximum dollar amount, and a time period based on the fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th). If you expect to need products and/or services from the same vendor more than once or twice during the fiscal year and your order qualifies, please submit a requisition for a blanket purchase order. Using only one purchase order for the entire year is the most efficient way to pay for multiple purchases. Blanket Purchase Orders for commodities cannot be over $50,000 and you should check with Procurement staff before requesting any service type Blanket Purchase Orders.
Change orders are official changes made to a purchase order. Most change orders are done to increase or decrease the dollar amount on a blanket order; change the unit price, quantity, or description on an order; add a new item; or cancel a line item, purchase order or requisition entirely. If you need to change anything on a purchase order, please send an email to procurement requesting the change.
Code of Ethics
Any CSUB staff member that is delegated responsibility for a purchasing function at the University must abide by the following Code of Ethics:
- Shall conduct business in good faith: demanding honesty and following
all legal and ethical practices in the purchasing process.
- Strive to obtain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure.
- Foster an open environment by being fair and reasonable in all dealings.
- Promote positive supplier/contractor relationships according all
competitive suppliers courteous, fair and ethical treatment and by granting
them equal consideration insofar as state, federal, and CSU regulations require.
- Make reasonable efforts to negotiate equitable and mutually agreeable
settlements of controversies with a supplier(s).
- At no time and under no circumstances accept directly or indirectly
gifts, gratuities or other things of value that might influence, or appear
to influence, purchasing decisions.
- Avoid involvement in any transactions/activity that could be considered
to be a conflict between personal interests and the interests of the CSU.
- Know and obey the letter and spirit of laws governing the purchasing
function and remain alert to the legal ramifications of purchasing decisions.
Emergency orders are authorized only in the event of life, health, or property threatening situations. They must be processed through Procurement and Contract Services during regular working hours. Any emergency commitments made by a department outside of normal campus office hours and the corresponding services rendered or commodities provided by a vendor or contractor must be made known to the Director of Procurement and Contract Services at the earliest opportunity. Such commitments must be for valid emergencies only and must fit the definition described above. Personal liability damages can be sought by the campus or by the State for misrepresentation of an emergency situation.
Insurance is required of any contractor that is providing service to the campus. For example, Xerox, OfficeMax, caterers, and other contractors that will be be working on campus are required to submit proof of insurance before coming on campus. The buyer will work with the vendor to explain the University's insurance requirements.
Integrated CSU Administrative Manual
This manual can be found at
It is intended to serve as a general guideline for campus employees (including Procurement and Contract Services administrators, buyers, and other department personnel) in the conduct of campus business transactions. The CSU and the CSUB campus are committed to maintaining high standards of performance based upon fair, ethical and professional business practices. Such standards have been incorporated into the Manual.
A public works project is defined as the erection, construction, alteration, or improvement of any public structure, building, road, or other public improvements of any kind.
The idea for a public works project is usually conceived by a project applicant or a user group. The concept is proposed & developed, reduced to writing & sketches, and evaluated for feasibility. If the concept appears feasible, it is transmitted to the Facilities Management department for further evaluation. Facilities Management then works with Procurement & Contract Services to determine the proper method of procurement. Public Works projects can never be procured by a department on their own. All Public Works projects either approved, or being evaluated for feasibility, must go through Facilities Management. Also, the requesting department must clearly identify the funding source to be used for any Public Works project and must ensure that adequate funds are available to do the work.
Request for Proposal
When an order must be formally bid, but exact specifications are not available (specifically when ordering services), a Request For Proposal (RFP) is created by a buyer and sent to vendors or contractors instead of a formal bid. The RFP is more flexible than a formal bid because the entire proposal package is reviewed and evaluated for best value rather than just best price.
Even with the best planning, unexpected needs arise. Rush orders are those products or services needed immediately, but are not life, health, or property threatening situations. Lack of planning does not make it a Rush Order. Also, Rush Orders will be handled and evaluated on a case by case basis.
Last modified on: Wed., Jun. 15, 2011 - 09:41:01 AM
Your local time: Sat., May. 25, 2013 - 07:23:53 AM