ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY TYPE: FISCAL MANAGEMENT
POLICY TITLE: Procurement
This policy provides direction for the purchasing of needed materials and services while ensuring open and free competition and compliance with all relevant laws, statutes, and regulations.
- Approving Authority—The District employee who has authority to sign purchase agreements and obligate the District.
- Bid Waiver—Allowable exceptions to normal procurement procedure.
- Invitation for Bid (IFB)—Sealed bid procurement process used when price is the sole criterion that will determine which vendor is selected. IFB’s are administered in the Purchasing Office.
- Procurement—Buying, purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring any supplies, services, equipment or construction.
- Public construction—All labor and materials used in the framing or assembling of component parts in the erection, installation, enlargement, alteration, repair, conversion, razing, demolition, or removal of any fixed equipment, building, or facility.
- Request for Proposal (RFP)—Sealed proposal procurement process used when criteria in addition to price are considered in determining which vendor is selected. All evaluating criteria must be clearly disclosed in the solicitation. RFP’s are administered in the Purchasing Office.
- Every procurement transaction must be formally processed and approved by the proper approving authority. All purchases require a requisition and purchase order to be approved and issued before the purchase is initiated, except for procurement card purchases.
- When all other factors are equal, the District will patronize local businesses.
- Procurement contracts may be awarded for periods of up to five years, with the option of additional consecutive one-year extensions up to a maximum total contract length (including extensions) of seven years. Exceptions include audit services (contracts limited to five years total), ERP systems (contracts limited to ten years total), and legal services (annual engagement letter).
- The Financial Operations Manager and Executive Team are responsible for administering the District’s procurement policy.
- Signed contracts will be maintained by the Financial Operations Manager.
Approving authority is based on the total estimated amount of the purchase over the life of the contract. Authority to sign a contract and/or obligate the District is outlined below:
|Type of Purchase
||Over $2,000 but under $10,000
||Budget Manager or Financial Operations Manager
||Greater than or equal to $10,000
||Executive Team Member or Financial Operations Manager
||Manager of Facilities & Operations, Vice President Administrative Services, or Financial Operations Manager
||Greater than or equal to $25,000
||District Board Chairperson and Secretary
|Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) involving potential purchasing obligations
||President or Executive Team Member
|Property Rental and Leases that require WTCS State Board approval
All purchasing contracts in excess of $50,000 shall contain:
Code of Conduct
- Provisions for termination by the District
- Conditions under which the contract may be terminated for default
- Conditions under which the contract may be terminated for circumstances beyond the control of the contractor
- Provisions for administrative, contractual, or legal remedies when contractors violate or breach contract terms
- A provision requiring compliance with Executive Order 11246, entitled “Equal Employment Opportunity” as amended by Executive Order 11375, and as supplemented in Department of Labor regulations (41 CFR Part 60). For public construction contracts, the threshold for compliance with this provision is $10,000.
Employees must adhere to administrative policy IV.C. Code of Ethics/Conflicts of Interest. In addition, employees are prohibited from splitting large purchases into smaller purchases in order to bypass procurement rules.
Procurements Less than $25,000
Procurements less than $25,000 do not require a competitive process. However, an effort should always be made to obtain the best possible price by seeking quotes from more than one vendor. Purchases must be made via a purchasing card (subject to purchasing card guidelines) or by creating a requisition.
A competitive selection process may still be required in cases where multiple small procurements with a single vendor total more than $50,000 over the course of the year. See Annual Review of Procurements section for more information.
Procurements of $25,000 to $50,000 (Non-Construction)
Except as provided in the Bid Waiver section, procurements where the total cost is at least $25,000 but does not exceed $50,000 shall be based on written quotations from a minimum of three vendors. Solicitation of quotations shall be done in a manner to maximize competition.
Procurements Greater than $50,000 (Non-Construction)
Except as provided in the Bid Waiver section, procurements greater than $50,000 require a sealed bid process, via either IFB or RFP. All sealed bids must be administered through the Purchasing office. The Financial Operations Manager and the College’s Executive Team are responsible for ensuring that the bid process complies with all applicable laws and regulations, including the requirements of the WTCS Financial Accounting Manual (FAM).
All IFB’s and RFP’s shall include a clear and accurate description of the item or service being procured. This description shall not contain features which unduly restrict competition. Solicitations or offers shall include all requirements which suppliers must fulfill and all other factors to be used in evaluating bids or proposals.
Procurements Greater than $25,000 (Construction)
Public construction procurements greater than $25,000 require a sealed bid process via an IFB. All sealed bids must be administered through the Purchasing office. The Financial Operations Manager and the College’s Executive Team are responsible for ensuring that the bid process complies with all applicable laws and regulations, including the requirements of the WTCS Financial Accounting Manual (FAM).
All IFB’s shall include a clear and accurate description of the item or service being procured. This description shall not contain features which unduly restrict competition. Solicitations or offers shall include all requirements which suppliers must fulfill.
Brand Name Specific
Specifications for bids or quotes should not be brand name specific, except under the following circumstances.
Instructional equipment: Letters from key employers or advisory committee minutes specify that they need their employees trained on a specific brand of equipment.
Non-instructional equipment: The equipment interfaces with existing District equipment and the function of the existing equipment will be impaired if a different brand is used OR the equipment is incorporated into a piece of existing District equipment that will not function using another brand OR existing District equipment includes a warranty that will be voided if component units are combined/replaced with another brand OR the federal or other granting agency authorizes or requires the use of a specific brand.
The following are allowable exceptions to the bid/quote requirements listed above:
Procurements made via bid waiver must still follow all purchasing authorization guidelines listed above.
Cooperative purchasing: Purchases from state and government contracts and other contracts approved by the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) provided the vendor was selected through a competitive process by the contracting agency.
- Used equipment
- Resale items: Items purchased with the intent of reselling to students and/or staff.
- Emergency procurement: Procurement necessitated by a threat to the continued operation of the District or to the health, safety, or welfare of students, staff, or guests.
- Outside legal counsel: While competitive bidding is not required, an annual letter of engagement is required.
- Sole source: The item is only available from a single source (e.g., utilities).
Federally Funded or Grant Funded Procurement
All federally funded or grant funded procurements shall be made in accordance with the appropriate regulations or grant requirements. These procurements must still follow all purchasing authorization guidelines listed above. In cases where the policies conflict, the more restrictive must be used unless prior approval is received from the relevant granting agency.
By law, the Purchasing Office will keep the following records for purchases over $25,000 for a minimum of seven years:
In addition, for all IFB’s and RFP’s, the Purchasing Office will maintain the following records for a minimum of seven years:
The rationale for the method of procurement
- The rationale for selection or rejection of any contractor or proposed contractor
- The basis for cost or price.
Annual Review of Procurements
Proof of bid/RFP advertisement
- Bid/RFP document, including specifications and any amendments
- List of vendors who received the bid/RFP
- Vendor bids/proposals, including date and time received
- Completed bid tabulation or evaluation summary
- Rationale for vendor selection
- All other significant correspondence or documentation
Administrative Rule TCS 6.05(2) (h) requires an annual report to the District Board by October 31st of each year that aggregates multiple purchases of similar goods and services. Where total purchases for any vendor exceed $50,000 in a fiscal year, further analysis is conducted to determine if these purchases were made under an existing bid, quote or other contract with the respective vendor. The Financial Operations Manager is responsible for evaluating these situations to determine if a more competitive procurement process should be used in the future with respect to purchases of similar goods, supplies and services.