Methods and Requirements
Procurement Services assists departments in acquiring goods and services:
- That meet user needs.
- At best value.
- With minimal use of University resources.
- Through a process that meets the University's ethical, legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
Methods of Procurement
Items and services obtained from external sources should be procured in an appropriate manner, using either a University Purchasing Card or Purchase Order. Reference the Payment Method for Expenditures – Quick Reference Guide for a summary list of various items/services and the appropriate procurement method to utilize for each.
- Purchasing Card: Cardholders may use a University-issued purchasing card for non-routine, miscellaneous purchases totaling $5,000 or less. All purchases must comply with the University of Missouri Purchasing Card Policy Manual.
- Purchase Order: Purchases that are exempt from the purchasing card or that exceed $5,000 should be requisitioned through Procurement Services. A requisition must be entered and approved in PeopleSoft, and will go through an overnight budget checking process. Requisitions that pass budget checking are received by Procurement Services and processed in an appropriate manner, as detailed in the Procurement Limitations and Requirements section below.
Procurement Limitations and Requirements
The following requirements apply to University purchases, based on the total cost of acquisition:
- Purchases Less Than $5,000: Bids are typically not required. The University purchasing card is the preferred method of procurement/payment, except as limited by the purchasing card policy. Note: Purchasing card limitations include, but are not limited to, all on-site services and any purchase requiring a signed agreement.
- Purchases Between $5,000 & $10,000: Procurement Services will determine whether it is in the best interest of the University to issue a request for bids. If it is determined that no additional savings or benefit would result from a solicitation of bids, a Purchase Order will be issued. A firm quote from the vendor is required prior to issuance of a direct order.
- Purchases in Excess of $10,000: The issuance of a bid or proposal is required unless the item/service is: (1) Already on contract with the University. Note: A listing of current contracts is available on the MU Procurement Services website; or (2) Approved by Procurement Services as a sole source purchase. A sole source purchase requires that the item or service be unique in nature and available only from one specific source, as detailed in the “Sole Source Purchases” information below.
Solicitation of Bids
All official requests for prices in the form of bids or proposals for all materials, services and equipment purchased must be made by Procurement Services, unless otherwise delegated by Procurement Services in writing. Request for Bids are issued based on technical specifications provided by the enduser. Specifications, in general, should be broad enough to foster competition and still meet the needs of the department. Bids are typically issued for a minimum 2-4 week period, unless otherwise approved by Procurement Services. Once a bid has closed, all responses will be summarized and sent to the authorized enduser for review.
It is the responsibility of the enduser to review the bids received in detail before providing an award recommendation to Procurement Services. Award should be made to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder whose bid conforms to the specifications and meets all requirements and criteria set forth in the Request for Bid. The rejection of any low bid based on failure to meet the bid specifications must be clearly documented for review by Procurement Services.
Request for Proposals
Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are used for purchases that are highly technical or more complex in nature, for which various configurations of products or services may be proposed to meet the University’s requirements. RFPs are evaluated based on a combination of cost, mandatory requirements and desirable criteria, as outlined in the specifications. A minimum of 50% of the total points must be based on cost; any exception to this minimum requirement must be approved by the Chief Procurement Officer. The financial evaluation is performed by Procurement Services separate and apart from the enduser evaluation of the mandatory/desirable criteria. The RFP is awarded to the respondent receiving the most overall points.
Sole Source Purchases
Some items/services cannot be competitively purchased due to their sole source nature. In such a case, the unique characteristics of the product or service must be clearly described. In addition, it must be documented that an exhaustive search revealed that no comparable alternatives exist in the marketplace. The related documentation should be provided to Procurement Services on the Sole Source Justification Form. Note: If an item/service is available from the manufacturer and/or multiple distributors, the purchase would not be approved as a sole source.