Policies and Procedures (Policy Series 600)
Organization of Purchasing Department
The Purchasing Department is a part of Procurement Services, a Department of the Business Affairs Division of Yeshiva University, and reports to the Director of Procurement Services of the University. Offices are located in Belfer Hall, Room 1013, on the Wilf Campus.
The Purchasing Department is the only University department which may authorize acquisition of products or services to be paid from University accounts. Persons who make purchases in violation of this policy may be held personally liable for such purchase.
For a complete list of Purchasing staff and please visit http://www.yu.edu/procurement/about/staff/.
Applicability of Policies and Procedures
The Purchasing policies and procedures contained herein apply to all purchases if they are to be the legal and financial obligation of the University. As such, all Sponsored and Non-Sponsored purchases are subject to the policies and procedures contained herein as well as all other policies or requirements set forth by the various applicable sponsors and agencies. The University will not be responsible for obligations incurred unless there is full compliance with this policy.
Purchasing Department Standards and Ethics
The Purchasing Department personnel strive to exercise sound business judgment and maintain the highest ethical standards in the conduct of University business. Relationships with suppliers are intended to support the promotion of environmentally preferred practices, diverse business utilization, and small businesses. In addition, Purchasing Department personnel are expected to:
- Foster fair, ethical, and legal business practices that promote the University's mission
- Grant all competitive offers equal consideration to the extent the established policies of the University permit, and consider each transaction on its own merit
- Cooperate with trade and industrial associations, governmental and private agencies that are engaged in the promotion and development of sound business methods
- Conduct business with potential and current suppliers in an atmosphere of mutual confidence and integrity.
- Demand honesty in sales representation whether offered through verbal or written statements, advertisements, or product samples
- Be prompt and courteous to all legitimate business partners
- Strive to obtain the maximum value for each dollar spent
- Decline personal gifts or gratuities.
Conflicts of Interest
In general, University employees involved in committing any University managed funds should not have a business interest or a family relationship with a supplier of goods or services to the University so as not to impair the integrity and objectivity of the purchase. An apparent conflict of interest or, at a minimum, the appearance of one, may exist if any employee has a direct or indirect financial interest in a vendor company or when there is a family or other personal relationship.
All instances where a conflict of interest appears or is suspected must be brought to the immediate attention of the Director of Procurement Services, who will consult with the Office of the General Counsel as appropriate.
Gifts and Gratuities
University employees are prohibited from purchasing personal items from vendors who transact business with the University unless that vendor has a retail operation normally open to the public or otherwise pursuant to a University employee discount program. In all cases, employees may not use their employment with the University to influence the vendor in any way. If an employee does transact personal business with one of the University's vendors, the employee must exercise caution as to the appropriate invoicing for personal purchases, and all purchases should be billed and shipped to the employee's home address. Regardless of whom the purchase is made from, no personal packages are to be delivered to the University. Salespersons of the vendor normally servicing University accounts should not be involved in any personal transactions between the employee and the vendor.
In addition, employees are not permitted to solicit or receive any gifts or gratuities of any nature that would, or reasonably could, be expected to influence their responsibilities to the University. Thus, all gifts or gratuities of more than de minimis value ($25.00 or less) from companies or individuals doing business or seeking to do business with the University are prohibited. Employees should also refer to the policies of their school, department or unit (or applicable donors, sponsors or contractors) as they may be more restrictive than this University policy.
As part of a greater commitment to sustainability, the University has established the following Environmentally Preferable Procurement (EPP) Policy. The goal of this policy is to make the University and the surrounding community a healthier and more environmentally friendly place.
- The Purchasing Department will make every effort to secure contracts with suppliers that are environmental leaders in their respective markets, whenever practical or feasible.
- The Purchasing Department will purchase products that meet third party approved eco labels when possible and practical (i.e., Green Seal Approved Products, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Products, Rainforest Forest Alliance Products, and Ecologo).
- The Purchasing Department will purchase Energy Star rated Appliances and Fixtures in all areas for which such ratings exist. Please visit https://www.energystar.gov/products for more details.
In addition, the Purchasing Department will take into consideration the following when purchasing goods and services for the University:
- Recyclability of the product
- Minimization of product packaging
- Maximization of energy/water conservation
- Durability as opposed to one time use
- Preference to locally or regionally manufactured products
- Minimization of toxic and hazardous materials (i.e., No Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Mercury free, Urea Formaldehyde free, and low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs))
- Maximization of recycled content
- Lowest life cycle cost and lowest environmental impact
- Reuse of existing products or materials
- Renewability of materials
Vendor Requests: Requisitions submitted by the University generally should include the following statement, or something similar, identifying and/or requesting environmentally preferable alternatives. As needed, requesting departments/units should ask for assistance from the Purchasing Department in identifying green alternatives.
“Yeshiva University is committed to purchasing products that are more environmentally friendly, energy efficient and healthier for our students, faculty and staff. Please, where possible, provide any “greener” product alternatives; preference may be given to products that meet third party green certification(s). A list of certifications can be found at https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/green-business-guide/green-certification-and-ecolabeling
Responsibility of other Departments/Units: To assist the University in its goals for a sustainable future, University departments/units are expected to consider environmentally preferable products such as:
- Recycled-content and chlorine-free paper products
- Energy Star rated appliances and equipment
- Energy efficient lighting and light bulbs
- EPEAT certified green electronic equipment
- Biodegradable-bio based, Green Seal certified cleaning products
- Recycled building materials: recycled concrete, carpeting made from recycled-content materials, etc.
- Low or no VOC paints, adhesives and solvents
- Alternative fuels for use in vehicles such as biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electric, or other alternatives as they become available
It is the policy of Yeshiva University that Small Businesses, Small-Disadvantaged Businesses, Women-Owned Small Businesses , Veteran Owned Small Businesses, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and Small Businesses located in HUBZones (collectively referred to as “Diversity Businesses”) be afforded the maximum practicable opportunity to supply products and services to the University. The University, through Procurement Services and its Purchasing Department, actively encourages participation by Diversity Businesses in its purchasing programs, and in accordance with Federal guidelines, seeks to include Diversity Businesses in the competitive bidding process and use them to the extent possible. The University, through Procurement Services and its Purchasing Department, works to assist Diversity Businesses with the challenges of meeting the University’s business and procurement requirements.
This Policy is designed to reflect the University’s strong commitment to the principles of Executive Order 11246 and Public Law 95-507 and their implementing regulations, and to ensure that the University’s business practices and procedures are in compliance with such principles.
It is the intent of the University that all vendors, regardless of size or classification, have the same and equal opportunity to become suppliers to the University.
In order to minimize the University’s vulnerability to legal claims, unintended program obligations and financial liabilities, all contracts, letters of agreement, leases, real estate and construction documents and service contracts must be reviewed as to form and approved by the Office of the General Counsel before any commitments are undertaken.
After documents are approved by the Office of the General Counsel and execution is authorized, the next step, in many instances, is the preparation and the submission of a purchase order and its budget approval in accordance with the purchasing procedures as outlined in this policy. The written approval of the Office of the General Counsel should be attached to the purchase order.
Procurement Services will be responsible for all negotiations with vendors, ensure appropriate departmental/unit approval (including budget approval) has been given, and obtain the appropriate University authorized signature for any required documents. No other party should attempt to negotiate with the vendor.
The University will not accept any responsibility for financial and legal consequences if the policies and procedures contained herein are not complied with.
Departmental/unit approval is given by the applicable Dean, chairperson, director or administrator based upon prior approved budgets. Principal investigators also are authorized to approve expenditures of their grant funds based upon prior approved budgets. No purchases can be made without prior approval and verification of the availability of funds. the Purchasing Department will only issue an official purchase order when the procurement requisition has been previously approved by an authorized signatory.
All expenses greater than $5,000 require approvals as follows:
$0 - $5,000
$5,001 - $100,000
Department Finance Administrator
$100,001 - $250,000
Director of Budgeting and Mgmt. Reporting
$250,001 - $500,000
University CFO or designee
$500,001 - $1,000,000
University CFO or designee
University CFO and Board
MaccaBuy includes dynamic workflow that moves the requisition through the system, based on roles and security. The Requestor (i.e., the originator of the requisition) should utilize the workflow by not assigning the cart to his/her approver. The Requestor should click "Submit to Workflow". The approver will not be able to process the request if it is not in Workflow.
Make a purchase: A Requisition should be initiated via MaccaBuy and, once approved (via workflow), reaches the Purchasing Department. This authorizes the Purchasing Department to order the materials on behalf of the ordering department/unit.
The Purchasing Department has the exclusive responsibility for approval of all purchase contracts entered into for the University. University personnel must not sign any contract documents unless they are specifically authorized. Purchases charged against University funds that are made contrary to University policies will be the personal responsibility of the individual placing the order.
A confirming order occurs when a department/unit wishes to place an order for a needed item or service without subjecting the purchase to the normal purchasing procedures of the University. Confirming orders are permitted only in a bona fide emergency situation. Examples of bona fide emergencies are a University-owned motor vehicle in need of road repairs, emergency equipment repairs and other situations resulting from unforeseen circumstances. Poor planning and poor management are not acceptable reasons for placing a confirming order. The Director of Procurement Services is responsible for the interpretation of ''emergency situations.'' The nature of the emergency which caused the confirming order should be stated in the notes section and approved by the department/unit head for University purchases (i.e., Dean, chairperson, director or administrator) or the principal investigator for grant purchases.
If a bona fide emergency exists which warrants a confirming order, the following procedure is to be utilized: An emergency purchase order number must be obtained from the Purchasing Department prior to placing the order with the vendor. The Requestor should enter the request electronically, and call the Purchasing Department and give specific information regarding the order (i.e., Req. Number). The Purchasing Department will then complete the order and issue an emergency purchase order number after applicable financial and other approvals have been obtained.
When an emergency purchase order number is requested for repairs or service, the requisition should be submitted by the Requestor after the service is completed and the service report must be forwarded by the Requestor to the Purchasing Department. The Requestor also should instruct the vendor to mail the invoice with the purchase order to the University’s Accounts Payable Office for processing and payment.
Requestors who abuse the confirming order process through excessiveness or lack of follow-up documentation will forfeit the ability to use it.
University policy generally requires that purchases of supplies and materials in excess of $7,500 be obtained by competitive bidding.
- Items from $7,500 up to $20,000: The Purchasing Department will solicit a minimum of three written quotations from reliable vendors. Documentation of the quotes will be noted on the purchase order. Generally, the purchase is made from the vendor quoting the lowest price, whose product and offer complies with the terms and specifications of the solicitation. If the purchase is not made from the bidder quoting the lowest price, a written justification (bid waiver) by the Requestor for bypassing the low bid bypass will be retained by the Purchasing Department.
- Items $20,000 and Over: The Purchasing Department will solicit a minimum of three written competitive bids from reliable vendors. The written quotes will be retained by the Purchasing Department Generally, the purchase is made from the vendor quoting the lowest price, whose product and offer complies with the terms and specifications of the solicitation. If the purchase is not made from the bidder quoting the lowest price, a written justification (bid waiver) by the Requestor for bypassing the low bid will be retained by the Purchasing Department. A bypass of a low bid requires bid waiver approval by the Director of Procurement Services.
Evaluating the Bids
Once the bids are received, the Purchasing Department, in consultation with the Requestor, will evaluate them to determine which vendor will be given the order.
If: (i) the products offered by each of the bidding vendors are of equal quality, (ii) each of the bidding vendor promises the same delivery date and (iii) there are no other considerations, the order would go to the low bidder. However, all of these factors are seldom equal and many orders are, therefore, placed with other than the low bidder for good reasons. No set formula can be devised that can be applied to all products for all orders. The quality and delivery requirements will vary for different products and for different uses. The delivery requirements may vary for different orders as well. For these reasons, the act of selecting the bid which best suits the needs of the University is one that requires the judgment and experience of the Purchasing Department.
Follow-up of Non-Bidders:
The Purchasing Department maintains a bidders list that is active and current. This stimulates competitive bidding and is hoped to result in maximum response to an invitation to bid. Requestors must allow sufficient lead time so all vendors are able to submit timely bids. Within existing time constraints, alternate vendor(s) will be sought to provide bids. Vendors not returning a bid may be queried by the Purchasing Department as to the reasons they chose not to respond and the bidders list will be updated accordingly.
Sole Source and Specified Vendors:
The Requestor frequently suggests or requests a specific manufacturer or supplier. The Purchasing Department will review the request for reasonableness, but reserves the right to place orders with vendors whose prices are lower than those of the vendor that appears on the requisition or for any other good reason. The Requestor will be so advised prior to purchase. When an item is unique, available from only one supplier or a substitution is not feasible (commonly referred to as ''sole source''), a Request for a Waiver of Competitive Bid approved by a department/unit head or the principal investigator (as applicable) must be completed. The Purchasing Department will determine the reasonableness of the waiver request by investigating the price and services available from the ''sole source'' vendor. The waiver must be approved by the Director of Procurement Services.
Waiver of Competitive Bidding:
Although competition may be waived, it is required wherever possible. When a waiver is considered, the Purchasing Department may still negotiate with a potential vendor in an effort to acquire the best quality, price, delivery, and terms and conditions. If performance or price competition is not available, competitive bidding may be waived by the Director of Procurement. Conditions permitting waiver include, but are not limited to:
- Performance or price competition is not available
- Necessary product or service is available from only one source
- Emergency or pressing need is indicated
- Competition has been solicited with no satisfactory offers received
- Standardization or compatibility is the overriding consideration
- Personal or particular professional services are required
- Additional products or services are needed to complete an ongoing job or task
- Purchase is being made and satisfactory price is available from a previous contract
Revision History:May 18, 2016