Section 1: General Information
The Purchasing Department is part of the Campus Enterprises organization of the University and reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor, Campus Enterprises.
Reporting directly to the Director of Purchasing, the Purchasing Department is dedicated to serving the campus’ needs with integrity and professionalism. The goals of the department are efficiency and effectiveness. The department employs several Purchasing Specialists. These specialists are assigned specific commodities to help with the purchasing needs of other departments within the University.
The Purchasing Department is responsible for making all purchase contracts for the University.
The department is the only agency on the UNCG campus which may authorize acquisition of products and services to be paid from university accounts. As with all State agencies, UNCG is bound by contracts negotiated by the Purchase and Contract Division of the North Carolina Department of Administration. Paragraph 58 of North Carolina General Statute #143 states that if purchases are made in violation of the rules and regulations of the State and/or agency, the person(s) responsible may be held personally liable for any financial commitment made.
The primary goal and objective of all purchasing activities at the University is to acquire the needs of the campus within statutory, regulatory and procedural guidance in an efficient and effective manner at a fair and reasonable cost with timely delivery and proper performance. As a ‘custodian of public monies’, the operating premise of the Purchasing Department is — integrity and professionalism.
UNCG Procurement Code of Ethics
The Purchase Department personnel exercise sound business judgment and maintain the highest ethical standards in the conduct of University business.
- Foster fair, ethical and legal business practices that promote the University’s mission.
- Grant all competitive offers equal consideration to the extent State regulations and the established policies of UNCG permit and regard 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.
Section 2: Who May Purchase?
Purchasing at The University of North Carolina Greensboro is executed under the auspices of the Chancellor pursuant to authorities granted by North Carolina General Statute 143-53 and 116-31. As such, the authority to obligate ‘State funds’, as described in the Executive Budget Act (General Statute 143-1), for requirements of the University flows down from the North Carolina Secretary for Administration through the State Division of Purchase and Contract and The University of North Carolina Board of Governors as provided under North Carolina General Statute 116-31.10 and promulgated in North Carolina Administrative Code Title 1, Chapter 5 (T01:05) and implemented under the State Agency Purchasing Manual.
The execution of these responsibilities is, in turn, delegated through the Office of the Chancellor to the University’s Purchasing Department under the umbrella of the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs. As such, the Purchasing Department is the sole department on campus having the authority to place purchase orders and authorize the use of small purchase procedures to acquire commodities (i.e., supplies, materials, and equipment) and contractual services (to include, printing, professional and consultant services) by purchase, rent, lease, lease-purchase or installment purchase. The Purchasing Department also executes purchases of construction repair and renovation as prescribed by General Statute 143-129 and as described by the State Construction Manual, Section 110.6, with authority delegated to the Facilities Operations, Residence Life and Auxiliary Services for pre-award actions.
Applicability of State Purchasing Practices
Per Title 1, Chapter 5B, Subchapter 1505, Paragraph A of the North Carolina Administrative Code (01 NCAC 05B.1505) indicates all public funds irrespective of source, whether special, federal, local, gifts, bequests, receipts, fees, or State appropriated, used for the purchase, rental, lease, installment purchase and lease/purchase of commodities, printing and services shall be handled under the provisions of Article 3 of General Statute 143 and in accordance with rules adopted pursuant thereto by the Division of Purchase and Contract.
The University administratively operates on the principle of decentralized fiscal responsibility (or budget allocations to the college, schools and departments) and internal management control. The administrative head of each unit, accordingly, is responsible for the expenditure of this allocation.
Chapter 143C – State Budget Act prohibits the obligation of State funds prior to these actions and the expenditure of monies for any purpose for which it was not appropriated.
The authority to make purchases from departmental budgets is provided to the Purchasing Department by the authorized submittal of an online requisition. In some cases, this authority to approve charges against a departmental budget is delegated by the administrative head to others. Such a delegation, however, does not relieve the primary party from the responsibility for the allotted budget and its use.
Grants and Contracts
The expenditure of budgeted funds from grants or contracts is guided by the University’s Contracts and Grants Policies and Procedures.
Research funds, whether grants or contracts, are considered to be awarded to the University and not the individual principal investigator or a particular department. Purchases that are funded by at least 51% with contract and grant funds are subject to the terms of the grant (GS116-13). Responsible purchasing practices should be followed.
An unauthorized commitment or purchase is considered to be an informal agreement between a supplier or contractor and an employee of the University that is not binding solely because the UNCG representative who made it lacked the authority to enter into that agreement on behalf of the University.
A situation resulting in an unauthorized commitment or purchase includes but is not limited to the following.
- A UNCG employee arranges or permits to receive goods or services when no official contract has been either approved or issued by the University.
- A UNCG employee arranges or permits to receive goods or services that are not included in the existing contract that has been either approved or issued by the University.
- A UNCG employee continues to receive goods or services after the official contract has expired.
- A UNCG employee directs or permits supplier or contractor personnel to deliver goods or services under terms and conditions contrary to those agreed upon in the official contract approved and issued by the University.
- A UNCG employee who is authorized to commit the University to an agreement, but the total dollar amount of the agreement exceeds his or her designated authority.
The Purchasing Department holds the express authority, as created by the explicit language herein, to fulfill these responsibilities; any representation to the contrary or commitment of the University by any individual not having been duly delegated the authority to do so by the Purchasing Department may incur such a commitment as a personal obligation and be personally responsible for any related debt.
“Unauthorized commitments” occur where the authority to obligate the University does not exist nor reside in an individual or a campus department. “Unauthorized commitments” include the act of acquiring (ordering and accepting) commodities and services prior to properly submitting the requirement to the Purchasing Department. Unauthorized commitments are exacerbated by a vendor’s invoicing for payment of such commodities or services prior to such a submittal. Note: “Unauthorized commitments” may take place where there is not a pre-existing Purchase Order as well as when there is a pre-existing Purchase Order which is amended, or changed, without the Purchasing Department’s approval to do so as evidenced by the Purchasing Department’s issuance of a Change Order.
“Ratification” is the process by which the University ‘recognizes’ the unauthorized commitment as an institutional liability, formally consummates the act under a recognized University purchasing instrument, authorizes and makes payment. “Ratification”, however, is not automatic and requires statements of justification by the effected individual or campus department, reviews, consideration and approval, if warranted.
When an “unauthorized commitment” is identified, the Purchasing Department will require the individual committing the unauthorized act to formally address the following points in a memorandum which will accompany a Requisition for Purchase Order:
- What the circumstances were at the time that the goods or services were acquired which precluded the use of proper University procedures, and
- What actions have been taken to preclude a recurrence of the event.
- Acknowledgement that the University’s procedures to process a purchase will be reviewed by/with the effected individual to reinforce the use of these processes.
Should the Purchasing Department find based on the campus department’s memorandum that it would serve the best interest of the University to recognize the “unauthorized commitment”, the Director, Purchasing Department will “ratify” the act and permit the issuance of a purchase order. Setting aside the manner in which the goods or services were obtained, this judgment will be based on:
- whether there existed a valid need,
- whether funds were available, and
- would have otherwise been properly procured and paid
Acknowledgement of the ratification will be made by the Director to the administrative head of the affected campus department, and a copy may be forwarded to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance, as appropriate.
Instances of a flagrant “unauthorized commitment” may be briefed by the Director, Purchasing Department to the Associate Vice Chancellor, and the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, as deemed appropriate. Where the circumstances may warrant, the election of whether to “ratify” the unauthorized act may be based on the decision of Associate Vice Chancellor or Vice Chancellor. Repetitive instances of “unauthorized commitments” may result in further administrative actions.
State and University policy prohibits the Purchasing Department from entering into any purchase contracts for employees. All materials purchased by or in the name of the University remain the property of the State until consumed or disposed of by public sale through surplus property procedures.
Exceptions to this policy are items purchased explicitly for retail sales, such as items handled by the Bookstore. All purchase orders issued by the Purchasing Department must be for official use by the University departments or agencies.
Materials purchased with University funds are the property of the State and not intended for personal use. It is therefore not permissible to use University supplies or equipment for personal use.
Purchases originate with the authorized submittal of a purchase order requisition and are consummated with the issuance of a purchase order by the Purchasing Department, or use of the PCard (VISA).
No purchase nor any action leading to the commitment of the University may be initiated without the submittal of a fully funded and properly executed online requisition. Failure to submit a proper requisition will delay the purchasing process.
Soliciting without the evidence of the availability and intent to expend funds can adversely impact the University. Actions of this nature may be considered “frivolous bidding” and serve as basis for recovery of bidding and bid preparation costs as well as a suit by a vendor. As well, unauthorized commitments made on behalf of the University may become a personal liability if not ratified by the Purchasing Department. Campus departments play an active role in contract administration and quality assurance of the University’s purchases as these responsibilities are specifically delegated and as necessary for each individual procurement. Contract administration by the Purchasing Department is performed on a by-exception basis. Solely the Purchasing Department, however, has the authority to alter any obligation legally created on behalf of the University as well as cause any termination action.
Purchases are subject to the terms and conditions of the State and the University under North Carolina law, and, in the instance of federally funded grants and contracts, Federal law; vendor/contractor terms of sale and conditions are subjugated to these.
Purchases, as well, are bound by the mandates for competition and the use of specific sources of supply. It is the policy of the University to establish the environment for fair and equitable competition in its purchases, consistent with the efficient performance of the University’s contractual obligations and other mandated programs.
Competition serves as the basic architecture of all University purchasing (General Statute 143-52) where competitively acquired pricing provides for the award of requirements to the lowest and most advantageous offer considering the offeror’s: product or service cost, quality, suitability and conformity, delivery and performance; capacity and capability. Other factors specified in the University’s solicitation of the requirement may be considered in making the award, as well.
Support of State Mandated Sources of Supply
It is the University policy to adhere to the State’s requirement to use mandatory and preferred sources of supply and services. These requirements are established by North Carolina statute and the State Division of Purchase and Contract, North Carolina Department of Administration.
Section 3: Preparing For a Purchase
Vendors may visit departments to keep them informed and abreast of new items being introduced. Vendors are advised to avoid making non-scheduled drop-in visits.
Vendor demonstrations to a department or to an individual in no way obligates UNCG to purchase or lease the equipment or service. Any purchase requests issued after demonstrations will be handled in accordance with the normal purchasing regulations of the University and the State.
Vendors are responsible for all expenses incurred during any demonstration. UNCG will not accept any responsibility for the safety of the vendor’s equipment beyond normal care and safety.
Vendor must furnish the Purchasing Department a certificate of liability insurance prior to hosting a demonstration on campus property.
Departments may request a vendor of a particular piece of equipment to conduct a demonstration. In these instances, the arrangements are worked out between the department and the vendor and require no further approval.
Receipt of equipment for demonstration purposes is permissible provided no obligation is made to the vendor to purchase the equipment.
Vendors may request a department to evaluate equipment without obligation to purchase.
When the department is willing to have the equipment installed for evaluation purposes, the department should secure a written agreement using the following basic guidelines:
- Permission to demonstrate the equipment does not obligate the University to purchase the item.
- The evaluation of equipment for a vendor does not give the vendor permission to use the name of the University in any advertisement or as an endorsement.
- Equipment must be adequately identified and described with model and serial numbers.
- All shipping charges are to be paid by the vendor.
- Insurance, if any, is the responsibility of the vendor. The University assumes no liability for the equipment.
- The University may agree to exercise normal operational care and to avoid abuse of the equipment.
- At the end of the evaluation period, the vendor will be responsible for packing, removal or and shipping the item.
Contact with Vendors during Solicitation and Proposal/Bid Review
Campus departments are reminded and cautioned that during the period of evaluation and prior to award, possession of the proposals/bids and accompanying information is limited to personnel of the State Division of Purchase and Contract, the University Purchasing Department and to those who are specifically responsible for review and evaluation of the proposals/bids. There must be no vendor participation in the review and evaluation, and no information may be furnished to vendors regarding the status of the evaluations. All vendor contact, particularly for proposal/bid clarification, shall be made by the Purchasing Department.
Correspondence with Vendors
Following the transmittal of a Purchase Order to a vendor, all correspondence in connection with the fulfillment of the order or contract should be handled by the Requisitioning Department. Campus departments should copy the Purchasing staff of any matters they feel could result in a complaint to the vendor.
Complaints to Vendor
“Complaint to Vendor” forms are used by State agencies and institutions to inform vendors and the State Purchase and Contract Division of problems encountered with quality, service or delivery of commodities and services procured from that vendor.
When a vendor repeatedly provides poor service and/or merchandise does not meet written specifications to the extent that work is hampered, campus departments are to forward specific complaints to the Purchasing Department . The complaint must be submitted in a written memorandum, email or letter and clearly explain the conditions which generated the complaint. The Purchasing Department will complete the “Complaint to Vendor” form and transmit such to the State Purchase and Contract Division, or take appropriate action directly with the vendor. Campus departments are urged to make written complaints, when justified.
If a vendor receives an excessive number of complaints, the State Purchase and Contract Division in Raleigh may refrain from considering the vendor as a ‘source of supply’ for any new requirements or when compiling source lists.
Sales Calls by Vendors
As State policy requires that supplies and materials normally be obtained from State contracts or by competitive, sales calls or solicitations by vendors’ salesmen may be of little value.
Salesmen are encouraged to visit campus departments; however, such visits are to be limited to keeping the campus departments informed of new items being introduced and to assist campus departments by providing information on various aspects of their product.
Receipt of equipment for demonstration and evaluation purposes is permissible provided no obligation is made to the vendor to purchase the equipment.
Section 4: Making a Purchase
The major factors which determine the manner in which a requisition is processed by the Purchasing Department include: the nature of the commodity or service to be purchased, its dollar value, and the urgency with which it is needed. Additionally, the use of authorized and proper funds and accounts can affect a purchase.
Expenditure Accounts and Fund Coding
The use of proper Banner Finance fund and account is essential for the correct encumbrance of funds under any purchase.
Requisitions for Purchase Order
Order the online requisition is the departmental authorization for a purchase to be initiated, solicited (as applicable), and consummated as a purchase.
The University PCard, a VISA card, is available to permanent UNCG employees for purchases under $5,000. A complete description of the PCard policies, procedures and related information is available on this website. The University strongly encourages the use of Pcard through our eprocurement system “eMarketplace”.
Please note that the University strongly encourages the use of the PCard through our eprocurement system “eMarketplace”.
Methods of Campus Vendor Purchases
Purchases from intra-campus/on-campus vendors or campus departments may be made using the appropriate respective Interdepartmental Invoice. (See University’s Accounting and Budgets Policies and Procedures, Procedure 7)
Specific purchases of this nature which are of interest follow.
All minor construction, building repair and renovations are handled through the Facilities Design and Construction. Requests for services in this category should be made directly of the Facilities Operations Office, particularly for an estimate of the cost and time involved for commencing and completing the work. If it is determined that the campus department will absorb costs involved, an estimate is made and returned to the campus department. If the campus department desires to proceed with the work after receiving the estimate an FRS-59 should be completed and submitted to Facilities Operations.
Equipment Requiring Utility Services or Facilities Alteration
Prior to any purchase of equipment requiring connection to utilities (gas, electricity, piped air, etc.) or alteration or modification of a building or property to accommodate the equipment should be coordinated with Facilities Operations.
University Bookstore Purchases
Office and administrative supplies may be purchased from the University Bookstore using the PCard.
The State enters into annual contracts with outside vendors to acquire favorable prices for many commonly used items. The State has contracts with several hundred suppliers, covering several thousand individual items. All State agencies including the University can purchase items from vendors that have State Contracts. NC General Statute 116-13 allows purchases from other than state term contract provided:
- The item is “substantially similar” to that on state contract, and
- The cost is less than state contract.
If a department desires to purchase a state contract item from a non-state contract source, they must provide the Purchasing Department with the state contract, description and cost of item with the requisition.
Information of the items on state contract can be found at: http://www.pandc.nc.gov/default.aspx
- State Contracts by Commodity
- State Contracts by Contract Number
NC General Statute 148-134 requires North Carolina Correction Enterprises products to be provided first consideration unless such products do not satisfy the requirement. By statute, Correction Enterprises is required to keep the price of such items ‘substantially in accord with that paid by governmental agencies’ for similar items as a result of competitive solicitations.
Products available from the private sector, including Term Contracts, may be purchased when it is determined that the Correction Enterprises product will not satisfy the University’s requirements or will not be available when needed.
Correction Enterprises offers a vast array of products and services. These items may be viewed at the Correction Enterprises Website.
For items not covered on State Term Contracts or other purchasing department approved contracts.
Solicitation of written bids is required when the total purchase is greater than $5,000.00.
- Phone, e-mail or fax quotations may be used for amounts up to $5,000.00
- Informal written bids submitted in person or via e-mail or fax are required for any total purchase greater than $5,000.00 and up to $25,000.00. For requirements with a total cost of greater than $25,000.00 and up to $500,000.00, formal bid requests must be issued to the State’s Interactive Purchasing System (IPS).
- At least three competitive bids should be obtained for purchases delegated to the University.
Regardless of the solicitation practice used, the University’s estimated cost (i.e., Requisition for Purchase Order or online requisition) is to be safeguarded at all times and “for internal use only.”
- Requests for Proposals (RFP) are defined as solicitation documents where the evaluation of competing offerors for an award may be performed considering factors other than/in addition to cost, e.g. performance and value for cost. These factors often entail some form of submittals or demonstration and may provide for measurable evaluation. Limited requests for clarification and ‘discussions’ may be available under the RFP. Respondents to this form of solicitation are termed ‘offerors’ who present an ‘offer’ or ‘proposal’ to the University. RFPs are issued for requirements from $5,001 – $500,000.
- “Two-Step” Requests for Proposals (RFP) “Two-Step” proposals are a primary example of the RFP’s use where both Technical Evaluation Criteria and Award Evaluation Criteria are specified. Only offerors successfully completing the technical evaluation are considered under the award evaluation; award criteria may include factors other than cost, e.g. value for cost. Responses to both the Technical and Award Evaluation Criteria are considered ‘confidential’ until award. Campus departments participating in the evaluation processes are not permitted to release nor discuss any information disclosed during the evaluations, particularly with any offeror. Respondents to this form of solicitation are termed ‘offerors’ who present an ‘offer’ or ‘proposal’ to the University.
- Invitations for Bid (IFB) are defined as solicitation documents where the evaluation of competing bidders for an award is primarily based on cost, although other factors may be considered if specified in the IFB. Responses to IFBs are submitted as “sealed bids” and ‘bids’ are considered ‘confidential’ until award. No discussions, disclosure of price costing information nor relative positions of bidders are permitted under an IFB. Awards are premised solely on that which was solicited and responded to. Respondents to this form of solicitation are termed ‘bidders’ who present a ‘bid’ to the University. IFB is issued for requirements over $25,001 – $500,000.
- Requests for Quotation (RFQ) are defined as solicitation documents used to secure competitive pricing where the requirement is not complex. An award resulting from a RFQ is based on cost. Respondents to this form of solicitation are termed ‘offerors’ who present a ‘quote’ or ‘quotation’ to the University. RFQs are issued for requirements between $5,001 and $25,000.
- Requests for Information and Planning Purposes (RFI) are defined as solicitation documents where the intent is to obtain product/service and pricing information for ‘planning purposes’ only. A RFI provides no commitment on behalf of the University to make a purchase as a result of this form of solicitation. Rather, prospective respondents are advised that the University is only seeking information; generally to assist in making a management and/or budgetary decision. Potential respondents are also informed that the University is not responsible for any costs which may be incurred in preparing a response or the response itself. The RFI should be used judiciously as it can affect future responses to University RFPs and IFBs.
The Purchasing Department solicits bids or quotations on items exceeding $5,000.00 to determine the price, terms and conditions of the vendor. If less than $5,000.00, the Purchasing Department processes the request from the desired vendor unless:
- A more competitive source for the product or service is available.
- The product or service is available from a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB).
The Purchasing Department is responsible for the solicitation of competitive bids and quotations over $5,000.00.
- Departments obtaining quotations will not be considered official.
The Purchasing Department encourages campus departments to assist in obtaining pricing information prior to submitting a requirement. Campus departments should use the following guidelines when seeking pricing. The Purchasing Department will review this information and may resolicit the requirement, where deemed necessary, prior to issuing any purchase order. When seeking and obtaining pricing information, campus departments are to:
- Establish and state a common deadline date for vendors to respond with a quotation.
- Provide the vendors: quantity, brand, catalog number or a good description and ask for comparable items.
- Request a ‘delivered price’ with F.O.B. Greensboro.
- Specify the required delivery date.
- Obtain the salesperson’s name, vendor name, address, telephone number and ”quoted by” information.
- Clearly advise the vendors that by asking for pricing information the University is not placing an order nor under any obligation to do so.
Proposals, bids and quotations within the University’s benchmark are procured with the following additional guidance:
- The University minimum dollar limitation for soliciting quotations is $5,000. Competitive pricing is encouraged for requirements less than the $5,000 threshold.
- For requirements exceeding $5,000, formal written competitive proposals or bids will be issued by the Purchasing Department and should be on University forms . This action is necessary to officially determine the price, terms, and conditions of the vendor whose product is being sought and assure the vendor’s compliance with the State and University terms and conditions, and specifications and statement of work. Exceptions: Athletic apparel – $10,000, Facilities Operations are limited (see policies associated with these).
- All requirements exceeding $25,000 must be posted by the University to the State’s Interactive Purchasing System (IPS) located on the State’s Division of Purchase and Contract Web home page: www.ips.state.nc.us/ips/pubmain.asp. The IPS permits the posting of whole solicitations and notices of solicitations for public access. Per Title 1, Chapter 5B, Subchapter 1316, Paragraph A of the North Carolina Administrative Code (01 NCAC 05B.0316) indicates that this posting shall be advertised at least once and at least ten (10) days prior to the proposal/bid due date. Exceptions may be approved by the Director, Purchasing as the appointed University’s executive officer designee where conditions prohibit full posting. Note: As the University’s use of the IPS mandates specific data and information transmittals to the State, campus departments will provide the Purchasing Department, in addition to a hard copy, any “Statement of Work’ and/or ‘Specifications’ accompanying a requirement as a Word document via email.
- An original or electronic signature is required for Purchasing Department files for all IFB.
• Awards are principally made based on the information submitted along with the response, subject to the reservations stated otherwise therein. Specific justification is required of the campus department if it is deemed necessary to make an award to other than the lowest proposal/bid meeting specifications and requirements. The Purchasing Department’s final determination will govern in such instances. The Purchasing Department, additionally, may consult with the State Division of Purchase and Contract prior to awarding a purchase order when questions exist as to the adequacy or validity of the justification or the justification being within the guidelines of the General Statutes.
Campus departments should use the following guidelines when seeking pricing. The Purchasing Department will review this information and may resolicit the requirement, where deemed necessary, prior to issuing any purchase order. When seeking and obtaining pricing information, campus departments are to:
- Provide the same information to at least three vendors.
- Establish and state a common deadline date for vendors to respond with a quotation.
- Provide the vendors: quantity, brand, catalog number or a good description and ask for comparable items.
- Request a ‘delivered price’ with F.O.B. Greensboro.
- Specify the required delivery date.
- Obtain the sale person’s name, vendor name, address, telephone number and “quoted by ” information.
- Clearly advise the vendors that by asking for pricing information the University is not placing an order nor under any obligation to do so.
The campus department’s pricing information may serve as the foundation for issuing a Purchase Order, except under the following conditions when the Purchasing Department will issue the solicitation. All such solicitations will be accomplished on University forms and include the State’s standard language and terms and conditions.
- Requirements for goods and commodities, and contractual services above $5,000.
- Printing requirements above $25,000.
- Athletic apparel requirements above $10,000.
- Physical Plant repair and renovation requirements are limited.
- When submitting purchase requisitions for materials, sufficient lead time must be given to solicit and evaluate bids, place an order, and effect delivery.
- Ten to fifteen working days are generally required to solicit quotations and place a Purchase Order for requirements under $25,000.
- Based on the complexity of requirement, it may take up to thirty to forty-five days for requirements between $25,000 and $500,000.
Formal bids solicited by the State Purchase and Contract Division for requirements exceeding $500,000 may require up to forty-five to sixty days.
It is not permissible to divide requisitions to keep amounts under $5,000.00 to avoid the formal bidding process.
For some items or services only one source may be available. A Sole Source is defined as being “One and only one source that possesses a unique product having singular characteristics or performance capability.” To purchase these items or services without competitive bidding, the Sole Source Justification Form ( see sole source form) must be completed and accompany the Purchase Requisition. If the request is $500,000.00 or greater in cost, it will be forwarded to the State Purchase and Contract Division for approval. If justified, the request will be certified as “Single Source” and purchased without formal bidding. If the Single Source request is less than $500,000.00 in cost and is properly justified, it will be processed by the University Purchasing Department without further off campus review. Sole and single source purchasing is an exception to State statutes and purchasing policies. The final determination as to whether such an exception request is valid will be made by the Purchasing Director and rest on the existence of a valid supportable requirement which is adequately documented. Requirements which exceed the University purchasing benchmark will be forwarded to the State Division of Purchase and Contract for processing and, if deemed justifiable, will be certified as “single” or “sole source” and purchased without recourse to formal solicitation. Sole source and single source purchases are segregable in definition and use. The common thread, however, through each type of purchase is that a justification to procure from a sole or single source cannot be solely based on quality or price; ‘quality’ can be a subjective evaluation and “pricing” subject to the level of competition.
- “Sole Source” applies where it can be substantiated that a requirement involves commodity or service provided by only one vendor or contractor which has exclusive rights (e.g., rights to data, patent or copy rights, proprietary interests or secret processes) to the manufacturing of the product or service. “Sole Source” requirements must withstand the questions of (1) is the commodity or service the only of its kind which can fully satisfy the requirement and (2) the commodity is available from one, and only one, source. In this context, “sole” means, ‘the only one.’
- “Single Source” applies where it can be substantiated that a commodity or service can be obtained only from one vendor or contractor which often is the “single” representative of the manufacturer or principal company. “Single Source” purchases frequently involve a vendor or contractor whose product or service is discernibly distinguishable from all others in the market and singularly meets all significant elements of the University’s requirement. In this context, “single” means, ‘the one among others.’
- “Brand Name” specificity does not necessarily equate to a “Sole Source” nor a “Single Source” purchase. “Brand Name” requirements typically are particular to one manufacturer, but not one supplier. Accordingly, “Brand Name” requirements may not satisfy the criteria of either “Sole Source” or “Single Source practices as several vendors or contractors may be able to provide the product or service and, therefore, the requirement can be competitively awarded. Purchasing specifications, in this instance, will provide for “Brand Name or Equal” specification; which identify the salient features of the requirement in a non-restrictive manner.
- “Comparable” is defined as equal in those specific areas of specification or performance which must be provided to allow the commodity’s use or service to be provided as it is intended or unequivocally required. That is, a product or service may be argued as “comparable” when it meets the key specific levels of function although it does not explicitly meet all specifications. In this context, “comparable” may be ‘acceptable.’
- “University Standard” determinations may apply and support a “Sole Source” or a “Single Source” purchase where it can be clearly demonstrated that the University has formally adopted the particular commodity or service for campus-wide required use and standardization. Such a “standard” is typically published in some form of University document.
- “Performance Specifications” are to be used, whenever feasible, to describe requirements. “Performance Specifications” detail an expected outcome or result rather than the processes required to arrive at the outcome or result and, as such, contribute to competition.
State purchasing policy provides that exclusionary purchasing practices can be avoided by writing specifications which invite maximum reasonable competition and are not unduly restrictive. Accordingly, requirements submitted for purchasing are to be accompanied by specifications which encourage competition, consistent with the particular need.
Request for Exception
Both “Sole Source” and “Single Source” purchases must be able to withstand the scrutiny of the test of ‘no alternatives.’ As such, the submittal of such a request and its documentation represents a good faith certification on behalf of the campus department and the signator as well as the ability to substantiate the request and sustain any inquiries.
The determination as to whether to accept and act upon a “Sole Source” or “Single Source” request relies on the reasonability of the request and the clear demonstration that the campus department has completed a comprehensive market survey where the investigation, evaluation and documentation of alternative sources and products or services leaves no doubt as to the course which the University has elected in the purchase. Key to this research is: the use of specifications which only state the salient aspects of the requirement and can provide for the purchase of the minimally acceptable quality necessary to perform a given task or function satisfactorily at the lowest fair and reasonable cost.
“Sole Source” and “Single Source” requests are not to be submitted when:
- Personal preference for a product, brand or vendor exists.
- Cost, vendor performance and delivery are the justification; these elements are considered in the evaluation for award factors.
- The statement of “no substitution” is the only rationale.
- Lack of planning exists on behalf of the requiring department.
- The justification is solely based on quality or price, and immediate availability for delivery,
- Offers of trade-in allowances, no cost options or accessories, or special “package” or “deals” are made.
Documentation of Request
Where there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the minimum needs of the University can be met by unique commodities or services only from a “Sole Source” or “Single Source”, the campus department will submit a Sole Source Justification for Goods and Services Form. Attach any and all copies of correspondence, including any vendor quotations received in the selection of requirement.
When a “Single Source” requirement entails the purchase of a commodity or service from a vendor who has been appointed as the manufacturer’s sole regional representative, the purchase must be documented by the manufacturer’s own signed certification and statement of such fact on its letterhead.
Please note that this process is rare since generally competition is available for most equipment or supplies used at the University.
The State of North Carolina prefers that competition be sought in all purchases. If performance or price competition is not available and it’s deemed to be in the public interest, competitive bidding may be waived. See Section 4.4 Sole Source Purchases for more information. 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 in indicated.
- Competition has been solicited with no satisfactory offers being received.
- Standardization or compatibility is the overriding consideration.
- A donation establishes the source of supply.
- Personal or particular professional services are required.
- Particular medical product or service is needed.
- Particular prosthetic appliance is needed.
- Product or service is needed for the disabled and there are overriding considerations for its use.
- Additional products or services are needed to complete an ongoing job or task.
- Products are bought for “over the counter” resale.
- Product or service is desired for educational, training, experimental, developmental or research.
- Items are subject to rapid price fluctuation or immediate acceptance.
- Amount of the purchase is too small to justify soliciting competition.
- Purchase is being made and satisfactory price is available from a previous contract.
- Required for an authorized cooperative project with another governmental unit(s) or a charitable non-profit organization(s).
- Used item(s) is available on short notice and subject to prior sale.
- Available from another governmental agency.
- Determined advantageous to purchase already installed, connected and working equipment.
- Evidence of resale price maintenance or other control of prices, lawful or unlawful, or collusion on the part of companies which stand in the way of normal competitive procedures.
Although competition may be waived, it is required wherever possible. When a waiver is considered, agencies may negotiate with a potential vendor in an effort to acquire the best quality, price, delivery and terms and conditions.
A standing purchase order is a purchase order that has been issued to a vendor for a specified period of time so that purchases can be made directly by the ordering department. A standing purchase order must be requested for a specific amount of departmental funds. When the standing purchase order is issued, the funds are encumbered upon the establishment. Outstanding encumbrances on standing purchase orders written against State Funds revert to the State at the end of the fiscal year, so request only sufficient funds to cover the anticipated purchases.
- Standing purchase orders are issued for services and supply items.
- Service related standing purchase orders such as cell phones, pagers and other maintenance related items must be reviewed on a fiscal year basis.
- Service requisitions should be renewed through eMarketplace prior to the expiration of the contract.
- Items cannot be shipped against a standing purchase order beyond the period indicated.
- Items cannot be shipped in excess of the dollar amount, without authorization from the Purchasing Department.
Policy dictates that the issuance of an official University Purchase Order or other recognized document will precede the procurement and receipt of commodities and services. Integral to this process is the element of planning. It is recognized, however, that instances do occur where planning is not possible due to the circumstances surrounding the requirement. Such situations are defined as where there is a “pressing need” or “emergency”, as prescribed below. In these specific instances (as defined below), occasional exceptions may be made to this policy with the prior approval of the Purchasing Department. Where the conditions may substantiate and when approved by the Purchasing Department, or the State as required, expedited purchases may be executed. Campus departments affected by such circumstances will contact the Purchasing Department prior to acting or committing the University. Where time is available, the circumstance will be reviewed and prior approval of the Purchasing Department sought by the campus department. When the conditions are such that immediate action is warranted, the Purchasing Department will be advised as rapidly of the circumstances as possible.
Pressing Need Purchases
“Pressing Need conditions” are defined as: Unforeseen situations which have created a requirement which immediate, on-the-spot purchase (or rental) of equipment, materials, supplies or services can only rectify. The causes for such situations may include, by example: delay by contractors, delay in transportation, breakdown of machinery, unanticipated volume of work. The administrative processes for “Emergency Needs” will apply to “Pressing Needs”; however, competitive placement of the requirement with a vendor shall be exercised. Additionally, purchase requisitions for “Pressing Need” purchases must be submitted to the Purchasing Department, with a written explanation of the circumstances. The Purchasing Department will solicit prices, as applicable and time permits, and authorize the purchase.
Emergencies are defined as: A situation which endangers lives, property or the continuation of a vital program and which can be rectified only by immediate on-the-spot purchase or rental of equipment, supplies, materials, printing or contractual services. Emergency purchases in excess of $500,000.00 must be approved by the State Purchase and Contract Division, if time permits, before the purchases are made. The University is authorized to make emergency purchases not exceeding $500,000.00 without following regular purchasing procedures. The Purchasing Department has the sole authority for entering into contracts to secure emergency materials.
The State of North Carolina prefers that competition be sought in all purchases. To request materials and services from commercial vendors:
- Enter a requisition into eMarketplace. (An approved requisition in eMarketplace authorizes the Purchasing Department to purchase items on behalf of the ordering department.)
- Attach to the requisition or send to the Purchasing Department all supporting documentation.
- The Purchasing Department will issue a purchase order.
The length of time required to process a purchase requisition depends on the following:
- If the item is on State Contract.
- If the dollar amount of the order is less than $5,000.00, the requisition can be processed without formal bidding.
- If the dollar amount of the order is over $5,000.00 but less than $25,000.00, a quote for the requirement will have to be issued via the informal bid process.
- If the dollar amount of the order is over $25,000.00 but less than $500,000.00, the requirement will have to be solicited using the sealed competitive bid process.
- If the dollar amount of the order is over $500,000.00, the requirement will need to be solicited by the State Purchase and Contract Division.
- The ordering department receives an electronic confirmation that the order has been placed.
- The ordering department confirms delivery in eMarketplace once the item(s) has been received.
Consulting Services is defined as Work or task performed by State employees or independent contractors possessing specialized knowledge, experience, expertise and professional qualifications to investigate assigned problems or projects and to provide counsel, review, analysis or advice in formulating or implementing improvements in programs or services. This includes, but is not limited to, the organization, planning, directing, control, evaluation and operation of a program, agency or department. In accordance with State policy, the employment or securing of services of a consultant requires approval from the Governor’s Office or designee. This policy does not apply:
- To contracts for attorneys employed by the State pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 147-17.
- To contracts for physicians or doctors providing direct medical care for the clientele of any state agency.
- To contracts to provide services without compensation to the provider of the services.
- To contracts for academic consulting services for curriculum development or academically oriented research.
State agencies can obtain consultant services if the following requirements are met:
- It is determined that current employees cannot reasonably accomplish the job.
- The estimated cost is reasonable as compared with the likely benefits or results.
- The funds are available for the contract.
- The contract is in the best interest of the State.
- All rules and regulations of the Division of Purchase and Contract have been or will be complied with as determined by the Governor or his/her designee and the Division of Purchase and Contract.
When acquiring such consulting services, competition must be sought whenever possible.
These policies must be followed regardless of the dollar amounts involved.
Contracted Personal Services is defined as when an independent contractor performs services requiring specialized knowledge, experience, expertise or similar capabilities for a State agency for compensation from agency funds. These services may include (by way of illustration, not limitation) services such as, maintenance of buildings or equipment, auditing, film production, performer of the fine arts or similar professionals, employee training and food service, provided that the service is not primarily for review, analysis or advice in formulating or implementing improvements in programs or services (in which case rules relating to Consultant Contracts shall be applicable). The authority to legally bind the University via a contract is addressed in the University Policy Manual (http://policy.uncg.edu/contract_approval/) UNCG departments are permitted to acquire contracted personal services or consultant services only if such services cannot be reasonably accomplished by UNCG employees, or other employees of the state of North Carolina.
2. Employees of UNCG or other state agencies cannot be paid for personal services. Instead, in accordance with Policy 4 – Budgeting – Dual Employment (Financial Planning and Budget), such payments are subject to the Dual Employment policy.
3. Retired state employees who provide personal service are subject to requirements of N.C.G.S. 135-3(8)c. If contractor status is determined, the Controller must be notified to ensure UNCG is in compliance.
4. Conflict of Interest. No university employee may benefit from any contract with the university, and no current or prior personal/professional relationship shall exist with the service provider that would constitute a conflict of interest or nepotism.
B. Exceptions: All contract services documents are to be forwarded to Purchase and Contract Management with the exception of the following:
- Real Property
Contact the Property Office in Campus Enterprises
Contact Facilities, Design and Construction
- Appointment of Personnel
Contact Human Resources or EPA Human Resources
- Personal/Professional Services
Services that are exempt from review by Purchase and Contract Management include:
• All Contracts less than $5,000 per fiscal year
• Personal services provided by doctors, dentists, architects, professional engineers, scientists (a personal service shall be interpreted to be the occasional or temporary use of an individual’s professional skills to perform a professional task.)
• Performing Arts – includes, but is not limited to musicians, artists, dancers and speakers
• Services provided by individuals by direct employment contracts with the State
• Academic Services, including instructors and guest speakers
• Sponsored Programs
• Federally funded grants
• Any other service designated to be exempt by the State Purchasing Officer or his/her authorized representative
C. Required Approvals
The authority to execute contracts has been delegated to individual Provost/Vice Chancellors and others for specific matters and/or types of contracts for which their station should have knowledge and responsibility. For a list of individuals with contract signature authority. In carrying out the responsibilities for review and execution of contracts, by endorsing, the signer accepts full responsibility for due diligence to assure compliance and value for the University.
Often companies will offer used equipment at special prices under new warranty conditions. Offers of this type are usually satisfactory but cannot be accepted without first offering competing vendors an opportunity to quote on similar equipment. All used equipment purchased should carry a new warranty except those items purchased from State or Federal Surplus Property.
Lease agreements are for a definite period of time, usually one to three years, and cannot be cancelled during the life of the lease. Most leases contain an option to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease. If the equipment will be needed on a continuing basis, it is usually more economical to purchase the equipment outright, provided funds are available. Rental agreements are similar to lease agreements except that rental agreements are normally for an indefinite period of time and can be terminated by the renter after giving notice to the supplier, usually thirty (30) days in advance. The cost of some equipment is so great that it may be more economical to rent on a continuing but indefinite basis. Total dollar value of the rental or lease determines if competitive bidding is required.
When normal department operations involve small nonrecurring purchases of less than $5,000, a purchasing card (PCard) is the suggested purchasing tool for those items. The University strongly encourages the use of the PCard through the university e-procurement system “eMarketplace”.
The State of North Carolina defines a small purchase as being “the purchase of commodities, services or printing, not covered by a term contract, involving an expenditure of public funds of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) or less.” The University Small Purchase Program consists of:
- the use of a University issued purchasing card (PCard)
- having a purchase order issued for the commodity or service.
Per the University of North Carolina – General Administration Policies and Procedures Manual and the University Spending Guidelines, there are some purchases that are specifically not allowable from State appropriated funds. The entire list of items that cannot be appropriated using State funds can be located using the following links:
Gift Card Purchasing Policy
- Gift cards/gift certificates may not exceed fifty dollars ($50) per individual, unless approved by the appropriate Vice Chancellor or Provost.
- Gift cards/gift certificates may be given for awards or recognition programs such as retirement events, employee recognition events, outstanding achievement, length of service or participation in various studies.
- No State funds may be used to purchase gift cards or gift certificates.
- Gift cards/gift certificates may not be used as a form of honoraria for employees. These types of payments must be processed through the payroll system.
- When gift certificates are being purchased with grant funds, the following criteria must be met:
• The gift certificate is for research participant incentive payments only
• Costs for research participant incentive payments are included in the researcher’s grant budget and allowable by the terms and conditions of the specific grant.
To access detailed Gift Card & Gift Certificate Procedures, visit PCard Policies: Gift Card & Gift Certificate Purchases.
The Purchasing Department distributes authority (or, makes purchasing delegations), responsibility and knowledge to permit decentralized purchasing support In each instance when this delegation is exercised, the campus department is encouraged to support the Levied Purchasing Programs; Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) and Buy-Recycled. This decentralized purchasing authority includes the following campus delegations.
- PCard Program
The University offers use of a VISA card to authorized, full time employees for purchases under $2500. This card may be used wherever the VISA card is accepted, within the prescribed limits set forth in the PCard User’s Guide. Please refer to PCard Uses for a list of proper and improper uses.
Additional delegations have been made for select categories of requirements. These delegations encompass areas where the requisite professional knowledge and experience are resident and, thereby, value is added to the purchasing process. Additionally, each departmental delegation is subject to the evidence of adequate training and sufficient competency in fulfilling the responsibilities and duties incumbent with the delegation. These delegations include:
- Facilities Design and Construction, Auxiliary Services and Residence Life: Repair and Renovation
The authority to compose, solicit and make the recommendations for award of all construction requirements defined by North Carolina General Statute and 143-129 and 143-135.27 has been delegated to the University’s Facilities Design and Construction and Office of Residence Life. This delegation permits the Facilities Operations, Office of Residence Life and Auxiliary Services to execute the responsibilities prescribed by the North Carolina State Construction Manual, Section 110.6 under an “informal bidding process.” These responsibilities span from the preparation of bid documents to the requirement’s competitive solicitation to evaluation and recommendation as to award. These delegated actions support the award of individual repair and renovation purchase orders. This is limited to the benchmark established by General Statute 143-129 of $500,000 (http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/statutes/statutelookup.pl?statute=143-129).
Historically Underutilized Business Program (HUB)
In support of and to remain compliant with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 77, it is the policy of the University that, to the extent permissible, purchases will be placed with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB). HUB-eligible purchases will provide the access and opportunity to competitively participate in the University’s purchasing program without barrier. HUB vendors are currently defined to include those businesses which are: owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities; disabled business enterprises; and non-profit workshops for the blind and severely disabled. Through the use of these HUB vendors, the competitive base of the University’s purchasing will be broadened. Benefits, accordingly, will result for both the University and the vendor. The following actions will continuously be taken to further foster this program:
- HUB vendor candidates will be actively identified and recorded for use in all appropriate purchases. The Purchasing Department will participate in vendor fairs and minority programs, as available, to identify potential new HUB sources of supplies and services.
- Solicitations issued by the Purchasing Department will consider the use of these vendors. As well, all requests for pricing accomplished by departments will consider the use of HUB vendors.
- Announcements and correspondence will be made to emphasize the significance of the HUB program, where and when appropriate.
In support of and to remain compliant with the Governor’s Executive Order No. 8 and General Statute 143-58, it is the policy of the University to promote and, to the extent maximum feasible, purchase and use products with recycled content. The University’s goal is to acquire one hundred percent (100%) of its paper and paper products purchases with recycled content effective June 30, 1997. Accordingly, Buy-Recycled purchases will occur where it is found economically practicable and cost effective to do so. ”Recycled content” products are those which incorporate waste materials and by-products that have been recovered or diverted from the solid waste stream, but does not include those materials and by-products generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process. The purchase of recycled content products fosters the growth of the availability of this type product and the closure of the cost variance between recycled content and ‘virgin’ products. The following actions will continuously be taken to further foster this program and meet the program objectives:
- All campus departments are to purchase and use products manufactured from or containing recycled materials whenever feasible. In particular, recycled content paper and paper products should be used.
- Requirements’ specifications will be continuously reviewed and revised, as appropriate, to eliminate any discrimination against materials and supplies with recycled content, except where health, safety and welfare would be placed in jeopardy.
- Solicitation documents will be written so as to encourage vendors and contractors to offer products having recycled content and to propose prices for such products. Pricing obtained by the campus will similarly conform. Recycled product proposals will be considered in the evaluation for award, and, where the product is comparable in quality, availability and price,
- Where available, consideration will be given to products which are reusable, refillable, repairable, more durable, less toxic, and use minimal packaging. State term contracts will be used, as well, where recycled content products are listed.
- Public documents published for the University printed on recycled paper will contain a printed statement or symbol indicating that the document was printed on recycled paper.
- Purchases of recycled content paper and paper products are to be reported to the Purchasing Department to support State mandated annual reporting requirements.
- Announcements and correspondence will be made to emphasize the significance of the Buy-Recycled program, where and when appropriate.
The Purchasing Department will serve as the administrator and coordinator of this “Buy-Recycled” program.
Some used equipment has value when used as a trade on the purchase of new equipment of the same type. When a campus department wishes to trade-in used equipment, a request to do must be made of the Purchasing Department and included in the purchase requisition for the affected new equipment. The trade-in request is to include: type of equipment, year of acquisition and production (if known), original or initial acquisition cost(s), model number, serial number, description, and Fixed Asset number. Complete the Trade in Request form and submit it to the Purchasing Department for approval. If the University deems this trade-in desirable, the Purchasing Department will request approval from the State Surplus Property Division. Prior to request for approval, the Purchasing Department should be provided with a written quotation of the trade-in allowance offered by the vendor. Only if approved by the State may the University offer the existing equipment as a trade-in under the purchase.
When a piece of equipment has been disposed of by trading-in on a new item, the disposing campus department will complete and forward equipment disposal form as directed.
Federal, State and County Taxes
The University of North Carolina Greensboro, being an agency of the State of North Carolina, is exempt from Federal Excise Tax. The Purchasing Department must furnish the State of North Carolina Exemption Number to vendors for items subject to Federal Excise Tax, indicated as follows:
Federal Tax Exemption Chapter 32, Internal Revenue Code
For Exclusive Use of North Carolina State Government and Public Schools
Effective July 1, 2004, UNCG is exempt from sales or use tax. Please reference the tax exempt documents on the Purchasing Forms page for more information. If vendors require a certificate, the Purchasing department can provide one upon request. Sales Tax Exemption number is 400004.
By the purchase of specific goods, materials and equipment, campus departments create liabilities for the use of such items and their introduction into the work place which the University must assume. These items include, but are not limited to: equipment and furniture where safety standards may apply; hazardous materials such as chemicals and biological agents; construction materials and products used to alter or modify facilities; portable heating and cooling equipment acquired by departments other than Facility Operations, Residence Life and Auxiliary Services. To ensure the proper compliance of these purchases, campus departments are required to observe the procedures prescribed by the University’s Safety and Health Policy and Procedure Manual in the identification, purchase, use and disposal of goods, material and equipment. Specific sections of the manual requiring action include: Section 0020, Hazard Communication Program; Section 0030, Chemical Hygiene Program; Section 0230, Safety of Purchase Goods. Where appropriate and applicable, the vendor may be required to submit Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to the University Office of Safety upon shipment. As well, campus departments may be required to respond to periodic surveys and reports of the Office of Safety, and any review requirements of equipment and safety equipment requirements and purchases.
To assure the integrity of the University’s computing network and to be able to provide instruction, consultation and maintenance in a cost effective and efficient manner, the University has established Standards for Computer and Related Technology under the Supported Products List. In addition to computer hardware (i.e., computers, printers, display systems, network boards), the Supported Products List also specifies operating systems, network protocol and other operational software which are accepted for general use throughout the University. While campus departments are not precluded from purchasing products not identified in the list above, they should be aware that IT will only support those items.
The State, as a general practice, does not favorably view requests made by a vendor for payments which may precede performance (“advance payment”) or during the course of performance prior to completion or delivery (“partial payment”). The State considers such payments as a form of financing which is an element of determining a vendor’s “responsibility.” The State, however, does permit select instances for “payment plans”, or payments over a period of time; defined herein to include advance and partial payments. Instances where such payments may be applicable are where a substantial initial investment may be required for a commodity which has a protracted or long production lead time, or the same conditions for a future-year delivery. In these instances, the University is required to limit the acceptance of vendors’ request for a “payment plan” and to fully justify the request’s approval. The Purchasing Department will only consider such requests where the campus department finds that the use of a payment plan will best serve the interests of the University and the title (i.e., property rights) to the commodity procured is vested to the University. Recognition of any approved “payment plan” will be recorded by inclusion of the specific plan of payment and the associated incremental transfer of title to the University in the resulting Purchase Order.
Facilities and Auxiliary Services: Repair and Renovation
Facilities and Auxiliary Services: Repair and Renovation – The authority to compose, solicit and make the recommendations for award of all construction and repair requirements defined by North Carolina General Statute 143-129, 143.131 and 143-135.27 has been delegated to the University’s Facilities. This delegation permits Facilities to execute the responsibilities prescribed by the North Carolina State Construction Manual. These responsibilities span from the preparation of bid documents to the requirement’s competitive solicitation to evaluation and recommendation as to award. These delegated actions support the award of individual repair and renovation purchase orders. This is limited to the thresholds established by General Statute.
Pursuant to North Carolina Administrative Code T01:05B.1601 and the North Carolina Procurement Manual, Section 1.1.2 State Special Delegations, University Athletics is delegated the authority to solicit and make the recommendations for award of athletic apparel requirements for requirements less than $10,000. This delegation recognizes certain considerations regarding athlete health and safety, and permissible and allowed product endorsements. As well, this delegation acknowledges the unique cost structure of athletic apparel marketing practices of which University Athletics has expertise. Policies prescribed at Policy 4 are adhered to in accomplishing this delegation. Reviews of each instance purchase is accomplished per this delegation are made by the Purchasing Department to assure that the use is compliant with University guidance prior to the issuance of a consummated purchase order.
Pursuant to the North Carolina Procurement Manual, Section I-1.3 Procurement Methods, acquiring printing should be treated as the University does for all other goods or services. Based upon either the RFQ or the IFB, once the purchase order has been issued to the awarded vendor, no changes may be made to a purchase order or its requirements nor an additional commitment made to a printer (vendor) without the approval of the Purchasing Department. Such changes will be acknowledged by the issuance of a Change Order, where appropriate, by the Purchasing Department.
All Campus Departments printing public documents shall adhere to the following policy:
“Public document” is defined as any annual, biennial, regular or special report or publication of which at least 200 copies are printed, but shall not include intra-University communications nor university correspondence. “ (G.S. 143-169.2.). By definition, public documents would not include documents printed exclusively for use by faculty, staff or students. Public documents do include, but are not limited to: annual reports, invitations, and other documents which are printed for public distribution.
- Public documents, other than ones published for the principal purpose of sale to the public, shall contain the following statement printed adjacent to the identification of the university:
• “(# of copies) copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $____ or $ per copy” (G.S. 143-170.1)
• Example: “5,000 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $15,000 or $3.00 per copy”
- Whenever a public document that is published by the university is printed on recycled paper, the document shall contain a printed statement or symbol indicating that the document was printed on recycled paper. (G.S. 143-170.1)
Purchases from Employees or Employee Family Members
Every reasonable effort shall be made to avoid making purchases from or doing business with UNCG employees (GS-1509).
Purchases of Food Items, Refreshments, Sundries, etc.
Food items, refreshments (coffee, donuts, drinks, etc.) and sundries may not be purchased using State funds. Such purchases may, however, be allowed under certain explicit grants, contracts or trust funds, or discretionary accounts, providing the funding agency will not disallow the expenditure. Further information regarding “business entertainment” expenses may be found in the University Policies and Procedures Manual, Accounting and Budgets Section,
Purchase of Radioisotopes
The possession and use of radioactive sources in excess of exempt quantities is authorized under license to the University by the State of North Carolina in agreement with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The University Occupational Safety and Health Officer, Office of Safety, is required to provide assurances under this license that all radioactive materials are obtained, used, and disposed of in accordance with license specifications. Accordingly, all initial requests for radioactive materials are to be made on a purchase requisition and forwarded to the Safety Officer. Once approved, the requirement will be forwarded to the Purchasing Department for placement of the Purchase Order, provided all licensing requirements have been met.
Purchase of Controlled Substances
The possession and use of controlled substances (drugs having no accepted medical use or drugs having potential for abuse) is governed by the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This law requires every person who manufactures, distributes, prescribes, administers or dispenses any controlled substance or who proposes to engage in any activity utilizing controlled substances to register annually with the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The University Chief Medical Officer is registered for the University as the authorized official to purchase controlled substances for clinic/infirmary use only. This registration cannot be used to purchase controlled substances for instructional purposes or research. Practitioners and individuals within teaching institutions desiring to conduct research or otherwise handle controlled substances must obtain individual registrations from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Purchase of controlled substances cannot be made by or for the University without such proper registration.
Purchase of Industrial Alcohol
The Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) regulates the tax-free purchase of industrial alcohol and specifically denatured spirits. Such purchases may only be made for these items upon receipt of the ATF’s approval as documented by the ATF issuance of an “Industrial Alcohol User Permit” (ATF Form 5150.9). Upon issuance of the ATF permit number, the University may withdraw and use alcohol tax-free on a continuing basis and will remain in force until suspended, revoked, or terminated. The University’s current permit data is:
Permit Number: TF-NC-154
Effective Date: June 4, 1985
Maximum Quantity to be Withdrawn per Calendar Year: 3,000 proof gallons
Associated with the issuance of this permit are the requirements to (a) maintain records and file periodic reports as required by U.S.C. 5275 and its regulations, (b) pay the $250 Special Occupational Tax on an annual basis [a tax on the use of the alcohol and not itself], and (c) post the permit in the authorized and approved place of storage.
- These functions are accomplished by the University’s Department of Chemistry which also provides the University’s only recognized storage facility. The Purchasing Department serves as the ‘custodian’ for the program.
Section 5: After the Order Has Been Placed
When a purchase order is written in response to an offer by the vendor and is based on acceptable terms and conditions, it becomes a binding contract and cannot be broken by either party so long as both parties honor the terms and conditions of the agreement. To break or cancel the contract requires the consent of the other party. When a purchase order is written to a vendor which is not based on a specific quote by the vendor, it does not become a binding contract unless the purchase order is acknowledged and accepted by the vendor in writing or shipment is made and accepted. Changes to a purchase order must be approved by the Purchasing Department. Most vendors are willing to make reasonable changes to an order without penalty to the purchaser. Generally, only when a vendor has expended funds for fabricating special equipment or made shipment will a charge be made for changing or canceling an order.
Receiving of material goods must be done in eMarketplace before payment may be made. Online receiving is required for all Purchase Orders. All deliveries should be opened and inspected upon receipt. Receiving of these items should be entered online as soon as possible. Delay in entering the receiving information will not only delay payment, but may compromise the item’s warranty and any chance of no-fault return of the item. If all items are received in proper quantity and in good condition, the order is considered complete, and receiving should be entered for all items. If partial shipment is received in good condition, receiving should be entered for only those items delivered, until all items are received and the order is complete. If there appears to be physical damage to the shipment (packing cartons are damaged), the cartons are to be opened immediately, and any damage to the merchandise noted while the delivery person is still present. Note any damage, shortage or errors in shipment, and contact vendor with this information along with any packing slip information to arrange replacement of damaged items. Online receiving should be done for items scheduled for return. When all items have been received in good condition, be sure to go into eMarketplace and receive the items.
No supplies or equipment should be returned to a vendor without first obtaining the vendor’s permission and shipping instructions. As the return of merchandise may occur for a number of reasons, the associated financial responsibility or liability will depend on the reason for the return. Generally, when materials are defective, freight charges and other costs involved are the responsibility of the vendor; otherwise, the campus department for which the return is being made may bear the cost involved. Most vendors will charge at least a 10% restocking charge when merchandise is returned as a result of an over purchase, or where the University made an error in requesting materials.
University policy requires that a delivery must be made and receiving done before any payment can be made for goods or services. To obtain delivery prior to the end of the fiscal year in which the purchase is made, the following procedure should be followed: Since delivery on many equipment items may require as much as six months or more and furniture items six to eight-weeks, such purchases must be made as early in the year as possible. These facts do not preclude the placement of such purchase orders late in the fiscal year; however, should delivery not be made before the end of the fiscal year (June 30), payment for the purchase will be from the next fiscal year’s budget. Accordingly, fiscal year end requirements should be submitted in anticipation of the receipt of the goods prior to the end of the fiscal year given these known limiting factors.
Campus departments are to be attentive to any changes in Purchase Order prices as reflected on a vendor’s invoice. The University will issue payment for the price recorded on the Purchase Order unless the following circumstances exist:
- Where there is a pricing deviation under invoiced unit price which will increase the amount paid by no more than 10 percent (%)
- The purchase order is not a “Quote Order” or a State Term Contract order. (Pricing under these types of orders must show no deviation.)
- When the pricing deviation effects a “Quote Order” or a Sate Term Contract order, or exceeds the allowable variance for the particular type of purchase order, the campus department must concur in the deviation.
- Accounts Payable will contact the campus department to discuss the change in price. In lieu of accepting the price deviation, the campus department may decide to refuse or return the merchandise to the vendor. It is the campus department’s responsibility to coordinate return of materials to the vendor.
- The campus department may decide to retain the merchandise and assume the additional cost. In such a case, the campus department will initiate a request for a change order If the vendor’s increased cost is not acceptable, the vendor will be requested to forward a corrected invoice showing prices as indicated on the Purchase Order.
When a vendor notifies the Purchasing Department of a pricing deviation (especially, an increase) prior to delivery or performance, the Purchasing Department will first contact the campus department to determine the department’s desire to complete the order at the additional costs. If the campus department agrees to incur the additional costs, a change order will be issued.
When the pricing deviation is caused by the incurrence of a freight charge, the University will pay the invoiced freight if it appears reasonable and is not a “Quote Order” or State Term Contract Order. Where multiple shipments exist, multiple freight charges may be incurred.
Repair of In-Warranty Equipment
Most new equipment is warranted by the manufacturer for a period of time against faulty parts or workmanship. Such equipment is generally supplied with a warranty card which is to be completed and returned by the campus department to the manufacturer as soon as the equipment is received. Unless this warranty card is returned promptly, some manufacturers will not accept liability for the repair or replacement of the equipment. In the case of equipment obtained by solicitation, the warranty specifications will be spelled out on the solicitation, the offeror’s/bidder’s response, and the purchase order.A request for in-warranty service should be originated by the campus department owning the equipment. The campus department will communicate with the vendor for instructions on handling the warranty repair. If return to the vendor is necessary, the campus department will be responsible for forwarding the equipment to the vendor. The campus department is not to return the equipment until shipping instructions are obtained from the vendor. The vendor repairing the equipment will return the repaired equipment directly to the campus department. The campus department is to provide the vendor with its complete address, including the name of the person in charge of the equipment, room number, and the name of the building. Any freight or service charges not paid by the vendor will be billed to the campus department by the vendor after the transaction is completed.
Repair of Out-of-Warranty Equipment
Repair of out-of-warranty equipment is paid for by the campus department on a per- call basis. Requests for out-of-warranty service not covered by a service or maintenance contract should be initiated by the submittal of a purchase requisition to the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Department will require an online requisition and assign a purchase order number or the PCard may be used for the repair service request and authorize the campus department to contact the service facility.It should be noted here that it is best to always obtain thorough estimates of repair costs in order to avoid spending more for repairs than would be necessary for replacement of the equipment.In instances where a firm-fixed price estimate is not available, the Purchasing Department may issue a “Not to Exceed (NTE)” Purchase Order for the repair. Such a Purchase Order authorizes repair to proceed up to a specified dollar limit; this limit may not be exceeded unless amended by a change order issued by the Purchasing Department. Additionally where conditions warrant, the Purchase Order may provide for a tear-down-and-quote where the campus department is not obligated to proceed with a repair if the initial tear-down and inspection demonstrates that the costs of repair will exceed the value of the equipment or the campus department elects not to proceed. The equipment to be returned for repairs should be returned to the company by the campus department in accordance with the repair facilities shipping instructions.
Policy and Definitions
In the preparation of requirements and specifications and the solicitation of such, all efforts should be made to avoid creating any conditions which may contribute to the protest of an award. Should however a protest occur, it is the University’s policy to resolve protests effectively at the lowest administrative level possible and to maintain integrity and confidence in the University’s purchasing processes. The North Carolina State Agency Purchasing Manual provides general guidance for protest procedures. Additionally, North Carolina General Statute 150B-22 prescribes that any protests, or disputes, should be settled through informal procedures in preference to formal administrative procedures which incur additional costs and time. The protest of award procedures of the University adhere to these principles and North Carolina Administrative Code T01:05B.1519 and General Statute 150B-43, Article 4. Note: The University is exempted from the procedures prescribed for ‘contested decisions’ and the Office of Administrative Hearings by the Administrative Procedures Act, Article 3 per General Statute 150B-1(f).”Protest”, as used in this Policy, means a written objection by an interested party to a solicitation for offers as to matters which may affect a proposed award. “Dispute”, as used in this Policy, is a written objection to issues which may administratively arise during the performance of a purchase order. “Protestor,” as used in this Policy, means an actual or prospective offeror/bidder whose direct economic interest would be adversely affected by an award or by the failure of an award to be made. To be considered a valid “protest”, the objection must be submitted in writing to University as specified herein, and no other party, and adhere to the guidelines of the University protest procedures.
Conditions for Protest
Protests of award generally result from the existence of specifications or terms and conditions in a solicitation assessed by a prospective vendor or contractor to be preferential or unobtainable. Protests may also result from the challenge of an award to a specific vendor or contractor which is assessed by another prospective vendor or contractor as not having the capacity and/or capability to perform the award as specified.Protests may be filed for cause for conditions which are apparent in the solicitation no later than thirty (30) consecutive calendar days from the date of the protested award. Where a protest is filed prior to an award, the protest shall not be considered, the award made and the interested party so informed in writing.To be fully considered, protests must clearly contain and address the following elements:
- Name, address, and telephone number of protestor.
- Solicitation number, or Purchase Order number, and date affected by the protest.
- A detailed statement of the factual grounds for the protest accompanied by copies of all relevant documents. This statement must contain specific sound reasons and attach any supporting documentation for why the party is protesting an award.
- A concise statement as to the form of relief requested by the protestor.
Protest Resolution Procedures
The Director of Purchasing is appointed as the University’s executive officer designee for protest resolution.
Protests of award must be filed by a protestor within 30 consecutive calendar days from the date of the award. Filings not made within this period will not be considered. A copy of filings meeting this time requirement will be furnished to the State Purchasing Officer within five (5) consecutive calendar days of receipt.
The protest is to be addressed to the Director, Purchasing Department who will direct the research of the protest and prepare findings and conclusions.
- If the letter of protest does not contain the information required of a protesting party, or does not merit consideration, the Director, Purchasing Department will refuse the protest and so inform the protestor in writing within ten (10) consecutive calendar days of the receipt of the protest. Such a decision will be coordinated with the University Counsel. A copy of such will be provided to the University Counsel and the State Purchasing Officer upon its release.
- If the protest shows merit, the Director, Purchasing Department may convene a fact-finding meeting with the protestor to fully determine the nature of the protest and to make an initial attempt to resolve the disputed conditions. Prior to such a meeting, the Purchasing Department may seek the University Counsel’s opinion as well as factual statements from the requiring department. It will be the preference of the Purchasing Department to bring the protest to a conclusion – by mutual agreement – at the time of its meeting with the protestor without inhibiting the proposed award or nullifying the actual award.
Should this fact finding meeting not resolve the protest, the Director, Purchasing Department will confer further with University Counsel, as required, and determine whether to conduct a protest meeting with the protestor or to issue a written decision to the protestor. The latter may be elected where the protest does not contain the information required of a protestor, or if the Director, Purchasing Department determines that a meeting would serve no purpose. Such a decision will be coordinated with the University Legal Counsel and a copy of such provided to the University Counsel and the State Purchasing Officer upon its release.
Where a protest meeting request is granted, scheduling of the meeting will be attempted within thirty (30) consecutive calendar days of receipt of the protest. The Director’s, Purchasing Department written decision will be issued within ten (10) consecutive calendar days from the date of the protest meeting. Such a decision will be coordinated with the University Legal Counsel and a copy of such provided to the Legal Counsel and the State Purchasing Officer upon its release.
If the Director’s, Purchasing Department written decision is appealed (within the University purview), a response will be tendered from the Office of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business Services, but only upon the receipt of the protestor’s formal written appeal. Such an appeal must be submitted to the Assistant Vice Chancellor’s office to be accepted. The Assistant Vice Chancellor may elect an additional meeting with the protestor prior to the University issuing any further final written decision.
In the case of an appeal within the University, the Assistant Vice Chancellor shall render the final decision to the protestor. This action may be preceded by a briefing of the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs. Such correspondence will clearly evidence that it is the “final decision” and fully prescribe the final resolution.
If the Director’s, Purchasing Department written decision or the Assistant Vice Chancellor’s “final decision” is appealed subject to the provisions of North Carolina General Statute (G.S.) 150B-43, Article 4, for the ‘right to judicial review’, the appeal must be filed with the appropriate superior court as specified by G.S. 150B-45. Such a filing will be valid only if the conditions of G.S. 150B-51 are met. Under such an appeal, the University Legal Counsel, as the Office of the Attorney General, will be requested to assist in responding and representing the University. The Assistant Vice Chancellor and Vice Chancellor will be briefed on such an appeal’s filing as well as the position of the University in responding.
Disputes may arise during the performance of a Purchase Order. Such a grievance typically result from decisions made while administering a Purchase Order, are initiated by the vendor or contractor performing the order, and represent the lack of agreement by the vendor or contractor in a decision rendered by the University.
To be formally considered, the dispute must be submitted in writing as a claim and demonstrate a demand or assertion seeking, as a matter of right, the payment of monies, the adjustment or specific interpretation of the Purchase Order’s terms and conditions, or some other form of relief.
“Claims” will be addressed as prescribed at Protest Resolution . The principles of protest handling will be applied in claims resolution. Claims regarding the text of a Purchase Order or its performance will be addressed using the following ‘order of precedence’: (a) the Proposal Form (excluding the specifications), (b) the Representations, (c) clauses, provisions and terms and conditions, (d) other documents and attachments, (e) the specifications, and (f) the drawings.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) purchasing card (PCard) is essentially a standard Visa card in which the credit liability rests with the University instead of the individual cardholder. The PCard is issued to a UNCG employee empowering this person to purchase goods, services and/or travel on behalf of the University. This program has been established to allow rapid purchase of low dollar goods and services while simultaneously reducing paperwork and handling costs associated with the small purchase process.
Under no circumstance may this Visa card be used for personal purchases. All expenditures must be within the allotted budget limits with funds in place before expenditures are made.
Role Definition and Responsibility
The department is responsible for reconciling all charges made with a PCard by their cardholders. A PCard Coordinator must be assigned prior to issuing PCards.
First Budgetary Authorities and/or Designees
Oversee the management of the PCard program within their department and assigns new cardholders and/or coordinators. Additional responsibilities include:
- Overseeing the appropriate use of assigned PCards.
- Ensuring sufficient funds for purchases.
- Designating permissible funding sources.
- Identifying PCard Coordinator backup (if necessary).
- Authorizing expenditures to be posted to Banner funds.
- Ensuring PCard Coordinator and Cardholder responsibilities are met.
- Notifying PCard Office if the assigned PCard Coordinator leaves their position.
- Selects department employees for participation in the UNC Greensboro Purchasing Card Program based upon business need and the ability to fulfill program requirements
The First Budgetary Authority may also be the PCard Coordinator or backup. However, all three signatures cannot be same on the Transaction Approval Report. If the cardholder, card coordinator, and budget authority is one person the signature from an immediate supervisor are required.
A PCard Coordinator/Approver and Backup
Must be listed within the University records system (Banner) as a permanent and active UNCG employee. PCard Coordinator/ Backup responsibilities include:
- Electronically reconcile transactions from the receipts given by the cardholders.
- Assigning the appropriate Banner fund/account combination for each purchase.
- Ensuring timely PCard transaction reconciliation.
- Verifying that reconciled transactions post correctly in Banner.
- Submitting documentation and information as requested by the PCard Office using the appropriate form(s).
- Notifying the PCard Office when there are changes to card status, including:
• Changes to cardholder employment within the department
• Unauthorized use of the PCard by a cardholder
• Lost or stolen PCards
• Suspected fraudulent charges
• Disputed bank transactions
- Returning unused or canceled PCards to the PCard Department.
Cardholders are responsible for all charges made to their PCard. The PCard is to be used only by the named cardholder and cannot be given to another person at any time for off-campus purchases. A cardholder can purchase items for other employees within their department if applicable. The cardholder is responsible for:
- Obtaining budget approval prior to each use of the PCard
- Placing orders that comply with all PCard limits and Purchasing policies and spending guidelines
- Safeguarding the card and reporting any lost or stolen cards to the bank immediately
- Ensuring receipt of goods
- Obtaining original receipts for every purchase and submitting them to their PCard Coordinator within a timely manner, before the reconciliation deadline (see receipt section for details)
- Reviewing and signing the monthly transaction approval reports provided by their Coordinator
- Handling all disputes with vendors and bank, if necessary
- Providing PCard Coordinator with all information relative to the PCard transaction
- Taking steps necessary to obtain tax exempt status prior to making purchases
- Verifying service-providing vendors are incorporated
Benefits to the Cardholder
- It is easier to make purchases. The Visa card is accepted virtually anywhere, and it eliminates delays associated with asking a vendor to accept small purchase orders.
- Materials may be acquired faster.
- Complete transaction reporting is provided on a daily basis.
- Vendor information is easier to research and locate.
- Each PCard has a unique number that can default to one UNCG Banner fund/account.
Benefits to UNC Greensboro
- There are fewer computer entries and paperwork processing is minimal.
- Reduces the need for standing orders and petty cash funds.
- Provides increased security of purchases by restricting inappropriate Merchant Category Codes (MCC).
- Improves vendor relations by paying vendors 2 to 3 working days after the purchase is processed.
Benefits to Merchants
- The vendor is paid in 2 to 3 working days after the purchase is processed.
- The PCard process reduces vendor invoicing and the vendor’s accounts receivable process.
Limitations of Transaction Amounts
The following limits are the default maximum limits. If you prefer lower limits, you must put a request in writing (email is acceptable) to the PCard Office.
- Single purchase limit of $4,999.99.
- Daily purchase limit of $10,000.
- Monthly purchase limit of $25,000.
Daily and monthly number of transactions is unlimited at this time.
Splitting a purchase into two or more transactions to circumvent the $4,999.99 transaction limit is considered a misuse of the PCard and will result in the appropriate disciplinary action.
Travel booked on behalf of multiple people is not considered a split transaction. A single cardholder, such as the departmental administrator, may pay for travel charges such as airline or lodging reservations on behalf of multiple staff or students. The total charge limits are based on cost per person; which shall not exceed $4,999.99. If the total combined charges for multiple people exceeds $4,999.99, this will not be considered a split transaction as the charges were made on behalf of other individuals. The cardholder should instruct the vendor to process individual charges separately where possible and individual names should be included with reconciliation documentation and receipts. These limits do not apply to other charges such as office supplies or computers.
Limitations of Purchases
All vendors accepting VISA cards are registered with the bank under a self-proclaimed Merchant Category Code (MCC) identifying their type of business, i.e. airlines, music stores, medical services, florist, ABC stores, restaurants, office supplies, etc. The University has blocked all categories deemed inappropriate for UNCG use, such as entertainment, restaurants, ABC stores, etc. or you have exceeded the single transaction limit/daily transaction limt. If your card is declined, it is often because of a blocked MCC code. If this happens, contact the PCard Office to request to have the PCard opened temporarily to allow the purchase (if acceptable).
If the PCard is declined at a remote location (online, phone, or fax), in addition to the above, check the following items before calling the PCard Office:If the PCard is declined at a remote location (online, phone, or fax), in addition to the above, check the following items before calling the PCard Office:
- The billing address and telephone number: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402; 336-334-4104
- The card number, expiration date, and security code
In all cases, if all these items are correct, and the purchase is legitimate and allowed, contact the PCard Office to confirm that the decline is because of an MCC code, and to open the card temporarily to allow the purchase. The purchase can generally be made within 15 minutes after contacting the PCard Office. Longer wait times may be experienced because of the bank’s system or peak banking hours.
Updating Cardholder Information
Changes to personal data (address, telephone, fax, etc.) can be made by filling out a Change Form (.pdf) and emailing it to the PCard Office at email@example.com. Cardholders who change departments must return the PCard issued by the prior department and request a new card (if applicable) for the new department.
Purchase & Contract Policies
PCard cardholders must abide by all Purchasing policies.
Automatic Renewal of the PCard
PCards are issued with a three-year expiration date. When the renewal date arrives, a new PCard will be issued and the cardholder will be required to return their old card and sign for the new one. Cardholders are not required to renew their PCard, but must return their old card to the PCard Office to be destroyed. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to update the expiration date with vendors who have their card number on file.
PCards can be cancelled due to termination of employment, an employee transferring to another department, PCard inactivity, departmental request, PCard offenses or voluntary surrender.
- If a department wishes to cancel a PCard, it is the coordinator’s responsibility to email an official request to cancel the card or send the typed request on letterhead to the PCard Office.
- If a cardholder is transferring to another department, the existing PCard cannot transfer with the employee and must be cancelled. If the transferring employee is to use a PCard for his/her duties with the new department, the procedures for obtaining a new PCard must be followed.
- Whenever a PCard needs to be canceled, the following steps need to be taken:
• The department must contact the PCard Office immediately requesting that the PCard be cancelled.
• An official request to cancel the PCard must be submitted to the PCard Office via email or letterhead as well as the cut-in-half PCard, if the card has not already been destroyed.
How to Use the PCard
Purchasing with the PCard does not change the rules and regulations required by the University or by your internal departmental procedures. All UNCG and State guidelines remain intact. The card is merely another means of payment.
Sales Tax Exemption
UNCG has North Carolina state sales tax exemption status. The University’s tax ID number is 400004. It is the cardholder’s responsibility to inform vendors of tax exempt status before making purchases and to provide them with a tax exempt letter if necessary. This letter is posted on the PCard website. Certain vendors, i.e. Wal-Mart, do not recognize the tax ID number listed above and issue their own tax ID numbers. Specific vendor information can be found on the website in our PCard How-To section.
Purchases made locally, over the telephone, online, or through a catalog, are state sales tax exempt. Refer to the tax exempt letter for further details.
If North Carolina sales tax is included in a purchase, it is the cardholder’s responsibility to contact the vendor and have the tax credited back to the PCard. Write down who you talked to, when, and the outcome of the conversation and include it in the PCard packet. If this does not occur and transactions are reconciled with sales tax included, the department may be subject to disciplinary action.
Repeatedly patronizing a vendor who does not give sales tax exemption will result in disciplinary action.
Anyone who enters into and/or authorizes a PCard transaction is accountable for such, and should act in a prudent manner, exercising good judgment as to the specific action and source of funding.
The cardholder is also responsible for determining the legitimacy of the purchase and the selection of the vendor. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of a vendor or individual, contact the PCard Office and DO NOT PROVIDE YOUR CARD NUMBER until you’re convinced the vendor is legitimate. The cardholder is the only person authorized to make purchases using the card. Giving your card or card number to another person or using someone else’s card may result in disciplinary action including but not limited to revocation of PCard privileges.
The department head or other authorized person(s) are responsible and held accountable for the financial activity and fiscal integrity of their departments.
Please refer to UNC Greensboro Purchasing Card Employee Agreement signed in the presence of the PCard Specialist or a designated agent. A copy can be found on the Purchasing website.
Use of State Funds
Use of state funds for PCard purchases should be in accordance with the Financial Services Policy 7 – Expenditure Policies. Special attention should also be paid to Purchasing Policy for Unique Purchase Items.
Purchases from Contracts and Grant Funds
The purchasing card is a purchasing tool. All grant and contract requirements to support cost allocation and document retention must be met for all PCard purchases using grant and contract funds.
The cardholder is responsible for obtaining itemized receipts with pricing for a monthly reconciliation process. The receipt must contain the vendor’s name, date of purchase, a description for all items, unit prices, payment method and a total. Packing lists can be used as a receipt only if all these requirements are met. Receipts are given to the PCard Coordinator on a regular basis to be used to reconcile the cardholder’s charges. Receipts and purchases may be tracked using the cardholder’s order log. Unique Identifier must be written on every receipt and the original receipts must be kept in the same order as the billing statement for easy review by the PCard Compliance Auditor.
There are several additional policies to consider when paying for travel-related items with a PCard. Cardholders should familiarize themselves with the Financial Services Travel Policies and Procedures, which must be adhered to when making travel purchases regardless of the means of payment.
- You should follow the proper internal procedures set up specific to your department for determining that a purchase is required and authorized.
- Determine whether the PCard is the most appropriate tool to use for the purchase (restricted item, over the single, daily, or monthly limits, etc.).
- Determine that the total amount of the purchase including shipping, handling, postage, freight, insurance, etc., does not exceed any of the limits listed above. If a limit is exceeded, the bank will automatically refuse the transaction and the vendor will reject the purchase.
- Determine that the price quoted is the best you can obtain. Be sure to request an educational discount.
- State that you are from UNCG and that you will be making your purchase on a VISA card.
- On ALL purchases, inform the vendor that UNCG is sales tax exempt before making the purchase. Our sales tax id number is 400004. If the purchase was made in person, verify that no sales tax was charged before leaving the business.
- Remember to give the supplier your name, department, phone number, and complete delivery instructions. It is recommended that purchases be shipped directly to your campus address whenever possible. Please do not use either a PO Box address or 1000 Spring Garden Street as your delivery address, as this will delay or prevent delivery.
- Obtain a receipt at the time of purchase or pickup. If an item is shipped, the packing slip must be kept if using it instead of a receipt. All receipts and other paperwork must be forwarded right away to the Coordinator so that the reconciliation process can be done in a timely manner.
Remember – the cardholder is the only person authorized to place an order. You may, when necessary, have someone else pick up the items; however, this person is not authorized to sign the credit card sales slip. Follow the applicable instructions for making purchases as described below.
Follow any applicable steps from the above instructions.
- Record the name of the person taking your order.
- Request that a receipt be faxed or mailed to you immediately showing all items as stated above in the Receipts section.
Follow any applicable steps from the above instructions.
- Retain a copy of the fax, and also the fax confirmation, for your records.
- Do not mail a copy of the order to the vendor because this increases the chance that the order will be duplicated. If the company requires the original be sure to clearly mark it “CONFIRMATION OF FAX ORDER, DO NOT DUPLICATE”.
- Remove the PCard card number from the faxed receipt before giving to your card coordinator.
Follow any applicable steps from the above instructions.
- Retain a copy of the order for your records, and request that a receipt is sent to you for your records.
- Remove the PCard card number from the mailed order before giving to your card coordinator.
Follow applicable steps from the above instructions.
- Make sure the vendor’s site is secured before entering your PCard card number.
- Your online receipt or order confirmation can serve as your receipt. Be sure to print this for your records.
- Remove the PCard card number from the online receipt before giving to your card coordinator.
- Do not use a personal account for UNCG-related purchases. Set up a dedicated business account using your UNCG e-mail address for any purchases made for UNCG.
Returns, Damaged Goods, Credits
Items purchased with the PCard may need to be returned. A few tips to make the process easier:
- You may not always receive a receipt for your returns or refunds. A Missing Receipt Form should be completed and submitted with each monthly packet.
- Always retain boxes, containers, special packaging, packing slips, etc., until you are certain that you are going to keep the items. Some items, such as software or fragile pieces, cannot be returned without the original packing materials.
- If applicable, read all enclosed instructions carefully. Often a critical phone number and other instructions are included the packing slip and/or receipt.
- In some cases there may be a restocking fee. The PCard may be used to pay this fee as long as it does not exceed any of the card limits.
Adequate receipts are required for all PCard purchases. Credits, international transaction fees, and erroneous charges seldom have receipts and must have a missing receipt form in the monthly packet in its place. Go to http://web.uncg.edu/bss/MissingReceipt to complete and print off the proper form. Please note that this form is not complete until you have submitted it online. A confirmation email is sent to the cardholder as well as to the PCard Office. If the cardholder does not receive an email, the Missing Receipt Form has not been submitted.
If you do not have a receipt for a legitimate PCard purchase, you must:
- Contact the vendor to request a receipt. Write down who you talked to, when, and the outcome of the conversation.
- If purchased online, sign in and see if you are able to view status of order and retrieve a receipt.
- As a last resort, complete a Missing Receipt form and keep a printout in your monthly PCard packet. You will be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action outlined in Compliance Section.
To define and properly document the purchase and distribution of gift cards and gift certificates purchased using university or grant funds.
- Gift cards/gift certificates may not exceed fifty dollars ($50), per individual, unless approved by the appropriate Vice Chancellor or Provost.
- They may be given for awards or recognition programs such as retirement events, employee recognition events, outstanding achievement, length of service, or participation in various studies.
- No State funds may be used to purchase these cards.
- Gift cards/gift certificates may not be used as a form of honoraria for employees. These types of payments must be processed through the payroll system.
- When gift certificates are being purchased with grant funds, the following criteria must be met: (1) the gift certificate is for research participant incentive payments only and (2) costs for research participant incentive payments are included in the researcher’s grant budget and allowable by the terms and conditions of the specific grant.
A signed “Authorization for the Purchase of Gift Cards/Gift Certificates” (.pdf) is required PRIOR to purchasing gift cards or certificates. This authorization is for a single intended purpose only – ie. a specific study, a specific event, etc. and must be specified in the “detailed description of intended purpose for items purchased” section on the form. It is recommended to limit the number of gift cards purchased at one time so that the disbursement documentation is more manageable. If the original intended purpose or intended vendor changes, a new authorization form must be completed.
The following information will be required:
- Purchaser’s Name
- Purchaser’s Department
- Purchaser’s Signature
- Vendor Name (where gift cards/gift certificates are to be purchased)
- Date and Amount
- Description of what’s going to be purchased (i.e., specific store cards or shopping center gift certificates)
- Description of the intent for use (i.e., a grant’s study, recognition of student employee of the month, recognition for retirement)
- Month/year cards need to be distributed
- Appropriate authorized signature and date
- Original itemized purchase receipt must be attached upon purchase
- This form must be attached to the appropriate documentation for payment (PCard receipt kept in monthly packet or BANFIN 32)
IV. Departmental Documentation
A Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log (.pdf) is required to record the dispensing of all gift cards purchased – even if only one card is purchased for one individual. In the event the gift cards are purchased for a study or research project where the participants are to remain anonymous, the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log AND the Confidential Gift Card Disbursement Logs must be maintained.
1. Proof of original purchase and authorization form must be kept on file with the appropriate method of payment (i.e., PCard packet, BANFIN 32, etc.) The receipt must show the individual gift card numbers purchased.
2. Gift card/certificate numbers must be identified and entered in the “Gift Card or Certificate Number” column of the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log. Refer to How to Identify Gift Card Numbers for assistance locating the correct numbers. The amount of each card must be entered in the “Amount” column.
3. If cards were purchased using a PCard, enter the PC number (from PCWS) on the top of the form where indicated. The PCard Coordinator can provide this number, if unknown.
4. A photocopy of the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log (with the card numbers and amounts) must be kept on file with the appropriate method of payment in the department or with the PI. The original Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log (.pdf) is given to the person disbursing the gift cards.
a) The person disbursing the gift cards must update the disbursement log each time a card is disbursed:
- Locate the card number on the disbursement log
- Enter the name of the person receiving the card in the same line as the card number given
- Ask the person receiving the card to sign their name in the signature field
- Enter the date disbursed
b) The person disbursing the gift cards must sign the disbursement log in the issued by field.
5. As cards are disbursed, the person disbursing the cards must photocopy their logs to keep with the original receipt (in the PCard packet, BANFIN32, etc.) Once all cards have been given out, the photocopied log is replaced by the original, completed disbursement log.
6. At all times the total of the undistributed gift cards/gift certificates and the disbursement log must equal the total of all gift cards/gift certificates purchased. If the purchase was made using the PCard, and the packet is requested for audit, it is the responsibility of the department to provide the most up-to-date disbursement log, along with proof of remaining gift cards/certificates.
7. Confidential studies/research requires the use of a second log – the Confidential Gift Card Disbursement Log (.pdf). This confidential log is kept in the department with the PI.
- Prior to disbursing the cards, enter the card numbers in the Gift card or certificate number field on the log (as done on the Gift Card/Certificate Disbursement Log)
- Assign each participant a unique participant ID/identifying number (you can use the last four digits of their Social Security number or University ID number, the study/research abbreviation and sequential number – such as PSYDEV01, or any other series of numbers of your choice)
- Enter the participant’s name and assigned ID number in the row containing the card number being disbursed to them
- Enter the date disbursed
- The participant must sign as an acknowledgement for receiving the gift card
The Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log must be updated with the information from the Confidential Gift Card Disbursement Log at regular intervals and at the end of the project (and remains with the payment receipt). On the Gift Card/Gift Certificate Disbursement Log in the row corresponding to the gift card number, enter the following for all disbursed cards:
- The participant ID/identifying number is entered in the Person Receiving Card or ID/Identifying No. field
- The Amount and the Gift Card or Certificate Numbers should already be entered
- “On file with PI” or “On file” is entered in the signature field
- The person who disbursed the card signs in the Issued By field
Policy approved and implemented April 2, 2009.
Purchases appearing on the monthly statement from the bank may be disputed up to sixty (60) days from the end date of the statement.
If a charge is not recognized by the cardholder, the first step is to contact the vendor for information regarding the charge. Contacting the vendor saves time and usually solves most issues. Write down the name of the person with whom you spoke, as well as the date and time of your conversation.
If you have a dispute and are unable to obtain satisfaction from the vendor please notify Bank of America’s customer service department at 1-800-300-3084. You will be required to describe the problem and all of the efforts you have made in attempting to resolve it.
The bank may also require that you complete the dispute form. Follow the instructions and fax the form to Commercial Card Services Operations at 1-888-678-6046. They can research the discrepancy and credit will be issued if, in fact, the charge is not valid. Research by the bank usually takes 3-4 weeks. Notify your PCard Coordinator and the PCard Office of all disputed transactions. Disputed transactions must be reconciled by the deadline date in PCWS. If it is an erroneous charge, a missing receipt form must be completed and placed in the PCard Packet in lieu of the receipt. Cardholders are not subject to disciplinary actions for disputed erroneous charges.
A copy of the dispute form should be kept on file in the department with the monthly packet.
Fraudulent charges must be reported to the Bank of America immediately at 800-300-3084. The bank will cancel the card, issue a new one, and follow up on the fraudulent transactions. Contact your PCard Coordinator immediately to advise that your card has been compromised and that you have taken the appropriate action to cancel the card and receive credit. Notify the PCard Office to request that the card be cancelled. The new card will be sent to the PCard Office and usually arrives within 7 business days.
The PCard Coordinator must still reconcile these charges by the deadline date, and place a Missing Receipt form in place of a receipt in the PCard packet. The subsequent credits will be handled the same way.
The delegation of authority to purchase goods using the card is a privilege that automatically ceases upon separation from the University or upon reassignment to another department. The PCard Compliance Office reserves the right to revoke and cancel any PCard(s) for failure to comply with the policies and procedures of the program. A PCard Compliance Reviewer in the Purchasing Department periodically reviews the departmental PCard purchases for propriety. These compliance reviews are meant to ensure purchases are made in accordance with State, University and PCard policies; help departments prepare for an audit; increase awareness of the PCard program among current and potential users; and implement process improvements where needed.
In addition to periodic reviews for compliance, the PCard Compliance Reviewer may identify PCard offenses and infractions and notify the cardholder and coordinator of the established disciplinary action. Other infractions, not already outlined, will be handled on a case-by-case basis by Purchasing Department. Disciplinary action is taken against the offending card holder, except in the case where a coordinator’s duty has not been performed properly and/or when all cards for a coordinator are affected. In order to ensure compliance with the policies procedures of the program, the actions listed in the below chart will be taken by Purchasing Department when infractions occur.
- Late reconciliation of statement
- Personal purchase that is made in error (Accidental use)
- Split transactions (to circumvent single transaction limit)
- Inappropriate and unallowable purchases*
- Failure to comply with NC State Contract Terms (without acceptable explanation)
- Using debarred vendors
- Gift Card issues (log, etc.)
- Missing or inadequate receipt
- Missing/Incorrect Signatures
- Missing 5Ws Information
- Sales Tax Issues
- Inappropriate use of funding source
- Other infractions deemed as minor by the Purchasing Department
Written warning or two week suspension of PCard (depends on the nature of the infraction*). PCard may stay suspended until issue is resolved and documentation of inappropriate purchases is received by Purchasing Department.
Two weeks or one month suspension of PCard (Depends on the nature of the infraction*). Coordinator/Cardholder must justify in writing, as well as provide a list of actions taken to prevent future infractions from occurring, if requested by the Purchasing Department. PCard remains suspended until error is corrected and justification is approved the Purchasing Department.
PCard revoked. Cardholder blocked from new card for minimum of one to four months (Depends on the nature of the infraction*).
Self-reported accidental misuse will carry the least severe disciplinary action unless prior offenses have been committed.
*Willful misuse may result in immediate suspension of the PCard and/or termination of PCard. Infractions going beyond a third offense will be handled on a case-by-case basis and may result in the permanent cancellation of the cardholder’s PCard.