Policies and Procedures

University Purchasing Responsibilities

  • Actively research the vendor community for the best available goods and services at the “least total cost” to the University.
  • Establish a competitive and efficient quote process and ensure that purchasing procedures are followed.
  • Advise and consult with departmental end-users on market trends, technology, new products, training, order procedures, freight claims, vendor conflict resolution, warranty issues, and other purchasing-related activities.
  • Demand and ensure excellence from vendors in meeting contract and agreement provisions.
  • Perform periodic evaluation of vendor performance and contract compliance.
  • Avoid transactions that may create possible conflicts of interest.
  • When possible, recommend satisfactory alternatives for sole-source goods and services.
  • Develop personnel expertise in as many commodities and services as possible to create a complete procurement solution for the benefit of the university community.
  • Establish standards and formulate specifications. Determine the source of supply for any commodity or service requisitioned by a department.
  • Develop, maintain and broadcast the University Purchasing Policy and Procedures Manual.
  • Ensure the participation of Certified Minority Vendors in the university’s procurement activities.
  • Ensure the proper disposal of surplus property.

NSU Departments Responsibilities

  • Properly identify required products and services.
  • Advise University Purchasing in a timely manner of planned acquisitions so that proper quoting requirements are met.
  • Submit requests for bids and orders for goods and services via the proper channels as established in the University Purchasing Manual regardless of vendor, commodity or prior practice.
  • Adhere to established procedures and policies as approved by the University’s Board of Trustees.
  • Review and understand all leasing and service agreements prior to forwarding to University Purchasing.

The university’s interests are best served when individual departments and centers choose the specific products and services to be used, while University Purchasing secures competitive quotes and ultimately selects the most appropriate vendor.

University Purchasing is responsible for soliciting written quotes and proposals based on requests provided by individual departments. In the event that departments have secured the necessary quotes themselves, this supporting documentation should be attached to the purchase requisition form or scanned and sent electronically via the eProcurement system to University Purchasing for review. University Purchasing may secure additional quotes if deemed in the best interest of the university.

In selecting the vendor, the department’s product quality and delivery time requirements will be considered in conjunction with the total price.

The main methods for requisitions are the Non-Standard Requisition form, the OIIT Request form, the NSU blank Purchase Order template form, and the Ariba electronic Purchase Requisition.

Once filled out by the end-user department, the purchase requisition form with the appropriate approval signatures, as well as supporting documentation such as quotes, specifications, and other attachments, will be forwarded to University Purchasing for review.

The Budget Office will verify budget availability, budget approval signature requirements, and encumber the required funds. The Accounts Payable office will verify status to meet IRS compliance requirements.

Orders from vendors requiring pre-payment shall be processed via a Purchase Order form with a notation requesting pre-payment. In these instances, the pre-paid check will be forwarded directly to the vendor by Accounts Payable.

Check requests are not to be used to pay invoices for supplies and equipment. These purchases are required to be made via Purchase Orders.in accordance with the Purchasing matrix by expense code.

Selecting the Product or Service to be Purchased

Each NSU department will determine the specific type of equipment and supplies required for normal operation within its given budget allocation. University Purchasing can assist the department in identifying the appropriate item(s). Once all items identified, the department will forward a completed Non-Standard Requisition form, OIIT Request form, Purchase Order form, or the electronic Purchase Requisition via the eProcurement system to University Purchasing for prompt processing. Advance planning is a critical success factor in the procurement process. Sufficient advance notice must be given to allow University Purchasing to obtain the necessary quotes and to plan for the anticipated delivery lead time. Purchases made in a rush often result in a combination of poor quality and higher prices and therefore must be avoided. Departments are encouraged to contact University Purchasing well in advance for major projects or technically complex needs to plan for the acquisition of equipment and supplies.

Sole Source Items

In instances where required items are of a highly specialized or technical nature, and therefore not available from multiple sources, the requesting department will attach a completed Sole Source Form to the Purchase requisition for University Purchasing review.

Emergency Purchases

University Purchasing will authorize emergency purchases during circumstances beyond the university’s control involving health, public safety, imminent loss or injury, or where an immediate action would reduce more extensive repairs later.

In such an event, University Purchasing will undertake to process the order as expediently as possible. As dictated by the urgency or complexity of the purchase, University Purchasing will either assign a Purchase Order number to the department or place the order directly with the vendor.

Purchases for Goods and Services Up to $5000

Orders with an aggregate value of $5000 or less shall be processed in the following manner:

  • Departmental end-users will forward Non-Standard Requisition forms,  Purchase Order forms, or electronic Purchase Requisitions via the eProcurement system to University Purchasing for proper sourcing and acquisition.

Purchases for Goods and Services Between $5,000 and $25,000

  • University Purchasing is responsible for administering a fair and competitive quote process to obtain products and services at the lowest possible cost.
  • Purchases with a total value of $5,000 or more must be competitively quoted by University Purchasing.
  • University Purchasing is responsible for issuing requests for quotation to multiple vendors and secure their responses in writing.
  • University Purchasing will solicit input from the requesting department to properly identify the required items; assist in the selection of potential vendors; and to participate in the evaluation of the responses to the quote.
  • If the requested materials or services can only be obtained from a sole source vendor, please attach the sole source form when forwarding the purchase order to University Purchasing. Note: University Purchasing is authorized to secure more than one quote for purchases under $5,000 if it is determined that the university will benefit from potential cost savings.

Contracts to be Reviewed by University Legal Counsel

  • All leases, contracts, and agreements for facilities, goods for services that either (i) have a monetary obligation in excess of $15,000, (ii) are for a term of more than one (1) year, or (iii) contain provisions relating to liability, default, indemnification or insurance, must be approved by NSU’s counsel and signed by the President or the Executive Vice President for Administration. (With respect to the Health Professions Division, affiliation agreements for placement of its students must be approved by the Chancellor of HPD). Insurance requirements are to handled by the Risk Management Office

Purchases for Goods and Services from $25,000 to $250,000

  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be prepared by University Purchasing with the assistance of the requesting department. RFP’s will then be distributed to an appropriate selection of suitable vendors.
  • University Purchasing has prepared standard RFP formats and will promptly advise departmental end-users how to make modifications for their specific needs.
  • Departmental end-users and University Purchasing will jointly analyze written quotations from vendors and prepare final recommendations.
  • The Executive Vice-President of Administration and/or Associate Vice President of Business Services shall grant final approval.

Purchases for Goods and Services in Excess of $250,000

  • The procedures for goods and services between $25,000 and $250,000 shall be followed.
  • Finance Committee shall grant approval.

Purchases with Special Requirements

  • Computers, Computer Equipment, and Audio-Visual Equipment
    The office of the Vice President for Innovation and Information Technology (OIIT) must approve, in writing, all purchases for desktop computers, servers, workstations, systems, printers, peripherals, and software. All audio-visual equipment such as overhead projectors, video projectors, screens, sound systems, and video-conferencing systems must also be approved by OIIT in writing. All requests for computer and related equipment, software, and audio-visual products must be submitted on an OIIT Technology Request for Purchase Form. Once the equipment request is approved, OIIT will forward the necessary information to University Purchasing for prompt processing.
  • Purchases Using Grants and Contracts Funds
    Principal investigators (PI) and project directors (PD) are required to approve all requisitions for products and services. In addition, approvals from the appropriate department heads and center/college deans must also be secured. The Purchase Order is then forwarded to the Office of Grants and Contracts (OGC) for review of compliance according to governmental and agency guidelines. Once approved, the Purchase Order is to be forwarded to University Purchasing for prompt processing.
  • Vehicles (Purchases)
    All requests for vehicle purchases shall be competitively bid by University Purchasing and evaluated for leasing as an alternate acquisition method. The University’s Fleet Department under the supervision of Facilities Management shall consult with the Fleet Management contract vendor to provide a comparable quote. It will be up to the Finance Department to advise on lease versus purchase decisions.

Goods and Services not Subject to University Purchasing Review

The following commodities and professional services may require the review and approval from specific University departments other than or in addition to University Purchasing:

Architectural & Engineering Services Contact Facilities Management
Audit Services Contact University Finance
Construction Contracts Contact Facilities Management
Employment Services Contact Office of Human Resources
Insurance Contact Risk Management
Legal Services

Contact University Counsel

Printed Materials Contact University Publications
Travel Services Contact Travel Office

The following chart has been developed to assist departmental end-users in identifying the proper order procedure for goods and services:

University Purchasing does not assist or become involved in any transactions for purchases of a personal nature. University Purchasing may also question transactions that seem to be of a personal nature or of an inappropriate expenditure of university funds.

Purchases not made for the express purpose of university business are contrary to University Policy. Purchases contrary to this policy may result in the university considering the purchase void. In such a case the university may decline to pay the invoice and will advise the supplier to look for payment from the individual who initiated the order.

Nova Southeastern University does not purchase goods and services from companies or individuals where there is a recognized potential for conflict of interest.

Faculty or staff members who would benefit financially from a given potential supplier selling goods and services to the university may not participate in the supplier selection process.

It is contrary to University Policy for any university employee to personally solicit, demand or receive any gratuity of any kind from a firm or individual in connection with any decision affecting a university purchase.

It is the responsibility of departmental end-users to immediately inspect all incoming shipments for shortage and defects. The responsible vendor should be alerted of any problems or discrepancies. Persisting or unresolved situations should be brought to the attention of University Purchasing

It is the responsibility of individual departments not using Ariba for ordering and receiving to ensure that packing slips, invoices and freight bills are checked for accuracy and then forwarded to University Accounts Payable stamped with the appropriate receiving information as required by Accounts Payable policies and procedures.

It is the responsibility of individual departments using Ariba to complete the online Ariba Receipt by accepting or rejecting items as appropriate. All invoices against Ariba Direct Orders will go directly to Accounts Payable. Payment for invoices against Ariba Direct Orders are based on the Ariba Receipt (RC) for that order.

Departments requesting equipment from outside vendors on loan or temporary trial must coordinate their activities with University Purchasing.

Nova Southeastern University, consistent with federal, state and local laws, encourages and promotes the participation of minority business enterprises that have been certified by the State of Florida and Broward County. Minority enterprises compete equally with majority firms and must provide the University with the same quality goods and services.