Policies and Procedures

The Office of Procurement Management will be referred to as “procurement management” within the context of university procurement policies and procedures.

  • Employ ethical procurement practices.
  • Ensure compliance with university policies, audit requirements, competitive bidding requirements, laws, and government circulars.
  • Identify and participate in available state contracts, cooperative purchasing initiatives and consortiums, and other group purchasing organizations benefiting the university.
  • Negotiate, establish, use, and ensure compliance with local and regional contracts, when necessary.
  • Actively research the supplier community for commodities and services at the best value to the university.
  • Facilitate and manage the competitive bid process in compliance with university procurement policies and procedures.
  • Source and expedite purchase orders.
  • Advise and consult with requesters on market trends, new products, training, order procedures, freight claims, supplier conflict resolution, warranty issues, and other procurement-related activities.
  • Analyze and coordinate historical and cross-functional purchases to leverage aggregate, university-wide spend.
  • Identify and communicate product standards to university community
  • When possible, recommend satisfactory alternatives for sole-source goods and services.
  • Demand and ensure excellence from suppliers in meeting contract and agreement provisions and maintaining supplier performance standards.
  • Perform periodic evaluation of supplier performance and contract compliance.
  • Research and screen potential university suppliers.
  • Avoid transactions that may create possible conflicts of interest.
  • Develop personnel expertise in as many commodities and services as possible to create a complete procurement solution for the benefit of the university community.
  • Develop, review, update, and communicate university procurement policies and procedures.
  • Ensure the participation of certified minority suppliers in the university’s procurement activities.
  • Ensure the proper disposal of surplus property.

All university employees and faculty and staff members will be referred to as "requesters" within the context of university procurement policies and procedures

  • Review, understand, and comply with university procurement policies
  • Properly identify required products and services.
  • Clearly communicate requirements to procurement management.
  • Review all leasing and service agreements prior to submitting purchase requisitions.
  • Advise procurement management, in a timely manner, of planned acquisitions, so that proper quoting requirements are met.
  • Ensure necessary funding is available and approved for the purchase of commodities and services requested.
  • Ensure required authorizations have been secured for the purchase of goods and services requested.
  • Respond to requests for additional information in an accurate and timely manner.
  • Maintain confidentiality and integrity of the sourcing and procurement process.
  • Use the proper method for acquiring goods and services, as outlined in the Procurement Matrix and Authorized Procurement Methods.
  • Inspect and confirm quality and accuracy of commodities and services delivered in a timely manner.
  • Submit Ariba Receipts (RC), authorizing payment for commodities and services received, in a timely manner.

Each requester will determine the specific type of equipment, supplies, and services required for operation within his or her given budget allocation. Procurement management can assist the requester in identifying the appropriate item(s) and/or service(s).

Advance planning and early procurement management involvement is a critical success factor in the procurement process. Sufficient advance notice must be given to allow procurement management to obtain the necessary quotes and to plan for the anticipated delivery lead time.  Approval activities outside of procurement management, such as legal review, sponsored programs review, and the IT approval process, should also be considered when planning purchases.  Unplanned rush purchases often result in a combination of poor quality and higher prices, and therefore, must be avoided.

Requesters are encouraged to contact procurement management well in advance for major projects or technically complex needs to plan for the acquisition of equipment and supplies.  See Authorized Procurement Methods, Purchases with Additional Requirements, Solicitation of Bids, and Competitive Bidding Thresholds sections for more detailed information. 

Only those people authorized by the university may commit university funds to purchase goods or services or enter into an agreement with a supplier to purchase goods or services. 

Also see Requesting Products and Services, Solicitation of Bids, and Procurement Matrix sections for guidelines for identifying the proper order and payment procedure for goods and services.

Purchase Orders

A purchase order, commonly referred to as an Ariba Direct Order (DO), is a binding document between the university and a supplier.  DOs are bound by the university’s purchase order general terms and conditions. DOs may only be issued by authorized individuals in procurement management.  All equipment and supplies shall be purchased using this procurement method regardless of funding source or dollar amount of purchase. 

Purchase Orders for services shall be used when the quantities, frequency, and established rates for services rendered are static in nature. 

Check Requests

A Check Request (CR) may be used as a form of payment when the use of an authorized Ariba DO is not possible or not required as determined by the office of procurement management.    

Check Requests for services shall be used when the quantities, frequency, and established rates for services rendered are dynamic in nature, assuming all other required procurement activities such as single/sole source verification or competitive bids have been performed and proper documentation of such activities is provided by the requester upon submitting the CR.  


University Issued Credit Cards

NSU Financial Operations will issue procurement cards to employees for emergency purchases and for occurrences where a supplier will not accept an authorized DO.  For information on obtaining a procurement card, please contact NSU Accounts Payable. 

Unauthorized Purchases

Purchases not made for the express purpose of university business are contrary to university policy.  Purchases contrary to 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’s purchase order terms and conditions apply to all university issued purchase orders unless different terms and conditions are otherwise agreed to in writing as part of a separate agreement between the university and the supplier. A purchase order will be deemed accepted by the supplier either upon: 1) seller’s written acknowledgement of the purchase order; 2) shipment of goods; or 3) commencement of performance of services.

Purchase Order General Terms and Conditions

By leveraging institutional purchasing power, the university is able to realize savings and secure overall best value for products and services.  This is passed onto the faculty and staff in the form of reduced approval cycle times, audited pricing transparency, cost avoidances, realized savings, and more efficient transactions.

The university has access to national cooperative purchasing agreements through E&I Cooperative Services Inc., U.S. Communities, and ICUF, along with the ability to access the state of Florida agreements.  Additionally, procurement management negotiates local and regional contracts to fulfill purchase requests that are not covered through any of the above affiliations. 

Procurement management will evaluate the use of time and material type contracts when a standard service contract may not be applicable.

See Requesting Products and Services for additional information on Preferred Suppliers.

Preferred Suppliers (Ariba Catalog Suppliers)

Preferred suppliers should be used to procure commodities and services whenever possible. When specific categories are not listed or when preferred suppliers cannot meet a requester’s requirements, procurement management will work with the requester to identify an appropriate supplier.

Preferred suppliers are those suppliers that have either

  • successfully completed procurement management’s competitive bid process, or
  • offer pre-negotiated pricing and terms through state contracts as indicated through MyFloridaMarketplace.org, or
  • are eligible to sell products and services to the university through group purchasing organizations (GPO), such as MedAssets, Educational and Institution Cooperative Service, Inc. (E&I), U.S. Communities, and other such organizations, or
  • have established a private agreement with the university, and
  • offer an electronic catalog through the university’s Ariba eProcurement system; are not debarred or suspended from doing business with the Federal Government, as verified through the System for Award Management (SAM); and consistently and successfully pass ongoing pricing and performance audits

See Ariba Catalogs for preferred suppliers based on commodity requested.  An Ariba catalog PR is to be submitted to initiate the request to purchase goods as indicated in the Procurement Matrix and as facilitated by the Ariba catalogs available within the system.

Approved Suppliers

Approved suppliers are those suppliers that do not have an electronic catalog through the university’s eProcurement system, Ariba, but

  • have completed the NSU Supplier Registration Form, including all required documents, and are not debarred or suspended from doing business with the Federal Government, as verified through the System for Award Management (SAM)
  • maintain “active” status in university supplier databases
  • adhere to university policies and procedures


Ariba Catalog and Non-Catalog Purchase Requisitions

Preferred suppliers offer electronic catalogs.  Items from preferred suppliers are commonly referred to as “catalog” items.  Procurement management approval requirements are significantly reduced when Ariba purchase requisitions (PR) are submitted consisting entirely of catalog items.  PRs for all other items, or “non-catalog” items, require procurement management approval.  See Procurement Management Ariba PR Approval Thresholds for more information.

All documentation should be provided as comments and/or attachments in the spaces provided within the system.  Such documentation includes ship to information, special instructions, supplier quotes (PDF is the preferred format; MS Word and MS Excel are also accepted.), supplier terms and conditions (if applicable), supplier agreements, contracts, or any other such commitment (if applicable), product specifications, and rush or emergency status, including "need by" dates (if applicable).

Competitive Bids may be required prior to approving a PR for the purchase of goods and services depending on the dollar amount or the purchase, the source of funding, or other contributing factors.  See Solicitation of Bids and Competitive Bid Thresholds sections for more information.  Upon final approval of the PR, an Ariba Direct Order (DO) will be generated and sent to the supplier for order fulfillment.

For access to the Ariba system, complete the Ariba System Access Form, obtain required approval, and submit to the NSU Budget Office for processing.  

Ariba System Access Form


Procurement Management Ariba PR Approval Thresholds

Procurement management approval is required when

  • the PR includes one or more “non-catalog” items
  • the PR includes ALL catalog items, but
    • the quantity requested for one or more line items is greater than 100
    • the unit price of one or more line items requested is greater than $500
    • the extended price of one or more line items requested is greater than $5,000
    • the total cost of the PR is greater than $5,000

In addition to departmental and procurement management approvals, other university approvals may be required.  Please see Purchases with Additional Requirements for more information.

The Procurement Matrix has been developed to assist requesters in the identification of the proper order procedure for goods and services:

Procurement Matrix

When submitting an Ariba purchase requisition (PR) or Check Request (CR) which qualifies as a single/sole source purchase, a single/sole source procurement justification is required.  The single/sole source nature of the purchase must be approved and verified PRIOR TO committing the university in any way, including but not limited to; purchase order issuance, pre-payment, supplier service performance, or any other similar activities.  Signatures and dates captured on the form must reflect approval and verification prior to order, service, or invoice date.

The single/sole source documentation must state the steps taken to determine the single/sole source’s status and those steps must be verified by the office of procurement management. When a sole source transaction exists, the competitive solicitation process is not utilized.  The single/sole source supplier is required, however, to submit its proposal or quotation in writing.  Additionally, the single/sole source nature of a purchase does not preclude procurement management from engaging in additional negotiations with the single/sole source supplier on terms and conditions, pricing, or other procurement related activities which may benefit the university.

This justification must be submitted by attaching an authorized sole source form to the Ariba PR or CR. 

Download the Single/Sole Source Justification Form:

Single/Sole Source Justification Form

Purchases for the commodities and services that follow may require the review and approval from specific university departments other than, or in addition to, procurement management.

Architectural and Engineering Services

All requests for architectural and engineering services must be reviewed and approved by facilities management.

Audit Services

All requests for audit services must be reviewed and approved by financial operations.

Construction Services

All requests for construction and renovations services must be reviewed and approved by facilities management.

Employment Services

All requests for employment services must be reviewed and approved by human resources.

Equipment and Vehicle Leases

Lease versus buy options for equipment may be reviewed as part of the competitive bid process when applicable.  The university’s fleet department is responsible for the acquisition and disposition of the university’s service fleet.  It will be up to the finance department to advise on lease versus buy decisions.

Insurance Services

All requests for insurance services must be reviewed and approved by risk management.

Legal Services

All leases, contracts, and agreements for facilities, goods for services that either 1) have a monetary obligation in excess of $15,000, 2) are for a term of more than one year, or 3) 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. Insurance requirements are handled by risk management.

Printed Materials

All requests for printing services must be reviewed and approved by publications.

Sponsored Programs

The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) must review and approve Ariba purchase requisitions for purchases made under a sponsored award if said award is managed by OSP.  OSP provides oversight in determining allowability and compliance with funding agency polices, terms, and conditions. 

Purchases made under sponsored awards will be made in accordance with OMB 2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al. Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Final Rule  (Click Here to download the full contents) when applicable.  At a minimum, procurement management will engage in sourcing activities when characteristics indicative of a procurement relationship between NSU and a supplier are present, the commodity or service has not been determined to be a single/sole source, and the university’s established bid thresholds have been met.  In accordance with the OMB Federal Register Subrecipient Monitoring and Management Section, characteristics indicative of a procurement relationship between NSU and supplier include those occurrences when the supplier:

  • provides the goods and services within normal business operations
  • provides similar goods or services to many different purchasers
  • normally operates in a competitive environment
  • provides goods or services that are ancillary to the operation of a government sponsored award (if applicable), and
  • is not subject to compliance requirements of a government sponsored award (if applicable) as a result of an agreement with the funding agency, though similar requirements may apply for other reasons

See Solicitation of Bids and Competitive Bid Thresholds for more information on purchases for sponsored awards.  Requesters should also visit the Office of Sponsored Programs website at www.nova.edu/osp for additional information.

Technology Related Requests

The Office of Innovation and Information Technology (OIIT) must approve technology-related purchase requisitions, such as laptops, desktop computers, servers, workstations, systems, printers, peripherals, and software. All audiovisual equipment, such as overhead projectors, video projectors, screens, sound systems, and videoconferencing systems, must also be approved by OIIT.

Travel Services

All requests for travel services must be reviewed and approved by the travel office.

An Ariba RC is always associated with an Ariba Direct Order.  Not to be confused with receipts for reimbursement, Ariba RCs are generated as a method for requesters to indicate the actual receipt of a good or service ordered through the use of a DO. 

Requesters are required to complete a thorough inspection of goods received and services rendered immediately upon receipt.  If no damage, defect, or errors are found, the requester must complete the Ariba RC associated with the PR in a timely manner.  The supplier should be alerted of any problems or discrepancies. Persisting or unresolved situations should be brought to the attention of procurement management.

An RC can be completed by accepting or rejecting one or more line items on the RC.  Submitting the RC for items accepted indicates the “OK to Pay” to accounts payable.  Accounts payable will not process payment for any purchase orders until an RC is submitted. 

Procurement management will acquire commodities and services through open and transparent competitive bidding, tendering, and single/sole source procurement processes.  In some cases, sourcing activities may not result in the issuance of a purchase order, however, this does not negate the requirement for due diligence performance.    See Authorized Procurement Methods and Competitive Bid Thresholds sections for more information.

Requester responsibilities are defined in the Roles and Responsibilities section.  Advance planning is a critical success factor in the procurement process. Sufficient advance notice must be given to allow procurement management to obtain the necessary bids and to plan for the anticipated delivery lead time.  The duration of the bid process is determined by the complexity of the request, the accuracy and completeness of the information provided by the requester, the prompt identification of potential bid participants, and realistic conditions of the market.

To facilitate the timely issuance and accuracy of the bid solicitation, requesters are asked to complete the appropriate intake form based on the sourcing method applied, as determined by procurement management. 

Based on the purchase amount and complexity of the purchase requirement, procurement management shall invite competitive bids from suppliers through one of the following methods.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFP is a commonly applied sourcing method used by NSU for soliciting pricing and availability of goods or services. The RFP process shall be undertaken by procurement management upon submission of a purchase requisition in the Ariba system by a requester. To ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the RFP process, competitive bids shall be solicited using, and results stored in, the university’s Ariba Sourcing system. No other university department or individual is authorized to issue an RFP on behalf of the university.

Unless otherwise determined, RFP documents are issued to a minimum of three bid participants and include the standard university conditions related to insurance requirements, indemnification, and confidentiality, as well as a detailed scope of work and/or specifications including, but not limited to, quantity, description, delivery requirements, special conditions, and drawings. Timely RFP responses are collected and reviewed and results are recorded by procurement management and other stakeholders as needed (collectively referred to as “reviewers”). Responses are evaluated and, all things being equal, the award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.

Additionally, bid participants may be asked to attend site visits as needed, depending on the nature of the bid.  Bid finalists may be asked to provide presentations to further clarify their responses and qualifications to fulfill the requirements of the project.

The reviewers will make a recommendation to the appropriate approving authority for award to the participant determined by the reviewers to have presented the best solution to fulfill the bid request. The appropriate approving authority will vary from project to project (e.g., dean, vice president, executive vice president, provost, or president).

RFP awards are often formally awarded by issuing a purchase order. 

Request for Information (RFI)

Also a commonly applied sourcing method, an RFI is often used when a desired outcome has been identified, but the means for achievement have not.  This standard business process’ purpose is to collect information about the capabilities of various suppliers to accomplish the desired outcome. Normally, it follows a format that can be used for comparative purposes.  An RFI often precedes an RFP.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

An RFQ is a standard business process used to invite suppliers to participate in a bidding process for specific products or services.  NSU RFQs typically seek to simply identify a price per item.  An RFQ is usually awarded to the lowest bidder and is often awarded by issuing a purchase order.

Supplier Selection Process

Procurement management will award contracts only to responsible suppliers possessing the ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of a proposed procurement.  Consideration will be given to such matters as price, supplier integrity, compliance with public policy, record of past performance, and financial and technical resources when making a bid award.

Procurement management is responsible for administering a fair and competitive quote process to obtain products and services at the best possible value.

Requesters will consult with procurement management with sufficient advance notice prior to purchase of goods and services in order to determine appropriate sourcing activities, documentation requirements, and ordering and payment methods.

See Responsibilities, Authorized Procurement Methods, and Solicitation of Bids for additional information.

Purchases for Goods and Services Up to $5,000

Solicitation of bids or purchase requisitions with an aggregate or estimated value of $5,000 or less shall be processed in the following manner:

  • Requesters will submit Ariba purchase requisitions to procurement management for proper sourcing and acquisition for all supplies and equipment.
  • Requesters are responsible for consulting procurement management to obtain price or rate quotations from an adequate number of qualified sources in accordance with OMB 2 CFR Chapter I, Chapter II, Part 200, et al. Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards for all purchases made under a government sponsored award with a total value exceeding $3,000 (or $2,000 in the case of acquisitions for construction subject to the Davis-Bacon Act).  See Purchases with Additional Requirements for more information.
  • Procurement management 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.

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

Solicitation of bids or purchase requisitions with an aggregate value between $5,000 and $25,000 shall be processed in the following manner:

  • Purchases with a total value of $5,000 or more must be competitively quoted by procurement management.
  • Procurement management is responsible for issuing requests for quotation to multiple suppliers and to secure supplier responses in writing.
  • Procurement management will solicit input from requesters to properly identify requirements, assist in the selection of potential suppliers, and participate in the evaluation of the responses to the quote through the use of the appropriate sourcing intake form.
  • Procurement management will maintain an open, competitive environment by providing details and specifications based on requirements for function and performance.  When unable to provide clear and accurate descriptions of requirements, a “brand name or equivalent” description may be used. 
  • If the requested materials or services can only be obtained from a single or sole source supplier, a sole source form will be required when submitting the purchase requisitions or check request as indicated in Authorized Procurement Methods.

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

Solicitation of bids or purchase requisitions with an aggregate value between $25,000 and $250,000 shall be processed in the following manner:

  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be prepared by procurement management with the assistance of the requester. RFPs will then be distributed to an appropriate selection of suitable suppliers.
  • Procurement management, having prepared standard RFP templates, will promptly advise requesters how to submit requirements, product specifications, and/or scopes of work for their specific needs through the use of the appropriate sourcing intake form
  • Procurement management and requesters will jointly analyze written quotations from suppliers and prepare final recommendations for award.
  • The vice president of business services shall grant final approval for the award.
  • If appropriate, an Ariba purchase requisition or check request will be issued to the supplier.

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

Solicitation of bids or purchase requisitions with an aggregate value in excess of $250,000 shall be processed in the following manner:

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

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. 

Nova Southeastern University, consistent with federal, state, and local laws, encourages and promotes the participation of certified minority business enterprises. Minority enterprises compete equally with majority firms and must provide the university with the same quality goods and services.

Procurement management will comply with the records management policy of the university.

The Office of Procurement Management (OPM) in conjunction with Facilities Management and Financial Operations, is responsible for assisting in the proper disposal of university owned equipment, supplies or materials that have been declared surplus property.  Items that departments no longer use can be redistributed to other departments sold, donated, or scrapped. The sale of surplus items shall be accomplished by competitive bids administered by OPM. This policy does not preclude the University of disposing of equipment or supplies through trade-in toward the purchase of new items.


Please visit http://www.nova.edu/fixed-assets/surplus.html for more information regarding the University’s Surplus Property and Equipment Policy