Purchasing Policies

Purchasing Policies

Certified Diverse Suppliers

Vincennes University is committed to providing certified minority, women, and veteran owned business every opportunity to compete for its business. Efforts will be made in the Purchasing Department to identify Diverse vendors, inform those vendors of University requirements and solicit quotes from such vendors whenever possible. Efforts will be made to communicate to Diverse vendors regarding the purchasing process so that they may become more viable suppliers.

If you are interested in learning more about the Division of Supplier Diversity please visit www.in.gov/idoa/mwbe. If you need further assistance or have questions regarding the Division of Supplier Diversity certification program please contact their office at (317) 232-3061, Monday-Friday (excluding state holidays), from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST).

Competitive Bidding

The policies with regard to quotes and bids for Vincennes University are intended to secure timely delivery of goods and services to the University at the most cost effective price; to encourage competition while promoting ethical business practices with all parties.

Competitive quotations and/or bids are to be secured in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Orders totaling up to $999.99 - written quotations may or may not be solicited depending on the items.
  2. $1,000.00 to $9,999.99 - Three written quotations should be obtained.
  3. $10,000and up - Three written quotations must be obtained.
  4. $100,000.00 and up – A formal bid process must be followed. This process must be conducted through the Purchasing Department. Formal advertisements, bid openings, and approval from the Board of Trustees may be required. These requirements also apply to construction projects, but are handled through the Facilities and Planning Department rather than the Purchasing Department.

In certain cases, such as sole-source purchases or instances where the low bid is not selected, written justification from the end user of the item is required. These are the requirements that are necessary to protect the University and are required by the governmental body, which audits the University Financial Records.

A written quotation is a legally binding instrument providing such things as pricing, delivery, and shipping terms. Thus, it protects the University budget unit from price increases.

The requisitioning department is encouraged to work with the Purchasing Department early in the requisitioning process. The preferred method of obtaining quotes is for the department to provide Purchasing with a requisition or a memo describing the items needed. If the department knows possible suppliers, these may be suggested. Typically, the Purchasing Department sends prospective suppliers a written description of the goods or services needed on a standard request for quotation form.
This process ensures that all bidders receive the same information. Special instructions and deadlines can also be communicated. Planning ahead for purchases, providing descriptions that are accurate and complete, and indicating any time constraint help this process move smoothly.

Upon receipt of the quotations, the Purchasing Department will evaluate them and forward to the requisitioning department with recommendations. A letter of justification must be submitted to the Purchasing Department if a user specifies that the product or service be purchased from a particular vendor that does not have the lowest price. This letter must have some substance and give rationale behind the selection.

In the event that the requisitioning department has obtained quotations on their own, copies of all the quotes (not just the preferred one) must accompany the requisition. If the department has contacted companies and received the response of "no bid”, this information should also be provided. For the documentation to be complete, the names of the companies contacted and their responses need to be recorded; a list of the bidders alone is not sufficient.

Conflict of Interest

Indiana Code 35-44-1-1-4 provides that it is a Class D Felony for a University employee to benefit financially from a contract or purchase connected with the University, unless the University employee files a written disclosure statement prior to the University taking final action on the contract for purchase, which discloses the employee’s financial interest in the contract or purchase.

The disclosure statement must be approved by the Board of Trustees and filed with the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

The work performed for the University by the employee must be unrelated to the contract or purchase.

In addition, a written disclosure statement is required if the employee’s spouse and child may financially benefit from a purchase or contract of the University over which the University employee has some direct or indirect responsibility.

A Conflict of Interest Form is to be processed through the organizational structure with signatures of the responsible persons required at each level and forwarded to the Vice President for Financial Services and Government Relations.

Supplier Selection

The University considers its vendors to be valuable assets. It attempts to administer buying practices to enable all worthwhile suppliers to be considered and dealt with ethically. The appropriate ones will be awarded shares of the University's business on the basis of competitive prices, services rendered, and ultimate long-range benefit to the University.

Potential vendors are selected by the Purchasing Department based on their ability to serve the needs of the University in the most efficient and economical manner possible on a continuing basis. Past performances of vendors and cooperation with the University are important factors in vendor selection. It is virtually impossible for the University to purchase efficiently from all available sources for the thousands of items requested. Therefore, the buying power of the University must be concentrated as much as possible with selected vendors to attain the maximum advantage of price and service.

All departments are encouraged to suggest sources of supply with complete addresses and phone numbers. Authority for the final selection of the vendor, however, remains with the Purchasing Department, which is charged with the overall responsibility for developing and contracting with the best sources of supply for the University. Please note that the Purchasing Department will follow each department's recommendations as much as possible.

All computer hardware, accessories and software will be forwarded to the IT department for approval and price verification.