Purchasing and Contracts
As a state agency, SUNY Cobleskill, must procure commodities, services, and technology in accordance with New York State and SUNY rules, regulations and guidelines. It is for this reason that all commitments for the purchase, lease or rental of goods and services (other than procurement credit card purchases) require advance approval.
The Business Office is committed to providing an efficient and responsive purchasing service to the College. Our collective goal is to gain the highest possible value for our funds and remain in compliance with NYS and SUNY procurement requirements. In that regard, campus personnel involved in the procurement process should consider the campus purchasing agent, and personnel in the Business Office, as a resource to provide guidance with specific purchasing actions including competitive bidding, advertising, contracting, etc (see exhibit below). Further, for most day-to-day purchases, the use of a procurement credit card is the preferred method of purchase. For all other purchases, a thorough knowledge of the following guidelines is imperative. Below are the typical steps necessary to affect a purchase:
- Complete a purchase requisition with full vendor information, description, terms, pricing, and coding. Attach any quotes if applicable.
- Obtain the necessary department level approval.
Forward requisition to the Business Office. All purchases between $1,000 and $15,000 require a written quote. All purchases over $15,000 require the campus to initiate a procurement record which may include: (a) a statement of need, (b) reasonableness of cost, (c) vendor choice, (d) advertisement in the NYS Contract Reporter, (e) Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire, (f) ST220CA tax form, and (g) Procurement Lobbying Law Legislation form. Items (a-c) shall be submitted by the requestor with the requisition. Items (d-g) will be sent by the Purchasing Agent to the vendor for completion. Please contact the purchasing agent at 5626 for guidance or with questions pertaining to additional New York State and SUNY purchasing requirements prior to soliciting quotes.
- The Business Office will determine whether a purchase order is generated, or if a contract document is required. A copy of a purchase order will be forwarded to the vendor, and a copy is sent to the originating department. A purchase order creates an immediate encumbrance against the account charged and is a contract. It is binding commitment when accepted by the vendor. Please see below for contract requirements.
- Upon receipt of merchandise or service, all packing slips and invoices are forwarded to the Business Office in a timely manner. Under prompt payment legislation, payments to vendors must be made within 30 days of receiving goods in satisfactory condition.
The following chart summarizes the publishing and bidding requirements for one-time purchases of commodities or services.
SUNY Advertising and Purchasing Limits
|NYS Contract Reporter Advertising Requirements|
Less Than $50,000
|No advertising requirement. Advertising is encouraged to solicit quotes to gain justification and reasonableness of cost.|
Over $50,000 or more
|All purchases greater than this amount must be advertised in the Contract Reporter for a minimum of 15 business days.|
|Competitive Purchasing Limits|
Up to $50,000
|No Formal Process required but the department must document reasonableness of cost and justify selection of vendor.|
between $50,000 and $125,000
|Solicit three (3) informal proposals or quotes. Document reasonableness of cost and justify selection of vendor.|
greater than $125,000
|Solicit a minimum of five (5) sealed formal bids/proposals, and selection is based on pre-established evaluation criteria with final written approval of the evaluation committee.|
greater than $250,000
|Solicit a minimum of five (5) sealed formal bids/proposals, and selection is based on pre-established evaluation criteria with final written approval of the evaluation committee.
These purchases also require approval by the NYS Attorney General and the NYS Office of the State Comptroller.
This chart is an abbreviated outline of basic procurement advertising and purchasing threshold limits. It does not include the additional documentation required for procurements greater than $15,000. Additionally, this outline does not represent the guidelines for purchasing from NYS Certified Minority or Women-Owned Businesses, Small Businesses, or for Recycled or Remanufactured commodities or technology.
SUNY procurement guidelines are available at www.suny.edu/meansbusiness.
The Business Affairs office will determine if a contract document is required. Contracts may be used when SUNY is required to pay multiple payments to vendors in a single year and/or when engaging a vendor for multiple years. A contract is binding upon execution of both parties, and if applicable, approval from the NYS Attorney General and the NYS Office of the State Comptroller. All transactions on behalf of the college must be in compliance with all legal and professional requirements as established by New York State and SUNY Cobleskill. No individual has the authority to solicit proposals or quotes with the intention of entering into purchasing contracts, or in any way obligate the college, unless specifically authorized to do so by the Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration. Any commitments made by an unauthorized person are to be considered unauthorized purchases and the individual involved may incur a personal obligation to the vendor. All contracts involving the College must meet with the necessary Business Office approval. Please contact Laura Gross at 5626 regarding all College contracts.
Special Purchasing Rules for SUNY Cobleskill
- Technology – All computing equipment, software and peripheral purchases must be approved by the ITS department. ITS will ensure that all purchases are compliant with existing technology standards and also determine if the College is eligible for any educational discounts through established agreements with re-sellers.
- Furniture – All furniture purchases must be processed through Facilities Management to ensure uniform standard and quality. It is the College’s intention to limit styles of furniture, particularly in high-visibility areas.
- Equipment – Most equipment is to be purchased through the College’s equipment replacement plan, which is updated annually. Any equipment requiring installation must be approved by Facilities Management to ensure mechanical and electrical compliance.
- Maintenance Contracts – ITS is responsible for administrating all printer and copier maintenance contracts.
- College Store Purchases – The College has a contract with Cobleskill Auxiliary Services which includes College Store purchases. Authorized department personnel can purchase supplies from the bookstore and the appropriate department account will automatically be charged on a monthly basis. One time purchases by non-authorized personnel can be made by providing an approved College Store Authorization to Charge Form (insert form) at the time of purchase.
- Wal-Mart & Price Chopper Purchase – Wal-Mart and Price Chopper credit cards are assigned on an as needed basis to departments making frequent purchases at either of these locations. Please contact the Business Affairs Office at 5380 to request either of these cards.