1. Authorized individuals may use one of three methods to purchase goods and services, depending on the item being purchased and the size of the transaction:
a. Purchase Order;
b. Procurement Credit Card;
c. Petty Cash – maximum amount $50.00.
2. Generally, the most cost-effective purchasing method is the VISA purchasing card. Purchases of $1,000 or greater should be initiated as a requisition for a regular purchase order, or may be procured on the P-Card if card limits and authorization permits, and procedures for credit card use are meticulously followed.
The role of the Procurement department is to oversee Lynn’s purchasing process to insure the best price, quality and service for required goods and services based on the needs of the University’s programs, and to promote compliance with University policy. Only the Procurement department may issue purchase orders.
a. Individuals authorized to use the VISA purchasing card may buy goods and services covered by that card in amounts up to the limit of the individual's card.
b. Requisitions may be initiated by an authorized University employee. A department administrator, dean, chairman or their designee must authorize a requisition prior to its receipt by Procurement, which also must approve the requisition before creating a purchase order. Additional authorization for requisitions over $3,000.00 must be authorized by the appropriate Vice President.
c. Petty-cash may be used on an exception basis for small amounts not to exceed $50.00.
d. All legal documents and contracts, such as research contracts, affiliate agreements, technology transfer agreements, licenses, deeds, leases, other contracts, etc. - between the University and another party must be reviewed and approved by University General Counsel and signed by the President of Lynn University or their designee.
e. The University, under federal tax code is not required to pay federal, state, or local taxes on purchases of goods or services. Lynn University’s tax exempt number should be provided to approved vendors.
f. Prepayments for goods and services not received are not allowed. Requisitions with extenuating circumstances that require prepayment for all or part of the purchase price must be approved by the Director of Purchasing for transactions less than or equal to $3,000.00, and by the Vice President of Finance for all transactions in excess of $3,000.00.
g. Purchase orders for goods and services in excess of $10,000.00 must be accompanied by three written bids. Documented use of University-wide strategic partnership contracts or consortium contracts will be deemed to meet this requirement. (see Vendor Selection policy.)
In general, good business practice separates the duties of purchasing goods and services from authorizing payment by distributing the duties among two or more people. Departments are expected to assign duties accordingly. If staff limitations compel one person to be responsible for the buying and the receiving of goods and services, a departmental supervisor must accept responsibility for monitoring and verifying the transactions.
1. Gifts- Expenses for flowers, fruit baskets, and other gifts are unallowable expenses in accordance with federal costing principles. University funds may not be used to purchase personal gifts for any individual recognition.
2. All individuals authorized to procure goods and services on behalf of Lynn University will observe and be incompliance with ethical purchasing practices as defined by the National Association of Educational Procurement Code of Ethics and good business practices.
3. When discussions arise between vendors and other University departments, all personnel involved in the acquisition process will only discuss the specifics of applicable policies and standard procedures as they impact specific orders.
4. To protect a vendor's right to confidentiality and the University's access to the lowest prices, competitive vendors must not be told the prices, terms and conditions quoted by other vendors. Requisitioners must respect the same degree of absolute confidentiality.
5. A business meal may not be paid for by a vendor except in the following situations:
a. When individuals authorized to issue purchase orders visit the vendor's business as part of an investigation of a vendor's capability to service the University, or to review a new product or new facilities, or;
b. When individuals perceive that continuing discussions with a vendor through mealtime has particular merit, they may continue the meeting at the expense of the vendor or the expense of the authorized employee. Individuals authorized to incur meal expenses will receive reimbursement from the department's budget.
6. All personnel involved in the procurement process who place purchase orders with vendors that employ members of their families, or in which they or members of their families have a substantial financial interest, must report this information to the Vice President of Business and Finance prior to processing a requisition for a purchase order. Any situation that compromises, or appears to compromise, any personnel involved in the procurement process must be immediately reported to the Director of Purchasing, and the Vice President of Business and Finance.
II. Vendor Selection
Scope: This policy guideline provides guidance to for selecting vendors to be sources of supply for goods and/or services to Lynn University. This Policy focuses on the following areas: strategic partner vendors, consortium contract vendors, small and disadvantaged vendors, cost/price analysis and the concept of reasonableness of cost (the bidding process).
Criteria for Evaluating a Vendor: Certain basic evaluations must be considered when evaluating a vendor, including:
1. The vendor provides the best mix of quality, service and price for the specified University need. Lynn University requires that the lowest price have priority, unless quality, service or delivery time takes priority as to need;
2. The vendor has the financial stability, size and service infrastructure to be capable of meeting the University’s needs;
3. The product quality and performance reputation of the vendor is acceptable in the context of University use;
4. The vendor warranty, service reliability and format, shipping or delivery procedures, and terms and conditions of sale protect University interests;
5. The vendor is given preference, to the extent practical and economically feasible, for products and services that conserve natural resources, are energy efficient and protect the environment. This is a federal requirement; and
6. The vendor is given preference, to the extent practical and economically feasible, for products and services available locally to enhance town & gown relations, and support the local and state economy.
In addition, the University may prohibit the use of certain vendors if past experience, legal action, or other factors warrant exclusion.
Vendor Selection Criteria: The Purchasing Department has established relationships with a select group of vendors, Strategic Partners, based on a thorough evaluation of users' needs and a thorough evaluation of the potential vendors in that area. In addition, the University is a member of several Purchasing Consortiums that entitle the University to pre-negotiated discounts for goods and/or services supplied by a Consortium Contract Vendor, where applicable. In both cases, these vendors have agreed to provide the best mix of quality, service and price to Lynn in exchange for a commitment to work together whenever possible throughout the life of the relationship. Accordingly, if a Strategic Partnership or Consortium Contract Vendor exists for specific goods and services, the University strongly prefers that the vendor be selected for applicable transactions.
Purchases for which a Strategic Partner or Consortium Contract Vendor are not available must follow the Competitive Bid Procedures below.
To the extent an Authorized Individual (i.e. person with appropriate authorization to purchase goods and services on behalf of the University) believes that it would not be prudent to utilize a Strategic Partnership or Consortium Contract Vendor, a business case that supports the basis of that decision should be submitted to the Procurement Department for review.
Competitive Bidding: The University requires the following when evaluating vendors other than a Strategic Partner or Consortium Contract Vendors:
• Oral bids from three or more vendors for purchases between $2,000 and $9,999; and
• Written bids from three or more vendors for purchases equal to or greater than $10,000.
NOTE: A response of ‘no bid’ or no response from a supplier does not meet the requirement for three or more written bids for a purchase equal to or greater than $10,000.
Sole/Single Source Justification: The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 provide guidelines for procurement standards that require a bidding process when selecting a vendor. Justification is required for purchases made without such a process. The requisitioner must complete a Sole/Single Source Justification form. It may be determined that insufficient evidence has been provided to justify the requisitioner’s instructions to buy from a sole or single source. In that case, details of the transaction, together with details of possible alternatives, may be sent to the Vice President of Finance for specific approval prior to issuing the order.
The Competitive Bid Process is as follows:
1. Bid Specifications and Distribution: Specifications for items to be bid shall be provided to the Procurement Department by the Authorized Individual. At this time, the Procurement Department may provide suggestions/recommendations for substitute items of the same or similar quality. Once the bid specifications have been finalized, the Procurement Department will use this information to prepare the Request for Proposal (“RFP”) or Request for Quote (“RFQ”) in accordance with the National Association of Educational Procurement guidelines and code of ethics and deliver to the finalized list of approved bidders. The list of approved bidders will be determined collaboratively by the Authorized Individual and the Procurement Department. This serves to ensure that the list of prospective bidders includes a cross section of candidates such as strategic partners and consortium vendors, if applicable. Once complete, the Procurement Department will deliver the RFP/RFQ to the final list of authorized bidders. RFP/RFQs will specifically note that all responses are to be returned directly to the attention of the Procurement Department. Once the RFP/RFQ has been distributed no further meetings should be scheduled with vendors and no changes should be made to the RFP/RFQ by anyone other than the Procurement Department.
2. Bid Summary and Related Documentation: After the bids have been returned to the University, the Procurement Department will prepare a Bid Summary and distribute the summary along with the submitted bid documents to the Authorized Individual for review.
3. Bid Selection/Award: Once the Authorized Individual has had appropriate time to review the bid information, a “preliminary selection” should be forwarded to the Procurement Department for review along with a documented Vendor Evaluation. The evaluation should provide an explanation of the vendors and goods and services selected as well as the business case for awarding any part of the order to a vendor other than the lowest cost provider. The evaluation should also identify any known personal interest or relationship of any Lynn University employee in the enterprise under evaluation. To prevent any conflict of interest between vendors and those involved in the procurement process, consult the guidelines on ethical practice (General Purchasing Policy). Again, the Procurement Department may provide suggestions/recommendations for substitute items of the same or similar quality. For larger purchases, including items like furniture, course/laboratory equipment and technology/audio visual requirements, a special meeting may be scheduled to evaluate the various purchase options taking into consideration compatibility, longevity, productivity and overall life cycle costs.
4. Award Communication: Once the bid winner(s) and item selections have been agreed upon and finalized, the Authorized Individual should initiate a Requisition for the final list of products/services specified and the associated vendors. Once complete, the Requisition will be reviewed by the Procurement Department to ensure that it is in agreement with the finalized list of goods and/or services to be purchased and if appropriate budgetary funds are available, a Purchase Order will be generated and sent to the applicable vendor and Authorized Individual to confirm the order. A Lynn University Purchase Order or a Procurement department authorized Strategic Partnership Contract release are the only methods of initiating an order, thus a financial commitment to a vendor. All contracts must be reviewed and authorized by the Lynn University General Counsel and signed by the President of the University or his/her designee. Authorized Individual(s) should not communicate awards directly with the vendors for any reason, nor should they sign any contract on behalf of the University or their department.
Small and Disadvantaged/Minority Vendors: The University is committed to the support of small, disadvantaged, minority and/or women-owned vendors. It is recommended that those units engaged in the purchasing function should encourage the use of small, disadvantaged, minority and enterprises owned by women as vendors whenever they are willing and able to compete for University business under the same terms and conditions as defined for all vendors.
II. Sales Tax
Lynn University, under the federal tax code, is not required to pay federal, state or local taxes on purchases of goods and services. All authorized individuals should provide Lynn’s tax- exempt number to approved vendors.
III. Authorized Signatures for Agreements, Contracts, Licenses
A contract is established based on the results of a formal competitive bid process managed by the Procurement section of Finance. The vendor(s) that are awarded contracts are determined to represent the best overall value to Lynn University. Department/school representatives may be involved in the evaluation and decision making process. All legal documents - such as research contracts, affiliate agreements, technology transfer agreements, licenses, deeds, leases, other contracts, etc. - between the University and another party must be reviewed and approved by University General Counsel and signed by the President of Lynn University or his designee.
The authority to sign contracts is governed by General Counsel and the Office of Business and Finance. Once reviewed and approved by General Counsel, contracts may only be signed by the President (or the Vice President of Business and Finance). Individuals may not sign contracts on behalf of the University unless they have the authority to do so in accordance with this Policy. For the purposes of this policy, signatures include both physical signatures in ink and electronic signatures commonly identified as “click-through” agreements that acknowledge the acceptance of, or agreement to terms and conditions.
In accordance with this Policy and in addition to an authorized contract, an official Purchase Order is the legal document that governs the transaction and properly protects the department/school and University. The terms and conditions set by the University and agreed to by the supplier specify each party’s rights and obligations.
University departments/schools are not authorized to establish direct billing accounts, house accounts, or credit cards with vendors in the name of Lynn University. Departments/schools are not authorized to accept offers for credit cards, charge accounts, or house accounts from vendors who increasingly send such advertisements to departments/schools. The University official credit card programs are administered by the Procurement section of Finance.
IV. Expenditure Request Procedures
a. Employee prepares and signs a Lynn University Purchase Order form, and forwards it to the department budget manager via ImageNow.
b. Departmental budget officer examines the Expenditure Request checking for:
i. Completion of all necessary information (Account/Sub account/etc.);
ii. Proper classification as:
(1) Purchase Order;
(2) Check Request;
(4) Inter-department; or
iii. Available budget funds;
c. Departmental budget officer approves the Lynn University Expenditure Request with a digital stamp, and
d. Forwards Expenditure Request to Purchasing Department via ImageNow.
a. Receives Expenditure Request;
b. The Purchasing Agent:
i. Reviews Expenditure Request, returns it to Department Head if incomplete;
ii. Forwards Expenditure Request over $100.00 to the Director of Purchasing;
iii. Approves and processes Expenditure Request under $100.00 (except for reimbursement);
iv. Approves and processes the Inter-department request;
v. Sends copy of approved Expenditure Request to Department when requested;
vi. Mails original Purchase Order when needed to the applicable Department, or notifies the Department;
vii. Assigns a Purchase Order Number;
viii. Receives products/services from Vendor;
ix. Routes received items to Department and records shipping slip in Image Now.
3. Director of Purchasing:
a. Signs Check Request Expenditure and send it to Accounts Payable Office;
b. Reroutes any Expenditure Request over $5,000.00, to the Vice President for Finance if it has not already been approved;
c. Approves Purchase orders and records them into the Jenzabar Purchasing module; and
d. Authorizes emergency shopping by Department with corresponding Expenditure Request
(Other,) using the Institution’s credit cards for the particular vendor when available.
a. Receives products/services from vendor;
c. Signs shipping slip and routes it to Purchasing.
Note: Once a Purchase Order has been generated by Purchasing based on the approved Expenditure Request, there is no need to prepare a second check request for payment when the invoice for the service or product arrives. Simply indicate on the invoice the purchase order number with a signature showing authorization for payment and if the invoice represents full or partial payment.
The only time it is necessary to prepare an extra Check Request is in the event that the invoice amount exceeds the Purchase Order amount by more than 5%. In this case the additional Check Request must have all the necessary approvals.
5. Accounts Payable:
b. Receives the approved Expenditure Request (Check Request) - (Purchase Order) - (Other) from the Purchasing Department;
c. Receives invoice from Purchasing Department, Vendor or Department;
d. Notifies the Purchasing Department of any discrepancy between the invoice and approved Expenditure Request;
e. Verifies that signature of person receiving the order appears in the corresponding shipping slip;
f. Enters invoice into the Jenzabar Accounts Payable Module; and
g. Generates check for payment every week from completed requests submitted no later than Monday of the same week.
Responsibility for Obtaining Pre-approvals
Every commitment made by the University for materials or services must follow the procedures outlined in this policy.
Employees are responsible for obtaining approvals from the head of the department before forwarding requisitions to the Purchasing Department.
If any department purchases any supplies, materials, or equipment contrary to the provisions established under the Purchasing Policy, the head of such department and the employee actually making such purchases shall be personally liable for the costs of such expense.
V. Emergency Purchases
Situations may occur when a department needs products or services unexpectedly.
For purchasing purposes an emergency is an event in which damage to University facilities, personnel, or serious damage to University programs will result if prompt action is not taken.
Purchases will be processed as emergencies only when Purchasing determines that it is necessary, based on your explanation.
Emergency purchases are generally not economical and should be held to an absolute minimum. Departments should plan ahead and allow adequate time for purchasing and delivery.
The Purchasing Office must always be informed prior to any departmental or individual procurement outside the University’s normal procedures. If the emergency occurs on weekends or after hours, an e-mail should be sent to the Purchasing Director explaining the situation.
Any individual ordering materials or services without following procedures and not using an expenditure request prescribed under these policies shall be liable for the costs thereof.
VI. Capital Purchases
All capital purchases will be conducted in accordance with the competitive bidding policy outlined in this Policy.
VII. Sales Tax Exemption
Since Lynn University (a non-profit educational Institution) is exempt by law from paying Florida sales tax, the Accounts Payable Office will not reimburse sales tax.
All purchases should be tax exempt. If sales tax has been charged by error, please contact the vendor to credit the sales tax back to the University.
The Purchasing Department or the Accounts Payable office can provide you with the number or a copy of the following Sales Tax Exemption certificates:
1. Federal Income tax Exemption Certificate; and
2. State of Florida, Sales Tax Exemption Certificate.
Note: Purchases made by an individual on behalf of the organization are taxable, even if the individual will be reimbursed by the organization.
All tax-exempt purchases must be paid for by either a Lynn University’s credit card or official University check.
VIII. Printing and Publication
Consult with the Marketing Department for their advice when ordering or printing any publication intended to represent the University to the public.
Printing suppliers for items such as magazines, books, brochures, invitations, etc. are selected by the Marketing Department and ordered directly without Purchasing Department authorization.
Business Cards, Letterheads, envelopes, and printing material for on campus communication should be forwarded to the Purchasing Department.
When ordering business cards or name tags forward the request to Employee Services. Employee Services will verify that name and title are correct and then send it to Purchasing.
IX. Computer Equipment and Software
Expenditure Requests related to computer equipment and software should be not only signed and approved by the Department Head, but, also by the Chief Information Officer.
The following items can be obtained directly from the Purchasing Department with the corresponding Lynn University Expenditure Request marked Interdepartment:
1. Coffee and supplies;
3. Copy paper; and
4. All other paper goods.
X. Payments to Non-Resident Aliens
All payments for services performed for the University in the United States by non-resident aliens are reportable to the IRS, and may be taxable. All payments for non-employee services will be subject to withholding at the statutory rate. However, the alien may be able to claim an exemption from this withholding if there is a tax treaty provision between the US and the alien’s country of citizenship.
Note: Payments will not be made to individuals who are subject to U.S. economic or trade sanctions per the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Individuals subject to such sanctions are listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN). Departments proposing to make payments to non-resident aliens must check this list in advance of making payment arrangements.
XI. Gifts and Gratuities
It is the policy of the Purchasing Department and Accounts Payable Office, as well as other related personnel of the University to decline personal gifts or gratuities in connection with the purchasing function. Purchasing Department and Accounts Payable Office staff may not accept personal gifts or gratuities from any current or potential supplier of goods or services to the University.
XII. Conflict of Interest
The University, as a general rule, does not enter into purchasing contracts with students, faculty and staff or members of their immediate families or household. Acquisitions from a business in which an employee has an interest is prohibited unless full disclosure of the background facts are presented in writing to the Purchasing Department and Accounts Payable Office. Interest is deemed present if the employee and/or their spouse, non-emancipated minor children, or member of the employee’s immediate household own ten percent or more of the assets of a business.
The only exception to this policy is in situations where there is positive proof that the employee will not benefit either monetarily, or by any other means, and the University will benefit as a result of the transaction.
XIII. Gifts Cards and Certificates
In compliance with IRS guidelines, gift certificates and gifts cards purchased by any means and charged to a University or departmental budget are treated as taxable income to the recipient and must be reported to the IRS. A University Employee ID number is required for any member of the University community receiving a gift, prize, or award utilizing University funds.
XIV. End of Fiscal Year Purchases
The cutoff date for Expenditure Requests is June 5. This means that individuals desiring to have the current year’s budget charged, must place the Expenditure Request as early as possible. Because of processing time, Expenditure Requests received after June 5 will generally result in a charge to next year’s budget.
XV. Damaged Deliveries, Mistakes and Returns
Damage: In cases of damage of shipment, a written report must be submitted immediately to the Purchasing Department, with following details: Purchase Order number; date; vendor; and extent of damage. Government regulations require the University to file claims within a specific number of days. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in disallowance of the claim.
Mistakes: Mistakes in shipping must be reported promptly in writing to the Purchasing Department, referring to the Purchase Order number and vendor involved. Departments must give sufficient detail concerning the mistake so that the Purchasing Department may take steps to correct the error with the vendor.
Returns: When a vendor has shipped items as specified on a Purchase Order, they have legally complied with their part of the contract and are under no obligation to accept for credit any of those items delivered as specified. Acceptance of a return by a vendor is by no means automatic, and a restocking charge may be incurred. This charge will be assessed to the requisitioning department. Requests for permission to return supplies or equipment to the vendor for adjustment or credit must be cleared through the Purchasing Department.
XVI. Errors in Quotations
Vendors are responsible for the accuracy of their bids. Simple math errors may be corrected without disqualifying the proposal. More serious errors and/or omissions may result in rejection of the quote. If the vendor changes or withdraws the quote after the issuance of a Purchase Order, the order may be cancelled if this is deemed in the best interests of the University. Any quotes which are tendered past the bid deadline may be rejected. Price quotations are confidential documents and are not to be shared with any other vendor or unauthorized person.
XVII. Demonstration or Sample Items
Departments or individuals desiring to test samples or have equipment demonstrated must contact the Purchasing Department with their requirements. The Purchasing Department will make suitable arrangements with a qualified vendor. It is essential that the vendor understand Lynn University is not making a commitment to purchase by evaluating its equipment.
XVIII. Insurance and Safety Requirements
Prior to the start of any work or service on the University’s campus, the vendor must provide evidence of suitable insurance coverage. Purchasing will request Certificate of Insurance. Lack of required coverage will disqualify the vendor from performing work for the University.
XIX. Service Contracts
Some equipment needs to be covered by service contracts in order to assure continuing efficient operation. Any forms required by the vendor must be signed by the Purchasing Department and forwarded to the vendor with a Purchase Order.
XX. Code of Ethics - National Association of Educational Procurement
The Purchasing Department and Accounts Payable Office subscribes to the National Association of Educational Procurement, (NAEP) code of ethics which provides for the following:
• To give first consideration to the objectives and policies of the University;
• To strive to obtain the maximum ultimate value of each dollar of expenditure;
• To cooperate with trade and industrial associations, governmental and private agencies engaged in the promotion and development of sound business methods;
• To demand honesty in sales representation whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, and advertisement, or a sample of the product;
• To decline personal gifts or gratuities;
• To grant all competitive bidders equal consideration, to regard each transaction on its own merits;
• To foster and promote fair, ethical and legal trade practice;
• To use only by consent original ideas and designs devised by one vendor for competitive purchasing purposes;
• To be willing to submit to arbitration any major controversies;
• To accord a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business missions; and
• To counsel and cooperate with NAEB members and to promote a spirit of unity among them.
Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018