Skip to content
Operations Manual The University of Iowa

PART V. ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCIAL, AND FACILITIES POLICIES

CHAPTER 11: PURCHASING

(Amended 9/93; 10/94; 10/95; 9/97; 10/00; 7/01; 1/03; 5/03; 6/04; 12/04; 6/05; 12/05; 7/1/06; 12/13/06; 8/1/07; 10/1/07; 3/08; 11/09; 3/30/11; 10/11; 8/14)

Effective August 2014, this policy has been revised. For the most current version without redlining, return to V-11.

11.1 General
11.2 Authority for Procurement
11.3 Responsibility and Objectives
11.4 Signatory Authority
11.5 Competitive Bidding
11.6 Bid Security
11.7 Release of Bid Information
11.8 Withdrawal of Bids
11.9 Waiver of Bid Requirements
11.10 Purchases Requiring Regent Approval or Special Handling
11.11 Purchase of Insurance
11.12 Delegation of Purchasing Authority
11.13 Master Lease
11.14 Conflict of Interest
11.15 Purchases from University Faculty or Staff
11.16 Reference Catalogs
11.17 Requisitions
11.18 Requisitions for On-Campus Supplies and Services
11.19 Non-P.O. Vouchers and Procurement Cards
11.20 Procurement Credit Card
11.21 Voucher Reports and Invoice
11.22 Items Which May Not Be Purchased
11.23 Technology Allowance Policy
11.24 Guidelines for Accounting for Equipment That Is on Trial, Loan, Demonstration, or Evaluation from a Vendor and Not Owned by the University
11.25 Food, Beverage, Flowers, Gifts, and Incidental Expenses
11.26 Convenience Copier Acquisitions

11.1 GENERAL.
(Amended 5/02)

The policies in this chapter apply to the purchase of goods and services from all sources of funds administered by the University.
[top]

11.2 AUTHORITY FOR PROCUREMENT.
The Purchasing Department administers the procurement of goods and services for all University departments by the authority delegated through the President by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The Director of Purchasing is vested with authority to obligate the University, while ensuring adherence to the statutes and administrative rules of the State of Iowa and to the policies and procedures of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, and the University.
[top]

11.3 RESPONSIBILITY AND OBJECTIVES.
The function of the Purchasing Office is the organization and administration of centralized purchasing services for all departments of the University. In providing these services and in accordance with sound business practices, the office seeks to realize for the University the maximum value for every dollar expended.

To achieve this goal, the Purchasing Office has been charged by the President of the University and the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, with responsibility for the following:

11.4 SIGNATORY AUTHORITY.
The President has delegated signatory authority to bind the University to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations and the University Business Manager. The President has further delegated contracting authority to the Director of Purchasing for purchase orders or purchase contracts. Purchasing commitments made by employees who do not have contracting authority are voidable. (See V-6.1 Contracting Authority.)
[top]

11.5 COMPETITIVE BIDDING.
(Amended 12/11)

11.6 BID SECURITY.
Bid security shall be used in cases where the purchasing agent determines there is a need to protect the interest of the University. The need for bid security may, in part, be determined by the size of the proposed purchase, the item or items being bid, the competitive conditions surrounding the purchase, and the history of such purchases including general reliability of vendors being requested to bid a particular purchase.

Bids requiring security shall be accompanied by and secured only by a cash deposit, cashier's check, certified check, or a bid bond in an amount of percent of the bid. Bids accompanied and secured by any other form of bid security shall automatically be disqualified.

Certified checks and cashier's checks shall be made payable to The University of Iowa. Bid security shall be agreed upon as the measure of liquidated damages which owner will sustain by failure, neglect, or refusal of bidder to honor their offer and accept an award in accord with the contract documents.

Bid security, if in the form of a cash deposit, cashier's check, or certified check, will be returned within 48 hours after the contract has been executed.
[top]

11.7 RELEASE OF BID INFORMATION.
The names of the bidders and the amounts bid shall be supplied to any person upon request after the opening of the bids and as soon as the evaluation of the bids is completed and the award is made. Information will not be released in situations in which the release would provide a competitive advantage to any of the bidders.
[top]

11.8 WITHDRAWAL OF BIDS.
Bids may be withdrawn prior to the time set for receipt of bids. Bids may not be withdrawn after that time, except as noted herein, without penalty. (For capital projects, see the Regents Policy Manual, Chapter 9.) Only in the event of an obvious and documented error where it would be a manifest injustice to require the vendor to perform, can a vendor withdraw a bid after the time set for receipt of bids. Such withdrawal of bids can be done only upon the recommendation of the institution under procedures approved by the executive director (RPG 8.04C).
[top]

11.9 WAIVER OF BID REQUIREMENTS.
The Purchasing Department has sole discretion to waive competitive bidding requirements in certain situations, including but not limited to:

11.10 PURCHASES REQUIRING REGENT APPROVAL OR SPECIAL HANDLING.
(1/03; 10/11)

11.11 PURCHASE OF INSURANCE.
Purchase of insurance may only occur via the Office of the University Risk Manager (see V-15 Risk Management and Insurance).
[top]

11.12 DELEGATION OF PURCHASING AUTHORITY.
The Director of Purchasing, with the approval of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations or the University Business Manager, may delegate purchasing authority to employees who have satisfactorily completed training and who have demonstrated competence and prior compliance with purchasing requirements. The degree and nature of such delegation will be specific for each such delegation and will be stated in writing by the Director of Purchasing. A delegation is subject to being rescinded at any time.
[top]

11.13 MASTER LEASE.
Purchases of equipment that are to be financed on a lease-purchase or similar basis shall be forwarded to the Business Manager's Office for review and shall contain a summary setting forth the financing cost for comparison with the terms offered for equipment financing under the Regents' master lease agreement.
[top]

11.14 CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
(Amended Regents 3/30/11)

It is the policy of The University of Iowa to comply with state and federal law regarding purchases from "conflict of interest vendors" or "employees." A conflict of interest exists when there is a divergence between an employee's personal interests and his or her professional obligations to the University as an employee. Employees conducting business on behalf of the University have a responsibility to do so in a manner that is objective and ethical. The goal of all such business dealings must be to benefit the University. The university is committed to complying with applicable procurement laws and regulations, including requirements that apply to conflicts of interest, as provided by the following:

11.15 PURCHASES FROM UNIVERSITY FACULTY OR STAFF.
(Amended 5/02; Regents 3/30/11)

11.16 REFERENCE CATALOGS.
The Purchasing Department maintains a significant file of catalogs, reflecting current prices for equipment, goods, and services for the information of all departments. Negotiations for purchases, including requests for quotation of prices, must be accomplished through the Purchasing Department.
[top]

11.17 REQUISITIONS.
(Amended 6/05; 8/14)

Departmental requests for equipment, goods, and services are made on the University purchase requisition form. When preparing a requisition for an outside vendor, sign in to the Employee Self Service page; under FO Applications click on E-Pro (Evouchers & PReqs). For step-by-step instructions for completing a requisition, see the online tutorial Purchase Requisitions Training (pdf). Complete instructions and procedures for preparation and submission are found in the Purchasing Policies and Procedures Guide.

11.18 REQUISITIONS FOR ON-CAMPUS SUPPLIES AND SERVICES.
(Amended 12/04)

Requisitions for supplies or services from campus sources are sent directly to the supplying departments, such as Printing Services, ITS, Medical Electronics, Medical Instrument Shop, Facilities Management, Facilities Management-Maintenance Stores, Chemistry Stores, Pharmacy Service, Photographic Service, Graphics Unit, and Audio Visual Center. All service requisitions initiated through Workflow require two signatures: an initiator and an approver. Contact each service department directly for further information.
[top]

11.19 NON-P.O. VOUCHERS AND PROCUREMENT CARDS.
Departments hold responsibility for oversight of non-P.O. vouchers and invoice forms and procurement cards subject to compliance with the requirements of V-11.19-20 and competitive bidding principles embodying a duty to secure goods and services of the best quality and price.
[top]

11.20 PROCUREMENT CREDIT CARD.
(Amended 11/09; 8/14)

A procurement credit card is available to departments to obtain low-cost, non-equipment items with a per-transaction limit of $5,000 and a standard monthly limit of $10,000. Procurement card limits are established based upon cardholder need. Single transaction limits may be requested up to $5,000 and monthly limits may be requested up to $10,000. Justification is required for monthly limit requests above $10,000. Departments may have as many cards as required to reasonably meet such procurement needs. With this authority, the department assumes the responsibility to comply with all state, Regent, and University policies governing procurement operations. See the Procurement Card Manual for detailed procurement credit card procedures.
[top]

11.21 VOUCHER REPORTS AND INVOICE.
(Amended 8/14)

11.22 ITEMS WHICH MAY NOT BE PURCHASED.
(Amended 9/98; 6/04; 7/1/06)

For more information on items which may not be purchased on purchase order or procurement card, see the Purchasing Policies and Procedures Guide.
[top]

11.23 TECHNOLOGY ALLOWANCE POLICY.
(5/03; 8/1/07; 10/1/07; 3/08)

11.24 GUIDELINES FOR ACCOUNTING FOR EQUIPMENT THAT IS ON TRIAL, LOAN, DEMONSTRATION, OR EVALUATION FROM A VENDOR AND NOT OWNED BY THE UNIVERSITY.

See Purchasing Policies and Procedures Guide, Appendix B, "Protocol for Obtaining Equipment on a Trial Basis."

For additional information and procedures, see the Purchasing Policies and Procedures Guide.
[top]

11.25 FOOD, BEVERAGE, FLOWERS, GIFTS, AND SIMILAR INCIDENTAL EXPENSES.
(6/04; 7/1/06; 12/13/06)

11.26 CONVENIENCE COPIER ACQUISITIONS.
(12/05)

The Purchasing Department handles convenience copier acquisitions and record keeping for all University Departments.
[top]


Go forward one step to V-12 Equipment and Personal Property of the University
Or return to the Operations Manual Table of Contents, Index, or Search

Page last updated August 2014 by Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations