2.06 Procurement

Last Revised: 26 September 2019

Refer Questions to: Executive Director, Business & Support Services

Scope

This policy applies to all offices and divisions of Gallaudet University.

Policy

Gallaudet University provides the necessary supplies, equipment, and services to support the programs and services of the institution. The University does not purchase goods and services for the private use of any employee or student. The use of the University's name, funds, pricing schedules and tax exemption status for personal purchases is strictly prohibited. In all procurement activities, the University encourages affirmative action in procuring goods and services from suppliers who are deaf and hard of hearing and/or members of traditionally underrepresented groups.

The Uniform Guidance requires a high level of formal documentation to meet the procurement standards, beginning with required organizational policies and procedures surrounding the procurement process. All direct procurements made by Gallaudet University involving the expenditure of Federal funds will be made in accordance with CFR Sections 200.318 through 200.326. Gallaudet University is not required to follow these specific procurement policies for the procurement of any goods or services that are not directly paid for with Federal funds. The policy provides written documentation of the University’s procurement policy and meets the requirements of the standards set forth in 2 CFR Sections 200.318 through 200.326.

METHODS FOR PROCUREMENT

General Guidelines All procurement transactions, regardless of method or dollar value, must maximize open and free competition consistent. Gallaudet University shall not engage in procurement practices that may be considered arbitrary or restrictive Procurements shall be made using one of the following methods in accordance with 2 CFR § 200.320 “Methods of Procurement to be followed”: (a) procurement by micro-purchases, (b) procurement by small purchase procedures, (c) procurement by competitive sealed bids, (d) procurement by competitive proposals, or (e) procurement by non-competitive proposals.

1. Micro-purchases

Procurement by Micro-purchases 2CFR 200.67 is the acquisition of supplies or services that cost, in aggregate, no more than $10,000.00. Micro-purchases may be awarded without soliciting competitive bids if the Gallaudet University Contracts and Purchasing Department considers the price to be reasonable.

2. Small Purchases

Small Purchases 2CFR 200.68 are defined as relatively simple and informal procurement methods for securing services, supplies, or other property that cost no more than $250,000 When making small purchases, price or rate quotations must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources. As a general rule, a minimum of three bids should be obtained and documented in conjunction with small purchases.

3. Competitive Sealed Bids

When making acquisitions using competitive sealed bids, bids must be publicly solicited and a firm fixed price contract (lump sum or unit price) will be awarded to the responsible bidder whose bid is the lowest in price while conforming to all material terms and conditions of the solicitation. The competitive sealed bid method is the preferred method of procuring construction, if the following conditions apply:

• A complete, adequate, and realistic specification or purchase description is available;

• Two or more responsible bidders are willing and able to compete effectively for the business; and

• The procurement lends itself to a firm fixed price contract and the selection of the successful bidder can be made largely on the basis of price.

In addition to the above, the following requirements apply:

• Bids must be solicited from a sufficient number of known suppliers who are given adequate response time prior to the date set for opening the bids;

• The invitations for bids must accurately and comprehensively define the items or services in order for the bidder to properly respond;

• All bids should be opened at the time and place identified in the invitation for bids;

• A firm fixed price contract will be made in writing to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder; and

• Any or all bids may be rejected if there is a sound documented reason for doing so.

4. Competitive Proposals

This procurement technique is generally used when more than one source submits an offer and either a fixed price or cost-reimbursement contract is awarded. When the competitive proposal method is used, the following requirements apply:

• Requests for proposals (RFP) must be publicized and identify all evaluation factors and their relative importance;

• Proposals must be solicited from an adequate number of qualified sources; for purposes of this policy, three proposals are generally deemed to be adequate;  

The Gallaudet University Contracts and Purchasing Department must have a documented method for conducting technical evaluations of the proposals received and for selecting recipients;

• Contracts must be awarded to the responsible firm whose proposal is most advantageous to the / program, with price and other factors considered; and in the event that Gallaudet University is procuring architectural/engineering professional services, the most qualified competitor would be selected subject to negotiation of fair and reasonable compensation.

5. Noncompetitive Proposals

Noncompetitive negotiations may be used when one or more of the following circumstances apply:

• The item being procured is available only from a single source;

• The public need or emergency nature of the procurement will not permit a delay resulting from a competitive solicitation;

• The Federal awarding agency expressly authorizes noncompetitive proposals in response to a written request from Gallaudet University; or

• After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined to be inadequate.

Regardless of the procurement method being used, bids will be accepted only from those contractors who have a proven record of an ability to successfully complete the scope of work being bid. References shall be requested along with the contractor’s bid proposal. Any contractors submitting a bid must produce (along with his/her bid documents) written proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. Consideration will be given to such matters as contractor integrity, compliance with public policy, record of past performance and financial and technical resources in awarding contracts.

In addition, all solicitations must contain a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the material, product, or service to be procured. This description must not contain features that unduly restrict competition. All solicitations must identify all requirements that the bidders must fulfill and all other factors that will be used by Gallaudet University in evaluating bids or proposals. Additionally, Gallaudet University must ensure that all solicitations include enough qualified sources to ensure maximum open and free competition.

Notwithstanding to the contrary, all procurement transactions must be conducted in a manner that provides full and open competition. In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantages, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, invitations for bids, or requests for proposals will be excluded from competing for such procurements.

Some examples of situations considered to be restrictive of competition include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Placing unreasonable requirements on firms in order for them to qualify to do business with Gallaudet University;
  • Requiring unnecessary experience and excessive bonding;
  • Noncompetitive pricing practices between firms or between affiliated companies;
  • Executing noncompetitive contracts with consultants that are on retainer contracts;
  • Specifying only a “brand name” product to be offered; and
  • Any arbitrary action in the procurement process.

UNNECESSARY OR DUPLICATIVE ITEMS

GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY must avoid the acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. When appropriate, an analysis of lease vs. purchase alternatives should be made.

Contracts

Generally, all procurement transactions in excess of $10,000 will be memorialized and supported by a written contract. Where it is not feasible, or it is impractical to prepare a contract, a written finding to this effect will be prepared and some form of documentation regarding the transaction will also be prepared. All contracts will contain language, which allows Gallaudet University the opportunity to cancel any contract for cause. Examples of cause include (but are not limited to) demonstrated lack of ability to perform the work specified, unwillingness to complete the work in a timely fashion, cancellation of liability insurance or worker’s compensation by the contractor, failure to pay suppliers or workers, unsafe working conditions caused by the contractor, failure to comply with Davis-Bacon wage laws (where applicable), failure to keep accurate and timely records of the job, or failure to make those records available to Gallaudet University (on request) or any other documented matter which could cause a hardship for Gallaudet University if a claim should arise or the work not be completed on schedule at the specified cost.

In addition to other provisions that may be required by the Federal awarding agency, all contracts made by GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY under any Federal award must contain the following provisions, as applicable:

  • Contracts for more than $250,000 (the current threshold for small purchases) must address administrative, contractual, or legal remedies in instances where contractors violate or breach contract terms, and provide for sanctions and penalties as appropriate;
  • Contracts for more than $10,000 must address termination for cause and for convenience by GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY, including the manner in which the termination will be affected and the basis for settlement;
  • All contracts that meet the definition of “federally assisted construction contract” must include the equal opportunity clause provided under 41 CFR 60-1.4(b).
  • In the event that GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY awards a prime construction contract in excess of $2,000, the contract must include a provision for compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act;
  • All contracts in excess of $100,000 that involve the employment of mechanics or laborers must include a provision for compliance with 40 U.S.C. 3702 and 3704. In short, each contractor must be required to compute the wages of every mechanic and laborer on the basis of a standard work week of 40 hours; work in excess of the standard work week is permissible only if the worker is compensated at a rate of at least one and half times the basic rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40. In addition, no laborer or mechanic may be required to work in surroundings or under working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous;
  • Contracts and subgrants in excess of $250,000 must contain a provision that requires the awardee to agree to comply with all applicable standards, orders, or regulations issued pursuant to the Clean Air Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended. Violations must be reported to the Federal awarding agency and to the EPA;
  • Contractors that apply or bid for an award exceeding $100,000 must certify that it has not and will not use Federal funds to pay any person or organization for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any Federal agency, a member of Congress, officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress in connection with obtaining any Federal contract, grant, or other award and, finally,
  • The contractor or subrecipient must comply with the requirements of 37 CFR Part 401, “Rights to Inventions Made by Nonprofit Organizations and Small Business Firms Under Government Grants, Contracts, and Cooperative Agreements,” as applicable.

Contractual Arrangements

The University may on occasion enter into contractual or procurement agreements with students, faculty, teachers, staff, or members of their immediate families. An acquisition of goods and services from a business in which an employee has an interest may be prohibited unless full disclosure of the background facts is presented in writing in accordance with the Conflict of Interest policy.

Former employees may be awarded consulting agreements; however, during the first two years following separation, the daily rate for the consulting agreement may not be more than ten percent (10%) above the former employee's last daily rate with the University.

Debarment and Suspension

A contract or sub-grant must not be made to parties listed on the government-wide exclusions in the System for Award Management (SAM). SAM Exclusions contains the names of parties debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded by Federal agencies, as well as parties declared ineligible under statutory or regulatory authority. Non-federal entities are prohibited from contracting with or making sub-awards under covered transactions to parties that are suspended or debarred. Gallaudet University must confirm that all new contractors, consultants, and sub-recipients are not listed in SAM Exclusions. In addition, the contractor must disclose any lobbying with non-Federal funds that takes place in connection with obtaining any Federal award.

Covered Transactions

Covered Transactions include contracts for goods and services awarded by a participant under a non-procurement transaction that are expected to equal or exceed $25,000 or meet certain other criteria as specified in 2 CFR section 180.210. All non-procurement transactions entered into by a pass through entity such as: (sub-awards to sub-recipients), irrespective of award amount, the transaction is considered covered unless exempt as provided in 2 CFR section 180.215. When a non-Federal entity enters into a covered transaction with an entity at a lower tier, the non-Federal entity must verify that the entity, as defined in 2 CFR section 180.995 and agency adopting regulations, is not suspended or debarred or otherwise excluded from participating in the transaction.

Documentation

All source documents supporting any given transaction (receipts, purchase orders, invoices, RFP/RFQ data and bid materials) will be retained and filed in an appropriate manner. Where feasible, source documents pertinent to each individual procurement action shall be separately filed and maintained. Where it is not feasible to maintain individual procurement files, source documents will be filed and maintained in a reasonable manner (examples include chronologically, by vendor, by type of procurement, etc.). Whatever form of documentation and filing is employed, the purpose of this section is to ensure that a clear and consistent audit trail is established. At a minimum, source document data must be sufficient to establish the basis for selection or rejection, basis for cost (including the establishment of reasonableness of cost), rationale for method of procurement and contract type, and basis for payment.

CONTRACTING WITH SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESSES, WOMEN’S BUSINESS ENTERPRISES, AND LABOR SURPLUS AREA FIRMS

All necessary affirmative steps must be taken to ensure that minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms are used when possible. These affirmative steps include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Placing qualified small and minority businesses and women’s business enterprises on Gallaudet University’s solicitation lists;
  • Ensuring that Gallaudet University solicits small and minority businesses and women’s business enterprises whenever they are potential sources;
  • When economically feasible, dividing total project requirements into smaller tasks or quantities to permit maximum participation by small and minority businesses and women’s business enterprises;
  • Using the services and assistance, when practical, of organizations such as the Small Business Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency; and
  • Requiring contractors, if subcontracts are to be let, to take the above affirmative steps.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest occurs when an employee, officer, agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties identified above, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from a firm considered for a contract. In the event that a conflict of interest, real or apparent, exists, the employee, officer, or agent of Gallaudet University must notify the appropriate officials of Gallaudet University of the potential conflict prior to any bid or awarding of a contract.

Acceptance of Gratuities

No employee, officer, or agent of Gallaudet University shall solicit or accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, potential contractors, subcontractors or potential subcontractors.

Purchasing Cards

The purchasing card program provides campus departments with a quick and easy means of purchasing equipment, supplies and services for daily business operations. Cards may be issued by the Contracts and Purchasing Department to unit administrators and full time employees with manager and above classification. Cards may be issued to employees below manager classification if requested by the unit administrator and such requests meet specific business and operational requirements justifying issuing an additional card. Requests for a purchasing card and the spending limit must be approved by the unit administrator and senior administrator. Each approved cardholder is required to sign an agreement which describes the responsibilities associated with the use and safeguarding of a purchasing card. Card holders will receive a Purchase Card Manual detailing authorized uses of the card. Failure to comply with Cardholders Agreement may result in the revocation of purchasing card privileges and disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Spending limits are approved on an individual basis in accordance with the policy 2.02 on Authority to Approval Financial Documents. Single transactions exceeding $5,000 should be submitted to the Contracts and Purchasing Department for processing. Whenever practical, the Contracts and Purchasing Department solicits competitive bids on all single procurements over $5,000. Purchasing cards may not be used for personal items or for any reason that is not directly related to the cardholder's professional relationship with the University, including, but not limited to, air or rail tickets, food and beverages, personal items, electronic equipment, appliances, furniture, luggage, traffic fines, gifts, club dues, travel insurance (other than rental cars), in-room movies, personal entertainment, airline clubs, baby-sitting fees, clothes, personal automobile repairs, alcoholic beverages, flowers, catering services, and personal services.

Cardholders are required to maintain records and original, itemized receipts of all transactions. The monthly credit card statement with all original, itemized receipts attached must be sent to the Finance Office by the 10th of the following month. If a receipt is missing, a written explanation detailing the nature and reason for the charge is required, Unit administrators are responsible for assuring that the goods and services were received, that appropriate procedures were followed, that appropriate documentation has been provided, and that applicable University policies and Federal regulations, including those on travel expenses, were followed. The Finance office will retain the documentation in accordance with the document retention policy.

Upon separation from Gallaudet University, or transfer to a different department within the University, the cardholder must surrender the purchasing card and all documentation to the unit administrator. The unit administrator is responsible for reconciling the account with the employee. The purchasing card must be returned to the Contracts and Purchasing Department. Purchasing cards are not transferable.

Faculty, teachers, and staff may not accept personal gifts or gratuities from any current or potential supplier if such acceptance obligates or could be construed to obligate the University to conduct further business with that supplier. Occasional association with suppliers at luncheons or dinners and the acceptance of small advertising novelties are helpful in establishing business rapport and are not considered unethical provided that the

Disciplinary Actions

Any Gallaudet University employee, officer, or agent who knowingly and deliberately violates the provisions of this Code of Conduct may be open to legal action including up to and including termination.

Any contractor or potential contractor who knowingly and deliberately violates the provisions of these procurement standards will be barred from future transactions with Gallaudet University.

Approved by: Gallaudet University Administration