Purchasing Basic Information

Methods of Purchasing

Purchasing methods include the different processes of ordering goods and/or services, and encumbering funds.

  • Field Purchase Orders - Accepted on an exception basis only. They require an Electronic Entry into Banner INB. They are used went a vendor will not accept a P-Card and when the total dollar amount is less than $1,000.
  • Procurement Card - Most efficient method of purchasing (does not require the processing of a Purchase Order). They are used when the total dollar amount of the purchase is less than $4,500 and is not prohibited by the P-Card Policy. P-Card applicants must attend training for additional policy and procedures.
  • Purchase Order - Requires an Electronic Requisition to be submitted to Purchasing. Used to encumber funds and to obtain required approvals appliable to each purchase prior to submitting an order.

For each purchase order, an electronic requisition must be submitted to Purchasing. Once processed, a purchase order will be submitted to the vendor. Each purchase order that does not follow this process prior to the order being placed is considered an “After-The-Fact”. “After-The-Fact” purchases must be reviewed and approved by the Controller’s Office. This may result in the end user being personally liable for the purchase. (CSM Financial Policy 2.2.5)

Method of Purchase Notes Applicable
Field Purchase Order

Accepted on an exception basis only.

Requires electronic entry into Banner INB

Why: Used when a vendor will not accept a P-Card.

When: The total dollar amount is less than $1,000

Procurement Card

Soon to be combined with the Travel Card into "One-Card"

P-Card users must attend training

Purchase Order    

Competitive Solicitations

Competitive solicitations are used based on dollar thresholds for goods and services. They are used to obtain competitive pricing and to provide vendors a fair and equal opportunity to compete for our business. Although School of Mines has determined what dollar threshold requires competitive solicitations, there are external compliance factors that impact the threshold limits. (e.g.: NSF research expenditures)

  • Documented Quote (DQ) - A request for Doumented Quotes will be publically posted for at least 3 days. It is used to assure that we obtain the best price for higher dollar purchases. Lowest price is the primary consideration. Used for Goods between $10,000 and $150,000, and for Services between $25,000 and $150,000.
  • Sole Sources - A Sole Source requires approval by the Director of Financial Planning and Business Operations and is for exceptions only. It is a procurement made without competition and still requires the tonice to be pubically posted for 3 days. It requires documented justification provided by the requestor. It is used when there is only one solution for a purchasing need and other solutions do not exist or using an alternative creates undue hardship and threatens business operations.
  • Invitation for Bid (IFB) - A request for an Invitation for Bid will be pubically posted for at least 14 days. This is a sealed bid with a more formal process for reviewing responses. IFBs are used in cases where the exact specifications for a desired purchase are already known. To assure that we obtain the best price, the lowest cost is the primary consideration. Used for Goods and Services above $150,000.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) - A Request for Proposal is a solicitation where the primary consideration for award is not limited to price. The RFP is pubically posted for at least 30 calendar days. They are use dto find solutions for a purchasing need that can be evaluated on factors not limited to price. They are used typically (but not limited to) used for purchases over $150,000.