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Purchasing Procedures

Failure to comply with the regulations listed below will result in delays in placing your orders. College Requisitions will be returned to the originating department until proper documentation and signatures have been obtained and forwarded to the Purchasing Office.

Purchasing Procedures

The purchase of all materials, supplies, and services must be processed on Rhode Island College Requisition Forms.These forms may be obtained from the College Purchasing Department located in Building 5 east campus or from most department secretaries. The College Requisition should include a detailed description of the item being purchased, including the manufacturer, make, model, if applicable, and any other information pertinent to the identification of the item being purchased. When ordering from a Master Price Agreement, record all pertinent information in connection with the MPA, for example, MPA#, Item#, FEIN#, terms, etc. The department name and also the department account number should appear on the top line of the College Requisition entitled Dept. and Dept. No. The signature of the department director should appear on the line entitled Dept. Head. Please use separate requisitions to pay for items or services payable to different individuals or vendors. Also, use separate requisitions to order items considered to be operating expenses, equipment, or personal services. College Requisitions should be forwarded to the Purchasing Office in ample time to allow for processing. This is particularly important in those instances where the items being purchased are required to go out for bid through the State. Sufficient time must be allowed to follow proper procedures through the State Purchasing System.

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R.I.C. Delegated Small Purchase Authority

College Requisitions requiring bids through the individual departments are those with a total dollar value of greater than $500.00 but less than $5,000.00. This dollar figure is for the total amount of the order, not for a singular item. For requisitions with a dollar amount of greater than $500.00, but less than $5,000.00, department directors must obtain faxed or written quotes from three (3) different vendors. Telephone quotes will not be accepted. One of the vendors must be a Minority Business vendor, if one exists for that particular commodity. The Minority Business Enterprise Vendor listing is now available on the Rhode Island College Website under the heading of Purchasing. The MBE list is offered by commodity as provided to the College by the Minority Business Enterprise Commission. If the price offer made by the Minority Business Enterprise vendor is determined to be within a competitive range (not to exceed five percent (5%) higher than the lowest responsive price offer) for the product or service solicited, it is required by State of Rhode Island Purchasing Regulations that the award be given to the MBE. The written quotes are to be attached to the Rhode Island College Purchasing Bid Award Determination Sheet and forwarded along with the College Requisition with the proper signatures to the Purchasing Office for processing. The College Requisition is then converted to a Purchase Order and forwarded directly to the vendor who submitted the lowest bid. Please note that a bid may be a quoted dollar amount, or an indication that the vendor cannot provide the item requested. The second case should occur only in the purchase of hard to find items where three local vendors cannot supply the item. Whenever possible, three dollar quotes should be obtained. Be sure to document the name of the individual who provided the quote, and the date they were contacted. Please use the Rhode Island College Bid Award Determination form to document your three bids. This form may be obtained from the College Purchasing Office or from department secretaries. There is no dollar limit when ordering from a Master Price Agreement. These are fixed prices set by the State and remain in effect until the expiration of the MPA. When ordering from a vendor that does not list items per the MPA, a faxed quote must be obtained from the vendor and attached to the College Requisition.

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Receipt of Goods/Services

Upon receipt of materials and/or services, Department Directors should sign the copy of the order as "received" and provide full signatures. Forward to the Purchasing Office so invoices may be processed for payment in a timely manner. This applies to all orders.

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Purchases Which Exceed R.I.C. Delegated Authority

Purchases which exceed the $5,000.00 limit for delegated authority at the College will be forwarded to the State of R.I. Division of Purchases to be bid and processed through the State System. When processed in this manner, the average length of time from when the request arrives at State Purchasing until the Purchase Order is encumbered at the State Controller's Office and returned to Rhode Island College is eight to ten weeks. Please allow for this time when submitting large dollar requests. After the Purchase Order is received and materials and/or services have been delivered, the Department Director should immediately sign the copy of the order as complete and forward to Purchasing. It is imperative that this information be received as quickly as possible to expedite vendor payment.

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Sole Source Vendors

On occasion there is only one vendor who is able to provide a particular product, usually the manufacturer of that product. This is considered to be a sole source vendor. To process an order where the vendor is a sole source, there must be written documentation from that vendor specifically stating that they are the only provider of this product. Attach the supporting documentation to the Award Determination Sheet, check off the section which designates sole source vendor, and proceed to order as usual, by submitting a College Requisition with the documents.

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Bid Awards to Other than the Low Bidder

When awarding a bid to other than the low bidder, the record must include a statement explaining the basis for this decision. Any such rationale must contain objective criteria, for example, the item offered was not equivalent of that which was requested, the time of delivery could not comply with deadlines, the shipping charges were excessive, etc.

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W.B. Mason Purchase Orders

Any items purchased from the W.B. Mason Company through the Master Price Agreement Office Supplies Catalog will be placed online at Outside Linkhttp://www.wbmason.com. There is no dollar limit on items purchased from the MPA Catalog. However, W.B. Mason is not to be considered a sole source for any office supplies or products other than those on the MPA. Items ordered from the standard Mason catalog are subject to bid (if they exceed $500.00), the same as any other type of order. If the order exceeds the $500.00 limit, you must obtain three written quotes, one being from a Minority vendor. If W.B. Mason is the lowest bidder, the order should be placed online and a copy of the written quote should be forwarded to Purchasing. If these procedures are not followed, the order will be rejected for correction. When items are received, please forward packing slips and/or a copy of the confirmation with the department head's signature for payment approval. Please forward this information in a timely manner.

Adobe PDFWB Mason Update Order Form

Please contact the Purchasing Office to be set up as a requestor or an approver for your department. Once you are set up you will receive a password and a training manual explaining the ordering process. All contract items are noted online with a red check mark to make it easier to identify MPA items. The same rules apply when ordering online.

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Cancellations

If an order is to be cancelled, the User must cancel the order in writing with the vendor, explaining the reason for the cancellation. A copy of this document must be part of the official record of the purchase order and must be kept on file in the Purchasing Office. Also, if an order is returned and a return receipt is received, that receipt should be sent to Purchasing to be retained with the original order.

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Federal Employer Identification Numbers (FEIN#)

Internal Revenue Service regulations require that payments to a vendor, organization, or individual be accompanied by the vendor's or organization's Federal Employer Identification Number, or by an individual's Social Security Number. The State Controller's Office now requires that a W-9 Form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) be on file with their office before any payment will be made. In many instances, vendors record their FEIN numbers on their invoices. This is not a guarantee that the vendor has a W-9 on file with the State. Department directors have no recourse but to call the vendor to obtain the FEIN number, and if necessary fax or mail a W-9 form to the vendor for completion prior to processing the College Requisition. If necessary, departments are advised to call the College Purchasing Office which has recorded FEIN numbers of vendors, organizations and individuals paid in the past. Please record the Federal Identification Number in the "Available At" column on the College Requisition.

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Reimbursements

All expenditures of funds, whether regular College funds or grant monies, should be approved in advance. If a purchase must be made in an emergency situation, department or project directors can be reimbursed for purchases, as long as College and State Purchasing Regulations have not been violated. Directors can be reimbursed by attaching paid bills to a College Requisition detailing the expenditures. Receipts must be marked "paid" and must be signed by the individual requesting reimbursement. The statement "Request Reimbursement" should be written above the signature, and the person's Social Security Number must also appear on the receipt. If a cancelled check is provided as proof of payment, a copy of both the front and back of the cancelled check is required. The accompanying College Requisition should also specify that a reimbursement for the paid bills is requested. College Requisitions which are for payments to individuals, consultant payments, or are requests for reimbursement, must include the Social Security Number or FEIN# of all persons/vendors receiving payments. Despite the fact that an individual is a State or College employee, a W-9 form must still be on file with the Purchasing Department. If there is not a form on file, the Accounts Payable Manager will return the payment voucher until a W-9 form is submitted.

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Page last updated: December 19, 2011