FAQs

This section will address answers to frequently asked questions that the Purchasing Department receives.

How long does it take to process a purchase requisition?
Once the Requisition is received by the Purchasing Department, it usually takes 1-2 days to process. This assumes that bidding or additional work by the Purchasing Department is not necessary. If bidding is necessary, please contact Purchasing (ext. 3020) early in the process in order to keep things moving. Processing time may be longer at year-end.

Can my order be faxed or telephoned to the vendor to speed up processing and delivery times?
Yes, just request this service in the "Special Instructions" on the requisition form and provide Purchasing with the appropriate fax or telephone number. Please note this service should only be requested on orders that must be expedited.

What is the flow of the Purchase Requisition?
Signature approvals required on Requisitions will vary by division. The Vice President of the division will establish the signatures required for his or her areas. All Requisitions need at least a Dean/Director sign off. When all required signatures have been obtained, send the Requisition to the Accounting Department (room 7230). If no budget issues are uncovered, the Requisition will be delivered to Purchasing.

How do I know if my Purchase Requisition has been processed?
Once the Requisition has been processed, the blue copy of the Purchase Order is sent back to the person who originated the order. If you are not the one in the department that originated the order, check with that person. He/She may have already received the blue copy. If you have not received the blue copy, call Purchasing at ext. 3020 with the vendor name and amount of the Requisition and we will research the status of the document.

At what level of purchase are quotations or bids required?
Quotations are required for purchases estimated to be greater than $5,000 but less than $10,000. Bids are required for purchases greater than $10,000. Exceptions to bidding requirements are: (1) Purchasing Contracts, (2) Reorders from Previous Bid, (3) Sole Source and (4) Certain Professional Service Contracts. Contact Purchasing for information about these exceptions.

What if the item(s) I want to buy is only available from one source?
Any request by a department to restrict a purchase to one potential supplier must be accompanied by an explanation (sole source justification). Some examples of circumstances which could constitute a sole source purchase are: spare parts or replacement parts for existing equipment; where compatibility of equipment or accessories is the main consideration; product has unique design/performance not available in comparable products. Please refer to Waiver of Competitive Purchasing for more information on sole source requirements.

Why does Purchasing need a complete vendor name, address and telephone number on all of my Requisitions?
Most of the vendors/companies that the College does business with have several mailing addresses. The only way we can guarantee that your order and the payment for your items go to the correct division of any company is if you supply us with complete and accurate information.

What if the vendor states that he/she does not accept Purchase Orders?
If you are a Procurement Cardholder, you should try to put this purchase on your Procurement Card. If not, contact Purchasing to discuss the appropriate way to request advanced payment. This practice is generally not allowed. Purchasing must review and approve all transactions requesting advanced payment and is the final authority in this determination.

What is the Procurement Card?
The Procurement Card program is the preferred method to acquire low-value, non-capital, expense items. Typical examples of allowable purchases are items that are processed using Check Requests, petty cash or low-dollar (under $500.00) Purchase Requisitions for supplies or miscellaneous repairs and materials. For more information see the Procurement Card section on the Purchasing Homepage.

What is a Check Request?
There are certain transactions that justify not issuing a Purchase Order. Transactions that qualify are processed as a Check Request. Examples include: Memberships/dues and subscriptions. This process is not for payment of orders that were placed with a Purchase Order and should not be used to bypass the normal purchasing process. The Check Request is not a separate form. It is a Purchase Requisition with the words "CHECK REQUEST" written in the special instructions section of the Purchase Requisition. An invoice, membership form or other documentation independently verifying cost and describing the goods/services purchased must be attached before payment can be made.

How do I know if my Check Request has been processed?
When the Check Request has been approved by Purchasing, it is forwarded to Accounts Payable for processing. Contact the Accounts Payable office to find out if check has been processed.

How long does it take for a Check Request to be paid and the check mailed?
Plan on up to two weeks for a check to be mailed once it reaches Accounts Payable. It can take up to an additional week for approvals. Accounting and Purchasing review the request before it reaches Accounts Payable. If the Check Request must be mailed by a certain date, please indicate that in the "Special Instructions" on the Check Request.

If I receive the invoice for my order directly from the vendor, what should I do with it?
If all items on that invoice have been received, mark on the invoice that it is okay to pay, sign your name and send to Accounts Payable. Be sure to write the Purchase Order number on the invoice if it isn't there.

What if I have an emergency? How can I get what I need in a hurry?
Call the Purchasing Department (ext. 3020) and we can tell you the fastest way to process your order. An emergency purchase is one made in response to: (1) Life or injury - threatening situation, (2) Damage - threatening situations to college buildings or equipment, or (3) Breakdowns, breakages or malfunctions of equipment necessary for normal operations of the campus.

What if I've made a mistake in ordering something and need to change the order. How do I do it?
Please contact the Purchasing Department. It may be necessary to submit a requisition form to amend the current order. Purchasing will be able to advise you on how to proceed.

What if what I received does not meet the specifications of my Purchase Order?
In all cases, contact Purchasing immediately to discuss the problem. Purchasing will contact the vendor. Do not attempt to resolve this issue without involving Purchasing.

What if my goods are received in a damaged condition?
It is extremely important for the end-user to conduct both visual and operational tests at the earliest possible time. In the event that the end-user discovers discrepancies, contact the Purchasing Department so that appropriate action can be taken.