Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
Related Sites


Section: Business and Support Operations Section Number: 3.20.7
Subject: Supplies and Purchases: General Purchasing Policy and Requisition Procedure Date of Present Issue:
  Date of Previous Issues:
007/79, 02/85, 06/89, 02/92, 09/95, 07/00, 08/01, 11/03, 11/07


Purchasing serves the needs of the entire University. This office is responsible for the acquisition of all materials, supplies, and services costing more than $50 from any fund source, with the following exceptions:

  1. Purchases by the Campus Shoppe/Pro Shop for resale or consumption (see procedure 3.20.3).
  2. Purchases of various food supplies used in the food service area and other auxiliary services for consumption or resale.
  3. Purchases of library books and periodicals, and rental firm ordering (see procedure 2.4.6).
  4. Local purchases of $50 or less which should be made from petty cash funds (see procedure 3.7.8).
  5. Utilities.
  6. Employee benefit and payroll deduction payments.
  7. Space rentals (hotels, temporary classrooms, etc.).
  8. Real Estate
  9. Entry fees (athletic events, competitions, etc.)
  10. Employee Travel including conferences and registrations (see procedure 3.33.2)
  11. Purchase allowed by the p-card program

No purchase commitments or contracted arrangements (other than the exceptions listed above) shall be made in the name of the University by any employee other than the Director of Purchasing or University Buyer. Any commitment made in violation of this policy shall be construed as a personal liability of the individual making the commitment and may be cause for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Confirming purchase orders may only be issued by the Director of Purchasing or University Buyer.

Single item purchases:

  1. Up to $5,000 – Quotes may be required at the discretion of the Director of Purchasing. Price checks will be periodically made, and obvious competitive situations may result in written bid procedure being utilized.
  2. Up to $25,000 – Written bids will be obtained. Verbal or telephone bids will be accepted when time constraints do not permit written bids. Construction projects under $10,000 with three quotes obtained by the Physical Plant will be accepted by the Purchasing Office.
  3. $25,000 and over – Sealed bids will be issued along with the "Buy American" form. Exceptions to this rule may be made only with the written approval of the Vice President for Business and Financial Operations, or designee.
  4. The following may be used instead of competitive bidding:
    1. Education and Institutional Cooperative Contract
    2.  General Services Administration Contracts
    3. State of Michigan contracts
    4. Other Group Purchase Contracts
    5. Proprietary purchases and emergency orders
    6. Items previously bid in current fiscal year and on file.

All items will be purchased on an "or equal" basis unless sufficient and valid reasons are given for the purchase of proprietary or sole source items. These reasons must be documented and on file in the purchasing office. Requisitions for items available through Central Stores should not be submitted to the Purchasing Office, but sent directly to Central Stores.

Purchases of goods and services funded under grant awards will be subject to the policies and procedures described in this section with one exception. Should the grant award provide for purchasing policies and procedures which are different from those contained in this section, the grant award policies and procedures may also apply.

Purchase Requisition
Purchase Requisition forms (LSSU #269, attachment #1) can be obtained on the “O” drive or can be created in the BANNER on-line system. This form is used to request equipment, materials, supplies or certain services from off-campus sources.

On the requisition form the requesting department provides complete, concise detail of items including manufacturer’s name, model number, specifications, and if possible, provides to Purchasing any manufacturer information, suggested vendors, phone numbers, fax numbers, etc.

Budget Approval of Requisitions
An individual authorized to commit funds from the appropriate fund and cost center must sign all Purchase Requisitions and approve up to $5,000.

Purchase requests must be approved by the appropriate Vice President for purchase requests of $5,000 or more.

All contracts entered into by the President or designee on behalf of the University for goods and services with a conglomerate amount of $250,000 or more requires prior approval by the Board of Trustees; and the Board from time to time may authorize the President to execute contracts for pending matters within a pre-determined maximum amount in dollars.

Receipt of Merchandise
The University Receiving department is responsible for immediately checking all merchandise for hidden damage or lack of agreement with specifications. If damages are found, the Receiving department contacts the shipping carrier for inspection of damage. The Receiving department will report any problems with received merchandise to Purchasing within two (2) business days.

The Receiving department will direct merchandise to be delivered to requesting departments. The requesting department will examine shipment for damages, failure to comply with specifications or discrepancies in order. The requesting department will report any problems within two (2) business days of receipt to Purchasing.

The Receiving Department is not to be used for the receipt of personal mail.  If personal mail or packages are received, the Receiving Department will refuse delivery and materials will be returned to shipper.

Return of Merchandise
Authorization for and request to return material to the vendor(s) must be coordinated between the department and the Purchasing Office of the University.

All return shipments must be accompanied by a Return Merchandise Request Form, which has been completed by the department requesting the return. The department must deliver the material to the Central Receiving dock and forward
the return merchandise request form to Purchasing for approval.

If return shipment requirements are of a nature to require positioning of materials at the Central Receiving dock, the department will make arrangements with the Physical Plant department to move the material to the Central Receiving dock.

Vendor Selection and Exhibits
Vendor selection is the responsibility of the Purchasing Office. The selection will not discriminate against any vendor because of race, creed, age, sex or national origin.  Vendor selection must also be in conformance with the conflict of interest policy 1.7.

Departments may request that vendors demonstrate equipment or materials on campus but must advise the Purchasing Office of any such demonstrations being conducted.

Insurance Requirements
All vendors and/or individuals performing work or services on University property must carry insurance coverage satisfactory to the University. The proof of insurance certificates will be filed and monitored as being current by the Purchasing Office.

Sole Source Purchases
On relatively rare occasions, purchases are made with purchase orders in excess of $5,000 without the solicitation of competitive bids or proposals. Such purchases require detailed supporting justification and approval by the Vice President for Business and Finance prior to action by the Purchasing Office.

Suspension and Debarment Status
To comply with Federal Acquisition Regulations, the University requires campus purchasing department to include the following certification on vendor purchase orders.

By accepting this purchase order, and fulfilling the terms and conditions of this order, the Supplier warrants that neither the Supplier, nor, to the best of the Supplier’s knowledge, Supplier Personnel, is presently debarred, proposed for debarment, suspended, or declared ineligible for covered transactions by any federal agency or department.  The supplier also certifies that, within the past three years, the Supplier, nor, to the best of the Supplier’s knowledge, Supplier Personnel, has/have not been convicted of or had civil judgment rendered against him/her for a fraudulent contract or transaction, violation of federal or state antitrust laws, or the commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsifying or destroying records, receiving stolen property, or making false statements.

Before a purchase order is issued to a vender with funds coming directly to the University from the federal government or indirectly through the state government or another agency or entity, the purchasing department should consult  the government’s Excluded Parties List system ( to determine the eligibility of the proposed vendor.

Gifts and Gratuities
University employees are prohibited from receiving any financial interest or personal gain by virtue of their position as a University employee or which may influence or affect University purchasing or operating decisions. Any attempt to do so on the part of a vendor, may, at a minimum, lead to disqualification of a vendor. An employee receiving gain, financial or otherwise, may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.  It is expected that vendor incentives to the University will take the form of quality, service or price considerations.


  1. Calendars, desk novelties, or similar advertising items of less than $25.00 in value;
  2. Reasonably priced meals accepted in settings where University business is conducted;
  3. Textbooks, recorded media, software, or similar work-related items for which the school is not being charged; 
  4. Any other exceptions to this policy should be reviewed by the President or Vice President for Business and Finance to determine if special circumstances exist to warrant the acceptance of a gift from a vendor, or to determine whether a gift should be declined or returned.

Employees must exercise caution that regular gifts of nominal value do not gradually aggregate into an assumed obligation on the University’s behalf. Under no circumstances shall an employee accept a gratuity where prohibited by law, policy or regulation or where the appearance of impropriety may occur.

Home » 3.20.7 - Supplies and Purchases: General Purchasing Policy and Requisition Procedure
Share this page with your friends: