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A central purchasing function shall be maintained to serve the needs of the entire University. The Purchasing Department, which is delegated this function, is responsible to the Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs. Most procurement negotiations have been delegated to the Director of Purchasing by the President of the University through the Board of Control approved policy. The function of the Purchasing Department is the organization and administration of centralized purchasing services for all departments of the University. In providing these services in accordance with sound business practices, the office seeks to realize for the University the maximum value for every dollar expended.

To achieve this goal, the Purchasing Department has been charged by the University with responsibility for the following:

  1. Securing competitive bids when possible to obtain maximum value from the expenditures of University funds.
  2. Maintaining liaison with the vendors who service the University.
  3. Coordinating the procurement of goods and services for the academic, administrative and support areas of the University.
  4. Developing sources of supply to assure that University departments have an adequate number of vendors from whom to obtain supplies, equipment and services.

This office is responsible for the purchase of all materials, supplies and services except for the following:

  1. Books, pamphlets and periodicals for the Library.
  2. Bookstore merchandise for resale.
  3. Professional consulting services.
  4. Architectural and consultant services, new construction, and contractual repairs and remodeling involving Campus Facilities.

The selection of a vendor is the responsibility of the Purchasing Department. In the selection, the Purchasing Department shall not in any way discriminate against any vendor because of race, creed, age, sex or national origin, nor shall the University continue to patronize vendors known to practice any forms of discrimination.

No commitment of funds shall be made by the Purchasing Department without prior approval of the unit to which the purchase is to be charged. In accordance with the authority delegated to the Director of Purchasing by the President, the Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs and the Board of Control of the University, the Director of Purchasing is responsible for approving purchases by the University, unless written delegation of authority has been obtained from the President.

For all purchases exceeding $25,000, the purchases must be preceded by competitive sealed bids unless they are covered by pricing agreements, state contracts, are a single source of supply, or a waiver of sealed bid is approved by the President or Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs. The sealed bids are to be returned in envelopes furnished and so marked. The sealed bid request will state the day and time due, and bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at that time. No sealed bids will be accepted if received after the day and time specified.

Purchases of less than $25,000 may be bid if the Purchasing Department judges that competitive bidding would be to the University's advantage. Generally, price quotations will be obtained on purchases of more than $1,000. These quotations should be written except when time or other circumstances do not permit, in which case verbal bids are acceptable if properly documented. Only qualified vendors shall be asked to quote, and all quotations are to be kept confidential until the award is made. After the award is made, the list of bidders and the amount of each bid shall become public information and available to anyone upon request. Purchasing may or may not accept an individual department's inquiry for "price quotations" on items considered for purchase.

Purchases will not be made where a conflict of interest situation exists. While gifts to Saginaw Valley State University are encouraged from all sectors of society as a matter of good public policy and established business practice, the selection of vendors for the University will not be based upon contributions.



Adopted 5/06/83 BC
Revised 05/04 BC


The Board of Control has established Purchasing Policy 5.2-1 in the Operations Manual. All expenditures of University monies, whether charged against a General Fund account or any other University account, must be made in compliance with the terms of that policy.

The purpose of this addendum is to affirm that this policy exists and is to be followed. The policy established a central purchasing function to serve the needs of the entire University, and the Purchasing Office has been delegated this function.

Persons who have been named account managers have the authorization to approve expenditures against those accounts. These individuals, however, have not been authorized to act as an agent of the University and are not authorized to actually purchase goods or services from vendors. All purchases are to be made through the Purchasing Office, except as set forth below:

  1. Expenditures for approved travel and entertainment can be incurred and the employee reimbursed in accordance with Policy 2.3-1 of the Operations Manual, Travel Policy and Regulations.

    With the approval of the account manager, an employee is allowed to work with an airline or travel agent of their choice. Contact the airline/travel agency to determine dates, times, rates, etc. Tickets can then be acquired as follows:

    1. The account manager can contact Purchasing to obtain a purchase order number to be given to the airline/travel agency. A special purchase requisition must then be completed and sent to Purchasing; or,
    2. The employee may personally pay for tickets or charge them to their personal credit card. A check requisition form signed by the account manager may be used to receive reimbursement.
  2. Expenditures for minor items where a single expenditure does not exceed $25 may be reimbursed through either a check requisition, travel expense reimbursement form or petty cash.
  3. Some departments have been authorized to participate in the Small Value Purchase Order (SVPO) program (Operations Manual Policy 5.2-11). In those instances, a single expenditure from local, approved vendors may be made for up to $300 per vendor per day.

An account manager determines the nature of goods or services necessary for the performance of their job responsibilities. They are to work with Purchasing and recommend specifications, potential vendors, etc., for items and services they wish to acquire. The actual ordering of goods and services is the responsibility of and is to be done by the Purchasing Office.

Occasionally, some persons have not followed the University Purchasing Policy. They have stated that they needed the items in a short period of time and/or considered the purchase an emergency, so they did not contact the Purchasing Office. However, upon investigation, we learned that the length of time they were dealing with a vendor was often a period of two weeks or longer. Where a true emergency exists, the Purchasing Office will do its utmost to assist you.

University employees who have been delegated account manager status but who do not follow established University purchasing policies and procedures will have this issue brought to the attention of their supervisor to become a matter for discussion during their performance evaluation. These persons may also be personally liable for all or part of the cost of purchases where these policies were not followed. In the most severe situation, it may also be cause for dismissal.

Questions regarding clarification of the Purchasing Policy can be directed to the Director of Purchasing, ext. 4160.