Vendor Manual

Truman State University

Vendor Manual for Purchasing

July 2011

The purpose of this manual is to assist interested vendors in doing business with the University.  This manual provides information about the purchasing policies and procedures utilized by the University in the procurement of supplies, equipment and services.

All qualified vendors are invited to participate in the competitive procurement process.

Truman State University – Purchasing Section of the Business Office 

McClain Hall 106

Kirksville, MO  63501

Telephone:       660-785-4159

Fax:                   660-785-7337

Email:                kmurphy@truman.edu or purchasingbuyer@truman.edu         

Website:            http://www.truman.edu/businessoffice/purchasing/

Terminology

The University’s definition of bidder is “the person or organization that responds to an initiation to bid (IFB); and the standard definition of offeror is “the person or organization that responds to a Request for Proposal (RFP) by submitting a proposal;”

For simplicity in this manual, the term “bidder” includes the definition of the term “offeror” unless otherwise noted.  Likewise, the term “bid” includes “proposal” unless otherwise noted.

The term “solicitation “includes the “IFB” procurement method and the “RFP” procurement method.

Organizational Structure

Purchasing has the responsibility to competitively purchase supplies, equipment, and services required by the University.  Purchasing is not responsible for bidding and awarding large construction improvements (design, construction, renovation, and repair of University facilities) contracts.  These projects are handled through Campus Planning.

Delegation of Purchase Authority

The University follows Chapter 34 RSMo.  The University must solicit competitive bids for the local purchase requirements in accordance with the State of Missouri law and its rules, regulations and procedures as well as Board of Governors policies.

 Vendor Registration

Although it is not required, vendors are encouraged to register by completing the vendor registration form on the University’s web site.  Vendors may review all current bid opportunities without registering, but if the vendor is registered with the University, which would include submitting a W-9 form, could result in faster payment, should business be awarded.

The vendor registration form is available online at: http://www.truman.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/vendor-registration-form.pdf

Foreign Vendor

A foreign vendor, (not a US citizen or US person) will need to:

  1. Complete the appropriate IRS W-8 form;
  2. Complete a vendor registration form; and,
  3. Fax these documents along with a cover letter that states that you wish to do business with the University.

The cover letter must include the e-mail address of the individual submitting the documentation.  The documentation must be processed by the University prior to conducting business with the University.

Types of Purchases

University Credit Card Holders (P-Cards)

Several University departments have University credit cards (P-cards) available for small orders. Departments will place these orders with the vendors directly and make up front payment by using the P-Card.  It is considered unethical and a violation of these policies to split purchase into small segments in order to circumvent the bid process.

Direct Purchases

Purchasing may issue a Purchase order for goods and services directly to vendors for the purchase of an item or a group of items totaling $5,000 or less without a bid.  University departments may price check for such orders, but Vendors must not process the order until receiving the purchase order from the University’s Purchasing Section of the Business Office.  A firm fixed price is requested.  It is considered unethical and a violation of these policies to split purchases into small segments in order to circumvent the bid process.

Small Bid Purchases

Purchasing will bid orders for goods and services estimated to cost over $5,000, but less than $25,000.  Purchasing will use a formal bid process, but may opt to use an informal process to obtain at least three bids on lower cost goods or services.  A purchase order is issued to the successful vendor.

Orders over $25,000

Purchasing will advertise and issue formal bids for goods and services anticipated to exceed $25,000.  A purchase order is issued to the successful vendor.

State Contracts or Other Contracts in Force

The University uses statewide contracts established by the State of Missouri.  Since these have been bid by the State, there is no bid process required by the University.  A purchase order is issued for the purchase.

The University has entered into several cooperative procurement contracts of public entities or groups, whose procurement methods and procedures are comparable to those of the University. Purchases utilizing these contracts do not require a bidding process.

The University’s Purchasing Section of the Business Office has established, through the competitive bid process, contracts with various vendors to provide specific supplies, equipment and services at firm prices for a designated time period.

Procurement Methods

Purchases over $5,000 are subject to competitive procurement requirements.  For all purchases of $25,000 or more, a formal, sealed and advertised procurement method is required.  The University uses four basic types of procurement methods.  Other methods may be used as needed in the best interest of the University.  The four procurement methods are:

  • A Request for Quote (RFQ) is a formal request for quotes.  The document will contain standard technical specifications of a specific nature to determine current market value and price is the determining factor for vendor selection.
  • An Invitation for Bid (IFB) is a formal request for bids.  The document will contain standard technical specifications of a specific nature and a formal bid opening date and time with which the bidder must comply in order to be considered for award.  Subjective evaluation criteria may be used in an IFB.
  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) is used for complex requirements that preclude the use of specific specifications or requirements.  An RFP will contain functional specifications for which the offeror must respond with a sealed proposal.   A formal proposal opening date and time will be specified.  Subjective evaluation criteria may be used to select a contractor.  Negotiations may be conducted with those offerors who submit potentially acceptable proposals.
  • A Single Feasible Source is used when the goods or services are proprietary and only available from the manufacturer or a single distributor.  This method may also be used to take advantage of special, limited-time discounts from a single distributor; or, based on past procurement experience, it is determined that only one distributor services the region in which the supplies are needed.

Equipment Demonstrations

It is permissible for vendors to demonstrate equipment to departmental personnel. These demonstrations should, however, be held strictly at the convenience of departmental personnel.  This practice is encouraged by Purchasing.  Prior approval must be secured from Purchasing.

If equipment is left in the department, it must be understood by all concerned, that the vendor does so at his/her own risk.  The University cannot and will not in any way assume responsibility for the equipment, other than to exercise normal and usual care.

Open and Fair Competition

It is the intent and purpose of the University that specifications permit free and open competition.  The vendor has a responsibility to notify the University if, in his/her opinion, any language or requirement inadvertently restricts the purchase to a single source.  Such notification should be received by Purchasing immediately.  A review of the notification will be made by the University and its decision will be final.

Vendors should be aware that the University monitors procurement activities to detect deliberate restraint of competition, collusion, price-fixing or any other anti-competitive conduct that appears to violate state and federal antitrust laws.  Any suspected violations will be referred to the State of Missouri for appropriate action.

In addition, employees of the University, evaluators, and any other persons involved in procurement decisions are prohibited from accepting for personal benefit, gifts, meals, trips or any other items of significant value or of a monetary advantage from a vendor.

Assistance from Vendors

Vendor’s assistance of an advisory nature is encouraged since it helps the University obtain current information about projects and service.  Vendors offering assistance must understand that the University will not pay for such assistance, unless specifically agreed to in advance, and that such assistance is considered normal sales effort and will not entitle the vendor to any preferential treatment.  If the University pays a vendor for assistance in development solicitation specifications, that vendor shall not be allowed to submit a response to the solicitation.

Please note vendors are not to place equipment on campus for review by the department during a bidding process without obtaining advance authorization from Purchasing.

Notification of Procurements

All solicitation requests are posted daily on the bulletin board outside of Purchasing located at McClain Hall 106.  Any person may review the posted documents at any time during business hours.  All solicitations are also posted on the Purchasing website,http://www.truman.edu/businessoffice/purchasing/

Any bid for prevailing wage, capital improvement, or maintenance contracts estimated to be valued at $25,000 or more is advertised in at least two daily newspapers of general circulation in such places that are most likely to reach prospective proposers at least five days before the proposals are opened.  Purchasing will be responsible for handling the advertising function.

Any requirement for supplies, equipment or professional services estimated to be valued at $25,000 or more is also advertised in at least two daily newspapers.

Vendors without internet access may review official bid solicitation documents on-line through most public libraries or directly at the University’s Purchasing Section of the Business Office.

Annual Wage Orders

All bids for construction, maintenance, and repair must comply with the requirements for Annual Wage Orders as stipulated in Chapter 290 RSMo. Pursuant to 107.170 RSMo, all public works with a cost estimated to exceed $25,000 require a performance/material payment bond.

Solicitation Amendments

The University reserves the right to officially modify or cancel a solicitation after issuance.  Such a modification will be identified as an amendment and numbered in a sequential manner when issued.

Security Deposit and Performance Deposit

If a bid security deposit is required, the amount and type of deposit will be identified in the solicitation document.  The bid security deposit should be attached to the bid, included within the sealed envelope or container and received prior to the bid opening date and time.  Bid security deposits of the successful bidder will be held until the performance security deposit is received.

If a performance security deposit is required, the amount, type of deposit and due date will be identified in the solicitation document.  Failure to perform the requirements of the contract will cause the amount of the performance security deposit to be forfeited to the University.

Pre-Bid Conferences

Occasionally the nature and complexity of a particular solicitation will necessitate a conference with potential bidders prior to the submission of bids to ensure the clarity of the requirements.  The specific date, time and place of the pre-bid conference will be announced in the solicitation document.  Potential bidders should bring a copy of the solicitation document since it will be used as the official agenda for the conference.  During a pre-bid conference potential bidders are encouraged to ask questions concerning the requirements of the solicitation document and the bid submission process.  Attendance at the conference will be at the potential bidder’s own expense.

Solicitation Questions

All questions regarding the solicitation document must be directed to Purchasing unless the solicitation specifically refers the bidder to another contact.  Questions may be e-mailed, mailed or faxed to Purchasing when time permits.  Such communication should be received at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the official bid opening date.  Purchasing may require any and all questions to be submitted in writing.  Any questions related to a solicitation should refer to the appropriate solicitation number.

Submission of a Formal Sealed Bid

Unless otherwise noted in the solicitation document, bids may be submitted by electronic, fax or hard copy delivered to Purchasing as specified in the solicitation document.  All bids must be submitted by a duly authorized representative of the bidder’s organization, contain all information required by the solicitation and be priced as required.  Delivered bids must be sealed in an envelope or container, delivered to the Purchasing Section of the Business Office, and officially clocked in by no later than the exact opening time and date as specified in the solicitation.  Bid opening time is based on the Central Standard Time Zone.

The sealed envelope or container should be clearly marked on the outside with the official solicitation number and the official opening date and time.  If multiple containers are submitted, they should be numbered and the container with the original bid should be identified.

Formal Sealed Bid Modifications and Cancellations

A bid submitted electronically may be modified electronically by submitting in writing all modifications.  A bid that has been delivered to Purchasing may be modified by signed, written notice that has been received by Purchasing prior to the official opening date and time specified.  A bid may also be modified in person by the bidder or an authorized person, provided proper identification is presented before the official opening date and time.  Telephone or telegraphic requests to modify a bid will not be honored.

A bid submitted electronically may be cancelled electronically by submitting a written request to cancel.  A bid that has been delivered to Purchasing may only be withdrawn by a signed, written notice or facsimile which has been received by Purchasing prior to the official opening date and time.  Telephone or telegraphic requests to withdraw a bid will not be honored.

After the official opening date and time for an IFB, no change in the bid pricing or other provisions shall be permitted.  However, if all bids are non-responsive or otherwise unacceptable and circumstances do not permit a re-bid, Purchasing may negotiate for the required supplies.  In the case of an RFP, proposal modifications may be permitted as a result of the negotiation process (provided that negotiations are conducted) through the submission of a best and final offer.

Receipt and Opening of Formal Sealed Bids

At IFB openings, bidders’ names and prices will be read aloud.  At RFP openings, only the offerors’ names will be read.  No decisions related to an awarded of a contract or purchase order will be made at the opening.   The public is invited, but bidders are not required to attend the bid openings.  Vendors may review the bid award information on line at: http://www.truman.edu/businessoffice/purchasing/

Late Submissions

Formal sealed bids received after the date and time set for the opening of bids shall be considered late, regardless of the degree of lateness, and normally will not be opened.  However, late bids may be opened under extraordinary circumstances.

Evaluation Process

This section is presented so vendors may gain insight into the evaluation process.  However, Purchasing does reserve the right to waive or modify the evaluation process described herein if deemed in the best interest of the University.

Vendors shall not contact or lobby evaluators during the evaluation process.

The University is responsible for the selection of evaluators, the evaluation of bids, the selection of the successful bidder(s), and the award of contract(s).   Purchasing may conduct the evaluation itself or normally a committee is used to evaluate the bids.  At its sole discretion, Purchasing may accept or reject evaluators’ recommendation, seek additional advice from others, re-evaluate, or reject all bids.

The evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the evaluation criteria as published in the solicitation document.  The evaluation criteria may include responsibility, qualification and capability of bidder, price, and other relevant factors.

In evaluation of bids, Purchasing reserves the right in the best interest of the University, to reject any and all bids and to waive any minor informality or irregularity in the bids submitted.

The following are some areas that may cause a bid to be classified as non-responsive:

  • Vendor fails to offer a product that meets the specifications or other requirement in the solicitation;
  • Vendor is unable to conform to the required delivery schedule given in the solicitation;
  • Vendor substitutes its terms and conditions for those that appeared in the solicitation or deletes any of the terms and conditions in the specifications;
  • Vendor does not sign the bid;
  • Vendors fails to submit any required surety;
  • Vendors does not provide a firm price, e.g. “price in effect at the time of delivery”;
  • Vendor qualifies the response so as to nullify or limit the vendor’s liability to the University;
  • Vendor does not have a satisfactory record of performance on previous purchase orders;
  • Vendor does not appear to have the necessary facilities, organization, experience, technical skills and financial resources necessary to fulfill the requirements of the project.

Contract Award

Contract awards will be made to the lowest and/or best bidder in accordance with the evaluation criteria published in the solicitation document.  Purchasing reserves the right to make multiple awards.

Change Orders

A change order to a purchase order may be issued to add or delete items, cancel orders, correct errors or make other modifications to the original purchase order by Purchasing.  Vendors who deviate from the purchase order or contract requirements prior to receipt of an authorized change order from Purchasing do so at their own risk.

Public Notice of Awards

E-mail notification of award decisions will be sent to each bidder who provides an e-mail address when submitting their bid.  Telephone requests for results are discouraged.  Purchasing will post the award decisions on the Purchasing website at:  http://www.truman.edu/businessoffice/purchasing/

Contractor’s Personnel

The contractor shall only utilize personnel authorized to work in the United States in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.  This includes but is not limited to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and INA Section 274A.

If the contractor is found to be in violation of this requirement or the applicable laws of the state, federal and local laws and regulations, and if the University has reasonable cause to believe that the contractor has knowingly employed individuals who are not eligible to work in the United States, the University shall have the right to cancel the contract immediately without penalty or recourse and suspend or debar the contractor from doing business with the University.

The contractor agrees to fully cooperate with an audit or investigation from federal, state, or local law enforcement agencies.

Contractual Relationships and Performance

Once a contract is awarded by Purchasing, the contractor will begin to work directly with the personnel of the University for whom the supplies, equipment, and/or were purchased.  A contact name will be provided by Purchasing as to who will be responsible for coordinating activities between the University and the contractor, fulfilling any obligations that the University may have to the contractor, assessing the performance of the contractor, and recommending payment to the contractor.

If additional supplies, equipment, and services not covered by the contract are delivered or performed, the contractor must clearly understand that no additional compensation will be paid to the contractor unless such changes have been approved by the University and issued to the contractor in the form of an official amendment to the contract from Purchasing prior to the actual performance or delivery by the contractor.

The contractor must not assume that a contract containing a renewal option will be renewed.

Payment Procedures

Upon receiving a purchase order from Purchasing, after delivery and acceptance, the contractor must prepare and submit an invoice for payment to the University.  The invoice should include the purchase order number.  Vendors and contractors can expedite payment by preparing and mailing invoices in accordance with instructions given on the purchase order or contract.  Only Purchasing is authorized to issue purchase orders for the University.  Shipping without a purchase order number may result in the vendor collecting the amount due from the person placing the unauthorized order, not the university.

Section 34.055 RSMo, provides for a late payment penalty on invoices that are not paid within 45 days after delivery or invoice approval, whichever is later.  For an invoice to be approved there must be a University purchase order cited, and the invoice must be mailed directly to the Accounts Payable Section of the Business Office address referenced on the purchase order or contract.

The contractor may receive contract payments through electronic funds transfer (EFT).  To receive payments electronically the contractor must complete section four of the Vendor Registration Substitute IRS Form W-9 regarding electronic fund transfers.  Upon approval of the applications, the contractor will be eligible to receive ACH/EFT transactions in approximately 30 days.

Each contractor invoice must contain a unique invoice number.

If payment is to be made to a different name and /or address than that shown on the bid form, the bidder must state so on the form or an attachment thereto, and state the full name and address to which payment is to be made.

Award Protest Procedures

A bid or proposal award protest must be submitted in writing to the Comptroller and must be received within 10 calendar days after the date of award.  The period shall extend to the next University business day if the 10th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or University holiday.  A protest submitted after the 10 calendar day period shall not be considered.

The written protest should include the following information:

  • Name, address and phone number of the protester;
  • Signature of the protester or the protester’s representative;
  • Solicitation number;
  • Detailed statement describing the grounds for the protest; and,
  • Supporting exhibits, evidence or documents to substantiate the claim.

A protest, which fails to contain the information listed above, may be denied solely on that basis.  All protests filed in a timely manner will be reviewed by the Comptroller and a written determination of the protest will be issued.  The Comptroller will only issue a determination on the issues asserted in the protest.  A protest, which is untimely or failed to establish standing to protest will be summarily denied.  In other cases, the determination will contain findings of fact, an analysis of the protest, and a conclusion that the protest will be either sustained or denied.  If the protest is sustained, remedies could include canceling the award.  If the protest is denied, no further action will be taken by the University.

Offshore Services

Pursuant to Executive Order 04-09, each vendor submitting a bid to the University shall be required to provide certification of the location where the contracted services are to be performed, and whether the vendor contemplates any of the work necessary to provide the contracted services being performed offshore.

If during the term of the contract, the contractor or subcontractor has certified that work will be performed in the United States and proceeds to shift work outside of the United States, the contractor shall be deemed in breach of contract, unless the University has determined in writing that extraordinary circumstances require the shift of work or that a failure to shift the work would result in economic hardship to the University.

No contract shall be awarded to a vendor who contemplates performing work (or having a subcontractor performs work) pursuant to the contract at a site outside the United States, or does not provide disclosures as required above, unless one of the following conditions is met:

  1. The vendor or its subcontractor provides a unique good or service; the particular good or service is deemed mandatory for the purposes of the purchasing agency; and no comparable domestically-provided good or service can adequately duplicate the unique features of the good or service provided by the vendor or its subcontractor; or,
  2. The vendor or its subcontractor is a foreign firm hired to market Missouri services or products to a foreign country; or,
  3. A significant and substantial economic cost factor exists that outweighs the economic impact of providing the function or professional services within the United States, such that a failure to use the vendor or subcontractor  services would result in economic hardship to the University ; or ,
  4. The vendor or its subcontractor maintains a significant business presence in the United States and only performs a trivial portion of work under the contract outside the United States.

Buy American Preference

In accordance with the Domestic Product Procurement Act (Buy American Act) Sections 34.350-34.359 RSMo, the bidder is advised that any goods, with a value of $25,000 or more, purchased or leased by any public agency shall be manufactured or produced in the United States, unless exceptions to the Buy American mandate in Section 34.353 RSMo are met.  Preferences shall be applied in accordance with Section 34.353 RSMo.

Buy Missouri Preferences

Pursuant to Sections 34.070 and 34.073 RSMo, preferences must be given to all commodities and tangible personal property manufactured, minded, produced or grown within the State of Missouri and to all firms, corporations or individuals doing business as Missouri firms, corporations, or individuals or which maintain Missouri offices or places of business, when quality is equal or better and delivered price is the same or less, quality of performance promised is equal or better and the price quoted is the same or less, or when competing bids, in their entirety, are comparable.

A Missouri project refers to goods or commodities, which are manufactured, mined, produced, or grown by companies in Missouri, or services provided by such companies in Missouri.  Missouri is a reciprocity state.  Pursuant to Section 34.076.RSMo, if any other state mandates a preference for its state vendors, the Missouri reciprocity statute shall apply to that state’s vendors bidding in the State of Missouri.   An example of this action would be if a state has a 5% preference for its vendors.  If a vendor is domiciled in the state and wishes to bid in the State of Missouri, 5% will be added to their bid price.  This statute shall not apply to any public works or product transportation where the bid is less than $5,000.

Missouri Service-Disabled Veteran Business Preference   

Pursuant to Section 34.074 RSMo, preference shall be given to service-disabled veteran businesses either doing business as Missouri firms, corporations or individuals or which maintain Missouri offices or places of business.

Recycled Product Preference

Pursuant to Section 34.031 RSMo, preference shall be granted to comparable products manufactured from, or printed on recycled materials, when the bid price is equal or less than those items manufactured from or printed on virgin materials.

Organizations for the Blind and Sheltered Workshops

Pursuant to Section 34.165 RSMo, bidding preference must be applied to bids for those supplies manufactured, produced or assembled by qualified nonprofit organizations for the blind established pursuant to 41 USC Sections 46 to 48c and by sheltered workshops holding a certificate of approval from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education pursuant to Section 178.920 RSMo.  This preference applies to qualified organizations both within and outside the State of Missouri.

Minority and Women Owned Businesses (MBE’s and WBE’s)

Per Executive Order 05-30, “all state agencies shall continue to make every feasible effort to target the percentage of goods and services procured from certified MBE’s and WBE’s to 10% and 5% respectively. The University encourages participation which can be met by primary contractors, subcontractors, suppliers or other arrangements.

Vendor Suspension and Debarment

A vendor suspension is an exclusion from bidding and/or contracting with the University for a temporary period of time.   A vendor may be suspended from participation in the procurement process for violation of responsible business practices or unsatisfactory performance.  The suspension period may be for a period up to 180 days for a first violation and for not more than a year for subsequent violations.   Any bids submitted by the suspended vendor shall not be considered.  The vendor will be mailed a formal notice outlining the reason(s) and the effective period of the suspension.  The vendor may appeal the suspension to the University’s Vice President of Administration Finance and Planning in writing within fourteen calendar days after receipt of notification.  The vendor must provide specific evidence and reasons why suspension is not necessary.  On the basis of this information, the suspension may be modified, rescinded or affirmed.  The decision shall be final and mailed to all parties.  At the end of the vendor’s suspension period, it is the vendor’s responsibility to submit a request to be reinstated.

A vendor debarment is an exclusion from contracting with the University for an indefinite period of time.  A vendor may be debarred from participation the University’s procurement process after multiple suspensions or for a single incident of serious misconduct.  The debarment period may be for an indefinite period of time when, in the University’s sole discretion, it is in the best interest of the University to do so.  Any bids submitted by the debarred vendor shall not be considered.  The vendor will be mailed a formal notice outlining the reason(s) for the debarment and any action the vendor must take in order to be found eligible to be reinstated.  Debarment appeals must be filed with the Vice President of Administration, Finance and Planning within 14 calendar days after receipt of notification.  The vendor must provide specific evidence and reasons why the debarment should be reversed.  The University’s determination shall be final and shall be mailed to all parties involved.