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Purchasing Office Contact

Office Director:

Jim Hughes

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Contact Person:
Barbara Jemison

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Phone: 620-235-4167
Fax: 620-235-4166

PSU Purchasing Office
1701 South Broadway
110 Russ Hall
Pittsburg, KS 66762

The following policies and procedures have been established to help University personnel by speeding up the purchasing process. The policies are based upon State of Kansas statutes and policies. They are specific in nature to stay within the laws and regulations of the State of Kansas, and must be carefully observed when making purchases. Dollar limits refer to the total purchase and not a per item cost.

Purchasing Policies


    Purchases of $0 to $4,999.99

    For all purchases under $5,000, including shipping and handling, departments may purchase from the vendor that supplies the best quality at the lowest price. Departments are not required to seek competitive bids for purchases under $5,000. Departments are, however, encouraged to seek competition whenever feasible. Orders shall not be split to avoid the competitive bid process. Order splitting is a violation of state law and university purchasing policies.

    Certain commodities and services have been designated for purchase from specific suppliers via contracts and pricing agreements. A listing of these commodities and services can be found on the Purchasing Office website. If a needed commodity or service is on contract, it is mandatory the listed source be utilized unless prior authorization to use another source is obtained. The process for obtaining prior authorization can be found on the Purchasing Office website.



    Purchases of $5,000 or more
    Single purchases of goods and services costing $5,000 or more, not available through a contract or pricing agreement, are procured utilizing a bid process. The bid process shall be made by soliciting three or more vendors. All solicitations shall result in a file being created that contains documentation regarding the specifications utilized, which vendors were solicited, the responses submitted by each vendor, a statement that indicates the basis for award as well as a copy of the Purchase Order issued. The bid process is described further below:

      1. Purchases with a total price of $5,000 or more, including shipping and handling, for an item or any given project must be bid by using an approved bid process. Three common competitive bids processes are the Request for Quotation (RFQ), Invitation for Bid (IFB) and Request for Proposal (RFP). Additional information about the competitive bid process is listed in Section 3.0.
      2. Orders shall not be split to avoid the $5,000 competitive bid process. Order splitting is a violation of state and university policies.
      3. The department will submit a requisition to the Purchasing Office to start the bid process. The department should also provide a list of suggested vendors.
      4. The specifications will be used to publicly post a bid on the Purchasing Office web site for a minimum of seven (7) business days if the purchase exceeds $25,000. The Director of Purchasing may waive the seven day posting requirement if requested by the department and if circumstances are present to justify the waiver as being in the best interests of the university. If the posting requirement is waived, the bid file shall be documented in a manner that clearly details the rationale utilized to justify the waiver. The Purchasing Office will send the bid document to the suggested vendors. If a vendor provided the department with a quote prior to the bid, the vendor must submit their final bid to the Purchasing Office by the bid closing date.
      5. After the bid closes, the Purchasing Office will send the bid responses and bid tab sheet to the department for review.
      6. The department will respond indicating whether they accept the low bid or provide a justification for not accepting the low bid. Once the awarded vendor is determined, the Purchasing Office will send the successful vendor a purchase order.
      7. The order will be delivered to the department’s delivery address.
      8. The invoice is sent to the department for approval.
      9. The Bid Process can be waived for purchases such as sole source and emergencies with approval of the Purchasing Office.
      10. Contact the Purchasing Office with any questions.

    The Director of Purchasing may utilize any of the following processes to conduct competitive solicitations. The Director of Purchasing shall select a process that is determined to be in the best interest of the university.  In rare instances, a bid process other than those listed below may be approved. 

    Request for Quotation (RFQ)
    An RFQ is generally utilized when the supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property or services are to be acquired on a one-time basis.

    Invitation for Bids (IFB)
    An IFB is generally utilized when the supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property and services to be acquired will be provided via contract on a recurring basis over a specified period of time.

    Request for Proposals (RFP)
    Competitive Sealed Proposals are generally utilized when multiple factors exist that make it difficult to determine the lowest bid from responsible bidders. Evaluations shall be based on factors set forth in the RFP in order to determine which proposal best meet the needs of the University.

    The Director of Purchasing shall appoint a committee of no less than three individuals to evaluate all proposals. These three individuals shall include a member of the requesting department, a member of the Purchasing Office and the Vice President of Administration and Campus Life or his designee.

    Direct Competitive Negotiation
    Direct Competitive Negotiations can be utilized after an unsuccessful RFQ, IFB or RFP process.

    Professional and Consultant Services
    All professional and consultant services are to be acquired under the "Professional Services Sunshine Act". 


    As used in the act, Professional Services means services performed under a contract with a state agency by any:

      1. Certified Public Accountant
      2. Attorney, or
      3. Consultant

    Consultant means an individual or firm providing contractual services in the form of professional or technical advice or opinions.  Professional services do not include the services of persons who assist in the preparation of expert testimony for litigation or who act as expert witnesses in litigation.

    All contracts for professional and consultant services that exceed $5,000 shall be bid (negotiated) by the Purchasing Office in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 75-37,102 (Procurement Negotiating Statute) except when the Director of Purchasing determines the services to be exempt from bidding (sole source).

    Standard Information required for all Formal Solicitations
    Bid award process and award criteria information, bid process instructions, as well as any standard terms and conditions associated with the transaction shall be included in the bid document or posted on the PSU Purchasing website with the relevant web address listed in the bid document. If the web address method is utilized, a contact shall be provided in the bid document for use by interested vendors to request a written copy of such information.


    Procurement without competition is authorized for purchases $5,000.00 and over under limited conditions and subject to written justification documenting the conditions that preclude the use of a competitive process.

    Sole Source Procurements
    Sole Source Procurement is justified when there is only one good or service that can reasonably meet the need and there is only one vendor who can provide the good or service.  A requirement for a particular proprietary item (i.e., a brand name specification) does not justify Sole Source Procurement if there is more than one potential vendor for that good or service.  Price is not a consideration to justify sole source procurement. In cases of reasonable doubt, competition will be solicited.

    Sole Source approval shall be accomplished by completing a Sole Source Form. This document shall be submitted to the Purchasing Office for review and approval.

    Emergency Procurements
    When an emergency condition exists that prevents the use of a competitive procurement method, the University may conduct a procurement on an emergency basis. Emergency Procurements may be negotiated on a sole source or limited competition basis as dictated by the circumstances surrounding the emergency.

    An emergency condition justifies the use of Emergency Procurement when that condition threatens one (1) or more of the following:

      1. The functioning of the University, or its programs;
      2. The preservation or protection of property; and/or
      3. The life, health or safety of any persons(s).

    Emergency Purchase approval shall be accomplished by completing an Emergency Purchase Form.  This document shall be submitted to the Purchasing Office for review and approval.

    Cooperative Purchasing Agreements
    The Director of Purchasing may approve the purchase of goods or services from a cooperative purchasing agreement if such purchase has been determined to be in the best interest of the University.

    The University may participate in, conduct, sponsor or administer a cooperative purchasing agreement. This includes, but is not limited to, agreements with any of the following: 

      1. The Federal government or an agency or other instrumentality of the Federal government;
      2. The State of Kansas, another state, or an agency or other instrumentality of the State of Kansas or another state;
      3. A bi-state or multi-state agency;
      4. A county, municipal corporation, or other political subdivision of the State of Kansas or of another state, or an agency or other instrumentality of the political subdivision;
      5. A cooperative or organization established for the purpose of establishing contracts to aggregate the common requirements of similar institutions for maximizing economies of scale when soliciting bids or proposals. An example of this is the Educational and Institutional Cooperative.

    The Director of Purchasing may approve a single purchase or approve ongoing participation in a cooperative purchasing agreement.

    Used Equipment
    Used equipment is broadly defined by the State of Kansas to include “all equipment that is not new.” Used equipment is typically only available from one source and due to its nature is available and subject to immediate sale. As such, a competitive bid process would be unlikely to produce a satisfactory result. Used equipment, however, can be a cost effective way for departments to acquire equipment, and departments are encouraged to consider this option.  For used equipment available from more than one source, refer to Section 1.0 Departmental Purchasing Authority.

    To purchase used equipment costing more than $4,999.99, departments should complete a Sole Source Form available on the Purchasing Office website.  Once complete, this form shall be submitted to Purchasing Office for review and approval.


    Departments, on an individual basis, may request delegated competitive bid authority in an amount not to exceed $25,000.  For a department to receive delegated competitive bid authority it must submit a written request to the Director of Purchasing for review and approval.  To be eligible for approval the department must:

      1. Demonstrate a need for the authority requested.
      2. Have approval from the Dean or university administrator to whom the department reports.
      3. Submit a plan that identifies the individual(s) designated as the department’s chief purchasing official and that shows adequate staffing capability to handle the delegated competitive bid authority. The individual chiefly responsible for purchasing must possess sufficient purchasing ability to accommodate the department’s particular needs and be knowledgeable of purchasing issues and trends.
      4. Agree to adhere to the Pittsburg State University Purchasing Procedure Manual as delegated competitive bid transactions are processed at the department level.
      5. Require that all personnel involved in the purchasing process participate in training sessions provided by the Purchasing Office.
      6. Agree to allow periodic audits of departmental records to insure compliance with the terms of the delegated competitive bid authority.

    After reviewing the above requirements, the Director of Purchasing will assess the needs and capabilities of the requesting department and grant or deny delegated competitive bid purchasing authority. If approved, a formal memorandum of understanding outlining the scope and terms of the delegated competitive bid purchasing authority will be prepared and shall be signed by the head of the department and the PSU Director of Purchasing.

    Revocation of Delegated Competitive Bid Authority
    Delegated competitive bid authority is subject to continuing review by the Director of Purchasing and may be rescinded for failure to comply with any of the above requirements or failure to correct noted deficiencies within a reasonable time period.  Delegated competitive bid authority may also be revoked should a department’s chief purchasing officer position be downgraded or become vacant or if the Director of Purchasing feels the department does not have the staff required to adequately perform the work associated with the delegated competitive bid authority.


    Lowest Responsible Bidder 
    Generally awards are made to the lowest responsible bidder, taking into consideration conformity with the specifications, terms of delivery, and other conditions imposed in the bid.

    Exceptions to Lowest Bidder
    Negotiated procurements shall be awarded to the vendor the review committee determines best meets the needs of the university.  Other factors beyond price may include evaluation of specifications, comparative performance examinations, vendor references, etc.

    The Kansas Reciprocal Preference Law 
    Some states provide a preference for vendors within their borders and add a percentage to bids received from outside states.  In this instance, the State of Kansas responds in like manner by adding the same percentage to bids received from vendors who are not “domiciled” in Kansas.   In case of a tie bid, the bid is always awarded to the Kansas vendor.

    Domiciled means where a corporation is chartered or incorporated or where a sole proprietor or partnership is located or has its permanent headquarters.  Bidders domiciled in states other than Kansas who have a "significant Kansas economic presence" for one year preceding the bid date, may be considered a Kansas domiciled bidder.

    Award Information
    Some solicitations will be opened publicly at the time and place specified in the bid documents. Vendors may attend the public bid openings and record some bid information at that time. It is normally not possible for staff to immediately analyze bids after the bid opening. If a vendor cannot attend the public bid opening in person, a copy of the bid tabulation may be requested by sending a letter to the Purchasing Office along with a $3 check made payable to the Pittsburg State University to cover processing costs. The letter must state the bid number, bid title, and bid opening date. No bid tabulation information will be provided over the telephone.


    The Purchasing Office shall place a generic advertisement in the Kansas Register as needed. The advertisement shall provide public notice of the fact Pittsburg State University has bid opportunities available and provide the website address and a telephone number to contact for specific bid opportunity information.

    Each bid opportunity that requires public notice to be given pursuant to these Purchasing Procedures shall be posted on the website. The website shall be designated as the official public notice mechanism.


    Vendors interested in competing for the University’s business are encouraged to become registered with the Purchasing Office by completing and returning a Vendor Registration Form.  A copy of this form and instructions regarding the application process can be found on the Purchasing Office website.

    The application form requires vendors to supply information such as; company name, address, FEIN or SS number, contact person’s names and phone numbers, applicant’s business category, and indicate the commodities and services they would be interested in providing to the university through the competitive bidding system.  

    The Purchasing Office requires that vendors send notification of any changes in company status, including change of name, address, telephone number, personnel listed on the application, and addition or deletions of commodities supplied.  Failure to keep vendor information current may result in the vendor not receiving bid solicitations or even removal from the vendor file.

    Vendor Shows 
    Vendor shows, which shall be defined to include open houses, product exhibits, and product demonstrations, must be approved in advance by the Director of Purchasing in order to:

      1. Protect the integrity of the University’s procurement process;
      2. Protect the viability of University-wide contracts and price agreements;
      3. Ensure fairness to all vendors.

    The sponsoring University department shall notify the Director of Purchasing as far in advance as possible but at least ten (10) business days prior to the vendor show. A vendor show is a product demonstration or exhibit to which more than one University department is invited by a vendor for the purposes of marketing supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property or services. A product or equipment demonstration to a single University department is not a vendor show. The Director of Purchasing has the final authority to determine what constitutes a vendor show.

    Vendor Suspension 

    The Director of Purchasing may issue a written determination to suspend a vendor from doing business with the University pending an investigation to determine whether cause exists for debarment in accordance with approved operating procedures.

    A written notice of the suspension, including a copy of the determination, shall be sent to the suspended vendor.

    The suspension period will be effective upon issuance of the notice of suspension.

    Vendor Debarment
    A vendor may be debarred for any of the following reasons: 


    The Director of Purchasing is authorized to resolve, in accordance with approved operating procedures, any protests regarding any and all purchasing matters including but not limited to:

        1. Any protest concerning the solicitation or award of a contract or purchase order; and
        2. Any controversy arising between the University and a contractor by virtue of a contract or purchase order between them, including, without limitation, controversies based upon breach of contract, mistake, misrepresentation, or any other cause for contract modification or rescission.

    The Director of Purchasing shall render a written decision regarding the protest within seven (7) working days after the protest and/or any subsequently submitted information is received. The Director of Purchasing shall furnish a copy of the decision to the protestor in writing in accordance with approved purchasing procedures. The protesting party may appeal the written determination of the Director of Purchasing. If the protesting party desires to appeal, he/she must submit his/her written request for appeal to the Vice President of Administration and Campus Life within seven (7) calendar days after receipt of the written determination of the Director of Purchasing. The decision of the Vice President of Administration and Campus Life shall constitute the Final Agency Order regarding the matter, which shall be conveyed in the decision.


    Procurement records are subject to disclosure pursuant to the provisions of the Kansas Open Records Act. The terms of this act may be found in KSA 45-215 through KSA 45-223.

    Procurement records shall be retained and disposed of in accordance with applicable records retention policies of the State of Kansas and Pittsburg State University. For records related to purchasing, contact the Custodian of Records for Pittsburg State University who is the Administrative Assistant to the President.

Your cooperation in meeting State and University policies is essential. Thank you for your help.

If special circumstances exist that are not provided for in the preceding policies, contact the Purchasing Office

Sustainable Procurement: Pittsburg State University Sustainable Procurement Guidelines