Frequently Asked Questions

Must goods or services be bid if a budget unit, faculty or staff member receives funding through an operating, revenue, restricted or grant account?

Yes, in most instances when the aggregate cost of all items to be purchased exceeds $5,000. Purchases may not be artificially divided to avoid or lessen bid requirements.

If ordering from a Louisiana State Contract no competitive pricing is required, but a requisition must be processed through Purchasing for encumbering funds, verification of state contract information, and issuance of a purchase order.

Do I have the authority to make a purchase?

Conditional authorization to purchase goods and services in the amount of $5,000 or less has been delegated to deans, directors, and department heads. However, purchasing policy must be complied with or this authority may be revoked. In general, a completed requisition form is required and must be submitted to the Purchasing Dept. for all supplies, materials, equipment, and services purchased from off-campus vendors. Some purchases, regardless of dollar amount, have other special requirements to ensure compliance with applicable purchasing law, policy or procedures.

This does not apply to Professional, Personal, and Consulting Services. Prior to commencement of any Professional, Personal or Consulting Service the requisition, PSC (Professional Service Contract) and all required documentation must be forwarded to the Purchasing Department.

Is competitive pricing required for purchases made by the College?

If ordering from a state contract no competitive pricing is required, but a requisition must be processed through the Purchasing Dept. for encumbering funds, verification of state contract information, and issuance of a Purchase Order.

If ordering from a non-state contract supplier:

  • For orders up to $5,000 - no bids are required unless the purchase would be considered to artificially divide the purchase to circumvent a bid requirement.
  • For orders over $5,000 up to $15,000 - fax or telephone quotes from at least (3) sources may be solicited by the requisitioner using the Request for Quote Form and submitted with the requisition to the Purchasing Dept. in advance of the purchase.
  • For orders over $15,000 up to $25,000 - fax or telephone quotes are solicited by the Purchasing Dept. in accordance with the Small Purchase Executive Order.
  • For orders over $25,000 - sealed written bids are solicited by the Purchasing Dept. and public notice is faxed to newspapers in accordance with State Rules & Regulations.

What documentation is required?

Copies of all supporting documentation are sent to the Purchasing Dept. with the purchase requisition before an order can be approved or a bid solicited (e.g., quotes, bid specifications, special approvals, etc.).

If a product must be solicited for bid as proprietary (no substitutions) due to a special need, the requisition must include a statement outlining the particular circumstances requiring limitation of competition to the specific brand and model.

If only one supplier can provide the goods or services, the sole source justification form must be completed and accompany the purchase requisition along with the supplier quote and statement affirming production and sole distribution, and product has no competing suppliers with similar products or services in the market.

Will the justification from a previous sole source purchase suffice for the next request/order?

No. A new sole source justification form and current letter from the vendor along with current price quote must be submitted. Reason is to have the vendor certify each time that sole source conditions still exist, and that no other competitor has entered the marketplace or they have not established a distributor network.

If a budget unit, faculty or staff member solicits telephone or fax bids for purchases over $5,000 and up to $15,000, does the employee contact specific vendor's from a list?

No, but the correct number of bona fide bidders for the goods or services solicited must be solicited in accordance with the Small Purchase Executive Order.

Who determines the need for a product or service?

The budget unit, faculty or staff member usually determines the need for a product or service in conjunction with the need of the actual end user. The role of BPCC Purchasing is to ensure purchases are made in accordance with state law, to ensure competition and to provide guidance.

Can a bid be accepted after the bid opening date and time?

Under no circumstances will late bids be accepted, regardless of the reason. All bids must be received by the bid opening date and time shown on the solicitation document. If a bid is delayed by actions of BPCC personnel, and this delay prejudices a vendor, then BPCC must cancel the solicitation and re-bid.

How often is the State Contract information on the Internet updated?

The Office of State Purchasing updates State Contracts nightly to assure current information is available.

Must a pre-bid conference be advertised?

Notification of a pre-bid conference must be included in the solicitation. If the estimated value of the award is over $25,000 and attendance is mandatory, the pre-bid meeting must be advertised. (Purchasing Rules and Regulations, Chapter 5, Section 511) The ad should include the conference date, time and location and should be at least ten days prior to the mandatory meeting date.

How should we address a vendor who is not honoring specified delivery date?

Budget unit should initially make verbal contact with the vendor regarding a problem in contract performance. If the complaint remains unresolved, the budget unit sends a formal complaint to BPCC’s Purchasing Agent. Purchasing will send a letter, with a copy of the complaint, asking the vendor to investigate and respond within a time frame.

If the complaint concerns a State Contract purchase, the budget unit will need to complete a Deficiency/Complaint Form DA 3496 for Purchasing to send to the State Purchasing Office. State Purchasing will send the vendor a letter, with a copy of the complaint report, asking the vendor to investigate and respond within a time frame. Contact the Purchasing Dept. for a copy of this form.

How do I find items on State Contract?

See State Purchasing's Contract SearchWill open new browser window or tab on the Internet.