Frequently Asked Department Questions 

  1. Must goods or services be bid if a department, faculty or staff member receives funding through an operating, revenue, restricted, or plant account?
  2. Do I have the authority to make a purchase?
  3. Is competitive pricing required for purchases made by the University?
  4. Will the justification from a previous sole source purchase suffice for the next request/order?
  5. Who determines the need for a product or service?
  6. Can a bid be accepted after the bid opening date and time?
  7. How often is the State Contract information on the Internet updated?
  8. If a department wants to use the approved legislation allowing the RFP format, what must LSU do to get approval to do so?
  9. For services involving labor and material for the construction or renovation of buildings, improvements to the campus, or work needed for instruction or research, is there a procedure for requesting this work?
  10. How should we address a supplier who is not honoring specified delivery date?
  11. How do I find items on State Contract?
  12. What types of data processing services are considered "support services?"
  13. Is the installation of computer hardware purchased from State Contract included in the purchase price? If not, is it acceptable to use the contract supplier to install the equipment?
  14. How do I process requests for software installation and training when the training will be conducted on site at the agency and supplier travel charges are involved?
  15. When is it advisable to have a signed agreement for software licenses and software or hardware maintenance or support?

 

  1. Must goods or services be bid if a department, faculty or staff member receives funding through an operating, revenue, restricted, or plant account?
    • Yes, in most instances when the aggregate cost of all items to be purchased exceeds $10,000. Purchases may not be artificially divided to avoid or lessen bid requirements.
    • If ordering from a Louisiana State Contract competitive pricing may not be required, but a requisition must be processed through Procurement for encumbering funds, verification of state contract information, and issuance of a purchase order.
  2. 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 by the Assistant President of Procurement & Property Management to deans, directors, and department heads. However, purchasing policy must be complied with or this authority may be revoked. In general, a requisition is required and must be submitted to Procurement for all supplies, materials, equipment, and services purchased from off-campus suppliers when the total cost exceeds $10,000. 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, Specialty, and Consulting Services (formerly known as PPCS).
    • If you are not an authorized department head, then you should consult with your department head before making any purchase without authority.
  3. Is competitive pricing required for purchases made by the University?
    • If ordering from a state contract competitive pricing may not be required, but a requisition must be processed through Procurement for encumbering funds, verification of state contract information, and issuance of a purchase order.
    • If ordering from a supplier website competitive pricing is not required.
    • If ordering ad hoc goods/services from a non-state contract supplier:
      • For orders up to $10,000 - no bids are required unless the purchase would be considered to artificially divide the purchase to circumvent a bid requirement.
      • For orders over $10,000 up to $25,000 - fax quotes from at least (3) sources may be solicited by delegated Purchasing Agents using the University Standard RFQ form and submitted with a requisition to Procurement in advance of the purchase and issuance of a purchase order. If individual is not delegated purchasing authority, a requisition must be submitted to Procurement and Procurement will handle soliciting fax quotes.
      • For orders over $25,000 up to $50,000 - fax quotes are solicited by Procurement in accordance with the University Procurement Code.
      • For orders over $50,000 - sealed written bids are solicited by Procurement and public notice is posted to the State Procurement LaPAC website and may be sent to newspapers in accordance with university policy.
    • Some purchases, regardless of dollar amount, have other special requirementsto ensure compliance with applicable purchasing law, policy or procedures.
  4. 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 supplier along with current price quote must be submitted. Reason is to have the supplier 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.
  5. Who determines the need for a product or service?
    • The department, 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 Procurement is to ensure purchases are made in accordance with state law, to ensure competition and to provide guidance.
  6. 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 LSU personnel, and this delay prejudices a supplier, then LSU must cancel the solicitation and rebid.
  7. How often is the State Contract information on the Internet updated?
    • The Office of State Procurement updates State Contracts nightly to assure current information is available.
  8. If a department wants to use the approved legislation allowing the RFP format, what must LSU do to get approval to do so?
    • A written request outlining the reasons to the Assistent Vice President of Procurement & Property Management must be done. The request must include adequate justification that the best interests of the universtiy would be served by using the RFP procurement method instead of the ITB procurement method. The Assistent Vice President of Procurement & Property Management will evaluate the justification and make a determination on how to proceed.
  9. For services involving labor and material for the construction or renovation of buildings, improvements to the campus, or work needed for instruction or research, is there a procedure for requesting this work?
    • Contact LSU Facility Planning or the LSU Facility Services Department. State Fire Marshall approval may be involved or coordination necessary with drafting specifications on appropriateness of altering a building or the campus grounds. Such considerations for work coming in contact with building or underground computer, telephone and utility lines must be respected.
  10. How should we address a supplier who is not honoring specified delivery date?
    • The department should initially make verbal contact with the supplier regarding a problem in contract performance. If the complaint remains unresolved, the department sends a formal complaint, using PUR515 Deficiency/Complaint Report form, to the Procurement Buyer handling the contract. Procurement will send a letter, with a copy of the complaint, asking the supplier to investigate and respond within a time frame. If the matter cannot be resolved, a Contract Controversy Hearing may be held.
    • If the complaint concerns a State Contract purchase, the deaprtment will need to complete a Deficiency/Complaint Form DA 3496 for Procurement to send to the Office of State Procurement. State Procurement will send the supplier a letter, with a copy of the complaint report, asking the supplier to investigate and respond within a time frame. If the matter cannot be resolved, a Contract Controversy Hearing may be held.
  11. How do I find items on State Contract?
    • See State Procurement's Contract Search (LA e-Cat) on the Internet.
  12. What types of data processing services are considered "support services?"
    • Non-competitive support services would include such things as installation of equipment on an equipment purchase, installation of software with equipment purchases, maintenance of hardware and software, some training on hardware/software when you purchase equipment.
  13. Is the installation of computer hardware purchased from State Contract included in the purchase price? If not, is it acceptable to use the contract supplier to install the equipment?
    • The majority of the Brand Name PC contracts include a line for installation at an hourly rate. Some depts may elect to utilize their in-house I/S personnel for installation. If installation is not covered by the contract nor offered by your dept., then competitive bids should be solicited in accordance with Procurement Rules and Regulations.
  14. How do I process requests for software installation and training when the training will be conducted on site at the agency and supplier travel charges are involved?
    • This would be covered under support services and is non-competitive. However, the supplier must be made aware that any travel charges would have to be billed and reimbursed in accordance with the maximum allowable fees set forth in the State Travel Rules and Regulations, PPM 49.
  15. When is it advisable to have a signed agreement for software licenses and software or hardware maintenance or support?
    • Sometimes suppliers will require that an agreement be signed. In this case, the orignal agreement, not signed by the University, must be forwarded to Procurement for review with compliance with Louisiana law.

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