Departmental Purchasing Authority

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 "Contracts" 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.

Competitive Bid Threshold

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:

  • 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. The most common competitive bids processes are the Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP).

  • Orders shall not be split to avoid the $5,000 competitive bid process. Order splitting is a violation of state and university policies.

  • The department will contact the Purchasing Office to start the bid process. The department should also provide a list of suggested vendors.

  • The specifications will be used to publicly post a bid on the Purchasing Office website if the purchase exceeds $25,000. The Director of Purchasing may waive this requirement if requested by the department and if circumstances are present to justify the waiver as being in the best interests of the university. 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.

  • After the bid closes, the Purchasing Office will send the bid responses and bid tab sheet to the department for review.

  • 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 make contact with the successful bidder(s) and initiate the purchase process.

  • Order delivery location will be coordinated with the requesting department.

  • The invoice will be sent to the department for approval.

  • The bid process can be waived for purchases such as sole source and emergencies with approval of the Director of Purchasing.

Types of Competitive Bid Transactions

The Purchasing Office may utilize any of the following processes to conduct competitive solicitations. The Purchasing Office 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.
  • 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 Purchasing Office shall appoint a committee to evaluate proposals. Committees shall include, but not be limited to, a member of the requesting department and a member of the Purchasing Office.
  • 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". 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). Per The Act, Professional Services means services performed under a contract with a state agency by any:
    • Certified Public Accountant
    • Attorney, or
    • 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.)
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.

Exceptions to Competitive Bids

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

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


Cooperative Purchasing Agreements: The Purchasing Office 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:

  • The Federal government or an agency or other instrumentality of the Federal government
  • The State of Kansas, another state, or an agency or other instrumentality of the State of Kansas or another state
  • A bi-state or multi-state agency
  • 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
  • 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


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. Once complete, this form shall be submitted to Purchasing Office for review and approval.

Delegated Competitive Bid Authority

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 Purchasing Office for review and approval. To be eligible for approval the department must:

  • Demonstrate a need for the authority requested
  • Have approval from the Dean or university administrator to whom the department reports
  • 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
  • Agree to adhere to Pittsburg State University Purchasing Policies/Procedures as delegated competitive bid transactions are processed at the department level
  • Require that personnel involved in the purchasing process participate in training provided by the Purchasing Office
  • 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.

Evaluation and Award

Lowest Responbible 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.


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 AAA No bid tabulation information will be provided over the telephone.

Public Notice

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.

Vendor Relations

Vendors interested in competing for the University’s business are encouraged to become registered with the Purchasing Office by registering at the following link:

Vendor Registration


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:

  • Protect the integrity of the University’s procurement process
  • Protect the viability of University-wide contracts and price agreements
  • Ensure fairness to all vendors

The sponsoring University department shall notify the Purchasing Office 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:

  • Dispute Resoultion: 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:
    • Any protest concerning the solicitation or award of a contract or purchase order; and
    • 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 CFO/Vice President of Administration within seven (7) calendar days after receipt of the written determination of the Director of Purchasing. The decision of the CFO/Vice President of Administration shall constitute the Final Agency Order regarding the matter, which shall be conveyed in the decision.


  • Procurement Records: 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.


Sustainable Procurement

Capital Equipment

Only property items with a value of $5,000 or more with a useful life exceeding one year are reported on the University's fixed asset reports; however, the University is responsible for safeguarding all state property. In this regard, each University employee has stewardship responsibilities for University property.

Policy Statement:

  1. The University owns all property purchased with state of Kansas funds and all property received as gifts.
  2. University property may only be used in the conduct of official University business. University property may not be rented or loaned to any person, group, or organization for personal use.
  3. University departments are responsible for ensuring that University property items costing less than $5,000 are safeguarded and later disposed of in accordance with state and University policies on the disposal of surplus property. When you are ready to dispose of an item, please complete a Disposition of Property Form and e-mail it to swburke@pittstate.edu.
  4. A University employee discovering theft of University property must report the theft to the employee's supervisor or must report the theft through the Compliance and Ethics hotline either anonymously or not. The supervisor must then notify the Purchasing Office and the University Police Department.

How to Determine if an Item Belongs on Inventory
Any purchase (or installment payment) of an item $5,000.00 or more must be added to PSU's Capital Equipment Inventory. Some exceptions to this rule are items with a life expectancy of less than one year, glass items and items purchased with grant money (in which the grantor specifies that he retains ownership).

All gifts to the university with a value of $5,000.00 each (or more) are to be reported to the Office of Development so that they may be added to the monthly "In-Kind Gifts Report". The In-Kind Gifts Report is reviewed in the Purchasing Office to determine which items are to be added to PSU's Capital inventory.

Tagging Sheet
The Purchasing Office is notified when payment has been made on an item with a capital equipment object code. At that time, the Purchasing Office assigns an inventory number to the item listed on the payment voucher. The PSU property number and all pertinent information available from the voucher are entered into the PSU Inventory System.

Moving an Inventoried Item to Another Department
When moving an inventory item to another location within the Department, please notify the Purchasing Office by email, noting the property number and new location. The Purchasing Office will update this information in the Capital Inventory System.

Giving (or Selling) and Inventoried Item to Another Department
An Inventory Transfer Form must be completed and signed by both the Transfer-From and Transfer-To departments. The form should then be forwarded to the Purchasing Office. The change will be entered into the on-line inventory system.

Proper Disposal Methods for Capital Equipment
When a department receives an approved copy of a Disposition of Property Form, it will list a number in the "Disp Code Approved" column of the form. This number corresponds to a code listed in the box at the bottom of the page entitled "Disposition Codes". It informs the department of the disposal method that the State deems appropriate. You may also receive a letter with more detailed instruction. Items should not be disposed of prior to approval.

Disposition of Property Form
When You Are Ready to Dispose of an Item That is on Capital Equipment Inventory

First, you must complete a Disposition of Property Form. After completing the form, send it to the Purchasing Office for further processing.

A copy of the Disposition of Property Form will be returned to your department with a proper disposal method for the item or items listed in the "Disp Code Approved" column. The department may dispose of the item by the approved disposal method noted on the form.

There are only five fields on a Disposition of Property Form that a department must complete. They are as follows:

  1. Property Number: the number from the PSU property tag on the item
  2. Description: an informative description of the item (brand, model, etc.)
  3. Cond. Code (short for Condition Code): you will find a box in the lower left corner of the form entitled "Condition Codes". Select the number that most exemplifies the current condition of the item and place that number in this column.
  4. Disposition Code: the column entitled "Disp Code Dept" is where the department is to denote the method by which they wish to dispose of the item. You will find a box entitled "Disposition Codes" at the middle, bottom portion of the form. Find the number that best represents the desired method of disposal and enter it in this column.
  5. Agency Approvals: the department Director/Chair should sign and date.

The Disposition of Property Form should then be sent to the Purchasing Office for further processing. After approval, the Purchasing Office will send a copy of the form back to your department.

Trade-in of Capital Equipment
All trade-ins must be removed from inventory prior to the time a department releases an item to a vendor. This is accomplished using the Disposition of Property procedure. The department is also required to provide a written bid from the interested vendor which declares the amount of trade-in the vendor is offering for each item listed.

Annual Physical Inventory
Due to technological advances of the Capital Equipment Inventory System, it has become possible for the Purchasing Office to accept responsibility for the annual physical inventory of campus equipment. (An annual physical inventory is required by State of Kansas.) If any department wishes to conduct their own physical inventory, please contact the Purchasing Office(ext. 4167 or 4169). The most current departmental inventory report can be e-mailed to the requestor.

Departmental inventory listings are available via the online inventory system, however, we are happy to provide inventory reports upon request.