1.1. Purchasing at Memorial is centralized and decentralized, based upon the nature of the items and/or services to be purchased. Prior approval to purchase is required from the departments listed below:
1.1.1 Facilities Management - All purchases related to the acquisition, construction and maintenance of University property and facilities. This includes but is not restricted to planning, construction, lease of space, renovations and alterations, repair and maintenance, building and grounds services, waste disposal, kitchen equipment, flooring, window dress, vehicle acquisition and leasing, vehicle repair and maintenance, security, moving, safety and bio-safety services. Facilities Management will coordinate the issue of annual standing offer agreements for furniture. Support will be provided in the purchase of non-standard items at the request of the user department; however, it is not mandatory that those services be used. The exception would be the purchase of office systems. Such systems should continue to be purchased through Facilities Management who will provide design and layout services, approve standard, arrange for tender or solicitation of supplier quotations, and inspect installation.
1.1.2 Department of Financial and Administrative Services - Required to approve all purchases of printing and duplicating services, all purchases of stationery, office supplies, photocopying equipment, and household removal and relocation.
1.1.3 Computing and Communications - All core administrative systems software (i.e., Banner), xwave contracts, telecommunications and mail services.
1.1.4 Human Resources - All personnel actions of hiring, recruiting, and Human Resource management for the University, including group insurance plans, pension plans, long term disability, worker's compensation, immigration and health benefit plans, and staff training programs.
1.1.5 Technical Services - Required to approve purchases of capital equipment prior to issuance of a purchase order. Responsible for repair, maintenance and installation of laboratory, research, and teaching equipment, including: external maintenance contracts; repair, maintenance and installation of computer, computer peripheral and data communications equipment; repair, maintenance and installation of biomedical, radiological and medical laboratory equipment; and construction and fabrication of laboratory, research and teaching equipment. Persons requiring further information or assistance concerning Technical Services may contact the Director of Technical Services at 864-8712, or the division managers or workshop supervisors.
The above summary is not intended to be all inclusive, but only to serve as an introduction to the responsibilities several of the administrative offices have for centralized purchasing of the more common commodities and services required by the University.
1.2 The decentralized purchasing function provides that all University departments are responsible for issuing their own purchase orders, obtaining their own quotations, tenders and prices, as well as arranging with the Department of Financial and Administrative Services for financing of such purchases (i.e., lease vs purchase, discount prepayments, etc.), where such purchases have not been centralized within one University department. This decentralization is permitted provided the departments comply with the standard procedures as detailed in this policy.
1.3 Every department involved in the purchasing function on behalf of the University should ensure the objectives outlined below are achieved:
- Purchases are made with consideration to the objectives and policies of the University.
- The maximum value for each dollar of expenditure is obtained.
- All competitive bidders are granted equal consideration, each transaction is regarded on its own merits, and fair, ethical and legal trade practices are fostered and promoted.
- Proper internal controls are followed.
1.4 It is the policy of the University to decline personal gifts or gratuities in connection with the purchasing of goods and services. Staff members who are responsible for purchasing in any of the University's departments may not accept personal gifts or gratuities from any current or potential supplier of goods or services to the University. Promotional items of a nominal value such as coffee mugs, rulers, etc., with the supplier logo/advertising are not considered a personal gift.
1.5 The University, as a general rule, does not enter into purchasing contracts with its employees or members of their immediate families. An acquisition from a business in which an employee has an interest is prohibited unless full disclosure of the background facts is presented in writing to the President of the University. An interest is deemed present if the employee and/or his or her spouse or dependent child own ten percent or more of the business's assets.
1.6 It is recognized that the University must actively solicit funds throughout the community through the Department of Alumni Affairs and Development. Reciprocity will not be a condition of purchase for the University. Reciprocal arrangements are detrimental to the University and weaken the purchaser's leverage in negotiating. Unless approved by the Director of Financial and Administrative Services, vendor listings of current suppliers used by the University are not available to employees outside the Department of Financial and Administrative Services.
2. APPROVAL GUIDELINES
2.1 Operating and Capital Budget Accounts. Authority to purchase on an operating budget account is vested with the Dean, Director or Principal, and the decision to delegate is at their discretion. While the delegation of this authority transfers responsibility for performing the task, ultimate accountability for these actions cannot be transferred. The responsibilities associated with this authority are significant and include, but are not limited to, ensuring that; all expenditures are valid, in compliance with the policies of the University, and sufficient funds are available to cover the expenditures. See Specimen Signature Form and Approval Delegation Form.
2.2 Research and Special Purpose Accounts. Authority to purchase on a research or special purpose account is vested with the grantee, and the decision to delegate authority is at the sole discretion of the grantee (primary signing authority). University policy requires two signatures for internal control purposes. Primary signing authority rests with the grantee, who can authorize additional primary signing authorities as well. Secondary signing authority rests with the Departmental Administrator assigned responsibility for purchasing within the department. The responsibilities associated with this authority are significant and include, but are not limited to: declaring that, to the best of their knowledge, all transactions represent legitimate expenditures for the research project(s), that these expenditures are in compliance with the policies of the University and the applicable granting agencies, and that sufficient funds are available to cover the expenditures. See Specimen Signature Form and Approval Delegation Form.
2.3 Trust Accounts. Authority to purchase from a trust account is as described in the Trust Funds Policy. Standard University purchasing policies still apply. See Specimen Signature Form and Approval Delegation Form.
2.4 Prior Approval Certain types of purchases require prior approvals from other University departments at the requisition or planning stage. These can be found in the Special Purchase Approval. Purchase orders are not to be issued without these approvals.
2.5 Authorizing the Reimbursement of Expenditures to Oneself Is Not Permitted. Someone with signing authority on the account or a Vice-President must approve the reimbursement. This is a basic rule of purchasing and applies to ALL purchases, including travel claims.
2.6 Facsimile Signatures. The use of facsimile signatures and signatures on rubber stamps is not permitted as evidence of approval to purchase for the purposes of this policy.
3. SIGNING AUTHORITY ON GRANTS
3.1 While the University recognizes that the grantee is ultimately responsible for all expenditures on his/her grant funds, the granting agencies and the University, require the grant to be administered in compliance with all the University's policies and procedures, as well as any restrictions established by the granting agency.
In order to meet this requirement, grant accounts must contain administrative signatures, designated by the applicable Dean, Director or Principal. These signatures are considered a SECONDARY authority, which is intended to ensure compliance with University purchasing policies, certification of sufficiency of funds and confirmation of the primary signing authority (the grantee). The signatures also provide appropriate segregation of duties to ensure strong internal controls are maintained in the accounting system. SECONDARY signing authorities are NOT PERMITTED TO INITIATE any expenditure against the grant account, unless specified in writing by the GRANTEE.
3.2 It is recommended that, where practical, the grantee delegate PRIMARY signing authority to an assistant/associate involved in a research project. This would avoid interruption of the research project in the event that the grantee is unavailable and routine research-related materials are required to be procured. If desired, the grantee may establish internal restrictions or maximum amounts which the delegated primary signing authority may initiate. Samples of the signing authority documentation forms, which delegate authority to the appropriate primary and secondary signing authorities, as well as requesting required specimen signature forms, are in Specimen Signatures for Administration Approval On Research Grant Funds. These forms must be returned to the Grants Office in order to establish an account.
3.3 For assistance in identifying the appropriate secondary signing authority, contact the Dean, Principal, Department Head or Administrative Staff Specialist within your Academic unit to verify the individual who has been delegated the responsibility.
Should any assistance be required in the administration of the grant, contact the Grants Office at 864-8227.
4. PERSONAL PURCHASES
4.1 Personal purchases are prohibited and must not be ordered or invoiced through the University. The Department of Financial and Administrative Services will not be responsible for tracing accounts that have been incurred by individuals.
4.2 University orders by faculty/staff charged to their personal credit card are not to be permitted, except as allowed for under the section Petty Cash.
4.3 Faculty, staff and students are not to use the University as the mailing address for personal purchases, as per Mail Services - Undeliverable Mail. Obvious personal deliveries will not be accepted by the University.
5. METHODS OF ACQUISITION
5.1. The employee designated to control purchasing and payments for a department have the responsibility to determine how the acquisition of goods and services should be made. The following methods are available depending upon the dollar value and, in some cases, the nature of the acquisition.
5.1.1. Petty Cash is available for purchases less than $75 (including taxes) in value. See PROCEDURE FOR USING PETTY CASH for details.
5.1.2. Direct Pay Forms can be used only if the nature of the acquisition meets the guidelines as specified in the PROCEDURE TO USE DIRECT PAY.
5.1.3. The Procurement Card is to be used for all purchases meeting the procurement card guidelines in the PROCEDURE FOR USING PROCUREMENT CARD. Certain types of expenditures, such as travel and hosting, are not permitted to be charged to this card.
5.1.4. Purchase Orders (POs) are to be used for all purchases other than petty cash, Direct Pay or Procurement Card See PROCEDURE FOR USING PURCHASE ORDERS for further information on the use of purchase orders.
6. PUBLIC TENDER ACT
6.1 All orders of goods and/or services and public works contracts greater than $10,000 in value (before taxes), and in the case of "Public Work" where the total estimated cost is greater than $20,000 (before taxes), require a public tender to be placed. Purchase orders cannot be broken down into more than one order to get each order value less than $10,000. A tender means a call for tender by electronic advertisement, as per Regulation 3(1) (a) of the Public Tender Act,
6.2 The Public Tender Act outlines several exceptions related to the definition of "services." Services do not include legal, engineering, architectural, accounting, land surveying, banking, telecommunications or insurance services or other services that provide the opinion of a professional.
6.3 All other exemptions are found in clauses 3 and 4 of the Public Tender Act and, if taken advantage of, are to be reported to the Government Purchasing Agency in accordance with the Public Tender Act, section 10.
6.4 The University requires that the following sources of funds comply with the Public Tender Act:
6.4.1 Operating fund accounts.
6.4.2 Ancillary Enterprise funds.
6.4.3 Research and special purpose accounts where the source of funding is from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.
6.4.4 Plant fund accounts.
6.5 Memorial University of Newfoundland must retain the freedom to exempt some researchers from the public tendering process when sole sourcing can be justified. Exemptions are permitted and considered on a case-by-case basis. The appropriate exemption form for sole sourcing for research grant purchases is the Purchases from Research Grants form. This form may only be used when no Provincial Government money is utilized in the research project. The form will follow the following processing and approval procedures:
6.5.1 The Purchases from Research Grants form is to be fully completed and signed by the Grantee and his/her Dean or Department Head.
6.5.2 If the purchase is related to a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant, the form is then forwarded to the Vice-President (Research) for approval prior to issuance of the purchase order for the goods/services. This is required in order to ensure the Vice-President (Research) has approved not going to tender before the award is made. Use of this exemption cannot be granted after the award has been made.
6.5.3 A copy of the form will be sent back to the grantee to attach to the purchase requisition or procurement card reconciliation as appropriate.
6.6 If further clarification of the applicability of the Public Tender Act/Regulations is required, or to obtain a copy of the Public Tender Act and Regulations, contact the Tendering Clerk, Department of Financial and Administrative Services for assistance.
6.7 The Director of Financial and Administrative Services is responsible to ensure that the University is in compliance with the Public Tender Act (1984), with related regulations.
This responsibility includes:
- Reporting to the President on a monthly basis all exceptions and awards made under the Act.
- Ensuring that all University departments are consistent in the application of the Act to the purchasing function for which they have responsibility.
- Providing approvals as may be delegated to the Director of Financial and Administrative Services by the President and the Board of Regents, in accordance with Section 7 and Regulation 6 of the Public Tender Act.
- Providing any type of assistance required by departments in order that they may comply with the Act efficiently and effectively. This includes provision of services related to development of tender specifications, advertising, tender opening, tender evaluation and subsequent recommendations, and interpretation of the various sections of the Act.
6.8 To ensure the smooth operation of these guidelines, it is recommended that all purchases greater than $10,000 (before taxes) be coordinated with the Department of Financial and Administrative Services' Tendering Clerk to ensure consistency throughout the University.
6.9 For those departments going to tender, the Department of Financial and Administrative Services will supply a locked tender box in which bidders may place their bids.
7. DEPARTMENTAL RECORDS AND VERIFICATION
7.1. It is the responsibility of each University department or grantee to compare, review, and analyze the monthly accounting statements and report of transactions with documents maintained by the department or grantee as backup to the statements.
7.2. Any discrepancies should be reported to the Department of Financial and Administrative Services immediately. If no discrepancies are reported, the statements will be assumed to be an accurate reflection of departmental or grant spending.
7.3. Global operating budget allocations are made to the Deans and Directors who are responsible for the distribution of funds to the individual departments and/or other budgetary components within their units. Departments should ensure that proper procedures are followed and that all monies are spent wisely within budgetary constraints in accordance with University policy. The budgetary process is documented in Budgetary Process.
8. RETENTION OF RECORDS
It is the responsibility of each department to sufficiently document each purchase in order to provide audit evidence of their compliance to these purchasing guidelines. This evidence must be retained for a period of the previous six fiscal years plus the current fiscal year.
9. SPECIAL PURCHASE APPROVALS
9.1. The following list of goods and services require special approval prior to acquisition and prior to issuance of the purchase order.
Approval to deviate from these approvals should be obtained in writing from the department designated to control the purchase. A copy of this approval should be forwarded to the Department of Financial and Administrative Services with the purchase order or direct pay.
ADVERTISING - Advertising for Faculty and Post Doctoral Fellows positions is a departmental expenditure. Advertising for staff positions is a Department of Human Resources expenditure.
AUDIO VISUAL - Repair and maintenance, installations, AV, sound and video and radio communications is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services.
BIOMEDICAL ELECTRONICS - Repair and maintenance, scheduled preventive maintenance, pre-purchase consultation, alert management, laboratory, biomedical, radiological and computer equipment services is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services, Health Sciences Division.
BUILDING MAINTENANCE AND REPAIRS - All requisitions for physical facility repair, maintenance and renovations will be submitted to the Director of Facilities Management using the approved work order. Departments will not be charged where the request involves work carried out as normal maintenance to existing facilities. Departments are expected to fund extension to services required to accommodate equipment or modified facilities.
CAPITAL EQUIPMENT PURCHASES - require special approvals as indicated in Approval Guidelines.
CARDS - to be sent to external parties from Memorial University are to be purchased from one of the University Bookstores. As an alternative, the Director of Marketing and Communications must approve all cards not purchased from the University Bookstore to ensure appropriate quality and design of the cards. The Division of Printing Services must print the cards.
CLINICAL ENGINEERING SERVICES - Pre-purchase evaluation, quality assurance, training, biomedical equipment and radiological equipment is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services, Health Sciences Division.
COMPUTERS AND DATA COMMUNICATIONS - Repair and maintenance, installations of microcomputers, terminals and peripherals, data communications and LAN is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services.
CONVOCATION EXPENSES - All requisitions for any expenses in relation to convocations or graduations will be submitted to the Director of Marketing and Communications.
COURSES - CREDIT AND NON-CREDIT - Approval is required by the Director of Human Resources.
DIVING EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES - Requests for diving equipment and supplies will be submitted to the University Diving Officer, Ocean Sciences Centre, for approval. One exception to this requirement is the Department of Biology.
ELECTRONICS - Repair and maintenance, design and construction, installation, laboratory equipment, scientific instruments, microscopes, balances and security systems, printed circuit board fabrication, installations, and testing and measuring equipment require prior approval from the Department of Technical Services, Sciences or Engineering Divisions.
EMPLOYMENT - All requisitions which require employment or payment for services of a person(s) will be submitted to the Director of Human Resources.
EXTENSION CORDS - In order to ensure the safe operation of electrical systems on campus, it is required that all purchases of extension cords and power bars be approved by the Department of Facilities Management.
FLOWERS - The Director of Marketing and Communications has the authority to co-ordinate the purchase of flowers for a funeral wreath in respect of deceased employees. This policy does extend to making donations to a charity where there is a request for no flowers.
FURNITURE AND FIXTURES - Purchases require prior approval from the Department of Facilities Management.
GIFTS - Are not to be purchased from University funds without the prior approval of the Director of Alumni Affairs and Development, the Executive Director of the Marine Institute, or the Principal of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College as appropriate. In all cases, gifts will be of a reasonable value.
HOSPITAL SERVICES - Repair and maintenance, preventative maintenance, new equipment inspections, documentation of services, biomedical and laboratory equipment require approval from the Department of Technical Services, Health Sciences Division.
INSURANCE - Requests for insurance coverage other than group will be submitted to the Department of Enterprise Risk Management.
LABORATORY EQUIPMENT - Refer to "Electronics".
LEASE OR RENTAL OF VEHICLES AND BOATS - All requisitions for purchase, lease or rental of vehicles, fork lifts and boats are controlled by the Director of Facilities Management through Vehicles - University Owned or Leased policy.
LEGAL SERVICES - All requisitions for legal services or legal advice must be approved by the Vice-President (Administration and Finance).
LIQUOR SERVICES - The acquisition of liquor services is permitted on a restricted basis in accordance with the University's Hosting Policy and Alcohol Policy. Prior written approval must be received from the Department of Financial and Administrative Services. Refer to the copy of the attached Liquor Services requisition.
MACHINE SHOP - Machine shop services, design and construction, repair and maintenance, laboratory equipment, vacuum pump maintenance and preventive maintenance, model fabrication and student projects is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services, Sciences and Engineering Divisions.
MARINE SERVICES - Ocean Sciences Centre shop services, repair and maintenance, design and construction and installations is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services, Science Division.
MODEL FABRICATION - Design and construction, student projects, non-metal fabrication and shop services is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services, Engineering Division.
OFFICE EQUIPMENT - Fax machines and photocopiers require the prior approval of the General Office Supervisor, Department of Financial and Administrative Services, Education Building.
OFFICE SUPPLIES - Refer to Financial and Administrative Services website for details of the current office supply contract. All items on this contract are to be purchased from the current vendor. For non-contract items, three quotes should be obtained as outlined in the purchasing policy.
PHOTOGRAPHIC SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT - All purchases of photographic services and equipment require the prior approval of the Director of Management and Communications. There are several exceptions to this requirement: the Division of Educational Technology, the Visual Arts Photography program, and the Library at Grenfell Campus.
POSTAGE - Refer to Mail Services for specifics.
POWER BARS - In order to ensure the safe operation of electrical systems on campus, it is required that all purchases of extension cords and power bars be approved by the Department of Facilities Management.
PRINTING, DUPLICATING AND PHOTOCOPYING EQUIPMENT - Purchases, leases and rentals of printing, duplicating and photocopying equipment require the prior approval of the Manager, Printing Services, Department of Financial and Administrative Services, Ingstad Building.
PRINTING - No purchases are permitted without the prior approval of the Manager of Printing Services, Department of Financial and Administrative Services, per the Printing Services Policy.
PUBLICATIONS - No purchases are permitted without the prior approval of the Director of Marketing and Communications per the Publications Policy.
RADIOACTIVE AND ATOMIC MATERIALS - Such purchases must be coordinated with the University Radiation Control Officer.
REFRIGERATION - Repair and maintenance, design and construction, laboratory equipment and installations require the prior approval of the Department of Technical Services, Sciences Division.
RENOVATIONS - are funded through the Department of Facilities Management. Written requests detailing requirements must be forwarded to the Director of Facilities Management for inclusion in their budget proposal.
SAFETY CLOTHING - All requisitions for safety clothing should bear the name(s) of the employee for whom the safety clothing is intended and the unit price of each item. No purchase orders are to be issued, as the employees are to be reimbursed directly.
SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS AND EQUIPMENT - Refer to "Electronics."
SCIENTIFIC GLASSBLOWING - Design and construction, repair and construction, installations and laboratory equipment is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services, Sciences Division.
SECURITY SYSTEMS - Refer to "Electronics."
SPACE RENTAL - All requisitions for the renting of space require the prior approval of the Director of Facilities Management.
SURPLUS EQUIPMENT - Disposal of surplus equipment should be requested from the Director of Facilities Management in accordance with Surplus University Property policy.
TECHNICAL SERVICES - All requisitions for technical services must be submitted to the Director of Technical Services using the approved Technical Services Requisition form. To receive forms, please call 864-8712.
TELEPHONES AND TELEPHONE SERVICES - All requisitions for telephones and telephone services must be submitted to the Telecommunications Office, Computing and Communications.
UNIVERSITY CLOTHING - The purchase of University logo clothing is only permitted when required for University business where visibility of the Memorial branding is important. This clothing is to be purchased from one of the campus bookstores. Prior approval of the Dean or Director of the unit is required. This policy excludes uniforms and protective clothing.
WELDING AND FABRICATION - Complete welding services, sheet metal fabrication, design and construction, repair and maintenance and laboratory equipment, model fabrication and student projects is required to be obtained from the Department of Technical Services, Sciences and Engineering Divisions.
10. PURCHASES STRICTLY PROHIBITED
The following is a list of goods and services which are strictly prohibited from being purchased with University funds.
DECORATIONS AND SUPPLIES - for events such as Christmas.
FINES - such as parking tickets.
FLOWERS AND GIFTS - for employees, except as provided under the above Purchase Approvals Exception List.
MEMBERSHIPS - Memberships in various hotel executive clubs, health clubs, sporting clubs, etc., are not an approved University expenditure. In addition memberships in professional organizations such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, the Certified General Accountants, The Society of Management Accountants, Engineering Association or similar associations or societies where annual membership is a requirement to maintain a professional designation is not a permitted University expenditure, EXCEPT for memberships to be charged under an annual Professional Development and Travel Expense Reimbursement claim.
PARTIES - for Christmas, retirements or other social occasions.
PERSONAL MEDICAL EXPENSES - such as wheelchairs, crutches, etc., are not an approved University expenditure. Consult the provisions of the University medical insurance plans administered by the Department of Human Resources.
WATER AND WATER COOLERS - for use in the general offices of the University are not an approved University expenditure.
11. PURCHASING RESPONSIBILITIES
11.1 Due to the nature of the University's purchasing function, it is the responsibility of each Dean, Director, Principal and Department Head to ensure that these purchasing guidelines are followed. Consult Budgetary Process for more information on budget responsibility.
11.2 An application for a deviation from these policy guidelines must be made to the Vice-President (Administration and Finance) through the appropriate Vice-President or other appropriate senior official.