University Policy

.

Purchasing

Approval Date: 2020-10-27

Effective Date: 2020-10-27

Review Date: 2022-03-13

Authority:

The Department of Financial and Administrative Services is responsible to the Vice-President (Administration and Finance) for the administration of this policy and these procedures.

Purpose

To ensure that procurement of goods and services provides the best value to the University and is undertaken in an open, competitive, ethical , socially responsible and environmentally responsible manner while remaining in full compliance with legislation.

Scope

All employees authorized to make purchases on behalf of the University and all purchases from all funds administered by the University, irrespective of the sources of funding, specifically including: operating funds, trust funds, discipline funds, grant funds, ancillary enterprises and capital funds.

Definitions

Electronic Signature — In accordance with the Electronic Commerce Act means electronic information that a person has created or adopted in order to sign a document and that is in, attached to or associated with the document.

FAS-SPO — Department of Financial and Administrative Services Strategic Procurement Office

Open Call for Bids — a publicly-advertised invitation to suppliers to submit a bid, by electronic advertisement or written media, as per Section 7 of the PPR; may be in the form of either an Invitation to Tender, or a Request for Proposals.

Original Signatures — Original ink signatures and secure electronic signatures; they do not include rubber stamp signatures, digitized signatures and facsimile signatures.

PPA and PPR — Public Procurement Act and Public Procurement Regulations

Provincial Suppliers — suppliers with a place of business in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador

Secure Electronic Signature — An electronic signature that is unique to the person making the signature and the technology or process used to make the signature is under the sole control of the person making the signature.

Total life-cycle cost — Total cost of ownership over the life of a purchase including planning, design, construction and acquisition, transportation, operation, maintenance, renewal and rehabilitation, depreciation, financing costs, cost of disposal, etc.

Unit — Academic or administrative unit as defined in the University Calendar.

Unit Head — For the purposes of this policy, unit head is the term used to mean Deans, Department Heads, Division Heads, Heads of Schools, Directors, Executive Directors, University Librarian, University Registrar and other senior administrators at a comparable level; Associate Vice-Presidents and Vice-Presidents, as applicable.

University — Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Policy

1. Authority and Responsibility

1.1 In accordance with the Memorial University Act, the Board of Regents has authority for the management, administration and control of the property, revenue, business and affairs of the University, which includes purchasing.

1.2 Senior administration of the University has assigned specific purchasing authority to certain units, as outlined in the related documents "Schedule of Purchasing Authority and Approvals" and "Special Purchase Approval" and to specific positions/individuals. This authority may be periodically revised as necessary by the Vice-President (Administration and Finance) to meet operational requirements.

1.3 Only duly authorized individuals may commit the University to purchase agreements of any type. Unauthorized individuals who make such commitments may be held personally responsible for any resulting obligations.

1.4 Due to the nature of the University's decentralized purchasing function, it is the responsibility of each Unit Head as applicable, to ensure that the Purchasing policy and related procedures are followed.

1.5 Original signatures are required to authorize purchasing.


2.0 Purchasing Principles

2.1 Purchasing must be conducted with the objective of obtaining best value for the University over the life of the acquisition while ensuring proper stewardship of resources.

2.2 Purchasing must be conducted in a fair and transparent manner, and where legislation, University policy and/or procedure dictate, follow a competitive procurement process.

2.3 Individuals making purchases on behalf of the University shall conduct themselves in an ethical manner, ensuring compliance with University-wide policies, in particular the Conflict of Interest Policy and with the Purchasing Code of Ethics.

2.4 In keeping with the Memorial University of Newfoundland Sustainability Declaration, the University endeavors to integrate sustainable considerations into purchasing decisions. Purchasing decisions should take into account the following principles:

  • Adoption of the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Conservation of natural resources
  • Reduction of carbon emissions
  • Reduction of energy and water use
  • Utilization of total life-cycle cost in evaluating product cost

2.5 The University is committed to conducting its purchasing in a socially responsible manner by doing business with vendors that commit to demonstrating social responsibility and ethics in their business operations.

2.6 The University is committed to conducting its purchasing in consideration of the health and safety of its community.

3. OPEN CALL FOR BIDS

3.1 University procurement is governed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Public Procurement Act (PPA) and Public Procurement Regulations (PPR) which outlines requirements for Open Call for Bids 

3.2 The University established threshold limits are lower than those outlined in the regulations. The procurement thresholds for Memorial University requiring an open call for bid are: 

  1. goods with an estimated value of $25,000 or greater;
  2. services (excluding engineering and architectural services) with an estimated value of $50,000 or greater;
  3. engineering and architectural services with an estimated value of $100,000 or greater;
  4. public works with an estimated value of $100,000 or greater; and
  5. leases of space with an estimated contract value of $100,000 or greater. 

3.2.1 The PPA excludes "professional services" from the definition of services. Professional services means the following services required by a public body:

i. legal services, and

ii. financial services relating to the provision of credit and instruments of monetary policy;

3.3 The PPR includes a provincial supplier provision. This provision mandates an allowance of ten percent for provincial suppliers for all procurements below trade agreement thresholds. For guidance on applying the trade agreement thresholds please contact FAS-SPO.

3.4 All thresholds are CDN$; inclusive of all premiums, fees, commissions and interest, as well as delivery costs; and exclusive of harmonized sales tax. Estimated value is based on the entire length of the contract, including renewal options. If a legitimate estimate cannot be determined for a procurement, then an Open Call for Bids shall be issued.

3.4.1 If a single procurement includes a combination of goods and services, the unit shall determine the estimated value for each component and use the cost estimate for the largest component to determine the applicable threshold. For example: goods $25,000+ service $2,000 = $27,000 requires an Open Call for Bids as the largest component is goods in which a $25,000 value exceeds the Open Call for Bids threshold.

As per the PPA, purchase orders cannot be broken down into more than one order to get each order value less than the established thresholds.

3.6 All other exemptions to an open call for bids are found in Section 6 of the PPR and, if used, are to be reported to the Public Procurement Agency in accordance with Section 32. Please refer to the Procedure for Open Call for Bids.

A proposed Open Call for Bids with a value greater than $500,000 (exclusive of harmonized sales tax) must be reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel

3.7 The University requires that all procurement comply with the PPA regardless of the funding source.

3.8 The Director of Financial and Administrative Services is responsible to ensure that the University is in compliance with the PPA and PPR. This responsibility includes:

  • Ensuring that all units are consistent in the application of the PPA and PPR in the purchasing function for which they have responsibility.
  • Providing approvals as may be delegated to the Director by the President and the Board of Regents, in accordance with Section 29 of the PPR.
  • Providing assistance to units to ensure compliance with the PPA and PPR efficiently and effectively. This includes provision of services related to development of open call for bids specifications, advertising, bid opening, bid evaluation and subsequent recommendations, and interpretation of the various sections of the PPA and PPR.

3.9 To ensure consistent application of these public procurement requirements, it is required that all purchases greater than the thresholds outlined in 3.2 be coordinated with FAS-SPO

3.10 For those units issuing an open call for bids, FAS-SPO email: opencalls@mun.ca will receive all bids for vendors and will publicly open bids

LIMITED CALL FOR BIDS

4.1A limited call for bids is required at Memorial University based on the following thresholds:

(a) goods with an estimated value less than $25,000;

(b) services (excluding engineering and architectural services) with an estimated value less than $50,000;

(c) engineering and architectural services with an estimated value less than $100,000;

(d) public works with an estimated value less than $100,000; and

(e) leases of space with an estimated contract value less than $100,000.

A limited call for bids requires the public body to either obtain quotations from at least three suppliers, or to determine a fair and reasonable price for the commodity based on recent market conditions.

4.2 Purchase orders cannot be broken down into more than one order to get each order value less than the established thresholds.

4.3 Quotations for all acquisitions of goods and services less than the Open Call for Bids thresholds must be obtained using the following table: 

Commodity
Threshold
*3 Quotations
Determine Fair Price

Goods *
< $25,000
$2,500-$25,000
< $2,500

Services (excluding engineering & architectural services)
< $50,000
$10,000-$50,000
< $10,000

Engineering & Architectural Services




< $100,000
NA
< $100,000



$20,000-$100,000


< $20,000

Public Works

Lease of Space (Contract Value)

*All award information for goods purchased between $10,000 - $25,000 must be sent to FAS-SPO within 10 days of award at opencalls@mun.caand include a quotation summary log, purchase order and any other procurement related documentation.

4.4 For services valued between $10,000 and $50,000, with the exception of engineering and architectural services, and for Public Works valued between $20,000 and $100,000, the preferred approach is to obtain quotations from at least three suppliers. If this is not feasible, at least one quotation should be obtained and the price shall be fair and reasonable.

4.4.1 The invitation for a quotation must be sent to no less than three (3) selected suppliers. A summary of the quotations requested must be recorded on a Quotation Summary Log and attached to the invoice for payment. 

4.4.2 All invitations for a written quotation should identify to the vendor a time limit within which the quotation is expected to be returned and to whom.

4.4.3 The lowest quotation is usually accepted. In cases where other than the lowest quotation is accepted, explanations must be documented by the purchaser and approved by the Unit Head prior to placing the order.

4.5 A Fair and Reasonable Price based on recent market conditions shall be established as follows:

  • Obtaining two direct quotations and comparing the prices to determine whether competitive market forces have ensured that the prices are fair and reasonable;
  • Obtaining one direct quotation and substantiating that it is fair and reasonable through reference to trade catalogues, price lists, or a recent acquisition price for similar goods and services;
  • Obtaining one direct quotation and substantiating that it is fair and reasonable through the utilization of a rotational system, which consists of at least two suppliers, and which is monitored to ensure that prices are competitive, fair and reasonable;
  • Obtaining one direct quotation and substantiating that it is fair and reasonable from an operations perspective where the goods or services are urgently required and a delay in delivery would negatively impact the operations of a department;
  • Obtaining one direct quotation and determining that the price is fair and reasonable as a result of a limited supplier base in the area (consideration would be given to additional direct and administrative costs associated with acquiring the goods or services in another area); or
  • Obtaining one quotation via shelf pricing or advertised price where a purchasing card is used for a low dollar value acquisition and a direct quotation is not generally provided and, in this instance, business should be rotated to ensure that prices are competitive and reasonable.

5. Purchases without Quotation

5.1 There are purchases up to the Limited Call for Bids thresholds (excluding taxes) where it is not feasible or practicable to obtain quotations due to the following circumstances:

  • Commodity is available from a Public Body.
  • Acquisition of a commodity is for the purpose of resale or for incorporation into a product for resale.
  • An emergency or situation or urgency exists and an open call for bids cannot reasonable be made in time (obtain more than one quote where the situation allows).
  • Only one available source (sole source), in the following circumstances:
    • Compatibility with existing products, to recognize exclusive rights or to maintain specialized products that must be maintained by the manufacturer or representative;
    • An absence of competition for technical reasons, no alternative or substitute exists;
    • Supply is controlled by a statutory monopoly;
    • Purchase of goods on a commodity market;
    • Work on or about a leased property that can only be performed by the lessor without giving rise to a significant risk for the public body;
    • Work to be performed under a warranty or guarantee;
    • Winner of a design contest;
    • A prototype or a first good or service to be developed in the course of and for a particular contract for research, experiment, study or original development, but not for any subsequent purchases;
    • Original works of art; and
    • Subscriptions to newspapers, magazines or other periodicals.

5.2 A full written explanation as to why quotations were not obtained must be provided on a Quotation Summary Log or correspondence received from FAS-SPO allowing the exception 

5.3 If such a purchase meets the Open Call for Bids thresholds (excluding taxes), then refer to the procedures for completion of an Exception Form under the Procedure for Open Call for Bids.

6. RETENTION OF RECORDS

It is the responsibility of each unit to sufficiently document each procurement in order to provide audit evidence of their compliance with the Purchasing policy and related procedures. This evidence must be retained for a period of the previous six fiscal years plus the current fiscal year.

7. PPA REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

7.1 The Director of Financial and Administrative Services (The Director) is responsible to ensure that the University is in compliance with the PPA and PPR reporting requirements.

This responsibility includes:

  • Reporting all Open Calls for Bid Opportunities, including Notices, Amendments and Cancellations to the Chief Procurement Officer as identified.
  • Reporting awards of Open Calls for Bids within 15 days of contract award to the Chief Procurement Officer.
  • Reporting exceptions to Open Calls for Bids within 15 days of contract award to the Chief Procurement Officer.
  • Reporting of all goods awarded between $10,000-$25,000 within 10 days of award to FAS-SPO via opencalls@mun.ca 

Related Documents

Schedule of Purchasing Authority and Approvals
Special Purchase Approvals
Purchasing Code of Ethics
Electronic Commerce Act
Public Procurement Act
Contract Administration Policy
Conflict of Interest Policy
Controlled Goods Policy
Determination of Employee or Independent Contractor Status Policy
Gift Acceptance Policy
Tangible Asset Administration Policy 
Memorial University of Newfoundland Water Pledge
Memorial University of Newfoundland Sustainability Declaration

Procedures:

For inquiries related to this policy:

Contact: Department of Financial and Administrative Services, 709-864-8222

Sponsor:

Vice-President (Administration & Finance)

Category:

Finance

Previous Versions:

There is at least one previous version of this policy. Contact the Policy Office to view earlier version(s)

Approval Date: 2014-03-13
Effective Date: 2014-03-13
Approval Date: 2006-05-23
Effective Date: 2013-07-30
Approval Date: 2006-05-23
Effective Date: 2006-05-23

Contact

University Policies

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000