Purchasing Users Manual

Title: Purchasing Users Manual
Policy Owner: Purchasing Office
Applies to: Faculty, Staff, Others
Campus Applicability:  Storrs and Regionals
Effective Date:  January 20, 2004
For More Information, Contact Purchasing Office
Contact Information: (860) 486-2619
Official Website: http://purchasing.uconn.edu/



The University of Connecticut Purchasing Department is a service unit established to support the educational and research missions of the University. Procurement professionals who have the requisite knowledge, skills and training to assist University personnel in the purchase of required goods and services staff it. This expertise insures that procurement decisions will be made in the best interest of the University and in compliance with Connecticut state statutes and University policies.

This User’s Purchasing Guide contains information regarding the basic policies and procedures to be followed for procurement at the University of Connecticut. It provides guidance in purchasing transactions and offers useful information about how the purchasing process works in general.

The Purchasing Department recognizes that faculty or staff may have questions or concerns regarding the procurement process, which are not answered in this manual. All such inquiries are welcome. If convenient to all parties, we would be pleased to moderate a departmental meeting to discuss our goals and objectives, answer questions and discuss any specific concerns.

To arrange a meeting or place an inquiry by phone, please do not hesitate to contact the Purchasing Department at 486-2619.


The purchasing procedures and guidelines presented in this manual have been developed in accordance with Connecticut state statutes and University policies. As a public institution, we are required to follow these regulations in the conduct of our dayA- to A-day business.

Scope of Purchasing
Each employee plays an active role in the purchasing function. Many of us requisition goods and services, while others are directly involved in the purchase of goods and services. Most of what we use in our daily work, from the paper we write on to the wax on the floors, has been acquired through Purchasing. Since everyone is involved in purchasing, the Purchasing Department has issued this manual to clarify what is expected of each of us in the purchase of goods and services.

Purpose of the Purchasing Guide

This manual should be used as a guide by all employees, when requisitioning, purchasing, receiving, or approving, payment for goods and services. Included in this manual are statements of purchasing policies and objectives, responsibilities of various individuals and departments, and procedures for the performance of some of the major purchasing functions.

Maintenance of Purchasing Guide
From time to time, revised and/or additional procedures may be released by the Director of Procurement and Logistical Services for addition to this manual. Therefore, this manual has been issued with a threeA- ring binder to facilitate replacement and/or insertion of additional pages as necessary.


1.1 Purchasing Policies and Objectives

1.1.1 General Policy Statement
The University of Connecticut Purchasing Department is committed to serving the University community with the timely and cost effective procurement of goods and services. This is accomplished through product knowledge, competitive bidding, negotiation of special pricing agreements and contracts, and monitoring vendor performance. All of these serve to maximize the University’s purchasing power.

1.1.2 Purchasing Objectives

The primary objective of the Purchasing Department is to buy goods and services of the right quality, in the right quantity, at the right price, from the right source, and at the right time.

The responsibilities associated with these objectives are:

1. To develop and maintain sources of supply for all goods and services capable of meeting the University’s needs;

2. To maintain and promote compatible business relations with vendors and the community in general;

3. To foster harmonious working relations between the Purchasing Department and other University departments;

4. To recommend to potential users any new products and/or services, or new uses for old products and services, that may aid the users in the performance of their duties;

5. To apprise relevant University customers of market conditions and trends that may impact prices and/or availability of the goods and services they purchase;

6. To periodically review University purchases to assure user needs are being optimally met by the goods and services purchased;

7. To insure all purchases are made in accordance with prevailing statutes, regulations, policies and procedures.

1.2 Purchasing Authority
1.2.1 The 1991 legislative session granted the University greater autonomy over its purchasing operations via passage of Public Act 91A-256. As approved by the Board of Trustees, under authority of the Act, and as amended by PA 99-161, the basic purchasing policies are as follows:

1. Purchases of goods and services with an estimated total value of $10,000* or less will not require competitive bidding. Departments can expedite the procurement process by providing a written quotation with their purchase requisition. (Purchasing reserves the option to competitively bid when it is in the best interest of the University.)

2. With the exception of federally funded purchases, purchases of goods and services with an estimated total value exceeding $10,000 but less than $50,000, and are not available on preexisting State or University contracts or sole source agreements, shall be based on at least three (3) competitive bids whenever possible.

*Exception to the $10,000 threshold: Federally funded purchases require competition for purchases exceeding $2,500.

Purchases of goods and services with an estimated total value exceeding $50,000 must be publicly advertised and competitively bid. For federally funded purchases, the initial threshold is $25,000.

When the purchase of goods and services exceeds $50,000, public advertising is an additional requirement. The bids must be advertised for no less than twenty-one (21) calendar days and have been published in a minimum of two daily newspapers and on the Purchasing Department’s Web site. However; the advertising period can be shortened in some special circumstances.

In general, Purchasing allows twenty-one (21) calendar days for the bid process (from the time bids are mailed to the date bids are opened). However, depending on the complexity of the acquisition, some solicitations may take longer.

1.2.2 The Board has also authorized the University to purchase supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services through negotiation (nonA-competitive purchases) in lieu of soliciting competitive bids when all the following criteria are met:

1. Such purchases are required to implement a Federal grant, contract or financial agreement between the University and the donor wherein funds or other things of value are given with an obligation for service primarily to the donor by the University, and/or,

2. Such supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services are specified in such grant, contract or financial agreement, and/or other

3. Sole source criteria have been met. (See section 2.1.2.c for details.)

1.2.3 Goods and services available under existing State Contracts may be purchased from the State contract vendors in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth therein. However, the University is not required to utilize State contracts.

1.2.4 The Director of Procurement & Logistical Services may establish University contracts for frequently ordered goods and services, or convenience contracts. A convenience contract is one wherein the primary consideration is convenience rather than price. Criteria to be used in approving such contracts will include travel time, administrative cost savings, product application and availability.

1.3 Financial Records System (FRS)

In October 1990, the Purchasing Department implemented the Purchasing Module of the Financial Records System (FRS). FRS dramatically reduces the amount of paperwork required by end users, purchasing agents and accounts payable personnel.

Some of its advantages to you, the requisitioner, are:

Instant onA-line access to information regarding disposition of purchase requisitions, bid status, purchase order status, receiving information, and vendor payments;
Reduced administrative and clerical workloads through the automation of many functions, i.e., preparation of purchase requisitions, and completing receiving reports;
Simplification of processing requirements, which shortens the procurement cycle.

Training is available from the Purchasing Department for User/Departmental onA-line entry of Purchase Requisition and Receiving Reports. Manuals are provided for these functions at the time of training.

1.4 Commodity Assignments

For current commodity assignments see the Purchasing Department website: http://www.purchasing.uconn.edu/staff/commodities/commodities.html

1.5 Set Aside, Minority and/or Women Owned Businesses
The Purchasing Department currently operates under existing State statutes and procedures promulgated by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the Department of Economic Development. Under those statutes and procedures, no cost preference is given to set aside, minority or woman owned business enterprises.

The Purchasing Department is committed to promoting utilization of set aside, minority and woman owned business enterprises in the University’s procurement programs. The Director of Procurement and Logistical Services or designee is authorized to: 1) change the source on any requisition in order to direct University purchases to minority and woman owned businesses, and 2) designate specific purchases for the exclusive participation by minority and woman owned businesses.

1.6 Contacting and Dealing with Vendors
Vendor representatives can be a valuable source of information for products and services. However, it is in the best interest of the University to assure that all vendors are treated in a fair and impartial manner, and to avoid favoritism and conflict of interest. To assist you in dealing with vendor representatives, the following guidelines are suggested:

1. Contact the appropriate Purchasing Agent or Purchasing Assistant in advance to save time with your purchase. S/he may be able to provide names, addresses and/or phone numbers of vendors, and existing contracts offering the goods or services required. S/he can also assist in developing a procurement plan.

2. Plan to discuss your need with more than one vendor. Information gathering may reveal alternatives or data not previously discovered.

3. All vendors should be given the same information so each has an equal opportunity to compete. Not providing equal information can be construed as showing favoritism or misrepresentation. Recognize that permanent business relations can be maintained only on a structure of honesty and fair dealings. Difficult economic times also promote a litigious environment. Failure to treat all vendors equitably may result in protests, which can delay the procurement process.

4. Discuss all aspects of the need: i.e., what happens after the department owns the purchase. Consider the life cycle approach, which includes: length of warranty, cost of maintenance, supplies, training, repair costs after warranty, and/or response time required for repair. The cost of the equipment or good may be insignificant compared to these “hidden” costs over the life of the product.

5. Guard against overreaction to a vendor created crisis: “Price goes up after the first of the month” or “This is the last one in stock”.

6. Unsolicited telephone sales should be ignored or referred to the Purchasing Department. Such items have often been found to be overpriced and of inferior quality.

7. Conduct all business dealings in an impartial and ethical manner. Never accept gifts, gratuities or payments of any kind, including luncheon or dinner engagements or event tickets.

8. Do not commit the University by telling a salesperson he or she has the order. Only an authorized Purchasing designee may sign and approve purchases from vendors. If you enter into an agreement without the proper authority, you may be held personally liable for payment under Connecticut law.

9. Any equipment on loan from a vendor for testing and/or evaluation requires completion of a University Equipment Loan Agreement to avoid personal liability under Connecticut law. (See Section 2.6 for details.)

1.7 Ethics and Conflict of Interestb
The University of Connecticut is a public trust. Therefore it is our policy to maintain high standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality, courtesy and conduct. Such policy is implemented by prescribing essential standards of ethical conduct without creating unnecessary obstacles.

To maintain these standards, the Purchasing Department subscribes to the following principles in the procurement of goods and services. It is essential that anyone conducting business with a vendor also observe the ethical standards described herein.

To give first consideration to the objectives and policies of the University of Connecticut.
To strive to obtain the maximum ultimate value for each dollar of expenditure.
To recognize that value represents the combination of quality, service and price, assuring the greatest ultimate economy to the user.
To demand honesty in sales representation, whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement or a sample of the product.
To grant all competitive bidders equal consideration; to regard each transaction on its own merits; to foster and promote fair, ethical and legal trade practices.
To discharge our duties impartially to assure fair competitive access to procurement from the University of Connecticut by responsible contractors.
To respect obligations and neither expressly nor implicitly to promise a performance that cannot reasonably be fulfilled.
To decline all personal gifts or gratuities.
To make every reasonable effort to negotiate an equitable and mutually agreeable settlement of any controversy with a supplier; and/or be willing to submit any major controversies to a third party review, insofar as the established policies of the University of Connecticut permit.

It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee or agent acting in behalf of the University of Connecticut:

To solicit, demand, accept or agree to accept a gratuity or any offer in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation or preparation of a purchase request.
To unduly influence the content of any specification or procurement standard.
To agree to retain a person, solicit or secure a contract upon an agreement or understanding for a commission, percentage, brokerage or contingent fee.
To knowingly use confidential information for actual or anticipated personal gain or for the actual or anticipated personal gain of any other person.
All University employees should be aware that unethical conduct may involve a breach of state law, punishable by fine and/or incarceration.

1.8 How You Can Help
As outlined in the Introduction, each employee plays an active role in the purchasing function. To assist the Purchasing Agents in expediting your requests, we offer the following suggestions:

Identify those areas where you can plan ahead for procurement, thereby allowing us to plan our workload. The more time Purchasing and the vendor have to
process an order, the better job we can do for you.
Provide all available information with your requisition (See Section 2.1 A- Initiating a Purchase Requisition).
Submit an accurate description of the product as it will be shipped and invoiced. Many orders are not invoiced in the same unit of measure as ordered.
Notify Purchasing immediately if a duplicate shipment has been received and whether or not you intend to keep it. Submit the appropriate paperwork required to amend the original order or return the duplicate shipment. (See Section 2.5 A- Returned Goods Procedures)
Do not add additional items to an established order without authorization from the appropriate Purchasing Agent. Doing so delays vendor payments, thereby jeopardizing supplier goodwill.
If special conies are received (e.g., bond or grant funds) from which extra procurement will be made, apprise the appropriate Purchasing Agent so s/he may be prepared to administer the increased volume.
Add recommended vendors to the Purchase Requisition including name of company, representative, address, telephone number and Federal Employer Identification number (FEIN), if known.


2.1 Initiating a Purchase via Purchase Requisition (PR)

2.1.1 The first step is to determine exactly what your needs are and what functions you want the item and/or vendor to perform. It is equally important to allow enough time for the entire purchasing process to unfold. This process includes preparing the requisition and obtaining authorized approvals, processing in the Purchasing Department, mail time and delivery. Depending on what is ordered, the entire transaction could be completed in days or months.

The initial action required is preparation of a purchase requisition. Departments must enter their requests on-line in FRS, which results in the printing of the Electronic Requisition Form No. PUR-4C.

You can expedite your request by supplying the following information:

1. The date the requisition is prepared as well as the date material is required. Requisitions with a specific delivery date will be given priority over those with missing or indefinite delivery requirements, i.e., “ASAP”. Use “RUSH” as defined in section 2.2.B.

2. When imputing the PR, include the Delivery Code number, department name and address.

3. The requestor’s name and phone extension should also be provided, in the event the purchasing agent needs clarification on requested items.

4. An itemized list of the goods and/or services required including all pertinent descriptive information, such as:

” Model, catalog or item number;

” Description, specifications, quotes obtained, agreements or any other documentation that clarifies the goods or services to be purchased;

” Unit of measure: box, case, each, ream, etc.;

” Number of units required;

” Current price or price estimate of unit, if known;

” Any other charges, i.e., delivery charge, setup charge, installation, etc.;

” First and last name of person who provided current price quote as well as date quote was given, if obtained;

” Vendor number, if in FRS, or list vendor address, phone number, fax number and FEIN;

” Names, addresses and phone numbers of any vendors you wish included on subsequent bid solicitations;

” FRS account code and relevant object code;

” Signature of the appropriate Dean, Director or Department Head or his/her designee.

2.1.2 Purchase Order Types

At times it may be more effective to identify the purchase request as a special order type; i.e., blanket or standing order, sole source, or prepay. The following guidelines may be used to determine if your request conforms to the necessary criteria:

A. Blanket Order
This type of order may be utilized to purchase a defined commodity group when only the estimated amount of money to be spent over a specified period of time is known. While a representative list of items to be purchased should be identified, the actual quantities and type of items as well as specific prices may be unknown when the purchase order is established. This arrangement expedites the delivery process by allowing the department to issue releases against the blanket order directly with the vendor until the obligated funds are exhausted. Examples of commodities, which can be purchased using a blanket order, include miscellaneous laboratory gases, miscellaneous hardware items, advertising, art supplies, etc.

B. Standing Order
This type of purchase order can be used when a specific item(s) is to be shipped in specific quantities on a predetermined shipping schedule i.e., ship two cases of petri dishes on the first and fifteenth of every month for twelve months. Exact quantities and unit prices are defined in a standing order. Examples of commodities, which can be purchased, using standing orders, include such high volume items as animal feed, computer paper, pipette tips, specific laboratory gases, etc.

C. Sole Source
This type of order should be used ONLY when certain circumstances exist. Examples of these circumstances are: 1) no other source of supply is identified to be available after exhaustive research has been conducted of all known market areas and the results are properly documented, 2) when compatibility with existing equipment is critical, 3) for continuity of research, etc. Purchase requisitions for a sole source purchase must be accompanied by a written justification identifying why the purchase should be handled as a sole source transaction. A useful questionnaire is available from the Purchasing Department to help in documenting the sole source justification. Contact any purchasing agent in Purchasing to receive one.

D. Prepay
To protect the University’s interests, prepayments are usually not allowed, unless some type of financial security can be negotiated. However, on occasion, purveyors of books, periodicals, films, memberships, or licenses will require advance payment. The Connecticut state statutes provide for prepayment in these cases. Vendor prepayment requirements must be communicated to the Purchasing Department at the time the purchase requisition is submitted. Failure to do so may result in lengthy delays.

Completed purchase requisitions should be forwarded to the Purchasing Department via the FRS system for processing. The electronic purchase requisition should be followed with all supporting documentation, e.g., price quotes, vendor policy statements requiring prepayment, etc.

2.2 How Your Purchase Requisition is Converted to a Purchase Order

When a purchase requisition is received, the Purchasing Department does the following:

Reviews the requisition to determine that all required data is provided to assure prompt processing of the order.
Checks for accuracy and correct use of object codes.
Determines how the order should be processed using the criteria outlined in Section 2.1.
Determines which of the following three priorities the purchase order should be given:

A. Routine Orders
NonA-competitive routine orders with a total cost of $10,000 (or $2,500 if Federally funded) or less or orders for products available under existing State or University Contracts (regardless of dollar value). These orders will usually be processed and mailed to the vendors within four working days after receipt of the purchase requisition, provided no further information is required from the department.

Competitive routine orders are defined as those valued in excess of $10,000(or $2,500 if Federally funded) for products not available under existing State or University contracts.

Competitive routine orders will be processed and mailed to vendors only after the statutorily required competitive bids have been solicited. Normally, fourteen (14) calendar days are allotted for the informal bid process.

Public Notice – All competitive routine orders over $50,000 shall be advertised in at least two (2) daily newspapers published in the State of Connecticut and on the Purchasing Web site at least twenty-one calendar (21) days prior to the scheduled bid opening. However, the advertising period can be shortened in some special circumstances. All invitations to bid are posted in the reception area of the Purchasing Department.

B. Rush Orders
These orders are defined as those which, if not placed in less than the four (4) business days allotted for routine orders, would make it impossible for a department to conduct normal operations. Rush requisitions must be received in the Purchasing Department accompanied by all required information.

Requesting departments will be notified the next business day when a nonA-competitive rush order can be placed. Competitive rush orders will be assigned a purchase order number only after the requisite competitive bids have been solicited.

Note: Purchase order numbers for rush orders can be given out over the telephone the same day by contacting the Associate Director of Purchasing. Additionally, at the Purchasing Department’s discretion, documentation supporting the critical nature of the request may be required.

C. Emergency Orders
These orders are defined as those which, if not placed immediately, would result in: 1) the cessation of critical services, i.e., health care, police and/or fire protection, etc.; 2) loss of life or limb; 3) significant property damage exceeding $1,000 or more; or 4) would result in substantial financial loss in excess of $5,000.

Emergency Orders submitted to Purchasing, depending on the nature of the Emergency, require approval or waiver from routine purchasing procedures from the Vice Chancellor for Business and Administration or designee (Director of Procurement and Logistical Services or Associate Director of Purchasing). Additionally, the Purchasing Department will require documentation supporting the critical nature of the request.

Should an emergency exist by reason of extraordinary conditions or contingencies that could not be foreseen and guarded against, or because of unusual trade or market conditions, the Vice Chancellor for Business and Administration, or his designee, may make purchases without competitive bidding if it is in the best interest of the University. Statute requires that all emergency orders be reported to the President of the University and the Board of Trustees. Emergency purchases may preclude the use of existing contracts if the contract vendor cannot meet the emergency delivery requirements.

Note: The Vice Chancellor for Business and Administration has appointed a University Procurement Review Committee to review all emergency purchases requiring a waiver from routine purchasing procedures. The Director of Procurement and Logistical Services serves as secretary to the committee and submits to the committee all documentation associated with an emergency purchase request along with his/her recommendation. The University Procurement Review Committee considers whether it is in the best interest of the University to waive routine purchasing procedures, e.g. competitive bidding, public advertising, etc.

2.3 Special Commodity Purchases
This section is devoted to those procurements, which are unique either in substance or circumstance. Each has its own exception criteria for processing as identified below.

2.3.1 Books, Publications, Periodicals, Film/Video Tape Rentals, CD-ROMs, Advertisements, Conference Registration
For procurement purposes, this category includes any Film/Video Tape Rentals, CD- ROMs, books, magazines, periodicals, reprints, etc., or copies thereof (page charges) which have been previously published and are available for sale or for a contribution. This category does not include printing or photocopying services. The options available for procurement and the applicable procedures for each option are noted as follows:

1. Direct Order – Under $2,000
Purchases valued at less than $2000.00 may be placed directly with the vendor without Purchasing Department authorization. Orders may be placed by phone or in writing by using the vendor’s order form or a personalized letter. It is advisable to call the vendor prior to using this mechanism to verify that a letter order is acceptable. Either format should instruct the vendor to send both the goods and the invoice to the ordering department. Upon receipt of the order, immediately submit the original copy of the invoice to Accounts Payable, Unit 6080. Failure to act promptly may result in the University being placed on credit hold thereby making it more difficult to place future orders with that vendor.

2. Prepay – Under $2,000
Orders under $2,000, requiring prepayment may also be processed directly through Accounts Payable. Send the vendor’s original order form or proforma invoice (along with a Form CO-17) to Accounts Payable, Unit 6080.

3. Over $2000 or PO Required
If an order exceeds $2000.00, or if the vendor requires a purchase order, a purchase requisition should be submitted to the Purchasing Department, Unit 6076. Order placement can be expedited by submitting price documentation and/or a vendor’s order form or announcement with the requisition.
Note: No competitive bids are required for these special purchases.

4. Conference Registrations
Purchase orders are not required for conference registrations, regardless of the amount. Conference registration fees may be paid using the University Purchasing Card, or a CO-17 or on a Prepaid Registration fee form, available on the Travel Web site at http://www.travel.uconn.edu/forms.html

2.3.2 Catering Services

A. Contracting for Catering Services
Catering contracts are defined as those wherein the private contractor serves the food. Contracts for coffee and pastry services, etc., where the food is delivered but not served are not considered catering contracts.

Under $2000
University departments are now authorized to contract for catering service without first obtaining a purchase order number, provided the total expenditure is less than $2000. Catering services invoices for less than $2,000 should be submitted directly to the Accounts Payable Department, with a completed and signed Form CO-17.
Departments making catering arrangements under this authority are encouraged to obtain a written and signed quotation from the selected vendor. If there is any question about whether the catering services might exceed $2,000, you should obtain a purchase order number before the services are provided.

Note: The University Purchasing Card cannot be used for catering services at any dollar level.

Over $2,000, under $10,000
Catering services which exceed $2,000 but fall below the bid threshold of $10,000 must be submitted to the Purchasing Department on a purchase requisition, accompanied by a signed quotation from the vendor, in advance of the required services.

Over $10,000
Catering services are not exempt from competitive bidding. The Purchasing Department provides competitive bidding for catering as a service to those departments who wish to use it. To take advantage of this service, submit a purchase requisition along with your specifications and recommended vendors. Allow twenty-one (21) calendar days for the bid process. The bids will reviewed with you, prior to the award. A purchase order will be issued to the successful bidder. The vendor will be paid when you issue the receiving report and Accounts Payable gets the invoice.

If you elect to obtain bids, three (3) important points must be followed.

1. The upfront research/legwork done by the department should eliminate vendors with an undesirable location. A minimum of three (3) written quotes should be solicited from three (3) facilities where you would be willing to hold your event.

2. Your department’s requirements must be issued in writing to the facilities you are soliciting. It is essential that all vendors are provided the same information/requirements to bid and it is verifiable. Include a response date so you can negate any offers received after that date.

3. Submit a purchase requisition along with all your supporting documentation. If no other information is needed by purchasing, a purchase order will issued to the successful vendor. The vendor will be paid when you issue the receiving report and Accounts Payable gets the invoice.

State procurement statutes require the University to competitively bid catering services when the cost is $10,000 or more. Therefore, when departments contract with vendors using this authority they should advise the vendors that their invoices will not be honored unless they are for less than $10,000.

Selecting the option most appropriate to accomplishing your objective will expedite the ordering process and reduce the amount of time spent filling out and filing forms.

Note: Any catering service contract with a cumulative annual cost of $50,000 or more is subject to the Standard Wage Statute and must be handled entirely through the University Purchasing Department in concert with the Connecticut Department of Labor.

B. Insurance Requirements for Catering Contractors
For the protection of University personnel, property and University guests, effective immediately all caterers conducting business on campus will be required to present evidence that they have both liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. A Certificate of Insurance, naming the University of Connecticut as an “additional insured”, must be submitted to the Purchasing Department prior to the catered event. Minimum acceptable coverage will include the following:
General Liability, Automobile Liability, and Excess Liability

General Aggregate. $1,000,000
Any Auto. $1,000,000
Personal Injury …….$ 300,000
Each Occurrence ….$ 300,000
Combined Single Limit ..$300,000

Since the Purchasing Department does not write purchase orders for catering services valued at less than $2,000, it will be the ordering department’s responsibility to ensure that the necessary documents are submitted and meet the above criteria. Any questions regarding insurance requirements for catering services should be directed to the Purchasing Department at (860) 486-4202.

2.3.3 Office Supplies
A University stockless office supply contract has been established to provide requisitioners a wide variety of economically priced office supplies delivered to the University the next day. This category does not include office equipment or office furniture.

Orders for office supplies may be placed by submitting a completed University of Connecticut Office Supply Requisition form directly to the Purchasing Department either in person, via campus mail, or by facsimile. Select the desired office supply items from the current approved catalog in conjunction with the customized office supply catalog. Retain the blue Requisitioners copy of the two-part form and forward the white copy to the Purchasing department, Unit 6076, for order entry. After your order has been placed, a computer-generated order acknowledgment will be forwarded to you referencing the pre-numbered Office Supply Requisition form. Your department’s account will be immediately charged for this order using the Office Supply Requisition number as the reference number. This number will be entered into FRS with an X prefix, similar to Transfer Voucher charges; Central Stores will be credited.

Central Stores personnel will deliver office supply orders directly to your department. You will be required to sign for the actual number of packages received. Immediately upon receipt of your order, inspect the contents against your computer-generated order acknowledgment. You will also receive a copy of the packing slip, enclosed in each order, which should be matched to your original Office Supply Requisition and the order acknowledgment. It is recommended that these documents be retained in your files. If the order is accurate and complete, no further action is required by you, the payment process will automatically proceed.

Report any problems or discrepancies immediately to the contracted vendor for resolution.

If a supply item needs to be returned to the vendor, simply complete the back of the appropriate packing slip and complete a University Form BO-800. Forward both documents with the item(s) being returned to Central Stores.

Contact Team 5 in the Purchasing Department, for assistance and a copy of the customized Office Supply Catalog, which contains more detailed instructions.

2.4 Receiving Report Procedures
After goods or services have been received; the final action required by the department is to confirm receipt of the goods.

To maintain cordial vendor relations, it is imperative the requesting department immediately verify receipt of goods and/or services. Except for shipments against blanket, lease, maintenance, printing, advertising orders, etc., the proper document for this purpose is the Receiving Report or FRS on-line receiving. When completed, the Receiving Report allows payment of any invoices which may be pending against the referenced Purchase Order.

At present, there are two options for documenting receipt of goods and/or services ordered by a regular and standing purchase order. They are 1) the receiving report copy of the Purchase Order or, 2) for those departments who have received access approval, direct onA-line receiving in FRS.

With the first option, the Purchasing Department provides a Receiving Report to departments after a purchase order has been printed. When goods or services are received, the department must complete the form and return it to the Accounts Payable Department for data entry. The second option permits each department to enter the receiving information directly into FRS at the time of receipt. This option reduces administrative time and provides for a more efficient payment process.

Inquiries regarding onA-line receiving capability should be directed to the Purchasing Department at (860) 486-A-2619.

Even if a department is onA-line, the Receiving Report provided by Purchasing can be used. This document presents the goods or services in purchase order sequence thereby facilitating ease of identification and data entry efficiency. The information required from the receiving department is as follows:

  • Quantity A- List the quantity of each item received in the appropriate column.
  • Partial/Final Designation A- Check the appropriate space to indicate if the receiving report represents a partial or final delivery; if partial, make an extra copy of the blank report before completing the copy to be submitted. The FRS receiving reports may be photocopied as many times as necessary to report partial deliveries.
  • One receiving report should be submitted for each shipment and should only reflect the contents of the shipment being reported. Receiving reports should not reflect cumulative receipts as doing so may result in inaccurate records.
  • Signature/Date: A- An authorized department representative must sign and date the receiving report.
  • Accepted Quality Code: A- For use when recording the quality of the goods or services received. If left blank, we will assume the product/services are acceptable.
  • Reject Reason Code: A- For use when documenting rejected shipments. This information would be verified by filing a Return Goods Authorization (See Section 2.5).
  • Receiving Report No: A- For use by those receiving departments, which desire to keep records of multiple shipments against a given order. The department receiving the goods or services using any sequence that suits their needs assigns receiving report numbers.
  • Received By: A- For use when the person who receives the goods or services is not the same person who submits the receiving report.

Blanket Order Receiving Procedures:
Receiving report procedures for blanket orders are more streamlined. Briefly, the Accounts Payable Department will send copies of invoices against blanket orders to the receiving department. The department identifies…

  1. Date goods or services were received
  2. Release #, if one was used
  3. Signature of individual authorized to receive shipment

…and returns such invoices to Accounts Payable to acknowledge receipt of goods and/or services.

Central Warehouse has rubber stamps identifying the information elements required. They are available via transfer voucher.

2.5 Returned Goods Procedure

Most orders arrive in good condition and contain the correct merchandise. However, occasionally goods must be returned due to duplicate shipments, incorrect items, or because they are damaged.

To assure proper credit or exchange and to maintain continuity in the return process, the following procedures are recommended;

  1. Notify the appropriate purchasing agent of the problem(s) with the order.
  2. Complete a BOA-800 form and a Transfer Voucher Form BO-20. Either send it to Central Stores (Unit 6114) or call Central Stores (6A-6301) to request pickA-up of goods. If no return is required, send the BO-800 to Purchasing (a Transfer Voucher will not be necessary).
  3. The Central Warehouse driver will sign the completed BO-800 form when the pick up is made leaving the fourth (pink) copy with the department for their records. The Central Warehouse will hold the parcel(s) and retain the BO-800 fifth (blue) copy. The remaining BO-800 copies (white, yellow and green) will be sent to the purchasing team responsible for the purchase.
  4. Upon receipt of the completed BOA-800 form from Central Stores, the Purchasing Department will contact the vendor. The designated purchasing agent will arrange for the return or disposal of the goods and request a replacement, credit or substitute, as specified by the ordering department. Departments should not make their own arrangements to return merchandise.
  5. The Purchasing Department will then inform Central Stores (via the green & white copies) of the proper disposition, indicate any freight costs to return, as well as notifying the Accounts Payable Department of action taken.
  6. The Central Warehouse will return or dispose of the goods according to the buyer’s instructions and inform the Accounts Payable of the disposition using the third (green) copy of the BO-800.
  7. If the goods are to be returned for credit or cash reimbursement, the vendor will be asked to submit a photocopy of the BOA-800 with the credit memo or check to the Accounts Payable Department so that it can be matched to the Accounts Payable (green) copy and credited to the requesting department.
  8. If replacement merchandise is requested, the vendor will use the white copy of the BOA-800 form as the packing slip to identify the shipment appropriately.

These procedures provide the audit trail necessary to determine the status of returned merchandise and offer a mechanism for monitoring vendor/carrier performance. They also allow the Central Stores, Purchasing and Accounts Payable Departments to assume the responsibility for merchandise returns and follow-up, if required, while saving your department considerable frustration as well as freight and telephone expenses associated with returning merchandise.

2.6 Equipment Loan Agreement
It is common practice in some industries for vendors to place equipment with prospective buyers on a “trial basis”. While it is often advisable to “test drive” equipment before making a purchase decision, doing so is not without certain risks. In the absence of any written agreement to the contrary, vendors may attempt to recover damages for stolen or damaged equipment either from the University, the individual who accepted the equipment, or both. Because vendor owned equipment is not insured by the State or the University, a University of Connecticut Equipment Loan Agreement has been developed to document the University’s limited liability.

A University of Connecticut Equipment Loan Agreement should be completed, in duplicate, prior to accepting any equipment on a trial basis. Department Heads are authorized to sign for the University. (It is the vendor’s representative’s responsibility to determine who is authorized to sign for the vendor.)

DO NOT SIGN ANY FORMS PROVIDED BY THE VENDOR. If a vendor requires the use of their forms, objects to the use of the University’s form, or requests language changes, they should be referred to the Purchasing Department. In the absence of a properly executed University of Connecticut Equipment Loan Agreement, any claims by a vendor for lost or damaged equipment may result in a personal liability for the individual who accepted the equipment.

A photocopy of all executed Equipment Loan Agreements should be sent to the Purchasing Department. (See Example G for sample of Equipment Loan Agreement.)

2.7 Warranty – Equipment
Although a manufacturer may provide a standard written warranty, the University can negotiate any aspects which are deemed to be in its best interests, such as, period of warranty, type of warranty, or delays.

If you anticipate a delay in putting equipment into service, two options are available:

Schedule the delivery so that it coincides with the date the equipment can be used. This option minimizes the risk of damage in storage and eliminates questions about the warranty on-site date.
Advise purchasing of any anticipated delays so a deferred warranty can be negotiated.


3.1 Central Stores Inventory
Central Stores services the University at Storrs and off campus locations by providing frequently demanded maintenance, office and laboratory supplies. To support the University needs in the most expeditious manner, approximately 4000 different items are inventoried. Central Stores also provides shipping and receiving services, with vendor deliveries received and distributed to requesting departments through Central Stores.

The major commodity groups inventoried in Central Stores are:

Hardware, Plumbing, Paint
Electrical and Refrigeration
Office Furniture and Supplies, Toner, Bulk Paper, Forms
Laboratory Supplies

University purchasing policy requires procurement of these items from Central Stores, when available. Alternate sources may be considered if Central Stores is out of stock and does not expect a shipment within 48 hours. To request a supply catalog detailing the individual items available, to add items to the Central Stores stocks, or to express dissatisfaction with an item purchased, contact Central Stores in writing (Unit 6114).

To obtain any of these supplies, prepare a Transfer Voucher (TV), Form No. BOA-20 showing the following:

Stock Number and description of goods requested
Quantity required
Department to be charged
Department to be credited
Coding to be charged
Authorized Signature
Remove and retain originating department copy.

All remaining un-priced copies should be sent to Central Stores (Unit 6114). Central Stores will process the order, price the Transfer Voucher (TV) and deliver the goods to the requester with a copy of the completed TV. In addition, Central Stores will forward a copy of the TV to the Accounting Department for processing in FRS.

3.2 Surplus Property
Pursuant to Public Act 91A-256, the University of Connecticut has authority for the transfer and/or disposal of surplus, unused and/or unserviceable equipment and supplies. In fulfilling this obligation, the following procedures shall apply:

  1. Items should be declared surplus, unused and/or unserviceable, by completing one or more ACTA-39 forms. This form should be forwarded to Central Stores.
  2. The Director of Procurement and Logistical Services will recommend appropriate disposition to the Vice Chancellor for Business and Administration. Disposition will be made in the best interest of the University and may include, but is not limited to, the following options:
    • Intramural Reassignment A- by advertising availability of surplus property to other University departments.
    • Sale to Other State Agencies A- by apprising the State’s surplus property officer of items, which may be of use by other State agencies.
    • Trade-In A- by utilizing surplus property in the procurement of new equipment or supplies, thus lowering the acquisition cost of the new goods.
    • Sale A- by the use of competitive bidding if no potential recipient has been identified within sixty (60) days.
    • Public Sale A- through the use of public auctions or tag sales on an “as needed” basis.
    • Discard A- upon approval by the Vice Chancellor for Business and Administration or his/her designee.

3.3 Chlorofluorocarbons
By Public Act 89A-227, the Connecticut State Legislature determined that, effective January 1, 1991, no agency could purchase any new product packaged in or composed in whole or in part of polystyrene foam if such foam is manufactured using chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). As this act relates to procurement statutes, and vendor compliance is a contractual obligation, the Purchasing Department is responsible for monitoring compliance.

The Purchasing Department has addressed this requirement in the Standard Terms and Conditions submitted with each Purchase Order. In part, vendors are required to certify that all products and packaging sold to the University are not manufactured using CFC.

Since the University does not have a centralized receiving function, it is important each University department receiving merchandise perform an inspection of packaging materials for polystyrene. The receipt of any parcels containing polystyrene should be reported to the Director of Procurement and Logistical Services. This may be done by making a notation on the receiving report or via memo to the Director along with a photocopy of the respective purchase order.

3.4 Radioactive Materials Ordering Procedures
All purchases for radioactive materials must be submitted to the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS) using the Radioactive Materials Requisition Form. This two-part form may be obtained from DEHS. Only the top copy should be sent to DEHS. All invoices for product and shipping charges will be billed directly to the FRS account numbers designated on the requisition form. Any questions regarding ordering procedures for radioactive materials should be directed to DEHS at (860) 486-3613.


  1. Acknowledgement: A- A form used by a vendor to advise a purchaser that their order has been received, usually implying it has been accepted.
  2. Back Order: A-That portion of an order which the vendor cannot deliver on schedule and which has been reA-entered for shipment when available.
  3. Best Interest of the University: A- This purchase is made so as to be advantageous to the University of Connecticut.
  4. Bid Sample: A- An item furnished by a bidder to show the characteristics of the item offered in the bid.
  5. Blanket Order: A- An order wherein only the total amount of money to be spent and time frame in which orders may be placed is known within a defined commodity group.
  6. Brand Name or Equal Specification: A- See Specification.
  7. Confirming Order: A- A purchase order placed verbally or otherwise for goods or services prior to the formal issuance of a purchase document against authorized encumbered funds.
  8. Conflict of Interest: Contracting with any University employee or their relative for services or goods represents a potential conflict of interest. It is important that the appearance of preferential treatment be nonexistent. For that reason, such transactions are discouraged. However, an exception can be made via the competitive bid process. The request for quote must be advertised and sealed bids submitted.
  9. Construction: A- A general term used to include all work required to build, improve, alter, repair, maintain or demolish any public building, road, sidewalk or other real property structure.
  10. Contract: A- Official University document executed by an authorized University official for the procurement of materials, services, construction or the disposal of materials.
  11. Cost Analysis: A- Evaluation of cost data for the purpose of arriving at costs actually incurred or estimates of costs to be incurred, prices to be paid and costs to be reimbursed.
  12. Descriptive Literature: A- Information available in the ordinary course of business that shows the characteristics, construction or operation of an item offered in a bid or proposal.
  13. Design Specification: A- A specification that sets forth physical characteristics in definitive terms.
  14. Discussions: A- Means an exchange of information or other manner of negotiation used in the source selection process.
  15. Emergency: A- Any situation, which requires immediate action to assure, continued functioning of critical services or to protect life and/or property.
  16. Equipment: A- Any item which is an entity unto itself, capable of being repaired, having a minimum value of $1000 and a normal life expectancy of three years or more.
  17. Established Catalog Price: A- The price included in a catalog, price list, schedule or other form that:
    1. a manufacturer, distributor or contractor regularly maintains
    2. is either published or otherwise available for inspection by customers.
    3. states prices at which sales are currently or were last made to a significant number of buyers in any category constituting the general buying public for the materials or services involved.
  18. Expendable Materials: A- All tangible materials other than fixed assets.
  19. FOB: A- Means “Free on Board”: the shipping designation, which defines the point of title transfer from seller to buyer. Designation is usually qualified by naming a location; i.e., shipping point, destination, name of city, etc.
  20. Incremental Award: A- An award of portions of a definite quantity requirement to more than one contractor. Each portion is for a definite quantity and the sum of the portions is the total definite quantity required.
  21. Invitation for Bids: A- Means all documents including detailed scope of work and/or technical specifications whether attached or incorporated by reference, which are used for soliciting bids in accordance with established procedures.
  22. K.D. (Knocked Down): A- An abbreviation meaning the article designed is supplied unassembled.
  23. Lead Time: A- The period of time from the date goods or services are requisitioned to the time when goods can be delivered.
  24. Lowest Responsive Bidder: A- Person, company or corporation who submits a bid or proposal which conforms in all material respects to the Invitation For Bid or Request for Proposal, has the capability to perform the contract requirements and the integrity and reliability which will assure good faith performance.
  25. Multiple Award: A- An award of an indefinite quantity contract for one or more similar materials or services to more than one bidder or offeror.
  26. Price Analysis: A- Evaluation of price data, without analysis of the separate cost components and profit as in cost analysis, which may assist in arriving at prices to be paid.
  27. Procurement: A- Means buying, purchasing, renting, leasing or otherwise acquiring any materials, services or construction. Procurement also includes all functions that pertain to the obtaining of any material, service or construction, including description of requirements, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contract and all phases of contract administration.
  28. Purchase Description: A- Words used in a solicitation to describe the materials or services for purchase and may include specifications attached to or made a part of the solicitation.
  29. Purchase Order: A- A legal document used to formalize a purchase transaction with a vendor.
  30. Purchase Request or Requisition: A- That document or electronic transmission whereby a department requests the procurement of materials, services or construction.
  31. Purchasing or Procurement Agent: A- Any person duly authorized by the Director of Procurement and Logistical Services to perform the procurement duties and responsibilities outlined in his/her job description and commodity assignments, within the limits of that authority.
  32. Request for Information: A- Solicitation issued to prospective bidders which is used to obtain information relative to how a prospective contractor proposes to perform certain work, its qualifications, and terms and conditions. Not used to obtain price information.
  33. Request for Proposals: A- Solicitation of proposals based on a generalized scope of work with contract award to the responsible contractor submitting the most advantageous and responsive proposal.
  34. Request for Proposal: A- TwoA–Step Negotiation A- Solicitation of a Request for Information, review and selection of acceptable proposals and the subsequent solicitation of sealed bids from those contractors submitting technically acceptable proposals.
  35. Request for Quotation: A- Information solicitations issued for the purpose of obtaining written quotations for a definitive scope of work.
  36. Responsible Bidder: A- A bidder whose reputation, past performance and business and financial capabilities are such that s/he would be judged to be capable of satisfying the University’s needs for a specific contract.
  37. Responsive Bidder: A- A bidder whose bid does not vary from the specifications or terms set out by the University in its Request for Quotation or Invitation to Bid.
  38. Services: A- The furnishing of labor, time or effort by a contractor which does not involve the delivery of a specific end product other than required reports or performance. Services do not include Personal Services Agreements.
  39. Sole Source: A- A good made and marketed or service supplied by a contractor having the exclusive right to manufacture and sell such item, substantiated by its technological, specialized or unique character.
  40. Solicitation: A- An Invitation for Bid, Request for Proposal, a Request for Quotation, Request for Information or any other invitation or request by which the University of Connecticut invites a contractor to participate in a procurement process.
  41. Specification: A- Any description of the physical or functional characteristics or of the nature of a material, service or construction item. Designated types of specifications may be:
    1. Brand Name Specification means a specification limited to one or more items by manufacturers’ names or catalog numbers.
    2. Design Specification: means a specification that sets forth physical characteristics in definitive terms.
    3. Functional Specification: means a specification that sets forth the specific operational action or results for which it is to be used.
    4. Performance Specification means a specification that sets forth a capacity objective that has been determined necessary for the item involved.
  42. Standing Order: A- A type of order which is for a specific item(s) to be shipped multiple times within a specified time frame with exact quantities and prices per unit established.
  43. Uniform Commercial Code: A- A set of rules covering commercial transactions that are subscribed to by all 50 states, except Louisiana, as published by the American Law Institute and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.
  44. Unit Price: A- A price that the contractor is paid for the selected unit for materials or service; e.g. pounds, each, hour, etc.
  45. Vendor: A- Any person or company that sells something or charges for a service.