Purchasing Guidelines

Purchase Order: Purchase orders are issued by the UAF Purchasing Office based on information entered in Banner and support documentation provided by the PI and the GI Business Office. POs can be used for ANY type of purchase, for ANY dollar amount and issued anywhere in the world.

Purchasing Forms: Depending on the type of purchase, you may need to complete one of the following forms prior to submittal to the Purchasing Office.

Independent Contractor Status Determination Form is to be completed for all contracts with individuals when they are to be treated as independent contractors. The form is also required for contracts with partnerships and other non-incorporated businesses for which the services to be performed will be completed exclusively by a specific individual.

This form is not required for contracts with entities such as corporations, governmental agencies, professional organizations or other colleges or universities which have provided the required employer identification number. Nor is this form required for contracts with individuals engaged as guest speakers or performers who provide one-time, nonrecurring services and who are not otherwise employed by the university.

Certification of Need for Restrictive Specification UAF relies upon the expertise of its faculty to conduct academic instruction of students in order to provide students with a quality education. It also relies upon the expertise of its research community to conduct quality research.

To these ends, whenever a faculty member, a principal investigator or project director has determined that only a particular item or service is suitable for use in the classroom or for a research project, brand name or sole source procurement is both appropriate and justified.

Purchase requisitions for such items or services must specify that no substitute is acceptable and must be accompanied by a Certification of Need for Restrictive Specification form, completed and signed by the faculty member, principal investigator or project director.

If more than one supplier exists for a specified brand, competition must still be sought in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. For services, certification by the faculty member, principal investigator or project director that no other known source for the required services exists is justification for proceeding with sole source procurement. This determination only applies to items or services to be used in direct support of academic instruction or sponsored research.

Limited Purchase Order: Limited Purchase Orders are used for purchases from local vendors for in-stock items or 24-hour-service – ONLY! LPOs are limited to $2,500 maximum purchase value, therefore cannot be used for equipment purchases. LPOs are processed by the UAF Accounts Payable department and audited by the UAF Purchasing Office.

Blanket Purchase/Delivery Order: The UAF Purchasing Office has issued hundreds of Blanket Purchase and Blanket Delivery Orders to vendors all across the country. Blanket Orders can be used for goods and services. Call numbers are generated in Banner by the GI Business Office. Orders will be placed by the expediter or the GIBO as required. If a staff member wishes to place the order, this must be written on the requisistion when submitted.

Blanket Purchase Orders are limited to $5,000 per call number.

Blanket Delivery Orders are blanket purchase orders created against contracts that have been issued by the UAF Purchasing Office based on commodities and services that have been previously bid. For this reason there is no dollar limit on a call number created by a BDO.

ProCard: The ProCard is used for purchasing commodities ONLY that are less than $5,000. It cannot be used for any services, including travel, hotel, food or car rentals. Cardholders must complete an application.  All use must be logged in accordance with the Procard Handbook.  Each cardholder works with an approving official and a reconciler.

Requisition Forms: A requisition form is being developed and should be available online soon. A printable copy is currently available online or a hard copy may be picked up in the GI Business Office. 

All purchase requisitions must be submitted to the GIBO for authorization and processing. Please take the time to provide complete and accurate information. If submitting a handwritten request, please print neatly! Requisitions that are difficult to read delay the purchasing process, thus delaying delivery of items or services.

No GI/IARC staff member has the authority to place an order by phone or collect goods from vendors without authorization from the GI Business Office.  An unauthorized purchase is illegal and may result in the end user having to pay for the goods/services personally. Planning is therefore very important. If on-site emergency purchases are anticipated during a field trip, please consult the GIBO for proper procedures before leaving for the field. Many problems can be solved if advance notice is given.

UAF Purchasing: The UAF Purchasing Office processes requisitions that have been entered in Banner. These requisitions may include requests that cannot be processed another way.

Request for Quotation: Purchases between $5,000 and $50,000 require the UAF Purchasing Office to issue a Request for Quotation. This process requires Purchasing to contact as many vendors as possible to obtain written quotations in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth by the Purchasing Department. If an end user wishes Purchasing to contact specific vendors, this should be specified on the requisition form. Obtaining quotes independently to send to Purchasing does not preclude the RFQ process. It is suggested that staff members wishing to obtain their own quotes speak to the appropriate purchasing agent first.

The RFQ process is less formal than the IFB process and takes less time to complete. However, staff members should plan ahead to allow for accurate and timely processing of these requests.

Invitation for Bid: Purchases that exceed $50,000 require the UAF Purchasing Office to issue an Invitation for Bid. IFBs are issued when the commodities or services can be exactly defined. No discussions with competing offerors and no changes in offers, including price, are allowed. Award is made to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. The IFB process can take up to 90 days to complete, so advance planning and consideration to time is important.

Request for Proposal:  Competitive sealed bidding is the preferred method for purchases that exceed $50,000. However, if this is not practical, the UAF Purchasing Office will issue a Request for Proposal. The RFP process allows discussions with competing offerors and changes in the proposal, including price. It allows comparative subjective evaluation to be made when determining acceptable proposals for negotiation and award. The RFP is used when evaluation factors are subjective and involve consideration of relative abilities of offerors to perform. It is appropriate where the need to be satisfied involves weighing intellectual, artistic, or aesthetic values where price is a secondary consideration.

Sole Source Purchases: A purchase is considered a sole source in one of the following circumstances: When the manufacturer is also the sole distributor for its product, or when a particular vendor is the sole distributor to Alaska for a particular product.

It is the department’s responsibility to provide a written brand name justification for the commodity they wish to purchase. The UAF Purchasing Office will then request a “sole source” memo from the manufacturer (only) stating the distributor information.

Receiving and Payment of Purchases: When commodities or services have been received, it is the end user’s responsibility to notify the Business Office so payment authorization can be forwarded to the UAF Accounts Payable department. Any questions concerning receipt or payment of purchases should be forwarded to Roberta Greenlee at 474-7651.