Miscellaneous policies are necessary to address purchasing issues and to comply with
state requirements for bids and contracts.
Reason for Policy/Purpose
This policy is required for the effective communication of university policies regarding
miscellaneous purchasing procedures.
All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.
Website Address for this Policy
PURCHASE ORDER PROCEDURES
The purchase order at The University of Southern Mississippi is a consecutively computer‐numbered
form used as the contract for goods and services. The purchase order form is designed
to give each person, department, or vendor all the information they need about the
contract. Purchase orders are issued by the Purchasing Department against properly
approved and recorded requisitions originated by the departments. Departments should
promptly check their copy of the purchase order against the requisition submitted.
Any error or discrepancies should be reported immediately to the Purchasing Department.
CHANGE ORDERS: Changes in an issued purchase order must be authorized by the Purchasing
Department. In such instances the Purchasing Department will issue a change order
(purchase order alteration). It is handled in the same way as the original purchase
order it replaces or changes.
CORRESPONDENCE WITH VENDORS: It is university practice that all contracts or correspondence
pertaining to negotiations affecting purchases or prospective purchases, that involve
prices, terms, conditions, and delivery shall be carried on by the Purchasing Department.
Further, all correspondence pertaining to a purchase order that has been placed and
that involves prices, terms, conditions, delivery, quantity, substitutions, complaints,
or anything whatsoever involving the commitments shall be carried on by the Purchasing
Department. Direct correspondence by a faculty or staff member is accepted practice
on all other subject matters, such as availability of specified requirements, technical
information, instructional information, request for literature, etc.
MS STATE BID AND QUOTE REQUIREMENTS
31‐7‐13. All agencies and governing authorities shall purchase their commodities and
printing; contract for fire insurance, automobile insurance, casualty insurance (other
than workers' compensation) and liability insurance; contract for garbage collection
or disposal; contract for solid waste collection or disposal; contract for sewage
collection or disposal; and contract for public construction as herein provided. Purchases
which do not involve an expenditure of more than five thousand dollars ($5000.00),
exclusive of freight or shipping charges, may be made without advertising or otherwise
requesting competitive bids. Provided, however, that nothing contained in this paragraph
shall be construed to prohibit any agency or governing authority from establishing
procedures which require competitive bids on purchases of five thousand dollars ($5000.00)
- Purchases which involve an expenditure of more than five thousand dollars ($5000.00)
but not more than fifty thousand Dollars ($50,000.00), exclusive of freight and shipping
charges, may be made from the lowest and best bidder without publishing or posting
advertisement for bids, provided at least two (2) competitive written bids have been
obtained. The term "competitive written bid" shall mean a bid submitted on a bid form
furnished by the buying agency or governing authority and signed by authorized personnel
representing the vendor, or a bid submitted on a vendor's letterhead or identifiable
bid form and signed by authorized personnel representing the vendor.
- Purchases which involve an expenditure of more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00),
exclusive of freight and shipping charges, may be made from the lowest and best bidder
after advertising for competitive sealed bids once each week for two (2) consecutive
weeks in a regular newspaper published in the county or municipality in which such
agency or governing authority is located. The date as published for the bid opening
shall not be less than seven (7) working days after the last published notice; however,
if the purchase involves a construction project in which the estimated cost is in
excess of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00), such bids shall not be opened in less
than fifteen (15) working days after the last notice is published and the notice for
the purchase of such construction shall be published once each week for two (2) consecutive
week. The notice of intention to let contracts or purchase equipment shall state the
time and place at which bids shall be received, list the contracts to be made or type
of equipment or supplies to be purchased, and, if all plans and/or specifications
are not published, refer to the plans and/or specifications on file. Specifications
pertinent to such bidding shall be written so as not to exclude comparable equipment
of domestic manufacture.
- Purchases may be made from the lowest and best bidder. In determining the lowest and
best bid, freight and shipping charges shall be included. No agency or governing authority
shall accept a bid based on items not included in the specifications.
- No contract or purchase as herein authorized shall be made for the purpose of circumventing
the provisions of this section requiring competitive bids, nor shall it be lawful
for any person or concern to submit individual invoices for amounts within those authorized
for a contract or purchase where the actual value of the contract or commodity purchased
exceeds the authorized amount and the invoices therefore are split so as to appear
to be authorized as purchases for which competitive bids are not required. Submission
of such invoices shall constitute a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than
five hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or
by imprisonment for thirty (30) days in the county jail, or both such fine and imprisonment.
In addition, the claim or claims submitted shall be forfeited.
- For the purposes of this section, the term "purchase" shall mean the total amount
of money encumbered by a single purchase order.
MS STATE CONTRACT INFORMATION
The State of Mississippi through the Office of Purchasing and Travel has many items
that are on state contracts. There are three (3) types of state contracts: (1) negotiated
contracts, (2) competitive bid contracts, and (3) agency contracts.
- Negotiated contracts – Proposals are accepted from vendors for this type of contracts.
These proposals are evaluated with a contract being awarded to all vendors when prices
- Competitive bid contracts – These contracts are established on the basis of written
specifications and sealed competitive bids with a contract being awarded to the vendor
that has submitted the lowest bid that meets the specifications. All state agencies
are required to purchase from the awarded vendor.
Agency contracts – The agency contracts are established on the basis of competitive
bids or negotiation by a specific agency. The agency contract must be approved by
the office prior to any purchases being made. The availability of agency contracts
to various agencies is dependent upon the terms of the agreement and a determination
by the office that the prices should be available to other agencies.
The Director of Procurement and Contract Services is responsible for the review of
this policy every four years (or whenever circumstances require immediate review).
11/01/11: Formatted for Institutional Policies website.
02/20/13: Formatted for template. Minor editing throughout.