Buying & Purchasing Basics

For all purchases, the University follows the procurement requirements of the State of Mississippi with regard to acquisition thresholds.  For purchases whose funding comes from federal sources, USM follows the State of Mississippi procurement rules with regard to acquisition thresholds.  Even though the OMB issued memorandum M-18-18 titled Implementing Statutory Changes to the Micro-Purchase and Simplified Acquisition Thresholds for Financial Assistance, which implemented new federal thresholds for micro-purchase and simplified acquisition purchases, USM must apply the most restrictive rules to all categories of federal financial assistance that are subject to the Uniform Guidance requirements.  The State of Mississippi’s thresholds are more restrictive than those of the Uniform Guidance and the applicable National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  In general, USM’s “micro-purchase” threshold will be $5,000 and below, i.e., multiple quotes are not required, and the “simplified acquisitions” threshold will be between $5,000.01 and $50,000, i.e., where informal quotes are solicited.  And generally, purchases above $50,000 will involve solicitations that are advertised and received as sealed bids, or are sole-sourced if only one source of supply exists.  

The Purchasing Department of the University of Southern Mississippi is the purchasing agency of the university. Greater efficiency, both in terms of economy to the university and service to the departments, is achieved through specialization of purchasing. The purpose of the Purchasing Department, therefore, is to procure quality supplies and equipment as economically and conveniently as possible.

In the interest of serving the university, its alumni, and the community, the Purchasing Department, in conducting its business and discharging its responsibilities, is guided by three primary objectives:

  1. Purchases are to be made in consideration of the objectives and policies of the university, as well as of the particular requirements and objectives of the departments.
  2. Maximum, ultimate value for each dollar of expenditure must be obtained.
  3. Qualified, competitive bidders must be given equal consideration and opportunity to quote on the university's requirements.

Sign up for the Purchasing 101 and Requisition Training Class.  

Purchasing 101 and Requisition Training Manual

NOTICE to All Vendors and Contractors:

In compliance with the Mississippi Transparency and Accountability Act, all payments made by USM will be posted on a public website beginning July 1, 2012. The information posted will include the date of payment, vendor name, vendor's city and state, and the payment amount. The amount of any payment made by the University is public information. All University employees should be aware that no contract with vendors or contractors can include language that makes the amount of payment confidential. If the party with whom we are contracting insists on such a provision, you should contact the Procurement Office for assistance.

State of Mississippi Items on State Contracts

State of Mississippi Bid & Contract Opportunities

Online Ordering through Fisher Scientific Storeroom (DOC)

Tax Exemption Certificate (PDF)

Computer Purchases for USM

Software Purchases for USM