Purchasing Frequently Asked Questions

How can I check to see if what I want is on State Contract?
Check on the DFA Contract Page

How much can I buy before I have to get written quotes or how much before we have to advertise for bids?
$5,000 to $50,000 requires two written quotes. Over $50,000 has to be advertised and sealed bids must be received. State law requires this process.
I have an invoice; what do I do with it?
Make sure the purchase order number is on the invoice and send it to Accounts Payable.

What account codes do we use?
These can be found within SOARFIN by clicking the magnifying glass next to the Account field within he budget sting; or by visiting http://www.usm.edu/controller/chart-accounts; or you can call Purchasing at 266-4131 and we’ll assist you.

Can I have items delivered directly to me?
No, you need to go through Receiving for control purposes.

May I fax my requisition to the vendor?
No, the requisition is not to be used as a purchase order.

Why can't I split orders when it's for two different items or jobs?
State law will not allow it. If you are not sure, please contact Purchasing to assist.

Is it legal to buy coffee pots, microwaves, refrigerators, etc.?
Yes, if they are used in faculty/staff break rooms; however, coffee is not allowed.

How do I return something to the vendor?
The department should work with Receiving to return the merchandise. It is the department’s responsibility to obtain a Return Material Authorization (RMA) from the vendor. Give the RMA to Receiving along with the merchandise and a budget string for the return shipping charges. Receiving will return the merchandise.

1. If the equipment has been tagged, you need to contact Property Accounting (266- 4439) BEFORE PACKING THE EQUIPMENT to make them aware that the equipment is being returned and receive instructions on how to return tagged USM equipment to the vendor. When requirements have been met with Property Accounting, pack the equipment and deliver it to Receiving with an RMA from the vendor.

2. Untagged merchandise/equipment - Repack the merchandise and deliver to Receiving with a RMA from the vendor. NOTE: If the item you are returning is large, you may want to coordinate with Receiving to come by and pick it up. Allow at least two days for them to come by your department to pick up the return.