Department of Procurement and Contract Services
Department of Procurement and Contract Services
Procurement and Contract Services (PUR)
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:
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.
Single Source and Emergency Procurements
Effective July 1, 2015, the laws pertaining to single source purchases and emergency purchases by state agencies and institutions have been changed. The following is a brief overview, but we urge you to consult with Procurement Services if you have any questions related to a purchase that may fall under either of these categories.
Please note that each type of request (Sole Source, Research, etc.) will require Purchasing to request the authority to purchase (known as a P-1) from the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration’s (DFA) Office of Purchasing and Travel (OPT).
Sole Source Request:
Prior to claiming an item is a single (sole) source procurement, we are now required to post a notice of a proposed sole source procurement on a state website for 14 days. In addition we are required to advertise such notice in a newspaper, once each week for two consecutive weeks. The notice must contain certain information as prescribed by law and state requirements (Requirements). The notice also must provide a procedure to follow for anyone that objects to the purchase.
We have developed a template found below for the "Notice of a Proposed Sole Source Procurement." The department should complete the form and submit it to Procurement via email. The email should also indicate the name and contact information for the person within the department with expertise to answer questions related to the request.
Once an item has been certified as sole source, the Director of Procurement or his/her designee shall conduct negotiations, as appropriate, as to price, delivery, and terms.
If, after the required procedure is followed, the item is certified to be a sole source
item, we must then submit a request to the DFA Office of Purchasing and Travel (OPT),
requesting approval of the purchase. That request must include a letter request outlining
the results of the procedures that have been detailed above. Upon electronic approval
from OPT we may issue a purchase order. It should be noted that this process will
probably take about one month or longer to complete.
Notice of Proposed Sole Source Procurement
IT Sole Source Request:
Technology-related acquisitions require following similar procedures when the total IT related purchase exceeds $5000.00 regardless of what is being purchased. This includes, but is not limited to, equipment, services, licenses, and maintenance. Some guidance on these procedures can be found here, but more details can be obtained by contacting iTech at computer.ordersFREEMississippi.
Emergency Purchase Request:
If an emergency does not threaten the health or safety of any person, or the preservation or protection of property, we are required to seek and obtain approval from OPT prior to making the purchase. If an emergency does threaten the health or safety of any person, or the preservation or protection of property, after proper declaration by the President of the University, we may make the purchases required to meet the specific needs created by the emergency situation. In either case the letter declaring the emergency must include information using the following Sample Letter. Further information on emergency purchases can be found here.