INTRODUCTION

This information is intended to benefit those employees who are involved in the requisitioning of supplies and services within the College. It should serve as a reference source for official policies and procedures and also serve the vital function of informing personnel of the proper requisitioning procedures. Due to the constant changes in laws, regulations, policy, etc., it would be impossible to cover every requirement or situation involved in the purchasing process. This material is being made available in a form more responsive to change and only provides brief guidance for the normal process and is subject to change at any given time. If a specific type of process, or requirement, is not covered in this information, please contact the Purchasing Department for the information.

PURCHASING AND CONTRACTING AUTHORITY

All purchases, rentals, leases, lease/purchases and contract services for South Arkansas Community College, regardless of the source of funds, are subject to laws, regulations and procedures and should be for the official business of the College. The Purchasing Official is the sole purchasing authority for the College. Purchases not authorized by the Purchasing Department are not legal obligations of the College. Personal purchases are forbidden and may result in disciplinary action.

PURCHASING AUTHORITY

All purchases, rentals, leases, and lease/purchases to which the College is a party are subject to regulations and procedures as stipulated in Arkansas statutes by Act 482 of 1797. All types of purchases from College accounts are subject to these regulations and procedures and require prior approval of the Purchasing Department. Purchases not authorized by this authority are not legal obligations of the College. Any individual making a purchase without proper authority first being given is assuming a personal obligation to the vendor for which he/she may be held personally liable.  South Arkansas Community College follows state procurement laws and regulations in making all purchases. Purchase orders are processed through the Distributive Purchasing System (DPS) located on SouthArk's network. Electronic requests are preferred although in emergencies, manual requests can be processed. Further information and training can be acquired in the purchasing office.

PURCHASE REQUEST PRIOR TO ANY COMMITMENT

Accountability is a must; documentation must be approved by the Purchasing Department prior to any commitment that would result in the expenditure of funds. Individuals should use caution when researching or otherwise inquiring about services or products with any vendor. A simple conversation can sometimes be easily interpreted by a vendor/contractor as an obligation by SouthArk for the product or service.

Once a request has obtained proper approvals and is received in the purchasing office, it will be processed. An approved purchase order consists of an assigned number by the agency purchasing official along with their signature. No purchases are to be made without an approved, signed purchase order unless on a purchasing card. Only the bonded agency procurement official has the authority to approve procurement commodities and services for South Arkansas Community College.

No purchase orders can be processed with a deficit budget amount. The electronic system will not process. All budget issues must be reviewed and corrected in order for purchases to be made. Purchasing Official will not override a budget without approval from the Vice President of Fiscal Affairs or the budget accounting representative.

Requests for computer equipment, software or any related type items should be noted on any purchase order as computer related. A designed IT department employee will review all such purchase and must approve for compatibility and appropriateness to work on the campus computer system. Any such purchases that are found not to have approval can be rejected by the purchasing official.

DISCLOSURE OF BENEFITS RECEIVED FROM CONTRACTS

All personnel are to be informed that Arkansas Act 483 of 1979, as amended, requires any individual drawing a salary from a State Agency who has or obtains any benefit from any State or SouthArk Contract with a business in which the employee or a member of his immediate family has a financial interest, shall report such benefit to the Department of Finance and Administration. This Act covers, in great detail, ethics in public contracting and the penalty for violation of any of the provisions. Persons having questions pertaining to this subject, no matter how minor, should contact the Purchasing Department for specific details. When suggesting a vendor on the purchase request form or bid list, do not list any known business in which SouthArk employees have any known financial interest.

DISCLOSURE CERTIFICATION

In compliance with the requirements of Governor's Executive Order 98-04 and the regulations resulting from such. Any Contract executed by the College, which exceeds $25,000, shall require the contractor/individual to disclose information as required (see Appendix for an example of the form). A Purchase Order is considered a legal Contract. This requirement is for each individual transaction exceeding $25,000.

MINORITY PURCHASING GOALS

In accordance with ACT 698 of 1991, the College established a "Minority Purchasing Program" which supports the policy of the State of Arkansas to promote equal opportunity, as well as economic development in every sector. The College is committed to utilizing minority businesses in contracting to the maximum extent feasible. An annual procurement goal of ten percent (10%) business with minority firms has been established by SouthArk. SouthArk shall, within the limits of state statutes and regulations, pursue the award of a fair share of all contracts with minority businesses and shall encourage and assist minority businesses in the methods of doing business with this College. The SouthArk Purchasing Department maintains a listing of all known minority vendors and reviews all "small orders" to identify any goods or services that can be procured from a minority vendor. When SouthArk obtains goods or services by the use of the "competitive bid" process, at least one of the three or more bids considered shall attempted to be solicited from a minority business if a minority business is identified, which sells the type of commodity or service being procured. All employees of this College are encouraged to assist the Purchasing Department in this very important program. If you are aware of any minority firms that can provide goods or services to SouthArk, please contact the Purchasing Department.

SMALL PURCHASES

Purchases for most commodities and services less than $5,000 (Small Orders), including freight but excluding sales tax, may be made by the Purchasing Department without bid procedures; "capital improvements" will be treated the same but must include all cost such as tax, insurance, labor, etc., however, competition will be used to the maximum extent practicable. Repeated small quantity procurement of like items to circumvent the $5,000 limit is prohibited and will not be allowed. Departments are advised to exercise prudent judgment in specifying items and entering a suggested source for purchase on the requisition. The Purchasing Department may determine that item(s) requested are available at better pricing from a source other than the suggested vendor entered by the requisitioner. However, before making a change of vendor on a requisition, the Purchasing Department will advise the department of the intended change. Any purchase request that is a "suspected" or "obvious" attempt to procure item(s) or services already received by a department will be returned. The Purchasing Official may elect to obtain quotes on items under $5,000 if it is felt that power prices can be obtained or conflicts of interest are a possibility.

PURCHASING CARD

South Arkansas Community College uses a purchasing card for the acquisition of low dollar goods needed for conducting official College business. They are issued to select full time employees to enhance the effectiveness or economy of operations. Liability for payment, total responsibility and accountability for the p-card transactions resides are the department level. Personal purchases are forbidden and may result in disciplinary action. The terms and conditions included in the policy and guidelines manual which is given and discussed with every cardholder before they receive their card. All transactions are reviewed monthly by agency procurement official to verify appropriate and proper purchasing regulations are followed. Corrective actions are required for variances. The cardholders are responsible for knowing rules and regulations of use before using card and may call the purchasing office anytime they have questions before they use the card to verify appropriateness of purchase.

ESTIMATED PURCHASE REQUEST

On some occasions a requirement cannot be truly defined and the total cost cannot be determined at the initial date of need. In these type situations a Purchase Request with an estimated dollar amount should be processed to insure that all proper laws, regulations/procedures are followed and funds reserved to pay for the obligation.  When the actual dollar amount of the need is determined a change can be made to the original estimate. These situations are rare but must be addressed prior to the beginning of an obligation.

INITIAL EQUIPMENT PURCHASES

"Equipment" as defined for inventory purposes is "all tangible property with a total unit cost of $500 or more and a normal usage of two (2) years." The dollar value designation of equipment is for formal inventory purposes but does not in any way relieve the departments of accountability for all State property under their control regardless of the dollar value. Items with a total unit cost of $500 or less may require special consideration if they are part of, or used with a group or set. Single items costing a total of $500.00-$2,499 will be expensed to the non-capital outlay account (78000) and items costing $2500.00 will be capitalized and will be expensed out of the capital account (70000).

TYPES OF BIDS

There are two (2) basic types of bids used at SouthArk Firm and Term. Firm Bids are used when a fixed quantity of certain item(s) or service(s) are required on a one-time basis. Prices on "Firm" type bids are generally firm for only thirty (30) days. Term Bids can be used for a period of time from three (3) months to one (1) year for item(s) or service(s) of a recurring nature. Quantities on "term bids" can be estimates of realistic usage for the time period covered with the prices remaining fixed. Departments are not locked-in to purchase the estimated quantities but can order more or less of the items at any time during the contract period. Orders can be placed by either a phone call or by a separate purchase order. This type of bid can be very helpful to some various departments who have recurring purchases of the same type items. Contact the Purchasing Department for details and current procedures.

BID PROCEDURES

With a few exceptions, all purchases for commodities and services exceeding $5,000 in total cost, not including sales tax, are subject to bid procedures that are to be performed by the Purchasing Department. Purchases for normal commodities and services that total over $5,000, but not over $25,000 will be awarded by use of Competitive Bid procedures. If the need is for a project that is classified as a "capital improvement project, those normally involving labor (such as installation of carpet), the Competitive Bid limit must be used for all requirements from $5,000 to $19,999.99. Competitive bidding is a method of procurement which requires obtaining bids by: (a) direct mail request, (b) fax, or (c) telephone to prospective bidders and obtaining written set prices of each item, or (d) electronic form, the electronic or fax form is preferred. This procedure can normally be accomplished within five (5) working days but can take longer depending upon the complexity of the product required. Purchases totaling more than $25,000 for normal commodities and services and $19,999.99 for "capital improvements, require formal Competitive Sealed Bid procedures to be accomplished only by the Purchasing Department. This procedure requires a newspaper advertisement and takes a minimum of twenty (20) days, normally longer. Individuals requisitioning commodities and services of this nature should allow time for the above procedures when anticipating their departmental needs. The requisitioner is responsible for furnishing a detailed description for each item to be purchased and the names and addresses of any specific vendor(s) to whom they would like the bids submitted. The Purchasing Department will add to the list the names of vendors who have requested the opportunity to bid on that type of item or services.

EXCEPTIONS TO BID REQUIREMENTS

There are a few circumstances and items for which Arkansas Purchasing Law provide exceptions to all or part of the bid requirements. Please note that failing to anticipate needs due to poor planning is not an exception. Certain purchases, which may be authorized by the Purchasing Official without bid procedures, are as follows: 
1. Exempt Commodities and Services means:
a. advertising in newspapers, periodicals, and related publications, television, radio, and billboards;
b. animals procured for medical research;
c. commodities procured for resale in cafeterias, bookstores, canteens, and other similar establishments. However, such commodities procured shall not be sold or transferred to any agency with the intent of circumventing applicable procurement procedures;
d. commodities procured from nonprofit workshops in accordance with SS 19-11-501 - 19-11-504;
e. fees, including medical and physician fees;
f. freight and storage charges and demurrage;
g. licenses;
h. livestock;
i. maintenance of office machines and technical equipment; technical equipment for maintenance purposes shall include, but not be limited to, medical, dental, laboratory, and health aid equipment; climate control equipment; elevators; musical instruments; communications equipment; data processing equipment; and specialized research equipment.
j. medical items requested by a physician;
k. membership in professional, trade, and other similar associations;
l. postage;
m. published books, manuals, maps, periodicals, films, technical pamphlets and copyrighted educational aids for use in libraries and for other informational or instructional purposes, in instances in which other applicable laws do not provide a restrictive means for the acquisition of same; n. service of some visiting speakers, lecturers, and performing artists (see Professional and Consultant Services);
o. taxes;
p. travel expenses, such as room and board and transportation charges;
q. utilities;
r. retail gasoline credit card purchases;
NOTE: Exempt Commodities or services do not exclude the approval of a Purchase Request prior to the acquisition of such commodities or service.

2. Emergency procurement for the acquisition of commodities which, if not immediately initiated, will endanger human life, health, College property, or functional capability of the College. All emergency procurement shall be approved in advance, whenever possible, by the Purchasing Official. When the emergency procurement is estimated to exceed $5,000 in cost, a minimum of four (4) competitive bids, whenever possible, must be obtained. 3. Commodities obtained solely from a Federal Government Agency. 4. Items under State Purchasing Contracts. These items cannot be purchased from a source outside the College other than the contract holder.

STATE PURCHASING CONTRACTED ITEMS

The State of Arkansas has issued numerous state contracts that SouthArk is obligated by law to use. You may wish to call the purchasing office before entering a request to check on mandatory contracts.

The following are examples of items which are under statewide "term contracts."  Commodities may be added to or deleted from this list at any time. These items must
be purchased only from the contract source.

  • Air Conditioners/Heat Pumps
  • Ammunition
  • Automobiles (Trucks and Vans)
  • Copiers
  • Computers
  • Continuous Forms (Standard and Custom)
  • Custom and Stock Continuous Labels
  • Diploma Inserts and Covers
  • Index Tab Dividers, Custom Printed
  • Lamps/Ballasts
  • Envelopes, all
  • Office Supplies, General
  • Printing - some types of publications; Letterhead; Forms;
  • Snap-Out Forms, All
  • Software LAR
  • Supplies Warewashing
  • Telephones Instruments
  • Tires and Tubes
  • Toilet Tissue and Paper Towels
  • Video Recording Tapes
  • Xerographic & Printshop Paper


OFFICE SUPPLIES

Nearly all office supplies, regardless of intended use, must be purchased from the SouthArk Central Supply room or from the State Contract holder which is currently Office Depot. Office supplies and any other contracted items cannot be purchased from any other sources without prior approval of the Purchasing Department. As a convenience to departments, many office supply type items are stocked by the SouthArk Central Supply. If the item is not in stock, you may request to place a special order for your department. Departments are advised that many items under contract are not available by choice of brand and/or model number. The contracts are awarded on goods meeting minimum specifications or on an "or equal basis."

PRINTING & DUPLICATION

All printing, regardless of cost, must be procured through the State Contract, or bid procedures or by another approved State Agency as outlined by Amendment 54 of the State Constitution. When printing is required from an outside source, a requisition with attached copy material should be sent to the Purchasing Department far enough in advance of your needs to allow time for the bidding process. Contact the Purchasing Department for the requirements on copy material. Note: State regulations absolutely prohibit the College from approving payments for printing that were not procured by authorized purchasing procedures. SouthArk's current bid limit for printing projects is $5,000. For those printing projects exceeding $5,000 to $25,000 must be processed by the Office of State Procurement. Allow 3 to 5 weeks for jobs $5,000 to $25,000. For those exceeding $25,000 allow 5 to 8 weeks.

PROMOTIONAL ITEMS

Promotional items must be purchased from a special state appropriation commitment number that is established by the State Office of Budget at the beginning of the fiscal year. The Board of Trustees prior to the establishment of this commitment item must also approve the amount of this commitment item. Only departments with approved specific promotional authorization may place orders for promotional items. All items ordered will be monitored by the Purchasing Official to insure appropriate is not exceeded and all items are within state guidelines and appropriate.

REFUSAL OR RETURN OF GOODS/MERCHANDISE

When merchandise has been ordered by a purchase order and has been shipped to SouthArk, please do not refuse to accept the merchandise when it arrives at SouthArk unless the merchandise is damaged, with approval by the Purchasing Official or Vice President of Fiscal Affairs. When shipping boxes are damaged or other damage is evident, please note this information on the freight bill or have the freight delivery person certify the damage by a signed and dated statement.

Before merchandise is returned, please work with the purchasing official to obtain instructions from the vendor and to document and tract the return. Please save any damaged boxes in which merchandise was received in order to document damage with the freight companies.

RECEIVING REPORTS

When a Purchase Order is issued, the requesting department will receive a copy of the Purchase order. That copy should be used as a checklist when the items are received. The complete the bottom of the form in the appropriate location to sign and date the copy designating that it is complete and is approved for payment and forward to Accounts Payable. Any packing slips or invoices that are received should immediately be forwarded to Accounts Payable. It is very important that Accounts Payable receive timely and accurate receiving reports since invoices cannot be processed for payment without these receiving documents. The person preparing the receiving report should inspect the merchandise and insure that quantities are correct as well. A packing slip, invoice or receiving report must be signed and dated marked received and forwarded to the Accounts Payable office. Please mark any exceptions such as variance in quantity or wrong merchandise before forwarding to the Accounts Payable Office.

Partial receiving documents can be received by checking partial receipt, documenting what was actually received on the form. Then a copy of the form should be sent to Accounts Payable with any receiving information. When final items are received, the sheet should be noted as final and forwarded to Accounts Payable.

BUSINESS CARDS

Business Cards are available SouthArk's Public Information Officer. All cards are thermograph type, ivory in color and the size of the Business Card is 2" x 3 ½". Card stock is available in Central Supply and should be provided to the PIO. All pertinent information should be supplied with the request for the printing. SouthArk official logo and the approved standard format will be used exclusively.

TRAVEL REGULATIONS

All Purchase Request for registration fees or those involved with travel requirements, such as for airline tickets, must be approved by the SouthArk Travel Administrator prior to being submitted to the Purchasing Department. An approved Request for Travel must be submitted to the Purchasing Department. Purchase Request for Airline tickets must contain the following minimum information:
a. Name of person traveling, name on ticket to be issued must match exactly
the name on your driver's license or other type(s) of photo identification.
b. Destination
c. Date of departure and return
d. Purpose of trip (conference, recruiting, etc)
All Purchase Request for registration fees must be accompanied by a copy of the registration form. If purchased by the individual, he/she can be reimbursed for this expense by filing a Travel Expense Reimbursement Form TR-1. If tickets are to be procured with a Purchase Order, you must remember that reservations will not be confirmed or tickets produced until the travel agency has received the approved purchase order (the Purchasing Dept. calls each travel agency with the PO number as it is assigned). See travel rules and regulations for detailed information.

OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS REQUEST

Requests for official function foods request generally may be procured from any vendor in our area. An official functions request form must completed prior to any event in which food is served and include all food items, service or catering needs. The request should include a description of the event, purpose for the event and generally who is invited. The purpose must meet at least one of the criteria listed below in SouthArk's Administrative Procedures Manual (APM) 5.9. Additionally, any purchase of food related items, such as plates, cutlery, cups, etc. from central supply or another source, must have an approved official functions form as well. All forms must have the approval of the appropriate Vice President and the President. After such Official Function request has been approved, the requestor will receive a copy back. A copy of the form should be attached to all purchases either by purchase order or purchasing card when submitted for payment.

APM 5.9


I. Expenditures for "official functions" (special occasions, meetings, awards, etc.) are allowed as departmental expense only under the following conditions:
A. When the item or event clearly conforms to one of the categories below;
B. The proper process is followed; and
C. The necessary approvals are obtained.
II. Before the item or event is scheduled, the initiating party must prepare an Official Functions Request Form.
A. Date and time of activity
B. Description of activity
C. Benefits to the College
D. Number of people involved
1. Faculty and Staff
2. Officials
3. Guests
E. Person in charge of activity
F. Projected cost
G. Department budget
H. Department head's approval; and
I. Brief description of the items to be purchased.
J. All approvals must be obtained on the form before a purchase requisition will be approved.
III. Accounts To Be Charged
Official functions that comprehensively support the mission of the institution shall be charged to the "Official Function" account. Federal and State Grant programs, Community Service, Work Force Development, and most functions associated with advisory group meetings shall be charged to the respective departmental supply budget. In some cases, expenditures to other individual departmental supply budgets may be authorized.
IV. The requestor shall submit a Maintenance Work Order if assistance is needed with setting up tables, chairs, etc. in preparation for the approved event.
V. Authorized expenditures/events are categorized as follows:
A. Official Institutional (in-house) Committees and Advisory Groups Working luncheons and dinners for restricted number of staff members, internal committees and advisory groups who are required to attend essential meetings during a meal period outside of normal duty hours.
B. Official External Committees Advisory Groups and Guests
1. Meals for unpaid educational advisory groups for area of business, industry and the private sector, and appropriate staff members who are required to attend semiannual evening advisory meetings.
2. Meals for state officials, representatives of accrediting agencies, official guests of the College, and appropriate staff members when required to attend these functions.
C. Receptions, Honors, and Awards
1. Meals, receptions and other expenses (e.g., plaques, certificates, pins, other mementos) related to events recognizing donors, volunteers, and others to whom the College is indebted. Expenses related to recognition events for outstanding students and student groups.
2. Graduation receptions for all attending the ceremonies and expense for official graduation dinner including board of trustees, selected staff and students, official and special guests of the College.
3. Expenses for special honors ceremonies, e.g., allied health graduate pinning ceremonies, etc.
D. Faculty and Staff Awards
1. Meals in conjunction with semiannual orientation sessions for faculty and staff.
2. Meals for special events for employees and official guests when attendance is mandatory.
3. Expenses for selected staff to represent the College at educational related events within the community.
E. Student Functions
1. Refreshments, snacks and other minor expenses for "College Day" guests and other groups of prospective students; or students visiting the campus for tours, special educational events, registrations, or student activities.
2. Refreshments and other expenses for special meetings of student organizations.
F. Official Board Events
1. Meals served in conjunction with the regular meetings and committed meetings of the board of trustees, to include board members, selected College officials and official guests.
2. Luncheon and/or dinner official functions attended by the board member(s) and College official(s).
G. Employment Interviews
1. Meals and other expenses for prospective new employees from out of town.
2. Refreshments for selected staff during the interview process.
V. In no case will official functions expenditures be permitted for:
A. Expenses for individuals related to membership to local clubs, social or community organizations unless approved by the President as necessary in fulfilling the College's mission.
B. Dues for individuals to professional organizations unless the membership fulfills a requirement of the applicable position.
C. Christmas cards or other similar printed greetings to institutional constituents.
D. Meals or expenses for groups or visitors to the campus not sanctioned by the institution or in any way related to institutional business.
E. Expenses associated with birthdays, etc., for institutional

PETTY CASH

The Business Office maintains a Petty Cash account with a balance of $700.00.  Reimbursements should not exceed fifty dollars* ($50) for minor emergency purchases. Only the original receipt(s) may be submitted for Petty Cash reimbursement. Petty Cash reimbursement requests must be submitted to the Accounting Office. Requestor must submit a manual purchase requisition form which must contain at a minimum the following information:
1. Name of person to receive the reimbursement
2. Account number to be charged
3. Invoice/receipt must display the vendor name
4. Description of the item/service purchased
5. Proof that the payment has been made in full
6. Signature of requestor and supervisor

Under NO circumstances may petty cash be used to:
1. Circumvent purchasing regulations
2. Make payroll advances
3. Make travel advances
4. Reimburse travel
5. Any items currently on State Contract
6. Fuel

After receiving the requisition form and original receipt, a check is written from the Petty Cash imprest bank account. A pre-numbered petty cash disbursement voucher is filled out and signed by the requestor for reimbursement and the Accounting Office. All vouchers are kept on file as back up for replenishment of the petty cash fund. Replenishment of the petty cash funds is done on an as needed basis throughout the fiscal year.
*Exceptions must be approved by VPFA.

PROFESSIONAL AND CONSULTANT SERVICES

Professional services consist of personal services, that are professional in nature, of an individual or individuals who are not employees of the State of Arkansas. The purchase of professional and consultant services up to $5,000 can be accomplished by use of a Purchase Order. Services exceeding $5,000 in fees require the utilization of a Professional/Consultant Services Contract and the Professional/Consultant Services justification form, in addition to regular purchasing procedures. These contracts are subject to review and advice by the Department of Finance and Administration, Legislative Council or Joint Budget Committee Review. Services exceeding $25,000 are subject to review and advice by the Legislative Council. Departments are advised to contact the Purchasing Department for the current procedures and form requirements at least sixty (60) working days in advance of the need for such services involving expense from $5,000.01 to $25,000 and ninety (90) days in advance for those services involving expenses over $25,000. A W-9 form must accompany each Purchase Request. With recent changes and the possibility of upcoming requirements related to the process and approval of these type contracts, it is advisable that a department should contact the Purchasing Department as soon as a need is known.

W-9 FORMS

The W-9 form is the basis for establishment of "Vendor Maintenance" with the State of Arkansas. A Vendor Maintenance File must be established, or on file, with the Department of Finance and Administration prior to any payment being processed. W-9 forms must be completed by the individual or group desiring to do business with SOUTHARK. Therefore, any Purchase Request directed to an individual or a group must be accompanied with a W-9 form that has been completed by the individual or group.

SOUTHARK CENTRAL SUPPLY

The SouthArk Central Supply is stocked with the most commonly used office supplies. It is located in the Administration Building. NOTE: SouthArk Central Supply was established for "everyday use" and carries a large number of individual items, but due to space limitations it does have limited stock level. If your need is for a large quantity of an item(s) an individual order should be placed directly with the appropriate vendor.

PURCHASE ORDER CANCELLATION

If it becomes necessary to cancel a purchase order, wholly or in part, the requisitioner should contact the Purchasing Department to determine if the order can be cancelled.  After determination is made that the order can be cancelled, the requisitioner shall come to the Purchasing Department and denote the reason on the receiving report copy.

DISAPPROVED REQUISITIONS/PURCHASE REQUESTS

Purchase orders will not be processed when a proposed expenditure results budget deficit. A "Request for Budget or Budget Adjustment" form must be submitted through approval channels and the Accounting office. Purchase orders can be re-entered and processed after the budget deficit or changes have been made. If there are questions or concerns about a purchase order that require it to be rejected, this can be done by any approval or in purchasing.

RENTALS, LEASES, LEASE PURCHASE OF COMMODITIES/EQUIPMENT AND REAL ESTATE

All rentals, leases, lease purchase contracts or renewal of any such contracts for commodities or equipment require prior approval of the Purchasing Department. Proposed written agreements should be submitted for execution along with a completed Requisition/Purchase Order form. In many instances it will be necessary to conduct bid procedures, as state law requires bidding on all but short-term arrangements for lease or rental of any tangible items. All contracts for the lease of a commodity that exceeds a cost of five thousand dollars ($5,000) during the initial period of the contract shall be awarded on the basis of competitive bidding procedures. Any lease of a motor vehicle must have prior approval of the State Purchasing Director. All rentals and leases of real estate must be coordinated by Arkansas Building Authority. College needs should be identified and requested through the Purchasing Department. The request should be submitted to State Building Services ninety (90) days prior to the date the property is needed. They will review the request and act as agent for the College in negotiating the rental or lease of all property.

PREPAYMENTS

The general rule for payment of commodities or services is to pay for them only after the receipt of such. In some unique situations pre-payments may be required for such items as postage, U.S. Government documents, association dues, registration fees, subscriptions, etc.

END OF FISCAL YEAR

The end of a Fiscal Year (FY) is on June 30th of each year, thus the expenditure of funds for each FY must be made on or before this date. Before any actual expenditure is made, a Purchase Request must be processed and approved. The item(s) should be received or, in the case of a labor related project, the service/project must be completed. The Purchasing Department receives an extremely large number of Purchasing Requests during the last two (2) months of the FY. Many of these requests are for very similar type needs. All departments must understand that their requirement(s) may be consolidated with other departments if the item(s) requested are of the same commodity or service class. On many occasions these consolidations will create a bid situation. This could result in the item(s) not being received or a service not being completed in time for the funds to be expended from that FY. Planning ahead on the part of departments will assure you of the best possibility of meeting your requirements and the expenditure made within the FY. See the paragraphs titled "SMALL PURCHASE" and "BID PROCEDURES". Sufficient time is needed in order for your requirements to be processed, supplies/equipment received and payment made prior to the end of the FY. All Purchase Requests for equipment items or large amounts (over $25,000.) of commodities should be received in the Purchasing Department no later than six (6) weeks prior to the actual need, if the need involves labor allow eight (8) weeks. It is suggested that each department maintain a list of needs at all times. If this list contains bid type items then suggested specifications must also be maintained. Each year cut off dates will be established and announced by the Purchasing Official, Travel Supervisor and Vice President of Fiscal Affairs.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

A. Statement of Policy: All purchasing policies and procedures used by the South Arkansas Community College are for the purpose of obtaining the highest quality materials and services at the lowest possible price. Arkansas Purchasing Law and Regulations charges public employees with discharging their duties impartially so as to assure fair competitive access to governmental procurement by responsible contractors. Moreover, they should conduct themselves in such a manner as to foster public confidence in the integrity of both the State's and South Arkansas Community College's procurement organization. In this regard, it is expected that vendors who do business with South Arkansas Community College will observe the same ethical standards.
B. Gratuities and Kickbacks:
a. Gratuities. It is a breach of ethical standards for any person to offer, give, or agree to give any employee of South Arkansas Community College or for any employee of South Arkansas Community College to solicit, demand, accept or agree to accept from another person a gratuity or an offer of employment in connection with any decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or procurement standard, rendering of advice, investigation, auditing or in any other advisory capacity in any preceding or application, request for ruling, de termination, claim, or controversy, or other particular matter pertaining to any contract and any solicitation or proposal therefore.
b. Kickbacks. It is a breach of ethical standards for any payment, gratuity, or offer of employment to be made by or on behalf of a contractor or any person associated, as an inducement for the award of a contract or order.
C. Use of Confidential Information. It is a breach of ethical standards for any employee to knowingly to use confidential information for actual or anticipated personal gain or for the actual or anticipated personal gain of any other person.
D. Public Access to Purchasing Information. Purchasing information is a public record to the extent provided for in the Freedom of Information Act.