Purchase Guidelines

We Change Lives

Small Purchases and Competitive Purchase Limits

Reference Governor’s Executive Order: https://www.ulm.edu/purchasingoffice/jbe-2020-21-small-purchases-amending-jbe-2017-18.pdf

Requisitions must meet all required approvals before Purchase Orders can be processed by the Purchasing Department. The processing times indicated below do not include the time a requisition is pending approval or incomplete.

ALL OR NOTHING PURCHASES: There are times when the products requested by a department should come from the same vendor (not a particular vendor) to ensure matching colors, compatibility, etc. In such cases, the specifications of the bid must include an “all or nothing” clause indicating that the bid will be awarded to the vendor who meets specifications and whose total bid is lowest. Otherwise, the bid is awarded by item. Items can also be grouped and awarded on an “all or nothing” basis by group. If a department wants the bid items or a group of bid items to be awarded on an “all or nothing” basis, it should be clearly stated with justification as a document note to the requisition.

REQUISITIONS ARE PROCESSED IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:  

REQUISITIONS Less than $10,000.00 – Non-Competitive, no bids required

Items may be purchased on the open market from a suggested vendor as long as the requisition total, including shipping, is $10,000.00 or less.

REQUISITIONS FROM $10,000.01 – $20,000.00 Competitive Bid

At least three (3) quotations must be solicited by telephone, fax or other means. A minimum of 24 hours should be allowed for vendor response.  

REQUISITIONS FROM $20,000.01 – $30,000.00 Competitive Bid

At least five (5) quotations must be solicited by fax or written solicitation. Solicitations shall allow for bids to be accepted for a minimum of three (3) days.

REQUISITIONS OVER $30,000.00 Competitive Sealed Bid

Written quotations must be solicited in a sealed bid format to at least five (5) qualified bidders and public notice is published in the official journal of the State and posted to the State’s Purchasing LaPAC website. The minimum bid period is ten (10 days if necessary but a typical bid period is twenty-one (21) days. A period of more than twenty-one (21) days may be required when there is a pre-bid conference.  Bids having an estimate of $30,000 or more must be advertised at the requesting department’s expense.


For the following items, telephone or fax price quotations must be solicited to at least 3 qualified bidders:

  • Convention and meeting facilities
  • Gasoline and fuel purchases
  • Air and bus charters
  • Livestock feed commodities
  • Seed commodities

NOTE: When ordering FURNITURE or UNIFORMS it may take up to six (6) months to obtain. Please plan accordingly.

NAME BRANDS may be used in the specifications of a product ONLY to denote the quality standard of supplies, services or major repairs desired and does not restrict bidders to the specified brand. Equivalent supplies, services, or major repairs will be acceptable and stated on the invitation to bid. When using a brand name in specifications, you should list the features of the product which are special and necessary to you. In this way, the alternate must have the features listed or it is not equivalent. Do not list features that are not important to your needs. You may be required to justify why specific features are necessary.  

  • If a specific brand name must be purchased in order to work with existing equipment, you must complete the Justification for Sole Source or Proprietary Purchase form.

COMPETITIVE PURCHASE EXCEPTIONS: There are some commodities that do not require bidding. These types of orders are generally processed within a week. These commodities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Textbooks purchased directly from the publisher
  • State Contract Items
  • Advertisements (Approved by University President)
  • Computer Software (Under $150,000.00)
  • Memberships Dues (Under $10,000)
  • Repair parts for equipment obtained from an Authorized Dealer
  • Shipping Charges
  • Qualifying Sole Source Purchases
  • Qualifying Emergency Purchases
  • Laboratory Science Research Exemption (Under $30,000)

STATE CONTRACTS: State Contracts are contracts made as a result of a bid by State Purchasing. The University may purchase items on state contracts without bidding. The State Purchasing’s contract website: https://wwwcfprd.doa.louisiana.gov/osp/lapac/ecat/dsp_ecatsearchlagov.cfm

When entering a State Contract requisition, please enter SC or State Contract on requisition and refer to the State Contract number.

ADVERTISEMENTS: ALL advertisements MUST go through the purchasing department prior to the ad being placed and have President’s approval.

AUTHORIZED DEALER: Louisiana law permits the non-competitive purchase of equipment repairs and/or associated repair parts (not stocking of parts) directly from an Original Equipment Manufacturer or any of its Authorized Dealers.  To ensure University compliance, an authorized agent of the company is required to certify the current dealer status.  The Authorized Dealer Certificate form should be completed and submitted with a purchase requisition to the Purchasing Department PRIOR to any repairs or purchase of repair parts.

SOLE SOURCE PURCHASES: Sole Source procurement is permissible only if a requirement is available from a single supplier. A requirement for a particular brand name item does not justify a sole source procurement if there is more than one potential bidder or supplier for that item. In cases of reasonable doubt, competition will be solicited. Examples of circumstances, which could necessitate sole source procurement, are as follows: When the compatibility of equipment, accessories, or replacement parts is the paramount consideration; Procurement of public utility services.

To qualify as a sole source purchase, a dated, signed sole source letter must be obtained from the vendor specifying that they are the only distributors of the product and they must provide a valid quote. The campus department must complete the Justification for Sole Source or Proprietary Purchase form and forward it to the Purchasing Department.  When entering a Sole Source requisition, please enter SL as the classification in the comment field. 

EMERGENCY PURCHASES: An emergency condition is a situation that creates a threat to public health, welfare, or safety such as may arise by reason of floods, epidemics, riots, equipment failures, or such other reason as may be proclaimed by the Commissioner of Administration. The existence of such conditions create an immediate and serious need for supplies, services, or major repairs that cannot be met through normal procurement methods and the lack of which would seriously threaten the functioning of Louisiana Government, the preservation or protection of property, or the health or safety of any person.

When an emergency situation arises, the requesting department should contact the Purchasing Department if possible. A request should be entered for supplies and or services required to handle the emergency situation. Please enter EM as the classification in the comment field of the requisition.  A detailed written explanation must be submitted to the Purchasing Department describing the emergency situation. This explanation must also identify the buyer the emergency was reported to. LABORATORY SCIENCE RESEARCH EXEMPTION Per the Executive Order, a non-competitive bid process is allowed for scientific and laboratory supplies/equipment when procured for laboratory scientific research (not classroom use).  The procurement cannot exceed $30,000 per transaction.  Departments must fill out the exemption form and submit along with a valid quote from the vendor with a requisition for approval.