Number: ADMIN 100
Effective: April 2, 2017
Department: Vice President of Finance & Administration and Business Office
Last Revision: October 29, 2020

Purpose

This policy provides for oversight and responsible stewardship of college funds.

Scope

This policy applies to all purchases made by authorized employees of the college and is effective as of the latest revision date.

Definition

Informal Bid: A written quote for services, or the purchase of goods or equipment in response to a request for bids.

Formal Bid:A written offer (proposal) to perform a contract to purchase or supply property or services in response to an invitation for bid or request for proposal.

Invitation to Bid (ITB): Sealed‐bid procurement procedure through which the state advises potential suppliers of equipment or service required by the agency. The ITB document describes the bidding process, contract terms, and provides guidance on how to respond. The agency uses specifications and price only to evaluate bids.

Joint Cooperative Contract: A program established by any not‐for‐profit association, of which a political subdivision can become a member, to assist such political subdivisions in bidding and negotiating joint purchase contracts and discount purchase agreements. Any not‐for‐profit association operating such a procurement program shall cause an independent, certified audit of the program to be performed annually.

Lowest Responsible Bidder: The responsible bidder whose bid reflects the lowest acquisition price to be paid by the college that meets the requirements as set out in the bid specifications.

Political Subdivision: Any county, city, municipal corporation, health district, school district, irrigation district, an operating agent of irrigation districts whose board consists of directors of its member districts, special improvement or taxing district, or any other political subdivision or public corporation.

Professional Services: Work provided by an independent contractor whose occupation is the rendering of such services and who has a professional knowledge of some department of learning or science used by its practical application to the affairs of others or in the practice of an art founded on it, including but not limited to accounting and auditing, legal, medical, nursing, education, engineering, actuarial, architecture, veterinarian, and research. The knowledge is founded upon prolonged and specialized intellectual training that enables a particular service to be rendered.

Public Notice: The distribution or dissemination of information regarding a purchase to interested parties using methods that are reasonably available. Such methods will often include publication in newspapers of general circulation, electronic or paper mailing lists, and web site(s) designated by the college and maintained for that purpose.

Request for Proposals (RFP):Sealed‐bid procurement procedure through which the state advises potential suppliers of equipment or service required by the agency. The RFP document describes the bidding process, contract terms, and provides guidance on how to respond. The agency can use qualifications and specifications to evaluate bids. Price can be considered but is only one factor.

State Open Contract: A contract awarded by the state of Idaho through the division of purchasing to one (1) or more vendors who have agreed to allow all agencies to procure or purchase specified property under the terms and conditions set forth in the contract.

Sole Source Purchase: The governing board of a political subdivision may declare that there is only one (1) vendor if there is only one (1) vendor for the public works construction, services or personal property to be acquired. For purposes of this subsection, only one (1) vendor shall refer to situations where there is only one (1) source reasonably available.

Policy

Efficient and cost‐effective procurement of goods, services and public works construction is an important aspect of local government operations. The College of Western Idaho should endeavor to buy goods, services and public works construction by way of a publicly accountable process that respects the shared goals of economy and quality. All purchases will be made within the terms of the adopted budget. Administrators and professional support staff who administer budgets within their department or program are responsible and will be accountable to the college to ensure that purchases are made within the means of their budget, and only upon issuance of a purchase order. This policy and its procedures define the roles and responsibilities of the departments and the Business Office as they apply to the procurement of goods and services by the College of Western Idaho.

Regulations

Uniform Grant Guidance

Idaho Code 54‐1903

Idaho Code 59‐1026

Idaho Code 67‐2319

Idaho Code 67‐2801 et seq.

Idaho Code 67‐9201 et seq.

 

Guidelines

Application

For audit purposes, purchases made prior to the latest revision of this policy are subject to that version of this policy in effect at the time the purchase process was initiated.  Purchases made after the latest revision date of this policy are subject to this policy as amended.

Preliminary Authorization

Prior to making a purchase the appropriate department managers should authorize the purchase. This should include verifying that there is adequate budget for the purchase and that the appropriate GL string is used for the purchase. If a contract is involved in the purchase, contract review and signatures should occur in conjunction with the submittal of a purchase order..

Preliminary Cost Analysis

Prior to making a purchase the department manager will have to research the good or service to determine the cost range of the procurement. Under college procedures and, state and federal guidelines for procurement, purchases are divided into dollar amount thresholds. For the college the following are the dollar thresholds:

  • Purchases valued under $2,000;
  • Purchases valued from $2,000 up to $50,000;
  • Purchases valued at or in excess of $50,000 but not to exceed $100,000;
  • Purchases valued in excess of $100,000.

Other Preliminary Considerations

  • Is the purchase exempt from the bid requirements? And if so, what documentation is required to authorize the exemption?
  • Is the purchase made with grant funds? Does the Uniform Grant Guidance apply to the purchase?
  • Is the purchase in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold ($150,000) and require a cost analysis?

Purchases Valued Under $2,000.00 (Payment Request Or P-Card)

Purchases valued under $2,000.00 may be procured through a Payment Request or P‐card purchase. The Payment Request form and directions can be found at the Business Office website. The original receipt or invoice should be attached to the Payment Request form. The completed form along with original invoice or receipts should be turned into the Business Office.

The P‐card program is designed to establish a more efficient, cost‐effective method of purchasing and paying for approved small‐dollar transactions. The program is designed to reduce the paperwork of check requests, and expense reimbursements, and eliminate the use of petty cash. The P‐card can be used at any merchant that accepts Visa. It may be used for in‐store purchases as well as phone, on‐line, or mail orders. CWI cardholders are assigned by the Department heads. If an employee is issued a P‐card it is necessary for them to review and understand the P‐card Policy. Further, each cardholder is required to sign a P‐Card Application Contract.

Purchases Valued From $2,000 Up To $50,000 (Purchase Order Request)

Purchases valued from $2,000 up to $50,000 require a Purchase Order Request. The Purchase Order Request form can be found on the Business Office website. The Purchase Order Request must be approved. The parties approving the Purchase Order Request depends on the value/cost of the purchase. Please note depending on the value/cost of the purchase the required paperwork also differs. All Purchase Order Requests must be signed in compliance with the Authorized Signature Policy. Only one quote is required; however, any such purchase should be guided by the best interests of CWI.

Purchases Valued At Or In Excess Of $50,000 But Not To Exceed $100,000

Purchases (or leases) of personal property or services that are valued at or in excess of $50,000 but not to exceed $100,000.00 follow the procurement rules as contained in Idaho Code. CWI is required to solicit at a minimum three bids from vendors for the product or service that is needed.

A Bid Request Form should be filled out and include in the format:

  • A clear description of the purchase to be made so that the vendor dealing in such goods or services can understand what is to be procured.
  • Each Vendor should be provided identical bid specifications.
  • The Bid Request must clearly describe the method by which vendor should respond, including time and date, and party that response should be directed.
  • The Bid Request must provide at the least three (3) working days for the bid response.
  • The Bid Request can be by electronic or physical form.

The vendor response should be in the following format:

  • In writing on the vendor’s letterhead or with logo.
  • Should list company/business name, address, phone number and contact name.
  • Must respond to bid request as to quality, quantity or service capabilities.

Objections or questions from vendor should be in the following format:

  • In writing; and
  • Received one (1) days prior to due date of bids.

Once bids are received they should be compiled and reviewed by the department’s manager overseeing the purchase. The lowest responsive bidder should be selected from the bid submittals. If the governing board of any political subdivision chooses to award a competitively bid contract involving the procurement of personal property or services to a bidder other than the apparent low bidder, the political subdivision shall declare its reason or reasons on the record and shall communicate such reason or reasons in writing to all who have submitted a competing bid.

A response from a bidder that they cannot meet the requirements of the bid request is a valid response and counts as one of the three bids. This does not mean a department can circumvent the procedures by requesting bids from un‐qualifying parties. If three bids cannot be obtained, a description of the efforts undertaken to procure three bids shall be documented and such documentation will be attached to the Purchase Order Request.

Purchases Valued In Excess Of $100,000

When an expenditure to purchase or lease personal property or services is valued in excess of $100,000, the purchase must be made pursuant to Idaho Code open competitive sealed bid process. The procurement must be made from the qualified bidder submitting the lowest bid price, complying with bidding procedures and meeting the specifications for the goods and/or services sought to be procured.

Request for Proposals

CWI, as a political subdivision, may utilize a request for proposal process as an alternative to the competitive bidding process. A request for proposal process can be used for situations such as: where there are multiple and innovative solutions to a procurement; there are unique product features; vendor experience is a factor; performance of contract requirements can vary; and price is not a sole determining factor. A Request for Proposal (RFP) must be written so as to provide clear specifications and details of the item or service that is to be purchased. Further such factors as location, standards, licensing, references, ability of vendor, finances…etc. can be put into the body of the Request for Proposal. The RFP must also provide a time frame for the process and the evaluation criteria that the vendor will be selected under. Note the college must also perform a cost or price analysis when a purchase exceeds the simplified acquisition threshold (currently at $150,000) when utilizing federal grant funds for procurement.

Vendors may obtain a copy of the RFP from the CWI website http://cwi.edu/info/procurement‐division‐contractspurchasing. CWI provides a link to the Request for Proposal on the Procurement Page of the CWI external website or they may make a request for a hard copy at the Business Office.

Procurement of Public Works

When a political subdivision contemplates an expenditure to procure public works construction valued at or in excess of $50,000 but not to exceed $200,000, the following procedures shall apply:

  • Three informal bids required –from licensed public works contractors.
  • Bids to be reviewed or approved by governing board or designee of governing board ‐ the lowest responsive bidder to be determined by designee.
  • Documentation from bid must be maintained for three months.

When a political subdivision contemplates an expenditure to purchase public works construction valued in excess of

$200,000, the purchase of construction services shall be made pursuant to a competitive sealed bid process with the purchase to be made from the qualified public works contractor submitting the lowest bid price complying with bidding procedures and meeting the pre‐qualifications, if any are provided, established by the bid documents. Competitive bidding for public works may proceed through either of two (2) alternative procedures as set forth in Idaho Code.

Exemptions To Bid Process 

State of Idaho Open Contract List ‐ CWI as a political subdivision of the State of Idaho is enabled to purchase goods or services at the same contract prices, terms and conditions available to the State of Idaho. The State of Idaho purchasing website includes a list of vendor goods or services that the state has already bid and determined to be the best overall value.

Professional Services ‐The College as a political subdivision may enter into contracts without using the formal bid process so long as the agreement is for a “professional” service. These contracts are specifically limited by the State of Idaho to one year and must be a fixed price not to exceed threshold of $100,000. Professional service agreements are not renewable and may not exceed $100,000. These are typically utilized for one‐time projects.

Real Property and Leases

Joint Powers ‐ Under Idaho Code a political subdivision may utilize contracts of state and public agencies. Many contracts contain “public agency clauses” which allow cities, counties and political subdivisions access to state agency purchase agreements.

Federal GSA Contracts ‐ The college as a political subdivision may use some of the federal government general services administration (GSA) contracts as found at the GSA eLibrary .

Joint Cooperative Purchasing Organizations Procurement of used personal property.

Procurement of repair for heavy equipment.

Procurement of software maintenance, support and licenses of an existing system or platform that was bid in compliance with state law.

Appeals

Challenge to Specifications

A vendor may notify in writing the CWI Comptroller within a period of ten (10) working days from the close of the Question and Answer Period of the bid process of his/her intention to challenge the scope/specifications of an ITB or RFP. The challenge shall state the exact nature of the challenge and the exact clause or portion in the bid scope/specifications being challenged. The Comptroller within three (3) working days of receipt of the challenge shall review the protest, the procurement process and applicable state regulations, and will respond as follows:

  • Deny the challenge
  • Affirm the decision and amend the specifications/scope
  • Issue a new solicitation

Challenge to Lowest Responsive Bidder Determination

A vendor, upon receipt of notice of that he/she is not the lowest responsive bidder, may notify in writing the CWI Comptroller within a period of five (5) working days from the day after receipt of notice of his/her intention to challenge the decision. Lowest responsible bidder is the responsible bidder whose bid reflects the lowest acquisition price submitted for the bid process. When specifications are valued or comparative performance examinations are conducted, the results of such examinations and the relative score of valued specifications will be weighed as set out in the criteria of the RFP, in determining the lowest responsible bidder. The Comptroller within three (3) working days of receipt of the challenge shall review the protest, the procurement process and applicable state regulations, and will respond as follows:

  • Deny the challenge
  • Affirm the challenge and award the bid accordingly
  • Issue a new solicitation

Challenge to Sole Source Purchase

CWI may declare that there is only one (1) vendor for public works construction, services or personal property. A notice of sole source procurement shall be published in the official newspaper of the political subdivision for three (3) consecutive days. Any challenge to the sole source procurement may be filed in writing with the CWI Comptroller within a period of fourteen (14) working days from the last posting date. The Comptroller within three (3) working days of receipt of the challenge shall review the protest, the procurement process and applicable state regulations, and will respond as follows:

  • Deny the challenge
  • Affirm the challenge and post the procurement for solicitation of bids

Upon receipt of any form of challenge to the purchase, the bid process and award will be deferred until a decision has been made by the Comptroller.

Notices should be addressed as follows:

College of Western Idaho

Attn. Comptroller (NOTICE)

MS 1000, P.O. Box 3010

Nampa, ID 83653

Special Purchasing Situations 

Emergency Purchases

Upon declaration of an emergency by the Board of Trustees, CWI can make an emergency purchase without compliance to the formal bidding procedures. An emergency is a situation that creates a public calamity (floods, fires, storms…) or a situation that endangers life, health or property. The existence of such a condition must create an immediate and serious need for a purchase that cannot be met by the standard acquisition procedures. A memorandum documenting emergency should be provided to Business Office with invoices for emergency services.

Sole Source Purchases

The college as a political subdivision may determine that there is only one (1) vendor (one source) to acquire personal property. A sole source item is one that has only one supplier. Examples of where a sole source purchase might be necessary are:

  • Where the compatibility of equipment, components, accessories, computer software, replacement parts or service is the paramount consideration.
  • Where a sole source supplier’s item is needed for trial use or testing.
  • The purchase of mass‐produced movies, videos, books or other copyrighted materials.
  • The purchase of property that for which it is determined there is no functional equivalent.
  • The purchase of public utility services.
  • The purchase of products, merchandise or trademarked goods for resale at a political subdivision facility.
  • Where competitive solicitation is impractical, disadvantageous or unreasonable under the circumstances.

Individual departments or purchasers of CWI cannot make a determination on whether a vendor is a sole source. Departments contemplating a purchase that they deem a sole source must provide a memorandum documenting the research and rationale behind the request for a sole source purchase. The memorandum declaring the sole source must be signed by the governing board and posted on the Procurement page of the CWI external website. Upon making the “sole source” declaration, notice of the sole source purchase must be published in the newspaper (CWI posts two consecutive days). A Purchase Order cannot be issued until the fourteen-day appeal period is completed; appeal period begins upon last posting.

Grant Funds

Special regulations apply to all expenditures of monies received through federal grants, whether those monies come directly from a federal agency or through an intermediary, known as a “pass‐through entity” or “flow through funds.” For procurement with federal funds, compliance with the Uniform Grant Guidance is mandatory. Information and rules for grants, including purchasing with grant funds, are found in the CWI grants policy and grants manual(s).

Grant Procurement Dollar Thresholds:

  • Micro purchases                               $0 to $10,000 ($2,000 for Construction, $2,500 for Personal Service Contracts)
  • Small Purchases                                $10,000 to $99,999          Written quotes (bids) must be obtained.
  • Simplified Acquisition Threshold     $99,999 and above            Formal sealed bids, Request for Proposals or Invitation to Bid.

Non‐Profit Organizations/Correctional Industries

Purchases from non‐profit corporations and public agencies operating rehabilitation facilities for people with disabilities or disadvantaged are exempt from competitive solicitation rules. The product or service provided by the non‐profit or rehabilitation service must be offered at fair market price which should be confirmed by estimates of current pricing.

Engineering, Architectural, Landscape Architecture, Construction Management

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, it shall be the policy of this state that all public agencies and political subdivisions of the State of Idaho and their agents shall make selections for professional engineering, architectural, landscape architecture, construction management and professional land surveying services, on the basis of qualifications and demonstrated competence and shall negotiate contracts or agreements for such services on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications for the type of services required at fair and reasonable prices.

When retaining engineering, architectural, landscape architecture, construction management or land surveying services on professional contracts shall make selections for professional on the basis of qualifications and demonstrated competence and shall negotiate contracts or agreements for such services on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications for the type of services required at fair and reasonable prices. CWI as a political subdivision must do the following:

  • Publish a public notice in the same manner as required for bidding of public works construction projects.
  • Request statements of qualifications.
  • Make public the criteria and procedures used for selection.
  • Select the persons or firms who are determined best qualified.
  • Negotiate a contract with highest ranked person or firm for a contract price that is determined to be reasonable and fair to the public.
  • If unable to negotiate a satisfactory contract, terminate negotiations with highest ranked and begin negotiations with next highest ranked.

Ethics

Conflict of Interest Policy

The college shall maintain written standards of conduct governing the performance of its employees engaged in the award and administration of contracts. No employee, officer, or agent shall participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract if a real or apparent conflict of interest would be involved. Such a conflict would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for an award. The officers, employees, and agents of the recipient shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors, or parties to sub‐agreements. CWI departments may receive gifts in which the financial interest is not substantial or the gift is an unsolicited item of nominal value.

Vendor Influence

No vendor or related party, or subsidiary, or affiliate of a vendor may submit a bid to obtain a contract to provide property to CWI, if the vendor or a related party, was paid by CWI for services utilized in preparing the bid specifications or if services provided to CWI influenced the procurement process.

Influencing/Conspiring to Influence

No officer, employee or agent of the college shall influence or attempt to influence the award of a contract to a particular vendor, or to deprive or attempt to deprive any vendor of an acquisition contract.

Willful and knowing avoidance of competitive bidding and procurement statutes

It is a violation of state law for an official of any political subdivision or the state to willfully or knowingly avoid compliance with procurement or competitive bidding statutes or to willfully or knowingly split or separate purchases or work projects with the intent of avoiding compliance with such statutes. If any officer, employee or agent of the college willfully or knowingly violates this section, the college shall be liable for civil penalties as found in state purchasing laws.

Violations of Policy

Employees violating any of the provisions of this policy or applicable law may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.