Loyola University Chicago

Purchasing

Purchasing Policy

Uniform Guidance: Effective July 1, 2018

On December 26, 2014, the United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) through the Code of Federal Regulation issued new Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in the Federal Register. This "Uniform Guidance" replaces the administrative, accounting, audit rules and principles previously required in the OMB Circulars, including A-21, A-110, and A-133.

Throughout the process of implementing the new requirements mandated by the UG, University purchasing policies and procedures were evaluated to identify all necessary changes resulting from the newly established UG. In accordance with Section 200.110 of the UG, procurement standards in Section 200.317 - 200.326, non-Federal entities were allowed to comply with procurement standards in previous OMB guidance for one additional fiscal years after the relevant parts went into effect.  Since the implementation of the UG in December 2014, additional one year grace periods were allowed for Fiscal Years 2016 (fiscal year ending June 30, 2016), 2017 (fiscal year ending June 30, 2017) and 2018 (fiscal year ending June 30, 2018).  In accordance with the grace period provisions, Loyola elected to postpone implementation of all UG requirements until all elements of the UG were finalized.

Loyola has elected to implement all aspects of the Federal Uniform Guidance effective July 1, 2018.

It is important to note that the following are general standards for procurement over which Uniform Guidance entails.  This list is a representation of Uniform Guidance concepts and does not represent an all-inclusive list of compliance requirements.  For clarification relating to your specific procurement needs, please contact your purchasing agent for assistance.

  • Every non-federal entity receiving federal awards must have documented procurement procedures that reflect federal law, Uniform Guidance standards, and any state regulations.
  • Entities should focus on the most economical solution during the procurement process, and must avoid using federal funds for the acquisition of unnecessary items. Organizations are encouraged to consider the use of shared services and intergovernmental agreements to foster greater economy and efficiency.
  • Written conflict-of-interest policies are required. No employee or agent of the entity may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract funded by federal grant dollars if he or she has an actual or apparent conflict of interest.
  • The organization must document the procurement steps and activities required to be completed. This includes the basis for the type of procurement, contract type, and the basis for the contractor selection and price.  Please refer to the University Procurement Action Matrix located at the following link:  https://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/purchasing/pdfs/buyer_matrix.pdf
  • Ultimately, the recipient of federal awards must maintain an appropriate level of oversight to ensure that contractors perform in accordance with the terms of their contract.

The above illustrations demonstrate a need for high degree of due diligence and documentation relating to all procurement events.  Procurement Services is willing and able to provide guidance and assistance to all University Departments as they navigate all necessary requirements as dictated by Uniform Guidance.

Additionally, Uniform Guidance requires full and open competition.  Each department is required to consider all procurement options available while planning the various purchasing needs of any federally funded project.  Procurement Services can help facilitate any procurement event necessary (basic quotes, established competition, controlled bid processes).  It is important to understand that contractors or vendors who assist in drafting specifications for controlled bid processes or “RFx” (i.e., Requests for Quote, Information, or proposal; RFQ, RFI, or RFP, respectively) must be excluded from competing for those opportunities. In addition, RFx specifications cannot have unreasonable or restrictive requirements that are meant to limit competition. Also, procurements must be conducted in a manner that prohibits the use of geographical preferences in the evaluation of proposals, except in certain case where federal law explicitly requires or encourages geographic preference or when contracting for architectural and engineering services, provided that specifying geographic location leaves an appropriate number of qualified firms.  Examples of procurement methods include the following:

  • Micro-purchase:  Purchases where the aggregate dollar amount does not exceed $10,000 (or $2,000 if the procurement is construction and subject to Davis-Bacon). When practical, the entity should distribute micro-purchases equitably among qualified suppliers. No competitive quotes are required if management determines that the price is reasonable.
  • Small purchase: Includes purchases up to the Simplified Acquisition threshold, which is now $250,000. Informal purchasing procedures are acceptable, but price or rate quotes (minimum 3) must be obtained from an adequate number of sources.
  • Competitive proposals (RFx): Used for purchases over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, which is currently $250,000. These procurement methods require formal solicitation, fixed-price or cost-reimbursement contracts, and is used when sealed bids are not appropriate. The contract should be awarded to the responsible firm whose proposal is most advantageous to the program, with price being one of the various factors.  Sealed bids are used when the funding source requires the use of sealed bids.
  • Noncompetitive proposals:  Also known as sole-source procurement, this may be appropriate only when specific criteria are met.  Be advised that the new Uniform Guidance has placed a greater level of scrutiny on the use of Sole Source procurements (2 CFR 200.320).  Under the new guidance, UG has limited the use of sole (or single source) procurements to four distinct justifications. Those are:
    • Product/service is only available from a single source;
    • Public Emergency Procurement
    • Federal Awarding Agency Authorization (the awarding agency specifically authorizes a non-competitive procurement after a written request from the Non-federal entity);
    • Inadequate competition after solicitation of multiple sources
    • “Continuity of research” justification is no longer an acceptable sole source justification. 
    • Every sole source will require a price/cost justification.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Brian Slavinskas, Senior Director of Procurement Services and Financial Compliance at 312-915-8787 or e-mail at bslavin@luc.edu.

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May 22, 2017 Uniform Guidance Update

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All Procurement functions of the University are established to support the University as a Jesuit, Catholic institution, helping further promote Loyola’s mission and current strategic plan (https://luc.edu/strategicplanning/plan2020/) that requires the campus community to seek actionable ways to live out the call to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world. Loyola maintains a deep commitment to human dignity in the workplace with a mission that creates the cornerstone of our institutional identity and community.  As a result, Purchasing looks to engage with partners that embody these strategic elements and traditions in maintaining a commitment to social justice and the common good.

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The Loyola University Chicago Purchasing Policy comprises four component parts as detailed below: (1) Purchasing, (2) Competition, (3) Conflict of Interest & Buying Ethics, and (4) Small Business Utilization (Disadvantaged, Women-Owned, Veteran-Owned, Service Disabled Veteran- owned and HUBZone Business Enterprises).

(1) Purchasing   

At Loyola University Chicago, most purchasing actions are conducted by a decentralized purchasing authority. Purchasing activities include obligations for ethical behavior, compliance with government regulations, proper transaction documentation and fiscal responsibility. The Purchasing Department mission is to assist departmental Users (those who have influence into the acquisition decision-making process) in fulfilling these obligations, as well as to ensure consistent purchasing practices across the university.

Policy Statement

The goal of purchasing policy and procedure is to provide reasonably priced, high-quality goods and services to end users while preserving organizational, financial and civic accountability.

All Procurement functions of the University are established to support the University as a Jesuit, Catholic institution, helping further promote Loyola’s mission and current strategic plan (https://luc.edu/strategicplanning/plan2020/) that requires the campus community to seek actionable ways to live out the call to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world. Loyola maintains a deep commitment to human dignity in the workplace with a mission that creates the cornerstone of our institutional identity and community.  As a result, Purchasing looks to engage with partners that embody these strategic elements and traditions in maintaining a commitment to social justice and the common good.

Loyola University Chicago is committed and continually strengthens its sustainability efforts with our campus partners. Buyers and users should utilize suppliers and service providers that make use of, to practicable extent, materials and services that support the University’s sustainability mission. This should include efforts to conserve energy and water resources, support efficient delivery and supplier programs and reduce waste through reducing, reusing and recycling. The Purchasing Department leverages current supplier relationships to raise awareness of the need to reduce our environmental impact and maximize resource efficiency. 

  • Buyers and Users should familiarize themselves with Loyola University Chicago policies and procedures relevant to their purchasing activities.
  • Buyers must complete Procurement Card training and sign all applicable forms, statements and certifications before making a purchase with the ProCard.
  • The Loyola Purchasing Department has developed a Pre-Qualified Supplier Program utilizing suppliers who have demonstrated the ability to offer competitive market pricing and added value to Loyola. Pre-Qualified Suppliers can be used at any dollar level, within approved limits, when spending University funds, and when spending award funds.  It is in the best interests of the University for Pre-Qualified providers to be used whenever practical or practicable. Buyers are highly encouraged to purchase goods and services from these designated suppliers. The Pre-Qualified Supplier Directory can be found here. The website can be updated at any time depending upon deletions/additions to the Pre-Qualified Supplier base.
  • The use of non-Pre-Qualified suppliers is allowed, but requires individual buyers and users to provide accurate, adequate and complete supporting documentation for any transaction equal to or exceeding the Competitive Threshold of $5,000. Purchases equal to or exceeding this amount requires the establishment of competition - this would include a quote/proposal, source justification, a price analysis, and over specified dollar thresholds, a controlled bid.  Additional information pertaining to Buyer’s responsibilities can be found on the Procurement Action Matrix at the following link:  https://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/purchasing/pdfs/buyer_matrix.pdf.
  • The Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Forms (including Goods and Services) can be utilized to obtain supporting documentation for purchases.
  • Buyers should use the purchasing mechanism (i.e. Loyola ProCard, Lawson Purchase Order, or Loyola Check Requisition) most appropriate for the purchase.  Additional guidance on the proper procurement mechanism can be found under the Requisition Guidelines page. 
  • Buyers and users should utilize suppliers and service providers that make use of, to practicable extent, materials and services that support the University’s sustainability mission.  This should include efforts to conserve energy and water resources, support efficient delivery and supplier programs and reduce waste through reducing, reusing and recycling. The Purchasing Department leverages current supplier relationships to raise awareness of the need to reduce our environmental impact and maximize resource efficiency.

Buyer's Responsibilities

  • Buyers are highly encouraged to purchase goods and services from Pre-Qualified Suppliers. The use of non-Pre-Qualified Suppliers for expenditures above the Competitive Threshold must be documented in accordance with Loyola University Chicago requirements and government regulations. The Buyer Actions Matrix and the Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Form can assist the buyer with this task. These forms are found on the Loyola Purchasing website. Buyers and users should choose the appropriate purchasing mechanism (i.e. Loyola ProCard, Lawson Purchase Order, Loyola Check Requisition, and Web-based ordering, etc.) for the transaction.
  • Comply with all University policies and procedures.
  • For additional responsibilities relative to the University ProCard program, access the following link: http://www.luc.edu/finance/procard.shtml.
  • Provide frequent feedback and recommendations to Procurement management and staff relating to vendor performance and deliverables.  Additionally, Buyers are encouraged to provide Procurement Services with recommendations for potential Pre-Qualified Provider opportunities and solutions. 

Purchasing Department Responsibilities

  • Provide appropriate training and documentation.
  • Provide a Purchasing Manual — the Loyola Purchasing Manual can be found on the Loyola Purchasing website at the following link:  https://www.luc.edu/purchasing/purchmanual/index.shtml. The manual describes policies and procedures in detail, including guidelines for using purchasing tools and for committing Loyola University Chicago and externally-sponsored funds.
  • Establish and maintain a Pre-Qualified Supplier Program that identifies qualified suppliers, provides a competitive atmosphere, analyzes bids and proposals, considers local and small business enterprises and documents Pre-Qualified Supplier agreements, including terms and conditions, discount pricing, product or service quality, delivery performance, and government certifications.
  • Regularly evaluate Pre-Qualified Suppliers for performance, price adherence and customer satisfaction. This will be done by the Purchasing Department with the assistance of the departmental requesters of products/services and they will contact the appropriate supplier(s) to discuss and resolve any issues.
  • Provide purchasing tools and forms for committing documenting all purchasing transactions.
  • Offer assistance in the proper finalization of any purchase.
  • Resolve supplier and constituent problems and disputes.
  • Evaluate externally funded transactions equal to or exceeding the established threshold with non-Pre-Qualified Suppliers prior to commitment to the supplier and obtain Sponsored Program Accounting guidance or approval when necessary.
  • Operate within the guidelines of the Loyola Contract Policy.
  • All documentation generated and or received by the Purchasing Department will be electronically stored for future reference for a period of seven years. 

(2) Competition   

Loyola University Chicago is required under the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (“Uniform Guidance”) and by Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) to establish a competitive environment for the purchase of goods and services. The use of competitive bidding also makes good business sense. Purchasing Department policies and procedures on competitive bidding ensure that Loyola Buyers process transactions in a uniform manner consistent with federal requirements and good business practice.

Policy Statement

Loyola University Chicago makes every effort to maximize competitive procurement opportunities by soliciting competitive bids and proposals for goods and services prior to issuing or awarding credit card commitments, purchase orders, Loyola Check Requisitions, web-based orders or contractual documents.  Buyers are encouraged to consider competitive bidding opportunities as they plan their purchasing needs.  Failure to plan accordingly or to ascertain the correct level of due diligence with respect to their procurements may result in unavoidable delays in order processing or fulfillment.

  • The Competitive Threshold for Loyola University has been set at $5,000. Purchases equal to or exceeding this amount require the establishment of competition - this would include a quote/proposal, source justification, a price analysis and, over specified dollar thresholds, a controlled bid. Buyers and Users are required (where competitive vendors can be identified) to solicit competitive bids and proposals at and above the Competitive Threshold, and to make the purchase from the lowest evaluated responsible supplier. All non-competitive acquisitions at or above the Competitive Threshold must be adequately and appropriately justified and documented. Supplier bids, quotations and proposal information are generally considered confidential and should not be disclosed or discussed with other suppliers.
  • Suppliers listed in the Pre-Qualified Supplier Directory are audited regularly to insure that price, service, quality and delivery are being maintained at desired levels. Based on the dollar thresholds and the funding source as detailed in the Buyer Actions Matrix, no further bidding or documentation action need be taken by Buyers or Users purchasing goods and/or services from Pre-Qualified Suppliers.
  • Decisions on purchases should be based on the supplier's compliance with Loyola University specifications, terms and conditions, price, delivery and capacity to perform. Loyola University business should be awarded in the best interest of Loyola based on the merits of the competition. Unsolicited proposals may be considered as long as they are in the best interest of Loyola University Chicago.
  • Consideration of Local, Small/Disadvantaged, HUB Zone, or other Diverse Suppliers or Providers.
  • Loyola University Chicago does not engage in or submit to the practice of reciprocity in negotiation or as a result of any purchase transaction.

Buyer's Responsibilities

  • Buyers are encouraged to purchase goods and services from Pre-Qualified Suppliers. The use of non-Pre-Qualified Suppliers for expenditures above the Competitive Threshold of $5,000 must be documented in accordance with Loyola University requirements and awarding agency regulations (ref: Buyer Actions Matrix found on the Loyola Purchasing website).
  • Complete transaction process to insure products are ordered and received by the internal customer in a timely manner.
  • Choose the appropriate purchasing tool (Loyola ProCard, Lawson Purchase Order, Web- based ordering, and Loyola Check Requisitions) for the transaction.  Additional guidance on the proper procurement mechanism can be found under the Requisition Guidelines page.

Purchasing Responsibilities

  • Provide appropriate training and documentation to establish a competitive environment for the University and selected suppliers.
  • Provide a Purchasing Manual that describes policies and procedures in detail, including guidelines for competitive bidding.
  • Establish and maintain a Pre-Qualified Supplier Program that identifies qualified suppliers, provides a competitive atmosphere, analyzes bids and proposals, including terms and conditions, discount pricing, product or service quality, delivery performance and government certifications.
  • Regularly reevaluate Pre-Qualified Suppliers for performance, price adherence and customer satisfaction.
  • Audit selected transactions for competitive bidding compliance and documentation.
  • Offer assistance in the proper finalization of any purchase.
  • Resolve supplier and constituent problems and disputes related to competitive bidding.

(3) Conflict of Interest and Buying Ethics    

Faculty and staff who have purchasing or purchase approval authority (collectively "Buyers and Users") must be aware of the standards of ethical behavior that apply to their purchasing activities. They must avoid unethical conduct and conflicts of interest in purchasing goods and services. The first and most important line of defense against conflicts of interest or commitment must be the University members themselves. The University has relied and shall continue to rely on the good judgment, professional commitment and moral ethics of the university members to protect themselves and the University from conflicts of interest and commitment. The University’s Conflict of Interest Policy and related Disclosure requirements can be viewed on the Human Resources website at the following link: http://www.luc.edu/hr/policies/policy_conflictofinterest.shtml.

Code of Ethics

Loyola University Chicago is an Associate Member of the National Association of Educational Procurement. For additional information about the NAEP, please access the following link: http://www.naepnet.org/Loyola University Chicago subscribes to the intent of the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) Code of Ethics. This Code states that Buyers will:

  • Give first consideration to the objectives and policies of their institution.
  • Strive to obtain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure.
  • Decline personal gifts or gratuities in accordance with Policy.
  • Grant competitive suppliers equal consideration insofar as state or federal statute and institutional policy permit.
  • Conduct business with potential and current suppliers in an atmosphere of good faith, devoid of intentional misrepresentation.
  • Demand honesty in sales representation, whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of the product.
  • Receive consent of originator of proprietary ideas and designs before using them for competitive purchasing purposes.
  • Make every reasonable effort to negotiate an equitable and mutually agreeable settlement of any controversy with a supplier; and/or be willing to submit any major controversies to arbitration or other third party review, insofar as the established policies of my institution permit.
  • Accord a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business activities.
  • Cooperate with trade, industrial and professional associations, and with governmental and private agencies for the purposes of promoting and developing sound business methods.
  • Foster fair, ethical and legal trade practices.
  • Work on behalf of the interests of the University solely, and avoid situations that may result in personal benefit or gain.

Gift Guidelines

It is essential to Loyola University Chicago and its subsidiaries, its suppliers, contractors and consultants that all decisions and actions regarding acquisitions are based upon proper business considerations and are not influenced in any way by personal obligations or opinions. The University’s policy on Conflict of Interest also includes guidelines for the acceptance of gifts and favors. Please refer to the University’s Gift Policy on the Human Resources website for additional information regarding gift solicitation and acceptance. http://www.luc.edu/hr/policy_conflictofinterest.shtml

Anti-Kickback Clause

Definition: "Kickback" as used in this clause means any money, fee, commission, credit, gift, gratuity, thing of value, or compensation of any kind which is provided, directly or indirectly, to any prime contractor (university and/or principal investigator), prime contractor employee, subcontractor, or subcontractor employee for the purpose of improperly obtaining or rewarding favorable treatment in connection with a prime contractor in connection with a subcontract.

Clause: The Anti-Kickback Act of 1986 (41 U.S.C. 51-58) prohibits any person from: providing or attempting to provide or offering to provide any kickback; soliciting, accepting or attempting to accept any kickback; or including, directly or indirectly, the amount of any kickback in the contract price. The Act imposes criminal and civil penalties on any person who knowingly and willfully engages in the prohibited conduct addressed in the Act [FAR 3.502-2 (b) and (c)].

(4) Small Business Utilization    

All Procurement functions of the University are established to support the University as a Jesuit, Catholic institution, helping further promote Loyola’s mission and current strategic plan https://luc.edu/strategicplanning/plan2020/) that requires the campus community to seek actionable ways to live out the call to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world. Loyola maintains a deep commitment to human dignity in the workplace with a mission that creates the cornerstone of our institutional identity and community.  As a result, Purchasing looks to engage with partners that embody these strategic elements and traditions in maintaining a commitment to social justice and the common good.

Loyola University Chicago is committed to supporting small business enterprises, including disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone business enterprises, in its purchasing programs. Categories of socially and economically disadvantaged small business enterprises are defined in FAR 19.001 while small business enterprises are defined by the federal government in FAR 19.102,  and are subject to further guidance under 2 CFR 200.321.

Policy Statement

  • Awards from federal government or other sponsoring agencies may mandate different participation goals. It is Loyola University Chicago's intent is to work with small business enterprises, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disable veteran-owned and HUBZone businesses whenever it is feasible to do so.

    Success depends on the active commitment of all Buyers and Users. Loyola University's procurement activities should be as inclusive as possible to allow small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned, and HUBZone business enterprises the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in providing goods and services to Loyola University.
  • The degree of utilization of small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone business enterprises should be considered along with other selection factors, such as cost, when choosing vendors. In addition to meeting contractual obligations and federal, state and local requirements to include small business program suppliers in Loyola University's bidding process, Loyola is also committed to encouraging these suppliers to compete for business. To be sure that such suppliers are not overlooked, use the following guidelines or resources:

    (1) Contact the Purchasing Department to help identify appropriate suppliers.

    (2) Consider breaking an order into smaller installments to give smaller businesses an opportunity to supply items (but not as a way to avoid Competitive or Requirements Thresholds).

Buyers Responsibilities

  • Use best efforts to consider the utilization of small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran- owned, service disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone businesses.

Department & User Responsibilities

  • Make sure departmental Users use best efforts to consider the utilization of small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone businesses.

Purchasing Department Responsibilities

  • Use best efforts to locate, solicit and contract small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone businesses into the Pre-Qualified Supplier Program.
  • Provide information related to locating all categories of small businesses.

Contact Information

Questions about these policies should be directed to the Loyola Purchasing Department, Purchasing Manager @ 5-8781. Questions regarding the specific requirements of external awarding agencies should be directed to the Sponsored Program Accounting Department @ 5-8730.