Procurement Services Office Manual

1 | Organization

1.1 Mission and Objectives

Procurement Services is dedicated to ensuring that all supplies, materials, equipment, and services are procured at the lowest possible cost to RIT - cost being defined as the optimum combination of price, quality, availability, and service. Procurement Services assists with cost control programs and operational support to all areas of campus.


1.2 General Purchasing Policy

It shall be the procurement policy of RIT to obtain all supplies, materials, equipment and services at the lowest cost to RIT that meet or exceed the customer’s specifications for performance, quality, and availability at the time of purchase. In conforming to this policy, the capability, capacity, and historical performance of the supplier will be considered and weighed in the decision process. Sourcing decisions will also be tempered by supplier diversity and environmental impact considerations. Competitive bids will be solicited whenever possible and practical and in compliance with all applicable federal regulations and university policies.


1.3 Procurement Services Responsibilities

Procurement Services is responsible for oversight of commercial relationships between RIT and its suppliers and seeks to ensure that all aspects of our relationships are held to the highest ethical and professional standards. Our suppliers contribute significantly to the ongoing success of RIT and Procurement Services in turn actively supports our suppliers and helps them achieve their objectives. The Supplier Diversity program, which promotes commerce with small, disadvantaged and diversity owned businesses, is one example of this support.

Procurement Services collaborates with departments to develop and execute sourcing strategies for products and services that meet or exceed university requirements and performs these services with the highest ethical and professional standards.

Procurement Services provides support to the university community in the selection, acquisition, use and disposal of goods and services by:

  • Maximizing RIT's purchasing power by focusing on strategic sourcing and obtaining the best value.
  • Leveraging its expertise in contract negotiations and supplier management to advantage the university.
  • Streamlining processes and investing in new technologies to provide administrative efficiencies.
  • Ensuring that purchases are made in accordance with all applicable university bylaws, laws, regulations, codes, and ordinances.
  • Minimizing risk exposure while maintaining flexibility in procurement activity.


1.4 Interdepartmental Relations

Communication between the requisitioning department (Requisitioner) and Procurement Services (Sourcing Specialist) is a mutual responsibility.

The Requisitioner should inform the Sourcing Specialist when:

  • developing an item specification for planned procurement
  • requiring that specific suppliers are to be added to a bid list
  • planning procurement action involving a potential sole or single source of supply
  • needing to identify sources of supply for a specific item or commodity
  • supplier services or products are not in compliance with specification or expectation

The Sourcing Specialist will:

  • assist the Requisitioner in developing specifications
  • assist the Requisitioner with information about sources of supply
  • manage quotation requests and the bid process for selection of the most appropriate source of supply
  • establish and conduct negotiations with successful bidders
  • communicate with suppliers for information prior to and during the purchasing process
  • update the Requisitioner with information relative to price, quality, and delivery of a requisitioned item during the purchasing process

All information, including notes, reports, and correspondence communicated between suppliers and requisitioners, pertaining to negotiations or purchase decisions, should be attached to the purchase requisition in Oracle.

Requisitioners are encouraged to consult with Procurement Services concerning materials, specifications, or other general information. The Sourcing Specialist will arrange supplier conferences and obtain product information and other pertinent item and supplier information when requested.

Requisitioners are also encouraged to notify Procurement Services in the case of poor service or inferior product provided by a supplier. The Sourcing Specialist will engage with the supplier to address the issue.

2 | Purchasing Authorization

2.1 Procurement Services Authorization

Procurement Services is a department in Finance and Administration and reports to the Controller’s Office. The Vice President for Finance and Administration of the university has delegated responsibility for the administration of procurement policies and procedures to the Executive Director of Procurement Services.

The authority to make purchases from allocated departmental budgets is delegated to Procurement Services by the authorized department approval on the Purchase Requisition as described in the section below.


2.2 Delegation of Purchasing Authority

The Executive Director of Procurement may delegate purchasing authority to decentralized areas with the approval of the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration. Those areas with delegated purchasing authority are subject to policy compliance verification by the Executive Director of Procurement. Any local purchasing policies differing from the RIT Procurement Services Policy must be approved by the Executive Director of Procurement.

All Procurement Services Department personnel and other department personnel involved in procurement are responsible for understanding and complying with these policies and procedures. Any situation requiring exception to or variation from these policies and procedures should be brought to the attention of the Executive Director of Procurement. The Executive Director of Procurement will recommend to the next higher level of authority exception to or variation from these policies and procedures for final approval. The appropriate reason for the exception and the approval of the Executive Director of Procurement must be documented and available for verification.


2.3 Authority to approve Purchase Requisitions

All financial transactions including purchase requisitions are routed for approval through the Approval Management Engine (AME) in Oracle. The AME is a paperless process which routes HR and financial transactions through the appropriate signatories in compliance with the University’s Signature Authority Policy (SAP).


2.4 Unauthorized Purchases

No individual has the authority to enter into purchase contracts or in any way to obligate RIT for a procurement indebtedness unless specifically authorized to do so by the President, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, or the Executive Director of Procurement. Any such commitment is considered an unauthorized purchase, and the individual may encounter a personal obligation to the supplier. Firms ordinarily doing business with the University are aware of this policy and are advised that all purchases chargeable to RIT must be authorized by an official purchase order or paid by P-Card.

3 | Standards of Legal and Ethical Conduct

3.1 Legal and Ethical Standards Policy

RIT complies with all laws governing its operation and conducts its affairs in keeping with the highest moral, legal, and ethical standards.

Compliance with the law (including anti-bribery, anti-trust, and other applicable regulatory law) means not only following the law but also conducting RIT business such that RIT will deserve and receive recognition in all areas of good citizenship. Even where the law does not apply, applicable standards of ethics and morality relate to our activities and require the same diligence and attention to good conduct and citizenship.

In addition, RIT abides by the .

The Sourcing Specialists who procure goods and services on behalf of the University will conduct business in a manner that is consistent with the educational and research goals of the University. Purchasing activities will be conducted in a professional manner. All qualified suppliers will be given equal opportunity to compete for RIT business. Purchasing decisions will be made on reasonable assessments of quality, service, competitive pricing, and technical qualifications.

Efforts are made to maintain positive and professional relations with suppliers. Business will be conducted in good faith and efforts will be made to resolve disputes quickly and equitably. Suppliers doing business with the University will be held to standards promoting sound and ethical business practices.

Procurement decisions are made with integrity and objectivity, free from any personal considerations or benefits.


3.2 Conflict of Interest

Decisions about University business and the acquisition or disposition of RIT property are to be made solely in terms of the benefits to RIT and are not to be influenced by any private profit or other benefit to the RIT employees who take part in such decisions.

While the Development Office may solicit for philanthropic support from the community and suppliers, at no time will contract awards be based on whether or not a contribution is received. Staff involved with the purchasing process will not participate in soliciting suppliers for contributions.

All members of the University community have an obligation to avoid any actual or apparent conflicts of interest. Potential real or apparent conflicts of interest must be reported immediately and uniformly in accordance with the Procedures for the Implementation of the Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy. Each situation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and action will be taken as necessary to ensure that all University transactions are in the best interest of RIT. Failure to report or to act in concert with the spirit of this policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.


3.3 Confidentiality of Bids/Quotations/Proposals

All information supplied by suppliers in their bid, quotation or proposal must be held in strict confidence by the employee(s) evaluating, approving, or discussing the bid, quotation or proposal and may not be revealed to any other supplier or persons that are directly or indirectly involved in the bid. This policy ensures that confidential information is safeguarded and prevents any potential conflict. In addition, upholding confidentiality of bids/quotations/proposals ensures that no supplier is given an unfair advantage in submitting bids; and no supplier is negatively impacted by disclosure of information.

While engaged in the bidding process it is imperative that all information given to those bidding, as well as the information received from those bidders is safeguarded so that it remains confidential. Safeguarding information includes that confidentiality is upheld during conversations between peers, colleagues, consultants, temporary associates, and general conversations both in and out of the workplace.

Documents transmitted electronically through email, texts, fax and conventional mail including USPS or overnight mail services must be secured at the workplace so that information is not involuntarily or haphazardly obtained. Bid documents, proposals and all subsequent correspondence must be properly filed, maintained, and secured so that is not inadvertently revealed. Diligence in retrieving files from fax and copier machines is optimum to maintain confidentiality and to limit access to that information.

Information relating to the project being bid and without limitation, includes technical, financial, operational, legal, commercial, proprietary and all other information or data disclosed to or by the bidder in the bidding documents and must not be disclosed and must be kept confidential. Also, confidentiality must be upheld regarding price, products, delivery and contractual terms and conditions. Additionally, all analysis, compilations, studies, and other documents prepared by the bidder or its officers, employees, agents, or advisers which are submitted by the bidder, must also be kept confidential.


3.4 Gifts and Gratuities

Acceptance of gifts or gratuities by RIT departments and/or employees, from prospective suppliers or during a contract negotiation period is not permitted. Solicitation of gifts from prospective suppliers or the acceptance of gifts in the form of cash, gift certificates of any amount or the acceptance of entertainment is not permitted.

Acceptance of gifts or gratuities from suppliers as described in the section above may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Under certain circumstances, it may be permissible for a department to accept gifts or gratuities of nominal value from suppliers with whom the university has an established relationship. Refer questions regarding the appropriateness of accepting gifts/gratuities or entertainment from a current supplier to the Procurement Services Office. They will assist you in determining compliance with this policy.


3.5 Donations / Gifts in Kind

Gifts of money or goods to RIT (donations) should be referred immediately to the Development Office.


3.6 Business Meals

To maintain transparency and integrity in our relationships with suppliers, RIT has established guidelines regarding the acceptance of meals and other forms of hospitality, in accordance with the C04.0 Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy

4 | Methods of Purchasing

RIT Procurement Services Office has created best practices for procuring goods and services that comply with applicable laws and regulations, university policies, and sound and ethical business management.

To better understand how to pay for any purchase, you can use the CTO application linked here: "Decision Guide for Purchases & Payments," which will walk you through different scenarios based on answers to prompted questions.

4.1 Competitive Procurement Policy

All products and services purchased by the RIT require solicitation and/or analysis of competitive proposals, bids, or price quotations whenever possible. The standard Competitive Procurement Policy applies to all methods of purchasing in the Sections that follow. Additional requirements for competitive sourcing may apply for purchases made in association with a sponsored award or grant. Specific guidance for purchases made in association with a sponsored award or grant is detailed in the Federal Funds Procedures.


4.2 Requisitions and Purchase Orders 

Purchase Requisitions are created by departments in the Oracle Purchasing module to submit a request to Procurement Services to purchase the supplies, materials, equipment or services desired. IMPORTANT: A Purchase Requisition is NOT a Purchase Order. A Requisition does not have any legal authority and it cannot be used to place orders to suppliers. The Requisition Number is NOT the same as a Purchase Order Number. Requisitions must include appropriate distribution accounts based on the RIT Chart of Accounts and documentation to support the supplier selection in accordance with the Competitive Procurement Policy. Detailed instructions on the preparation and use of Oracle Requisitions are made available through periodic training offered through CPD. The Training Manuals for the workshops are also available on the Procurement Services Web page.

A Purchase Order is a contractual document once sent to and accepted by a supplier, binds the performance of both parties to the transaction. Only Procurement Services has the authority to issue purchase orders for the university. A purchase order includes standard terms and conditions that are designed to protect RIT’s legal rights in transactions with suppliers. Only Procurement Services has the authority to change or waive any standard PO terms and conditions including payment terms which are Net 30 days from the invoice date.

Purchase Order Types:

Standard Goods and Services:

Most purchase orders are in this category and represent a single transaction for goods or services that once delivered will be invoiced and paid. Quotations should always be provided with the requisition together with any other relevant communication with the supplier.

Maintenance and Service Agreements:

Maintenance and service agreement orders are purchase orders used to procure annual maintenance services typically for equipment and/or software. A standard Oracle requisition is used to establish the order and all relevant documentation provided by the supplier should be attached to the requisition for review and execution by Procurement Services. This type of order is generally established for one year and renewed each July 1st for the new fiscal year or on the renewal date of the agreement.

Standing/Blanket Orders:

A blanket or standing order is a single purchase order issued to cover repeat purchases of the same type of service or supply item purchased from a single supplier during a fiscal year. A standard Oracle requisition is used to establish a blanket order and should contain information regarding the specific products or services, pricing, and an estimated total value for the time period. Blanket/standing orders may be renewed for additional time periods with an approved requisition requesting that additional time and funds be added to an existing purchase order.

By the nature of its intended use, a large number of transactions may occur between a department and a supplier under this type of purchase order. It is important that the department monitor the delivery of goods or services rendered on a monthly basis to insure the accuracy of supplier invoices and payment against them.

Long Term Contracts:

To ensure compliance with the University’s Signatory Authority Policy, all purchase requisitions must be created and routed for approval based on the full value of the financial commitment with which they are associated. This means that for annual and/or multi-year agreements, the purchase requisition must reflect the full term and total cost of the agreement or contract.

Change orders/Amendments to Purchase Orders:

All purchases, including changes, must comply with the competitive procurement policy. If a change to a PO increases the total value of the order, please be sure that the approval authority is appropriate for the cumulative total. Moreover, quote/bid requirements are also determined by order totals, therefore, increases to a PO may require new or additional bids if the change or cumulative result of multiple changes results in a significant increase in the total PO value.


4.3 Procurement Card 

University credit cards are intended to facilitate low-dollar, low-risk discretionary transactions. 

The following transactions are NOT allowed to be made using a Procurement Card:

  • Goods above $5,000 USDThese high-value transactions may need to be considered as capital equipment and require a different procurement process.
  • Services - due to insurance and indemnification requirements.
  • Multiple or recurring payments to a supplier above the PSO Competitive Bid thresholds. - Please review the competitive procurement policy
  • All Discretionary Spend disallowed by CTO - Please review the discretionary spend policy
  • Leases
  • RIT-Branded Goods: Unless using an approved licensed vendor.

Requests to change Purchasing Card "Single Transaction Limits" or “Monthly Spend Limits” (either temporary or permanent) limit increases can be made via RSC ticket. 

Comprehensive Procurement Card Policies and Procedures can be found here.

4.4 Invoice Payment Form (IPF)

An Invoice Payment Form (instead of a Purchase Order) is allowed under limited circumstances as follows:


4.5 University-wide Purchase Agreements

Procurement Services has competitively bid and/or negotiated contracts on behalf of the University that provide the best overall value for commonly used supplies and services. In addition, RIT has access to contracts awarded through competitive processes by Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) including the New York State Office of General Services (NYSOGS) and others. The requestor should consult the Commodity Categories and Suppliers on the PSO web page to determine if the product and/or service can be obtained through one of these contracts.


4.6 e-Procurement 

e-Procurement enables online creation and in some cases submission of orders. Products are selected from either a hosted online catalog (“e-Catalog”) or by shopping directly from a supplier’s RIT-specific web site. Access to catalogs is provided on the PSO web page under Vendor Portals. Users should always originate their shopping through the link on the PSO website to ensure that RIT’s pricing and tax-exempt status are applied.

Not all supplier websites listed on the PSO page provide negotiated or contracted pricing. Users should always check with PSO if unclear about which suppliers have current contracts in place.


4.7 Internal Sources / RIT First

Procurement Services encourages use of RIT resources whenever practical. The goods and services offered internally through RIT can be ordered and paid for through internal journal transactions in the Oracle financial system. They are identified as “RIT First Suppliers” on the PSO website within the Commodity Categories and Suppliers.

5 | Supplier Qualification

5.1 General Policy

All procurement transactions must be conducted in a manner that promotes full and open competition. The identification and selection of appropriate suppliers from which competitive bids/quotes/proposals can be obtained can be accomplished through a variety of acceptable methods. Ultimately, the goal is to enlist those suppliers that have the products, capabilities, deliverability, service levels, expertise, resources, and knowledge of the University environment that will afford a successful outcome for the University stakeholder(s). Procurements Services maintains Recommended and Approved Suppliers for reference on their web page.


5.2 Guidelines for Supplier Interaction

Supplier representatives can be a valuable source of information for products and services. It is in the best interest of the University to assure that all suppliers are treated in a fair and impartial manner and to avoid favoritism and conflict of interest. To assist you in dealing with supplier representatives, the following guidelines are suggested:

  • Contact the appropriate Sourcing Specialist in advance to save time with your purchase. They may be able to provide names, addresses and/or phone numbers of supplier(s), and existing contracts offering the goods or services required. They can also assist in developing a procurement plan.
  • Plan to discuss your need with more than one supplier. Information gathering may reveal alternatives or data not previously discovered.
  • All suppliers should be given the same information so each has an equal opportunity to compete. Not providing equal information can be construed as showing favoritism or misrepresentation. Recognize that permanent business relations can be maintained only on a structure of honesty and fair dealings. Difficult economic times also promote a litigious environment. Failure to treat all suppliers equitably may result in protests, which can delay the procurement process.
  • Discuss all aspects of the need: i.e., what happens after the department owns the purchase. Consider the life cycle approach, which includes length of warranty, cost of maintenance, supplies, training, repair costs after warranty, and/or response time required for repair. The cost of the equipment or good may be insignificant compared to these “hidden” costs over the life of the product.
  • Guard against overreaction to a supplier created crisis: “Price goes up after the first of the month” or “This is the last one in stock”.
  • Unsolicited telephone sales should be ignored or referred to Procurement Services. Such items have often been found to be overpriced and of inferior quality.
  • Conduct all business dealings in an impartial and ethical manner. Never accept gifts, gratuities, or payments of any kind, including luncheon, dinner engagements or event tickets.
  • Do not commit RIT by telling a salesperson they have the order. Only an authorized Purchasing designee may sign and approve purchases from suppliers. If you enter into an agreement without the proper authority, you may be held personally liable for payment.


5.3 Independent Contractors

To comply with IRS tax law, RIT must determine whether an individual providing services is an employee or an independent contractor prior to engaging the individual.

Information about how to determine the correct classification is available on the Controller’s Office’s webpage: Independent Contractor or Employee?


5.4 Insurance Requirements

Prior to commencement of any work or services on RIT property, evidence of appropriate insurance coverage must be presented by the supplier. The limits of liability should be determined by risk exposure and not the size of the contract. The standard insurance requirements can only be modified by Procurement Services with approval of Global Risk Management.


5.5 Supplier Qualification

RIT will only conduct business with reputable and stable suppliers who are capable of providing the goods and services required. Prospective Suppliers must complete a PaymentWorks Application and depending on business classification, may also require a Worker Classification form

Procurement Services will verify that prospective suppliers do not appear in the US Government Lists of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement or Non-Procurement Programs when a proposed purchase is funded by a federal government grant, cooperative agreement or contract and will exceed $25,000.

All formal bid requests require completion of the Supplier Qualification Form to determine the financial stability and business experience of suppliers with whom RIT has no previous experience.


5.6 Minority and Small Businesses / Affirmative Action

It is RIT policy to select and purchase from suppliers who offer the greatest total value for the products and services to be purchased. Within this general policy, it is RIT's objective to employ innovative techniques to find and develop small, small disadvantaged, small women-owned, small veteran-owned, small disabled veteran-owned and small HUBZone (MBE) businesses capable of providing products and services required by the University.

RIT's objective is to increase its business with minority business enterprises (MBEs) via affirmative action to promote procurement of products and services from these suppliers.

Procurement Services will:

  • Seek out purchasing opportunities for MBE suppliers at the University and include in solicitations whenever possible.
  • Identify and assist MBE suppliers to qualify them to do business with the University by considering requirements carefully to permit maximum participation.
  • Serve as a resource bank for information concerning MBE suppliers utilizing resources such as the Small Business Administration and Minority Business Development Agency.

For further information, visit Supplier Diversity on the procurement Services Web Page.

6 | Supplier Contract Governance

6.1 General Policy

RIT requires a contract in cases where the university may be exposed to substantive financial or legal risks from the purchase of goods or services. A contract is typically required when the university purchases a service from a supplier. A supplier may also require an executed contract before it provides goods or services to the university.

There is no minimum financial threshold required for a contract. Purchases for small dollar amounts or at no cost to the university may present legal or financial risks to the university that are many times greater than large dollar purchases. Contracts are required regardless of the purchase method including, but not limited to, Purchase Orders or PCards.

Common situations in which a contract is required:

  • Services that involve the performance of labor by individuals while physically present on the university’s premises
  • The purchase of services where deliverables (e.g., software, a report, or a website) are created
  • The purchase of professional services, including temporary employment and consulting services
  • Agreements for leased space or facilities
  • Space rentals for off-campus events including expos, exhibitions, etc.
  • Catering services
  • Cloud services, software-as-a-service, software licenses, software maintenance agreements and renewals
  • Equipment leases
  • Custom made goods
  • Contract renewals

When creating a contract, the focus is generally on:

  • Ensuring that the contract reflects all the substantive agreed upon business terms, including pricing and payment terms
  • Obtaining the appropriate commitments, representations, and warranties from the supplier
  • Obtaining the appropriate indemnifications from the supplier when warranted
  • Eliminating any inappropriate limitations on the supplier’s liability to the university
  • Protecting confidential information
  • Obtaining ownership of, or the appropriate right to use, intellectual property (when applicable)
  • The potential for disputes or claims arising out of the services or products purchased, including infringement claims
  • Compliance with applicable laws and university policies
  • Responsibility for applicable taxes


6.2 Contract Creation and Review

To enhance and streamline the supplier contract review process, ensure compliance with RIT purchasing policies and procedures, as well as to protect the University from risk, generally, the actual review and approval process is jointly managed by PSO and OLA. Refer to the information below regarding the specific responsibilities of each department/office:

  • Department procuring goods or services - Forward contracts to PSO (in MS Word format) as early as possible in the procurement process; obtain signatures on final contracts; forward a fully executed copy of the contract to PSO when the order is placed (i.e., when requisition is created)
  • PSO - Review and amend business/procurement terms including contract deliverables, business specifications, contract term, and payment terms. If applicable, negotiate specific terms with the supplier. Engage with other Departments as needed:
    • Risk Management - Review and propose amended insurance terms when the proposed requirements don't meet the RIT standard.
    • ITS – Information Security Officer reviews for institutional Data Management compliance.
    • OLA - Review and amend legal terms including indemnification, governing law, jurisdiction, etc. If applicable, negotiate specific terms with the supplier.

PSO will notify OLA as soon as a draft supplier contract is received. PSO will oversee the review process utilizing the appropriate internal "tracking summary" sheet for each contract designed to provide a detailed audit trail of changes, etc., as well as data that can be mined for future use.

PSO and OLA will work concurrently to create, review and/or revise their respective terms and conditions. Once all proposed changes have been made to the contract, PSO will return the marked version to the department which is responsible to return the revised contract to the supplier. If the supplier accepts the revised contract terms and conditions, the department will obtain the appropriate signatures (refer to the Signatory Authority Policy) and then return a copy of the fully executed contract to PSO at the time the purchasing requisition is created. If the department requires assistance negotiating the revised terms and conditions, OLA and PSO will work together with the department and the supplier until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.

Departments may direct questions regarding supplier contract management to the PSO or OLA.


6.3 Contracting Roles and Responsibilities

Ensuring that a contract contains the agreed to business terms and that the university is protected against unnecessary risk and is complying with its legal and financial obligations associated with that contract (including audit requirements) requires a collaborative process with roles and responsibilities shared by many members of the campus community.

Department Responsibilities

  • Understand and comply with RIT purchasing policies and procedures.
  • Fully define all requirements and specifications for the goods or services to be purchased; (including any quotes, proposals or other documents relating to the purchase)
  • Provide timely review of the contract drafts for consistency with agreed business terms.
  • Provide timely submission of any additional documents, such as vendor certificates of insurance.
  • Act as the liaison between the supplier and the university and other university departments which may have an interest in the commitment (e.g., Insurance Services, Facilities Management Services, Environmental Health and Safety) to facilitate contract negotiation.
  • Once the contract has been executed: (i) adhere to the provisions of the contract, (ii) monitor performance of the supplier under the contract and promptly advise the Office of Legal Affairs, or Procurement Services of any subsequent issues or problems involving the supplier or the contract and assist them in resolving those issues or problems, and (iii) track the termination and renewal periods of the contract.


Procurement Services Responsibilities

  • Review contract requests in a timely manner.
  • Prior to affixing a university-authorized signature, review the contract for accuracy, risk reduction and terms favorable to the university.
  • Assure that:
    • a legal review of the contract (or the terms of the contract has occurred), as appropriate;
    • all university requirements have been met; and
    • any other university department which an interest in any of the commitments under the contract may have (e.g., Insurance Services, Registrar, Information Security, Disability Resources, Facilities Management Campus Services, Environmental Health and Safety, etc.) is notified or consulted in advance, as appropriate.
  • Maintain a database of contracts.

7 | Specialized Policies and Procedures

7.1 Grants/Awards (Federal Funds)

In December 2014, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” (Uniform Guidance). The Uniform Guidance includes procurement procedures required when using federal funds. RIT standard policies and procedures as documented herein comply with this Uniform Guidance however additional requirements for competitive sourcing may apply for purchases made in association with a sponsored award or grant as detailed in the Federal Funds Procedures. Recipients of federal funds must follow the RIT procurement policies and procedures as outlined in this manual in addition to all federal guidelines. It is important that all Principal Investigators (PIs) on federally funded grants read the procurement sections of the Uniform Guidance, 2 CFR §200.317 through §200.326, to ensure compliance.


7.2 Construction Projects

All procurement that involves architectural/engineering (A/E) and/or construction services must be directed to Facilities Management Services (FMS). FMS in cooperation with the PSO competitively bids all construction projects. Projects exceeding $1,000,000 require the approval of the Board of Trustees.

FMS may self-perform construction projects of any size and may subcontract any portion of the work to an outside contractor using competitive bidding procedures for subcontracted portions.


7.3 Capital Equipment

RIT defines capital movable equipment as an article of nonexpendable tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. Movable equipment includes industrial and office equipment and tools, laboratory equipment, furniture, fixtures and vehicles. The Property Accounting page on the Controller’s Web page includes Guidelines to Follow when Purchasing Capital Equipment to further define the treatment of accessories, attachments, shipping costs, installation costs, component parts and enhancements to existing equipment and explain the proper classification of computer hardware and software among other things.


7.4 Institutional Data Management

When contracting for the acquisition of data or data management services, considerations must be given to the type of data being provided or manipulated. If data includes any Private, Confidential, or Internal information, as defined in the Information Access and Protection Standard (IAPS), a formal security assessment by the Information Security Office is required to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of this data, and of any information systems that store, process or transmit the data. The two most common scenarios are acquisition of commercial off the shelf (COTS) software or contracting with a third-party service provider (e.g., software as a service or cloud services). If a purchase involves any controlled data as defined in the IAPS, the Requisitioner shall fill out the Information Access and Protection Questionnaire (IAPQ) and submit it to the Information Security Office (ISO). Depending on the analysis of the IAPQ, the third-party service provider may also need to complete the Initial Security Questionnaire (ISQ) and submit it to the Information Security Office for review.

RIT’s Information Access and Protection Standard provides details regarding appropriate safeguards for various types of institutional data. Procurement Services will not approve any requests for purchases of third party solutions involving university data until Requisitioners have completed all appropriate security assessments with the Information Security Office, and all agreements have been reviewed to ensure that the vendor/supplier/provider agrees to implement appropriate measures to ensure the security and confidentiality of the information, to protect against reasonably foreseeable threats or hazards to the security or integrity of the information, and to protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information. For copies of the most recent questionnaires, information security questions, or assistance with this assessment process, contact ISO at See Section 6.0 Supplier Contracting Guidelines for supplier contracting guidelines.


7.5 Leases and Rentals

A lease is an agreement conveying the right to use property for a specified time and for a specific amount of money. In a true lease, the property being used remains the sole property of the lessor (supplier), and the lessee (university) builds no equity in the leased property. A lease/purchase agreement allows the lessee to build equity and purchase the property from the lessor for a nominal amount at the completion of the lease. The term of a lease is fixed in duration and generally not cancelable. A rental agreement is similar to a lease in that the user does not build ownership in the asset. A rental agreement differs from a lease in the length of the agreement (usually less than one year) and the agreement can usually be cancelled by the renter prior to the end of the agreement without penalty.

Equipment leases fall into two categories: operating leases and capital leases.

Capital Lease - To be considered a capital lease, a lease must meet one or more of these four criteria: (1) title of the asset passes automatically from the lessor to the lessee at end of the lease term, (2) lease contains a bargain purchase option under which the lessee may acquire the leased asset at less than its fair market value at the end of lease term, (3) lease term is for a period longer than the 75 percent (75%) of the estimated economic life of the asset, or (4) the present value of the lease payments is greater than 90 percent (90%) of the fair market value of the asset at the beginning of the lease term. A capital lease is a 'full payment lease' because the lease payments pay back (amortize) the full cost (including financing costs, overheads, and profit margin) of the leased asset to the lessor, with little or no dependence on the residual (or salvage) value of the asset.

Operating Lease - An operating lease is commonly used to acquire equipment on a short-term basis that is significantly less than the economic life of the asset. The lessor gives the lessee the exclusive right to possess and use the leased asset for a specific period and under specified conditions but retains almost all risks and rewards of the ownership. Since the maintenance of the leased asset is usually the responsibility of the lessor, they are called also maintenance leases or service leases. An operating lease does not meet any of the criteria for a capital lease. Operating leases are commonly used for leasing vehicles and office equipment such as copiers.

All forms of lease, lease-purchase or rental agreement must be reviewed in advance by procurement services and department financial management. All lease / lease-purchase / rental orders must have an associated Purchase Order. The original copy of the Lease Agreement should accompany the purchase requisition sent to Procurement Services. Procurement Services tracks all leases using the iContracts contract management system.


7.6 Vehicles

All vehicle acquisition or disposal must first receive approval from Finance & Administration. The RIT vehicle fleet is managed by Facilities Management Services (FMS). Procurement Services will facilitate the transaction.


7.7 Trademark usage and Licensing

The logos, seals, names, symbols and slogans associated with the University are the exclusive property of RIT. Proper use of the University graphic identification is required when purchasing marketing and/or promotional items for internal use and resale purposes. Reproduction of these marks for resale, promotional or other commercial purposes must have university authorization from the Marketing and Communications Department. This protects against the manufacture, display or sale of merchandise without the university’s consent. In many cases the supplier must also sign a license agreement with our partner Learfield Licensing. A royalty on the wholesale price of all branded merchandise purchases will be paid by licensed vendors to the University through our licensing partner. Licensed vendors often already include this royalty in their published pricing. Staff uniforms, team uniforms and other work/office apparel are exempted from royalties but are not exempted from the requirement of using licensed vendors. All campus departments and organizations (including student organizations) must order branded merchandise (apparel and non-apparel, i.e. t-shirts, water bottles, pens, etc.) from licensed vendors. The Central Marketing Office maintains a list of licensed suppliers that meet these requirements on their web page.


7.8 Hazardous Materials

POLICY STATEMENT (Per the Environmental Health and Safety Department of the Global Risk Management Services Division)

In conducting University operations, chemicals are used that require specific precautions. To protect the health of our employees, students, contractors, and visitors, it shall be the policy of Rochester Institute of Technology that our employees will be informed of any chemical hazards associated with their job functions.

Departments must adopt and implement procedures for purchasing, receiving, storing and handling of potentially hazardous chemicals required for health and safety, congruent with applicable federal, state and/or local requirements including provisions for chemical hazard evaluation, container labeling, collection of material safety data sheets and employee training.


The basic disclosure document required by the Chemical Hazard Communication Standard, and upon which all other requirements of the standard are based, is the Safety Data Sheet. The SDS provides a uniform outline of each hazardous chemical and special precautions and controls necessary for the chemical's use. Because of the variety of chemical substances utilized in our operations, we maintain SDS's at both the department level and in a master file at Public Safety maintained by the environmental health specialist. An inventory list as well as the SDS of the hazardous chemicals found in each department will be maintained in the department by the designated department safety coordinator or other individual designated by the dean, director or department head. Copies of the department inventory lists are to be sent to the Environmental Health Specialist annually, upon request.

The information on the SDS will be used to determine if a chemical is considered hazardous. Therefore, it is important to obtain either an SDS for every chemical, or written notification from the chemical manufacturer or supplier that its product is not considered hazardous under OSHA 1910.1200.

No SDS will be prepared by RIT. We will rely on the chemical supplier for the accuracy of the SDS.


  • SDSs are required as a condition of all purchases and for an initial shipment to be received from a manufacturer, importer or distributor. Therefore, each supplier or manufacturer will be required to provide an SDS on each chemical. This statement will be added to purchase orders, where appropriate. Material Data Safety Sheets are required for purchases of chemically based products (in accordance with 29CFR1910.1200, the Hazard Communication Standard).
  • The Department purchasing agent or satellite buyer will make written attempts to secure the SDSs not received from suppliers following initial verbal requests. The Environmental Health Specialist will be contacted in writing if a second request to a supplier goes unanswered. Copies of all correspondence will be kept in the departmental SDS file.


7.9 Sustainable Procurement Standards

RIT strives to conduct its activities in an ecologically and economically sound manner and promotes responsible consumption and environmentally sound practices among all members of the University community. RIT recognizes that sustainable purchasing is a critical component of preserving our natural resources, lowering operating costs, and minimizing waste; to this end RIT will:

  • Specify, whenever possible and reasonable, the use of sustainable, environmentally friendly systems, equipment, and materials.
  • Ensure that all supplies, materials, equipment, and services are procured at the lowest possible cost.
  • Comply with all relevant procurement and environmental regulations.
  • Investigate resource conservation, reuse and recycling options and encourage adoption by all members of the University community.
  • Promote and maintain activities that encourage exchanges, swaps and resale of surplus products and supplies.
  • Commit to purchasing Energy Star certified appliances and products.
  • Promote business with suppliers that consistently demonstrate sustainable and socially conscious business practices.
  • Work within the University and in the broader community in which we reside to share experiences and encourage the adoption of sustainable practices.
  • Develop and implement the use of assessment tools designed to evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and make changes where necessary.


7.10 Surplus Equipment Transfer, Sale or Disposal

Equipment and materials acquired with RIT funds, Grant funds or donated to the University are the property of RIT. The University will dispose of surplus property in an environmentally and fiscally responsible manner in accordance with local, state, and federal regulations.

Grant Funded Items:

Sponsor funded purchases and donations may have specific disposal restrictions. Read the sponsor agreement or donation documentation and contact Sponsored Program Accounting (SPA) to help determine if there is a restriction before proceeding.

Capital Equipment:

Contact Procurement Services to ensure proper accounting and record keeping.


As part of your planning for new furniture or office renovation all furniture orders greater than $5K or involving activities such as furniture removal, painting, carpet, small repairs, and electrical evaluations will require an FMS Project Request prior to ordering or engaging a supplier. The FMS project manager is responsible for assessing furniture reuse and coordinating removal.

For furniture projects < $5K, departments may consider offering surplus furniture within the University at no cost. FMS offers pick-up and delivery service for a nominal fee if needed.

Computers and Electronics:

Definition of Electronic Waste: All monitors, televisions, cathode ray tubes (CRT’s), Computer Processing Units (CPU’s) and keyboards are considered hazardous waste material due to the content of lead, silver, cadmium, and other heavy metals used in their manufacture. They cannot be disposed of in the regular trash and must be managed in accordance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR 371.1). RIT has chosen to dismantle and recycle electronic waste for scrap metal recovery in an environmentally conscientious manner.

Disposal of electronic waste is handled by EWASTE+ (formerly Rochester Computer Recycling and Recovery). They will remove, recycle, and dispose of electronic waste. Please login and complete the Pick Up Request Form to schedule a pick-up.

Other electronic equipment may also need to be disposed of as hazardous material if you know or suspect that it contains heavy metals or other hazardous materials. If there is any uncertainty the manufacturer of the piece of equipment should be contacted and asked to provide instructions on appropriate disposal.

Usable electronic computer equipment that is in working order, with the processor and/or monitor working, can be handled as surplus equipment. If this option is chosen, care should be taken to assure that sensitive information is removed permanently from the computer hardware.

If electronic waste is found in the regular trash stream, the Environmental Health and Safety Office of Public Safety will be notified and the Dean/Division Head of that area will be informed.

If you have any questions, please contact the RIT Environmental Health Specialist – Public Safety or visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation web site.

8 | Receiving Procedures

8.1 Receipt of Tangible materials (supplies and equipment)

Products ordered by purchase order generally require receipt in Oracle to satisfy the 3-way match requirement (PO/Receipt/Invoice) and enable payment to occur. The Central Receiving Department will enter receipts based on packing lists when provided on the outside of the package. When shipments are not processed through Central Receiving, departments must provide notification by email and provide adequate documentation (preferably a packing list).


8.2 Inspection by Departments

The ultimate responsibility for receipt and inspection of goods lies with the ordering department. When Central Receiving signs for goods received they do not inspect the package contents. The ordering department is responsible for promptly unpacking and carefully inspecting shipments. Any discrepancies or shortages should be reported to the Central Receiving Department and Procurement Services within one working day, noting the purchase order number and supplier. Procurement Services will work with the supplier and the Central Receiving Department to protect the University's interest and resolve the discrepancy.


8.3 Claims Involving Damage or Shortages

Notice of damages or shortages identified by Central Receiving are directed to Procurement Services immediately. For shipments initiated with the RIT Procurement Card, the requestor will be contacted. When damages or shortages are evident, Central Receiving will make the proper notations on the carrier's waybill and enter a damage claim with the carrier to compensate the university. Central Receiving will use best efforts to refuse delivery of obviously damaged goods. This refusal places the responsibility of generating damage claims on the supplier, and not RIT.

In the case of hidden damage or shortages undetected by the Central Receiving, the ordering department should contact Central Receiving and Procurement Services promptly (one working day) if corrective action needs to be taken. Procurement Services can place the purchase order on hold to prevent invoice payment until the issue is resolved. Retain all packing materials as failure to do so will most likely void any chance of obtaining a claim against the carrier.


8.4 Return of Supplies or Equipment

Supplies or equipment obtained with an RIT Purchase Order to be returned to a supplier for credit, adjustment or replacement should be cleared through Procurement Services. For transactions made with the RIT Visa Procurement Card, the requestor should deal directly with the supplier and Procurement Services need not be contacted. Credit memos received which cannot be identified with returns will receive disposition at the discretion of the Controller's Office. Procurement Card credits will be made directly to requestor's Visa account. Departments are urged to keep all such requests to the absolute minimum.

When an item is to be shipped from the RIT campus for return, repair or any other reason requiring reimbursement from RIT funds, the procedures outlined below should be followed:

  • Notify Procurement Services. Procurement Services will contact the supplier for a return merchandise authorization (RMA). Procurement Services will work with the end user to coordinate the return and replacement of the items in question. For credit card purchases, the supplier should be contacted directly.
  • Prepare a shipping memo and notify the Central Receiving Department to return the goods and memo to the receiving dock.
  • The Central Receiving Department will take the necessary steps to forward the goods according to the instructions on the shipping memo. When necessary, the Central Receiving Department can arrange for special packaging; however, it is recommended that the responsibility for proper packaging remain with the department.

9 | Accounts Payable Procedures

9.1 Purchase Order Invoice Approval

When purchasing Goods (materials and/or equipment), the purchasing cycle constitutes a three-way match between the purchase ordered quantity, received quantity, and invoiced quantity. There is also a purchase price verification that the invoice amount matches the purchase order amount. All invoices must be sent to accounts payable to be matched to the purchase order for payment. Note: Invoices attached to a purchase requisition are NOT forwarded to accounts payable by Procurement Services. The invoice is entered in Oracle Accounts Payable and matched to the purchase order. If the three-way match conditions are met, the invoice will be approved and will be paid according to payment terms on the order. If the three-way match conditions are not met, the invoice will go on hold.

When purchasing Services, Oracle does not require a receipt. Invoices are routed through workflow to the Requester for review and release. Upon release, Oracle will match based on purchase order and invoice value. If the amount is within the tolerance (generally 10%), the invoice will be released for payment according to the terms on the purchase order. Procurement Services receives notification if the match is not within the tolerance and will contact the supplier and/or department to resolve the Hold.


9.2 Purchase Order Invoice Holds

Oracle will notify the requesting department and/or buyer when holds are applied on an invoice. The requesting department is responsible for notifying Central Receiving that the materials or equipment were received and/or Procurement Services for making any corrections to the purchase order including additional line items, price adjustments or additional funds. When the invoice passes the matching conditions, the invoice will be approved and paid according to payment terms.


9.3 Prepayments

Contact Procurement Services if a prepayment is required. Prepayments are discouraged as payment in advance of receipt of goods and/or services places the university and department at risk of loss if not received as ordered or in unsatisfactory condition. Procurement Services will seek to negotiate standard payment terms and if unsuccessful will secure required documents from the supplier and provide instructions for the purchase requisition to ensure proper accounting treatment.


9.4 Credit Memos

A credit memo is a document issued to show a reduction in the amount owed by RIT because goods were returned, were defective, or there was an error in invoicing. All credit memos received relating to a purchase order must be sent to accounts payable to be matched against the purchase order. The credit memo is entered in Oracle Accounts Payable to offset the original invoice.




Policy History
Last revised June 21, 2024
Edited June 2024