Purchasing: Goods and Services

Always consult with the Business Office prior to making any purchases. They are there to help you accomplish your procurement goals as smoothly as possible.

Also note that the State of Maryland does not allow us to prepay for goods and services. Such requests must be made through and arranged by Procurement.

There are several methods for making purchases. The method you use will depend on the type of purchase. In general, you will conduct your purchasing through the Business Office. It is extremely important that you provide the Business Office with receipts or packing slips from any purchases you make, regardless of the method of procurement. This is an audit requirement which is necessary to substantiate all purchases.

Most items under $5000 may be obtained by determining what you need and from where you want to purchase the items and then contacting the Business Office to place the order for you. Generally these orders are placed the same day and are paid by credit card or using a Small Procurement Order in cases where the vendor does not accept credit cards. Please remember that we have Master Contracts with many common suppliers of laboratory instrumentation and chemicals which provide a heavily discounted price from that shown in the catalog. Master Contracts are purchase contracts that have been pre-negotiated by Procurement. Purchases made from Master Contracts do not require anything other than you determining what you require and having the Business Office place the order. However, large orders will still need to be processed through Procurement. Some of the more common vendors you will likely use with Master Contracts in place are VWR, Fisher Scientific, Air Gas, and Agilent, among the many that are available. Please note that some companies only have specific types of goods or services available under their Master Contract. As with all procurements, please have the Business Office assist you with these types of purchases.

RECEIPTS AND PACKING SLIPS MUST BE PROVIDED TO THE BUSINESS OFFICE AS SOON AS YOU MAKE A PURCHASE OR RECEIVE A SHIPMENT. Any purchases which exceed $5000 in total must be submitted on a Purchase Requisition which will be completed by the Business Office for you once you obtain a quote from a company you select. You may not split purchases over time or between different companies to reduce the order under $5000 as this violates State of Maryland procurement and audit regulations. Purchase orders are sent to Procurement where they will be reviewed. Procurement may obtain additional quotes for the same item from different companies in an attempt to obtain a lower price or to satisfy State and Federal minority and small business enterprise procurement requirements unless you have specific needs that justify a specific vendor. In these cases, you will need to complete a Sole Source procurement form providing a strong justification for not considering alternative vendors. Examples of valid reasons are that 1) there is only one known vendor, 2) that the items must be compatible with existing equipment and the vendor is the only source of the compatible items, or 3) that the bidding process (if the purchase is quite large) would take too long and significantly impede your research, etc. The Business Office has examples of successful Sole Source requests that you can view for ideas when completing yours. Any purchase exceeding $5000 for a single unit is generally considered equipment and also must be carried on our inventory.

If you are purchasing large or heavy items, please coordinate delivery with Stacy Hutchinson to ensure the shipping company delivers to your laboratory.

Computer related equipment must have been budgeted and justified in your proposal and those items costing $1000 or more are also carried on inventory as sensitive equipment.

Any services that will be provided on campus must also be processed on a Purchase Requisition due to liability issues unless we have an existing Blanket Order with that vendor.

Miscellaneous Payment Requests are used when you have purchased an item from a store yourself and you are requesting reimbursement. In general, this is discouraged from an audit standpoint and should be a rare occurrence. CBL has accounts at Lowes and Sneade’s Ace hardware stores. To be included on the list of authorized purchasers please see Theresa Holloway in the Business Office. When purchasing from these stores you must provide the receipt immediately afterward to Theresa Hollaway. Blanket Orders are generally for goods and services that are needed for the operations of the campus and usually are not applicable to purchases made for research purposes. These are similar to Master Contracts except that they are initiated by the Business Office rather than procurement, usually on an annual basis.