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Purchasing Guidelines

Table of Contents

  1. RFP Process
  2. Standard Terms and Conditions and Contract Templates
  3. Special Purchases
  4. Punchout and Hosted Catalogs
  5. Honoraria

I. RFP Process

  1. Decision criteria for each RFP must be set in advance of any review of proposals. They should include all factors necessary to determine overall best value, including the relative weight of each factor. Strategic Sourcing will be responsible for approving all decision criteria.
  2. Price must be one of the criteria (but not necessarily the controlling criteria) used to determine best value during the RFP process; an exception to this provision may be granted by Strategic Sourcing when the situation is appropriate. Other criteria may include without limitation factors such as desirable functionality, maintenance, service, support, suitability for purpose intended, supplier capability, skill, facilities, capacity, cost of and compatibility with existing systems and operations when major changes of practice would be required, cost to the University of changing suppliers, experience, ability, responsibility, previous work, the financial standing of the proposer, quality of product or service, efficiency, and timing.
  3. Diversity should be included as a decision criterion whenever possible, as set forth in further detail in the Purchasing Policy.
  4. When feasible, all RFPs shall include a contract template, provided or approved by the Office of General Counsel (OGC), if the purchase is not governed by the University's standard terms and conditions. Procurement Services shall be responsible for consulting with the OGC to obtain or confirm the appropriate contract template, required legal terms, or to confirm use of the standard terms and conditions.
  5. All bids and RFPs will be managed by Strategic Sourcing in conjunction with the requesting department. Final approval of RFP documents will be made by the AVVPS or his/her designee. Processes, strategies and formats associated with bids and RFPs will be made by Strategic Sourcing in consultation with the requester.
  6. All proposal and bid materials are considered confidential and will not be shared or made available to competitors. Results of bids/RFPs will be discussed as needed and at Drexel's sole discretion with unsuccessful respondents, but the details of the responses will be held in confidence. All participants in a bid/RFP process will be expected to keep confidential the information they are provided and will not share information from one proposer to another proposer.
  7. Final recommendations for award of a bid/RFP will come after the University has determined best and final offers. Best and final offers come as a result of negotiation or request by Procurement Services.

II. Standard Terms and Conditions and Contract Templates

  1. Standard terms and conditions, as may be applicable to specifications, bid requests, purchase orders, or otherwise, and all contract templates, whether prepared by Drexel or any outside supplier, service provider or other individual or entity that will provide Covered Goods and/or Services to Drexel, are subject to review and approval by OGC in cooperation with the AVVPS in accordance with the Contract Protocol Policy (OGC-2).
  2. If applicable to a specific purchase, the Drexel University Purchase Order Terms and Conditions related to University purchase orders for Covered Goods and/or Services will be available on-line for suppliers to access. University purchase orders will reference the link where these standard terms and conditions can be accessed for review and acceptance by suppliers responding to purchase orders provided by the Drexel.
  3. If there are issues with a Contract identified by OGC, it will be the responsibility of the requesting department to make a decision as to whether to proceed with the Contract and accept the risks associated with the Contract. Strategic Sourcing will consult with the requester as applicable in making this decision, and the requester will acknowledge and accept accountability for this decision in writing.

III. Special Purchases

Below is the list of Special Purchases, as defined by the Purchasing Policy, and the procedures and considerations applicable thereto:

  1. Alcohol, Drugs and Hazardous Materials
    1. All purchases of drugs, alcohol and hazardous materials, in connection with University business, are to be made in compliance with University Policy and applicable laws and regulations.
    2. Procurement Services will work with Environmental Health and Safety in order to ensure that such products are shipped, stored and handled in accordance with University safety policies and applicable laws and regulations.
    3. Alcoholic beverages purchased in the course of business travel or business meetings are allowed with the knowledge and approval of the purchaser's budget owner or financial administrator with authority to approve business expenses.
    4. Alcohol purchases may not be transported across state lines.
    5. Alcohol purchases must be made within the laws, regulations and guidelines that regulate these purchases in the state the purchases are made.
    6. If alcohol is purchased it must be done in a manner that does not reflect negatively on the University.
    7. Receipts for alcohol purchases must be handled in accordance with applicable PCard and reimbursement policies.
    8. Alcohol purchases or charges may be prohibited for sponsored projects.
    9. Purchases of alcohol in connection with a University event must also comply with the Policy for Events with Alcohol at Drexel University.
  2. Cooperative Purchasing
    1. When in the University's best interest, Procurement Services may choose to enter into cooperative purchasing arrangements groups, such as Philadelphia Area Collegiate Cooperative (PACC) and the Educational and Institutional Cooperative (E&I), which use aggregated spend to establish contracts. Care will be given to assure that methods similar to those required at the University are used in creating these agreements and that the University’s best interests are served by using them.
    2. The University may also use pre-existing procurement contracts from entities or groups when the procurement methods of such entity or group are comparable, and all parties (sellers and buyers) are in agreement that the University is eligible for pricing, terms and conditions of these agreements.
    3. Procurement Services will ensure that the procedures used to establish a contract award and the terms and conditions of the contracts are comparable to University policies and procedures.
  3. Government Surplus Property Program
    1. Certain items of property and equipment are available at significant cost savings through Government surplus property programs. The conditions governing the acquisition of such surplus property include:
      1. Monitoring all governmental surplus property purchases, Federal or State, to ensure adherence to the governmental policies of acquisition, utilization and disposal of the property;
      2. Purchasing State and Federal surplus property up to $100,000 per bid or as a sole source; over $100,000 must have approval of the AVPPS; and
      3. Coordinating the University program with the Government Agencies of Surplus Property.
    2. All Federal Government or State Agency rules and regulations imposed on Surplus Property shall be adhered disseminated and adhered to.
    3. University property received that has a government value of $5,000 or more, regardless of the acquisition cost shall be considered inventorial items of equipment and must be reported to the Comptroller's office.
    4. For items that have use restrictions, see Acquisition by External Sponsors section in this Policy.
  4. Radioactive Materials
    The purchase of radioactive materials shall be made only for those having an active authorization issued by Environmental Health and Safety and/or the Campus Radiation Safety Committee for the material, quantity and form being requested.
  5. Privacy and Confidential Information
    Procurement Services will consult with the Chief Privacy and Compliance Officer and Drexel IT for any purchases of equipment or software that will require access to private and confidential information, such as credit card accounts, student information, the University's computer network, or protected health information, and will determine whether additional documents (e.g., a Business Associate Agreement) may need to be executed with the supplier.
  6. Contracts for Off Campus Special Events
    Contracts associated with group reservations and meeting space pertaining to off campus University special events, conventions, or seminars must be reviewed and authorized by the AVPPS or his/her designee, prior to execution.
  7. Computing Equipment and Software
    All purchases and Contracts for computer hardware must be made through eProcurement using one of the approved standard configurations. Exceptions shall only be made for specific required needs that cannot be satisfied through one of the standard approved computers and must be approved by Drexel IT. Purchases and Contracts for software, and computer configuration, data security, and encryption standards, are subject to Drexel IT policies. See also Computers & Software Overview on the Drexel IT website:

IV. Punchout and Hosted Catalogs

The University has established punchout and hosted catalogs with a limited number of suppliers in Smart Source, allowing users to make purchases in a consumer-like marketplace. Because these catalogs are established through prior negotiation, competitive bidding requirements may be waived in the sole discretion of Procurement Services. Procurement Services reserves the right to review requested purchases from punchout and hosted catalogs and require competitive bidding or to leverage multiple large orders in order to request greater discounts.

V. Honoraria

In order to qualify as honoraria, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The recipient of payment is not a Drexel employee;
  2. Per IRS regulations, the event or activity giving rise to payment is non-recurring (typically one time) and related to usual academic activity.
    1. The event or activity may last no more than 9 days;
    2. The recipient’s activities must be of direct benefit to Drexel; and
    3. The recipient must not have accepted payment from more than 5 institutions in the previous 6 months.
  3. There is no contract covering the recipient's appearance or activity;
  4. Payment is made after the event or activity as a courtesy or token of appreciation, and the recipient has no expectation of payment; and
  5. The payment amount is nominal (typically $100 or less);

Please note the following considerations and special circumstances:

  1. When available, the correspondence (e.g., letter or email) inviting the recipient to attend or participate in the event or activity should be submitted with the payment request;
  2. Drexel may not assign payment to anyone or any entity (e.g., a charity) other than the individual participating in the event or activity;
  3. For honoraria to be paid to foreign nationals, please consult Drexel’s International Student and Scholars Services office.
  4. Honoraria payments are considered taxable income and will be reported as such, consistent with IRS regulations.