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Administrative Regulations – Purchasing

  1. Sourcing. Purchases above $5,000 may be made only from suppliers on the list of approved suppliers established and maintained by Procurement Services. If a vendor is not on the list of approved suppliers, the supplier should refer to Prospective Suppliers on the Procurement Services website.
  2. Documentation. Contracts, agreements, and purchase orders for the supply of goods and services should be obtained using informal, formal, or sealed tenders. Agreements to purchase, lease or rent equipment or premises should be initiated by prescribed documents and approved in accordance with appropriate levels of authority. Documentary evidence should be retained on buying centre decisions made in the planning, acquiring and managing of goods and services, for review or audit. Notes on oral quotations should be kept on file.
  3. Responsibilities of Procurement Services. Procurement Services:
    1. provide purchasing tools to enable self-sufficiency and operational efficiency at the departmental level.
    2. negotiates University-wide pricing based on overall volume,
    3. monitors purchasing activities throughout the University to ensure optimum value received for dollars spent,
    4. recommends to the Chief Financial Officer the designation of buying centres and specialized buying units where qualified purchasing staff are in place,
    5. maintains a data base listing commodities with current descriptions and contract terms where applicable that enable users to identify suppliers,
    6. maintains a listing of all approved suppliers who meet minimum performance criteria,
    7. provides assistance to buying centres, specialized buying units, and departments in the development of processes to facilitate the planning, acquisition and management of goods and services,
    8. publishes, disseminates, and administers the purchasing policy, administrative regulations, and procedures for the management of University purchasing activities,
    9. monitors and reports on deviations from the policy and administrative purchasing regulations,
    10. sponsors and co-ordinates University-wide initiatives to achieve improvements in the planning, acquisition and management of goods and services,
    11. facilitates the standardization of goods and services wherever possible,
    12. develops new sources of supply and pro-actively seeks improvements in goods and services provided by existing suppliers,
    13. assists the University community in the development of commodity specifications, and commercial conditions for major capital expenditures,
    14. assists in dispute resolution between approved suppliers, departments and divisions throughout the University, and
    15. reviews and approves the fair market value of surplus capital assets that are to be sold.
  4. Responsibilities of Buying Centres. A buying centre is a decentralized purchasing department with a broad scope of activity, and operates under the general direction of Procurement Services. A buying centre has authority up to $300,000, not limited as to type of purchase, unless a specialized buying unit has been delegated that responsibility. Buying centres:
    1. administer the purchasing policy, administrative regulations, and procedures for the acquisition of goods and services up to $300,000 in value,
    2. recommend to Procurement Services suppliers to be added to or deleted from the database of suppliers,
    3. report to Procurement Services, as may be required, on activities relating to the planning, acquisition and management of goods and services, and
    4. provide assistance to departments to facilitate their planning, acquisition, and management of goods and services.
  5. Responsibilities of Specialized Buying Units. Specialized buying units manage and administer purchasing policies and procedures for all acquisitions of goods and services in a functional area of expertise, up to $300,000 in value. A specialized buying unit is similar to a buying centre, but operates with less general direction from Procurement Services. Typically these units have specialized purchasing expertise and product knowledge in areas such as food services; construction; book, magazine and journal acquisition; computer hardware and software; scientific equipment; and real estate management. Examples of specialized purchasing activities that have been delegated on a functional basis are architectural and engineering services, library acquisitions, and leasing outside space and the purchase and sale of real estate. The precise terms of the delegation are found in the terms of reference of these units, which have been established with the concurrence of the Chief Financial Officer on the recommendation of Procurement Services. Within its specialization, the specialized functional buying units:
    1. manage and administer the purchasing policy, administrative regulations, and procedures for the acquisition of goods and services up to $300,000 in value, and
    2. report to Procurement Services, as may be required, on its purchasing activities.
  6. Qualifications of staff of buying centres and specialized buying units. Expertise and professional qualifications are required due to the nature of the purchasing activities of these centres. The emphasis is on those items requiring: formal sealed tenders or requests for proposal, negotiations, and performing internal reviews of the using department’s purchasing activities. The staff of these units should have a level of expertise and professionalism that is equivalent to a minimum of four years purchasing experience at a senior level, and training that would include completion of appropriate courses such as those offered through the Purchasing Management Association of Canada, as recommended by the Director of Procurement Services.
  7. Responsibilities of Departments. Departments:
    1. manage and administer the purchasing policy, administrative regulations, and procedures for the acquisition of goods and services up to $25,000 in value,
    2. recommend to Procurement Services suppliers to be added to or deleted from the database of vendors,
    3. report to Procurement Services and/or the Buying Centre, as may be required, details of purchasing activities. The staff trained in purchasing in the department has authority to authorize purchase orders up to the $25,000 limit and are responsible for properly sourcing and receiving quotations, and preparing orders.
  8. Qualifications of purchasing staff in departments. The equivalent of two years of purchasing experience and completion of a basic buying course such as that offered through the Purchasing Management Association of Canada is recommended.
  9. Other. Wherever possible and economical and without significantly affecting the intended use of the commodity, the University shall acquire commodities that are considered environmentally friendly. The University encourages the purchase of cleaning and cleaning-related products that have not been and will not be tested on live animals in the process of product development, manufacture or use.

Last revision: July 19, 2006