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Procurement at the University of Kansas

Policy
Purpose: 
Applies to: 

University of Kansas, departments, offices, and campuses in the Lawrence campus system (for additional details see Section III)

Campus: 
Lawrence
Policy Statement: 

Section I: Authority and Delegation

KSA 76-769, grants authority to the Kansas Board of Regents to approve policies regarding the acquisition of any supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, printing, certain leases and services, including professional services, required by a state educational institution. The Board of Regents has directed the Chancellor, as Chief Executive Officer of the University of Kansas (KU), to develop and implement the policies required to administer and operate university procurement activities in accordance with all terms, conditions and requirements detailed in KSA 76-769 and Board policies.

Pursuant to KSA 76-725, the Chancellor has delegated the KU Chief Procurement Officer all purchasing authority, including the administration of the policies and procedures consistent with the provisions of this policy.

Section II: Purpose

The University of Kansas Procurement policy is intended to establish the parameters of a purchasing program that is specifically designed to support and facilitate the instructional, research, and public service missions of the University by applying best methods and best business practices when the University is acquiring supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, printing, certain leases and services, including professional services.

Within the context of the University environment, this policy is intended to promote the development and use of purchasing processes that promote the pursuit of excellence and the best interests of the University while maintaining the highest possible integrity, broad-based competition, fair and equal treatment of the business community and increased economies and efficiencies in the purchasing process.

The University shall communicate and collaborate with the State of Kansas Division of Purchases and other state universities to insure that all procurement opportunities where mutual benefit can be obtained are achieved. Examples include participating in state sponsored contract development meetings, utilizing state contracts when they meet the needs of the university and allowing state agencies and other state universities to access contracts and pricing agreements entered into by the university whenever possible.

The KU Chief Procurement Officer and members of the KU Procurement Services department shall work collaboratively with the University Director of Internal Audit and their staff as operating procedures and reporting mechanisms are developed and audits of individual departments are conducted to insure adherence to proper purchasing procedures.

Section III: Applicability

  1. General Applicability

    This policy applies to the acquisition of all supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, printing, certain leases and services, including professional services paid for with funds on deposit with the state treasury.

    Purchases where fifty (50) percent or more of the funding for a transaction is on deposit with the University of Kansas Center for Research (KUCR) and purchases made with one hundred (100) percent University of Kansas Endowment (KUEA) funds shall follow the purchasing policies for those organizations unless otherwise specified in approved KU purchasing procedures.

Section IV: Ethics and Conflict of Interest

  1. Code of Ethics

    All parties involved in the negotiation, performance, or administration of the acquisition of any supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, printing, certain leases and services, including professional services, required by the University are bound to act in good faith. Any person employed by the University, who purchases supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, printing, certain leases and services, including professional services, or is involved in the purchasing process for the University, shall be held to the highest degree of trust and shall be bound to the University of Kansas Procurement Code of Ethics. (See Appendix A)

  2. Conflict of Interest

    The University of Kansas Conflict of Interest Policy defines the processes for articulating and resolving conflicts of interest at the University. When the KU Chief Procurement Officer has reason to believe that a conflict of interest may exist the KU Chief Procurement Officer will direct the affected department to comply with the procedures described in the Conflict of Interest Policy. (See related documents section below)

Section V: Competitive Solicitations

  1. Competitive Solicitation Policy

    The University will purchase all required supplies, materials, equipment, goods, property, printing, certain leases and services, including professional services, in a manner that affords vendors a fair and equitable opportunity to compete.

  2. Competitive Solicitation Thresholds

    Purchase transactions with a total cost that exceeds $50,000 shall be accomplished by utilizing an approved competitive solicitation type, or by an approved non-competitive process as determined by the KU Chief Procurement Officer in accordance with the terms of this policy and approved purchasing procedures.

  3. Competitive Solicitation Notification

    A competitive solicitation with an estimated cost that exceeds $50,000, regardless of type of competitive solicitation utilized, shall be advertised in a manner that provides reasonable notice to the public of the competitive bid opportunity. Reasonable notice may include but is not limited to electronic bulletin boards, posting of hard copy documents in a public location, publication in appropriate newspapers and trade journals and other means as deemed appropriate by the KU Chief Procurement Officer in accordance with approved purchasing procedures.

  4. Specifications

    Specifications shall be developed in a manner that is not unduly restrictive while recognizing the purpose of this policy as detailed in Section II of this document.

  5. Competitive Bid Openings

    Competitive solicitation openings shall be open to the public in accordance with approved purchasing procedures.

  6. Evaluations and Award

    All competitive solicitation responses shall be evaluated as outlined in the competitive transaction documents. The KU Chief Procurement Officer shall ensure that the award decision treats all vendors equitably and is made in accordance with the specifications, terms and conditions utilized for the competitive transaction as well as the terms of this policy and approved operating procedures. Unless otherwise specified in approved purchasing procedures and in the specific bid documents governing a transaction, the criteria for award shall be on the basis of lowest responsible bidder meeting the specifications, terms and conditions established in the bid documents.

  7. Determinations Required

    Any decision or finding required to administer the scope of the purchasing program shall be supported by a written determination prepared or approved by the KU Chief Procurement Officer in accordance with approved purchasing procedures.

  8. Commodity Price Agreements/Master Service Agreements

    At the discretion of the KU Chief Procurement Officer, KU may enter into Commodity Price Agreements or Master Services Agreements in accordance with approved purchasing procedures. No mandatory use agreement shall be entered into pursuant to the terms contained in this section.

  9. Compliance With Federal, State and Local Laws, Rules and Regulations

    All purchasing policies and procedures shall comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations including but not limited to those pertaining to affirmative action and access to facilities, educational and co-curricular programs, campus activities, and employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities. KU will actively seek to purchase products and services that comply – and will allow the University to comply – with the most recent ADA Accessibility Standards and/or be subject to reasonable modification that would make the product or service accessible to the disabled.

  10. Sustainability

    The University is committed to lessening our negative impacts on the environment and strengthening the regional economy through sustainable purchasing practices and partnerships with vendors while maintaining fiscal responsibility. All purchasing policies and procedures shall be developed in a manner designed to promote and implement this intent.

Section VI: Vendor Suspension

The KU Chief Procurement Officer may issue a written determination to suspend a vendor from doing business with the University pending an investigation to determine whether cause exists for debarment in accordance with approved purchasing procedures.

A written notice of the suspension, including a copy of the determination, shall be sent to the suspended vendor with a copy to the KU Vice Provost for Administration and Finance.

The suspension period will be effective upon issuance of the notice of suspension.

Section VII: Vendor Debarment

  1. A vendor may be debarred for any of the following reasons:
    1. Conviction of a criminal offense in relation to obtaining or attempting to obtain a University contract or in the performance of such contract;
    2. Conviction under State of Kansas or Federal statutes of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records or receiving stolen property;
    3. Conviction under State of Kansas or Federal antitrust statutes arising out of the submission of bids or proposals;
    4. Failure to perform in accordance with the terms of one or more contracts following notice of such failure, or a history of failure to perform, or of unsatisfactory performance of one or more contracts;
    5. The vendor is currently under debarment by any other governmental entity that is based upon a settlement agreement or a final administrative or judicial determination issued by a Federal, state or local governmental entity.

    Following completion of the investigation to determine whether a vendor has engaged in activities that are cause for debarment, the KU Chief Procurement Officer may debar the vendor for a period of time commensurate with the seriousness of the findings.

  2. A written notice of debarment shall be sent to the vendor. The notice shall:
    1. State the debarment period; and
    2. Inform the debarred vendor that any person(s) representing the debarred vendor during the debarment period may conduct no business with the University and that any solicitation responses received from the debarred vendor during the debarment period shall not be considered.

    The debarment period will be effective fourteen (14) calendar days after the notice of debarment is sent to the debarred vendor.

Section VIII: Dispute Resolution

  1. The KU Chief Procurement Officer is authorized to resolve, in accordance with approved purchasing procedures, any protests regarding any and all purchasing matters including but not limited to:
    1. Any protest concerning the solicitation or award of a contract or purchase order; and
    2. Any controversy arising between the University and a contractor by virtue of a contract or purchase order between them, including, without limitation, controversies based upon breach of contract, mistake, misrepresentation, or any other cause for contract modification or rescission.
  2. The KU Chief Procurement Officer shall render a written decision regarding the protest within fourteen (14) calendar days after the protest and/or any subsequently submitted information is received. The KU Chief Procurement Officer shall furnish a copy of the decision to the protestor in writing in accordance with approved purchasing procedures.
  3. The protesting party may appeal the written determination of the KU Chief Procurement Officer. If the protesting party desires to appeal, the protesting party must submit written request for appeal to the KU Vice Provost for Administration and Finance within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the written determination of the KU Chief Procurement Officer. The decision of the Vice Provost for Administration and Finance shall constitute the Final Agency Order regarding the matter.

Section IX: Procurement Records

Procurement records are subject to disclosure pursuant to the provisions of the Kansas Open Records Act (See K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.).

Procurement records shall be retained and disposed of in accordance with applicable records retention policies of the State and University of Kansas.

Appendix A - University of Kansas Procurement Code of Ethics

The conduct of all persons involved in the procurement process at the University of Kansas should be characterized by integrity and dignity, and all persons should expect and encourage such conduct by others.

The business officer should adopt and be faithful to personal values that accord respect to self and others; preserve honesty in actions and utterances; preserve honesty in actions and utterances; aspire to achieve quality; accept intellectual and moral responsibility; give fair and just treatment to all; refuse conflict, or the appearance of conflict, between personal and institutional interests; and engender forthright expression of one’s own views and tolerance for the views of others.

The business officer should act with competence and should strive to advance competence, both in self and in others.

The business officer should understand and support the institution’s objectives and policies, should be capable of interpreting them within and beyond the institution, and should contribute constructively to their ongoing evaluation and reformulation.

The business officer should communicate to institutional colleagues the content of this Code of Ethics and should strive to ensure that the standards of professional conduct contained therein are met.

In discharging duties in accordance with this Code of Ethics, the business officer should enjoy the following rights:

  • the right to work in a professional and supportive environment;
  • the right to have a clear, written statement of the conditions of employment, procedures for professional review, and a job description outlining duties and responsibilities;
  • within the scope of authority and policy, the right to exercise judgment and perform duties without disruption or harassment; and
  • freedom of conscience and the right to refuse to engage in actions that violate the ethical principles contained in this Code or provisions of law.

NACUBO Code of Ethics
April 15, 1993

Contact: 

purchasing@ku.edu
Ph (785) 864-3790
Fax (785) 864-3454

Approved by: 
Chancellor
Approved on: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Effective on: 
Monday, March 11, 2013
Review Cycle: 
Annual (As Needed)
Background: 

The University of Kansas Purchasing Policy is intended to implement the purchasing authority granted by the 2010 Kansas Legislature in HB 2433. This legislation was submitted after the completion of a successful 3 year pilot project in which KU participated. The pilot project was established by SB 52 which was passed by the 2006 Kansas Legislature.

Keywords: 
Procurement, Competitive Bids, Vendor Suspension, Vendor Disbarment, Code of Ethics, KSA 76-769, Conflicts of Interest, Dispute Resolution, Kansas Open Records Act
Review, Approval & Change History: 

07/11/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.

11/03/2014: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).

05/21/2014 - Technical edits; update to Policy Owner and Campus for accuracy

03/06/2013: Approved by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

Financial Categories: 
Purchasing

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