Procurement & Purchasing Regulation

Regulation # 207


Administrative Regulation Type: Administration

Responsible Administrator: Vice President of Administration

Location of Related Procedures: Office of Vice President of Administration
                                                                   Office of Controller

Procurement is defined as the buying, purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring any supplies, services, equipment or construction, and includes any other activity pertaining to obtaining supplies, services, equipment or construction.

It is the policy of this District that all procurements are made in compliance with appropriate Federal and State Statutes, Wisconsin Administrative Rule TCS6, and procedures as set forth in the Wisconsin Technical College System Financial Accounting Manual.

All procurements shall be conducted in a manner that provides maximum open and free competition. The purchase and use of materials and services shall be made in accordance with sound and ethical business practice within the framework of applicable laws and regulations and with the intent of reaching the institutional goals of the district.

The District shall not discriminate against any vendor, business or individual who offers to provide goods or services on the basis of age, race, color, sex, creed, disability, political persuasion, ancestry, sexual orientation, or for any other reason prescribed by law, whether federal, state, or local ordinance.

July 1998
March 2014

Procurement & Purchasing Procedures

Procedure # 207


Contact Person: Controller

Goal: The responsible & ethical procurement of high quality goods and services at the lowest cost in compliance with all relevant laws, statutes and regulations.

Delegation:  The Procurement Department is responsible for administering the district’s procurement policy and monitoring activities to ensure compliance. All Request for Bids (RFB) and Request for Proposals (RFP) are administered through the Procurement Department to ensure that the process complies with all applicable laws and regulations, including the requirements of the WTCS Financial Accounting Manual.

Purpose:  This policy provides instruction for the purchase of necessary materials and services and identifies the essential activities and primary responsibilities of the procurement function. All procurement staff and their designees or delegates must adhere to this policy.

Scope & Responsibility: Procurement related activities may be assigned to either procurement staff or district employees outside of the Procurement Department and include:

  • Determining needs, specifications & deliverables
  • Evaluating proposals and documenting rationale for selection
  • Determining and executing purchases, using the most appropriate purchasing method
  • Receipt and inspection of goods or acceptance of service deliverables
  • Follow up and resolution with vendors regarding any discrepancies in price, damages or shortages on incoming material
  • Approval of payments

General Requirements:

  • Purchase orders require the approval of the appropriate departmental supervisor and the confirmation of available budgetary funds.
  • A purchase order or a District Credit Card must be used for the procurement of goods and services. The Madison College Purchasing Matrix outlines allowable purchasing methods for dollar thresholds.
  • The District shall not discriminate against any vendor, business or individual who offers to provide goods or services on the basis of age, race, color, sex, creed, disability, political persuasion, ancestry, sexual orientation, or for any other reason prescribed by law, whether federal, state, or local ordinance.
  • The District will dispose of property which is no longer useful or needed for programs or operations in conformance with guidelines outlined in the Disposition of College Property Procedure. For each item with an estimated value of $25,000.00 or more, the District must submit a list to the State Director of the WTCS for approval to dispose of the property.
  • The only persons who are authorized to sign contracts on behalf of Madison College are the President, any position at the level of a vice president, or any individual designated by the President and as outlined in the corresponding Administrative Policy #103. Legal will review contracts on a case by case basis to determine the acceptable risk level, and determine if further negotiation is necessary, whether by legal or by the business manager.

Purchase Thresholds:

  • Splitting large purchases into smaller purchases in order to bypass procurement rules is prohibited.
  • All Purchases must comply with the dollar thresholds as noted, unless outlined in the Bid Waiver Section below.
  • District Board approval is required for sole source procurements of $50,000 or more. A sole source is an item or service that is only available from a single source. [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05(2)(d)]
  • All procurements for printing services greater than $250 and less than $25,000 shall require at least two quotations, since printing costs can vary substantially between vendors. Printing procurements of $25,000 but less than $50,000 require three written quotes. Any printing procurements of $50,000 require request for bids.
  • Other Non-Construction Related Purchases:
    • Total Cost is less than $5,000; may be obtained at buyer discretion.  Two quotes are recommended.  [Madison College Policy]
    • Total cost is at least $5,000 but less than $25,000; requestor needs written price quotations from at least two sources. The lowest price for the best quality should be used to determine the vendor. [Madison College Policy]
    • Total cost is at least $25,000, but less than $50,000; written quotations from a minimum of three vendors is needed. [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05(2)(f)]
    • Total cost of $50,000 or more; requires a competitive sealed bid process, via either Request for Bid or Request for Proposals. [Financial Accounting Manual] [Wisconsin Statutes 38.18 and 62.15(1)1, (11), and (14)] [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05 (2) (c)]
  • Public Construction Related Purchases:
    • Total cost is less than $5,000; may be obtained at buyer discretion. Two quotes are recommended. [Madison College Policy]
    • Total cost is at least $5,000 but not exceeding $25,000; requires the publication of a class 1 notice of the proposed construction prior to execution of the contract. A minimum of two quotes are required. [s62.15 (1) Wis. Statues]

      For construction projects where total costs are anticipated to be less than $25,000, the administration shall, whenever possible, give preference to contractors and subcontractors who certify that they participate in a registered apprenticeship program.
    • Total Cost is greater than $25,000; requires the publication of a class 2 notice to inform potential bidders of the proposed construction and a sealed bid process. Construction bids must include the time, date and location of the public bid opening and at least two district employees shall be present.  [Financial Accounting Manual] [Wisconsin Statutes 38.18, 62.15(3) and 62.15(1)1, (11), and (14)] [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05 (2) (c)]

      All contracts for public construction where total costs are anticipated to exceed $25,000 must include the following clause;

      “The contractor(s) and any subcontractors shall participate in a registered apprenticeship program, certified through the Department of Workforce Development, Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards, and/or the U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, and shall employ apprentices for each building trades craft anticipated to be involved in the project, if they are available and appropriate for the nature of the work being performed.  Such apprentices shall be properly indentured in a registered apprenticeship program.”

General Requirements for Request for Bids & Request for Proposals:

  • All bids and proposals shall include a clear and accurate description of the item or service being procured. This description shall not contain features that unduly restrict competition.
  • Evaluation criteria related to bids & proposals will be disclosed in the specifications of the documents provided to all prospective bidders.  [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05(2)(l)
  • Two or more responsible and willing supplies are willing and able to compete.
  • Awards shall be made only to responsible contractors that possess the ability to perform successfully under the terms and conditions of the proposed procurement.
  • Procurement contracts may be awarded for periods up to 5 years, with the option of additional consecutive one year extensions up to a maximum of total contract length (including extensions) of seven years. Exceptions include audit services (restricted to 5 years total) and ERP system maintenance agreements (contracts limited to ten years total), and legal services (annual engagement letter).

Bid Waiver Exceptions:  The following are allowable exceptions to the bid/quote requirements listed above:

  • Any purchase made under a bid waiver exception must be executed using a purchase order or a District Credit card and must comply with all general purchasing requirements as stated above.
  • Cooperative Purchasing under s.16.73 & s66.0301 of the Wis. Statutes is utilized.
  • The purchase is made through a cooperative purchasing association which has a competitive purchasing process that is substantially the same as the competitive procurement requirements applicable to the WTCS and that have been recognized by the System President.
  • The Purchase is from another governmental unit without intervention of bids per s. 66.0131 (2) Wisconsin Statutes.
  • Used Equipment from a vendor who offers it for immediate sale may be through noncompetitive negotiation. [Financial Accounting Manual]
  • Items intended for Resale.
  • Emergency Procurements can be made when there exists a threat to the continued operation of the District or to the health, safety, or welfare of students, employees or residents of the District. Emergency procurements shall be evidenced by a written determination of the basis of the emergency and the selection of a particular contractor. [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05 (2) (i)]
  • Outside Legal Counsel: An annual letter of engagement is required.
  • Sole Source: The item or service is only available from a single source.
  • Real Estate Leases.
  • Copyrighted materials.
  • The following services are considered professional services or are specifically identified in board-approved collective bargaining contracts, and therefore are procured through non-competitive selection: Collectively bargained items, Health Insurance, Cafeteria Plan Benefits Administrator, Water, Sewer, Electric, & Gas Utilities, Telephone Service, Contracted instruction for customized training where the contracted instruction is requested by customer, and Subcontractors identified in grants where the federal grantor agency specifically authorizes noncompetitive negotiation.
  • For instructional equipment, when key employers in the district require that potential employees be trained on a specific brand of equipment, the district is authorized to procure that brand.

Annual Review:  Annually, district staff shall prepare a review of all procurements of $50,000 or less of similar goods, supplies, or services that total $50,000 or more in aggregate to determine if a more competitive process should be used in the future.  The district board shall take formal action by October 31 on the procurement review and report related to the prior fiscal year.  Such action is to be reflected in the board minutes. [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05(2)(h)]

Monthly Review:  The District Board shall review all checks over $2,500 for purchases from a state/governmental contract as required in the WTCS Financial & Administrative Manual.

Code of Conduct:  Any employee engaged in the award and administration of procurement prohibited from having a financial interest in any procurement and any employee involved in procurement is prohibited from receiving any gift, gratuity or other financial gain from any contractor.  [Wisconsin Administrative Code TCS 6.05 (2) (b)] Human Resources Code of Ethics Policy #406 (This language specific to purchasing must be added to this policy in order to be in compliance with WTCS)

Recordkeeping Requirements:  The District shall keep records for all procurements where the total cost exceeds $25,000.00. These records shall include the rationale for the method of procurement, the rationale for selection or rejection of any contractor or proposed contractor and the basis for cost or price. The District shall keep records identifying sole source and emergency procurements, including the specific rationale used to meet the criteria.

Adherence to Federal Regulations:  All federally funded procurements shall be made in accordance with applicable federal regulations.

Audit:  The Procurement Department will ensure that appropriate internal control procedures and safeguards are in place for all activity related to the procurement process and will monitor & audit activity related to purchasing. Periodic audits and reviews of purchasing records will be done by an independent audit firm to ensure their proper accounting and compliance with District Policy.

Updated: 02/4/14
Approved: 02/19/14