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The business procedure governing the procurement, storage, issuance and delivery of all materials, supplies, services and equipment required in the operation of the College is an administrative responsibility controlled by the College Board of Trustees and governed by County Colleges Contracts Law 18A:64A-25.1 et.seq. The Board of Trustees, through resolution, has designated the President, the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Director of Purchasing and Inventory as the contracting agents of the College and has the authority to make awards in the best interest of the College.
The Purchasing Department is obligated to monitor compliance with the laws, rules and regulations set forth by Federal, State and local authorities as they pertain to the purchasing function.
No other individual has the authority to enter into purchase contracts or, in any way, obligate the College for procurement indebtedness, unless specifically authorized to do so in writing by the Board of Trustees. Any such commitments are considered unauthorized and may not be honored for payment (unless previously authorized). In no instance should suppliers deliver materials for purchase or testing until a Middlesex County College purchase order has been received or authorized by the Purchasing Department.
The business of Middlesex County College is education.
Materials and services must be provided in sufficient quality and quantity in order that the instructional mission of the College can be carried out effectively. It is the purpose of the Purchasing Department to secure and distribute high quality goods and services at the lowest possible price consistent with the educational standards and objectives of the College.
The administrative and educational goals of Middlesex County College can best be realized when the mission of the Purchasing Department is clearly understood by all parties. Therefore, the purpose of this policy statement is not only to acquaint the staff, but also the vendors with the business procedures governing the procurement and storage, issuance and delivery of all materials, supplies, services and equipment required in the operation of Middlesex County College.
A publication of this policy statement will also be made available for distribution to all interested parties. In the event of any inconsistency with this policy it will not supersede any statute, state or local rule or regulation, legal advertisement, instruction to bidder issued at the time of bidding, or individual set of specifications. It should, however, establish the kind of communication and understanding between the College Community and the vendor which will result in the best dollar value return for the tax dollar.
The mission of the College Purchasing Department is successful to the degree that it secures the goods and services which best serve the educational program while returning the greatest value on the tax dollar spent.
*All purchases exceeding the current bid threshold in value must be approved by the Board of Trustees including vendors authorized under New Jersey State Cooperative Purchasing.
It is necessary that all contracts with approved or potential suppliers originate in the Purchasing Department. Any supplier or sales person who desires to present their product to the ultimate user within the College must contact the Purchasing Department to arrange for an appointment.
Normal vendor visiting hours to the Purchasing Department are from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. or by appointment, Monday through Friday of each week. Summer hours are 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. or by appointment, Monday through Thursday, the first week in June through the first week in August, unless otherwise established.
Suppliers shall be responsible business organizations offering material, supplies, services or equipment required by the College. When requested, any supplier may be required to present factual evidence of financial status and capability or other information related to whether the Bidder is responsible to supply specific commodities. The Director of Purchasing and Inventory may elect to make plant visitations, check available ratings, obtain references or other researched media as deemed necessary.
A supplier commodity file list will be maintained in the Purchasing Department for reference to specific items. Public bids will be e-mailed to selected suppliers in addition to advertising in the public newspaper and posting on Middlesex County College’s website..
With the exception of contracts for construction of primary buildings, it is the responsibility of the Purchasing Department to purchase all required supplies, services and equipment. Specifications shall be so written that broad competitive solicitation through formal bid or written quotation procedures is encouraged. Expenditures exceeding the current bid threshold may require a performance bond and 10% security bid guarantee at the discretion of the College and as provided by N.J.S.A.18A:64A-25.16, 17, but the security bid guarantee shall not exceed $20,000 unless otherwise stated in the Bid Specifications issued by the Purchasing Department.
The Purchasing Department will solicit written quotations covering the purchase of any items having an estimated net price in excess of the current quote threshold but under the current bid threshold. If the estimated net price is less than the current bid threshold, verbal quotations may be requested or the purchase made through agreements developed with local suppliers from quotations or bids used to develop annual maintenance and supply contracts.
Sealed bids or special quotations will be solicited for any item or group of items that exceed the current bid threshold in accordance with the provisions of the “County College Contracts Law” 18A:64A-25.1 et. seq. All sealed bids received will be opened at the indicated time, and any bids received after the opening time will be returned to its originator unopened. The Vice President of Finance and the Director of Purchasing and Inventory shall review the results of each bid and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees who may accept or reject those in the form of resolutions for award.
The Board of Trustees reserves the right to reject any or all bids, and/or quotations, and to accept those items and/or services deemed to be in the best interest of the College. If any bid is rejected or the College readvertises for bids, all previous bid documents shall be returned to all previous bidders. Notification of the readvertisement will be sent to all previous bidders.
A written purchase order will then be issued to the lowest responsible bidder or awardee as recommended by the Director of Purchasing and Inventory and approved by the Board of Trustees for Middlesex County College.
All bid security except the security of the three apparent lowest responsible bidders shall, if requested, be returned within 30 days from the opening of the bids, Sunday and holidays excluded. The bids of such bidders shall be considered as withdrawn. Within three days, Sundays and holidays excluded, after the awarding of the contract and the approval of the successful bidder’s performance bond, if any, the bid guaranty of the remaining bidders shall be returned to them. The bid opening time is defined as that specified time when valid bids must be received and read aloud by the Director of Purchasing and Inventory. (There are no exceptions to this rule). Sufficient time should be allowed by all interested bid parties using U.S. Mail or other carriers, to have bid documents reach the Purchasing Department prior to the scheduled bid opening time. Any bids that may have been delivered elsewhere at the College and rerouted to Purchasing must also be received prior to this scheduled opening time.
The Purchasing Department shall exert every possible effort to obtain materials, supplies, services or equipment at the lowest possible net price consistent with item specifications and required delivery dates. In order to accomplish this, it shall be necessary in all instances to accept the lowest responsible bid or quotation meeting specifications. Such information shall be stored in the Purchasing Department file for reference. The Director of Purchasing and Inventory may also elect to purchase items from vendors under state contract in lieu of public bids, depending on the urgency and availability of the material requirements. However, the Board must also approve those purchases under New Jersey State Contract exceeding the current bid threshold in value prior to formal issuance of any purchase order.
The general conditions governing a purchase contract will appear in the specifications for public bid and on the back of the standard purchase order used for all bid awards.
The signature of an authorized representative of the firm awarded a contract must sign and return a copy of the purchase order using the reverse side to confirm acknowledgment and acceptance of all conditions to the College and Director of Purchasing and Inventory. All participants in a Public Bid are notified in writing of the results in any award after final Board approval of the lowest responsible bidder.
Bids and the award of contracts are governed by the County College Contracts Law N.J.S.A. 18A:64A-25.1 et seq. Any legal challenges to the bidding process must be pursued before the Board of Trustees in accordance with P.L. 1994 Ch. 48, Sec. 6 (f). The challenge or objection must be presented by filing a petition with the secretary of the Board of Trustees within seven (7) calendar days of the decision to award or not award a contract.
Proceedings on the petition shall be governed by the Rules Governing Hearing Before the Board of Trustees of Middlesex County College. The rules may be obtained at the office of the Director of Purchasing and Inventory.
Samples, when requested by the Purchasing Department, shall be furnished free of expense. Such samples will, upon request, be returned to the vendor at his/her expense. Vendors occasionally may be asked to set up demonstrations of educational materials so that the College administrators and instructors may observe and study the latest materials available for future purchase.
All College purchases are secured by means of a standard purchase order document. In no instance should a supplier deliver materials either for purchase or on trial approval until a Middlesex County College purchase order has been executed and issued by the appropriate College official and received by the supplier.
Many specialized maintenance materials and other products used infrequently are stocked by distributors and therefore are not duplicated in inventories maintained by the Purchasing Department. In order to eliminate delays and reduce the need for writing large numbers of small purchase orders for these materials, Blanket Order Agreements using public bid solicitations or quotations are processed each year for maintenance supplies and for several educational departments requiring a fresh delivery of materials for their daily classroom work.
The Director of Purchasing and Inventory is charged with the responsibility of purchasing these items, previously awarded by the bid or quotation as allowed by law, and will request selected vendors to annually quote or bid on such items. Suppliers will be issued confirmation purchase orders after each release. These orders may be limited in total dollar amount, if required, in designated controlled areas for materials and services.
Petty cash funds have been established for minor purchases considered to be College expense. These petty cash funds are reimbursed periodically and are limited to the total dollar amount of the fund and the net price per specific item to be purchased. These funds were established in order to reduce processing costs and delays caused by writing large numbers of small purchase orders.
All deliveries shall be made in strict accordance with conditions stated on request for quotation, or bid, and purchase order. In almost every instance, most deliveries shall be F.O.B. campus location, Attention Receiving Department of Middlesex County College, 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, New Jersey 08818. The front side of the College Purchase Order indicates specific information concerning delivery. Vendors should check this information carefully. Every delivery shall contain a packing list. The purchase order number must be listed on each package. All purchases awarded from sealed public bids contain mandatory clause indicating that all the material is to be F.O.B. Delivered. Drop shipments made from other companies by the final awardee and resulting freight charges directly billed to the College will be backcharged to the original supplier of record. Any unnecessary additional charges incurred by the College in receiving this material will also be backcharged to the original supplier.
The scheduled hours for delivery of all materials are from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.
All suppliers should render invoices in duplicate and all invoices must reference the authorized Purchase Order number. No invoice will be paid unless the shipment is complete. All shipping charges must be prepaid. Invoices should be mailed to Middlesex County College, Accounts Payable Department, Chambers Hall, 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, New Jersey 08818. Partial payment requests must be forwarded to the Director of Purchasing and Inventory for joint approval by the Vice President of Finance or Controller provided 90% of the order is completed.
Establishing a proper climate of understanding with all vendors is a prerequisite in operating centralized purchasing for the College. Bid information is available for examination in person by interested parties during the business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However no information will be available by telephone request. Any interested party who requests bid information over the telephone or in writing is instructed to obtain this information in person during normal business hours. The College copying machine is available for a charge of $.25 for each copy.
The Purchasing Department maintains a complete library of state contracts, catalogs, product bulletins and purchasing aids which are at the disposal for all employees of the College. Material from this library is made available to school personnel upon request simply by contacting the Purchasing Department. Suppliers are encouraged to assist in maintaining this library of descriptive product data by furnishing up-to-date materials when visiting the Purchasing Department.
It shall be the responsibility of the Purchasing Department to dispose of surplus or obsolete materials, supplies or equipment that are no longer needed to accomplish the educational mission of the College. Such items shall be cataloged and sold annually, or at other specified times on the following basis:
1. Items of no value.
2. Items having resale value as scrap.
3. Items that can no longer be used for educational purposes, but which retain a portion of their value and are considered salable.
Items in category (1) shall be offered to charitable, educational, and civic organizations. Those items which are not desired by these organizations shall be disposed of in accordance with written instructions of the Director of Purchasing and Inventory.
Items in Category (2) and (3) shall be sold to interested parties at public sale to the highest bidder. The exceptions to this are if the items to be sold are perishable goods or if the estimated fair value of the property to be sold does not exceed the amount determined pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:64A-25.3(b) in any one sale. In these cases, a public sale is not mandated. The procedures for such sales are set forth in N.J.S.A. 18A:64A-25.27.
If no bids are received in the first public sale, or if the College elects to reject all bids in accordance with the statute following a second public sale, the College may then elect to sell the goods at a private sale. In no event shall the negotiated price at the private sale be less than the amount of the highest bid rejected at the preceding two public sales. In any event, the terms or conditions of sale shall not be changed or amended. In the case in which the College received no bids at the two previous sales and elected to sell at a private sale, the property may not be sold at less than the estimated fair value as defined inN.J.S.A. 18A:64A-25.27.
Periodic audits will be made in order to examine policies, administrative practices, procedures and operating results of the Purchasing Department. Those performance audits shall include, but not be limited to, the following factors:
1. Materials of the correct quality and quantity are being purchased, taking into consideration price, source and delivery.
2. Duplication, waste and obsolescence are avoided with respect to the various items purchased.
3. A competitive bid and quotation system is being maintained. Prices agree with purchase orders, formal quotations and public bids.
4. Written quotations are solicited for all items over the current quote threshold and public bids for items over the current bid threshold where applicable.
5. A true businesslike relationship exists among the various departments, the Purchasing Department and the business community.
The most current applicable New Jersey State Statute 18A:64A-25.1 et. seq. (County College Contracts Law) is followed throughout the fiscal year by the Director of Purchasing and Inventory and his staff, which requires solicitation using public bid or written quotations. A monthly Board of Trustees meeting is usually scheduled on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Board Room, second floor of the Chambers Hall Building, to approve all awards exceeding the current bid threshold as processed by the Director of Purchasing and Inventory. Vendors will also be allowed informal hearings for any reasonable disputes that arise out of this Board purchasing policy and procedure if requested.
Prepared by Daniel A. Kasha, C.P.M., C.P.P., C.S.A.
Revised by David Fricke, C.P.M., R.P.P.O.
Approved by the Board of Trustees for Middlesex County College
1. To give first consideration to the objectives and policies of my institution.
2. To strive to obtain the maximum ultimate value of each dollar of expenditure.
3. To cooperate with trade and industrial associations, governmental and private agencies engaged in the promotion and development of sound business methods.
4. To demand honesty in sales representation whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of the product.
5. To decline personal gifts or gratuities.
6. To grant all competitive bidders equal consideration, to regard each transaction on its own merits; to foster and promote fair, ethical and legal trade practices.
7. To use only by consent original ideas and designs devised by one vendor for competitive purchasing purposes.
8. To be willing to submit any major controversies to arbitration.
9. To accord a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business missions.
10. To counsel and cooperate with NJCCPA members and to promote a spirit of unity among them.
As Approved by the New Jersey County College Purchasing Administrators.