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Procurement Methods

The purchase of goods and services may fall into several categories of procurement methods:

  • Emergency
  • Sole Source
  • Exempt
  • Exceptional
  • Piggyback
  • Competitive Solicitation

Emergency Purchases

When the University President or his designee declares an emergency in writing, no Request for Emergency Purchase form is required. However, keep a copy of the state of emergency for your files, prepare a special request requisition in PantherSoft, and attach a copy of the state of emergency.  A purchase order will be issued if needed.

When a Department believes there is not sufficient time to follow the competitive solicitation process due to an emergency as defined by BOT Policy FIU-2201, you can proceed with an emergency purchase 

Sole Source Purchases

Goods and/or contractual services available from a single source may be exempted from issuing a bid or quotation once the University certifies that there is only one source of supply capable of meeting the University’s requirements.

The Annual Certification for Sole Source Purchases lists categories as a sole source and/or non-competitive goods or services.   Please review the categories that have been approved in the Annual Certification for Sole Source Purchases prior to requesting a sole source purchase and the BOG regulations (Exempt Purchases & Exceptional Purchases) listed below. Any purchase from a category on these lists does not require additional documentation.

Procurement Services will research each Sole Source request by performing additional market analysis to determine if there is only one source that meets the specifications.  This may take up to 7 working days to complete.  If it appears as if more than one supplier can provide the goods or services, a competitive solicitation may be required.

Competitive Solicitation Exceptions

Certain goods and services are not subject to the competitive solicitation requirements per Section 6(d) of BOG Procurement Regulation 18.001. Please see a complete and updated listing.

Exceptional Purchases

FIU is authorized to make exceptional purchases per BOG 18.001 (4) for the following goods and contractual services in which a competitive solicitation is not required, but could be used for the procurement if it’s determined to be in the best interest of FIU:

  1. Purchase of Products with Recycled Content.
  2. Purchase of Private Attorney Services.
  3. Purchase of Insurance.
  4. Purchase of Printing. If it is determined that a competitive solicitation process would be in the best interest of FIU, then the preference provision of BOG 18.001(3)(b) shall apply.

Alternate Purchases / Cooperative / Piggyback Contracts

Purchases from an alternate purchase/cooperative/piggyback contract may eliminate the need for a competitive solicitation of over $150,000. A piggyback contract is a contract awarded through a competitive process, which allows FIU to purchase the same services or goods at the same contracted terms.

Contracting utilizing piggyback contracts is subject to internal and external review and must be consistent with the policies and regulations of FIU.  Procurement Services examines and weighs multiple factors in order to determine the appropriateness of piggybacking as a preferred methodology of procurement.

Departments should take the necessary action noted in the Piggyback Contract Guidelines.  Complete the Piggyback Agreement Checklist and submit all requested documentation to Procurement Services to process.

Once the requested information is received, Procurement Services, with the assistance of the Office of the General Counsel, will determine whether the request to piggyback is approved or denied. The department will be notified of the determination via e-mail.  This process may take between 10 and 21 working days to complete.

Per BOG Regulation 18.001(6)(C) Purchases from Contracts and Negotiated Annual Price Agreements established by the State of Florida, other governmental entities, other Universities in the State University System, or other independent colleges and universities are not subject to the further competitive solicitation.

Competitive Solicitations

A Competitive Solicitation involves openly inviting all interested suppliers to submit a quotation, bid, or proposal to supply the procurement need of the University.  Competitive solicitation is a fair and open method of procuring goods and contractual services that serves to ensure transparency, the best value, reduces the appearance and opportunity for favoritism, and inspires public confidence in the entire procurement process.

Once you determine the total amount to be spent on the prospective purchase (initial contract cost with all renewal costs) and that it does not qualify as the exceptional, exempt, sole source or emergency purchases, then you need to determine what type of competitive solicitation must be conducted.  You may not split reasonably foreseeable or related purchases into two or more transactions for the purpose of circumventing the competitive solicitation requirement for purchases over $150,000, which should include initial contract cost with all renewal costs.  Appropriate action should be taken to obtain the most economical purchase.  Departments must avoid the acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items.  Consideration should be given to consolidating or breaking out different items to obtain a more economical purchase.

Informal Competitive Process

Purchases with a total cost under $150,000 can be obtained through an informal competitive process by obtaining:

  • One quote for micro-purchases under $25,000,
  • Quotes must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources, which is a minimum of two quotes for purchases from $25,000 and under $150,000.00.

GovSpend‘s quotes module is mandatory for purchases between $25,000 to $149,999.99 unless the purchase is exempt, a sole source, or you are piggybacking off an existing contract.

FIU GovSpend Support

FIU subscribes to the GovSpend platform with a dedicated Relationship Management Team. Their contact details are below and how they can help support:

Cameron Dewaele
Relationship Manager
Available to discuss subscription packages, renewal promotions, firm-wide training sessions, and any questions regarding the current agreement.

Chris Desir
Customer Success Specialist
Available to conduct group training sessions and best practices in the GovSpend platform.

General Quote/Search Support
Available from 9 AM EST – 6 PM EST for immediate assistance with quotes, searches, updating, and adding licensed users. This email is monitored by the entire GovSpend team.

You can also visit the GovSpend support website or view the training video Agency New User Training Tutorial on GovSpend’s Quoting Module.

Formal Competitive Process

Purchases of goods, services, or deferred payments contracts in excess of $150,000 shall be obtained through a formal competitive process unless otherwise exempt. The Executive Director of Procurement Services will determine the competitive process to be used.  Invitation to Bid (ITB), Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) and Request for Proposals (RFP) are the formal competitive solicitation types.

If Procurement Services determines a competitive process is required, a Competitive Solicitation Request Form must be completed in the Sourcing Director.

Should you require access to Sourcing Director, you may request it via the Access Request Form on PantherSoft Financials. For instructions on submitting an access request, click here. To access PantherSoft Financials, click here.

Once completed and submitted, the form will then be routed to the user’s HR Supervisor for approval. For users within the College of Business, the form will route to their Expense Manager for approval after it has been approved by their HR Supervisor. Once approved, the request will be routed to the Financial Systems and Support Services (FSSS) team for final processing before the access is granted.

Please refer to Stage 1, Pre-Solicitation Process, in the Procurement Manual for more information.

Non-Conforming Purchase

FIU entities are not authorized to place orders directly with suppliers for goods or services for which a purchase order is required. Procurement Services is the only authorized purchasing agent for the University. If an FIU entity has an immediate need, Procurement Services may issue a purchase order with a supplier after the proper procurement method has been selected and executed.  In the event goods or services are received prior to a purchase order being issued, a Non-Conforming Purchase Justification form must be completed.

The Non-Conforming Dashboard has been created to enable initiators, non-conformers, approvers, superusers and auditors to track non-conforming justification forms during the approval workflow. This allows approvers to login to the dashboard and review the forms that are pending their approval and proceed with approval. Moreover, the dashboard allows users to review non-conforming forms within their units.  The dashboard can be found here while the instructions guide is here.


Sponsored Research Purchase Exemption Requests

All purchases on a sponsored project must be made in accordance with the policies and procedures of the University.  However, upon certification that it is necessary for the efficient or expeditious execution of a research project, a purchase on that project for material, supplies, equipment, or services for research purposes may be exempted from the general purchasing requirements.  A Sponsored Research Purchase Exemption Request or a Sole Source Request will need to be completed and approved if a competitive solicitation is not conducted. A Sole Source Request form should be used when the commodities/services are unique, and that the vendor is the only one who can provide the commodities/services and adequate number of quotes cannot be obtained. The Sponsored Research Purchase Exemption should be used for the following:

  • Noncompetitive purchase specifically approved by sponsor with written approval from sponsor (i.e. email/proposal/budget justification).
  • Competition determined inadequate after solicitation of several vendors with documentation of solicitation efforts.
  • Emergency Purchase.

Useful PeopleSoft Queries

Query Name Description
FIU_PO_RECV_BY Receipts Entered By
FIU_PO_TO_VENDOR PO’s Issued to a given Vendor
FIU_FSSS_PO_CATEGORY_LIST Complete list of active category codes
FIU_PO_CATEGORY_LIST2 Search for category codes by the GL expense account


Additional Resources