The University of St. Thomas departments have delegated authority to make purchases of equipment, supplies, and goods within specified dollar limits (including freight and/or postage).  This limited authority was delegated to allow departments to expedite the purchase of items needed immediately without having to have a purchase requisition.  The dollar limit is currently restricted to not exceed $4,999.99.  (Purchases may not be separated in order to remain within the delegated dollar limit.)  All purchases over $5,000.00 are to be forwarded to the Purchasing Department for processing. 

Note: Refer to the online ProCard Manual and Purchasing Manual for restrictions of authority.

UST Purchasing Limits:

  • Departments are authorized to make purchases up to $2,000.00 (Purchase Orders and ProCard).
  • No Bid Limit for Purchasing Staff: $0 - $4,999.99
  • Informal Bid Limit for Purchasing Staff: $10,000.00 - $25,000.00
  • Formal Bid Limit for Purchasing Staff: $25,000.01 and over.

Departments are advised to carefully evaluate and plan their goods and services requirements on a monthly/yearly basis whenever possible.

Please consult the Purchasing Reference Guide for further purchasing guidelines.

If the specifications restrict the purchase of goods or services to only one manufacturer, a sole source justification must be completed. The justification must answer the following two questions:

  1. What are the unique features and why are they needed?
  2. Why will competing products not be satisfactory?

The first question should be answered in functional terms. Indicate why the dimensions or performance characteristics are essential to your work. The answer to the second question should indicate specifically the particular requirements of the specification where other known products or services do not comply.

An emergency purchase is defined as a purchase of goods or services that if not secured immediately, the University will suffer financial or operational damage.

When possible, contact Procurement Services prior to acquiring the goods or services. If the situation allows, informal bids will be taken. Departments should submit a requisition after the order has been placed and include a letter of justification that must:

  1. State the reason for the emergency purchase by explaining what the emergency is and/or what caused the emergency situation,
  2. State the financial or operational damage that will occur if needs are not satisfied immediately; and
  3. State why the needs were not or could not be anticipated so that the items could have been purchased through regular procurement procedures.
Departments do not have the authority to make purchases in excess of $4,999.99 that have not been approved prior to the goods being delivered or services being rendered. Non-complying purchase requisitions include, but not limited to, confirming requisitions and requisitions that split large purchases into smaller purchases in order to circumvent purchasing procedures. Procurement Services encourages questions and will assist requisitioners in determining the best method available in acquiring goods and services.

The following types of purchases must be processed using a requisition and forwarded to Procurement Services for processing, as authority has not been delegated to departments, and cannot be purchased regardless of dollar amounts.

  • All IT Software and Hardware Purchases
  • All Telecommunication Purchases
  • All Furniture Purchases
  • All Consulting, Professional and Service Contracts
  • Construction Services

Exempt Purchases are goods and/or services exempt from competitive bidding requirements and may be purchased in accordance with delegated departmental purchases regardless of dollar amount.   For clarification as to the process, feel free to contact the Purchasing Manager.

The Purchasing Manager has the discretion to exempt any purchase.  The Purchasing Manager must provide written documentation stating why the purchase is exempt from competitive bidding.

Item or Nature of Services:

  • Advertising
  • Conference Expenses
  • Hotels and Conference Rooms
  • Lecturers/Guest Speakers/Entertainers: fees for speakers/lecturers/entertainers hired on a one-time basis (does not include fees for speakers on a continuous basis)
  • Student Travel: expenses related to student travel
  • Library materials: specific for UST Libraries
  • Membership fees and dues
  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions direct from the publisher
  • Freight
  • Postage
  • Services provided by other institutions of higher education, state or federal agencies, or by other local governments (inter-agency and inter-local agreements must be reviewed by Procurement Services)
  • Registration fees and associated books and materials
  • Rental of exhibit space (booths for display purposes)
  • Internal repairs
  • Insurance premiums
  • Utilities
  • Catering services (on-campus food services vendor)
  • Group Purchasing Programs (Co-Op)
  • Medical Doctor Services
  • Artists (Painters, Sculptors, Compositions, Performers)
  • Works of Art
  • Employee & Prospective Employee Travel

Procurement Services has delegated the authority to departments to make purchases of goods and services less than $4,999.99 (including freight and/or postage). The exceptions include furniture, major computer related items, controlled equipment and services, all of which would require a department requisition submitted to the Procurement Department for processing.  Procurement Services may allow these exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

All employees making purchases under this delegated purchasing authority shall adhere to the UST Ethics Policy and adopt the NAEP Code of Ethics endorsed by UST.

Purchases may not be broken down into smaller purchases in order to meet the authorized limit of authority.

It is highly recommended and in your best interest to consult with the IT Department. This would apply to any type of IT purchase, whether it be hardware, software, outsourcing, telecommunications or related goods/services. ITD will advise you about compliance with state laws, System Policies and other IT security and information resource requirements, BCP/DRP contingencies, security breach notification, data storage and transfer requirements, availability of resources needed for initialization, on-going support and upgrades, compatibility with the existing IT infrastructure, reduction of duplicative applications, availability of existing bulk licenses, project management, and possible hidden or additional goods/services required or associated with the purchase. ITD can also provide information about known defects or reliability issues associated with many products.

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