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Procedures and Rules

Process Overview

The purchasing function consists of business processes related to the acquisition of goods and services, including professional and artistic services. Purchases of equipment, materials, commodities, supplies, and services are made competitively where practicable. Performance, quality, suitability, delivery, and service are factors considered in buying.

The purchasing function contains several related processes:

  • Pre-Requisition Services - Obtain specifications and market information about commodities, equipment, and services to help campus departments in planning, budgeting, and acquisition timing.

  • Buying - Identify vendors, negotiate, bid (when required), issue purchase orders, and/or execute contracts, expedite as requested [excluding Purchasing Cards (P-Cards)], issue change orders, and cancel orders.

  • Transportation - Ensure efficient and economic routing of goods from the vendor to the University of Illinois System and handle any transportation claims against the carrier that may arise.

All purchases are made according to the provisions of the Illinois Procurement Code and the Procurement Rules of the Chief Procurement Officer for Public Institutions of Higher Education and other applicable state and federal regulations. Competitive sourcing is used where practical or required by law. See Bid Limits for specific information.

When a contract is required, the university unit is primarily responsible for the drafting and administration of its contracts. The university unit works with various campus administrative and System Administration offices to develop, write, and execute contracts. The category of contract determines the appropriate university office to be involved in the development of a contract.

The Purchasing Division will utilize technology, streamline processes, and provide value driven services, enabling Purchasing customers to acquire necessary goods and services.

Planning and Preparation of Purchases Information

Successful and timely procurements do not happen without proper planning. Success in your purchasing responsibilities, getting what you want when you need it, is a result of good planning.

Your planning should involve the Purchasing Department. We are a service department with you as our customer. Involve us in the early stages of your planned procurement and we can make the process move smoothly and efficiently so you get the products and services you need. This process will also assure the purchase is made in accordance with U of I System procurement policy and State law.

We need to remember that we deal with public funds and are accountable for how we spend that money. When auditors determine that purchases violate purchasing rules, individuals can be held personally responsible. In addition, Federal auditors can revoke grant sponsorship when procurement rules are violated on federal funds. To prevent this from happening, plan ahead, and get Purchasing involved early.

For additional information, see our pages for creating RFP specifications, sealed bid specifications, sole source, and tax exempt status. See the Who To Ask page for a list of contact names on your university if you require additional assistance.

Last Updated: July 24, 2018

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