M1 – Purchasing
Originator: Vice President, Finance and Administration
Approver: Senior Leadership Team on behalf of Leadership Counsel
Effective: February 1, 2019
Replaces: May 19, 2015
Red River College strives to ensure that goods and services are purchased in a manner that satisfies the operational and educational needs of the College while maximizing the value to the College community with respect to price, quality, service availability and operational performance. The College also ensures that as a good corporate citizen, its purchases will comply with the College’s sustainability goals.
Subject to the exceptions noted in the Procedures section of this Policy, quotations shall be required on all purchases of goods or services that are reasonably foreseen to exceed $999.99. All such quotations shall be made through the Procurement Services department. The minimum requirements for quotations and bids are as follows (note – dollar amounts are after tax):
- For purchases of like items that are reasonably foreseen to cost from $1,000 to $5,000, one verbal quotation shall be required;
- For purchases of like items that are reasonably foreseen to cost from $5,001 to $24,999, one written quotation shall be required;
- For purchases of like items that are reasonably foreseen to cost from $25,000 to $74,999, three written quotations shall be required;
- For purchases of like items that are reasonably foreseen to cost $75,000 or more, three or more written competitive bids shall be required;
- For purchases of like items that are reasonably foreseen to cost $75,000 or more, the purchasing opportunity shall be posted to an acceptable electronic tendering system (i.e.; MERX).
All Purchases of goods and services shall conform to the principle of competitive bidding wherever reasonably practicable. Provincial and federal taxes are excluded from the above noted amounts. “Like Items” are individual items that are identical or near identical in size, quality, price, etc. to each other. Because of their similarity, the sum total of these “like items” would still be entered on the same P.O. and totaled for determination as to purchase limit quote requirements).
In addition to the foregoing, purchases or commitments by the College to any annualized expenditure of more than $50,000, outside of the approved budget, must be approved by the Board of Governors, except when there is an offsetting additional revenue stream. In cases where there is an additional revenue stream, expenditures of over $250,000 must be approved by the Board of Governors. In addition to the foregoing, approval of the Board of Governors may be required for other purchases, as prescribed by law, or by the policies of the Board of Governors, as amended from time to time.
All purchases of goods and services that require more than one bid must provide for comparisons for price, quality, and effectiveness.
Structuring, separating or splitting purchases in order to lower the dollar value of purchases to values that fall below the thresholds listed in this Policy is prohibited. Any employee who is reasonably perceived to be engaging in such practices will be disciplined.
All College purchases shall be acquired in accordance with the following principles:
- Planning – Goods and services should be acquired after consideration of needs, alternatives, timing and availability of funds.
- Sourcing – The process by which vendors compete for College business shall be open, fair, consistent and nondiscriminatory.
- Purchasing – Goods and services shall be acquired competitively from qualified vendors to meet specified needs and to achieve the greatest possible value for money expended.
- Accountability – Approvals shall be obtained in advance and adequate documentation shall be retained for review and auditing purposes.
The hiring of employees is excluded from the scope of this policy.
“Board of Governors” refers to the Board of Governors of Red River College, as established by The Colleges Act, Order in Council 267/1993 and Order in Council 352/1998.
“Emergency Order” refers to an instance where a good or service must be acquired quickly due to a critical, unanticipated and sudden occurrence at the College that is life threatening, catastrophic, or requires quick action to ensure the safe operation of a key College service.
“Requesting Department” refers to the College department that is seeking to purchase a particular good or service.
“Request for Proposal (“RFP”)” refers to a bidding process inviting suppliers to submit a proposal to provide the College with a specific good or service. An RFP typically involves more than a request for the price. Other requested information may include basic corporate information and history, financial information, technical capability, product information such as stock availability and estimated completion period, and customer references that can be checked to determine a company’s suitability. RFP’s are typically used when an RFQ or RPAC won’t suffice.
“Request for Quote (“RFQ”)” refers to a bidding process where suppliers submit pricing to the College for a specific good or service. The RFQ is typically used when discussions with bidders are not required (mainly when the specifications of a product or service are already known) and when price is the main or only factor in selecting the successful bidder.
“Request for Pre-Approved Contractor (“RPAC”)” refers to a bidding process where suppliers provide pricing for a range of services, which pricing shall be guaranteed for a particular term. Throughout that term, where the Contractor’s services are required, the College will have the option to engage the Contractor through a scope of work to perform the services listed in the Contractor’s RPAC response and College Scope of Work on the prices listed therein. For greater clarity, articles 2.1 – 2.6 and the procedures detailed in articles 4.1 – 4.9, are applicable to RPACs.
“Request for Tender (“RFT”)” is similar to an RFP, but typically involves an element of building construction. For the purposes of this Policy, an RFT shall be deemed to be an RFP.
The purchase of goods and services that meet the thresholds outlined in this Policy shall be the responsibility of the Procurement Services Department, unless the Procurement Services Department has agreed otherwise in writing.
Where a department other than Procurement Services exercises its authority conferred upon it by this policy to purchase a good or service, it shall do so in a manner that is consistent with the methods of procurement outlined in this Policy, and shall adhere to the obligations that this Policy imposes upon the Procurement Services Department in connection therewith. For greater certainty, no person at the College other than the Manager, Materials Management, shall be permitted to waive purchasing requirements as contemplated by Section 4.9 herein.
In all cases, the Requesting Department seeking to purchase a good or service shall be responsible for preparing specifications and ensuring funds are available for the purchase. The Procurement Services Department shall be consulted to assist in preparing the specifications. In particular, the specifications shall state:
- the particulars of the desired products and services;
- a clear and accurate description, whenever practicable, of technical requirements in terms of functions to be performed or performance required, including the range of acceptable characteristics or minimum acceptable standards. Such descriptions shall not contain features which unduly restrict competition;
- the specific features of ‘brand name or equal’ descriptions that bidders are required to meet.
The Requesting Department shall also be responsible for ensuring that the proposed purchase will be done in a fashion which maximizes the value to the College community with respect to price, quality, service availability and operational performance.
The Requesting Department shall consult with the Chief Information Officer, or designate, review any requests to purchase information technology hardware, software or services prior to sending the request to the Procurement Services Department. Procurement Services will only proceed with the solicitation of quotes or bids for information technology hardware, software or services where evidence of the Chief Information Officer’s (or designate) approval is submitted with the request.
Depending on the nature and projected cost of the goods and services that the Requesting Department seeks to purchase, and subject to the exceptions listed herein, the Procurement Services Department shall solicit bids either through an RFQ, RFP or by contacting qualified Contractors who responded to an existing RPAC with a Scope of Work. The Procurement Services Department shall be responsible for assisting in the drafting the RFQ, RFP or Scope of Work, releasing same to interested bidders, collecting the bids, evaluating the bids, and selecting the successful bid. In delivering the foregoing services, the Procurement Services Department will consult with the Requesting Department, the Corporate Counsel, and such other departments or subject area experts as may be required from time to time.
The evaluation of quotes and proposals shall be based on the following 100 point scoring system:
- Price may be granted 10 – 50 points;
- Sustainability may be granted 5 – 20 points; and
- The proposal or presentation may be granted 25 – 75 points.
Such criteria will be listed in the RFQ, RFP or RPAC Scope of Work and will be the factors that must be considered when selecting the successful vendor. Price shall always be a listed criterion.
With approval from the Manager of Materials Management, additional criteria not listed in section 4.5 may be considered. Such additional criteria may include, product quality, the vendor’s compliance with College specifications, total cost, delivery requirements, vendor service capabilities, product warranties, the vendor’s financial stability, the vendor’s acceptance of the College’s terms and conditions, and any other relevant factor that should be considered. Any and all proposals and quotes may be rejected when it is in the College’s best interest to do so.
The Successful Vendor will be selected based on the scoring system stipulated in article 4.5, the criteria listed in the RFP, RFQ or RPAC Scope of Work and with the best interests of the College in mind. When one or more bids or proposals are ranked equally, the bid or proposal with the lowest cost shall be selected. When one or more quotes or proposals is ranked equally, and pricing is identical, preference will be given to Manitoba based suppliers. In the event that a proposal or quote other than the low bidder is selected, Procurement Services personnel shall provide written documentation which justifies their selection. Members of the Requesting Department will be invited to participate in the review of quotes or proposals. However, the final decision will be the responsibility of The Procurement Services department.
The Requesting Department should immediately inspect all goods received in response to an RFQ, RFP or RPAC Scope of Work in order to ensure quality of goods and accuracy of the order. Goods that were shipped but that do not match the purchase order should be returned to Materials Management so the order can be rectified in a timely fashion at the vendor’s expense.
Waiver of Quotation or Bidding Requirements
The quotation or bidding requirements listed in this Proposal may be waived by the Manager of Materials Management, in the following circumstances:
- Where the product or service can only be reasonably delivered by a single supplier;
- Where a product or service is to be provided through a strategic partnership approved by the Chief Advancement Officer;
- Where an Emergency Order is required; or
- Such other valid reasons that may be reasonably determined by the Manager of Materials Management, from time to time.
In circumstances where a Requesting Department wishes to have the Manager of Materials Management waive the requirements of this Policy, the Requesting Department shall make the request in the form prescribed by the Director of Ancillary Services, and shall provide such documentation and evidence as the Manager of Materials Management deems fit in its sole discretion.
The Procurement Services Department is responsible for:
- The drafting, release and administration of RFQs, RFPs, RPACS and associated Scopes of Work in accordance with this policy;
- Assisting the Requesting Department with the preparation of specifications of goods or services that they wish to purchase;
- Ensuring that requests for purchase of information technology hardware, software or services are approved by the Chief Information Officer or designate;
- Evaluating all quotes or proposals received in accordance with this Policy;
- Selection a successful vendor in response to an RFQ, RFP or RPAC Scope of Work request; and
- Rectifying orders received that do not comply with an RFP, RFQ or RPAC Scope of Work.
The Manager of Materials Management or designate is responsible for evaluating requests for Waiver as contemplated by Section 4.9 and issuing such Waivers where it is in the best interests of the College to do so.
The Requesting Department is responsible for:
- Abiding by this Policy;
- Preparing specifications of items that they wish to purchase;
- Ensuring that all proposed purchases are to be done in a fashion which maximizes the value to the College community with respect to price, quality, service availability and operational performance;
- Receiving the approval of the Chief Information Officer, or designate, with respect to purchases of information technology hardware, software and services;
- Inspecting all goods received in response to an RFQ, RFP or RPAC Scope of Work to ensure accuracy of the order and quality of the goods; and
- Alerting the Procurement Services Department when goods received do not conform with the RFP, RFQ or RPAC Scope of Work requirements.
Departments or individuals who have been empowered to purchase goods and services independently of the Procurement Services Department shall comply with the methods of procurement outlined in this policy, and shall adhere to the obligations that are otherwise imposed upon the Procurement Services department.
College employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Related Legislation and Policies
The Red River College Act
E9 – Sustainability Policy
F3 – Signing Authority
M2 – Disposal of Surplus Assets
M3 – Asset Inventory Control