200: Authority and Records

Procurement and Contract Services Policy & Procedures Manual
Section 200: Regulations and Authority
Effective: 01/04/2010
Revised: 11/20/2012

 

Purpose:

To explain the regulations covering Oregon State University Purchasing and Contracting and the authority delegated.

Background:

The State of Oregon governing laws are contained in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS).  The Statutes are considered the primary authority for the State and provide a basic framework on which the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) are based.  This manual only covers a few of the relevant points from various statutes dealing with purchasing and contracting.  For access to the complete statutes, visit the Oregon State Legislature website at http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/.

In public procurement, most State of Oregon public entities are guided by ORS 279A, B & C.  However, ORS 351 grants the Oregon University System (OUS) separate authority and releases OUS from following most of ORS 279A, B & C.  This is why OUS and its institutions have purchasing rules that differ from other State of Oregon agencies, counties, municipalities, or other public entities. 

OUS has created OAR 580 divisions 60 through 63, which govern all of the OUS purchasing activities.  Although OUS has its own OAR for purchasing goods and services, other sections of ORS and OAR may still apply such as those statutes and rules pertaining to:  Contracting with Public entities outside of Oregon, Tort Limits, Public Records, Qualified Rehabilitation Facilities, Tax Certification, Prevailing Wage Rates, and Financing.  The diagram below illustrates the hierarchy of statutes and rules for Oregon Public Purchasing.

 

hierarchy

Although OUS has its own OAR for procuring goods and services, parts of ORS 279A, B & C and other sections of ORS and OAR still apply to OSU’s purchasing and contracting activities such as regulations pertaining to: Review of Public Contracts, Contracting with Public entities outside of Oregon, Oregon Tort Claim Limits, Oregon Commission for the Blind, Public Records, Qualified Rehabilitation Facilities, and Tax Certification.  This list is not exhaustive, but is provided as an example of some of the other statutes and rules that may apply outside of OAR 580 divisions 60 through 63.

Additionally, federal laws exist that impact OSU purchasing and contracting terms and conditions such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).  Language could be encountered when reviewing Contracts that requires for the release of student information, individually identifiable medical information, or consumer financial information which may be in violation of federal law.

 

Policy

201: Regulations and Applicability

Procurement and Contract Services Policy & Procedures Manual
Section 200: Regulations and Authority
Effective: 01/04/2010
Revised: 11/20/2012

 

Purchases on behalf of OSU shall be made in accordance with the applicable Federal, ORS, OAR, and PaCS policies and procedures.  It is the responsibility of all persons who purchase goods and services on behalf of the University to be aware of the applicable Federal, ORS, OAR and current PaCS policies and guidelines.  All such persons are expected to uphold the laws, rules and policies guiding the University. 

 

201-001: Funding Sources

All funds within OSU, with the exception of Agency Funds, are subject to the applicable statutes, rules, policies and procedures pertaining to procurement and contracting at OSU no matter what the source of funding.  This policy includes, but is not limited to, funding through E & G, Auxiliary, Research, OSU Foundation or the OSU Agricultural Research Foundation. 

 

201-002: Organizations

OSU can only purchase or contract on behalf of OSU. PaCS cannot purchase or Contract for entities that are not part of OSU. Often Oregon State University or OSU is used in conjunction with entities that have an affiliation with OSU but are not a unit within OSU.  Some examples of entities that are not OSU are:

  • OSU Bookstore is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization
  • OSU Foundation is a non-profit organization
  • OSU Master Gardner’s Association

PaCS also cannot Contract or make commitments on behalf of students or OSU employees.  When a Contract Officer signs a Contract they do so in their position as an Oregon University System employee for an Oregon University System institution and as such, only have the authority to commit on behalf of OSU. 

202: Authorities

Procurement and Contract Services Policies and Procedures Manual
Section 200: Regulations and Authority
Effective: 01/04/2010
Revised: 3/14/2014

The four authorities relevant to the purchase of goods and services for the University are Budget Authority, Purchase Authority, Institutional Authority and Contract Signature Authority.

 

202-001: Budget Authority

Budget authority is delegated by the Office of the Provost, to the unit/department head or delegated person responsible for a university index and who must approve the expenditure of funds from that index.  Those with budget authority should review and approve that the proposed purchase or Contract has a related business purpose and meets the objectives related to the department’s and OSU’s mission.  They should also insure that there are sufficient funds available to incur the expense for the proposed purchase or Contract.  

 

202-002: Purchase Authority

Purchase authority grants the authority to units identified below to purchase goods and services* within the delegated dollar threshold after approval from the required approver. 

Dollar Threshold Unit Required Approver
Up to $4,999.99 Department Unit Budget Authority

$5000 - $24,999.99

Business Center  Business Center Administrator
$25,000 - $149,999.99 PaCS Unit Budget Authority and Business Center Administrator
$150,000 and above  PaCS

Unit Budget Authority, Business Center Administrator and Dean or Vice Provost

These dollar thresholds are in the aggregate and based on the value of the entire procurement known at the time.  In determining the amount of the procurement, all parts of a single integrated project must be included as well as amounts expended during the initial term and any renewal terms allowed under the Contract.  The amount must not be split in order to avoid using a particular process associated with the dollar thresholds.  If there is a chance that the purchase may exceed the dollar threshold due to additional phases of Work or additional funding, purchase according to the next highest dollar threshold.  Purchases at or above $25,000 must be competitively solicited or advertised as a Sole Source if a Sole Source exists.

* Excludes those purchases that are subject to Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) Prevailing Wage Rates (PWR).  For those purchases there is no delegation of purchasing authority to departments or Business Centers.  See PaCS 504-05 or contact PaCS to determine if a purchase may fall under this exclusion.

PROCEDURE:

1. Unit/Department Purchases up to $4,999.99

Units or Departments have delegated purchase authority for purchases up to $4999.99. Purchases within this range may be made by direct purchase.  However, it is highly recommended that these purchases be competed whenever feasible by obtaining competitive quotes.  This will help realize savings on your purchases by providing Vendors an opportunity to compete on direct purchases.  This delegation does not include the authority to sign agreements or contracts other than the OSU Purchase Order

2. Business Center Purchases between $5,000 and $24,999.99

Business Centers have delegated purchase authority for purchases between $5000 and $24,999.99.  Purchases within this range may be made by direct purchase.  However, it is highly recommended that these purchases be competed whenever feasible by obtaining competitive quotes.  This will help realize savings on  purchases by providing Vendors an opportunity to compete on direct purchases as well as provide opportunities to Minority, Women-Owned, and Emerging Small Businesses that seek to do business with OSU.  This delegation does not include the authority to sign agreements or contracts other than the OSU Purchase Order.  Additional policies and procedures for purchases and payments apply from section PaCS 300 of this Policy and Procedures Manual.

3. Purchases equal to or above $25,000

PaCS is the only department authorized to make purchases equal to or above $25,000.  Purchases at or above $25,000 must be competitively solicited or advertised as a sole source.  Departments should submit a Purchase Requisition form to their appropriate Business Center.  The Business Center will review, sign and send the Purchase Requisition to PaCS for completion of the purchase.  PaCS Analysts will make purchases according to the appropriate policies and procedures pertaining to the type of purchase requisitioned. 

 

202-003: Institutional Authority

Institutional authority is granted from the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to an Institution to apply for and accept, on behalf of the Board, gifts or Grants and to negotiate Contracts.  Pursuant to OAR 580-042-0010, Institutions are delegated this authority so long as they do not result in:

  • Enrollments in excess of those on which budgets have been based;
  • Commitment of funds beyond those available in budgets approved by the Board, or the normal continuation thereof;
  • Development or support of activities inconsistent with the approved mission of the department and/or Institution;
  • Launching of new curricular programs that have not received prior Board approval;
  • Establishing or significantly expanding a clientele for services of an essentially non-research or non-instructional nature.

 

202-004: Contract Signature Authority

Contract signature authority is delegated to Contracts Officers from the Vice President for Finance and Administration to sign specific Contract types on behalf of OSU.  Contract signature authority may not be sub-delegated unless authorized by the Vice President for Finance and Administration. 

Only Contract Officers are authorized to sign and execute Contracts and other written instruments on behalf of OSU.  Any document required to be signed on behalf of OSU, regardless of dollar value or type of document, must be signed by an individual with Contract signature authority.  Persons who are not authorized and still sign documents or authorize services on behalf of the University, whether it be a procurement agreement, a Contract, an MOU, etc., take on personal liability for the commitments made therein.  A current list of authorized University Contracts Officers and their signature authority is maintained on the PaCS website. 

Exception to this policy:  Employees without designated Contract signature authority may sign Contracts or agreements between their department and another department at OSU (Interdepartmental Agreements).  This does not apply to Contracts or agreements between OSU and other Oregon University System Institutions.

PROCEDURE:

Those with Contract signature authority within PaCS must insure they only sign Contracts that are allowable under Institutional authority and that they review the Contract according to PaCS contract review standards.

203: Unauthorized Purchases or Contracts

Procurement and Contract Services Policy & Procedures Manual
Section 200: Regulations and Authority
Effective: 01/04/2010
Revised: 1/11/2013

 

A purchase or Contract made outside PaCS granted Purchase Authority or Contract Signature Authority is unauthorized.  Unauthorized purchases or Contracts are not legal or binding on OSU and are voidable at OSU’s discretion.  Individuals that purchase or sign Contracts beyond their granted authority may be held personally responsible for the purchase or Contract, which could include personal liability for payment to the vendor for the purchase or contract, or repayment to OSU.  The university must address unauthorized procurements or Contracts by documenting the circumstances and taking corrective action.

 

203-001: Rectification of Unauthorized Purchases or Contracts

Unauthorized purchase of goods may be rectified by cancellation of the purchase and return of the goods.  Unauthorized Contracts for goods or services may be rectified by cancelling the contract before receipt of goods or services.  If goods or services have been received, and return or cancellation is not an option without incurring a cost that must be paid, then ratification of the Unauthorized Purchase or Contract must occur.

 

203-002: Ratification of Unauthorized Purchases or Contracts

Unauthorized purchases or Contracts may be ratified if approval is granted through the ratification process described herein.  Payment for the procurement or Contract may not be made until after ratification has been granted by the appropriate Purchase Authority or Contract Signature Authority.   

PROCEDURE:

  1. Departments or Business Centers should first try to rectify unauthorized purchases or Contracts.

    If the purchase or Contract cannot be rectified and the unauthorized purchase or contract is a first time occurrence then someone from PaCS will contact the individual to counsel and education as appropriate given the specific situation.  The person responsible for the unauthorized purchase or contract should ensure they understand how the situation should have been managed and acknowledge the person they were working with in PaCS
  2. If there is a second occurrence, the individual will be required to sign an unauthorized procurement/contract Activity – 2nd Notice” letter of understanding. 
  3. Further occurrences will result in notification to the Dean or Department Head and may result in the individual facing being held personally liable to pay the contractor or repay the University

If legal review would have been required for the purchase or Contract, then ratification must be managed between PaCS and OSU Office of General Counsel.

204: Records and Reporting

Procurement and Contract Services Policy & Procedures Manual
Section 200: Regulations and Authority
Effective: 01/04/2010
Revised: 11/20/2012

 

204-001: Records Retention

By law, all records (paper and electronic) are required to be maintained for a certain period of time according to a schedule established by the Oregon Secretary of State Archives Division.  In general, all records including procurement records are subject to retention requirements as set forth in Oregon Administrative Rule 166-475.  A General Retention Schedule is available on the Oregon University System Records Management website:  http://www.ous.edu/about/records/retention-schedule   Documentation of purchasing and contracting transactions will be made available for inspection by OUS Internal Audit Division, Federal, State and Granting Agencies upon request.  The department, Business Center or PaCS will be responsible for maintaining the records for those purchases or Contracts for which they have authority to complete.

 

204-002: Public Records

OSU records are public records and are subject to the Oregon Public Records Law contained in ORS 192.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Periodically, there may be a request to see or obtain copies of public records. Requests should go through the procedures for making public records requests which are available at: http://oregonstate.edu/legal-counsel/node/3
  2. OSU may charge its costs for responding to public records requests.  In response to public records requests, estimates of the costs will first be provided, which includes the cost per page for copies at the then current established fee and the hourly rate of the persons responding to the request.  PaCS will use the lowest hourly rate employee available and able to respond to the request. 
  3. The estimate will be provided to the requestor who must decide whether they want to proceed.  Requested documents will not be provided until payment to cover the estimate has been made.  After gathering documents, the requester may need to pay additional costs or may receive a refund depending on the accuracy of the estimate.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Oregon Revised Statute 351

Oregon Revised Statute 192

Oregon Administrative Rule 166-475

Oregon Administrative Rule 580-042-0010