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Purchasing - Division of Business and Finance

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Purchasing Threshold

Proposals, bids, and quotations within the university's benchmark are procured with the following additional guidance (Note: telephone quote and written quote forms are available in Purchasing):

  • Purchases under $4,999.00 may use P-Cards or Purchase Requisition. Goods or services should be obtained from the best source (use State Term Contracts if applicable).
  • Purchases from $5,000.00 to $49,999.00 - Unless items are on state contract, the university must solicit competition by issuing a written Request for Quotation (RFQ) for purchases on this level. After the vendor has been determined, a detailed online requisition (model, style, color, specific features, anticipated usage, size, specifications, quantity, when required) is must be submitted by the requestor. Written justification for other than the lowest quote vendor is required. The reason must be based on specifications outlined in the quotation request, delivery/service and/or maintenance. Retain all quotations with a copy of the requisition or purchase order.
  • Purchases of $25,000.00 and above is subject to the formal request for bids process and must be submitted through the State Purchasing's Interactive Purchasing System (IPS)
  • A record of all quotes received, including verbal quotes, should be retained by the requestor with a copy of the requisition. Awards to other than the lowest quote vendor may require an explanation in writing.

Purchases above $50,000 - A formal bid process is required. Based on the information provided by the requestor, Purchasing will complete the appropriate document (RFB, RFP, or RFQ) for publication on the State Purchase and Contract Web Site. The information provided to Purchasing must be detailed and specifications must be complete. Responses will be based solely on the information provided in the document and site visits, if required.

Note: Formal bids solicited by the State Purchase and Contract Division may require up to 45 to 60 days.

'Original signature' pricing documents are required for Purchasing Department files for all proposals, bids, and quotations. Facsimile submittals are permitted under RFPs, but not IFBs. Where a facsimile proposal is submitted, award will be premised on the receipt of the 'original signature' proposal document.

The Purchasing Department encourages campus departments to assist in obtaining pricing information prior to submitting a requisition. Campus departments should use the following guidelines when seeking pricing. The Purchasing Department will review this information and may re-solicit the requirement, where deemed necessary, prior to issuing any purchase order.

  • Provide the same information to at least three vendors.
  • Establish and state a common deadline date for vendors to respond with a quotation.
  • Provide the vendors information on quantity, brand, catalog number, or a good description, and ask for comparable items.
  • Request a 'delivered price' with F.O.B. Fayetteville State University.
  • Specify the required delivery date.
  • Obtain the sale person's name, vendor name, address, telephone number, and quote information.
  • Clearly advise the vendors that by asking for pricing information the university is not placing an order or under any obligation to do so.

The campus department's pricing information may serve as the foundation for issuing a purchase order. All such solicitations will be accomplished on university forms and include the State's standard language and terms and conditions.

Additionally, when competition is not evident or is inadequate to enable or warrant an award based on "competitive pricing", the Purchasing Department may require the campus department originating the requisition to assist in making a determination as to the price offered by a vendor being "fair and reasonable" as well as in determining the vendor to be "responsible". It is the policy of the university not to award a requisition to a vendor which is not responsive, cannot be determined responsible, and when the price is not "fair and reasonable".

Price "fairness and reasonableness" may be adjudged based on value analysis, price analysis, or cost analysis. "Value analysis" is the campus department's assessment that a commodity's or service's price is reasonable considering such factors as the department's own knowledge of the requirement, a comparison of the requirement, the effort required to provide the commodity or service, etc. "Price analysis" is the comparison of prices for past similar purchases or known market price structures. "Cost analysis" is in-depth line item research of all cost elements comprising a price which may rely on published standards (e.g., Means Manual) to include both labor and materials as segregable elements.

A "responsive" vendor is an offeror that has satisfied all of the terms and conditions of the university's solicitation. As a standard, this determination includes the vendor's completion of all representations outlined in a solicitation and the submittal of its offer on the university's prescribed forms. "Responsiveness" is a key determination, which must be made for all responses to solicitations.

Vendor "responsibility" is the assessment that a prospective awardee has both the "capacity" and "capability" to perform a requirement for the university. "Capacity" includes the financial and organizational resources to execute satisfactorily and complete a purchase order. "Capability" envelopes the technical knowledge, equipment, experience, etc., to perform satisfactorily and typically includes reference checks of similar work performed for other clients.

When submitting purchase requisitions for materials, sufficient lead-time must be given to solicit and evaluate bids, place orders, and impact delivery.

  • Five to seven days are generally required to solicit quotations and place a purchase order for requirements under $10,000.
  • Up to thirty days are required for purchases between $10,000 and $50,000.


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