Operations and Procedures Manual

IP 2.11 Purchasing Rules & Procedures

Contact Purchasing at ext. 6662 for guidelines and frequent updates.  PLAN AHEAD. Any independent or personal service request should be reviewed with the Human Resources Office prior to committing to a service.  This includes, but is not limited to, non-campus printing projects, entertainment services, program speakers, etc.  If you are not certain whether or not a service is considered an independent or personal service, contact the Director of Human Resources at ext. 6730.

By following these guidelines you will be complying with the rules and regulations of the State of Colorado Procurement Code, State Statutes, and Northeastern’s Policies. Remember these are only guidelines; if you have any doubts as to which processing method to use do not hesitate to contact the Purchasing Office for assistance.

Encumbrance Level

Fiscal rules require any purchase of $5,000 or more be encumbered prior to any work being completed or goods received. Violations of this nature with a completely documented chain of events are forwarded to and approved by the State Controller prior to payments being made.

State Pricing Agreements

The State Purchasing Office has negotiated many pricing agreements with vendors. Always check the State pricing agreement (use link above) before ordering anything. If an agreement is MANDATORY you have no choice – this is where you need to order from. If the agreement is PERMISSIVE you can contact Purchasing to discuss waiver options. A waiver may be given if there is a significant cost savings but you will need to provide a cost comparison in the form of a quote. The preferred approach is to use the pricing agreement.

Advancement Payment

It is a violation of State Fiscal Rules to prepay for the majority of purchases. Exceptions are made for specific commodities with advance payment limited to a period of one year or less. These exceptions include items such as membership dues, subscriptions, leases, rentals, insurance premiums and software licenses.

Procurement Card (PCard)

All permanent Northeastern employees are eligible to become procurement card Cardholders. Supervisors must approve employees as Cardholders based on their job responsibilities and their need to make purchases. Supervisors are also responsible for recommending card limits as discussed below. The P-Card Program Administrator ultimately approves card limits within compliance levels established by the college and the CCCS system office. Cardholders and Approving Officials must be granted delegated authority by the appropriate Vice President in order to carry out procurement card purchases and approvals.  P-Cards can be used for small purchases under $5000.00

Direct Pay           

Direct Pays are primarily used for goods for $5,000 or less as a one-time payment, or as a reimbursement tool.  It can be used for approved advanced pays – i.e., subscriptions, dues.

Purchase Orders              

Purchase Orders are used for goods and services for $1000 or more (based on circumstance) and multiple payments.


Purchasing is responsible for all biding and bids are required for Goods over $25,000 and/or Services over $25,000 effective October 1, 2018.

Federal Funds/Grants

Effective July 1, 2017, you are required to get 3 quotes prior to determining which vendor to use when purchasing goods/services with federal funds.  The vendor you choose is the one that provides the best price AND provides the product/service that meets your needs.  Use the form titled “Three Quotes and a Buy” to select your vendor.  Three Quotes and a Buy is required when you are purchasing goods in the range of $3,500 - $10,000 and/or services in the amount of $3,500 - $25,000.

All purchasing forms and additional guidelines are located on Northeastern SharePoint.