Board of Trustees Approval Threshold Changes

At the June 06 – 07, 2019 Board of Trustees Meeting, several expenditure thresholds requiring Board of Trustees approval were revised. See summary of revisions below:

  • Purchase or lease of equipment threshold increased from $500,000 to $750,000.
  • Technology acquisitions threshold, not included in the annual technology plans, increased from $500,000 to $750,000. The revised rule also clarifies technology as inclusive of all aspects – hardware, software, associated services, upgrades and expansions.
  • Previously, all consulting and professional service agreements over $250,000 and goods over $1,000,000 if not competitively bid were subject to the System Office Heightened Review process. Now, those same thresholds are subject to Board of Trustees approval, further clarified as follows: Goods over $1,000,000 unless competitively bid; Consulting and professional services over $250,000 regardless of whether the contracts result from a competitive process.
  • Capital projects that involve construction, demolition, or renovation of University facilities threshold increased from $750,000 to $1,000,000.

The above threshold changes became effective immediately upon approval at the June meetings.  The System Office is in the process of updating the Board Manual which can be referred to for full context once updates are complete.

buyBAMA’s New User Interface

We are pleased to announce that buyBAMA’s new user interface was successfully upgraded on May 13, 2019. The changes included a few new features as well as an enhanced user experience. We believe this upgrade is a great benefit to all users and will allow for other new features in the future. Updated training and reference material can be found on the buyBAMA website. If you have any questions, please email buybama@fa.ua.edu.

buyBAMA eProcurement System – User Interface Upgrade

We are pleased to announce that buyBAMA’s user interface will be upgraded in May. The changes will include a few new features as well as an enhanced user experience. The tentative go-live date will be Monday, May 13th. An email will be sent out to all buyBAMA users once the date is finalized, along with updated training and reference material. We are very excited for this launch as the upgrades will be beneficial to all users.

When is the Right Time to Engage Purchasing?

Purchasing encourages campus partners to research products and services to determine what best suits their needs.  If the preferred product or service is not available from an Approved Contract Vendor and is anticipated to exceed the State competitive bid threshold of $15,000, it is very important to engage Purchasing before getting too far down the road.  Purchasing can assist with determining if a competitive bid will be required or if the purchase qualifies as a sole source.  This determination needs to be made early in the process to ensure Purchasing compliance as well as preventing any accidental commitments to vendors that cannot be fulfilled due to compliance obligations.  Please refer to our Purchasing Guidelines and Competitive Bid Process webpages for associated information.  As always, please contact Purchasing at uapurchasing@fa.ua.edu or 348-5230 with any questions.

Contract Vendor Fair

Please join us on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 as Procurement Services hosts a Contract Vendor Fair in the Ferguson Center Ballroom from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Lunch will be provided and many of our current Contract Vendors will be on hand to showcase the products and services they provide for the University. We invite all UA Faculty and Staff to come meet our representatives face to face and learn more about their products. There will be employees from Procurement Services on hand throughout the day to assist and answer questions as well. If you have any event questions, please email Jana Weaver.

Add the Contract Vendor Fair to your Outlook Calendar

Property & Inventory Management – GovDeals

GovDeals is an online auction system utilized by the University of Alabama, Property & Inventory Management, to post assets for public sale.  GovDeals also has a special area set aside specifically for faculty and staff at the university, to view surplus property online,and select any items that may be needed with their specific department.  Access to this area is restricted to UA employees, and must be requested by completing the GovDeals UA Department User Application.  This form must be completed and emailed to property@fa.ua.edu.  There is no cost to departments for items available in this special online location.  These items can also be viewed in the actual surplus area, located at 124 Ancillary Services Building.

Both, the public sale side and the departmental surplus side, can be accessed at www.govdeals.com.  The specific login information entered determines which area you will have access to when you log in.    Registration on this site is open to everyone who has a valid email address; however, it is strongly suggested that you do not utilize your UA email address for public sale accounts, as this will not allow you to have access to the departmental side.  The email address cannot be utilized for more than one GovDeals account, and only the UA email address can be used for access to the department side.

New buyBAMA Catalog Vendor – Howard Technology Solutions

We are pleased to announce the addition of Howard Technology Solutions as a Catalog Vendor on buyBAMA. Howard has a full catalog of technology solutions available, including but not limited to, computer solutions, audiovisual systems, accessories and camera systems. As a Catalog Vendor, all purchases can be paid using a P-Card and any required limit increases will occur automatically through the buyBAMA approval workflow.

If you have any additional questions please contact Amy Chambley, for Audio Visual needs or Gieva Patton, for Computer/Software needs.

What Type of Bid Meets Your Need?

Per Section 41-16-20 of the Code of Alabama, any purchase request or contract for like or similar products and/or services that total $15,000 or more must be competitively bid (with limited exceptions). A purchase request or contract cannot be split up to avoid the $15,000 bid threshold. Review Alabama’s Competitive Bid Law.

Purchasing assists with the issuance of two different types of bids based on situational needs:

  • Invitation for Bid (IFB)
  • Request for Proposals (RFP)

IFB’s are appropriate when specifications are already known and when price is the primary factor for award.  RFP’s are appropriate when the general scope of work is known, however, there is more than one potential solution and pricing is evaluated on the overall best value to the University.  See Purchasing’s Competitive Bid Process webpage for additional information.

What type of bid meets your needs?  Please contact the appropriate Purchasing staff member for bid guidance for your specific situation.

Summer Projects – Are You Prepared?

2018 was filled with accomplishments and success stories all around campus. With FY18 Purchasing spend for goods and services in excess of one hundred million dollars, campus purchased a few things along the way too! Now is the time to begin planning for any purchases that you intend to undertake during the Summer months in preparation for next Fall. When a purchase requires formal bidding, starting early allows ample time to prepare good specifications, address any concerns during the bid process and properly evaluate the bid responses. It also provides time to order materials that have long lead times and allows time at the end of the project to address any issues that may need to be resolved before completion. Beginning early and preparing well will help to make your summer projects a success. Please contact the appropriate buyer in our office to begin discussing what your needs may be for the Summer of 2019 and how we can be a service to you.

Equipment Purchases and Your Departmental Responsibilities

At UA, we purchase equipment routinely throughout the year. Capital equipment is defined as any apparatus, instrument, appliance, item of machinery, or piece of furniture costing $5,000 or more that is moveable. It is a large undertaking to purchase, document, track and report on capital equipment as the University is required. The University not only has to document the purchase, but also track where it is placed and report on the status of the equipment on an annual basis. The first step in this process is to assign the proper account code to your purchase transaction. All account codes for capital equipment purchases should begin with 791 (e.g. 791xxx-xxx). Proper coding allows Property Management to identify equipment that needs to be assigned a property tag and be recorded as an asset in order to ensure property control compliance. Additional information on this process and how your role is so important can be found at Property Management Policies and Procedures. Campus is encouraged to reach out to Property and Inventory Management with any questions regarding property control prior to completing the purchase of capital equipment.