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Purchasing Guidelines

District Purchasing Department 

The District Purchasing Department handles the procurement of all supplies and equipment districtwide.  All purchases are subject to federal and state regulations, District Board policies and Administrative regulations.  Purchases funded by grants funds are subject to grant restrictions. 

Procurement Process in Workday

Procurement is administered through Workday. The Procurement and Assets Course Manual covers guidelines and procedures in creating purchase requisitions and supplier contracts.  The Expenses Course Manual covers purchase reimbursements, monthly mileage, and travel expenses. These course manuals are available in the Workday Implementation Page of the SOCCCD Business Services SharePoint.

Budget Checks

Workday runs a budget check before purchase requisitions, purchase orders and supplier contracts can proceed. A budget fail will occur if there is no budget, or if budget is insufficient to cover the request. In case of a budget fail, a budget amendment needs to be submitted to complete the order. The Purchase Order Budget Failures Activity Guide covers guidelines and steps to remedy  budget failures.

Bid Threshold Limits

The State Chancellor’s Office requires community college districts to advertise, competitively bid and award contracts for all purchases involving equipment, materials, supplies or services beyond a threshold limit. For 2016, the bid limit is $87,800. The bid limit changes every year to adjust for inflation. The Board of Trustees awards the contracts.

All purchases of independent contractor services for public projects, i.e. construction work, that are at least $15,000 must be advertised. A competitive bid is required and the Board of Trustees awards the contracts.

All purchases of consultant services require a formal contract.

Exceptions to the Bidding Regulations

Bidding may not be required for the following: 

  • Educational materials such as textbooks, library books, films, tests, and software
  • Perishable food items and seasonal commodities needed for the operation of a cafeteria
  • Surplus federal property
  • Energy service contracts
  • Facility financing and ground leases
  • Purchase through other public agencies
  • Emergency repair contracts. Repairs, alteration, or improvements necessary to permit the continuance of existing classes, or to avoid danger to life or property. This requires unanimous vote of the Board.
  • Special services, advice and consultancy in matters related to financial, economic, accounting, engineering, legal, and administrative functions, and for the issuance and preparation of payroll checks.

In cases where compliance with competitive bidding requirements are not required, it is necessary to demonstrate that selection is based on best value criteria for the District. This may involve a formal request for proposals. It is best to coordinate efforts with Purchasing Department prior to submission of requisition to facilitate the process.

Online Purchases

Purchasing materials and services through the internet is not allowed, unless authorization is granted in advance from the Purchasing Department. The exception is on purchases from Office Max, or when vendors do not accept purchase orders. If credit card guidelines are met, a credit card may be used for emergency online purchases.

Workday has a punchout mechanism wherein purchases can be made directly from a vendor’s online catalogue. Punchout is currently available for purchases at Amazon, Graybar, B&H, McKesson and Dick Blick.  Purchasing  Department is working to expand Workday’s Punchout suppliers.

Emergency Purchases

All emergency purchases during business hours must be handled through Purchasing Department. When the urgency occurs after business hours, purchase may proceed. As soon as business hours resume, Purchasing Department should be informed of the emergency purchase.

Visit the Purchasing Homepage  for updates on purchasing procedures and regulations.