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Departmental Buyers Guide

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Purchasing Procedures

The objective of effective procurement is to obtain high quality goods, supplies, and services, at the lowest possible cost. Individuals must procure goods and services fairly and impartially to avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. The University expects individuals involved in procurement for the University to exercise prudent judgment. Each procurement must be able to sustain the test of public review for all purchases.

Quick Guide to Dollar Thresholds

Goods and Services (Except Equipment Trust Fund ETF and Restricted Items) Departmental Procedure Purchase Method(s)

All goods and non-professional services $4,999.99 or less

One or more quotes are required for purchases of goods and services costing $4,999.99 or less (exceptions: see Mandatory Sources).

At least one quote should be obtained from a certified small, minority owned or woman owned business (for see SBSD potential certified sources).

Department delegation information

Note: Never split orders under any circumstance in an attempt to keep cost under $5,000.

eVA self-registered Purchases $10,000 or less

Departments may receive one quote/proposal from a SBSD certified SWaM vendor that is also an eVA Self-Registered vendor up to and including $10,000 to include shipping.

  • eVA Requisition submitted by Department to include quote/proposal received (must be prior to any work commencing)
  • Procurement will verify vendor SWaM certification and eVA registration status and issue purchase order

Goods and non-professional services $5,000 to $50,000

JMU Small Purchase Procedures apply

Departments are required to utilize established JMU contracts or to work with Procurement Services.

  • eVA Requisition submitted by Department for approval
  • Purchase order issued by Procurement Services

All goods and non-professional services over $50,000

Departments are required to utilize established JMU contracts or to work with Procurement Services to find a cooperative contract or conduct a competitive procurement.

For departments making repetitive annual purchases of the same goods/services, Procurement Services may elect to establish a term contract through competitive negotiation.

  • eVA Requisition submitted by Department for approval
  • Purchase order issued by Procurement Services

Professional Services means work performed by an independent contractor within the scope of the practice of:

  • Accountant
  • Actuarial
  • Architect
  • Land Surveying
  • Landscape Architect
  • Law
  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Optometry
  • Pharmacist
  • Engineer

Procured through competitive negotiation as allowed by State Law.

  • Notify Procurement Services of needs

Purchases Under $5,000:

Individual purchases of goods and services costing $4,999.99 or less (without splitting the order/transaction) and in the aggregate do not accumulate to over $50,000 in total annual cost shall be procured through the procurement delegation granted to individual University departments.

Purchases between $5,000 and $50,000:

The Rules Governing Procurement of Goods, Services, Insurance and Construction by a Public Institution of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Subchapter 3 of the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act) permits a public body to establish small purchase procedures, if adopted in writing, to govern procurements where the sum of all phases is not expected to exceed $50,000; however, such small purchase procedures must provide for competition wherever practical.

Purchases Over $50,000:

All purchases of goods and services costing over $50,000 shall follow the procedures as set forth in the Commonwealth of Virginia Purchasing Manual for Institutions of Higher Education and their Vendors.

See Policies and Procedures in Section Two for more information.

Restricted Purchases

Individual purchases of goods and services costing $4,999.99 or less (without splitting the order/transaction) and in the aggregate do not accumulate to over $50,000 in total annual cost shall be procured through the procurement delegation granted to individual University departments. The Office of Procurement Services must be contacted if there is a need to purchase restricted items no matter the cost of the goods or services. The following items are restricted purchases:

Sources of Supply

JMU Term Contracts

JMU establishes term contracts that allow departments to make on-demand purchases at contract pricing. Typically term contracts are established through the RFP process when goods or services are purchased by the University on a repetitive basis (See RFP Process). Departments may use JMU term contracts to make purchases for a variety of goods/services above their departmental delegation as these contracts have been competitively procured. Departments can locate most JMU term contracts by visiting the JMU Contract Gateway and by following these instructions.

Cooperative Term Contracts

Cooperative contracts issued by other public or private organizations or entities, including other educational institutions, public-private partnerships, public bodies, and purchasing organizations are allowed only when those contracts are procured competitively with comparable processes to that of James Madison University or the Commonwealth of Virginia. Seek advice from Procurement Services on cooperative contract usage.

Suggested websites for locating cooperative contracts for use: