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Departmental Buyers Guide

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Special Purchases/Situations

A sole source purchase is a situation when a product or service (costing $5000 or more) is practicably available from one source only; therefore, a competitive procurement cannot be conducted. Written justification of the sole source purchase is required. Departments should use the Sole Source Request Form to submit their request to conduct a sole source procurement to Procurement Services. Procurement Services must approve the sole source purchase prior to negotiating the price and issuing a purchase order. A sole source is not justified by being a vendor with whom your department is interested in doing on-going business or has purchased goods/services from previously. Once the justification is approved by Procurement a contract/order may then be initiated between JMU and the contractor.

Proprietary Justification

A situation when only one brand or manufacturer is acceptable; however, the product is available from more than one source, therefore competition is available. Departments should complete the Proprietary Good or Service Request Form and return to Procurement Services when requesting the purchase of proprietary product(s). Procurement Services must approve the documentation prior to negotiating the price and issuing a purchase order.

Skilled Services Contract

Skilled service agreements cover a vast array of services/events, typical example of usage is for speakers coming to campus. These are used for services $5,000 or greater when the vendor does not provide their own agreement. They can also be used for services under $5,000 if the deliverables are of a more complex nature or if there is greater concern of the vendor not fulfilling their requirements. If a vendor provides their own agreement requiring signature, please send to askeva@jmu.edu in order for it to be routed to the appropriate buyer. The Skilled Services Contact Form may be used when a service requires a contract but does not have one to provide.

Skilled Services Acknowledgement Form

This form is used for services under $5,000, when the vendor does not provide their own agreement, and there is low risk if the vendor does not perform. The Acknowledgement Form only requires the vendor's signature to show they agree with the expectations of deliverables and payment. No JMU signature is required on this form.

Drones / Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Any university employee, student or academic unit purchasing a UAS (or the parts to assemble a UAS) or contracting UAS services with university funds or funds being disbursed through a university account or grant funds, must notify and request approval through the UASOC. This is required in order for the university to meet a responsibility to investigate any required FAA waivers, and to meet state compliance requirements.

Any use of drones on campus must also be explicitly authorized by the UAS Oversight Committee (UASOC).

JMU Policy 2210 - Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

UAV (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Approval Form

Radioactive Materials

Risk Management must to be made aware of any radiation containing or producing items prior to purchase. While not exhaustive, the list below indicates radiological materials requiring special handling and/or licensing by the Virginia Department of Health. It is the responsibility of the department purchasing to ensure appropriate notification to Risk Management occurs.

Actinides, alpha particles, Americium (Am), , Becquerel (Bq), Beta particles, Biodosimetry, Bremsstrahlung, Cesium-137 (Cs-137), Cobalt (Co), Compton, Curie (Ci), Depleted uranium, Dosimeter, Dosimetry, Electron capture detector (ECD), Enriched uranium, Fissile material, Fission, Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), Fusion, Gamma rays, Gray (Gy), Health physics, High-level radioactive waste, Highly enriched uranium (HEU), Ionization, Ionizing radiation, Iridium-192, Irradiation, Isotope, Kerma, Neutrons, Nuclear, Nuclear fuel, Nuclear tracers, Nuclide, Particle Accelerator, Penetrating radiation, Pitchblende, Plutonium (Pu), Polonium (Po), Positron, Rad (radiation absorbed dose), Radiation, Radiation protection, Radiation sickness, Radiation warning symbol, Radioactive contamination, Radioactive decay, Radioactive half-life, Radioactive material, Radioactivity, Radioactive waste, Radioassay, Radiogenic, Radiography, Radioisotope (radioactive isotope), Radiological or radiologic, Radioluminescence, Radiological dispersal device (RDD), Radiological exposure device (RED), Radionuclide, Radium (Ra), Radon (Rn), Relative biologic effectiveness (RBE), Rem (roentgen equivalent man), Roentgen (R), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Self-Luminescent, Sievert (Sv), Somatic effects, Special Nuclear Material (SNM), Strontium (Sr), Thermonuclear device, Terrestrial radiation, Thorium (Th), Total Effective Dose Equivalent (TEDE,) Transuranic, radiological, Tritium, Unstable nucleus, Uranium (U), Uranium mill tailings, X-ray, XRF, XRD

Emergency Purchases

An emergency is an occurrence of a serious and urgent nature that demands immediate action. Emergency procedures may be utilized only to purchase that which is necessary to cover the emergency. Subsequent requirements shall be obtained using normal purchasing procedures.

Emergency situations are typically limited to those situations which could threaten the loss of life or property or cause injury.

Failure to anticipate an operating need is not, in itself, considered an emergency.

Compliance with the eVA system is still required, even if it is handled through a confirming order after the fact.

Full justification for an emergency purchase is required. Justification approved at dean/director/department head level. Justification should relate to health, safety, or protection of property. If time permits, contact Purchasing before making purchase. Competition is not required but should be obtained, time permitting. Justification documents shall be submitted to Procurement Services for file retention.
Emergency Procurements are not typical for any department on campus other than Facilities Management.

Further information can be found in the Small Purchases Procedures in the Emergency Procurement Procedures section.

ETF

The ETF Program is administered by SCHEV (State Council of Higher Education for Virginia) and provides an additional funding source for the University. There could be two ETF ordering periods during a year; however, the early purchase process does not occur every year – it is up to the discretion of upper management as to whether or not there is an early purchase period. Normally, the University’s item requests are sent to SCHEV in September and our notice of authorization from SCHEV to proceed with the ETF purchases can be anywhere from October to February. It has varied each year.

More information can be found on Fixed Assets & Surplus Property's website. Tammy Kiser 540.568.3724 or ETF@jmu.edu is the primary ETF contact for the University.

Extended Warranty

Things to know about buying an extended warranty:

  • Departments may sometimes have an option to purchase an extended warranty when it is offered on a product. However, it is the university’s expectation that departments use the budget process to plan for repair and replacement of equipment on a schedule (e.g. replacing computers, printers, and equipment with a limited life cycle). There is generally not support for use of state funds for extended warranties when these funds may never actually be recouped. The exception that may be justified would be in the case of custom, high-value equipment. In that case, should an extended warranty payment from the vendor come into play, the department would need to present a justification to the Assistant Vice President of Finance for receiving the funds from the university to fund repair or replacement.
  • Warranty is not the same as maintenance. A warranty is a promise, often made by a manufacturer, to stand behind its product or to fix certain defects or malfunctions over a period of time. Warranty may vary by product on what is actually covered. Typically, the warranty pays for any covered repairs or part replacements during the warranty period. Maintenance is the specific performance of repairing, cleaning, altering, or improving a product on a regular or on-call basis to ensure its continued satisfactory operation. Products may come with a standard warranty (30-60-90 days or up to a year or more in some cases), but an extended warranty is an additional cost and extends beyond the time of the standard warranty.
  • When purchasing an extended warranty, departments should consider that if the product fails after the first year, then state accounting rules dictate that the warranty payout be deposited into the university’s general fund and not into the departmental account. Further, if capital funds are used for the purchase, maintenance and/or extended warranty may only be purchased for the first year. Departments would most likely not be given the option to receive funds into their operating budget related to a closed capital project as the funding sources are entirely different. Finance must follow specific requirements in handling any recovered funds related to capital projects and the specific details would depend on the amount of time that has passed.
  • Departments should take into consideration all these factors in determining the merits of whether to purchase an extended warranty.

Green Purchasing

JMU Policy 1701 - Sustainable Procurement states that the University will align its procurement plans, practices and procedures with the campus environmental stewardship goals and campus Environmental Stewardship Action Plan (ESAP). Departments will use the standards outlined in this policy when making all purchasing decisions. University policy on procurement protocol will still be followed for procurement of goods noted in this policy.

Employees with buying responsibilities will be familiar with this policy and only procure goods and services that meet the standards.

eBay, Amazon, & PayPal

Procurement strongly discourages departments from purchasing items from eBay and Amazon. Within the James Madison University management standards there are mandates relating to the required use of eVA/eVA self-registered vendors and SWaM-certified businesses. e-Bay and Amazon are not eVA self-registered vendors nor SWaM certified.

eBay

eBay is not a self-registered eVA vendor, in fact they aren't the vendor at all - they are just a vehicle to purchase. eBay also does not designate a seller as a Small, Woman Owned or Minority (SWaM) Owned vendor.

eBay requires purchasers to indemnify them "You will indemnify and hold us (and our officers, directors, agents, subsidiaries, joint ventures and employees), harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your breach of this Agreement, or your violation of any law or the rights of a third party." Agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia are not permitted to indemnify other entities under state law. Purchasing through eBay puts the University and you at great risk.

eBay takes no responsibility to guarantee the product is delivered after payment. If you have a SPCC and the product is not delivered or purchased in accordance with the financial procedures of the University or the Commonwealth, purchase card privileges could be taken away.

Payment for the goods must be done without any other contractual agreement between the buyer and seller. The Code of Virginia stipulates that all purchases made with state funds are subject to the Commonwealth’s General Terms and Conditions. However, a payment made through eBay authorizes the purchase of goods without acceptance by the seller of the terms and conditions as defined, for example, on an eVA purchase order. There is little or no recourse for the Commonwealth or the University should there be a dispute. The University would look for personal remuneration should the goods not be ultimately received by the University.

If ordering previously owned equipment/furniture refer to Previously Owned Equipment/Furniture.

Amazon

All purchases from Amazon must have prior authorization from Procurement Services. Campus end users should first try to source items from eVA self-registered vendors using the Campus Souring Guide.

If a department feels that purchasing from Amazon is in the best interest of the University they must email a link to the item(s) to askeVA@jmu.edu and list out what other vendors they have searched at and why Amazon is the best option. Upon review Procurement will either provide authorization to purchase from Amazon or provide other vendors the item(s) can be sourced from.

PayPal

The University prefers to not use third party payers, like PayPal, whenever possible. The addition of another layer in the procurement process complicates your ability to deal with situations like damaged or non-receipt of goods from vendors.

It is a best practice to try to communicate directly with the vendor to see if they will accept a direct payment or a paper check in lieu of using PayPal by explaining that we are a state agency of the Commonwealth and using PayPal is not a payment option that is available to us. If there is no other way to submit payment and no alternate vendor to purchase these items from, the department can proceed with the understanding that they are assuming the responsibility that they are dealing with a reputable company and the University will expect these items are received in a timely fashion and without damage.

Previously Owned Items

Previously Used Furniture

Purchasing used furniture requires written justification and a vendor quote to be submitted to Procurement for a VCE Release. Contact the buyer assigned to the Furniture commodity to initiate the release waiver process or see the Furniture Section for more information. Upon approval from VCE, an eVA purchase order should be created. Competition is not required to purchase used furniture.

Previously Used Equipment

Used equipment is defined as equipment which has been previously owned and used and is offered where is or as is. This may include demonstration, previously rented, or reconditioned items. Used equipment is not acceptable if serial numbers or other manufacturer's identifying labels or marks have been removed, obliterated, or changed. Departments wanting to purchase used equipment must submit a written justification to Procurement Services specifying why the purchase is in the best interest of the University.

Previously Used Vehicles

All requests to purchase a new or used vehicle should be sent to the JMU Transportation Department. Transportation will review the vehicle's specifications and determine if it meets the needs and requirements of the department and university.

A department wishing to purchase a vehicle must have enough funding to also cover the following:

  • Delivery Charges
  • Maintenance
  • Tags
  • Virginia State Inspection

Used vehicles may be purchased from the Commonwealth of Virginia vehicle contract or from local vendors. Written justification must be provided to Procurement Services and/or Transportation, prior to purchase, from a person who is technically knowledgeable stating the current condition of the used vehicle, its future usefulness, and that the purchase is in the best interest of the university. Transportation can assist in verifying the condition of the vehicle and determine if it meets the needs and requirements of the university.

For question contact Procurement Services or Doug Judy 540.568.3609 or email judydj@jmu.eduu

JMU Policy 4303 - Use of State Vehicles
Vehicles

Lease Purchases

The University must determine if the terms of a lease or installment purchase are favorable to the Commonwealth. The Office of Financial Reporting prepares economic analyses for equipment leases and purchases when deemed appropriate. The Office of Real Property and Space Management prepares economic analyses for property leases. Departments should contact the relevant office for approval of a lease purchase prior to submitting a requisition to Procurement Services.

Financial Procedures Manual, Section 6010 - Leases

Real Property

Contact Real Property for information concerning the lease of real property (6 months or more in duration) or for questions on the purchase of real property.

Licensing JMU Trademarks, Logos, Seals, Indicia and Mascot

James Madison University has assigned all rights, titles and interest in any trademarks, logos and insignias owned or acquired by the University to the James Madison University Foundation (JMUF). JMUF has established a licensing program to ensure that the public properly identifies and associates JMU on products bearing the institution's marks.

Any products which carry an approved mark or logo of the University will be covered by the licensing program. Merchandise bearing JMU trademarks and logos are limited to merchandise produced by manufacturers that are officially licensed to produce JMU's marks. Officially licensed manufacturers are licensed and registered by the Foundation's licensing agent, The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC).

Campus organizations seeking to use JMU marks for fundraising projects, club projects, fraternity/sorority endeavors, etc. must first seek initial approval from the Associate Vice President for Business Services and then submit the proposal to a licensed manufacturer or to the JMU Foundation.

For licensing information please contact Joanne Sherman at 540.568.3297 or jsherman@jmufoundation.org at the JMU Foundation.

No vendor may copyright or trademark any work produced for the Institution without prior written consent. JMU promotional items contractors are CLC licensed to produce/print JMU logoed items.

Safety Labeling/Listing

2012 Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code: Section 605.7, Appliances requires "Electrical appliances and fixtures shall be tested and listed in published reports of inspected electrical equipment by an approved agency and installed and maintained in accordance with all instructions included a part such listing." Equipment planned for purchase should have the required safety labeling/listing. If it does not at the time of purchase the department must ensure the equipment receives the appropriate labeling/listing prior to installation/use. The process and cost to have a piece of equipment labeled/listed can be vary and there is no guarantee any specific piece of equipment will achieve the appropriate labeling. The equipment must be approved through a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).

Sponsored Programs

Purchases made with sponsored program funds are governed by, and must adhere to, all JMU Policies and Procedures. The expenditure of sponsored program funds must be made in compliance with federal and state regulations and within the grantor specifications.

The Office of Sponsored Programs is responsible for recording expenditures for the direct costs of research grants and contracts and other programs sponsored by agencies external to the University that are fully funded by such external source. Visit their website for more information.