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Purchasing Services: Service Purchase Contracts

When the Purchasing Department purchases a commodity such as an office supply, or a piece of equipment, a University Purchase Order is issued to the appropriate Vendor.

When the purchase of a service is being made the Purchasing Department is required to process a document called a "Service Purchase Contract" (SPC).

The SPC document requires that all parties to the agreement sign it.

The contract is sent to the vendor for signature, and then the University Contracting Officer signs it.

If the agreement is of a higher dollar threshold additional State System signatures are also required.

Note: When all University and Contractor signatures have been affixed to the contract, one copy is sent to the contractor, THEN and only then can the service BEGIN.

The SPC form must be routed and signed by the Contractor, the University, and Legal Counsel PRIOR to any service taking place.

It is extremely important to note that no one is authorized to sign any agreements on behalf of East Stroudsburg University other than the University's Contracting Officers.

Any University faculty or staff member entering into contracts either verbally or by signing an agreement without the proper authorization may be held personally liable for the cost of the service.

Who to contact for more information

Please contact the Purchasing Department for more information. Anyone in the department will be able to answer your calls for information or clarification.

  • Commodities - 570/422-3203 or 422-3206
  • Service Contracts - 570/422-3203 or 422-3206
  • Construction Contracts - 570/422-3595

Services Purchase Contracting Made Easy

Itemized "How to Order" Steps:

The acquisition of service related purchases are very similar to the purchasing of supplies and equipment from the requesting department's point of view.

Purchases of Services follow the same rules and dollar limits for bidding, sole source procurement, and telephone quotations that are used for purchase of supplies & equipment.

Department's should follow the same "How to Order" steps used when completing a purchase requisition for a supply or equipment purchase.

  1. Determine that monies are available in the departmental budget.
  2. Obtain the necessary vendor information.
  3. Create an online SAP Purchase Requisition.
  4. The appropriate electronic signature releases are made.
  5. The Purchase Requisition arrives in the Purchasing Department for processing.

Please refer to the Supplies Purchases section for more information about the above ordering steps.

Purchase Requisition for Services Completion Instructions
Purchase Requisitions for the purchase of a service need to provide more detailed information than a requisition for the purchase of a commodity.

The user will need to make sure that the requisition indicates information regarding the "Who/What/When/Where/Why/How" of the service to be purchased.

The following breakdown will provide users with a guide to assist them in completing a purchase requisition for services.

WHO: Vendors full name, address (not just a PO box), phone & fax numbers, e-mail address, point of contact, Federal ID number or Social Security Number, and SAP assigned vendor number.

WHAT: A detailed description of the service required (often referred to as a "Statement of Work" or "Scope of Work"). Itemized cost breakdown (Time & Material or Lump Sum/Fixed price). Any Attachments from the vendor must be forwarded to the Purchasing Department for review and possible revision. The "What" must be explicit enough to be enforceable in the event of a dispute.

WHEN: The start and end dates and times of the service needed. Will this Contract be renewed in the future?

WHERE: Location where the service is to take place. Any Department(s) needing the service need to be clearly stated. If the service is for equipment, give a complete description (manufacturer, model, serial number, etc.), and the location of the equipment.

WHY: Why is this service needed? ? If the service is over the competitive bid threshold, the services must be bid unless a Sole Source request is approved in advance by Legal. If under the threshold, 3 written quotes are strongly recommended.

Attachments and Terms & Conditions: Requesting departments should forward to the Purchasing Department any vendor issued quotations, attachments, or listings of vendor issued terms and conditions. These items will be incorporated into any SPC and/or made an attachment to the SPC when deemed appropriate by the Contracting Officer.

Examples of Service Purchases
Listed below are a few examples of service purchases that would apply under this section.

  • Consultants or External Reviewers, Equipment Maintenance / Repairs, Tent & Other Equipment Rentals
  • Speakers or Entertainers, Annual Inspections & Preventive Maintenance Photographers
  • Outside Coaches & Officials for Athletic Camps, Bus Trip Arrangements Interpreters
  • Models, Workshops or Training on University Premises
  • Leases, advertising

Normally, a department would request the purchase of a service using the online SAP Purchase Requisition form that is approved and then forwarded electronically to the Purchasing Department. For example, this would apply when a warranty expires for a piece of equipment or when compensating a guest speaker.

The SPCs are created and approved as follows:

For services costing less than $600 a PR should be created in SAP for review by the Purchasing department in case the service carries elements of risk to the University, i.e., services such as limo or bus services involve significant liability to students and faculty. As such, the Purchasing department will require a Service Purchase Contract (SPC) in such cases. Other typical scenarios involving speakers and minor honoraria would not require a SPC if under $1500 and you will be notifed of such by Purchasing as appropriate.

If Purchasing determines that no contract is required, the purchase should be made directly with the vendor by the requiring department.

USE your initials, your phone extension and the month and day AS the order number: i.e. AMZ3595-5/17.

At the time of purchase, the purchaser should instruct the vendor to mail all invoices directly to the department requiring the service and to use the order number on the invoice.

Upon receipt of invoices, the department should place the fund, funds center, and general ledger account number to be charged for the service on the face of the invoice.

The invoice should then be signed and approved for payment, signifying that the service was performed.

It should then be forwarded to Accounts Payable for payment.

If a speaker requires a check on the date of the speech, send an email one week in advance to the accounts payable office with the necessary information.

For services between $600 and $5,000 informal quotes are used by University departments.

University departments may call for quotes, take advantage of volume discounts, existing DGS or SSHE contracts, and use other techniques to obtain the lowest possible prices in relation to the value received.

Written quotes are used as determined necessary by the Purchasing Office in its judgment, based on historical experience that the potential for appreciable cost savings exists.

For services between $5,000 and $19,400 the Purchasing Offices uses written/faxed quotes for bidding purposes.

Competitive Bidding Procedures for Supplies and Services over $19,400. (the competitive bid thresholdas established by the PA Dept. of Labor and Industry)

Pursuant to Act 188 and SSHE Board of Governors Policy 1983-02-A, all University purchases greater than the competitve bid threshold must be competitively bid under institutionally established business practices.

Such competitive bidding will be undertaken centrally by the Purchasing Department and documented appropriately for audit purposes.

Supplies and services over $19,400 may be bid on a straight cost basis and awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.

Alternatively, certain services may be bid using a more elaborate evaluative process, such as a Request for Proposal, which incorporates both cost and other technical criteria.

Exceptions to competitive bidding requirements are authorized for items available from the Commonwealth Warehouse, items on state (DGS) contract, items available from agencies for persons with disabilities (such as Pennsylvania Industries for the Blind and Handicapped), certain items specified under grant or restricted gift provisions, and items procured under the sole source and emergency provisions of the Commonwealth Procurement Code.

Exceptions to competitive bidding requirements may also be authorized for emergency facilities project contracts when a threat exists to public health, welfare or safety and the urgency does not permit the delay involved in using more formal competitive methods.

A written determination of the basis for the emergency and for the selection of the particular contractor will be included in the contract file.

Public Notice for Competitive Bids

All procurements greater than the competitve bid threshold (except emergency procurements or other authorized exceptions) must be advertised publicly.

The contracting officer will determine the method of source selection and public notice to be given for each procurement to ensure competition that should produce the least cost for the procurement, using any or all of the methods outlined in Section 512 of the Commonwealth Procurement Code, except that a general notice must be given in addition to issuance of invitation for bids to bidders on a solicitation mailing list, or when using the pre-qualification method.

The contracting officer will consider the principles of responsiveness, accountability, fairness, and openness in determining the type of public notice given for each procurement.

SOLE SOURCE PROCUREMENTS: Contact the Purchasing Office prior to preparing a requisition form for a service which you believe can only be delivered by one sole vendor.

It is mandatory that Legal Counsel in Harrisburg sign an "Approval" form for a Sole Source request.

If Legal Counsel determines that the service can be competitively bid, they will not sign the approval for procurement as a sole source and your requirement must be sent out for bids.

Emergency Purchases of Services
The Purchasing Department is responsible for the use of emergency contract procurement methods and they are intended to apply only in special circumstances.

If there exists a threat to public health, welfare or safety; or if circumstances outside the university's control creates an urgency of need preventing the use of a more formal competitive method.

Failure to properly plan does not necessarily constitute an emergency contract.

All emergency procurements which exceed $1,500 must be preapproved by State System Legal Counsel unless at the time of the emergency the University's legal counsel is unavailable.

The Contracting Officer must create written documentation to support the procurement decision.

This will detail the basis for the emergency and for the selection of the contractor. This must be submitted to legal counsel with the eventual contract for signature.

The purchasing department maintains a record listing all emergency contracts for a period of three (3) years.

The records include the contractor's name, the amount and type of the contract, a listing of the supplies, services, or construction procured under the contract.

The Emergency Contract Flow Chart illustrates the overall flow of an emergency request to purchase a service.