Materials Management Department uses two types of purchase order: (1) a regular purchase order, and (2) a limit sum purchase order (purchase contract).
The University also issues a Howard University Purchasing Card. The card facilitates direct procurement for small purchases of goods and services up to $3000.00 per aggregated transaction, monthly.
Howard University's policy is to procure all commodities when feasible, through competitive solicitation. Three methods of competitive solicitation are used:
The Materials Management Department solicits invitations for bids only from among the vendors included on the approved vendors'/bidders' list. Therefore, vendors wishing to do business with the University must comply with certain requirements and apply for inclusion on the bidders' list. Once they are on the list, bidders will be selected for bid solicitation by commodity.
To be included on the bidders' list, vendors must complete and submit a pre-qualification application.
Pre-qualification applications may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Materials Management Department. The pre-qualification applications are reviewed by the Materials Management Department to assess the applicant's financial position, capacity by product line, and business history. The Materials Management Department notifies applicants in writing of their acceptance or rejection.
The Materials Management Department prepares and issues bid invitations, which include technical specifications for the item(s) to be procured, information concerning quantities and delivery requirements, and due dates for bids. At least three bidders are solicited, and they are selected from the bidders' list. If a large number of bidders is on the list for a particular category, the selection of bidders may be made on a rotational basis.
Bids must be prepared in accordance with the specifications contained in the bid invitation. If brand names are used in the specifications, bids may be submitted for that brand or for an "approved equal brand."
Since Howard University is a nonprofit institution, it does not pay sales tax. Sales tax exemption number will be provided upon request of the vendor.
It is the University's policy to accept bids only for FOB (Freight on Board) destination; therefore, bids should not include freight costs.
Solicitations for new or special commodities may request vendors to submit samples with their bids. All submitted samples become the property of the University for testing and/or other procedures. Samples should be labeled with the bid number and the bidder's name. Bidders may request that undamaged samples be returned by submitting a written request to the Materials Management Department.
The Materials Management Department receives all bids and secures them, unopened, until the specified bid opening time. No late bids will be opened. The bids are tabulated and reviewed to ensure that all terms and conditions have been met. The award is normally to the lowest responsive responsible bidder who meets all requirements of the bid invitation. For awards over $15,000, the successful bidder will receive a notification of bid award, and a solicitation offer and Purchase order confirming award. Unsuccessful bidders for awards over $15,000 will receive a copy of the notification of bid award for their information.
Successful bidders cannot execute a contract until a written purchase order is received, signed by the authorized agent of the University.
A number of special or unusual situations are sometimes encountered in the bidding process. These are addressed below:
Unless otherwise directed, goods will be delivered to the Howard University Central Receiving Facility, located at 2244 10th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Drop shipments, particularly for items requiring installation, should be delivered to the location designated on the purchase order
The University's Office of the Comptroller is responsible for paying vendors for commodities and services delivered. The Materials Management Department and the user departments are responsible for providing the Office of the Comptroller with the proper documentation for processing the payment. The documentation required is an approved purchase order, a receiving report, and a vendor's invoice. Payments to vendors will be made only upon submission of these documents.
Vendors must comply with the requirements of the purchase order to ensure prompt payment. Vendor invoices should include a complete commodity description that matches items listed on the purchase order. A copy of the purchase order should be attached to the invoice. (Items reflected on the purchase order are not to be changed without an authenticated change order issued or confirmed by the designated buyer). Under normal circumstances, a vendor will receive payment within 30 days of the receipt of the invoice by the Office of the Comptroller. Howard University will endeavor to take advantage of any cash discounts by making payments within the designated discount period.