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Buying Through Purchasing Services
A department processes purchases through Purchasing Services when any of the following occur:
- The department wants assistance with a purchase.
- The total amount of a purchase exceeds the current direct buy limit ($10,000). (RCW 28B.10.029, RCW 39.26)
- The purchase may not be processed with a department purchase order transaction in Workday or a purchasing card (see BPPM 70.08). See also the Workday Create and Change Purchase Order reference guide.
Upon receipt of a departmental purchasing Requisition, the appropriate Purchasing Services buyer is assigned to the procurement process. (See BPPM 70.10 and the Workday Create Requisition reference guide for instructions).
The Buyer’s Role
The Purchasing Services buyer determines the applicable purchasing procedure. The buyer uses the best method to fill the departmental purchasing Requisition within the limitations of state laws and regulations and WSU policies.
State law requires the buyer to post public notice of all sealed bid opportunities on the state’s online supplier registration and bid notification system, Washington’s Electronic Business Solution (WEBS). (RCW 39.26.150, -160)
State law requires the buyer to solicit at least one certified minority-owned business and one certified women-owned business for each quote or bid. (RCW 39.26.245) Purchasing Services accesses the current listing of these certified businesses from the WEBS system.
Submission of Bids and Quotes
Suppliers must submit all bids to WSU Purchasing Services in written or electronic form and conform to state purchasing rules. (RCW 39.26) Purchasing Services does not accept responses to sealed bids by fax. Sealed bids submitted by fax or delivered to offices other than Purchasing Services are nonresponsive and are not considered.
Purchasing Services prefers that suppliers submit quotes in written or electronic form. Purchasing Services accepts quotes by fax for informal competition for purchases between $10,000 to $100,000. Supplier quotes must conform to state purchasing rules.
Time Allowed For Bidding
Bid or quote processing may require seven or more working days depending on the complexity, length, and urgency of the request. Purchasing Services determines the length of time allowed suppliers to submit bids or quotes.
For sealed bid processing, a specific date is established for the bid opening. Bids may not be opened before this date.
The Purchasing Services buyer tabulates the offers and routes the tabulation and bids or quotes to the requesting department.
The requesting department accepts the low bid or quote or recommends award of the sale to one of the other bidders. The requesting department must provide written justification to Purchasing Services for rejection of any bid or quote lower than the awarded price.
Generally, Purchasing Services awards the contract to the supplier submitting the lowest bid unless:
- The lowest bidder is not qualified for documented reasons of capacity, reputation, time requirements, or inability to meet written bid specifications.
- The lowest bidder is from a state with a currently-active in-state preference rule for procuring goods and services. A specified percentage penalty (usually two to five percent) is added to bids submitted by suppliers from such states. Purchasing Services maintains a list of states and percentage penalties. (WAC 200-300-075) NOTE: This stipulation applies to bids for purchases of $100,000 or more only.
Complaints and Protests
Bidders may submit complaints regarding the bid solicitation requirements and evaluation through the University’s complaint process. The complaint process provides for complaints to be submitted and response provided before the deadline for bid submissions. (RCW 39.26.170(1))
Bidders who submitted a response to the solicitation document and participated in a debriefing conference may submit protests regarding the choice of successful bidder through the University’s protest process. The protest process includes a protest period after the apparent successful bidder is announced but before the contract is signed. (RCW 39.26.170(2))
Guidelines regarding the complaint and protest processes are available by selecting the Complaint and Protest Process link on the Purchasing Services Vendor Resources website.
Purchasing Services creates and sends a Purchase Order to the supplier submitting the successful bid or quote. In certain cases, a contract is sent to the supplier. See the Workday Create and Change Purchase Order reference guide for instructions. The Purchase Order or contract directs the supplier to proceed with the transaction (see BPPM 70.20.)
Purchasing Services enters information from the departmental purchasing Requisition in Workday. After the order is entered, the requisitioning department may monitor the progress of the transaction in Workday.
Workday encumbers the transaction.
Purchase Order Changes
After a Purchase Order has been issued, it may be modified in Workday. See the Workday Create and Change Purchase Order reference guide for instructions. This may occur under the following conditions:
- When a supplier notifies WSU of a price change.
- When a department requests a quantity change.
- When one party, the supplier or the department, indicates a need for change in delivery or any other specification.
- If either party wishes to cancel all or part of the contract prior to shipment.
- At any time the buyer’s judgment indicates that a change materially alters the contractual responsibility of either party.
There are exceptions to the need for a change to the Purchase Order. If in the buyer’s judgment, a trusted supplier accommodates a minor change, a change may not be necessary.