Procurement Guidelines for Purchases Made with Federal Funds

These guidelines are in addition to the University’s standard procurement policy and must be followed for any purchase made with federal funds.
The federal government imposes a set of standards for the acquisition of supplies, equipment and real property purchased with federal funds. Procurement procedures must comply with the standards imposed by OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR-200).

Guidelines for Purchases

  • All purchases must be in compliance with the University’s Conflict of Interest Policy. In addition, no employee, officer, or agent of the University shall participate in the procurement of goods and equipment supported by grant funds (whether federal or private) if a real or apparent conflict of interest would be involved. Such a conflict would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization that employs or is about to employ any of these parties, has a financial or other interest in the firm selected for an award or purchase. The officers, employees, and agents of the University shall neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from vendors or contractors.
  • The vendor or contractor that meets the required quality standards at the lowest cost should be selected. Regardless of the cost of acquisition, grant recipients are required to avoid purchasing unnecessary items. If the cost to purchase a larger quantity is cheaper than the quantity you need, federal guidelines require that only the quantity needed should be purchased.
  • Equipment is defined by the OMB as “tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000”. Bradley University’s capitalization level is $5,000. The acquisition cost includes installation charges and freight.
  • Debarment and Suspension: No purchases shall be made from parties who have been involved in fraud, waste or abuse. The General Service Administration’s (GSA) lists the names of parties debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded by agencies, and contractors declared ineligible under statutory or regulatory authority, on, the System for Award Management. If a grant requires expenditures totaling at least $10,000 in a fiscal year from one vendor, it is necessary to complete and document a Debarment and Suspension check on before a purchase is made.
  • Small, Minority-Owned, and Women’s Business Enterprise Utilization: Colleges and universities expending federal funds are required to make positive efforts to use small businesses, minority- owned firms, and women’s business enterprises whenever possible.
  • The Davis-Bacon Act requires contractors and subcontractors on federally funded or assisted contracts to pay their laborers and mechanics employed under the contract no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area.

Purchasing Guidelines Based on Threshold

The threshold amounts refer to the total cost of the purchase. For example, purchasing three $1,200 laptops is considered to be a $3,600 purchase, not three separate items. A $85,000 equipment purchase with a $6,000 delivery/set-up fee and $12,000 in ancillary parts constitutes a purchase over $100,000.

  • Purchases under $10,000 (“Micro-purchases”): Competitive quotations are not required if the prices are reasonable. Selection should be based on quality and cost. To the extent practicable, purchases must be distributed equitably among qualified suppliers.
  • All Purchases (single or cumulative) over $10,000 from a single vender within a fiscal year: Written price or rate quotations must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources (see table below).

Specific Requirements Based on Purchase Amount

Amount of PurchaseSpecific Requirements
Under $9,999 No competitive cost estimates required.
$10,000 to $24,999 Two or more detailed cost estimates, printed from Internet search and/or in writing from vendor
$25,000 to $249,999 Subject to a formal bid request, defined as a written solicitation to at least three interested and qualified vendors and containing complete and unrestricted specifications to permit free and full competition. It must also include quantity, quality, delivery requirements and all other pertinent data, so all factors can be weighed in determining the successful bidder.
$250,000 and more Request for proposals must be publicized and identify all evaluation factors and their relative importance. Any response to publicized requests for proposal must be considered to the maximum extent possible. Proposals must be solicited from an adequate number of qualified sources (at least three). Contracts must be awarded to the responsible entity whose proposal is most advantageous with price and other factor considered. Must be in compliance with 2 CFR 200.320.

Documentation Requirements

Documentation must be maintained for single or cumulative purchases from a single vendor within a fiscal year that exceed $10,000. The documentation must be sufficient to detail procurement history. A quote is a written statement from a vendor regarding the price for a specific good or service. Quotes and bids should include specifications and qualifying characteristics considered by vendor/contractor including delivery and time frame, scope of work, references, and other relevant specifications.

Procurement and service contract documentation must contain the following:

  • Basis for the vendor/contractor selection. Information showing how the University arrived at the decision to award the contract to that particular vendor/contractor.
  • Basis for the award cost or price: the cost and price analysis should be documented to establish that the institution obtained a fair price.

Additional written documentation and approval(s) of the purchase is required in the following circumstances:

  • A sole source purchase
  • A minimum number of cost estimates and quotations are not obtained
  • Lowest cost bid is not selected

Ownership of Items Purchased with Grant Funds

Grants are awarded to Bradley University, not to individual PIs. As such, items and equipment purchased with grant funds belong to Bradley University. All institutional policies regarding capital equipment, purchasing, and procurement apply.


PIs are required to ensure the proper receipt of the equipment, track equipment, participate in inventories and notify the Controller’s Office with regard to condition, location, loss or damage to the equipment. The PIs establish maintenance procedures and records and are responsible for the operational condition of the equipment.

Please refer to Bradley University’s Property, Plant & Equipment Policy for more details on Asset Inventory, Asset Tagging, Asset Disposal, and Asset Transfer.

Debarment and Suspension Statement and Instructions to Check Status

Bradley University is subject to the non-procurement debarment and suspension regulations implementing Executive Orders 12549 and 12689, 2 CFR part 180. These regulations restrict awards, subawards, and contracts with certain parties that are debarred, suspended, or otherwise excluded from or ineligible for participation in Federal assistance programs or activities. The University must ensure “due diligence” with every major vendor to ensure that they are not suspended, debarred or otherwise excluded from conducting business with the federal government.

Prior to engaging with a vendor during your grant period, the PI must:

  • check that this vendor is not excluded from receiving federal funding AND
  • document that this check was conducted prior to purchasing any goods or services.

Method for checking and documenting the vendor debarment/suspension search

  • Go to
  • Click on “Search Records”
  • Use the “Quick Search” section and type in the vendor’s DUNS number
  • With this Quick Search, a vendor record will note: Has Active Exclusion? Delinquent Federal Debt? (If “yes” is indicated to either question, the vendor cannot be used)
  • A screen print of the search results with date stamp must be retained to document the vendor was checked prior to making any purchase.

Sole / Single Source Procurement Documentation Requirements

In accordance with University’s policy, competitive bids must be obtained for purchases of goods or services at designated dollar thresholds. If the purchaser/requestor believes circumstances justify an exemption from this requirement for one of the following reasons,

  • Sole Source: There is only one vendor or person that can provide that particular or unique service / commodity and any attempt to obtain bids would only result in that person or vendor bidding on it.
  • Emergency: the good or service is needed immediately to address an environmental, safety, or health emergency.
  • Economic: goods or services from another vendor would result in incompatibility with existing goods or services; require substantial time of money to use due to training requirements, retrofitting, etc; and/or goods or services are offered at a substantial discount.

the purchaser/requestor must also provide additional written details and obtain the necessary University approvals, including the respective Vice President’s. The purchaser must, at a minimum, 1) Identify products/services to be approved for sole source treatment; 2) Provide the name of single source supplier/contractor, their mailing address, and their phone number; 3) Provide a list of the vendor names, contacts/contact information and date the solicitation was sent if the sole source is off of non- responsiveness; and 4) Describe the reason(s) for rejecting other products, services or suppliers. If approval is not granted, the purchaser/requestor must obtain competitive bids.