Initiating Procurement Transactions

There are a variety of methods available to a principal investigator (PI) to initiate a procurement transaction through RFCUNY. Among these methods include Purchase Orders and Purchase Contracts (e.g., lease agreements, custom equipment, hotel facilities for meetings, etc.).

Prior to initiating a procurement transaction, a PI must consider the following:

  • Each PI is liable for all orders placed directly to vendors by them or their staff.
  • Funds must be available and committed to the transaction before the end date of the sponsored project/award.
  • The use of minority, disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business vendors is encouraged and required for certain federal and state contracts.

Purchase Orders

Orders Totaling Under $5,000

Each PI must ensure that funding is in place prior to initiating a purchase order transaction with a vendor. An order may be placed and processed with a vendor by submitting: a) the vendor’s quote for goods and services and; b) a completed Small Order form (RF-201). When the quote and completed Small Order form are accepted by the vendor, a legally binding contractual obligation is then fully established. This type of order is the sole responsibility of the PI and/or their affiliated CUNY institution.

Orders Totaling $5,000 or Above

Orders totaling $5,000 or above must be placed by RFCUNY on behalf of a PI. Bidding requirements may be applicable depending on the amount of the order and source of funding.

Orders Totaling $5,000 or above, but Under $15,000

A PI should obtain a quote from the vendor of their choice based on the goods or services they intend to purchase. The quote and a completed Purchase Requisition Form (RF-208) must be sent to RFCUNY’s purchase order email for processing (PO@rfcuny.org). If equipment is purchased, a completed Equipment Screening Certificate must be submitted.

It is important that a PI not submit a purchase requisition form directly to a vendor. RFCUNY will generate the purchase order document and email the document and quote to the vendor for processing.

Orders totaling $15,000 or Above on State or Private Sponsored Projects

This type of transaction requires the submission of three bids, a completed Purchase Requisition Form, and any other applicable supporting documentation (e.g., Equipment Screening Certificate, Sole Source Justification, justification for not selecting the lowest bid) to RFCUNY for review and processing.

Bidding is not required if:

  • The purchase price of the good/service is established by a New York State, New York City, or Federal GSA Contract.
  • The good or service is available from a single source (sole source).
  • It is an emergency purchase.
  • If the lowest bid is not selected, a justification letter must be provided.

Orders Totaling $25,000 or Above on Federal Sponsored or Agency Funded Projects

This type of transaction requires the submission of three bids, the completed Purchase Requisition Form and any other applicable supporting documentation (e.g., Equipment Screening Certificate, Sole Source Justification, justification for not selecting the lowest bid) to RFCUNY for review and processing.

Bidding is not required if:

  • The purchase price of the good/service is established by a New York State, New York City, or Federal GSA Contract.
  • The good or service is available from a single source (sole source).
  • It is an emergency purchase.
  • If the lowest bid is not selected, a justification letter must be provided.

Purchase Contracts

Certain classes of procurement transactions require the review and processing of purchase contracts including:

  • Complex or custom made equipment
  • Lease transactions (space, equipment, or vehicles)
  • Use of hotel facilities for meetings, conferences, and seminars
  • Group transportation arrangements (ex. buses for trips)
  • Construction Contracts

In these instances, a formal written contract with the vendor is required. The contract should include specific detailed information as it relates to performance, delivery dates, cost, payment, insurance, and all other applicable terms and conditions. If the vendor provides a PI with a contract, submit the contract to RFCUNY for review and signature by email (P&P@rfcuny.org). If applicable, include a completed Purchase Requisition Form.

RFCUNY will negotiate the contract on behalf of a PI. Upon fully execution by the vendor and RFCUNY, a PI will receive a copy for their records.

Confirmatory Purchases (transactions outside of RFCUNY)

PIs and staff who make purchasing commitments directly with vendors without following RFCUNY’s purchasing policy and guidelines may violate sponsor regulations or requirements. Situations may arise due to emergencies when purchase transactions are initiated outside of RFCUNY. In those cases, persons may obtain goods out of pocket or submit the vendor invoice to RFCUNY for payment. PIs and staff should, under no circumstance, pay for services out of pocket.

To obtain reimbursement for these transactions, written justification must be provided documenting why the purchasing process was circumvented.

It is important to consider that when a commitment against sponsored funds is made on a confirming basis, a PI risks assuming personal liability for the charge if RFCUNY determines the charge is not an approved project-related cost.

Essential Forms

Contractor & Agreement and Purchasing Forms

KEY CONTACTS

Purchasing and Payables
Purchasing and Payables
212-417-8480

Legal Affairs
Office of Legal Affairs
(212) 417-8300