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Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

Policy E-1: Purchasing



It is the responsibility of the University of Houston-Victoria Department of Business Services to organize and administer the procurement of supplies, equipment, and services for the University in a manner that will result in the best value. Purchasing personnel shall work closely with departments to provide the types of goods and services necessary in conformance with ethical practices as well as campus policy and procedures. This responsibility has been delegated to Business Services by the President. Additionally,

  • The Purchasing Office, Department of Business Services, may further delegate certain types of purchasing activities to the departments and establish procedures for departments to follow when making delegated purchases;
  • Purchasing shall have final discretion and responsibility for vendor selection and award of requisitioned procurements. All purchases not delegated to departments will be reviewed by Purchasing and the required bid procedure will be followed that provides the best value to the University;
  • Purchasing shall maintain an online Purchasing Manual containing procedures, guidelines and general information related to common types of campus purchasing activities;
  • Purchasing shall make provisions for emergency, sole source or other proprietary purchases. The Purchasing Manager has the responsibility and will make the determination, based on information provided by the department, as to whether requests are sufficiently documented to qualify as a true emergency or sole source purchase;
  • The Purchasing Manager is designated as the primary Procurement Card (ProCard) Administrator. Alternate ProCard administrator is the Purchasing Specialist. The primary administrator shall be responsible for maintaining an online ProCard Manual containing procedures, guidelines and information for university non-travel credit card transactions;
  • Regardless of the source of funds or dollar level of purchase, university personnel will purchase from state certified Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) to the fullest extent possible and will make a good faith effort to meet state, UH System and campus goals for doing business with HUBs. The Purchasing Manager is designated as the University's HUB Coordinator and shall have authority for requisitioned procurements awarded to HUB vendors;
  • The Director of Business Services may make changes to purchasing or procurement card procedures as necessary. Significant procedural changes are to be reviewed by the Vice President of Administration and Finance prior to implementation.
  • The procedures detailed in the Purchasing Manual and ProCard Manual are by reference, included in this institutional policy;
  • The President, Provost or Vice President may authorize exceptions to policy and procedures as necessary, to the extent it does not conflict with state law or UHS policy.


The following is a partial list of commonly used purchasing terms. Consult the Purchasing Department if additional assistance is needed.

Best Value Purchases: Section 51.9335 of the Texas Education Code authorizes institutions of higher education to acquire goods or services by the method that provides the best value to the institution. Institutions of Higher Education may acquire goods and services by various methods that provide best value, including competitive bidding, competitive sealed proposals, open market contracts, catalog purchases or group purchasing programs.

Delegated Departmental Purchase: Certain types of purchases up to $5,000 that have been delegated to departments by Purchasing. Designated delegated purchasers must have a general knowledge of basic purchasing procedures and annually sign a statement acknowledging their delegated responsibilities.

Higher Education Assistance Fund (HEAF): Funds provided by the State of Texas legislature to support specified types of capital expenditures by higher education institutions. HEAF funds are subject to certain expenditure restrictions and local fund bidding and purchasing guidelines.

Local Funds: Generally, funds that are not appropriated to the university by the legislature usually having less purchasing restrictions than state appropriated funds. Examples: Restrictions on grants may supersede normal university guidelines for local funds; agency funds (fund 9) generally have no purchasing restrictions.

Open Market Purchase: Expenditures where formal bids are either required or designed. This includes purchases from either state or local funds for goods and services for which competitive sealed bids are solicited in the market place from the State Centralized Master Bid List (CMBL).

Purchase Order (PO): A written purchase contract of offer and acceptance executed by and under the authority of Purchasing for the University. Formal purchase orders are initiated via a Purchase Requisition submitted to Purchasing and are typically for the purchase, lease or rental of equipment, goods or services that have not been delegated to departments.

State Appropriated Funds: Funds appropriated by the legislature from the General Revenue Fund and other funds designated as State funds that must be expended in compliance with State regulations. Institutions of Higher Education are statutorily exempted from various State purchasing requirements by authority of Texas Education Code, Chapter 51.9335(d), which became effective 9/1/2001.

State Contract: A term contract (usually 12 months) awarded by the Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS) to establish a common source of supply for items used by a majority of the state agencies.


Bidding and Delegated Limits

Purchasing shall follow written bid procedures as established in the Purchasing Manual, that are in compliance with governing legislation and System policy. The following bidding limits and delegations are established for State Appropriated Funds (including HEAF funds) and Local Funds and are subject to the exceptions listed in the Purchasing Manual:

$0.01 to $5,000 Delegated to departments with the exception of printing paid with state funds and purchases of university controlled assets;

$5,000.01 - $25,000.00 Must be requisitioned through Purchasing. Purchasing will obtain a minimum of three informal bids, with two being from certified HUBs (minority-owned and/or woman-owned businesses). Purchasing discretion permitted;

$25,000.01 and Up - Must be requisitioned through Purchasing. Competitive Formal Bids required.

Contracts Required to be Requisitioned

A requisition (and purchase order) is required for all expenditure contracts (more than $0) to facilitate required state reporting.

Printing Paid with State Appropriated Funds

Printing paid with State Appropriated Funds are subject to the states restrictions, see Purchasing Manual for most current requirements.

Related Party Disclosures

Employees who have previously disclosed a related party interest to a purchasing transaction or will serve in a supervisory capacity at a department level or higher during the coming fiscal year or who will be in a position to make final purchasing determinations must complete a Disclosure Statement annually as required by UHS Administrative Memorandum 03.A.17.

Delegated Purchaser Acknowledgment and Training

Annually each departmental purchaser shall complete a form acknowledging the purchaser's delegated responsibilities. Acknowledgements shall be collected and maintained by the Purchasing Manager. Delegated purchasers will be required to participate in periodic mandatory training offered by Purchasing.

ProCard Cardholder Agreements, Training and Audits

Each university procurement cardholder shall sign an agreement acknowledging their responsibility for ProCard privileges. All cardholders shall be required to participate in initial training, prior to card issuance and periodic mandatory refresher training. The ProCard Administrator has the responsibility for providing or coordinating necessary training, maintaining cardholder agreements and conducting periodic individual cardholder audits to help ensure compliance with university policies and procedures and to prevent fraud.

Purchaser Certification and Ongoing Continuing Education (CE) Training

Purchasing Manager - The Purchasing Manager shall be required to have Certified Texas Purchasing Manager (CTPM) designation or to have Certified Texas Purchaser (CTP) designation and be on track to obtain CTPM designation within 24 months of position hire date. Certification requirements, including required CE training, must be maintained while holding the position.

Purchasing Specialist - The Purchasing Specialist shall be required to have a Certified Texas Purchaser (CTP) certification or be on tract to obtain that designation within 12 months of position date. Certification requirements, including required CE training, must be maintained while holding the position.

The Director of Business Services shall verify, at the time of annual appraisals, that required certifications are being maintained.

Advance Payments

Paying for goods or services before delivery. The University recognizes the occasional need for the advance payment of certain goods and services prior to delivery. However, State Comptroller guidelines and university procedures must be followed. A basic tenet of good business practice is to pay for goods and services after they have been received and that is the normal operating policy of the University.

Contracts Providing Full or Partial Exclusivity for the Campus

Provision for certain goods or services may be awarded to one or two vendors who can provide best value to the University. This may include campus vending contracts, office supply contracts,stationary contracts, etc. Exclusive vendor contracts can only be established by the Department of Business Services or the UH System on behalf of component campuses. The objective of such contracts is to gain benefits that may include lower costs, better service, increased reliability, consistency of product quality or achievement of HUB or other institutional goals.

Printing and Advertising

The University is concerned about the professional and public relations image conveyed through publications and other documents prepared for external distribution. In compliance with UHV policy A-42, Communications and Marketing, the format and design for all publications, including newsletters, brochures, flyers, and certificates should be reviewed by the Director of Communications and Marketing. This rule also applies to t-shirt designs, promotional items, banners, signs, and anything using the university logo. Additionally, departments should submit drafts of all advertisements, both print and electronic communications, prior to release or placement, to the Director of Communications and Marketing, who will review, finalize and return them. The use of state funds for printing services has additional restrictions. Refer to the Purchasing Manual.


Signature Obtained                       12/8/15
Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph.D.       Date
Interim President

Next review date: September 2018
Origination: Business Services Department