630  Procurement and Contract Policy

Approved by Board of Trustees
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Administrative and Business Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Administrative and Business Services

I. Purpose

This policy sets forth provisions to ensure efficiency, fairness, transparency, and maximum level of competition in the procurement of goods and services, and to establish the framework for contracts of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University).

II. Signature Authority

Whenever a signature (including an electronic signature) is to be made on behalf of the University, Policy 600 Approval of Agreements – Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization shall apply.

III. General

A.  Procurement - General

1.  Procurement of goods and services shall be in compliance with all applicable federal and state requirements.

2.  All procurement of goods and services shall be based upon the principle of competitive bidding except when an alternate procurement method is justified, as required, under University purchasing procedures.

3.  A complete record, which may be electronic, shall be maintained of each procurement transaction to provide a clear audit trail.

B.  Procurement and Contracts Guidelines

1.  Procurement Logistic Services shall maintain a procurement and contracts guideline/procedures, which may be in electronic format, setting forth all processes and procedures for the procurement of goods and services to ensure that all procurements and contracts are in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

2.  All University procurements and contracts shall be in compliance with the procurement and contracts guideline/procedures.

C.  Contracts - General

Applicable Documents. Whether a document is called an agreement, contract, memorandum of agreement, memorandum of understanding, terms and conditions, purchase order, or other similar name, it is subject to the requirements of this policy. The purpose of a written contract is to embody the complete agreement in writing. No relevant terms should be left to an unwritten understanding or verbal agreement. The document should clearly identify all parties and be explicit, clearly stating the rights and duties of each party.

D.  Prohibited Procurement/Contracts

1.  The University shall not knowingly contract for the procurement of any merchandise, equipment, material, or services with an individual who is, or within the past six (6) months has been, a state employee. An individual shall be deemed a state employee until such time as all compensation for salary, termination pay, and annual leave has been paid.

2.  The University shall not knowingly contract with a company or corporation in which a controlling interest is held by any state employee or the employee’s spouse.

3.  The University shall not knowingly contract with any person in violation of state or federal law.

E.  Unauthorized procurements or contracts - Personal liability of University personnel and officials

1.  Any procurement or contract for goods or services, made by any University employee which is contrary to state law, shall be void and of no effect.

2.  Any individual who signs any procurement or contract for goods or services in violation of Policy 600 Approval of Agreements – Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization, without a written delegation, is subject to discipline and may be personally liable for the obligations created by his/her signature.

IV. Ethical and Business Conduct

A.  Procurement and Contracts staff must at all times discharge their duties and responsibilities in a manner intended to uphold high ethical standards, and act with honesty and integrity.

No Procurement or Contracts staff shall solicit, demand, accept, or agree to accept from any person, including without limitation, proposers/bidders, contracting parties, or any subcontractors or affiliates, any rebate, gift, money, or anything of value whatsoever, or any promise, obligation, or contract for future rewards or compensation in connection with any procurement or contract.

B.  All University personnel participating in a procurement or contract process play an important role in ensuring that the needed goods or services are procured in an efficient, transparent, and economical manner on terms and conditions in the best interests of the University and the State.

All University personnel involved in a procurement or contract process must disclose the existence of potential conflicts of interest which may exist or arise during preparation of solicitation documents, during the evaluation of bids, or during the award process. See Policy 12 Conflict of Interest.

V. Exceptions

The President or designee may approve exceptions to the requirements of this policy, in appropriate circumstances.

Forms: none.

Revisions: none.

Last Reviewed: February 2022.

References: Policies 12 Conflict of Interest; 600 Approval of Agreements – Delegation of Authority/Signature Authorization.