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Purchasing Tools:

  • Request for Proposal (minimum of three bids required)
  • Purchase Requisition
  • Purchase Order (PO)
  • Contract

Signature Authority (See Signature Authority Thresholds)

A bid is a vendor’s formal statement in response to a formal document outlining, in exact specifications, that they will supply the specified good or service at a specified rate. This is a commitment in writing from a vendor.

Request for Proposal
All purchases for goods or services greater than $25,000 require a request for proposal (RFP) process. This requires departments to create an RFP detailing the goods and services they desire to purchase, as well as any other necessary qualifying characteristics (time frame for delivery, evaluation criteria, deadlines, etc.).

Request for Proposal Process:

  1. Department identifies required specifications for goods or services, as well as any other qualifying characteristics.
  2. Department identifies evaluation criteria for vendor selection.
  3. Department creates the RFP, including the first two items above with the assistance of the appropriate department (Facilities Procurement, CIS or PD).
  4. Department identifies vendors and sends out the RFP with a copy to the PD.
  5. Vendors submit responses to RFP and department selects vendor.
  6. Department initiates a purchase requisition or a contract (see Contracts section).

Capital Furnishings and Fixtures and Facility-Related Contracts
All purchases related to facility contracts and fixtures or furnishings must be processed through the associate director of project design (Facilities). This area is responsible for maintaining facility standards, as well as assisting with any related RFPs. The individual department will identify required specifications and work with the associate director of project design (Facilities) to develop an RFP and identify appropriate vendors for response.

Telecommunications, Computer Equipment and Software
Computer and Information Systems (CIS) is responsible for telecommunication, computing, audio, and video standards across campus, as well as assisting with any related RFPs. The individual department will identify required specifications and work with CIS to develop an RFP and identify appropriate vendors for response.

Note: The payments department will assist with all other RFPs for purchases not specifically identified above.

Once a vendor is selected, the conclusion of the process may require a formal contract. The risk management and insurance specialist will assist in any contract development. RFPs for services typically require a contract, while capital purchases typically only require a purchase order. Once it is known that a contract will be required, contact the risk management and insurance specialist to begin the contract development process. The final contract will then be signed by the department manager responsible for contract administration and by the associate vice president of business and finance (see Contract section).

Purchase Requisition / Purchase Order (Over $25,000 requires vice presidential approval.)

  1. Department identifies required specifications and selects appropriate vendor to provide goods or service.
  2. Department completes purchase requisition for purchase of goods/services and forwards to the PD.
  3. PD verifies budget and signature authority and prepares the purchase order. Copies of the purchase order are forwarded to originating department and vendor. Funds are encumbered for the amount of the purchase order.
  4. Vendor ships goods/provides services to department.
  5. Vendor forwards invoice to the PD for processing.
  6. PD checks the invoice and forwards to originating department for payment approval.
  7. Department completes payment portion of the purchase order, attaches original invoice and forwards back to the PD.
  8. PD issues payment to vendor.
  9. Typical turnaround time for a purchase requisition into a purchase order is 24 hours, provided the above criteria (appropriate signatures and budget verification) are met.

Vice Presidential Override
Purchases over $5,000 without a purchase order require a vice presidential override. The general policy is that only the vice presidents and the president have the authority to grant VP overrides. Only the president may authorize payment for merchandise and services that have been purchased directly by a vice president for his or her own office or staff without a properly executed purchase order. (No VP may grant an override for orders made directly by his or her own office.)




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