Do items identified by brand name as part of the grant proposal, require competitive purchasing?
Yes, open and competitive purchasing is still required. All grant funded acquisitions follow CMU's normal purchasing policies and procedures.
When is competitive purchasing not required?
When an item is only available from one source, or the "awarding agency" authorizes in writing, a non-competitive purchase.
May I give special preference to a local or state source?
Not unless the grant specifically provides for a preference.
What does full and open competition mean?
During the solicitation period, all qualified sources have the right to participate and present you with a proposal quotation. Submission timelines though, do not require changing to accommodate a late request to participate.
How can I determine if a vendor is a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) or a Woman Business Enterprise (WBE)?
Businesses can get certified through the EPA's Small Business Administration, the Department of Transportation's (DOT) state implemented DBE Certification Program, or Independent private organizations, Tribal, State and local governments, as long as their standards for certification meet or exceed the EPAs. The following databases can be searched to determine a vendor's status:
Small Business Administration (SBA)
More information on the process for getting formally certified can be found on the EPA's website.
A list of CMU vendors who have self-certified their status as MBE/WBE can be found here. This does not qualify as an endorsement by CMU. It simply means the vendor is in our vendor database.
Are there special requirements for items bought with grant funds?
Any item unit cost over $5,000 requires notification to the relevant chair, dean and ORGS. When using the on-line purchase requisition form, use the approved by email fields at the bottom of the form to send an email copy of the purchase to your relevant chair and dean. ORGS is automatically emailed when submitting the form.
Most sponsors disallow the purchase of the following general-purpose items without prior sponsor approval: cameras, stereos, audio-visual equipment, televisions, VCRs, DVDs, printers, computers (including notebooks and iPads), electronics, and digital media equipment. Costs insurred for these supplies/equipment without prior consultation with ORGS and necessary sponsor approval might result in the charges being ransferred off the grant account and charged to the PIs department or college.
Further information related to federal laws and regulations related to purchasing can be found on the OMB website.