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Purchasing Process and Bidding

As a public institution, we conduct our business in an open and competitive fashion in accordance with regulations established by CMU's Board of Trustees. The following is a brief outline of our regulations regarding the purchasing process that departments and vendors are expected to follow.

Under $5,000

Departments may use department credit card or NPO for purchases. No online purchase requisition is required. Please review the CMU Business Expense Manual for a list of policies regarding the use of CMU business credit cards.

$5,000 and above

Purchasing will conduct a competitive solicitation process unless specifically exempted. The appropriate solicitation process will be determined by the buyer. A Request for Quotation (RFQ) process will be utilized when the goods or services required can clearly be defined. These are typically used for commodity purchases with defined items and estimated quantities and for well-defined service requirements or equipment purchases. A Request for Proposal (RFP) process is a best-value solicitation process where price is one of many considerations. RFPs are conducted for acquisitions with a level of complexity in product and service requirements for which the selection criteria will include, but not be limited to, a combination of product quality, supplier qualifications, service requirements, and price. An RFP typically does not require a sealed bid; however, a sealed bid can be included as a requirement at the discretion of the buyer. An online purchase requisition is required.

Bid exemptions

Consult the Director of Contracting and Purchasing Services for exemptions on bids.