CBA. Purchasing Operating Policy


The purpose of this Operating Policy is to define the policies and procedures regarding purchasing of goods and services for the college and the scope of the purchasing department, its functions and the policies and procedures under which the department operates.



South Plains College is required to make all purchases within the laws and guidelines established by the State of Texas. This includes the Texas Education Code, Attorney General Opinions, Texas Local Government Code, Texas Government Code and Texas Uniform Commercial Code and established SPC Board Policies. These policies will apply to all purchases of goods and services.



It is the responsibility of the Vice President for Business Affairs or their appointed designee to coordinate the purchasing process. It is the responsibility of the Instructional Deans, Controller, Dean of Students, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice President for Institutional Advancement to approve purchases within their areas of responsibility in strict conformity of their approved budgets.



To provide at the time and place needed, in the proper quantity and of the proper quality, all goods and services required for operation of South Plains College in compliance with established laws and guidelines.



Employees of South Plains College will be held to the highest of ethics in the procurement of goods and services. They shall not accept or receive gifts or gratuities, other than those of "Di Minimus" value as defined by the state, from representatives of companies or directly from the company. This pertains to supplies, equipment, and construction for the College. The employees may not promise or obligate future awards or compensation based upon gifts, gratuities, rebates or discounts given. The College District does not enter into purchasing contracts with students, faculty, staff, or members of faculty or staff immediate families. An acquisition from a business in which an employee has financial interest is prohibited, unless full disclosure of the background and facts are presented in writing to the President.



An authorized purchase order or supervisor approved Procurement Card purchase are the sole authority to obligate the College's funds. South Plains College will not assume responsibility for the payment of purchases other than those made according to purchasing procedures.



The end user should communicate to the purchasing office the goods or services needed. This is done through the development of a detailed description of the product or service that is required. The specification must be simple, clear, accurate, competitive and flexible. If the specification does not allow for competition, then the specification is considered proprietary. This could also require the product or service to be purchased from a sole source vendor. Any vendor participating in the actual writing of the specification may not participate in the bid process. (See DM - 940, Attorney General’s Opinions.)

A proprietary or sole source purchase is justified only when an equivalent product or service is not available. When the specification limits consideration to one manufacturer, one product or one service provider, and the amount of the purchase is over $10,000, a written justification should be provided. The justification should include an explanation of the need for the proprietary specification and the reason competing products and vendors are not satisfactory. This document should be signed by the end user and forwarded to the purchasing office.

The purchasing office can assist in specification development and locating of vendors.



There are several methods of purchasing goods and services. The method is determined by the dollar amount and type of purchase. Most purchases will be competitively bid. If the purchase should be proprietary, sole source or an emergency purchase, this should be documented and forwarded to the purchasing department. All construction contracts will be handled by the President’s office.



All item(s) will be requested through the electronic Distributed Purchasing System (DPS) requisition process. The following procedures have been established for requisitioning of items:

  1. The author of the requisition will determine item(s) needed and specifications, if necessary, for item(s). If specification and/or procurement assistance is needed contact the Purchasing Office. Enter the purchase requisition with all information required by the system and individual lines for each item(s) requested. This should include part/model/catalog number(s) and additional specifications for each item(s) and a contact name and phone number of the vendor. Submit the purchase requisition in the DPS system.
  2. Purchasing will receive requisition, review line items in purchase requisition, and when required, contact multiple vendors to determine the best value. If a better value can be obtained from an alternate vendor the requisition author will be contacted by e-mail to make changes to the purchase requisition. At this time new vendor information will be entered and the requisition will be forwarded for remaining approvals.

The current approval process is as follows:

  1. Author
    2. Approver 1-(Chairperson, etc)
    3. Approver 2- (Dean, etc)
    4. Vice President
  2. President
  3. Purchasing Office


  1. Approvers will review item(s) on the purchase requisition. If approved, the purchase requisition automatically advances to the next approval level. If rejected, the requisition can be returned to the author at any of these levels.

After final approval, the Purchasing office will convert the requisition to an authorized purchase order, print purchase order and place the order with the vendor (if requested). Purchase orders will be processed as requested in the requisition message box: (these options are found in the DPS training materials). The purchase order and all supporting documentation will be held in the purchasing office to await delivery of item(s).



Departmental chairpersons, instructors, coordinators, directors, or deans will abide by the following requirements in making the necessary arrangements for bids, quotations and contracted services and will comply with federal and state requirements as outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations, 34, Subpart P, Sections 74.160-74.166.

No quotes are necessary for the purchase of equipment, supplies or contracted services costing less than $10,000. However, price comparisons are recommended to assure best value is acquired.

1. Informal quotation in the form of signed SPC quotations forms will be received for the purchase of equipment, supplies or contracted services costing $10,000 or more and less than $50,000 from at least three (3) vendors before a decision to purchase is made.

2. PURCHASING CONTRACTS. All district contracts, except contracts for the purchase of produce or vehicle fuel, valued at $50,000 or more in the aggregate for each 12-month period shall be made by the method, or the following methods, that provides the best value for the district:

(a)  Competitive bidding
(b)  Competitive sealed proposals;
(c)  A request for proposals, for services other than construction services;
(d)  An interlocal contract;
(e)  A method provided by Chapter 2269, Government Code, for construction services;
(f)  The reverse auction procedure as defined by Section 2155.062(d), Government Code; or
(g)  The formation of a political subdivision corporation under Section 304.001, Local Government Code.

3. In according with existing statutes, items purchased through the Texas Procurement and Support Services (TPASS) and other local government purchasing cooperatives are not subject to the competitive purchasing process.

The President of the College has delegated the responsibility of soliciting formal competitive bids estimated to be in excess of $50,000, to the Vice President for Business Affairs or his/her designee. Results of these bids are made available to the various departments for requisition to purchase.



Prior to making a personal purchase, the requesting party must first acquire an approved purchase order listing the individual as the vendor.  Upon receipt of the purchase order, the individual may make the purchase. All supporting documentation must be submitted to the purchasing office before your request for reimbursement or prepayment can be forwarded to the Business Office for check processing. A Request for Reimbursement (attachment) or Request for Pre-Payment (attachment) must be completed and accompany all supporting documentation.



An emergency purchase is a purchase made without following normal purchasing procedures in order to obtain goods or services to meet an urgent and unexpected requirement where health and public safety or the conservation of public resources is at risk. A situation where the safety of students or where business could not be conducted at all would be considered an emergency situation and could required emergency purchases. All emergencies must be justified with a memo submitted to the purchasing office for audit purposes.

South Plains College has established a procedure to follow when needing to purchase items on this basis:

  1. Use the College Procurement Card if authorized and allowed; or
    2. Enter purchase requisition for item(s) needed with cost estimate
    3. Give vendor the requisition number.
    4. When item(s) are received, go into purchase requisition and complete with correct costs and quantities. Forward delivery form/packing list, etc. to purchasing office.
    5. Submit through approvals with emergency purchase justification.
  2. Purchasing will contact vendor with PO number and process paperwork through normal procedures.

South Plains College is a member of several purchasing cooperatives. These can be used for purchasing many of the items used on a regular basis. Information on these cooperatives will be disseminated at the first of each fiscal year.

More information on purchasing procedures can be found in the manual published by the Purchasing Office.



All item(s) are to be delivered to individual departments unless the item(s) need to be added to the fixed asset inventory. Inventory items will be received by designated Physical Plant personnel and then delivered to the appropriate department.

Upon receipt of the item(s):

  1. The department should review item(s) to determine if packing slip/delivery form matches item(s) received, sign and date packing slip/delivery ticket forward to the purchasing office. If there is no packing slip/delivery form, complete, sign, date and forward a Receiving Report (Attachment) to the purchasing office. This process will eliminate the need to send invoices to departments for approval.
  2. Purchasing will match the delivery forms with the purchase order and place the PO in a pending file for invoice.


All invoices will be mailed to South Plains College, Attn:  Accounts Payable, 1401 S College, Levelland, Texas, 79336. Invoices should not be mailed to the department making the purchase.



South Plains College does not maintain an official vendor list. If you need to locate a vendor for the item(s) requested, contact the purchasing office.

Vendors are selected for their capability to serve the needs of the college in the most economical and efficient manner possible. Past performance and cooperation and safety records are important factors. Vendors must comply with the Equal Opportunity Act (Executive Order 11246 as Amended) since it is the policy of the college to promote equal employment opportunity through an affirmative action program. Also, corporations contracting with the college shall certify that their franchise taxes are current. If a corporation is exempt or is an out-of-state corporation not subject to Texas franchise tax, it shall so certify in a written statement.

Vendors submitting a response to a South Plains College RFB/RFP are responsible for complying with all applicable laws, ordinances and regulations including the provisions of the State of Texas Government Code Chapter 176.  As applicable, the person submitting a response to a RFB/RFP must complete and submit a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire form CIQ, in a format approved by the Texas Ethics Commission.  This form is to be included with your bid.   A copy of the CIQ form can be found at the Texas Ethics Commission Web site.



Vendors are responsible for the accuracy of their quoted prices. Quoted prices shall reflect all conditions of bid specifications. In the event of a discrepancy between a unit price and its extension, the unit price will govern. Quotations may be amended or withdrawn by the bidder up to the bid opening date and time.



It is the vendor's responsibility to ensure that their bids are received no later than the appointed hour of the bid opening date as specified on the request for bid. Late quotations will not be considered and will not be opened. Fax bids or late mail-ins will not be accepted.



Price quotations are given to the college in confidence and shall not be revealed to any other vendor or unauthorized person before bid due date. Once awarded, all bids/documents are subject to the Texas Open Records Act.



All forms of lease, lease purchase or rental agreements for the procurement of goods or services must be signed on behalf of the college by the President.



Certain items of equipment are covered by service contracts in order to assure continuing efficient operations. Forms required by service companies must be signed by the appropriate representative of the College and forwarded to the company with a purchase order.


Revised: July 30, 2020