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Purchasing Law and Dollar Limit

In fulfilling its purchasing responsibility, the Purchasing Department is vested with the sole authority of being the agent of Delta State University in purchase transactions with vendors.
Section 31-7-13 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, annotated, affects the way we must purchase commodities and equipment in the following manner:
Purchases wherein the total amount of the request does not exceed $5,000.00 may be made on the open market via a requisition sent to Purchasing, so long as the items are not covered by a competitively bid contract. The Office of Purchasing and Travel bids state contracts from which Delta State University is required to buy. Negotiated multiple source contracts also must be taken into account before a purchase order is issued; these contracts are negotiated by the Office of Purchasing and Travel and we may or may not decide to use, however, we may not pay more than the negotiated price for a like item. With an open market purchase, an order should be placed within one to two days after the requisition is received by the Purchasing Department if all approvals are in order.
The use of telephone quotes is welcomed when the request does not exceed $5,000.00.
Purchases that involve a total dollar amount of more than $5,000.00 but no more than $50,000.00 require two (2) written, signed quotations. The quotations must be on the quotation form provided by the Purchasing Department, on the vendor’s letterhead stationery, or by email. To expedite the process, the user departments may decide to call vendors for written quotes. Facsimile quotes are acceptable. If the low quote is accepted, the department need only attach all the quotes to the requisition form and forward to Purchasing. If the request for quotations is mailed out by the Purchasing Department, the vendor is given seven (7) working days to reply and if sufficient quotations are received and all approvals are in order, a purchase order should be mailed within one to two days.
Purchases which involve an expenditure of more than $50,000.00 may be made from the lowest and/or best bidder after advertising for competitive sealed bids and the user department has accepted the low bid. If the low bid is not accepted, a written signed justification letter explaining why the low bid was not accepted must be sent to the Purchasing Department so that it can be sent to the Office of Purchasing and Travel along with a P-1 form requesting an exemption. If a trade-in is involved in the transaction, the Purchasing Department is required to also submit an 873 form along with the P-1 form. The 873 form (request for authorization to dispose of personal property) usually adds an additional two weeks to process through the Department of Audit.
The timetable for such transactions is as follows:
·        Using Department develops and submits product specifications to the DSU Purchasing Department.
·        Advertise two (2) weeks, then open bid seven (7) working days after the last advertisement. Evaluate bid and issue purchase order. The total time is approximately four (4) weeks.
·        A bid requiring a P-1 form and justification letter adds an additional 3 days to the 5-week process
·        Bids requiring a P-1 form, justification letter, and 873 adds an additional 6 days to the process.
·        Facsimile bids are not acceptable.
  • Mississippi Code of 1972 Annotated Section 31-7-13