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Procurement Guidelines


The goal of the Procurement Office is to acquire those commodities and services our campus departments need at the lowest economical cost consistent with quality and time considerations.

This guideline provides Cal Maritime's customers with an easy reference guide to the resources and services available to meet your contracting and purchasing requirements. The Office of Procurement is available to assist you in:

  • processing routine purchase orders;
  • preparation of bids and requests for proposals;
  • development of contracts including Memorandums of Understanding (MOU);
  • negotiation with vendors to obtain the best price and terms, and execution of orders/agreements
  • revenue generating contracts
  • vendor relations
  • disputes
  • general policy
  • credit card procurement 

Procuring Supplies and Services

It is available to assist you in obtaining the supplies and contractual services you need.

A "Requisition" form should be used to order supplies or services which cannot be obtained through use of the procurement card. Departments may submit a completed hard copy requisition to the Office of Procurement.

Orders for supplies or services exceeding certain thresholds require competition by either formal or informal bidding procedures unless a sole source acquisition has been approved or a negotiated CSU master contract is being utilized. Additional approval may also be required on requisitions that meet certain thresholds. The following thresholds apply to Cal Maritime's purchasing procedures:

Less than $50,000 Reasonableness of price must be determined for requisitions for supplies and services at or exceeding this amount. This may be done by obtaining informal quotes from vendors, or performing market analysis based on internet or catalog pricing.

$50,000 - $100,000 Requisitions for supplies and services at or exceeding this amount require formal bidding.

$100,000 All requisitions at or exceeding this amount requires the President's approval.

CSU Procurement Card Program

This program provides users with procurement cards to be used as a means to place orders directly with their preferred vendor for a variety of goods and some limited services. You are encouraged to use this efficient streamlined purchase delegation program. Credit cards can also be used to register for seminars and outside training classes.

To obtain a procurement card, complete the "Procurement Credit Card Request Form" and send the completed form to the Office of Procurement

Ordering Supplies

Staples is the office supply vendor for all CSUs.  All office supply purchases should go through this website with the exception of toner and copy paper.  Toner is provided through the copier service vendor and paper is purchased through A&F.  Contact receiving for paper. 

Orders should be placed via the Staples Advantage website: https://www.staplesadvantage.com/learn.  Contact Procurement for an account by submitting your name, email, phone number, and desk-top delivery location (building name or office). 

Ordering Services

Requirements for acquiring services may be of a very complex (i.e., multi-year) or simple (i.e., one-time) nature. All requests for services should be submitted via a requisition. Services of a more complex nature may require additional terms and conditions, performance requirements or unique payment terms. The Director of Procurement will determine whether the order can be placed via a simple purchase order or if a more detailed CSU standard contract format should be used. This decision will be based upon the nature, risk and complexity of the work to be performed.

At a minimum, a requisition for a service contract should include the proposed scope of work, specific work products or services to be provided, any included tangible goods to be delivered, any applicable performance indicators, payment provisions and the term of the contract. No work should commence nor should contractors be advised to start work until an authorized contract has been issued.

Acquisition Planning

Although processing times may vary based on the complexity, urgency and nature of the goods or services needed, typical processing time between receipt of a requisition for supplies, materials or equipment and issuance of a purchase order is 2-5 working days. Orders for contract services not subject to competition typically take a minimum of two weeks from receipt of the requisition to execution and release of the agreement to the contractor for signature.

For orders that exceed the threshold amounts, a formal solicitation may be required. In these situations, the procurement processing time can range up to 90 days. Formal solicitations may include any or all of the following steps:

  1. Requirements and scope definition
  2. Preparation of the solicitation document (RFP/IFB)
  3. Advertising (if required)
  4. Procurement steps (may include vendor conference, vendor discussions and multi-step evaluation process, as needed)
  5. Protest period
  6. Finalizing and negotiation of the contract

Processing times can be improved if the Office of Procurement is contacted early enough in the initial planning process to assist in bid development and procurement scheduling. Customers are encouraged to contact CS&P for general consultation on processing steps, sole source requirements, and additional documentation needs as early in the project identification phase as possible.

Sole Source/Brand Procurements

There are instances when a specific vendor is the only source able to provide a product or service, or a specific brand or trade name is the only item that will properly meet the needs of a department. If this is the case, a "Sole Source/Brand Approval" form (available on the intranet site) requesting that the competitive bid rules be waived and the contract be awarded directly to a designated supplier or that the specific brand be purchased, should be provided with the requisition. All Sole Source/Brand requests must be approved by the Office of Procurement. If approved, those Sole Source/Brand requests at or exceeding $100,000 require Executive Vice Chancellor approval.

Unauthorized Procurements

With the exception of credit card purchases (delegated purchasing authority), individuals who purchase personal property or procure services without going through the Office of Procurement may be in violation of the Public Contract Code and other State statutes, regulations, executive orders, policies and procedures (i.e.: competition requirements, utilization of Small and Disabled Veteran Business enterprise, Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality, ADA requirements, etc.), and may be personally responsible for their purchases. Additionally, procurements for services made without obtaining certification of insurance at the mandatory limits and with the required endorsements, may result in unnecessary exposure to risk and liability to the CSU.

Systemwide Contracts

We also support a variety of systemwide contracts that are administered on behalf of the CSU system. These contracts range from supporting CSU benefit contracts to acquiring software licenses for systemwide utilization. The unit also supports the establishment of master enabling agreements that are multiple award contracts for required professional services such as information technology consulting. The CSU Contract Store, which provides access to all current systemwide contract information and master contracts, can be accessed at: http://www.calstate.edu/CSP/.

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Last updated: 7/16/20