Purchasing Procedures


The Tulsa Community College Purchasing Department is administered by a Director. It is the mission of the Purchasing Department to procure needed materials, equipment, and contractual services on a timely and economical basis within accepted standards of quality and service so that the basic functions of Tulsa Community College are fulfilled. This document is intended to reference the board policies and state statutes that govern the Purchasing Department’s authority and to establish procedures and practices that facilitate the procurement processes for Tulsa Community College.

These procedures are presented in four sections. Section I presents the various state statutes and Board of Regents’ policies which prescribe the practices that the College follows in conducting procurement and contracting activities. Section II Purchasing Procedures, Section III Information Regarding Specific Types of Purchases, and Section IV Fixed Assets.


Section I State Statutes and Board Policies

Pertinent Oklahoma State Statutes include:

·         Constitution of Oklahoma, Art. 10, § 14 – Requires taxes be collected for public purposes only and is the basis for Attorney General  opinions and OMES policies that require that funds be only be expended for public purposes.

·         Constitution of Oklahoma, Art. 10, § 15 – Prohibits pledging or lending the credit of the State and is the basis for Attorney General opinions and OMES policies that prohibit advance payments and the purchase of gifts.

·         74 O.S. 2011, § 85.44B – Further defines the restrictions on advance payment.

·         74 O.S. 2011, § 85.1 et seq – The Central Purchasing Act.  Although higher education is not subject to this statute, it does provide guidance for College competitive bidding.

·         62 O.S. 2011, § 41.16 – This statute requires that all purchases be pre-encumbered by purchase orders.

·         74 O.S. 2011, Ch. 62, App. 257 et seq – Provides ethical standards for state officers and employees.

Pertinent Tulsa Community College Board Policies include:

·         5110 Administrative Purchasing Committee

·         5111 Competitive Bidding Policy

·         5112 Expenditure Policy for all Items of $20,000 and over, Master leases, Construction contracts, and Purchases of real property for long range planning

·         5113 Purchasing and Bidding Procedures

·         5114 Surplus Property Acquisition  

·         5212 Authorization to Contract


Section II Purchasing Procedures

   Requisition - Initiating a Purchase

The following information is given to aid in the preparation and issuance of requisitions.  Please keep these instructions available for those persons who have this duty so they may use these instructions for guidance.

The requisition is the means that a division or office has to purchase items. This electronic form must be approved by the appropriate individuals before items can be ordered, subject to the College’s guidelines for appropriate approval levels.

1.       All requisitions must be submitted electronically in the sciQuest system.

2.       Any number of items, as well as vendors may be included on a single requisition.

3.       Appropriate electronic approvals of the division or service area head must be obtained for all requisitions. The requisitions will then be electronically routed to the Purchasing Office for processing the requisitions into purchase orders.

4.       Purchases made in different fiscal years are not to be put on the same requisition. In other words, invoices dated June 30 or earlier are not to be included with invoices dated July 1 and later.

5.       Emergency orders must be kept to a minimum. If an emergency purchase is necessary, please call the Purchasing Office and give them a requisition number.  The Purchasing Office will then expedite processing to assure that a purchase order is generated immediately to comply with the State of Oklahoma pre-encumbrance requirements. All purchases regardless of the amount will need a requisition and purchase order established before payment can be made to a vendor. Each service area is requested to plan all purchases in order to minimize emergency purchases whereby the purchasing area can respond to a real emergency in an expeditious manner.

The purchase of supplies, equipment, services, or any activity involving the expenditure of College funds, must be approved by the Provost, division chairman/area director, or supervisor through the use of requisitions, subject to the College’s guidelines for signature authority approval levels.  Vice Presidential approval may also be required, depending on the dollar amount of the purchase.  Grant funded requisitions require the approval of the Grants department. Additionally, all telecommunications or computer related requisitions require approval by the Information Technologies department.

All requisitions should be submitted far enough in advance of the actual purchase to assure that purchase orders are not dated after invoice dates in compliance with State of Oklahoma pre-encumbrance requirements (See 62 O.S.Supp.2009, § 34.62).

All purchase requisitions are electronically submitted in the sciQuest purchasing system, which interfaces the Banner ERP system.  Therefore all users will need security access to both systems. The IT Help Desk (ext. 2000) should be contacted to obtain the necessary access.  Please contact the Purchasing Department at ext. 7888 to arrange any necessary training.  In completing requisitions, please provide a description of the good or service to be purchase which will be sufficient for the vendor to fill the order.  Also for purchases that require higher than departmental approval, the description should provide justification and the intended use of the good or service to be purchased. This is especially important for purchases totaling greater than $10,000.00, which are presented to the TCC Board of Regents.  Additional information may be included as an internal note or attachment on a requisition.  Examples would be documentation of quotes, contract documents, etc. External notes or attachments may be included as necessary for information that needs to be forwarded to the vendor. Examples would be registration forms, quotes, installation instructions, etc.  Requisitions also require entering a unit price and quantity for item(s) to be purchased. Estimates should be entered where final pricing is not available.  When completing blanket requisitions for repetitive purchases, the “Blanket” form in sciQuest should be used in order to provide tracking of such orders.  Invoices should not be attached to purchase requisitions unless they are submitted on the Invoice Attached or other electronic “check request” form. These forms trigger automatic invoice generation to expedite payments.  Otherwise, invoices should be submitted on the PO Invoice Submission form, attached to the purchase order document with a comment addresses to Accounts Payable, or emailed to Accounts Payable noting the purchase order number.

Incomplete requisitions may be returned to the issuing office for the appropriate information as necessary.

Information regarding procedures shall be available from the Provost, division chairman/area director or supervisor.

No goods or services should be purchased by an employee of Tulsa Community College in the name of the College for which the College is billed and later reimbursed by the employee.   All contractual arrangements or agreements affecting the College must have approval of the President, or his designee.  Cabinet members and the Director of Purchasing are listed as designees.

   Cancellation of items on Requisitions

An entire requisition or individual items may be electronically withdrawn by the requisitioner at any time prior to the issuance of a purchase order.  Also when an approver or the Purchasing Department cancels items or entire requisitions, the requisitioner will receive an electronic notification with an explanation of what prompted the cancellation.

Budgetary Approval

The budgetary approval process is tied to the employee grade of the employee entering a purchase requisition, as well as the grades of their supervisors in the departmental  reporting hierarchy  Employee grades eleven and below have been granted approval authority up to $499.99.  Therefore, budgetary approvals are not normally required below $500.00 (unless the purchase is grant funded, where all requisitions require approval due to assure grant compliance).  An additional $500 of approval authority is added for each grade between grades 12 and grade 20.  At the cabinet level, grade E-1 has authority up to $9,999.99, grade E-2 has authority up to $19,999.00, and grade E-3 has authority up to $74,999.99.  CFO approval is required for requisitions $75,000.00 and above.  Any requisition exceeding a approvers authority will also require additional approval(s), within the departmental hierarchy until approved by someone with enough authority to authorize the purchase.

   Request for additional information on Requisition

On occasion it may be necessary to obtain clarification or additional information. An electronic comment will be sent to the requisitioner, defining the information needed. If no response is received or the deficiency is not corrected, the requisition will be returned to the requisitioner, noting the corrections needed before the requisition can be resubmitted for processing.

   Purchase Order Issuance

Purchase orders are official contracts which authorize purchases, and as such should be the only method for placing orders with vendors.  A purchase order will only be issued after the electronic approval process is completed for each requisition. When all approvals are in place, purchase orders excluding blanket orders, are automatically forwarded to vendors, except in cases where the vendor has not provided the College a fax number or other electronic means of receiving purchase orders.  Requests for changes to existing purchase orders should be submitted on the PO Change Request Form in the electronic purchasing (sciQuest) system.

Purchase Contracts

Purchase orders document the College’s contractual obligation to pay vendors for goods or services to be acquired.  Any additional contracts required for purchase or lease transactions, should only be signed by the President, a cabinet member, or the Director of Purchasing.

Prior Year Purchase Orders

Invoices can only be processed against prior year blanket purchase orders if they are dated prior to the end of the prior fiscal year.  All prior year blanket purchase orders will be closed on August 1st of each year.  Payments can be processed against other prior year purchase orders through the month of August.  The remaining prior year purchase orders will be closed on September 1st of each year.  The closings will be finalized in Banner on October 1st of each year.

   Accounts Payable Processes

At the time of purchase order issuance, the requisitioner will also receive a system generated confirmation email notifying them a receipt is required. Completion of the electronic receipt is essentially an electronic signature authorizing payment of an invoice.  Therefore, it should only be completed after the good or service is actually received. Prompt completion of electronic receipts will help assure payments are processed on a timely basis.

Prompt completion of the electronic receipt process will help assure timely payment of invoices.

Vendors should be informed by departments to send all invoices, with the purchase order referenced, directly to the Accounts Payable department.  Invoices can be mailed to 6111 E. Skelly Dr. Tulsa OK 74135, suite 511, or by email at accountspayable@tulsacc.edu or by fax at 918-595-7921. If the purchase order number can be identified, Accounts Payable will enter the invoice into the sciQuest system, where an electronic matching process will be performed to verify that an electronic receipt has been generated to authorize payment of the invoice, and that the invoice amount does not exceed the purchase order amount.  Departmental budget manager approval is required for any invoices that exceed the purchase order amount. Additional departmental budget manager approval is required if the invoice has not been received and is within two weeks of due date. The budget manager should verify that an electronic receipt has been generated prior to the due date approval.  Once all required electronic receipts are in place, the invoice will be transmitted to the Banner system for immediate payment.

If an invoice is received at the departmental level, it should be scanned and attached to a purchase order comment within SciQuest system which should be addressed to Accounts Payable. The paper copy should be filed in the department receiving the invoice.  Invoices may also be electronically attached to the “PO Invoice Submission” form in sciQuest, which routes the invoice directly to Accounts Payable. If invoice cannot be electronically attached, it should be forwarded to the Purchasing Department, noting the appropriate purchase order number.


Because Oklahoma law prohibits advance payments, an electronic receipt should not be completed until the goods or services are received.  The only exceptions to this requirement are:

1.       Subscriptions to magazines, periodicals, or books for vendors providing subscription.

2.       Payments to official testing organizations requiring prepayment for attendance and/or grading of documents, for higher education or regulatory boards.

3.       Registration fees for conference, meetings, seminars, and similar events whereby in special situations an organization requires pre-registration with payment and will not accept a purchase order for payment.

4.       Registration fees when a discounted fee is offered if registration is paid in advance. To qualify for this procedure, the registration fee must:

a.       Result in a discount to the College; *

b.       Allow for substitution of participant; and *

c.        Provide for 100% refund should the even be canceled. *

                *Documentation describing these facts may be requested

5.       Maintenance agreements so long as a two pronged test is met.  First, where it is the industry practice or standard for vendors to receive payment up front, and Second, where there is no reasonable alternative method of payment. However, in many circumstances, vendors will accept payment at the time services are rendered.


Section III Information Regarding Specific Types of Purchases

Registration for Conferences and Seminars

Ordinarily, registration fees for conferences, workshops, seminars, etc., are treated as travel expenses and should be claimed for reimbursement on the employee's travel claim.  However, when deemed necessary, such as in the case of financial hardship, the College may pay the required registration fee directly for employees to attend the conference, workshop, seminar, etc. (See OSF Procedures 328, C. 3.)  When registration fees are to be paid directly, a copy of an approved Travel Request Form (TCC Form 20 REQUEST FOR AUTHORITY TO TRAVEL ON TCC BUSINESS-Comptroller’s Office) should be included on the requisition as an internal attachment.  A copy of the registration should be included on the requisition as an external attachment to the requisition.  The sciQuest New Vendor form should be used to create requisitions for organizations not already in the vendor database. The sciQuest New Vendor form should be used to request that organizations be added to the vendor database.

If the registration can be made online through a secure website, the Purchasing Department may process the registration for payment against a TCC Purchasing Card.  Any confirming email indicating receipt of registration or payment must be forwarded to the Purchasing Department to document the credit card transaction.

Otherwise, if a purchase order is issued, it will also be the responsibility of the person(s) attending the conference to obtain the organization’s invoice so that TCC Accounts Payable can pay the vendor for the registration.


All services received that are not paid through the payroll system of the College must follow the procedures as listed below:

Under no circumstances will services be authorized without the submittal of the following documents that have been properly approved and submitted to the purchasing area. These documents are:

1.       Requisition/Purchase Order;

2.       A Services Request form is required for justification of vendor selection when the amount is $20,000 and more. This form is not required for utility payments.

3.       Services that include materials as part of the cost of acquisition, such as building or equipment repairs are subject to the College’s competitive bidding and Board approval requirements. If a purchase for these type purchases is $20,000 or more and you believe that only one vendor can provide the services, the requisition should be submitted on the Sole Source request form.

Under Oklahoma law no state agency should contract for services with an employee unless the contract is awarded through a bid process.  All payments for services to employees of the College should be made through the Human Resources department payroll system.

                Food Purchases

As a general rule food items should never be purchased with state appropriated funds. Food or refreshments should not be purchased for internal meetings, but can be purchased only for meetings or other activities held for the general public.  All other food purchases should be funded by non-state appropriated funds, such as “Marketing” organization codes. For further information, see OSF Procedures 319, A.

                Gift Purchases

The purchase of gifts are normally not allowable expenditures of the College. Gifts given to employees must be part of a formal employee recognition program.  Other forms of employee gifts would be considered taxable income. Any other gifts should be limited to advertising or promotional items.  Gift cards should not be used to fund College purchases, as they would be considered a form of advance payment, and would not provide for proper monitoring of transactions, and could include tax charges. For further information, see OSF Procedures 318, C, and The Constitution of Oklahoma, Art. 10, § 15.

                TCC Bookstore Requisitions

The TCC Bookstore sells many items to College departments via an electronic procurement site maintained by OfficeMax, which has been incorporated in the sciQuest purchasing system as catalog sites.  Non-catalog requisitions should be completed for any items to be purchased directly from the Bookstore.

                Credit Card Transactions

Credit cards are primarily intended to facilitate emergency purchases and should not be used for routine purchases when the goods or services can be purchased from a vendor which does accept purchase orders.  Credit cards should normally be utilized for point of sale transactions when the vendor will not accept purchase orders.  Requisitions for items to be purchased by credit card that can be obtained from a purchase order vendor may be returned or changed to another vendor.  Prior to the purchase, a purchase requisition should be generated to initiate a credit card purchase.  The sciQuest “Credit Card Purchase” form should be used for submission of credit card requisitions.  Once submitted, the requisition will then follow normal approval protocols and budget checking.  Once necessary approvals are in place, the Purchasing Department will make the purchase with a credit card.  Credit card transactions will be documented on internal purchase orders that are not encumbered in Banner. Items coded as equipment should normally be obtained by purchase order to assure that fixed asset records are properly maintained.

For vendors, such as Sam’s Club (includes Wal-Mart), where a vendor credit card will be used, requisitions should be processed normally as purchase orders will be generated.  Invoices for these transactions must then be submitted to Accounts Payable to generate payment.

Credit cards should not normally be used to pay existing invoices.  If invoices are on hand the vendor has provided credit to the College, and the vendor should be added to the vendor database and paid by check.

                Warranty Equipment and Software Registration Information

It will be the responsibility of each using area to fill out, mail-in and retain for their records all items that are received with warranty cards and/or Software Registration cards.  The Purchasing Department will assist in providing information to fill out the card.

Competitive Purchases

Competitive acquisition is required for all purchases in excess of $20,000, unless the purchase is for services where no goods or materials are provided.  Formal written bids are required for purchases $20,000 and greater, unless the purchase can be made under an existing competitively bid contract, such as a State of Oklahoma or group purchasing organization (GPO) contract, or sufficient justification can be provided for processing the purchase as a sole source acquisition.

                Sole Source

        A sole source procurement is any acquisition which, by the specification needed by the requestor or by the clear and specific restrictions imposed by a funds provider, restricts the contract to one vendor or to one brand. Requisitions for sole source purchases should be submitted on the Sole Source Request form to document the justification for processing as a sole source acquisition.

                        Examples of sole sources:

·         Equipment of which there is no comparable competitive product, for example a one-of-a-kind oscilloscope that available from only one supplier

·         Public utility services from natural or regulated monopolies

·         A component of replacement part for which there is no commercially available substitute, and which can be obtained only from the manufacturer

·         An item where compatibility is the overriding consideration, such as computer operating software enhancements for an existing system

·         A supply, equipment, part, service, or supplier that, due to technically constraining factors associated with scientific research, are needed to ensure the fairness and validity of the underlying research

·         A supply, equipment, part, service, or supplier that is specifically and clearly required by a grantor, contractor, donor, or other provider of funds where the usage of those funds is specifically, explicitly, and clearly restricted by the funds provided

                        Two types of sole source assertions

·         Supplier – One and only one suppler is capable of delivering the good or service needed, and that the supplier is peculiarly qualified in the entire market to do so

·         Brand name – One and only one brand of good or service is capable of addressing the need, and that the brand is peculiarly capable in the entire market to do so

                        Other consideration of Sole Source

—          Authorizing purchasers  must

o    Provide convincing justification based on objective evidence

o    Demonstrate that the price is fair and reasonable

o    Be prepared to justify their sole source before the board, during audit, protest, public inquiry, litigation, and/or similar circumstance

o    In addition, consideration is given if it can be demonstrated that conducting a competitive bid procedure will delay and aggravate the procurement.


Section IV Fixed Assets

Fixed Assets

The State’s dollar threshold for fixed assets is currently $2,500 for all categories of equipment except for IT and telecommunications equipment, where the threshold is $500. All equipment with a purchase price of $2, 500 or greater will be capitalized utilizing the straight-line method. All items coded as equipment will automatically create an asset record in the fixed asset system upon payment.  The asset records contain financial information, such as funding source. The Inventory Control department will attach inventory asset tags to each piece of equipment and update the asset records to reflect the asset tags and actual locations.  An annual inventory count will be performed at the end of each fiscal year by the Inventory Control department. The results of this count will be reconciled to asset records and submitted to the State Department of Central Services.

Donated Property/Equipment

Many times companies and individuals desire to donate items for use by Tulsa Community College. The items to be donated should be examined by the appropriate College service area to determine if the donated items can or cannot be utilized by Tulsa Community College.

If the donated items can be utilized, then a “Donated Material-Acceptance Form” must be completed.  The Federal Identification Number or the Social Security Number of the donor must be included on the form. These forms are available through the Inventory Section located at the Northeast Campus.

The fair market value of the donated property/equipment must be established at the time of acceptance by Tulsa Community College.  It is the responsibility of the donor to determine the fair market value of the equipment being donated.