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Procurement Services

General FAQs

Who can I contact in Procurement Services to add or update a supplier?

Contact Stefanie Williams at 644-9721 or sdwilliams@fsu.edu.


Where can I view purchase orders and change orders?

You can view purchase orders and change orders in SpearMart. Any purchase order or change order created prior to 3/20/17 will only be available to view in OMNI. See instructions for viewing imaged documents in OMNI.  Should you need access to FSU's Document Management System (currently NOLIJ), contact its-imaging@admin.fsu.edu to request access.


Can I get the bid process going even though I don’t have a budget number set up for my purchase yet?

Yes, don’t delay the procurement process just because you don’t know or don’t have a budget number.


I am not sure whether I need quotes or a bid or what process to follow. What should I do?

Contact a Procurement Specialist immediately to discuss the type of pricing that will be required.


I have a quote from the supplier. Will this quote suffice for specifications that you require for bidding?

Learn the elements of a complete specification and list all requirements on the requisition or specifications sent to Procurement Services.


What is an authorized signature?

An individual authorized to sign requisitions on behalf of his/her department. This person IS NOT authorized to sign contracts, unless given power of attorney by the President.


What is a Contractual Service?

Purchase of services, rather than a purchase of commodities (e.g.: consultants)


What information should be listed on a Blanket Order?

Blanket Orders should include the Supplier and Supplier's address, start and end dates of the blanket order, product/service description, total dollar amount of the blanket, commodity code(s), and department authorized signature names.


How can I avoid Copier, Office Supply and Invoice Scams?

They are back at it again! The "toner phoners" are working the campus once again looking for unsuspecting victims. Please click here for more information on how to watch for and not fall for these scams.


Why does the University require a potential supplier authentication process?

Florida State University requires that all firms selling goods or services be evaluated for our current supplier database. All suppliers must be responsive and responsible suppliers and agree to accept the University’s terms and conditions and provide required federal reporting data. The University reserves the right to decline a request to add a new supplier and may determine that it’s not in the best interest of the University, if the goods or services are already available from a University preferred contract or Florida State University SpearMart participating supplier, or is listed in the U.S. Government Excluded Parties List System. An approved supplier is one that, at a minimum, meets many of the supplier selection criteria (i.e. pricing, billing terms, order fill rate, return goods policy, etc.) established by Procurement Services. 


How long does this process take?

For potential PO suppliers, the process normally may take 2 days or less. For orders that require expedited handling, contact Procurement Services Supplier Relations at SupplierRelations@fsu.edu. For non-PO suppliers, contact Payables and Disbursement Services at accountspayable@admin.fsu.edu.  


Will departments receive notification during the different Supplier stages? (i.e. when the Procurement Services FSU Substitute W-9 Form has been received, and when the Supplier is approved in OMNI)?

For potential non-PO Suppliers, Payables and Disbursement Services will let the department know if a supplier cannot be entered into the system. Otherwise, the department should check OMNI after a few days to find the supplier number. For potential PO suppliers, if the supplier is denied based on information on the authentication form, Procurement Services will notify the department and supplier. If the supplier is approved, the department will be notified with the supplier ID number.


How does the supplier submit the forms?

For protection of confidential information, PO suppliers must complete the FSU Substitute IRS Form W-9 online at this link: https://na2.docusign.net/Member/PowerFormSigning.aspx?PowerFormId=ef16ab86-1772-4375-9cce-a58229de51a5. Non-PO Suppliers may mail or fax the appropriate form to Payables and Disbursement Services (see AP Forms), A5607 University Center, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2391, 850-644-8317. (Please Note: When mailing the forms, the approval process may take longer than two (2) days). 


What should be done if a supplier has an address change or a remit to change of address?

Contact Supplier Relations at SupplierRelations@fsu.edu. A letter or invoice from the supplier that indicates the address change is all that is required.


What should be done if a department needs a supplier reactivated in the supplier file?

Contact Supplier Relations at SupplierRelations@fsu.edu. Supplier Relations will look up the supplier to see why they were inactivated. Depending upon the reason, they may activate them by having the supplier fill out a new FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form to capture required federal reporting data or they may deny activation due to a particular reason (i.e. supplier has been debarred or supplier is now using a different name and FEID #, and thus is considered a new supplier. If that’s the case, if they are a potential PO supplier, they would fill out the FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form. If they are a non-PO supplier then they would fill out the Payables and Disbursement Services Supplier Authentication form).


If the supplier is not a US Citizen or permanent US Resident, what should be done?

Do not complete the FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form. Instead, contact FSU’s Payroll Services department at (850) 644-3813.


What is the process for a foreign supplier?

Foreign suppliers will not be required to fill out the FSU Substitute IRS W-9 form as a PO supplier or non-PO supplier. Instead, they should refer to the IRS instructions and forms for foreign businesses as there are 4 W-8 forms to choose from:

- Form W-8BEN (use if other W-8 forms are not applicable)
- Form W-8ECI is applicable if the foreign entity has a trade or business in the United States;
- Form W-8IMY is applicable if foreign entity acts in the capacity of a custodian, broker, nominee or any other person that acts as an agent for another person; or
- Form W-8EXP is applicable primarily when the foreign entity is a foreign government, foreign bank, foreign tax-exempt organization or foreign foundation.

After completion of the required form, send the original, signed document to either Payables and Disbursement Services (if a non-PO supplier) or Procurement Services (if a PO supplier). Note: The Supplier Relations team will check all the necessary resources to ensure no federal or state restrictions exist on the foreign entity before we enter them in to our supplier file. If it’s an individual and they are not a US Citizen or permanent US Resident, they should not fill out the FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form, but instead should contact FSU’s Payroll Services Department at (850) 644-3813.


Which suppliers are considered foreign?

An entity is considered foreign if it is created or organized outside the United States. This includes entities that may have operations in the United States, but the parent company is organized outside the United States. Depending on the type of payment, all payments made to or on behalf of a foreign entity are generally subject to income tax withholding unless specifically exempted either by U.S. tax law or an income tax treaty. Generally, payments not exempt from withholding are subject to 30% federal income tax withholding, in accordance with IRS regulations.


What should be done if a foreign entity objects to FSU’s terms and conditions?

If a foreign business takes exception to any of the University’s Purchase Order terms and conditions, once a PO has been issued to them, they should immediately contact Procurement Services and relay the particular term(s) and condition(s) that they take exception to so that we can determine whether it is something the University would be willing to either waive, change or not agree to. The same goes for any U.S. Business or individual that receives a purchase order from FSU.


What is the process for an Honorarium?

If the description or category code indicate Honorarium, include the following with the requisition in OMNI:

- Name of Honorarium Related Event (HRE).
- Date(s) of HRE.
- Date(s) of participation by the honorarium recipient.
- Role of honorarium recipient (e.g. guest speaker at a seminar, workshop or academic course; academic colloquium participant, etc.)

Individuals eligible to receive honoraria are those who are recognized authorities or experts in the field of endeavor that is the subject matter of the HRE. For true Honorariums the requesting department must complete the Honorarium Certification Statement form. The individual receiving the honorarium can either provide an IRS Form W-9 or a FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form.  Honorarium payments are allowable charges to federal awards if it is demonstrated that such payment was for a specific activity that benefited the research project.  All expenses charged to a grant must be allowable per FSU and Federal guidelines. Accordingly honorariums should be requested prior to the event in case alternate method of payment is required. The payment of an honorarium may not be used in lieu of a consulting agreement or independent contractor as a means of paying compensation for professional services. Current FSU employees may not be paid honoraria, and that payment of an honorarium to a former employee (within the last year) must have the prior written permission of the University’s Tax Administrator.

Note: If Paying an Honorarium to a non-U.S. citizen/non-resident alien working in the U.S. – Contact Payroll Services directly.


What is the process for Artists or Entertainers?

If the artist or entertainer is self-employed, they can either provide an IRS Form W-9 or a FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form. If the artist or entertainer is employed through a company (i.e. Dance Company) then the company the University is paying would just need to complete a FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form.

Note: If paying an individual that is an artist or entertainer directly, and they are a non-U.S. citizen/non-resident alien working in the U.S. – Contact Payroll Services directly.


What are the requirements concerning the use of Social Security numbers?

The request for SSN or other Taxpayer identification Number by FSU Finance and Administration is mandated by 26 U.S.C. 6041 and related IRS regulations. Please be aware that FSU collects Social Security Numbers from individuals, in lieu of a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), if a FEIN has not been issued by the has not been issued by the Internal Revenue Service for the individual/firm applying as a supplier with the University. If you have any questions about the collection and use of Social Security Numbers at FSU, please visit: http://policies.vpfa.fsu.edu/policies-and-procedures/records-information.