In order to safeguard public funds, Florida Law requires, with few exceptions, that goods and services be received and inspected before payment is made. When the University commits to a purchase from a supplier, the supplier is expected to have adequate resources or working capital in order to provide the requested goods/services. Advance payment to a supplier can incur additional costs for the University, present risk of loss of the funds advanced, and reduce the University’s ability to negotiate in a dispute. Advance payments require Procurement Services approval. University Controller approval is also required for advance payments that equal or exceed $5,000.
Advance payments may be made for maintenance agreements, software license agreements, subscriptions and other purchases, which meet one of the following criteria:
- The advance payment will result in a savings which is at least equal to or greater than the interest which the University would earn by investing the funds and paying in arrears.
- Commodities or services are essential to the operation of the University and are available only if advance payment is made. Note: This advance payment provision applies only when there is no supplier available that will accept a Purchase Order, not just that the recommended supplier will not accept a purchase order.
The requisitioning department must provide documentation that the payment request meets one of the above criteria. The Procurement Specialist will review to ensure that the advance payment vs. deliverables is fair and reasonable. In addition, the request must include the following:
- Written quote from supplier
- Savings obtained by making payment in advance
- Note established business practices of the specific industry requesting advance payment
- Fund used on the payment and whether the purchase and advance payment(s) cross fiscal year(s)
- Whether a supplier is providing a good built to FSU specifications
Orders that require an advance payment portion or full advance payment should be entered on a Requisition in SpearMart and have line items for each payment listed. All line items to be prepaid must be received in OMNI by the department and the supplier must submit an invoice for the prepayment amount(s). In the event that the prepaid item is not received, then the department must follow-up with the supplier, Procurement Services and/or Accounts Payable to resolve the issue.
A Blanket Purchase Order (BPO) is a purchase order that is not line‐item specific. It is a means to set aside a lump sum of money to a specific supplier that a department may use on a recurring basis to order low dollar, repetitive services/consumable supplies for a specified period of time. Some BPOs are used for miscellaneous PURCHASES, and other blankets are used for miscellaneous PAYMENTS.
- BPOs for PURCHASES are used to buy a wide range of unknown items, in unknown quantities, at unknown prices, throughout the year. (Example: Blanket order for miscellaneous electronic parts and supplies from Radio Shack).
- BPOs for PAYMENTS are used to buy specific items at specific prices, but for unknown quantities, throughout the year. (Example: Blanket order for tanks of helium @ $____ per tank, from Matheson Tri‐Gas).
BPOs by their “blanket” nature do not contain specific product information. This greatly reduces the University’s ability to utilize product information to negotiate and obtain better quality and pricing for the products ordered. Procurement Services may sparingly approve BPOs on a case‐by‐case basis with a maximum term of one year.
- SpearMart Participating Suppliers: Requisitions for BPOs will not be issued to suppliers who have a Hosted or Punch-Out Catalog in SpearMart.
- Non‐Contract Suppliers: Requisitions for BPOs will not be issued to non‐contract suppliers if there is an existing Campus or University Contract for the same or similar product. Individual, line‐item specific purchase requisitions/purchase orders may be processed to the non‐contract suppliers for those materials/services that are out of stock or unavailable from the contract suppliers or P‐Card may be used (see Exceptions below).
- Equipment: BPOs shall never be used to order equipment.
- Equipment Maintenance Program: If the procurement request is for maintenance of equipment, first refer to the University Equipment Maintenance Program to determine whether or not Equipment Maintenance Program provider can save your department money on maintenance coverage. If you choose to convert to the Equipment Maintenance Program, you will need to enter a services requisition in SpearMart.
- Unencumbered Disbursements: Use a Payment Request Form (PRF) in lieu of a BPO for items on the Allowable Unencumbered Disbursements List.
- Maintenance/Services: (Contracts for Services, Maintenance Service Contracts, Leases/Rentals, etc.) BPOs may be issued against established solicitations, or campus, University, State or other governmental entity contracts. Note: These types of orders are not considered true BPOs, as they are supported by documentation that defines pre‐established costs. However, if the supplier accepts the University PCard, utilize method of payment, if allowable per PCard guidelines, before requesting a BPO.
- Food (i.e. Winn Dixie, Publix)
- Each requisition that is approved as a BPO shall contain a description to identify it as a BPO, together with a brief description of the types of product/services to be ordered, and the effective dates; for example, “Blanket Order for miscellaneous food type items such as nutrition snacks, fruit, bread…, effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020 to Winn Dixie.”
- Each BPO issued shall contain a list in the item description field of the requisition of those individuals who are authorized to order and pick up merchandise against it. Should you run out of room in the item description field, you can continue in the line comments.
Note: All blankets will be closed at the end of each fiscal year.
Effective March 1, 2019:
Blanket Change Orders will be limited to one (1) Change Order per fiscal year.
Any PO that has a remaining encumbrance below $100 and has last activity date greater than sixty (60) days will be closed.
The issuance of a PO initiates a binding contract between the University and the supplier. After a PO is dispatched, both parties cannot unilaterally change it and it cannot be changed without just cause. It is the ordering department’s responsibility to secure the supplier’s approval of a correction or cancellation of a PO. Once the supplier’s approval is secured, the department that initiated the underlining requisition must create and submit a Change Order Request in SpearMart. Change orders are used to:
- Finalize and close a purchase order ‐ Note: all items must be received – receipts processed through OMNI, invoiced (vouchered) and matched (paid).
- Decrease or increase purchase order quantities when absolutely necessary (excludes catalog orders) ;
- Add or cancel items on a purchase order (excludes catalog orders);
- Make any substantial changes on a purchase order that will result in a cost differential;
- Cancel the purchase order (Note: supplier must agree to the cancellation and will not charge any restocking fees).
- Adjust the Purchase Order to conform to the supplier’s invoice (note exceptions below);
- Extend or amend dates of service, if not already past the ending date;
- Change the Ship-To Location;
- Change due date, if delivery has been delayed by supplier
If a return is needed, it - is important to know if an item has already been shipped because a restocking charge might be involved.. An item cannot be returned to a supplier until the ordering department has secured a return authorization (RA) from the supplier. Contact Procurement Services for further instructions on returning items to a supplier.
Invoice Price Discrepancies
Departments are encouraged to promote a “zero overrun” tolerance policy when dealing with invoice price discrepancies. Invoice price discrepancies should be approved by Procurement Services prior to providing authorization to pay the additional amount. Procurement Services will research the PO to determine the appropriate course of action depending on how the pricing was established and to secure the integrity of the solicitation process if based on a competitive solicitation.
- For Internal (Auxillary) Purchase Orders, complete the Internal Purchase Order Change Request Form. For all others, use the Change Order Form Request within SpearMart.
- Two most critical items on the Change Order Request Form in SpearMart:
- Assign the commodity code from the PO you are intending to change
- Assign the accounting (chartfields) from the original PO to ensure the appropriate workflow approvals. If adding a line with different accounting information, please enter the new account information for routing purposes.
- Supplier Name/Address Changes: Changes to supplier name, address, etc. should be handled by canceling the PO and entering a new requisition to the correct supplier.
- Blanket POs: Departments should create a new Blanket Order Request in lieu of requesting an increase. Increases to blanket POs over $10,000 must be approved by a Procurement Category Manager..
- Contracts: Do not increase price if the PO was the result of a quote, competitive solicitation, such as a an ITB or ITN and/or contract. This includes all SpearMart catalog suppliers. Paying above the PO price may be in violation of the existing agreement between the University and the supplier. Procurement Services must review any invoice which varies from the contracted amount to determine the correct course of action prior to payment.
- C&G Projects: In addition, for any changes to a PO being paid via C&G Projects, Sponsored Research Accounting must approve to ensure compliance with the grant/project.
- Invoice Payments: Payments should not be paid “unencumbered” when a PO already exists and is still valid/active.
- SpearMart Catalog Orders: SpearMart catalog orders should not be changed. The prices in SpearMart are contract prices and supplier invoices must match the PO price. If a supplier’s invoice doesn’t match, please contact Procurement Services immediately. Do not submit a Change Order Request to increase or decrease the price and/or the quantity.. Issuing change orders to SpearMart Catalog Suppliers must be handled carefully as they may cause the order to be reissued and the supplier to refill the order.
- Shipping Charges: Shipping charges may or may not be valid on a PO. Do not increase or pay unencumbered without first checking to see if the purchase was made using an established procurement method (i.e. Quote, Bid, Contract, etc.). These charges may not be valid per contract and there may be times when the University should not be paying shipping charges. If in doubt, check with Procurement Services.
- Contractual Services: Additional compensation for contractual services is not allowed under the laws of Florida. Pursuant to Section 215.425, F.S., additional compensation may not be granted after a contract has been executed or a purchase order issued, unless the original purchase order or purchase order/contract combination were structured to (1) allow for additional compensation and (2) set forth specific details as to how the payment amounts will be calculated. Contact a Procurement Category Manager for details. Contract amendments increasing the total purchase order/contract amount are permissible under the following circumstances only:
- Additional services are being provided that are within the original scope of work and,
- If the rate of pay remains the same, and
- If the scope of work remains the same except for additional instances of identical services performed in the original contract.
- If you need to extend the dates of service, this request shall be made prior to the expiration of the period of service.
- If the additional services are clearly supplemental to the original contract and not an attempt to expand the scope of work beyond its original intent
1. Dept. discovers original supplier was incorrect (PO in Dispatched Status)
- Cancel original PO – this may require coordination with Procurement Services
2. Need more quantity than originally ordered (PO in Dispatched Status)
- Ensure PO is still open and valid. Then check to see if supplier has shipped. If PO is valid and active and supplier has not shipped against the PO, submit a change request to increase to the quantity required. (This does not apply to catalog orders.)
- If the PO has already shipped, or is no longer open and valid, create a new requisition for the additional quantity required.
3. Need less than quantity ordered (PO in Dispatched status)
- If supplier sends less than the quantity on the PO, process a receipt for all items that were shipped. If the remaining items are on backorder, then process a receipt when the backordered items are received later and leave PO open. No change order is required.
- If supplier sends less than the quantity on the PO, process a receipt for the items that were shipped. If you don’t intend to receive any more (i.e. supplier can’t ship the rest) then the Payer can finalize PO when received and vouchered.
- If a department discovers that they need less quantity than ordered, they must first contact the supplier to verify whether or not items have already been shipped. If items have not been shipped, you can ask the supplier to correct the quantity and a change request should be processed. If supplier requests a copy of the Change Order, then select “send Change Order copy to supplier” on the SpearMart Change Order Form Request. If supplier doesn’t request copy, then note that supplier should not receive copy on the change request form.
NOTE: Once a PO has been accepted by a supplier you may not be able to make further changes (decreases) to the quantity.
4. Supplier replaces item ordered with like item (PO in Dispatched Status)
- SpearMart catalog orders will require that a new PO be created for the substitution and the existing item be cancelled.
- Non‐Catalog orders will require a change to update the item information prior to receiving the new item.
NOTE: Both of the above will require coordination with Procurement Services.
A Confirming Order is a purchase, letter of intent to purchase, or requests for scheduling in advance of an order that is made by a person who lacks the proper authorization to commit funds. A confirming purchase usually becomes evident, after the fact, on a Purchase Requisition with a request that Procurement Services issue a Confirming Purchase Order. Occasionally, such a purchase may be evidenced only by an invoice from the supplier or by a request for issuance of a check. Use of Confirming Requisitions and Purchase Orders to authorize retroactively unofficial commitments made to suppliers by personnel are a violation of University policy.
- Employee procures commodities or services, writing a personal check, paying with a personal credit card or personal cash;
- Employee calls a supplier and places an order for supplies, maintenance or repair without prior issuance of a signed contract, valid purchase order or use of a PCard;
- Employee signs a supplier contract for services or supplies (employee may not have the authority to sign contracts) without first having the contract reviewed by Procurement Services;
- Employee contracted for contractual services and didn’t know all the costs ahead of time or didn’t get all of the individual’s required information for the supplier to be entered into the supplier database.
- Changes to existing contracts by any person who does not have express written delegation of authority to bind the University.
- Procurement transactions in excess of a person’s delegated authority.
- Verbally placing an order after submitting the requisition on the assumption that the PO has or will be approved.
- Coercing a vendor to initiate an order on the promise that a PO will be forthcoming.
In all of the examples above, an employee made a purchase (committed funds) on behalf of the University without securing the appropriate internal approvals first and use of a University authorized procurement method (i.e. valid Purchase Order, PCard at point of sale, or existing signed and valid University contract in place). The purchased items may be appropriate for business use; however, approvals for all University purchases must be secured before the purchase. Therefore, you must have a valid and existing signed contract in place that has been signed by parties with delegated power of attorney to bind the University, Approved Purchase Order, or PCard used at Point of Sale.
Confirming Requisitions are not permitted absent an emergency procurement situation as defined as an immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare of the University if a purchase were not made immediately. Detailed justification describing the emergency situation must be submitted with the Confirming Requisition. Procurement Services will review all Confirming Requisitions on a case-by-case basis, and may disapprove any request that was not determined to be an emergency, or when a Purchase order could have been obtained. Payment Request Forms for purchases that could have and should have had Purchase Orders in advance will not be approved. Submission of a Payment Request Form after notification that no University funds may be used to make payments may result in additional sanctions. Any invoice submitted for unencumbered payment that is not on the Allowable Unencumbered Disbursement list will be returned and be directed to follow the Confirming PO process.
NOTE: It is the department's responsibility to ensure that all staff are made aware that Purchase Orders are required before goods or services may be ordered or received. Submitting a requisition after goods or services are ordered, without a means of paying for it (i.e. valid, approved Purchase Order, Signed Contract, Pcard at point of sale) but before they are received, also constitutes submitting a Confirming Requisition. Procurement Services will not approve payment for Confirming Requisitions submitted with the justification that an employee was new, or in a new position, and was not aware of proper procedure. Lack of knowledge of proper procedure is not grounds for the approval of after-the-fact Requisitions submitted. Foundation funds or the individual's private funds must be used to make payment.
Individual requesting payment to a supplier completes the SpearMart Confirming Order Requisition and attaches a copy of the receipt/invoice in SpearMart.Individual requesting payment to a supplier completes the SpearMart Confirming Order Requisition and attaches a copy of the receipt/invoice in SpearMart. If the confirming requisition is approved to a purchase order, the individual requesting payment should “receipt” in OMNI and then notate the new confirming PO number on the invoice and send the invoice to Disbursement Services at CTL-Invoices@fsu.edu for payment.
Department Head or designee directs responsible individual to return items not needed by department or to pay charges if return is not possible. For an item that would otherwise be purchased by department, ensures that circumstances of purchase and steps taken by the department to prevent repetition of confirming purchases is fully documented on the SpearMart Confirming Order Requisition.
NOTE: The Department Head disapproves/approves through the SpearMart requisition process and instructs initiator on proper procedures. Procurement Services will run reports onConfirming purchases over $5,000, and for Confirming Orders that have occurred more than three (3) times., This information will then be provided to the Dean/Vice President or designee for their review.
Adverse Effects of Confirming Orders
- The University may incur unintended financial obligations
- Potential legal liability
- Adverse publicity if unauthorized employees act as agents of the University by contracting with third parties
- A contract signed by an unauthorized person may not only be binding on FSU, but may create a legal and/or financial obligation for the individual that authorized the goods/services. Contract could also result with unfavorable terms and conditions
- Insufficient funds
- Grant may not allow the purchase or grant/budget may be closed
- Overpayment for goods or services by non-utilization of contract suppliers
- By-passing State Law, Legal Review, and/or internal approvals
- May place the University in a financial and credit risk and result in higher than necessary cost paid for products and services
- Taxation issues – Conflict of Interest (Employee Employer relationship)
How to Avoid Confirming Orders
- Plan Ahead
- Contact Procurement Services for help or expediting orders, obtaining price quotes, bidding, or contract information
- Familiarize yourself with University and Procurement policies and procedures
- Use a PCard when applicable
- Enter a requisition in a timely manner to allow Procurement Services to be able to obtain competitive pricing, supplier information, missing requisition information, etc.
- If you have an emergency purchase or were in travel status, submit your confirming paperwork by the next possible business day explaining the circumstances
- When watching for the PO number, make sure that the PO Distribution workflow step in SpearMart is complete before providing the PO number to the supplier.
If merchandise is purchased outside the United States, an import duty is often imposed on the shipment by the U.S. Department of Customs. In most cases, it will be necessary to appoint a customs broker to process the shipment through customs. Departments must submit a Requisition to appoint a broker and pay the fee after ordering the merchandise. Scientific equipment may be exempt from import duty. Formal application to the Commissioner of Customs must be made to qualify imports for duty free entry. Applications and special instructions may be obtained from the U.S. Customs Bureau. Departments should consult with Procurement Services prior to placing orders or shipping items outside of the U.S. Some research materials, especially live biological specimens, bacteria, viruses or biologically active components like enzymes, may need special government permits to enter the U.S. or other countries, and if subject to Fish & Wildlife (FWS) can only be cleared in designated FWS ports. Commercial or industrial materials would be subject to import tariffs based on their value and occasionally on the quantity imported. This would include items sent “free” for evaluation.
Express carriers like FED EX and UPS will normally employ internal brokers to have items clear U.S. and another country’s customs. If a carrier requests that you sign a form which allows you to approve their customs broker, send the form to Procurement Services for approval. This is important because these forms usually ask the University to sign over its power of attorney to the broker. Before an application is submitted to the Commissioner of Customs, a Requisition should be submitted to Procurement Services through SpearMart. If the ordering department is prepared to pay the duty, an order may be placed before or at the time the application is made. If the ordering department is not prepared to pay the duty, the application should be submitted and approval obtained before the order is placed. The approval process may take from four to five months.
For more information regarding Nonprofit organizations being exempt from paying Customs Duty on permanent imports go to:http://www.cbp.gov/.
Some items, in addition to Customs clearance, may require special documentation or clearance from a PGA (Partner Government Agency) such as FDA, EPA or FWS. Some examples would be equipment that incorporates a laser or X-Ray, which requires FDA clearance and a FDA form 2877, or chemicals which require an Importers TSCA certification. The Customs broker handles this clearance at the time they transmit the Customs entry although they do require the necessary PGA information to transmit and any applicable forms that are a requirement for that PGA.
If you need Customs Broker Services, contact Procurement Services for further information.
Certain scientific instruments and apparatus can be imported into the US duty-free if the following criteria are met:
- Established for educational or scientific purposes,
- Intended exclusively for educational purposes or scientific research, and
- The scientific instrument or apparatus, or its equivalent, is not manufactured in the United States.
If the equipment arrives at Customs before duty-free entry has been approved, or if no Request for Duty-Free Entry was made prior to the purchase, the applicant can request a delay of liquidation (Customs classifies the equipment and assesses duty). A delay of liquidation is usually granted for up to 180 days, but may be extended.
If the equipment has been received, classified and assessed, and the duty paid, a Request for Duty-Free Entry Application can still be filed. This application must be filed within ninety days from the date of liquidation.
- Some categories of scientific equipment can be imported duty-free by educational institutions under certain conditions:
- A Request for Duty-Free Entry Application should be completed and filed with the United States Customs before placing the order with the supplier. If Customs approves the duty-free purchase, the purchase order must be issued to the supplier within sixty days.
- Duty on scientific equipment is usually substantial. Departments should apply for duty-free entry well in advance of making the purchase. If duty must be paid, then departments can budget accordingly; before funds may be committed elsewhere.
For more information on the procedures for duty-free entry of scientific instruments and apparatus under subheading 9810.00.60, HTSUS, and related tariff numbers, please see Customs Directive No. 3550-073A.
To apply for duty-free entry of scientific equipment, please contact Procurement Services.
When a department needs to requisition from a foreign supplier and the supplier cannot be located in SpearMart, it is necessary to “suggest” a supplier by entering a requisition and provide the appropriate address and contact information for the supplier file. Procurement Services will add the supplier to OMNI and a supplier number will be assigned, just as other suppliers are added (See New Supplier Setup). It is the requisitioning department’s responsibility to make certain that the supplier does not already have a supplier number even though they may be located in a foreign country. Requisitioning departments should ask if the parent company is foreign and if it is not, they usually have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEID #) for the parent company in the United States.
If the foreign supplier does not take a US check or requests payment by electronic means, a wire transfer will be necessary. Once the goods/services have been physically received and the supplier has sent a proper invoice and payment is ready to be made, the department should “receive” upon the appropriate line(s) on the Purchase Order in OMNI. The department will also need to submit the Payment Request Form - Foreign Vendor located under Accounts Payable Forms on the Controller’s Office website. Be sure to reference the purchase order number so payment can be issued via wire transfer.
Information required for Foreign Supplier Purchases (whether a corporation or an individual):
- Company (supplier) name (full legal name of the corporation or individual)
- U.S. Federal Employer's Identification Number or Social Security Number (if available) if supplier is an individual rather than a corporation)
- Contact name for product and/or service information
- Contact name for billing and funds transfer information
- Email address
- Mailing address
- Telephone number
- Fax number
- Bank transfer information including (1) bank name, (2) account number, and (3) swift code
- Detailed description of product or service to be provided. If services are required, evidence of performance is required for payment
- Period of service (start and end date) for services or estimated delivery date of product
- Cost per item (including shipping and handling, if applicable)
- Total cost
- Number of invoices and in what amounts if the supplier prefers to be paid in installments
NOTE: The supplier must invoice FSU for the products and/or services each time they want payment. Submit, a Foreign Supplier Payment Request Form to Payables & Disbursement Services.
Link to Honorarium procedure
When an individual or a business entity performs a service for the University, a distinction must be made as to whether the individual or business entity is an independent contractor or an employee-employer relationship exists. All payments for personal services of individuals and business entities represent taxable compensation to the recipient. If an employee-employer relationship exists, the compensation is considered wages and is subject to withholding tax and applicable FICA contributions. Wages are delivered through the payroll process. If no employee-employer relationship exists, the recipient is considered an independent contractor and receives payment by means of a Requisition followed by a Purchase Order or a contract.
The factor that distinguishes a contractual service from an employee-employer relationship is the degree of control exercised over the individual performing the service. IRS Regulations generally provide that an employee-employer relationship exists when the University has the right to control and direct the individual performing the service, not only as to the results to be accomplished by the work, but also the details and means by which the result is accomplished. The following three conditions are offered as a means to determine when a Requisition should be submitted for a service. All three conditions must be met before submitting a Requisition:
- Reporting Consistency - The use of certain category codes ensures that a Form 1099 will be issued to the payee as an independent contractor at the end of the year. Procurement Services will check each Requisition for contractual services to determine that the category code is appropriate.
- Substantive Consistency - The University must treat all entities performing similar services the same. Procurement Services will seek the guidance of Human Resources, or the Dean of Faculties as necessary, before approving purchase Requisitions for contractual services.
- Reasonable Basis - The University must have a reasonable basis for treating the entity as an independent contractor. This may consist of reasonable reliance on judicial precedent, recognized industry practice, IRS ruling or other reasonable basis. The University has developed an Independent Contractor Checklist to determine whether a reasonable basis exists. The Checklist should be completed by the requisitioning department and filed for future reference before submitting a requisition for contractual services.
Intellectual Property and Copyright Law
When hiring independent contractors that may be producing original works for the University, there may be occasions where you will need to obtain a Work for Hire Copyright Agreement and Assignment or consult with the Office of Research and Procurement Services concerning intellectual property and copyright issues. Under intellectual property law, the owner of the original work has exclusive rights to that work, such as musical, literary, and artistic works.
Paying a photographer to take photographs, a writer to write, or an artist to produce are only a few examples of times when you would pay someone to produce a product or service that meets the legal definition of “intellectual property.” Paying the individual or company to produce a product or service does not mean you own it, nor that you have the right to use the product or service any way you choose. To secure these rights, you must have a Work for Hire Copyright Agreement and Assignment and a Purchase Order in place prior to any work performed.
The law in this area is very fluid, and is rewritten regularly. The only way to be sure you do not pay an individual or company to produce a product for you, that you cannot legally use, is to secure your right to use the product in advance.
Examples of original works that may be protected by copyright and trademarks include, but are not limited to:
Software that is written
Web site development
Other electronic media
Music used in productions
Images used on Web sites and other items
Video film footage
When a department needs to obtain a product or service that engages an individual or business in creating original works, the department, working with the supplier, is required to submit a Work for Hire Copyright Agreement and Assignment. A department must ensure that the form is signed by someone with delegated Power of Attorney. A Work for Hire is a form that was created by FSU to protect against foreign and domestic copyright law, ownership, and other legal issues with regards to the use of the original work(s). In other words, the individual or business was contracted with to create the work. Works for hire are not owned by the author, and shall be the sole and exclusive property of FSU, and it’s successors.
Other University departments approve Requisitions for certain commodities and contractual services before the Requisition reaches Procurement Services. After the department completes the Requisition and it is approved at the departmental level, SpearMart automatically routes to the next level approver based on the category code. Approvers primary options are to approve, return to requester, or reject a Requisition. They cannot alter the Requisition.
Below are commodities or services requiring additional external approvals and the department or unit that reviews and approves the Requisitions as they move through workflow in SpearMart:
|Commodity or service||Approver|
|Automated External Defibrillator (AED)||Environmental Health and Safety|
|Contract and Grant requisitions||Sponsored Research Accounting|
|Controlled Substances||Environmental Health and Safety|
|Copiers||Copier Program (Business Services)|
|Fans, heaters, air circulators, etc.*||Environmental Health and Safety|
Law enforcement equipment and supplies
Traffic control & Personal Safety Devices
|Campus Facilities Construction, repairs or upgrades||FSU Facilities|
|Golf Carts||Environmental Health and Safety (See FSU Safety Manual for details)|
|Hazardous waste*||Environmental Health and Safety|
|Legal services*||Office of General Counsel|
|PECO construction and FCO expenditures||Accounting Services Construction Accountant|
|Printing and copying||Printing Services and Publications Approver for Business Services|
|Radiological material||Environmental Health and Safety|
|Security systems and fire alarms||Information Technology Services|
|Signs, exterior (permanent)*||University Sign Committee|
|Tax free alcohol*||Evironmental Health and Safety|
|Telephones and telephone equipment||Information Technology Services|
|Uniforms or clothing for employees*||University Human Resources|
* Not reviewed in SpearMart- secure approval directly with responsible party.
To try out technical equipment or services, only on a short term basis or to evaluate new products or services, the following procedures must be followed:
- Contact Procurement Services to determine whether the products or services require formal competitive solicitation or whether the loan/demo is allowable.
- Complete the Short Term Evaluation Agreement for Products and Services and obtain the supplier’s signature.
- Determine if supplier is currently doing business with FSU, if not, have supplier complete necessary setup forms.
- Enter a requisition in SpearMart by completing the correct quantity and description with a price of zero. Attach the completed Short Term Evaluation Agreement for Products and Services to the SpearMart requisition. Once the PO is established, it cannot be changed unless a written request is made and processed through Procurement Services. The University does not cover any changes made unless it also goes through the official process and results in the supporting PO/Change Order documentation.
Note: There is risk, if you are personally doing this on your own, without consulting with Procurement Services, and without setting up a PO specifying the evaluation, the terms such as freight and time frame of returning the items. Without the PO, the individual requesting the item from the supplier could be personally obligated to cover any and all charges associated with the equipment.
When purchasing new or used motor vehicles, the dealer must provide Form 82994 DHSMV, Application for Certificate of Title and/or vehicle registration and a Florida tag must also be obtained. Payment for new or used motor vehicles must include a copy of the Certificate of Origin, Certificate of Title, Form 82994 HSMV (if needed) and odometer disclosure. Repairs or Maintenance requisitions must include the University property number or the license tag number of the vehicle along with the year/make/model of the vehicle. If repairs are the result of an accident, then a copy of the accident report must be provided for payment.
Trade-In existing vehicle
When purchasing a new vehicle and trading in an existing vehicle in the process, enter the year/make/model/odometer reading/FSU tag number as a negative line on the requisition and contact Property & Accounting Services.
In an effort to comply with Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements and the University's ongoing efforts to build a diverse, qualified supplier database, Procurement Services created the FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form which is the default application process for all supplier types requesting to be input into OMNI (See Exceptions below)
The process requires suppliers to complete and certify relevant federal reporting requirements to include that there are no conflicts of interest and no employee-employer relationships between the supplier and the University or FSU department. The FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form is required to comply with IRS Taxpayer Identification Match rules and IRS Form W-9 supplier certifications; it also reduces the University's exposure to penalties resulting from the misreporting of supplier information to the IRS. In addition, this form allows the University to evaluate potential suppliers before we approve them to do business with the University.
The process for approving suppliers to do business with the University, whether the new supplier is to be paid on a Purchase Order or as an allowable unencumbered payment, is as follows:
Purchase Order-related Suppliers
- Potential supplier must first complete and sign the online FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form.
- If the Procurement Specialist determines the potential suppliers should become a PO supplier, Procurement Services will enter the supplier into OMNI as long as the information on the form is verified as complete and accurate. The FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form. also serves as a replacement IRS Form W-9 and must be completed and signed by the supplier online.
Non-Purchase Order Suppliers
- Supplier should first complete the Payables and Disbursement Services Supplier Authentication Form.
- Submit this form to Payables and Disbursement Services.
Note: If the form is not complete with accurate information, the supplier’s payments may be subject to 28% federal income tax backup withholding. If the supplier is an individual and not a US Citizen or permanent US resident, you must contact Payroll Services for additional guidance.
- Artists/Entertainers: Department should enter an OMNI requisition with Suggest a Supplier and forward any Artist/Entertainer contract/agreement to Procurement Services, noting the requisition number, for review. In addition, forward an original signed IRS Form W‐9 to Procurement Services or have the Artist/Entertainer complete the online FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form.
- Foreign Suppliers: Department should fill out an OMNI requisition with Suggest a Supplier and also have the supplier provide the appropriate an original signed IRS Form W‐8 to Procurement Services. See IRS Form 8 Instructions for additional details as their 4 types of W-8 Form:
- 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.
- Subcontract Suppliers through SRAS: Department must work with Sponsored Research Accounting Services if it’s a subcontract supplier. The Subcontract Supplier must complete the online FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form.
- Facilities Suppliers (For orders that Facilities Maintenance generates): Facilities will work with their suppliers to have them complete a online FSU Substitute IRS W-9 Form.
For questions regarding the new supplier setup process email SupplierRelations@fsu.edu.
The role of Requester is used to order supplies and/or services via a requisition in both OMNI and SpearMart.
An eORR is necessary to obtain the roles of FSU_PO_REQUESTER for OMNI Internal and FSU_PS_REQUESTER for SpearMart. The OMNI eProcurement Requester Application (For Internal OMNI Requisitions ONLY) is required only for internal requisitions.
The role of Receiver works simultaneously with the Requester role. The function of this role is to allow Requesters to receive the products ordered in OMNI and in SpearMart. Only an eORR is necessary to obtain the role FSU_PO _RECEIVER.
The role of Power Receiver is typically reserved for central office personnel (i.e. Accounts Payable and Procurement Services) that do not hold the Requester role and is limited to two individuals per department (one as a primary and one as a backup). An exception may be granted under the following circumstances:
- This would be the only role the individual would hold and
- Department has an exclusive receiving department or
- Individual is a UBA involved in the bill pay process or
- Departments that have numerous change orders on a regular basis (not: having numerous change orders does not automatically entitle you to this role. Procurement Services must examine why numerous change orders are being processed and whether this should be the correct way to handle transactions).
The role will allow somebody to receive for anybody in the OMNI system. Only an eORR is necessary to obtain the role FSU_PO_PWR_RECEIVER.
The roles for Approvers are used to approve requisitions in OMNI and SpearMart. An eORR is necessary to obtain the role FSU_PO_APPROVER (OMNI) and FSU_PS_APPROVER (SpearMart). The Approver Role Request Form in SpearMart is also required to obtain or update this role. The only exception to providing the form is if comments on the eORR mention that the roles are for projects only.
On rare occasions certain types of suppliers may require payment upon completion of services. When this is the case, the requisitioning department must clearly indicate on the requisition comments that payment upon completion is required and the reason for the request. Procurement Services will pass this request to the Controller's Office to prepare a University check to be sent to the Contract Manager for delivery to the supplier after the services have been completed. "Payment upon Completion" requisitions will be automatically accepted in the following instances:
- Professional artists (this does not include deejays), primarily those contracted through a booking agency. Non-artists hired through booking agencies will not automatically be eligible for payment upon completion of services.
- Foreign individuals, immediately returning to their own country.
Unless the contractor clearly falls under one of the categories above, the requisitioning department must contact Procurement Services for approval before submitting a Requisition requesting payment upon completion. Requisitions that have not received prior approval will be considered simply as requests. Payment upon completion should only be requested when it is an absolute requirement of the contractor and the requirement is supported by a valid reason. All contractors should be advised that the University's standard payment terms are "Net 40 Days from Receipt of invoice and Certification of Completion". See Payment Terms for additional details including available options to supplier for more expedited payment options. Cash flow problems experienced by a supplier or departmental preference are not justifiable reasons to bypass the University's payment rules. Procurement Services may require the supplier to submit a written statement attesting to the fact that payment terms have never been extended to another agency or firm, and that the service will not be rendered unless they are guaranteed that payment upon completion will be made.
The Requisition with the appropriate documentation supporting the request (to include the supplier's invoice) must be in Procurement Services no less than ten (10) full working days before the check is required. Requisitioning Departments must include the following information on the requisition:
- Description of the service. The description of the service should be sufficiently detailed so that the Procurement Specialist and the contractor will know exactly what is to be provided under the Purchase Order.
- Date and time that check is to be ready (Last work day, usually noon or 2:00 PM).
- Contract Manager name and telephone number.
- Name and telephone number of person to pick up check - usually the Contract Manager.
Lease, Lease to Own, or Rental of Equipment
The University is allowed to lease or rent equipment. Leases for equipment are subject to the normal procurement procedures including competitive solicitation. Leases of equipment, including month-to-month leases, must contain a cancellation clause (30 or 60 days), availability of funds clause and a stipulated lease period, not to exceed twelve (12) months or the end of the current fiscal year if Educational and General (E&G) Expense funds are involved. A lease may contain a renewal option clause for a future period subject to the availability of funds, if appropriate. A requisition for lease of equipment, other than for a casual rental or lease, must be accompanied by documentation to support the proposition that it is more economically prudent and cost effective to lease the equipment, as opposed to outright purchase of the equipment. If the cost of lease exceeds $75,000, prior approval of the University Controller is required. For orders under $75,000, approvals may be granted on a case-by-case basis. This does not apply to copier leases per any established contracts.
Installment Purchases of Equipment
An installment purchase occurs when the University guarantees to buy an item by paying a fixed periodic payment over a period of time until the purchase price is paid, which may or may not involve interest. Installment purchases are subject to a competitive solicitation. Also, since interest is defined as a commodity, if the total amount of the purchase plus interest exceeds the competitive solicitation threshold of $75,000, the purchase is subject to the competitive solicitation requirement. Installment purchases must be reviewed and approved in advance by the University Controller. The following documentation is required for that review:
- A written justification describing the public purpose served and the agency need for the acquisition and the financial benefit to the State of an installment purchase rather than making an outright purchase.
- A written certification attesting to the availability of current operating capital outlay appropriations to meet the deferred payment obligations of the contract for each fiscal year the equipment is to be financed.
Complete the Installment Purchase Form, This form must be completed and approved by the Office of the Controller before acquiring equipment through a deferred-payment purchase arrangement.
University Departments may be eligible to use the State of Florida's Consolidated Equipment Financing Program (CEFP). Note: The minimum amount to be financed is $100,000. For more information on financing equipment through the state program, contact Procurement Services or visit the Department of Financial Services Web site at: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/AA/StateColleges-Universities.htm
The President, or a designee, shall have the authority to enter into deferred payment agreements, in accordance with Board of Governors debt policies. The University may utilize the State of Florida Department of Financial Services Consolidated Equipment Financing Program if it is deemed advantageous. When the CEFP is used, the University will submit the contract to the Department of Financial Services for the purpose of pre-audit review and approval prior to acceptance. No agreement shall establish a debt of the State or shall be applied to the faith and credit of the State; nor shall any agreement be a liability or obligation of the State except from appropriated funds.
When a department has a requirement for equipment, supplies, services or materials, the first step is to enter a Requisition for that requirement into SpearMart A contractor should never be allowed to provide a service or deliver a commodity before a requisition is prepared and a PO issued. The Requisition and subsequent PO must spell out in complete detail all elements of the contract to include:
- Technical Specifications: Brand name, model or part number, complete description of the item itself and any accessories you expect to receive.
- Performance Specifications: Task or capabilities the item should have (e.g. a LCD projector that is compatible with both MAC and PC computers) must be stated in the requisition.
- Delivery Requirements: For items that must be received by a certain date. Please be sure the date is realistic AND that it allows time for purchasing to perform all the necessary tasks required of us.
For details of how to enter Requisitions into SpearMart, contact Procurement Services to schedule a date and time to attend a training class or visit the Training section of this website and/or FAQs for additional information.
NOTE: If the items on the Requisition are being used to purchase equipment for already existing tagged equipment, the department will need to list the FSU property tag number of the property to which the component will be added, on the Requisition, so that Asset Management will know that the cost of these components will need to be added to the cost of the original property in the inventory record. Visit Accounting and Property Services for additional information on the purchase of property and property tags.
There are several instances where a Requisition is not always required.
- Subscription Renewals: Initial subscription purchases may be processed on a General Requisition , Payment Request Form or University PCard. Subscriptions may be renewed without submitting a General Requisition to Procurement Services. Departments should submit the reorder card or subscription renewal notice from the publisher, along with a Payment Request Form to the Payables and Disbursement Services. Payables and Disbursement Services will send the supplier a check for the subscription with the subscription renewal notice. Subscriptions and renewals may also be paid on the PCard. All subscriptions, whether paid via Payment Request Form, PCard or PO, must meet the following criteria:
- Subscription time period should be set up for one year at a time, unless the department has evidence that a longer period of time results in a significant savings for the University.
- Subscription cannot be sent to the individual's home address
- Must have the name of the University on the subscription
- Shipping Services: For overnight letter or package delivery services, the University has contracted rates for both domestic and international courier services, that benefit the FSU main campus, as well as off campus sites like Panama City and Sarasota campuses. Departments can setup an online account or an individual account by contacting Postal Services to ensure you get the University contracted rates. You may be able to have your own account set up if you have special needs such as multiple projects, funds and hazmat materials. NOTE: having your own account would be determined by Postal Services and your account would need to be set up to receive the University contract rates. Contact Postal Services to get an account number to insure it is connected to the University contract rate structure. You will need to create a blanket PO referencing this account number and the FSU contract number. Your department will be responsible for paying all bills to Contractor. If a department wants to use air bills then they will need their own account number and will be responsible for paying their bills. When filling out an air bill, make sure that the departmental shipping account number to be charged is clearly listed on the air bill. Getting set up through Postal Services online system provides ease of creating shipping labels on your desktop, ability to manage and view all shipments from your department, automatic billing and less paperwork. You do not need to do a blanket purchase order. Postal Services will pay all bills and automatically charge your department fund number for payment. Make sure that you include your dept. id and fund in the reference code so that Postal Services can properly bill back your department. It is important to include your department id and fund in the reference code when shipping items. Review all bills for any discrepancies or incorrect charges. Make sure individuals in your department are not using the contract for personal shipping needs. For more information regarding the University Courier Services, visit Postal Services.
NOTE: Whenever incurring shipping for University purchases and it’s possible to do so, provide the supplier with your department contract account number to charge the shipping as the cost may be less than what the supplier charges for standard or overnight shipping.
- Stamps from U. S. Postmaster: Send a Payment Request Form to Payables and Disbursement Services or use your PCard to make payment.
For a listing of other items that do not require a PO, visit Allowable Unencumbered Disbursements.
Freight terms are a key element of procurement and it is important to understand their meaning. In addition to indicating whether freight is permitted, the freight terms determine when ownership of item(s) transfers to the customer and who is responsible in the event of damage claims.
The University standard shipping term for North America shipments is "FOB Destination" which means that liability/responsibility for the goods transfers from the Seller to the University when the freight carrier delivers the material to the University ship-to-location indicated on the purchase order.
The University purchase order default freight term is "Prepaid and Added" which is used when additional freight charges can be added to the invoice as separate charges for the costs of shipping goods. “Prepaid and Allowed” is used when all freight charges are prepaid by the seller or negotiated into the cost of the products, which is often the freight term used with FSU’s contract suppliers.
Procurement Services will consider alternate terms if deemed in the best interest of the University. Procurement Services is the only Department authorized to establish new or modify existing purchase order shipping and freight terms.If this is a contract purchase, do not assume that because the supplier’s quotation says the University pays the freight that we should pay it. Frequently, it is necessary to point out to the supplier that the contract terms are for freight allowed (no freight). Many times Procurement Services will negotiate revised freight terms that pose less risk to the University. If in doubt, contact Procurement Services.
To determine if a supplier is on contract and the supplier’s freight terms, you may access detailed contract information from the Procurement Services website within the Shopping Guide.
When entering a Spearmart requisition and there is an applicable freight charge on a supplier quote, add the freight charge as a line item on the requisition. Freight charges on supplier invoices can be paid unencumbered, however, if a shipping charge exceeds the cost of goods or services FSU Accounts Payable may contact you for confirmation.
"Inside Delivery" must be indicated on the requisition for all orders that require special handling and delivery directly into an office/lab.
Signatures on receipt documents:
When asked to sign a document indicating that freight has been delivered, be sure all the boxes or items you are signing for are there; count them or we may be billed for items that were shipped by the supplier but never received by the University. If there are dents, holes, abuse, etc. on the packages, open the box immediately and examine the contents. Indicate the potential problem on the delivery papers before signing for the delivery. If damage has occurred, we will be able to file a claim. If complaints arise without proper documentation in place, the freight company may disallow the claim since they cannot be sure the damage did not occur after the delivery was made.
Perishable or time-sensitive materials require quicker delivery. International shipments can require a longer delivery time. Plan ahead and anticipate the delivery time, then adjust your schedules accordingly.
Ownership passes to FSU when the carrier delivers the product to the delivery point specified by FSU. Supplier owns product in transit. If the goods are damaged in transit, replacement of the items is at the supplier’s expense. Freight charges may be incorporated into the product cost but FSU will not pay additional freight charges. The university prefers that all shipments are sent via FOB Destination.
FOB Destination / PrePay & Add
Ownership passes to FSU when the carrier delivers the product to the delivery point specified by FSU. Supplier owns product in transit. FSU is billed by and pays supplier for freight charges.
FSU takes ownership of the goods as soon as the supplier releases the goods to the carrier responsible for delivery. If the goods are damaged in transit, the university is required to pay for the goods in full. The university bears the responsibility of filing any necessary freight claims if loss or damage occurs during transit. The university does not recommend this freight term, especially for the shipment of equipment or delicate items. If a supplier insists on using FOB Origin, contact Procurement Services so that we can evaluate alternative shipping terms/methods.
Upon delivery, FSU is billed by or pays the carrier for freight charges. The University does not recommend this freight term due to the resources it takes to get a check upon delivery and since it puts risk on the University if the product is damaged.
Initial subscription purchases may be processed as a Requisition in SpearMart, Payment Request Form or University PCard. Subscriptions may be renewed without submitting a Requisition in SpearMart. Departments should submit the reorder card or subscription renewal notice from the publisher, along with a Payment Request Form to the Payables and Disbursement Services. Payables and Disbursement Services will send the supplier a payment for the subscription with the subscription renewal notice. Subscriptions and renewals may also be paid on the PCard. All subscriptions, whether paid via Payment Request Form, PCard or Purchase Order, must meet the following criteria:
- Subscription time period should be set up for one year at a time, unless the department has evidence that a longer period of time results in a significant savings for the University.
- Subscription cannot be sent to the individual's home address
Purchases of used equipment are permitted if determined to be in the best interest of the University. A determination will be made on a case-by-case basis that the purchase of used equipment is the best "overall" value for the University, taking into consideration a number of key variables, which affect the total cost of the equipment.
The purchase of used equipment requires a slightly different process, as it presents some unique variables that should be considered before making a purchase. The requesting department should first identify the minimum specifications required, and then identify the specific used equipment that is acceptable. All used equipment in consideration should be in excellent condition. The requesting department should apply their best efforts to determine that the purchase of the equipment would be in the best interest of the University and be prepared to document their conclusion via the "research" they have conducted. This might include: going to several Web sites to find the market trend for used equipment, or quotes for similar used equipment, or contact known equipment suppliers, brokers, or colleagues to establish a fair market value.
Departments/individuals should first check for used equipment available on campus via Surplus Property. Used equipment identified outside of the University should be purchased through the competitive bid process whenever possible unless the purchase meets the requirements of a sole source or is below $10,000. Criteria to consider in making the determination of purchasing "used" versus "new" equipment:
- Manufacturer or brand, type, use and life expectancy of "new" versus "used" equipment.
- The purchase price of "new" vs. "used" equipment, and "used" vs. "used" equipment. (Compare at least 2 used equipment quotes).
- Risks presented by "used" vs. "new" equipment (e.g. possible contamination from prior usage, modification of equipment that might pose safety hazards, etc.)
- The relative price and general condition of used equipment.
- Warranty offered for "used" vs. "new".
- Service, maintenance plans, and parts availability of used versus new.
- Payment terms.
- Consideration of the freight charges and F.O.B. Point (i.e. FOB Destination, Origin, etc) - in other words, where FSU assumes responsibility. FSU's standard is FOB Destination.
Occasionally it is necessary to ship an item back to a supplier and Procurement Services can be of assistance in this process, if so requested by the ordering department. The return may be necessary for a number of reasons including concealed damage, an over-shipment, or the item is incorrect or defective.
To initiate this process, the requisitioning department must contact Procurement Services. Procurement Services will ask for the supplier's name, the reason for the return, the PO number, and any other necessary documentation related to damage or defects. Procurement Services will determine if there is a legitimate reason for the return and if there is a restocking fee involved. Procurement Services will also require that the supplier agree to the return by providing a Return Authorization (RA) form. If approved by Procurement Services, they will instruct either the Receiving Department to pick up the item from the department or have the supplier’s carrier pick up the item from the department. If possible, the department should pack the item for shipment before pick up to safeguard the item in transit to and to expedite shipment. If crating is required, the department should submit a work order to the Maintenance Department to have a crate constructed before the Receiving Department or Supplier is notified to pick the item up. The Receiving Department does not have the skills or tools to do carpentry work. However, Receiving can assist with the packing of regular shipments if the department does not have the necessary supplies available.
Supplier shows, which include open houses, product exhibits, or product demonstrations, must be approved in advance by the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) in order to:
- Protect the integrity of the University’s Procurement process;
- Protect the viability of the University-wide contracts/price agreements; and
- Ensure fairness to all suppliers.
The sponsoring University department shall notify the CPO or designee as far in advance as possible, but at least ten (10) business days prior to scheduling a supplier show. A supplier show is a product demonstration or exhibit to which supplier(s) are invited on campus for the purposes of marketing Goods or Services. Product or equipment demonstrations may not always be considered a supplier show but departments are advised to consult with Procurement Services before scheduling. The CPO or designee has the final authority to determine what constitutes a supplier show.
If your department would like to host or sponsor such supplier show(s), complete and submit the Supplier Show Approval Form.
Per University Property policy 4-OP-D-2-F, when University property (capital or expendable) is traded-in or exchanged for the acquisition of new property, the following information should be included on the Purchase Requisition:
- Description of property traded
- A statement of condition
- Details on the Trade-in allowance • FSU property decal number(s)
- Serial number(s) • Model number(s) • Age of the property
- Location of the property
If the Capital Property Accountability Release Form is approved and involves the trade-in of capital property, the form should be attached to the SpearMart requisition. The department should ensure that the property decal and all other references to FSU Property are removed or destroyed at the time the property is released to the vendor. If the trade-in is not properly documented on the Purchase Order and sufficient documentation cannot be obtained to support the trade-in, the item will be treated as lost or unaccounted for in the department’s annual inventory.