Procedure No. 700.1

Purchasing Guidelines Procedure

Adopted: 12/18/2014
Revisions Approved: 12/16/2021

The procedure governing the procurement of all materials, supplies and equipment required in the operation of Atlantic Cape Community College is an administrative responsibility controlled by the Board of Trustees in compliance with New Jersey Statutes Annotated, Title 18A-Education, County College Contracts Law 18A:64A-25 et.seq.

It is the purpose of the Purchasing Department to secure and distribute quality goods and materials at the lowest possible price consistent with the educational standards and objectives of the College. 


It is the responsibility of the Purchasing Department to specify and buy all required supplies, materials and equipment. Specifications shall be so written that broad competitive solicitation through formal bid or written quotation procedures is encouraged. 


I. Purchases

Purchases require the preparation of an on-line purchase requisition approved by a Department Head, Purchasing and appropriate Dean, or Vice President. The system automatically checks for sufficient budgeted funds. Please note that the Purchasing Department may change vendors in order to save money. Once all on-line approvals are complete Purchasing converts the requisition to a purchase order.

II. Purchases less than $7,499.99

Purchases less than $7,499.99 require one quote or proposal.

III. Purchases between $7,500.00 and $17,499.99

Purchases between $7,500.00 and $17,499.99 require a minimum of three written quotes. Departments can either obtain their own quotes which will be reviewed by the Purchasing Office or the Purchasing Office will obtain a minimum of three written quotes for departments. In the latter case it is imperative that departments provide clear and sufficient specifications to the Purchasing Department to allow for the solicitation of quotes. These requisitions must be approved by the College President.

IV. Purchases Between $17,500.00 and $37,499.99

All vendors who provide goods or services where the amount is between $17,500.00 and $37,499.99 will require either a Request for Proposals (RFP) to be prepared which will be publicized on the College's websites or, in the case of a Request for Quotes (RFQ), the submission of a Business Entity Disclosure Form and a Political Contribution Disclosure Form. These purchases must be approved by the Board of Trustees.

An RFP, or RFQ with a Business Entity Disclosure Form and a Political Contribution Form, is still required if the vendor has provided other goods and services at the College during the fiscal year where in aggregate they exceed $17,500.00.

V. Purchases Equal to and Over $37,500.00

Purchases over $37,500.00 require public bidding, newspaper advertising and Board of Trustee approval with the following exceptions: (1) State contracts; or (2) approved purchasing consortiums, and (3) RFP's and RFQ's for exempt purchases as noted in section V below. These require Board of Trustee approval, but do not require public bidding and newspaper advertising.

VI. Exempt Purchases

These are specific purchases of goods and services which may be negotiated or awarded by the College without public bidding with Board of Trustee approval. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Professional services;
  2. Materials or supplies which are not available from more than one bidder;
  3. Textbooks, copyrighted materials, library materials, etc.;
  4. Food supplies and services, including management contracts for student centers, dining rooms, and cafeterias;
  5. Products or services offered by a Public Utility;
  6. Specialized equipment and machinery of a technical nature where the procurement without advertising is in the public interest;
  7. Insurance;
  8. The collection of amounts due on student loans;
  9. Professional consulting service;
  10. Goods and services for the use, support and maintenance of proprietary computer hardware, software and systems development;
  11. Personnel recruitment and advertising;
  12. Educational supplies and books;
  13. Expenses for travel;
  14. Printing and publishing of legal notices as required by law.


The Purchasing Department shall exert every possible effort to obtain materials, supplies, services or equipment at the lowest possible net price consistent with item specifications and required delivery dates. 


Blanket Order Agreements are established for the purchase of items from the same vendor over the course of the fiscal year. The Assistant Director of Purchasing is charged with the responsibility of purchasing these items, previously awarded by the bid or quotation, and will request vendors to annually quote or bid on such items. Suppliers will be issued confirmation purchase orders annually. These orders are limited to the total dollar amount of the initial quote or bid. 


The College recognizes that there are times when the direct purchase of an item by an employee is the most efficient method of acquisition due to any one of several specific circumstances (typically travel). With prior approval, the College will reimburse employees for reasonable purchases. This policy does not relieve the College or the employee from the obligations and responsibilities established by the Board of Trustees, as well as Federal and State guidelines.


A purchase order is a binding contract between the College and the vendor. Therefore, it cannot be modified or canceled unilaterally. Any request to modify or cancel an order should be directed to the Purchasing Department in writing. The Purchasing Department will then act in the best interest of the College and advise all parties accordingly.

Generally, a vendor will agree to a request for cancellation if the items have not been shipped. The department may be held responsible for any material shipped by a vendor or costs incurred prior to cancellation of fabricated items. The Purchasing Department will affect purchase order cancellation to disencumber funds less any amounts due to the vendor. 


If it becomes necessary to make any change in the original purchase order, such as price, terms, description, additions, deletions, cancellations, etc., the department must send a written notice to the Purchasing Department. The Purchasing Department will coordinate the change with the vendor. 


Only the Purchasing Department has the authority to obligate the College for the purchase of goods and services. Any purchases made outside this policy become the sole liability of the individual making the purchase.


A purchase may be made, negotiated or awarded by the College without public advertising for bids when an emergency affecting the health, safety or welfare of the occupants of College property requires the immediate delivery of the materials or supplies for the performance of the work.

 Back to the Policies and Procedures Main Menu