Types of Purchases

Thresholds

If you need alternative (written) documents or forms, contact Business Services at (479) 575-2551 or 4help@uark.edu

Purchases Less than $20,000 (Small Order Purchases)

The State of Arkansas considers purchases totaling $20,000 or less, including freight but excluding sales tax, to be Small Order Purchases.

These purchases may be made without bidding but competition should be used to the maximum extent practicable. This limit does not apply to state and institution contract items and printing.

Departments are advised to exercise prudent judgment in specifying items and entering a source for purchase on the requisition. The Procurement Office will provide information as needed on product specifications and vendor experience for any particular class of commodity for which they have information.

Caution: Repeated small quantity purchases of similar items to circumvent the $20,000 bid limit are prohibited. Allow two (2) working days for Purchasing to process after the requisition has been approved by your department.

Purchases $20,000.01 to $75,000.00 (Competitive Quote Bids)

Competitive Bid Quotes may be obtained by departments for bidding purchases which total more than $20,000 but do not exceed $75,000 including freight but excluding sales tax.

A minimum of three (3) bids must be received, one of which should be a minority vendor if available for that commodity. If you receive a "no bid" or "no response," then that counts as an acceptable attempt to gather a quote. 

Departments should use the Bid Quote Request Form and Bid Quote Tab Sheet when requesting bids.

Submit copies of the bidder’s quote response, completed Bid Quote Request Form and Bid Quote Tab Sheet, by attaching to the internal notes and attachments of the RazorBuy requisition. Attachments will be reviewed prior to issuance of a Purchase Order.

Departments are given the delegation to solicit bids in this price range but Procurement staff is available to assist in processing these bids if departments do not have the time or qualified staff.

Purchases Exceeding $75,000.00 (Formal Bids)

Commodity purchases or services not covered by a state or institutional contracts which total more than $75,000, leases which exceed $75,000 within the duration of the contract, and leases with option to purchase when the value of said commodity is more than $75,000 require formal competitive sealed bidding by the Procurement Office.

The average processing time is six (6) to eight (8) weeks as the bid must be developed, advertised, the responses evaluated and the bid awarded. Individuals requisitioning items should allow time for the above procedures when anticipating their purchasing needs.

It is never too early to work with your buyer on minimum specifications and delivery requirements.

Standing Orders

Standing Orders are to be issued for small purchases, rental and lease arrangements. Standing orders are not to be used to purchase commodities or equipment, which should be procured by competitive bidding. Standing orders for small purchases are normally limited to $20,000 per month.

Standing Exempt Orders can be used for utilities. Also for services that have already been competitively bid.

There are numerous items under state contracts, which may be mandatory for the University and, therefore, may not be purchased from standing orders. Items are added occasionally as the Office of State Procurement may determine a need for additional contracts.

This office enters the following statement on all standing orders to vendors where there is a possibility that contract items could be purchased: Important! Purchase of the following items are not permitted against this order:

  • bulk paper towels
  • bulk toilet tissue
  • light bulbs or ballasts
  • tires and tubes
  • paper
  • printing
  • office machines
  • telephones or accessories,
  • furniture,
  • video tape
  • capital equipment

If an individual purchases a contract item against a standing order, it will be his or her personal obligation, as the University is unable to make payment to a vendor who does not hold the contract for that item. Purchases of food and related items must be identified with a detailed purchase order line description and commodity code number. Each food purchase must be justified by listing University function. Receiving/Receipt information for food purchases is located in Accounts Payable Procedures.