Sponsored Research Purchasing Procedures Are Changing

Purchasing procedures for sponsor funded purchases are changing. Illinois Tech will be adopting the procurement standards required by the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards which is also known as the Uniform Guidance. The procurement standards have been the focus of much debate and their implementation has been delayed while other parts of the Uniform Guidance are already being followed. The debate continues to focus on the “micro purchase” threshold. This threshold determines when a purchase decision must be supported by the gathering of competitive bids from an “adequate number of qualified sources.” As currently written, this threshold is $3,000, so purchases exceeding that amount will be subject to a requirement to gather competitive bids and we will need to document that these have been gathered.

Implementation of the procurement standards as they currently exist is now scheduled for the start of Illinois Tech’s Fiscal Year 2018 on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Purchasing will be re-designing the Vendor Selection Form anticipating the new lower micro purchase threshold. For non-sponsored research purchases, the threshold for recording competitive bids remains at $25,000. Uniform Guidance also imposes greater scrutiny on what constitutes a “Sole Source” justification. This concept is universal to all Illinois Tech purchases and Purchasing will be re-designing the Sole Source Justification Memo to better address what is and what is not a sole source purchase. Again, unless implementation is delayed, purchases for sponsored research will be subject to the new purchasing standards, effective June 1, 2017. Any updates to this matter will be posted in Illinois Tech Today.