Procurement Guidelines

Overview of Procurement Environment

At Gettysburg College, the acquisition of goods and services is made by departments to which institutional funds are allocated. Purchases of goods and services are to be made in accordance with College the procurement policies and guidelines herein and the expense and reimbursement guidelines which have been developed to preserve the value of College resources and comply with regulations which protect the College against legal liability, provide for receipt of goods and services in a timely and organized manner, supply accepted standards of quality and service, properly hold vendors accountable for their goods and services, and provide accountability for College expenditures.

Supplier Diversity: The College encourages all departments to provide minority-owned, woman owned, disadvantaged and local small businesses consideration when determining which supplier will be used to provide goods and services to the department.

All purchases and expenditures made with College funds must meet the business standard of ordinary, necessary and reasonable and have a legitimate business purpose in relation to Gettysburg College department and/or program activities. These determinations are defined by government regulations (IRS, federal, state and local) and are supported by not-for-profit accounting standards. This applies to all payment types; check, pcard, or ACH/EFT.

Section I - Authorization and Approval Guidelines

A. Purpose

To define which individuals may obligate the College for the purchase of goods and services:

B. Purchase Authorization

1. General Purchase Authorization Parameters

The following represents general purchase authorization thresholds for the acquisition of goods and services:



(individual transaction or total
contract value of multi-year contracts)

All general purchasing card holders and non-cardholders

designated purchase authority by level 1, 2, 3 or 4


(individual transaction or total
contract value of multi-year contracts)

Level 1: Department Chair, Director, Program

Coordinator or Equivalent


(individual transaction or total
contract value of multi-year contracts)

Level 2: Area Directors


(individual transaction or total
contract value of multi-year contracts)

Level 3: Divisional Vice President


(individual transaction or total
contract value of multi-year contracts)

Level 4: Vice President for Finance & Administration

or the President


(individual transaction or total
contract value of multi-year contracts)

Two Approval Signatures Required - At least one Level 4

with the other approval from Level 3 or Level 4

Additional Purchase Authorization Considerations-Certain restrictions to general authorizations apply:

Transactions limited to specified departments:
See B.2: Restrictions on Purchasing Authority

Acquisition/lease of real estate
Acquisition/lease (>3 months) of vehicle
Financing Transactions, including lease or rental of capital assets (>3 months)
Credit card, banking, and other financial services
Building and grounds maintenance
Copier equipment
Technology - requiring IT installation, support or connectivity to College network
Employee search and temporary employment service

The College’s Conflict of Interest Policy precludes purchasing from organizations included on the Restrained Participation list.

See II.C.2. Business with Restraint on Participation

2. Restrictions on Purchasing Authority

a. Authority for the acquisition of certain goods and services is limited to designated departments or positions within the College, regardless of purchase authority or payment amount.

Transactions limited to Specified Departments:

The following College departments facilitate the purchasing of stated goods and services on behalf of the entire campus. These departments have sole responsibility for the acquisition of listed services and materials.

Acquisition and lease of real estate Vice President for Finance & Administration or President
Acquisition and lease of vehicle (>3 months);
Vehicle includes any over-the-road conveyance requiring vehicle
registration or insurance.
Director of Facilities Planning
Financing transactions, including lease
or rental of capital assets (>3 months)
Vice President for Finance & Administration or President
Credit Card, banking and other financial services Financial Services
Maintenance and operation of College buildings and grounds Facilities Services
Copier equipment Auxiliary Services
Technology purchases requiring IT installation, support,
or connectivity to the campus network
Information Technology
Employee search and temporary employment services Human Resources

b. Questions regarding purchasing authority may be directed to the Assistant Director of Procurement, Accounts Payable Office, Assistant Controller or Controller.

3. Multi-year Contracts

a. The total of multi-year contracts must be used to determine the level of purchase authorization necessary for execution.

b. Multi-year contracts with a total contract cost of $75,000 or greater (as calculated over the term of the contract period) must be authorized by the Divisional Vice President and either the President or the Vice President for Finance & Administration.

4. Delegation of Purchase Authority

a. Purchase authority may be delegated during the annual review process facilitated by Financial Services or by notifying the Accounts Payable Office of the requested change.

b. While purchase authority may be delegated, budgetary responsibility, including monitoring and oversight, remains a function of the Department Chair, Director, or Program Coordinator.

5. Other Purchase Authority Considerations

a. All agents of the College are responsible for compliance with the College’s procurement guidelines as described herein and the College's expense and reimbursement guidelines.

b. Authorized employees, as defined above, are the stewards of departmental funds and are responsible for ensuring availability of department budget funds prior to initiating a purchase and submitting a request for payment.

c. As a general practice, regardless of purchase threshold, employees must seek a supervisor's approval for the following financial transactions:

  • Requester listed as payee (i.e, travel reimbursements); and/or
  • Requester personally benefits from purchase

C. Unauthorized Purchases

1. Commitments made in excess of General Purchase Authorization levels or not previously approved by the President or the Division Vice President are considered unauthorized. The individual may encounter a personal obligation to the supplier or provider.

Section II - Purchasing and Contracting Guidelines

A. Purpose

1. To define the means by which the College purchases goods and contracts for services and facilitates payment in exchange.

2. To position departments to procure goods and services under the most advantageous terms for the College.

B. General Guideline Statement

The authority to enter into any purchase or service agreement is vested with certain employees defined in Section I who act as authorized agents of the College. Agents must determine the most appropriate procurement tool that adheres to College guidelines for the planned acquisition, ensuring appropriate procurement or payment procedures are not avoided or bypassed by use of the College's purchasing card.

C. Considerations for Selecting a Supplier or Service Provider (Sourcing)

Departments may make decisions concerning product and supplier selection and engage directly with a vendor to meet their requirements, with due consideration given for the business practices below:

1. Internal Service Providers

Specialty business units of the College serve as preferred providers. Services provided by College departments are as follows:

Description of ServicesDepartment
Catering services Catering Department
Mail and postage services Ricoh
Duplication services Ricoh
Promotional items College Store
Safety and security services Department of Public Safety
Computer services Computing and Infrastructure Department
Telecommunication services Telecommunications Department
Transportation services Transportation Services

2. Business with Restraint on Participation

Under the College's Conflict of Interest Policy, the College shall not transact business with a related party and no related party shall solicit business from the College. Acquisition of goods or services from organizations on the Restrained Participation List is specifically precluded by the Conflict of Interest Policy unless one of the listed exceptions applies. Potential exceptions should be reviewed with the Executive Vice President or the Director of Financial Services/Controller prior to initiating a purchase. Certain exceptions require approval of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.

3. Other Sourcing Considerations

a. Comparative pricing is recommended to maximize the value of each dollar spent unless sole source is justified. Competitive pricing is recommended for major purchases and required under certain grant agreements.

b. Departments should utilize existing institutional vendor relationships to obtain their goods and services whenever possible.

D. College Purchase Order

1. A purchase order is the recognized, business-to-business, standard instrument used to procure tangible goods. It defines the agreement between the buyer and the seller. Once accepted by both parties, it is a binding contract. It commits buyers to accept and pay for the described goods and the supplier to deliver them as ordered.

2. The terms and conditions appearing on the College Purchase Order form are beneficial to and protective of the College. For this reason, the College Purchase Order is a useful procurement tool whose use is encouraged, especially when:

  • No other written contract/agreement exists
  • P.O. is required by vendor
  • Departmental ordering processes would benefit from enhanced record keeping

The College Purchase Order template/form is available herein and may be issued and maintained by departments in accordance with processes defined by the user departments. The College Purchase Order must be signed by an authorized employee in accordance with Section I.

E. Contracts

1. Most of the many, independent, business transactions of the College are contractual in nature, whether written or not. A contract is an agreement between parties having four essential components:

  • An offer and an acceptance
  • Mutual obligation
  • Competency of parties
  • Legality of purpose

2. It is efficient for the College to offer our forms of agreement to other parties as these forms have been pre-approved by the College's legal counsel. The department obligating the College is responsible for determining the suitability of the governing instrument and/or obtaining purchase authority as described in Section I. The Procurement Office is available to provide guidance.

3. The College is able to reduce the complexity of our transactions by standardizing certain common forms of agreement for departmental use. These templates are described and accessible from the table below. Please bear in mind that these standard forms may not meet all business transaction requirements. Departments may modify a standard agreement template. The Procurement Office is available to provide guidance.

Description of ServicesType of Agreement

A very basic agreement providing a format for written documentation of an
oral agreement and payment information. This document is intended for use with
independent contractors coming to campus for a variety of reasons, but whose presence
presents little or no risk. Examples: speakers, facilitators, DJs

Event Agreement and Check Request (xls)

An agreement for tangible services that remain
on campus upon completion. Examples: Carpet installation,
data input processing, storage services
Independent Contractor Agreement for Tangible Services
(Download to print full size or editable pdf)
An agreement for services provided by certified professionals.
Examples: Software programmers, engineers
Independent Contractor Agreement for Professional Services
(Download to print full size or editable pdf)

4. Departments should consider the relationship of a potential contractor to the College and ascertain that individuals engaged to provide services are independent contractors, and are not engaged in such a manner to suggest that they could be determined to be employees of the College. The Employment Status Checklist provides criteria which may assist in making this determination. The Accounts Payable or Payroll Office is available to provide guidance.

5. Certificates of Insurance are important addenda to contracts for work to be performed which creates special risk to the College. For example, Certificates of Insurance would be required for the services of software programmers and pyrotechnicians. The contractor's insurance carrier extends specific coverage to the College for the duration of the contract. Certificates of Workers Compensation Insurance may also be required. The Risk Management Office is available to provide guidance.

Please refer to the Information Directory below to contact the most appropriate individual for contract related concerns.

For Business Practice Questions Regarding:ContactEmail and Phone Ext.

Certificates of Insurance

HR Office

Ext. 6202

Issuance of Checks, Travel Advances

Brandy Briggs
Nicki Wilson
Accounts Payable
Ext. 6290
Ext. 6201
Employment Status (Independent Contractor vs. Employee) Sharon Dayhoff
Ext. 6276
Preferred Providers, Vendors, College Purchase Orders, Contracting, Purchasing Card Pat Verderosa
Ext. 6225

6. The College is presented with many contracts for execution which have been prepared by the provider of the service. Each is service and/or product specific and, therefore, it is not efficient for the College to standardize contractual language. Checklists of important terms and conditions are provided.

 Standard Terms & Conditions 

Service or maintenance contracts for the upkeep of equipment



Agreements which grant the College
the right to use copyrighted materials

Software Licenses


Hospitality contracts for the College's use of premises



F. Receiving and Storage

1. The College's receiving services are performed in the Central Energy Plant or the campus post office. Receiving hours are 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday.

2. Orders for tangible goods (except contracted desktop delivery) should include instructions to ship to the College's business address at 300 North Washington Street. Facilities Services or Mail Services will facilitate delivery of your goods to the respective campus building.

3. Furnishings, equipment, etc. removed from departments upon request become general surplus property of the College and will not be held in reserve for a department unless prearranged with Facilities Services and so marked upon removal.

4. Boxed records removed from departments upon request and moved to local storage areas (basements) or remote storage (Knouse Building) must be labeled for content and also with the date contents may be destroyed or otherwise stored in accordance with the College's Archive Policy.

G. Methods of Payment

1. College checks, the College's purchasing cards, and electronic transfer of funds generated by the Office of Financial Services are the only means of releasing a payment that satisfies an obligation of the College.

2. Issuance of a College Purchase Order or execution of an Agreement will not generate a payment within the College's financial management system and therefore, does not complete the transaction cycle of an acquisition. The cycle closes when a department submits a request for payment to the Accounts Payable Office and payment follows in due course.

H. Sales Tax Exemption

Gettysburg College is generally tax-exempt from Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax for purchases made in accordance with the College's 501(c)(3) status. The College also holds tax exemption certificates for the following areas:

  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia (if used in DC)

Information regarding sales tax exemptions along with copies of the state specific exemption forms can be obtained from the Accounts Payable website.