Purchasing Policies & Procedures
The Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST) provides purchasing support to the entire UMass system. The UPST purchasing guidelines can be found their website under the following:
Definitions & Resources
We encourage you to visit the UPST site for all things procurement including strategic sourcing, contracts, and travel. Please see the links below and their respective definitions to guide you in your purchase of goods and services.
- Bank Card Program - A 'one card' program that offers UMass and the cardholders flexibility to use a single card for both travel-related and supplies-related UMass expenses only
- Requisitions (Purchase Orders) - Supports the purchase of good and services by the University stakeholders who leverage the various purchasing channels i.e. purchase orders, in alignment with the Board of Trustees Procurement Policy.
- Accounts Payable (AP) - Focuses on invoice processing and payment issuance to suppliers, foreign nationals, students, faculty, staff, human subject payments, and independent contractors.
- Strategic Sourcing - Supports analysis, research, bid execution, and negotiations with suppliers of goods and services needed by leveraging UMass' combined purchasing power to optimize costs and benefits.
- Contracts - Supports the process for negotiating and executing contracts with our supplier base after a successful strategic sourcing (bid) process or amendment of an existing contract to support purchasing transactions.
- Supplier Management - Supports the registration, development, and overall management of UMass suppliers/ partners, in addition to driving the UMass Supplier Diversity Program agenda.
- Travel & Expense Program - A centralized resource for all University employee-related travel needs.
- Training & Information Sessions - The UPST offers several training courses to campus stakeholders to drive process, technology adoption, and compliance.
- Resources – Access to all procurement related forms, quick reference guides, job aids and policies.
*The new Commodity and Account Code Crosswalk is available on the UPST website.
Purchasing Resources & Guidelines
Honoraria 757150 Direct Payment (DP)
Honoraria for Visiting Speakers/Lecturers for services related to a speaking or lecturing engagement. This may be a flat rate which includes travel related expenses, or travel may be broken out separately on the Disbursement Voucher. Reimbursement Charged to 758980 is done as a direct payment.
An Honorarium is a payment for professional service for which no wage is established. The payment itself is an honorary award in recognition of that effort. Honoraria are further defined by the following characteristics:
Payment is to an individual (non-employee);
Payment is a onetime, non-recurring transaction for a performance by an individual for the University;
Recipient is usually a distinguished individual whose service may not have a precise value, and
Service performed does not normally generate a tangible product.
An Honoraria Visiting Speaker is done on a Disbursement Voucher. A complete description stating the title of the lecture and the date the event is to take place is required. If no bill is received then the department must submit a Disbursement Voucher once the services are completed, the date of service and a statement made on the disbursement voucher in the payment type, stating that the services are complete. The authorized signature of the account must sign this document.
If an honorarium is to be prepaid then a disbursement voucher is submitted directly to accounting stating the payment type on the disbursement voucher, that this is a prepayment and to contact the department when the check is cut. The department’s name and the contact person along with the telephone number must be stated and highlighted on the disbursement voucher. The authorized signatory must sign the disbursement voucher. Accounts payable needs at least a week and a half advanced notice if the honoraria are to be prepaid. All requests for a prepayment must be hand delivered to the Account Payable Department and handed to a person.
All honoraria over $10,000 are required to have a contract. Instructions to follow are the same as a Consultant Contract.
Performers (Tax Withholding) A purchase order is required for all Performers.
Only Account Code 757300 Applies
Effective January 1, 2006, the University of Massachusetts is required to withhold Massachusetts’s income tax on certain payments made to performers or performing entities. The requirement resulted from legislation and a directive issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue in December and applies as follows:
Effective Date: January 1, 2006
Tax Withholding Rate: 5.3%
Definition of "Performers/Performing Entities: Subject to Withholding & Reporting"
Performer. A performer may be (i) an athlete such as a wrestler, boxer, golfer, tennis player, sports team member or other athlete who is paid for competing, demonstrating, making a public appearance, or endorsing merchandise, as well as a person paid to further an athlete’s performance or an athletic event performing services such as owner or leader of a performing entity; agent or manager of a performing entity or performer; referee, coach, or trainer; member of a production crew; or (ii) a paid entertainer or speaker, such as an actor, singer, musician, dancer, circus performer, comedian, celebrity, public speaker or lecturer, as well as any person paid to further an entertainer’s or speaker’s performance such as owner or leader of a performing entity; agent or manager of a performing entity or performer; or writer, director, coach, designer, or member of a sound, light, stage or production crew. A performing entity is a corporation, partnership, limited partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporate trust or other entity that employs, engages, or comprises one or more performers.
There is no corporation exclusion for either tax reporting or withholding.
Withholding is required if the gross payment by the University (all campuses combined) to a performer equals or exceeds $5,000 during a calendar year. Withholding is not required on amounts paid to cover expenses.
Performance up to a limit of $10,000 annually; a requisition is required, complete description of services, rates that apply and the contract term must be on the requisition.
Performance over $10,000; requires a completely executed copy of the Contract for Services along with a requisition online. All documents must be in the Procurement Department before the services begin. An executed copy will be sent to the Consultant along with the Purchase Order. The contract must be executed prior to the rendering of services.
Note: Travel expenses incurred by an individual receiving payment for a performance, may be accounted for separately, but the individual must submit the original receipts. These amounts are not included in any of the above limits and should be listed on the requisition as a separate line item using object code 758980. If using a Contract for Services, this amount can be inserted into Part 5, Payment Line D. These amounts will not be reported on a federal tax form 1099 at year-end. All other payments will be issued a 1099.
A "consultant" shall mean any person who, as a non-employee of the Commonwealth, gives advice or employee training and whose compensation is payable from Object Class HH. No person employed by the University, as a consultant shall directly or indirectly supervise another temporary or permanent employee of the University. A consultant may be required to render a written report prior to final payment.
The process for selection of a consultant to perform services for the University shall be as competitive as practicable under the circumstances.
No consultant to perform services classified under subsidiary HH costing over $50,000 annually, may be awarded, except pursuant to competitive bidding or submission of a no bid justification form. Request for consultants exceeding $50,000 involves the mandatory solicitation of bids, or an extensive no bid justification.
Consultants are responsible for making their own estimated income tax and self-employment-tax payments, and because they are not employees, are not entitled to fringe benefits such as employer-paid retirement and insurance
Consultant Services (HH) under $10,000 annually; a requisition is required, a complete description of services, rates that apply and the contract term must be on the requisition. An Employment Status Form is also required.
Consultant Services (HH) greater than $10,000 per fiscal year; requires a completely executed Contract for Services Terms and Conditions along with a requisition online. All documents must be in the Procurement Department before services begin. The department will be responsible for obtaining all the necessary signatures.
Requires a draft copy of the Contract for Services Terms and Conditions along with a requisition online. All documents must be in the Procurement Department before services begin. Legal review is required over $100,000. The Procurement Department draws the contract and is responsible for obtaining all signatures.
Consultant Contract, greater than $50,000 annually; the Contract shall be bid competitively whenever practicable or an extensive sole source justification submitted. The procedure must involve the solicitation of formal written proposals. Funds must be encumbered in advance and a Contract for Services Terms and Conditions must be executed before commencement of services. The Procurement Department will draw up the contract once the proposal has been awarded and will be responsible for obtaining all signatures.
If bidding is required, specifications along with the requisition must be submitted (8) eight weeks prior to the start date of the Contract.
Employment Status Form
State law, M.G.L. c. 149, s. 148B, establishes a three-part test that presumes an individual is a contract employee unless:
The individual is free from control and direction in connection with the performance of the service, both under his contract for the performance of service and in fact.
The service is performed outside the usual course of the business of the employer.
The individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.
Operational service contract is a non-payroll payment for performance of a specialized service, generally over an extended period of time. These payments are usually made to a legal entity other than an individual. The Purchasing Department does not process hiring of individuals; therefore, any Contractor that is not a sole proprietorship must be processed through Human Resources. Normally service contracts, the delivery of a defined end product or service
Examples of such services are:
Cleaning Services, Pest Control, Computer Services, Waste Removal, Photographic Services, Transcription Services (Companies Only), Video Duplication and Production Services, etc.
A purchase order is required; a complete description of services, rates that apply and the contract term must be on the purchase order.
In cases where the Contract for Services Terms and Conditions exceeds $50,000 per fiscal year, the Procurement Department will bid competitively whenever practicable. The procedure must involve either the solicitation of formal written proposals or an extensive no bid justification must be submitted. Funds must be encumbered in advance and a Contract for Services Terms and Conditions must be completely executed before commencement of services. The Procurement Department will draw up the contract once the proposal has been awarded and will be responsible for obtaining all signatures.
The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Contracts and Compliance is the only individual authorized to sign Maintenance Agreements on behalf of the University, regardless of the source of funds.
Following is the procedures that shall be followed to contract with an outside vendor for the maintenance/repair of University-owned equipment; e.g., office machines, computers, research equipment.
All requisitions for maintenance services may have an agreement and if so it must be forwarded to the Procurement Department for approval and signature. A bill is not considered an agreement.
Maintenance/repair service/parts for equipment: When there is labor involved, charge subsidiary LL. If the purchase covers only replacement parts without labor, charge to the appropriate account code.
There are two types of equipment repair service that are usually available from those vendors that offer it:
(1) Per Call Service: Equipment is serviced only when requested. Fees are usually based on an hourly rate plus replacement parts and the requesting department is billed for each call.
(2) If the total value of the maintenance service contract is greater than $50,000 per fiscal year and the service is available from more than one vendor, and if the agreement is not covered by State, MHEC, University or Campus contract, the department shall submit their request for bid to Procurement by creating a requisition. The Procurement Department will send out requests for bids for competitive requirements and will issue a Purchase Order to cover the resulting agreement. The requesting department will be responsible for issuing requisitions to cover any subsequent years of the agreement, if applicable.
In all instances, the vendor shall provide the University with an itemized bill, including the rate per hour, the number of hours worked, and an itemized list of parts (if applicable). Lump sum bills are unacceptable.
Service Contract (usually issued annually): Equipment may receive regularly scheduled preventive maintenance inspections and is repaired, as needed, between inspections for a flat annual rate. Some service contracts include replacement parts; other, only cover labor. The requesting department should check the terms of the vendor’s service contract prior to contracting for maintenance to determine exactly what is covered.
All maintenance service contracts shall be signed by the vendor and by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Contracts and Compliance.
If the total value of the maintenance service contract is greater than $10,000 and less than $50,000 per fiscal year the department may prepare a requisition and submit it to Procurement for review, together with the vendor’s contractual agreement. No Purchase Order covering a maintenance service contract will be processed unless and until it has the appropriate, properly executed contract attached to it.
All maintenance service agreements are subject to the review and approval of the Procurement Department, all the necessary procedures shall be followed, and approvals and signature obtained, prior to making any commitment to the vendor.
A stipend is a payment made to an individual (non-student/non-employee) in order to defray the cost for taking a course or participating in a special project.
All stipends must be done as a direct payment.
Alterations to Plant
Any orders involving ALTERATIONS TO PLANT (air conditioners, large scientific equipment, etc.) are to be cleared through the Facilities Department first, to determine if the right course of action is being taken and if there are sufficient utilities to support the new equipment.
Every contract for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, remodeling, repair, or demolition of any public building or public works by the Commonwealth or by any governmental unit thereof, estimated to cost $10,000 or more, shall be awarded to the lowest responsible and eligible general bidder on the basis of competitive bids obtained by the Procurement Department (or the campus equivalent thereof) in accordance with the procedures set forth in the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 30, Section 39M, as amended; Chapter 149, Sections 44A-44J, inclusive.
This object class includes Information Technology expenditures associated with operations.
- Telecommunications Services (VOICE, DATA Lines)
- Telecommunications Consultants
- Telecommunications Cabling
- Telecommunications Equipment
- IT Consultants
- Travel reimbursement for IT Consultants
- IT Cabling
- IT Equipment/Equipment Enhancement
- Federal IT Equipment/Equipment Enhancement
- Software/Software upgrade/Software licenses
Lease & License Agreements
Leases less than $49,999 must be approved by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Contracts and Compliance.
The [UMass] President shall determine the authority to enter into leases or licenses for any items, including but not limited to, equipment, vehicles, software, and library materials including electronic journals. Procurement of information technology, hardware/software, or peripherals must comply with the Information Technology Acquisition Policy, T08-086
By statute, both state and non-appropriated funds are subject to Internal, State, and Federal audit. Therefore, it should be clearly understood that uniform purchasing and accounting procedures must be followed to insure proper control and compliance with regulations under fiscal autonomy.
In accordance with University policy, reimbursements to faculty or staff are not allowed against any University funds. Some reimbursements are authorized under extraordinary circumstances. Such requests must be submitted on a Disbursement Voucher with the original cash receipts and a memorandum of explanation detailing the circumstance.
Contact one of the buyers in the Procurement Department to discuss your particular case before you commit to a vendor with the intention of being reimbursed by the University. Final approval of any reimbursement will be to the discretion of the Procurement Department and the Controller's Office.
Note: Reimbursements for SERVICES cannot be made, under any circumstances. Subsidiaries HH, JJ and NN apply.
The University will not reimburse the individual for Massachusetts Sales Tax.
Advertisements for EMPLOYMENT must be cleared through the Human Resources Department before their placement. Ads for employment must meet Equal Employment Opportunity Criteria.
Temporary employees must be solicited through Human Resources. For further information, contact Human Resources.
All printing must be charged to object code 734310. The Office of Government Relations and Public Affairs will assist you in designing and preparing the specifications, if necessary.
Printing Expenses - Includes printing, binding, blueprinting, photography, photo developing, and copyrighting of printed material for both academic and administrative departments. The Office of Government Relations and Public Affairs approval will be done electronically.
Purchase requisitions over $10,000 to $50,000 must provide two quotes or public bidding will be conducted by the Procurement Department. The lowest/qualified of the two quotes or bidding process must be the selected vendor to provide the services. For orders under $1,000 printing may be charged to your Procard providing you get special approval from the Office of Government Relations and Public Affairs. The Office of Government Relations and Public Affairs can be reached at 617-287-5300.
All newspaper advertisement must be approved by the Office of Government Relations and Public Affairs, account code 735100. No employment ads are authorized under the printing account code.