Skip Navigation

Return to Campus Information ››

HCC Main Campus
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
Training & Development Solution
Maryland Innovation Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD 21046
Take a Virtual Tour
Take an interactive look at HCC's campus

Purchasing Definitions Procedure – 62.05.01

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College uses the following terms as defined below.

Bid – a competitive price offer made by an intended seller, often in response to an Invitation to Bid.

Bid opening – the act of publicly opening the bid envelopes or electronic bid files at a specified date and time.

Change order – written modification or addition to a purchase order or contract.

Contract – a signed agreement entered into for the procurement of equipment, materials, supplies, services, or capital improvement that obligates both parties to specific terms.

Contract administration – the process of enforcing the terms of a contract through such actions as evaluating performance and progress, monitoring contract deliveries, inspections, approval of payments, and closeout. 

Contractor – someone that sells a service or a service with goods.  A contractor has a relationship defined by a contract.

Cooperative purchase – a purchasing contract between at least one governmental entity and a contractor that is available for use by additional governmental entities.

Cost Center Manager – an individual who oversees a particular budget area or cost center.  This individual develops the budget, monitors all expenditures in the budget, and ensures that all expenditures are made within the budget line item limits.

Document – any form or similar type instrument that requires official approval prior to processing.  This is often a quote or proposal from a Contractor that requires acceptance by the college.

Equal Business Opportunity (EBO) – small, disadvantaged, minority, and women-owned enterprises as defined in Title 14, Subtitle 3 of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code.

Emergency Procurement – the ability to make a purchase without following the normal purchasing procedure in order to obtain goods or services to allow for a rapid response.

Invitation to Bid (ITB) – a formal solicitation issued for the purchase of any building, improvement, equipment, or supplies that is reasonably expected to cost $50,000 or more, and specifications can be prepared to award based primarily on price.

Goods – tangible commodities that are purchased including materials, equipment, and supplies.  A group of goods includes all items that can reasonably be grouped together as a purchase.

Percentage price preference – the percent by which a responsive bid from a responsible bidder may exceed the lowest responsible bid submitted by a responsible bidder.

Procurement – acquiring commodities or services, including purchasing, renting, or leasing. This includes all functions that pertain to acquisition, such as description of requirements, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contract, and all phases of contract administration.

Purchase order – the primary method by which the college enters into agreements for procurement.  The document shows all terms and conditions that apply.

Request for Proposals (RFP) – a solicitation for proposals based on a scope of services defined by the college.  The award is based on the results of an evaluation that includes the technical as well as cost aspects of the contract to be awarded.

Small procurement – means a purchase or cumulative purchase that is expected to be less than $50,000, as defined in Maryland Code Annotated, State Finance and Procurement Article, §13-109.

Specification – a clear, concise, and accurate description of the functional characteristics or nature of the product or service being procured.  Specifications must be written in a manner that will not restrict competition.

Solicitation – the advertisement of a procurement for the purpose of receiving bids or proposals.

Vendor – someone that sells either services or goods.  Vendors are distinguished from others in that they do not have a specific relationship with the college.

Effective Date:   09/10/21

President's Office Use:  VPAF

Giving makes a difference! Your support helps students along their pathways to success.