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General Principles for Procurement Procedure - 62.05.02

College Policy Number/Title:

The principal purposes of the Howard Community College (HCC) procurement procedures are to:

  • provide for public confidence in the methods used in the college’s procurement of goods and services;
  • ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all persons who interact with the procurement system of the college;
  • simplify, clarify, and modernize the policies and procedures governing procurement by the college;
  • maximize the fullest extent of the purchasing power of the college  through the college’s procurement activities;
  • provide safeguards for the maintenance of a procurement system of quality and integrity; and
  • develop uniform procurement practices to the extent possible.

All individuals directly or indirectly involved in the acquisition of materials and services for the college will conduct themselves in a manner that is beyond challenge or reproach.  Business will be conducted with potential and current vendors in an atmosphere of good faith and devoid of intentional misrepresentations.  Honesty will be demanded in sales representation whether offered through the medium of verbal or written statement, advertisement, or sample.  Employees, officers, or officials of the college may neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of significant monetary value from suppliers, contractors, or parties to subcontracts.  Additionally, an employee, officer, or official of the college may not participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract if a real or apparent conflict of interest is possible.  Finally, the purchasing services and tax-exempt status of the college may not be used for the personal use of a student, employee, officer, official of the college, or any outside organization, unless the college is acting as the organization’s agent.  Violation of any of these prohibitions is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

Individuals should report any wrongdoing, questionable or unethical behavior, or threats to the integrity of the procurement process to the director of procurement, area vice president, president, or, if necessary, to the board of trustees.

The procurement office will:

  • ensure that the college is utilizing the most advanced procurement methods and management techniques;
  • effect and enhance communication relating to procurement matters;
  • examine all procurements that are subject to review by the board and make recommendations to the board as to the appropriateness of each procurement, with an emphasis on whether it was competitively conducted and conforms to provisions of procurement law, regulations, and best management practices;
  • produce and submit reports to the board as required;
  • make recommendations for improvements to procurement procedures; and
  • assist with questions regarding procurement practices of the college.

It is a violation of procurement policies and procedures for a department or individual to make any commitment to a vendor for the purchase of materials, supplies, equipment, or services without first receiving a valid HCC purchase order or specific authorization.  The college requires at least two individuals to be involved in all purchasing transactions to ensure objectivity in all purchases and to minimize abuse.  Additionally, all terms and conditions or other paperwork associated with a purchase will be forwarded to the procurement office for review and signature.  Except as explicitly stated in the purchasing contract procedures, individuals are not authorized to sign any documents relating to purchases on behalf of the college.

Release of information concerning procurement matters will be in accordance with applicable law and college policies and procedures and coordinated by the director of procurement.

Effective Date:   09/10/21

President's Office Use:  VPAF

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