The intent of this portion of the Handbook is to provide a very brief general summary of making purchases using federal funds and examples of some additional procurement regulations for working with grants. The key is to contact the College Purchasing Department as early as possible in the process when federal or State of Florida grants will be used to purchase goods or services. The Purchasing Department can provide information that is critical in making sure all purchases utilizing grant funds can be made in compliance with all federal and state statutory procurement requirements. For more detailed information, refer to the SF Purchasing Manual at:
|Equipment 2 CFR 200 § 200.313|
|(a) Title. Subject to the requirements and conditions set forth in this section, title to equipment acquired under a Federal award will vest upon acquisition in the non-Federal entity. Unless a statute specifically authorizes the Federal agency to vest title in the non-Federal entity without further responsibility to the Federal Government, and the Federal agency elects to do so, the title must be a conditional title. Title must vest in the non-Federal entity subject to the following conditions: |
(1) Use the equipment for the authorized purposes of the project during the period of performance, or until the property is no longer needed for the purposes of the project.
(2) Not encumber the property without approval of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity.
(3) Use and dispose of the property in accordance with paragraphs (b), (c), and (e) of this section.
(b) General. A state must use, manage and dispose of equipment acquired under a Federal award by the state in accordance with state laws and procedures. Other non-Federal entities must follow paragraphs (c) through (e) of this section.
(1) Equipment must be used by the non-Federal entity in the program or project for which it was acquired as long as needed, whether or not the project or program continues to be supported by the Federal award, and the non-Federal entity must not encumber the property without prior approval of the Federal awarding agency. The Federal awarding agency may require the submission of the applicable common form for equipment. When no longer needed for the original program or project, the equipment may be used in other activities supported by the Federal awarding agency, in the following order of priority:
(i) Activities under a Federal award from the Federal awarding agency which funded the original program or project, then
(ii) Activities under Federal awards from other Federal awarding agencies. This includes consolidated equipment for information technology systems.
(2) During the time that equipment is used on the project or program for which it was acquired, the non-Federal entity must also make equipment available for use on other projects or programs currently or previously supported by the Federal Government, provided that such use will not interfere with the work on the projects or program for which it was originally acquired. First preference for other use must be given to other programs or projects supported by Federal awarding agency that financed the equipment and second preference must be given to programs or projects under Federal awards from other Federal awarding agencies. Use for non-federally-funded programs or projects is also permissible. User fees should be considered if appropriate.
(3) Notwithstanding the encouragement in § 200.307 to earn program income, the non-Federal entity must not use equipment acquired with the Federal award to provide services for a fee that is less than private companies charge for equivalent services unless specifically authorized by Federal statute for as long as the Federal Government retains an interest in the equipment.
(4) When acquiring replacement equipment, the non-Federal entity may use the equipment to be replaced as a trade-in or sell the property and use the proceeds to offset the cost of the replacement property.
(d) Management requirements. Procedures for managing equipment (including replacement equipment), whether acquired in whole or in part under a Federal award, until disposition takes place will, as a minimum, meet the following requirements:
(1) Property records must be maintained that include a description of the property, a serial number or other identification number, the source of funding for the property (including the FAIN), who holds title, the acquisition date, and cost of the property, percentage of Federal participation in the project costs for the Federal award under which the property was acquired, the location, use and condition of the property, and any ultimate disposition data including the date of disposal and sale price of the property.
(2) A physical inventory of the property must be taken and the results reconciled with the property records at least once every two years.
(3) A control system must be developed to ensure adequate safeguards to prevent loss, damage, or theft of the property. Any loss, damage, or theft must be investigated.
(4) Adequate maintenance procedures must be developed to keep the property in good condition.
(5) If the non-Federal entity is authorized or required to sell the property, proper sales procedures must be established to ensure the highest possible return.
(e) Disposition. When original or replacement equipment acquired under a Federal award is no longer needed for the original project or program or for other activities currently or previously supported by a Federal awarding agency, except as otherwise provided in Federal statutes, regulations, or Federal awarding agency disposition instructions, the non-Federal entity must request disposition instructions from the Federal awarding agency if required by the terms and conditions of the Federal award. Disposition of the equipment will be made as follows, in accordance with Federal awarding agency disposition instructions:
(1) Items of equipment with a current per unit fair market value of $5,000 or less may be retained, sold or otherwise disposed of with no further responsibility to the Federal awarding agency.
(2) Except as provided in § 200.312(b), or if the Federal awarding agency fails to provide requested disposition instructions within 120 days, items of equipment with a current per-unit fair market value in excess of $5,000 may be retained by the non-Federal entity or sold. The Federal awarding agency is entitled to an amount calculated by multiplying the current market value or proceeds from sale by the Federal awarding agency’s percentage of participation in the cost of the original purchase. If the equipment is sold, the Federal awarding agency may permit the non-Federal entity to deduct and retain from the Federal share $500 or ten percent of the proceeds, whichever is less, for its selling and handling expenses.
(3) The non-Federal entity may transfer title to the property to the Federal Government or to an eligible third party provided that, in such cases, the non-Federal entity must be entitled to compensation for its attributable percentage of the current fair market value of the property.
(4) In cases where a non-Federal entity fails to take appropriate disposition actions, the Federal awarding agency may direct the non-Federal entity to take disposition actions.
|Procurements by States|
2 CFR § 200.317
|When procuring property and services under a Federal award, a State must follow the same policies and procedures it uses for procurements from its non-Federal funds. The State will comply with §§ 200.321, 200.322, and 200.323 and ensure that every purchase order or other contract includes any clauses required by § 200.327. All other non-Federal entities, including subrecipients of a State, must follow the procurement standards in §§ 200.318 through 200.327.|
|General procurement standards|
2 C.F.R §200.318
|(a) The non-Federal entity must have and use documented procurement procedures, consistent with State, local, and tribal laws and regulations and the standards of this section, for the acquisition of property or services required under a Federal award or subaward. The non-Federal entity’s documented procurement procedures must conform to the procurement standards identified in 200.317 through 200.327. |
(b) Non-Federal entities must maintain oversight to ensure that contractors perform in accordance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of their contracts or purchase orders.
(1) The non-Federal entity must maintain written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing the actions of its employees engaged in the selection, award and administration of contracts. No employee, officer, or agent may participate in the selection, award, or administration of a contract supported by a Federal award if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest. Such a conflict of interest would arise when the employee, officer, or agent, any member of his or her immediate family, his or her partner, or an organization which employs or is about to employ any of the parties indicated herein, has a financial or other interest in or a tangible personal benefit from a firm considered for a contract. The officers, employees, and agents of the non-Federal entity may neither solicit nor accept gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors or parties to subcontracts. However, non-Federal entities may set standards for situations in which the financial interest is not substantial or the gift is an unsolicited item of nominal value. The standards of conduct must provide for disciplinary actions to be applied for violations of such standards by officers, employees, or agents of the non-Federal entity.
(2) If the non-Federal entity has a parent, affiliate, or subsidiary organization that is not a State, local government, or Indian tribe, the non-Federal entity must also maintain written standards of conduct covering organizational conflicts of interest. Organizational conflicts of interest means that because of relationships with a parent company, affiliate, or subsidiary organization, the non-Federal entity is unable or appears to be unable to be impartial in conducting a procurement action involving a related organization.
(d) The non-Federal entity’s procedures must avoid acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. Consideration should be given to consolidating or breaking out procurements to obtain a more economical purchase. Where appropriate, an analysis will be made of lease versus purchase alternatives, and any other appropriate analysis to determine the most economical approach.
2 C.F.R. 200.319
|(a) All procurement transactions for the acquisition of property or services required under a Federal award must be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with the standards of this section and § 200.320. |
(b) In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for such procurements. Some of the situations considered to be restrictive of competition include but are not limited to:
(1) Placing unreasonable requirements on firms in order for them to qualify to do business;
(2) Requiring unnecessary experience and excessive bonding;
(3) Noncompetitive pricing practices between firms or between affiliated companies;
(4) Noncompetitive contracts to consultants that are on retainer contracts;
(5) Organizational conflicts of interest;
(6) Specifying only a “brand name” product instead of allowing “an equal” product to be offered and describing the performance or other relevant requirements of the procurement; and
(7) Any arbitrary action in the procurement process.
(c) The non-Federal entity must conduct procurements in a manner that prohibits the use of statutorily or administratively imposed state, local, or tribal geographical preferences in the evaluation of bids or proposals, except in those cases where applicable Federal statutes expressly mandate or encourage geographic preference. Nothing in this section preempts state licensing laws. When contracting for architectural and engineering (A/E) services, geographic location may be a selection criterion provided its application leaves an appropriate number of qualified firms, given the nature and size of the project, to compete for the contract.
(d) The non-Federal entity must have written procedures for procurement transactions. These procedures must ensure that all solicitations:
(1) Incorporate a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for the material, product, or service to be procured. Such description must not, in competitive procurements, contain features which unduly restrict competition. The description may include a statement of the qualitative nature of the material, product or service to be procured and, when necessary, must set forth those minimum essential characteristics and standards to which it must conform if it is to satisfy its intended use. Detailed product specifications should be avoided if at all possible. When it is impractical or uneconomical to make a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements, a “brand name or equivalent” description may be used as a means to define the performance or other salient requirements of procurement. The specific features of the named brand which must be met by offers must be clearly stated; and
(2) Identify all requirements which the offerors must fulfill and all other factors to be used in evaluating bids or proposals.
(e) The non-Federal entity must ensure that all prequalified lists of persons, firms, or products which are used in acquiring goods and services are current and include enough qualified sources to ensure maximum open and free competition. Also, the non-Federal entity must not preclude potential bidders from qualifying during the solicitation period.
(f) Noncompetitive procurements can only be awarded in accordance with § 200.320(c).
|Methods of procurement to be followed 2 CFR § 200.320|
|The non-Federal entity must have and use documented procurement procedures, consistent with the standards of this section and §§ 200.317, 200.318, and 200.319 for any of the following methods of procurement used for the acquisition of property or services required under a Federal award or sub-award. |
(a) Informal procurement methods. When the value of the procurement for property or services under a Federal award does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT), as defined in § 200.1, or a lower threshold established by a non-Federal entity, formal procurement methods are not required. The non-Federal entity may use informal procurement methods to expedite the completion of its transactions and minimize the associated administrative burden and cost. The informal methods used for procurement of property or services at or below the SAT include:
(1) Micro-purchases –
(i) Distribution. The acquisition of supplies or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold (See the definition of micro-purchase in § 200.1). To the maximum extent practicable, the non-Federal entity should distribute micro-purchases equitably among qualified suppliers.
(ii) Micro-purchase awards. Micro-purchases may be awarded without soliciting competitive price or rate quotations if the non-Federal entity considers the price to be reasonable based on research, experience, purchase history or other information and documents it files accordingly. Purchase cards can be used for micro-purchases if procedures are documented and approved by the non-Federal entity.
(iii) Micro-purchase thresholds. The non-Federal entity is responsible for determining and documenting an appropriate micro-purchase threshold based on internal controls, an evaluation of risk, and its documented procurement procedures. The micro-purchase threshold used by the non-Federal entity must be authorized or not prohibited under State, local, or tribal laws or regulations. Non-Federal entities may establish a threshold higher than the Federal threshold established in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) in accordance with paragraphs (a)(1)
(iv) and (v) of this section. (iv) Non-Federal entity increase to the micro-purchase threshold up to $50,000. Non-Federal entities may establish a threshold higher than the micro-purchase threshold identified in the FAR in accordance with the requirements of this section. The non-Federal entity may self-certify a threshold up to $50,000 on an annual basis and must maintain documentation to be made available to the Federal awarding agency and auditors in accordance with § 200.334. The self-certification must include a justification, clear identification of the threshold, and supporting documentation of any of the following:
(A) A qualification as a low-risk auditee, in accordance with the criteria in § 200.520 for the most recent audit;
(B) An annual internal institutional risk assessment to identify, mitigate, and manage financial risks; or,
(C) For public institutions, a higher threshold consistent with State law.
(v) Non-Federal entity increase to the micro-purchase threshold over $50,000. Micro-purchase thresholds higher than $50,000 must be approved by the cognizant agency for indirect costs. The non-federal entity must submit a request with the requirements included in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section. The increased threshold is valid until there is a change in status in which the justification was approved.
(2) Small purchases –
(i) Small purchase procedures. The acquisition of property or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which is higher than the micro-purchase threshold but does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. If small purchase procedures are used, price or rate quotations must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources as determined appropriate by the non-Federal entity.
(ii) Simplified acquisition thresholds. The non-Federal entity is responsible for determining an appropriate simplified acquisition threshold based on internal controls, an evaluation of risk and its documented procurement procedures which must not exceed the threshold established in the FAR. When applicable, a lower simplified acquisition threshold used by the non-Federal entity must be authorized or not prohibited under State, local, or tribal laws or regulations.
(b) Formal procurement methods. When the value of the procurement for property or services under a Federal financial assistance award exceeds the SAT, or a lower threshold established by a non-Federal entity, formal procurement methods are required. Formal procurement methods require following documented procedures. Formal procurement methods also require public advertising unless a non-competitive procurement can be used in accordance with § 200.319 or paragraph (c) of this section. The following formal methods of procurement are used for procurement of property or services above the simplified acquisition threshold or a value below the simplified acquisition threshold the non-Federal entity determines to be appropriate:
(1) Sealed bids. A procurement method in which bids are publicly solicited and a firm fixed-price contract (lump sum or unit price) is awarded to the responsible bidder whose bid, conforming with all the material terms and conditions of the invitation for bids, is the lowest in price. The sealed bids method is the preferred method for procuring construction, if the conditions.
(i) In order for sealed bidding to be feasible, the following conditions should be present:
(A) A complete, adequate, and realistic specification or purchase description is available;
(B) Two or more responsible bidders are willing and able to compete effectively for the business; and
(C) The procurement lends itself to a firm fixed price contract and the selection of the successful bidder can be made principally on the basis of price.
(ii) If sealed bids are used, the following requirements apply:
(A) Bids must be solicited from an adequate number of qualified sources, providing them sufficient response time prior to the date set for opening the bids, for local, and tribal governments, the invitation for bids must be publicly advertised;
(B) The invitation for bids, which will include any specifications and pertinent attachments, must define the items or services in order for the bidder to properly respond;
(C) All bids will be opened at the time and place prescribed in the invitation for bids, and for local and tribal governments, the bids must be opened publicly;
(D) A firm fixed price contract award will be made in writing to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Where specified in bidding documents, factors such as discounts, transportation cost, and life cycle costs must be considered in determining which bid is lowest. Payment discounts will only be used to determine the low bid when prior experience indicates that such discounts are usually taken advantage of; and
(E) Any or all bids may be rejected if there is a sound documented reason.
(2) Proposals. A procurement method in which either a fixed price or cost-reimbursement type contract is awarded. Proposals are generally used when conditions are not appropriate for the use of sealed bids. They are awarded in accordance with the following requirements:
(i) Requests for proposals must be publicized and identify all evaluation factors and their relative importance. Proposals must be solicited from an adequate number of qualified offerors. Any response to publicized requests for proposals must be considered to the maximum extent practical;
(ii) The non-Federal entity must have a written method for conducting technical evaluations of the proposals received and making selections;
(iii) Contracts must be awarded to the responsible offeror whose proposal is most advantageous to the non-Federal entity, with price and other factors considered; and
(iv) The non-Federal entity may use competitive proposal procedures for qualifications-based procurement of architectural/engineering (A/E) professional services whereby offeror’s qualifications are evaluated and the most qualified offeror is selected, subject to negotiation of fair and reasonable compensation. The method, where price is not used as a selection factor, can only be used in procurement of A/E professional services. It cannot be used to purchase other types of services though A/E firms that are a potential source to perform the proposed effort.
(c) Noncompetitive procurement. There are specific circumstances in which noncompetitive procurement can be used. Noncompetitive procurement can only be awarded if one or more of the following circumstances apply:
(1) The acquisition of property or services, the aggregate dollar amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold (see paragraph (a)(1) of this section);
(2) The item is available only from a single source;
(3) The public exigency or emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay resulting from publicizing a competitive solicitation;
(4) The Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity expressly authorizes a noncompetitive procurement in response to a written request from the non-Federal entity; or
(5) After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined inadequate.
|Contracting with small and minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms. 2 CFR § 200.321|
|(a) The non-Federal entity must take all necessary affirmative steps to assure that minority businesses, women’s business enterprises, and labor surplus area firms are used when possible. |
(b) Affirmative steps must include:
(1) Placing qualified small and minority businesses and women’s business enterprises on solicitation lists;
(2) Assuring that small and minority businesses, and women’s business enterprises are solicited whenever they are potential sources;
(3) Dividing total requirements, when economically feasible, into smaller tasks or quantities to permit maximum participation by small and minority businesses, and women’s business enterprises;
(4) Establishing delivery schedules, where the requirement permits, which encourage participation by small and minority businesses, and women’s business enterprises;
(5) Using the services and assistance, as appropriate, of such organizations as the Small Business Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce; and
(6) Requiring the prime contractor, if subcontracts are to be let, to take the affirmative steps listed in paragraphs (b)(1) through (5) of this section.
|Domestic preferences for procurements 2 CFR § 200.322|
|(a) As appropriate and to the extent consistent with law, the non-Federal entity should, to the greatest extent practicable under a Federal award, provide a preference for the purchase, acquisition, or use of goods, products, or materials produced in the United States (including but not limited to iron, aluminum, steel, cement, and other manufactured products). The requirements of this section must be included in all subawards including all contracts and purchase orders for work or products under this award. |
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Produced in the United States” means, for iron and steel products, that all manufacturing processes, from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, occurred in the United States.
(2) “Manufactured products” means items and construction materials composed in whole or in part of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum; plastics and polymer-based products such as polyvinyl chloride pipe; aggregates such as concrete; glass, including optical fiber; and lumber.
|Procurement of recovered materials 2CFR § 200.323|
|A non-Federal entity that is a state agency or agency of a political subdivision of a state and its contractors must comply with section 6002 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The requirements of Section 6002 include procuring only items designated in guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 40 CFR part 247 that contain the highest percentage of recovered materials practicable, consistent with maintaining a satisfactory level of competition, where the purchase price of the item exceeds $10,000 or the value of the quantity acquired during the preceding fiscal year exceeded $10,000; procuring solid waste management services in a manner that maximizes energy and resource recovery; and establishing an affirmative procurement program for procurement of recovered materials identified in the EPA guidelines.|
|Contract cost and price 2CFR § 200.324|
|(a) The non-Federal entity must perform a cost or price analysis in connection with every procurement action in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold including contract modifications. The method and degree of analysis is dependent on the facts surrounding the particular procurement situation, but as a starting point, the non-Federal entity must make independent estimates before receiving bids or proposals. |
(b) The non-Federal entity must negotiate profit as a separate element of the price for each contract in which there is no price competition and in all cases where cost analysis is performed. To establish a fair and reasonable profit, consideration must be given to the complexity of the work to be performed, the risk borne by the contractor, the contractor’s investment, the amount of subcontracting, the quality of its record of past performance, and industry profit rates in the surrounding geographical area for similar work.
(c) Costs or prices based on estimated costs for contracts under the Federal award are allowable only to the extent that costs incurred or cost estimates included in negotiated prices would be allowable for the non-Federal entity under subpart E of this part. The non-Federal entity may reference its own cost principles that comply with the Federal cost principles.
(d) The cost plus a percentage of cost and percentage of construction cost methods of contracting must not be used.
|Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity review 2CFR § 200.325|
|(a) The non-Federal entity must make available, upon request of the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity, technical specifications on proposed procurements where the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity believes such review is needed to ensure that the item or service specified is the one being proposed for acquisition. This review generally will take place prior to the time the specification is incorporated into a solicitation document. However, if the non-Federal entity desires to have the review accomplished after a solicitation has been developed, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity may still review the specifications, with such review usually limited to the technical aspects of the proposed purchase. |
(b) The non-Federal entity must make available upon request, for the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity pre-procurement review, procurement documents, such as requests for proposals or invitations for bids, or independent cost estimates, when:
(1) The non-Federal entity’s procurement procedures or operation fails to comply with the procurement standards in this part;
(2) The procurement is expected to exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and is to be awarded without competition or only one bid or offer is received in response to a solicitation;
(3) The procurement, which is expected to exceed the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, specifies a “brand name” product;
(4) The proposed contract is more than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold and is to be awarded to other than the apparent low bidder under a sealed bid procurement; or
(5) A proposed contract modification changes the scope of a contract or increases the contract amount by more than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold.
(c) The non-Federal entity is exempt from the pre-procurement review in paragraph (b) of this section if the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity determines that its procurement systems comply with the standards of this part.
(1) The non-Federal entity may request that its procurement system be reviewed by the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity to determine whether its system meets these standards in order for its system to be certified. Generally, these reviews must occur where there is continuous high-dollar funding, and third-party contracts are awarded on a regular basis;
(2) The non-Federal entity may self-certify its procurement system. Such self-certification must not limit the Federal awarding agency’s right to survey the system. Under a self-certification procedure, the Federal awarding agency may rely on written assurances from the non-Federal entity that it is complying with these standards. The non-Federal entity must cite specific policies, procedures, regulations, or standards as being in compliance with these requirements and have its system available for review.
2CFR § 200.326
|For construction or facility improvement contracts or sub contracts exceeding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity may accept the bonding policy and requirements of the non-Federal entity provided that the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity has made a determination that the Federal interest is adequately protected. If such a determination has not been made, the minimum requirements must be as follows: |
(a) A bid guarantee from each bidder equivalent to five percent of the bid price. The “bid guarantee” must consist of a firm commitment such as a bid bond, certified check, or other negotiable instrument accompanying a bid as assurance that the bidder will, upon acceptance of the bid, execute such contractual documents as may be required within the time specified.
(b) A performance bond on the part of the contractor for 100 percent of the contract price. A “performance bond” is one executed in connection with a contract to secure fulfillment of all the contractor’s requirements under such contract.
(c) A payment bond on the part of the contractor for 100 percent of the contract price. A “payment bond” is one executed in connection with a contract to assure payment as required by law of all persons supplying labor and material in the execution of the work provided for in the contract.
|Subrecipient and contractor determinations|
2CFR § 200.331
|The non-Federal entity may concurrently receive Federal awards as a recipient, a subrecipient, and a contractor, depending on the substance of its agreements with Federal awarding agencies and pass-through entities. Therefore, a pass-through entity must make case-by-case determinations whether each agreement it makes for the disbursement of Federal program funds casts the party receiving the funds in the role of a subrecipient or a contractor. The Federal awarding agency may supply and require recipients to comply with additional guidance to support these determinations provided such guidance does not conflict with this section. |
(a) Subrecipients. A subaward is for the purpose of carrying out a portion of a Federal award and creates a Federal assistance relationship with the subrecipient. See definition for Subaward in § 200.1 of this part. Characteristics which support the classification of the non-Federal entity as a subrecipient include when the non-Federal entity:
(1) Determines who is eligible to receive what Federal assistance;
(2) Has its performance measured in relation to whether objectives of a Federal program were met;
(3) Has responsibility for programmatic decision-making;
(4) Is responsible for adherence to applicable Federal program requirements specified in the Federal award; and
(5) In accordance with its agreement, uses the Federal funds to carry out a program for a public purpose specified in authorizing statute, as opposed to providing goods or services for the benefit of the pass-through entity.
(b) Contractors. A contract is for the purpose of obtaining goods and services for the non-Federal entity’s own use and creates a procurement relationship with the contractor. See the definition of contract in § 200.1 of this part. Characteristics indicative of a procurement relationship between the non-Federal entity and a contractor are when the contractor:
(1) Provides the goods and services within normal business operations;
(2) Provides similar goods or services to many different purchasers;
(3) Normally operates in a competitive environment;
(4) Provides goods or services that are ancillary to the operation of the Federal program; and
(5) Is not subject to compliance requirements of the Federal program as a result of the agreement, though similar requirements may apply for other reasons.
(c) Use of judgment in making determination. In determining whether an agreement between a pass-through entity and another non-Federal entity casts the latter as a subrecipient or a contractor, the substance of the relationship is more important than the form of the agreement. All of the characteristics listed above may not be present in all cases, and the pass-through entity must use judgment in classifying each agreement as a subaward or a procurement contract.
All procurement transactions must be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with 2 C.F.R §200.319. In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for such procurements. Some of the situations considered to be restrictive of competition include, but are not limited to:
- Placing unreasonable requirements on firms in order for them to qualify to do business;
- Requiring unnecessary experience and excessive bonding;
- Noncompetitive pricing practices between firms or between affiliated companies;
- Noncompetitive contracts to consultants that are on retainer contracts;
- Organizational conflicts of interest;
- Specifying only a “brand name” product instead of allowing “an equal” product to be offered and describing the performance or other relevant requirements of the procurement; and
- Any arbitrary action in the procurement process.
The College avoids the acquisition of unnecessary or duplicative items. Additionally, consideration is given to consolidating or breaking out procurements to obtain a more economical purchase. And, where appropriate, an analysis must be made of leases versus purchase alternatives, and another other appropriate analysis to determine the most economical approach. 2 C.F.R §200.318(d).
The College conducts procurements in a manner that prohibits the use of statutorily or administratively imposed state, local, or tribal geographical preferences in the evaluation of bids or proposals, except in those cases where applicable federal statutes expressly mandate or encourage geographic preference. When contracting for architectural and engineering (A/E) services, geographic location may be a selection criterion provided its application leaves an appropriate number of qualified firms, given the nature and size of the project, to compete for the contract.
Step 1: Determining Whether Purchasing from a Vendor, Partner, Subgrantee (aka Subrecipient)
- When awarded a contract or grant, the Project Director needs to carefully review both the application guidelines and the approved award package. Both documents list the regulations appropriate for that specific award. Items the Project Director needs to look for include, but are not limited to the following:
- Is the procurement using funds that come to the College directly from a federal agency (e.g., USDE) or through a State Agency (e.g., FLDOE)?
- Are there any unique additional procurement requirements (e.g., additional attestations required or additional steps in the procurement process required)?
- Is the College required to use federal funds to pay a specific company? If so, the Office of the General Counsel needs to determine if that company meets the federal definition of a partner, subgrantee, or vendor.
This table helps identify the different participants (see 2 C.F.R. §200.331)
|Will the agency/company:||Partner Subgrantee Subrecipient *||Vendor**|
|Determine who is eligible to receive what federal financial assistance?||Yes||No|
|Have its performance measured against whether the objectives of the Federal Program are met?||Yes||No|
|Have the responsibility for programmatic decision making?||Yes||No|
|Have the responsibility to adhere to applicable Federal Program compliance requirements?||Yes||No|
|Use the Federal Funds to carry out a program of the organization as compared to providing goods and services for a program of the pass- through entity?||Yes||No|
|Provide goods or services within normal business operations?||No||Yes|
|Provide similar goods/services to many clients and operates in a competitive environment?||No||Yes|
*Note: SF is not required to solicit bids or proposals for a partner, subgrantee, or subrecipient unless required by the grant.
**Note: SF is required to solicit competitive proposals and bids if the participant is a vendor and the amounts meet the dollar thresholds which follow.
Step 2: Doing Business with a Vendor when Utilizing Federal/State Grants
Check 2 CFR 200.319, 2 CFR 200.320 for methods for procurement and the new procurement thresholds for micro purchases
- If doing business with a vendor, the Project Director needs to enter an online E-Staff requisition to fund the approximate cost of the purchase. The department may enter a “suggested vendor” into the requisition. The Project Director must use due diligence to either secure additional quotes (if there is a cost of $3,500-$35,000) or arrange with the Purchasing Department to do a formal solicitation (for expected costs over $35,000).
- When the Purchasing Department receives the requisition, the Purchasing Department will review the request to determine if further action is needed. The Project Director and Purchasing will determine if a formal solicitation needs to be prepared, if the purchase can be piggybacked, if a cooperative may be utilized, or if the vendor is a sole source. Sole sourcing is only permitted when one or more of the following circumstances apply:
- The item is available only from a single source;
- The public exigency or emergency for the requirement will not permit a delay resulting from competitive solicitation;
- The federal awarding agency or pass-through entity expressly authorizes noncompetitive proposals in response to a written request from the District; or
- After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined inadequate. 2 C.F.R. §200.320(f).
If a cooperative is used or if a contract is piggybacked, Purchasing will need to explore if the suggested company has won a publicly solicited contract for the exact same good or service with any form of federal agency, state agency, city, municipality, school board, public college or public university.1
2.2.1 If yes, the Purchasing Director requires a copy of that agencies solicitation, tabulation sheet, and resultant contract to confirm its use is not restricted to just that agency (e.g., GSA) and that the grant does not place any exceptions on using other competitive solicitations issued by another governmental agency.
The table below summarizes quoting and bidding thresholds required by Federal and State Grants, Statute, and Board Rules.
|Purchase Value||< $3500||$3,500- $35,000||$35,000 – $324,999||$350,000 or more|
|Number of informal quotes required*||1||3||Formal Solicitation||Formal Solicitation|
|Are formal sealed bids and proposals required?**||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Board of Trustees Approval||No||No||No||Yes|
* NOTE: To be done by the end user department (with Purchasing Department help, if necessary).
** NOTE: Purchasing MUST provide this process.
Step 3: Doing Business with a Contractor or Consultant
- If doing business with an individual contractor or consultant, the Project Director needs to obtain signatory approval from the relevant Vice President on the Contract for Personal Professional Services form. This form is found on the Purchasing website. The above spend thresholds apply to these services as well when using federal funds.
- The original signed agreement must be submitted to the Purchasing Department when the requisition is submitted. The Project Director should keep a copy, and the contractor should keep a copy, as well. The agreement is not valid until an accompanying purchase order is issued as well.
The Project Director must ensure that the contractor or consultant becomes a vendor of SF, if they are not already a vendor. Information on becoming a vendor is located on the Purchasing Department’s website.
- Level of Authority for signing (approving) Agreements for Services:
- Agreements with a company or organization
- $325,000 or less may be signed by SF’s Purchasing Director
- Over $325,000 shall be presented to the Board for approval as a special agenda item.
- Agreements with individuals
- $35,000 or less are signed by the Project Director and related College Vice President
- Over $35,000 shall be presented to the Board for approval as a special agenda item.
- Agreements with a company or organization
- The Project Director maintains oversight to ensure that contractors perform in accordance with the terms, conditions, and specifications of their contracts or purchase orders. 2 C.F.R. § 200.318(b).
Step 4: Meeting Additional Requirements
This table shows additional requirements that might be applicable to your federally funded project.
|#||Category/Requirements of UGG||$ Threshold|
|1||Advertising for recruitment using federal funds requires specific language to be included in any print or any media (e.g., funded by the US Dept. of Labor).||At any amount|
|2||Research and verify the vendor is not on a Federal Excluded Parties List (print a copy verifying this for the PO file). This can be researched at sam.gov. 2 C.F.R. Part 200, Appendix II(1) and 2 C.F.R. §§ 180.220 and 180.300.||At any amount|
|3||Compel vendor to attest to compliance with federal attestation requirements (when applicable – e.g., Davis Bacon Act/ Copeland Anti- Kick Back Act, Executive Order 11246 – Equal Opportunity Act, etc.).||> $2,000|
|4||Maintain a record detailing the history of the procurement that documents the rationale used for the solicitation and contract type, as well as how we the price base was determined to be fair and reasonable.||At any amount|
|5||Although when using state funds, the college can exempt certain types of purchases (e.g., IT systems and equipment, copyrighted items, and sole source items), there may be no such exemptions identified when using federal funds.||> $3,500|