Procurement Policies

Pol-01   Authority and Responsibility

The College Board of Trustees, in the By Laws and Policies of the College, provides that the College President shall authorize the purchase of supplies, materials and services approved by the annual budget.  The College President has delegated the responsibility for procurement to the Assistant VP for Procurement in accordance with the policies and procedures herein.

Pol-02   Procurement Function

The centralized Procurement Department has the sole authority for issuing purchase orders for materials, supplies, contractual services and equipment for the College.   The Procurement Department seeks to: a) add value by working with its internal Customers to leverage market knowledge to provide insightful strategic frameworks relating to markets, commodities, sourcing, availabilities and costs, and b) provide all necessary tactical support through the procurement process.

The Procurement Department is responsible to:

  • make purchases in a timely manner
  • provide other services including locating and developing sources of supply, developing and assisting departments in developing specifications, soliciting bids, proposals and quotations, negotiating contracts, and managing suppliers
  • assure that the College complies with all applicable State and local procurement guidelines
  • assure that purchase order and contract terms and conditions are in the best interest of the College

The Procurement Department, guided by Maryland law, is charged with the responsibility of obtaining the greatest value and benefit for the College, in accordance with legal and ethical practices of the procurement profession. 

The Assistant VP for Procurement shall review all contracts and purchase orders, and its terms and conditions, prior to placement.  

Pol-03   Signature Authority for Purchase Contracts

The College’s Board of Trustees must approve any purchase in the amount of $75,000.00 and greater. Subject to having all prior approvals as documented in the College’s dollar hierarchy approval process, agreements may be signed by the College President or his Designee or the Assistant VP for Procurement.

Pol-04   Ethics and Code of Conduct

All employees, directly or indirectly involved in the acquisition of materials and services must conduct themselves in a manner that is beyond challenge or reproach. Following are examples of standards that are universally accepted by National Association of Educational Procurement and Institute for Supply Management. 

  • Avoid all personal business or professional activity that would create a conflict between personal interests and the interest of the College.
  • Decline personal gifts or gratuities.
  • Conduct business with potential and current suppliers in an atmosphere of good faith, devoid of intentional misrepresentations.
  • Demand honesty in sales representation whether offered through the medium of verbal or written statement, advertisement, or sample.
  • Accord a prompt and courteous reception insofar as conditions permit to all who call on legitimate business missions.

The College's ethics policy is accessible in the "Standard of Conduct and Behavior Procedures"  section of the HCC Human Resources Procedures Manual page 59-60. 

Pol-05   Supplier Diversity 

The College’s campus community accepts, appreciates and actively supports diversity.   Procurement is committed to promoting a base of suppliers and business partners that are highly representative of the customer.  The Customer includes students, faculty, local, State government, alumni, and corporate sponsors. Supplier diversity takes root as part of the procurement infrastructure and seeks to create an inclusive vendor pool for contracting, purchasing and outsourcing.

The principles of Supplier Diversity are as follows:

  • To leverage the procurement power of the College with the goal of creating a pool of suppliers that are highly representative of the customer
  • To advance equal economic opportunity aimed at increasing utilization of qualified minority and women owned suppliers
  • To ensure that opportunity is extended toward solicitation from a diverse pool of suppliers

Pol-06   Environmentally Preferred Purchasing

The College is committed to campus-wide environmental sustainability initiatives, in alignment with the College’s mission to teach and serve the community and to be accountable for the efficient and effective use of resources. Sustainable efforts should limit environmental harm, avoid overloading the earth’s ability to absorb and recover from damage, remove natural resources only as they can be naturally replaced, and allow for healthy continuation of life forms over a long period of time.

The College has a general preference for recycled and environmentally preferable products (EPP) at a competitive cost, including a policy for purchasing energy efficient products and equipment. The advantages of buying EPP include: creating new markets, reduces disposal of recyclables, convinces manufacturers to increase use of EPP materials, conserves resources and energy, and creates jobs and economic development opportunities.

Pol-07   Intergovernmental and Cooperative Purchasing

The College may utilize contracts generated by a unit of the Federal Government, State Government, State Entity, or a private purchasing cooperative organization established for the benefit of public entities.  These contracts must have been awarded as a result of a competitive process and have terms and conditions acceptable to the College.

State, county and private purchasing cooperatives have various pricing arrangements for goods and services.  These agreements allow for a quicker acquisition of commodities at competitive pricing.

Pol-08   Fixed Asset Identification

The purpose of identification is for the College to be able to track and locate its assets. Capital assets exceeding $1,000.00 are identified with a fixed asset tag upon receipt by the Distribution Services Department.  Items that are not movable do not require a fixed asset tag and the Distribution Services Department reserves the right to make this decision after discussion with the Finance Department. The Distribution Services Department is responsible for the initial identification and documentation.

Pol-09   Surplus Disposal

When equipment or other property is no longer required for its originally intended use, has reached the end of its lifecycle for the College, or otherwise is no longer required, it is considered surplus to the College. The Procurement Department has the responsibility to dispose of surplus in the best interest of the College.

Pol-10  Group Travel away from the College

Procurement will assist with group travel, generally more than three people.  Travel agencies may offer value and lower cost for larger groups.  A sponsoring organization may have negotiated the lowest cost travel and accommodations options for an event.  Each event shall be reviewed on a case by case basis.  

Pol-11 Vendor Protest

It is the policy of HCC that all actual or prospective bidders, respondents, offerors, or contractors that believe they have been aggrieved by the solicitation or award of a purchase order or a contract be offered administrative adjudication.

Any party that believes it is aggrieved should seek resolution of their complaints initially with the Assistant VP for Procurement. Such complaints must be submitted in writing.

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