Purchasing Goods and Services

Category: Governance
Number: GOV-010-035
Audience: All University Employees
Issued: December 08, 2015
Owner(s): VP (Administration)
Approved by: Board of Governors
Contact: Executive Director, University Governance 306-585-5545


This policy applies to all University of Regina employees. It sets out policies and processes for purchasing goods and services on behalf of the University of Regina (the University).

Its purpose is to help employees and the University account for the public funds they use to conduct the business of the University and to establish a University-wide process for the purchase of goods and services based on the following fundamental principles:

  • Open, effective and transparent competition;
  • Best overall value for money disbursed;
  • Enhancing the capabilities of local business and industry;
  • Environmental protection and sustainability; and
  • Ethical behavior and fair dealing.


RFx – An omnibus acronym for any or all of the following tender documents: request for information (RFI), request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ), request for tender (RFT) and request for expression of interest (RFEOI).


All University employees, whether faculty or staff, must understand the University’s purchasing framework before they purchase goods and services with University funds.

Employees must:

  • Make purchasing decisions that comply with University policy and that the University can support and account for in its reporting and audit frameworks;
  • Have the necessary purchasing authority and/or obtain the necessary approvals to make purchases;
  • Use the appropriate purchasing process for the goods or services being purchased; and,
  • Not use University funds for inappropriate purchases or personal purchases.


The University’s Purchasing Framework

Supply Management Services (SMS) is responsible for providing professional guidance and oversight of all purchases of goods and services that are paid for by University funds. 

SMS is responsible for ensuring the University’s purchasing practices:

  • Align with the resolutions and policies of the University and its Board of Governors;
  • Occur through a competitive bid process that is publicly accountable, ethical, fair, open, transparent, timely and efficient;
  • Comply with all relevant legislation and the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) Code of Ethics, as well as the provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) and the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWP); and,
  • Acquire goods and services that provide the best value for the University.

All contractual agreements to purchase goods and services must be approved and executed in accordance with policy GOV-010-005 – Approval Authorities and Execution of Documents. All contracts awarded for goods and services must be appropriately negotiated, maintained and stored.  The overall oversight and management of these systems are guided by SMS as the University’s senior procurement office and it is the office of record for purchasing. 

To procure goods and services on behalf of SMS within the University’s purchasing framework, the following units are the only ones authorized to act:

  • For goods purchased for resale: the University Bookstore;
  • For acquisitions of library materials: the University Library; and,
  • For the acquisition of land, planning, design, construction, maintenance, operations, and decommissioning of all facilities and infrastructure, and the purchase of utilities: Facilities Management.

Purchasing Decision

Before employees decide to purchase goods and services, they must clearly identify the University’s need for the goods or services, consider all probable solutions, and check the University’s inventory supply and University-wide contracts for solutions already in place.  These actions can be assisted by early interaction with SMS.

When employees select goods and services for purchase, they must work with SMS to determine the best value for the University, (see Purchasing Process below).

Employees cannot split purchases in order to avoid the need for a higher level of approval to purchase, i.e., split what should be a single purchase or contract into two or more contracts each of which is below the relevant purchasing threshold. This could be construed as fraud.

Single and Sole Source Purchasing Requests

For any goods or services considered to be single or sole source purchases exceeding $3,500.00 (as outlined in the Purchasing Process), the engagement and purchase requires the explicit prior approval of SMS . Single and sole source requests are initiated by way of a completed Competitive Bid Exception (CBE) Form. (http://www.uregina.ca/fs/sms/for-faculty-staff/sole-sourcing.html)

Purchasing Authority

Employees must have the appropriate purchasing and commitment authority before they may purchase goods and services with University funds and commit the University to a contract. See GOV-010-005 – Approval Authorities and Execution of Documents.

Purchasing Process

Employees must adhere to the following monetary thresholds when purchasing goods and services for the University:

  • ≤$3,500 - A University purchasing card may be used to purchase goods and non-contract services that have an estimated cost less than $3,500 Canadian (including taxes and shipping). These purchases do not require a Proponent submission. See OPS-020-010 - Purchasing Cards for policies and processes specific to purchasing cards.
  • >$3,500 to ≤$10,000 - An informal request for quote is required to purchase goods and non-contracted services that have an estimated cost between $3,501 and $10,000 Canadian (estimated cost, including taxes and shipping). The request for quote may be a telephone call or e-mail request. Departments and Faculties may issue the request for quote, after engaging with SMS. These purchases require a minimum of two informal Proponent submissions.
  • >$10,000 - A competitive bid process is required to purchase goods and services with an estimated cost of more than $10,000. Purchases over $10,000 but less than $50,000 require a minimum of two formal submissions. Purchases over $50,000 require a minimum of three formal submissions. 

Proponent Requirements to Participate in a Competitive Bid Process

  • In some cases, Proponents must be pre-qualified or demonstrate their qualifications to the satisfaction of the University to participate in the competitive bid process before they may receive the tender documents. To request qualification, Proponents must complete the University’s Request for Qualification form. (http://www.uregina.ca/fs/sms/assets/docs/doc/qualify.doc). Once they are qualified, Proponents will be added to the Proponent list for future tenders.
  • Proponents’ submissions will not be considered if they are conveyed orally, received after the submission closing time and date, missing any of the requirements listed in the tender document, or considered not legible.
  • Any revisions, deletions, substitutions or additions to a tender document must be managed by SMS or Facilities Management (for Construction or Renovation Projects).
  • Proponents will be advised in writing of the results of the competitive bid process.
  • All terms and conditions of bids, contracts and purchases relating to Proponents are confidential and must not be disclosed.
  • There must not be any financial or personal interest, direct or indirect, in any transaction made with any authorized Proponent. All employees with purchasing authority must disclose any personal material interest in a tender or a Proponent and withdraw from the decision-making process. See GOV-022-010 – Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment.

Roles and Responsibilities

University Leadership Team

Vice President (Administration)

  • Ensures purchasing policy is current and correct; and,
  • Monitors and measures the value and success of the purchase of goods and services needed to conduct business of the University.

Supply Management Services (Facilities Management for Construction and Renovation Projects)

  • Uses their procurement knowledge and expertise to work with the many University subject matter experts (expertise in the service, materials and equipment that they require) to coordinate procurement, in compliance to policy requirements, for the betterment of the University.
  • In a publicly accountable and transparent manner, negotiates and authorizes contractual terms and conditions, agreements and/or purchase orders with a Proponent for all goods and services required by the University;
  • In an accountable, fair and transparent manner, conducts all purchasing processes to mitigate any risk to the University;
  • Provides review and approval for all (including FM, Bookstore, and Library) single or sole source requests for goods or services by way of a completed Competitive Bid Exception (CBE) Form http://www.uregina.ca/fs/sms/for-faculty-staff/sole-sourcing.html ;
  • Supports University employees in the purchase of quality goods and services, and identifies possible cost reduction/saving opportunities and other pertinent purchasing techniques;
  • Forecasts long-term needs of goods and service requirements for the University, and oversees any long-term contracts put into place;
  • Issues any purchase orders for approved purchase requisitions;
  • Manages any damaged, rejected and/or surplus supplies, equipment or service;
  • Arranges for equipment to be tested by University employees;
  • Clears all Customs shipments, expedited deliveries, all claims for loss or damaged items in transit, and export documentation for returns (SMS only);
  • Manages the records retained to support the purchasing decisions made;
  • Designates SMS as the office of record for all contracts awarded by the University;
  • Works with External Relations when Proponents or potential Proponents to the University are to be solicited for donations; and
  • Provides ongoing education and training programs of the contents of purchasing policies and processes to University departments and faculty, including new hires.

University Faculty and Staff

  • Follow proper purchasing authority according to GOV-010-010 - Delegation of Authority, Senior Executive before making any purchasing decisions; and
  • Create, maintain and manage required records according to this policy and the processes as outlined for informal quotes and formal tenders.

Consequences for Noncompliance

Goods and services not purchased according to this policy are likely to compromise the fiscal integrity and reputation of the University. Any employee who fails to comply with this policy is subject to possible disciplinary action (up to and including termination) under University policy, the relevant collective agreement and employment contract, and applicable law.


Issuing an Informal Request for Quotation

An informal request for quotation is required for all purchases of goods or services over $3,500 and less than $10,000. 

Once the decision to purchase goods or services is made, all University employees will:

  1. Seek guidance from SMS as required.
  2. Issue the request for quote to possible Proponents. (An informal request for quote may be an e-mail or phone call to potential Proponents.)
  3. Obtain a minimum of two submissions (quotations).
  4. Evaluate Proponents’ submissions and select the Proponent who can deliver the best value solution.
  5. Complete a Purchasing Requisition in Banner and submit it to the appropriate purchasing authority for approval.
  6. Submit all Proponents’ submissions along with the rationale to support the purchasing decision that is made.
  7. SMS will process the purchase order, attach Proponents’ submissions to it, and file all the necessary paperwork. If a contract is required, SMS will develop and activate it.  SMS delegates this authority to Facilities Management for Construction/Renovation Projects.

Participating in a Formal Tender

A competitive bid process is required for purchases of goods and services over $10,000.

Once the decision to purchase is made, the employee will:

  1. Contact SMS (or in the case of construction or renovation,  Facilities Management)
  2. Work with SMS to prepare the tender documents and determine which Proponents will be invited to submit bids. Provide SMS with the following:
  • Project scope and contractual obligations, including place, date and delivery/completion timeframe;
  • Complete descriptions for all goods and/or services required (the deliverables);
  • Any known risks to the project;
  • Special obligations, including: identification of and relationship with third parties; formatting requirements; quality assurance procedures for work and service; incorporation of innovation; direct/indirect/operational costs; and financial, technical and managerial capacity;
  • An overview of the evaluation process for tender submissions, including evaluation criteria and weighted factors and how the Proponents will be measured for performance on the eventual contract; and,
  • The name of the contact person Proponents may contact for additional information.

      3.  Work with SMS to assess all Proponents’ submissions and select the Proponent who can deliver the best value solution.

      4.  Complete a Purchasing Requisition in Banner and submit it to the appropriate purchasing authority.

      5.  Ensure appropriate signatures authorize the contract.

      6.  Monitor compliance with contract deliverables, reporting to SMS immediately if there is an issue.

      7.  SMS will develop and activate the contract, process the purchase order, and coordinate and file all the necessary paperwork.

Receiving Goods and Services

All purchases of goods received and services rendered must be properly recorded for audit and accounting purposes. Employees who enter purchases of goods and services in Banner must attend a training session on receiving goods in Banner through the Technology Learning Centre.

Related Information