Procurement Office > Frequently Asked Questions > State Purchasing

State Purchasing

I would like to place my own order for equipment/services. What do I have to do?
Employees of Stony Brook University, Stony Brook University Hospital, the Long Island State Veterans Home and any other University affiliated offices or departments are not authorized to purchase merchandise and/or request services from a vendor without the prior approval of the Procurement Office. Invoices submitted along with a purchase requisition "after the fact" as "payment purposes only" will not be accepted by the Procurement Office.

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I have a departmental emergency order for goods/services. How do I get this done ASAP?
If a campus department deems an order or service to be an emergency they must contact the Procurement Office for written authorization prior to purchasing the goods or initiating the emergency service. The Procurement Office staff is available weekdays from 08:00AM to 05:00PM to assist you in placing and expediting your emergency orders. Campus departments are also encouraged to apply for the State Corporate Procurement Visa Card to expedite the placement and receipt of emergency orders. For more information on the corporate card program please contact Debbie Santornino at (631) 632-6017.

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Can merchandise be shipped to an address other than that of the University?
All goods ordered for Stony Brook University, Stony Brook University Hospital, the Long Island State Veterans Home and any other University affiliated offices or departments must be shipped to the respective University receiving address. Under no circumstance are deliveries to be made to an address other than an official, University-related receiving address (i.e. Central Receiving, SBUH Receiving, LISVH Receiving, Brookhaven National Lab, VA Medical Center, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, etc). Payments and/or reimbursements will not be processed for items shipped to a home address unless the appropriate justification is included.

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Am I authorized to sign a contract/agreement so that a vendor will ship my goods and/or provide the service that I need?
Campus departments are not authorized to enter into agreements with perspective vendors by signing formal or informal vendor contracts. The Office of the President and the Procurement Office are the only authorized administrative offices that can enter the University into contractual agreements with perspective vendors. If you or your department plan to enter into a contractual agreement with a perspective vendor please have the appropriate department representative(s) review the contract for verification of technical terms and conditions and then forward the contract to the Procurement Office (attn: Mary La Corte) for review and final approval.
Individuals who enter into an agreement with a vendor to start providing goods or services on behalf of the University or whom intend to bind the University to financial commitments without prior authorization from the Procurement Office are in violation of State law and University policy. Individuals may be subject to the imposition of discipline and may be held personally liable for any indebtedness that is ultimately held to be owed to the contractor/vendor.

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How do I cancel an existing purchase order?
The authorized signatory on the account should send an email to the appropriate buyer requesting a full/partial cancellation of the purchase order.

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How do I arrange for the return of unwanted/damaged merchandise?
Contact the Procurement Office to:
  • Stop payment of an invoice for goods that have already been received.
  • Make arrangements with buyer for the return of merchandise and obtain a Return Authorization Number from vendor.
  • Contact Central Receiving for merchandise return and appropriate documentation.

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How do I increase/decrease the available funding on one of my current blanket purchase orders?
The authorized signatory on the account should send an email to the buyer, requesting an increase/decrease in purchase order funding. Be sure to include the following: the purchase order number, the account number and the amount.

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Is it appropriate to purchase food/request a reimbursement for food for a departmental staff meeting and/or working lunch?
The Procurement Office will not issue food payments or reimbursements for staff meetings and working lunches. Please review the new campus food policy on the Procurement Office's website.

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I currently have an existing, current-year purchase order for XYZ Company. I need to add another item to this order. How do I go about having this done?
The authorized signatory on the account should send an email or memo to the buyer requesting a Change Order to add the item to the original purchase order. Be sure to include the account number the new item will be charged to. The department, as well as the vendor, will receive a copy of the Change Order advising of the addition of the new item.

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How long should I keep my department copies of requisitions and purchase orders?
The Procurement Office is required to maintain 7 years of records. Campus departments are strongly urged to maintain their own records for the same amount of time.

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What is the purpose of a purchase order?
A purchase order is a contractual agreement between the University and the vendor providing the goods/services. No vendor should ship goods or provide services without a valid Stony Brook Purchase Order. Anyone requesting goods or services from a vendor without having a valid purchase order on file may be personally liable for payment.

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What is a Purchase Authorization Contract?
A PA Contract is a local contract issued by the Procurement Office for the purchase of commonly used items that are not on state contract. Please contact the appropriate buyer for more details.
A PA Contract is not intended for services; services should be set up as C - Contracts.

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Purchasing Definitions

Best Value
The basis for awarding contracts for services and technology that optimizes quality, cost and efficiency, among responsive and responsible offerers, which shall reflect, wherever possible, objective and quantifiable analysis.

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Centralized State Contracts
A campus may elect to purchase any commodities or services, regardless of amount, from an existing Office of General Services (OGS) centralized state contract following the procedures and requirements established by OGS, as appropriate for SUNY.

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Commodity(s)
Material commodities, supplies, products, construction items or other standard articles of commerce other than technology or printing, which are the subject of any purchase or other exchange. The State Finance law requires commodity contracts to be awarded based on lowest price from a responsive and responsible offerer.

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Contract
A new agreement, permit, memorandum of understanding or lease, or an amendment of same.
Emergency
Is defined as "an urgent and unexpected requirement where health and public safety or the conservation of public resources is at risk." A failure to properly and timely plan in advance for a procurement, which then results in a situation in which normal procurement practices cannot be followed, will not constitute an "emergency."

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Energy Efficient
Is defined as meeting ENERGY STAR criteria and therefore qualifying for the ENERGY STAR label or meeting New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) guidelines for target efficiency levels.

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Invitation for Bid (IFB)
A form of solicitation used for procurements where the needed commodities, services or technology can be translated into exact specifications and the award can be made on the basis of lowest price or best value when the best value determination can be made on price alone.

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Small Business, New York State Certified M/WBEs, Recycled or Remanufactured Purchases
Where commodities or services are available from small businesses or New York State certified M/WBEs; or where commodities or technology that is recycled or remanufactured is available, purchases may be made in amounts not exceeding $200,000 without competitive bidding, in accordance with Section II (B)(1) above. Advertising requirements under NYS Economic Development Law still apply.

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Sole Source, Single Source or Emergency Contracts
Where competition would otherwise be required, but is not feasible due to the sole source, single source or emergency nature of a commodity or service, the campus must be able to justify and document the selection of the vendor and establish the reasonableness of the price. In accordance with the State Finance Law, exceptions to the general requirement for competitive selection shall only be made under unusual circumstances. The campus must maintain in its Procurement Record written justification supporting the sole source, single source or emergency determination. An example of substantiating single source procurement (limited number of suppliers) might be written documentation detailing prior substantial experience of the contractor in provision of the products or services customized to the SUNY environment or a certain service that only one contractor provides in addition to the service or technology being procured. An example of substantiating sole source procurement (only one supplier) would be written documentation detailing the unique nature of the requirement, how it was determined only one vendor could meet the need, and how it was determined the cost is reasonable. One method available to document the sole source status is to advertise in the Contract Reporter and only receive only response.

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