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State Purchasing


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.

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.


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.


A new agreement, permit, memorandum of understanding or lease, or an amendment of same.


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."

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.

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.

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. For any purchase that exceeds $2,500.00, there must be information in the Procurement Record that establishes price reasonableness.

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 one response.