General Procedures



Ethics Policy Statement
Purchasing Procedures Manual
P-Card Purchasing Manual
Frequently Asked Questions
Purchasing Procedures Workshop PPT
Purchasing Function
Purchasing Thresholds
Sole Source Purchases
Cooperative Purchasing Contracts
Emergency Purchases
Preparing the Requisition
Special Requirements for Capital and Controlled Equipment Purchases
Change Orders
Open Purchase Orders
Award of Quotes & Bids
Receiving Orders
Shipping Terms
Shipping Costs
Vendor Documentation
Inventory Control
Federal Grant Funding

Purchasing Function

Collin County Community College District has a centralized purchasing system, which requires the Purchasing Department to place orders for all campuses. The Purchasing Department assigns purchase order numbers to all purchases, confirms all purchase orders in writing and processes all change orders. Our office is located at the Collin Higher Education Center, 3452 Spur 399, 3rd Floor, Suite 367, McKinney, Texas 75069.

The Purchasing Department strictly adheres to Texas Education Code, Chapter 44, Subchapter B for purchases other than construction. Construction services are procured under a method provided by Chapter 2267, Texas Government Code.

All purchases must be entered in CougarMart (automated purchasing software) as requisitions except:

  • Check Requests - should be submitted to Accounts Payable in lieu of submitting a requisition for the following items only:
    • Subscriptions
    • Memberships
    • Newspaper Ads
    • Postage (bulk mailings)
  • Petty Cash ($100)

For more information on the above procedures, please refer to the appropriate department.

Everyone using CougarMart must have a password assigned and attend CougarMart training. Training materials are available on this site under CougarMart Instructions. All questions regarding CougarMart requisitioning can be directed to the Purchasing IS/Reporting Manager at 972-758-3872.

  • Anyone who makes a purchase in a manner which does not follow established purchasing procedures is entering into a private transaction with the vendor and assumes all responsibility for payment. Confirming orders are not acceptable.
  • Purchase orders can only be processed after the CougarMart requisition is received by the Purchasing Department. There are no exceptions.
  • Purchasing checks CougarMart for requisitions that are "Ready for Purchasing" at least twice a day.
  • If a purchase order needs to be mailed rather than faxed or e-mailed to a vendor, enter a narrative in the internal notes of the requisition.
  • During non-peak times, requisitions are generally processed the same day that they are received if the pricing is correct, the dollar amount falls under the quote/bid threshold and all necessary backup has been attached to the requisition or sent to Purchasing.


Purchasing Thresholds

  • $9,999.99 or less - One (1) current price quote is obtained by the requesting Department.
  • $10,000 - $49,999.99 requires three (3) written quotes.  All quotes must be attached to the requisition in CougarMart. Purchasing provides a form, available on the Purchasing Intranet page to document the quotes: (http://purchasing/bidopps/Quote_Form_9-15-2016.pdf).  Quotes may be obtained by the requesting department or by the Purchasing Department.
  • $50,000 and Over require a formal solicitation issued by the Purchasing Department with legal notice posted in the newspaper
  • $100,000 and over must be approved by the Board of Trustees prior to an order being placed.

**Please attach all requisition/purchase order backup to the requisition Internal Notes and Attachments. **

*The requesting department should verify any pricing obtained from a website and also verify that the company will accept a purchase order.*


Sole Source Purchases

When a product/service can be provided by only one vendor and the dollar value exceeds $10,000 or the grant specifies that justification is required, the department must provide sole source documentation to Purchasing as back-up.  The Sole Source Justification form is available in CougarMart in the Showcased Services area.  (See Sole Source Procurement Policy.)  Requestors must complete and submit the sole source justification form (requisition) and the purchase requisition at the same time.  The sole source justification must reference the purchase requisition number.  The requisition number of the sole source justification form and a note that this is a sole source purchase should be included in the purchase requisition's internal notes for Approvers. Once approved, the sole source justification will be available from within CougarMart to be referenced as backup to the future CougarMart purchase requisitions as an internal note.  It can be located by searching for the supplier's name and looking for a zero dollar amount.  The form must be referenced on each requisition submitted for that sole source vendor and must not be more than 12 months old. After 12 months, a new sole source justification form must be resubmitted for approval. Requisitions referencing an outdated sole source justification form may be returned to the requestor by Purchasing.


Cooperative Purchasing Contracts

The District participates in several cooperative purchasing programs that offer volume discounts for items commonly purchased by a number of public entities. Purchases made from these contracts meet the competitive bid requirements set forth by State Statues. These contracts are typically used for smaller dollar purchases where it is not cost effective for the District to put out a bid for an annual contract. These contracts can be used to obtain pricing for any dollar amount, but must go to the Board if the cost exceeds $50,000 threshold. Following is a list of some of the cooperative programs that are available for use:


Emergency Purchases

Emergency purchases must be entered in CougarMart and expedited through the approval path by the requesting department. It is the department's responsibility to check a requisition's status in CougarMart and contact everyone on the approval path to advise them of the emergency status. The requestor will also call Purchasing with the requisition number so proper action can be taken when the requisition is received.  For emergency purchases that happen outside of normal business operating hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-F), the requestor is required to complete the Justification for Emergency Acquisition form and submit with a requisition indicating that the work has already been completed due to an emergency as it is defined below. The form is available in the "Forms" section of this Purchasing internal website or by using the following link: (See Justification for Emergency Acquisition.)  Once the document has been completed, printed and signed, it is attached as backup to the CougarMart requisition as an internal attachment.

  • Emergency expenditures are defined as follows:
    • To remove hazards
    • To protect property
    • To protect people
    • To alleviate financial loss
    • To alleviate operation damage
    • To expedite repairs
    • If school equipment or a part of a school facility or personal property is destroyed or severely damaged, or as a result of an unforeseen catastrophe or emergency, undergoes major operational or structural failure and to bid would prevent or substantially impair the conduct of classes or other essential school activities, then contracts for the replacement or repair of the equipment or the part of the school facility may be made by methods other than those provided under Texas Education Code 44.031. These purchases must be approved by the Vice President of Facilities and Construction or the Chief Financial Officer and the Purchasing Director.
  • Emergency expenditures valued of $100,000 or more will require ratification by the Board at the next available Board of Trustees meeting.


Preparing the Requisition

  • Requests for quotes or bids will be processed only after the requisition has been through the appropriate approval path and been received in Purchasing. ** Please, allow 7 days for requisitions to go through the approval path.**
  • Combine all similar items that can be purchased from the same vendor on one requisition. Requisitions received of a similar nature will be combined with other requisitions and bids or quotes will be requested. Purchasing staff monitors requisitions for the following types of purchases which attempt to avoid the bid/quote/proposal process:
    • "Component purchases" means purchases of the component parts of an item in normal purchasing practices would be purchased in one purchase.
    • "Separate purchases" means purchases, made separately, of items that in normal purchasing practices would be purchased in one purchase.
    • "Sequential purchases" means purchases, made over a period, of items that in normal purchasing practices would be purchased in one purchase.

Suspected purchases of the above nature will be brought into question and the proper procedures for the purchase will be followed.

  • Recommended best practice is to use separate requisitions for each supplier and each shipping location.
  • If the purchase is being made under an existing contract, including a cooperative purchasing contract, then the contract bid number must be referenced on the requisition. (Most of these contracts can be found in CougarMart.)
  • Printing requirements must first be approved by the Publications Department. Each job will be assigned a Job Number. That number must be referenced in the Product Description when creating the CougarMart requisition.
  • State the required delivery date, taking into consideration the approval process and turn-around times required in Purchasing. When requesting quotes from vendors ensure that the delivery time required after the vendor receives the order is included in the required by date. Be realistic when entering the required by date. If the order needs to be expedited, please indicate so in a narrative item on the requisition and Purchasing will do their best to meet the needs of the departments requirements.
  • Prior to placing an order with a new vendor, a New Vendor Add Form must be submitted through CougarMart.  Information that needs to be included is: Vendor name, tax ID number, contact name, address, phone number, fax number and e-mail address.  Ensure that the vendor will accept a purchase order, especially when dealing with internet companies.
  • Be sure to note special delivery requirements in a narrative on the requisition (i.e. installation, contact person to schedule delivery, room number of installation, any periods of time that the space would/would not be available for installation.
  • Take into consideration issues such as warranty, training, and annual maintenance.
  • The more information that you include on or with the requisition, the fewer questions that will likely need to be addressed and the quicker the requisition will be processed.
  • All requisitions must have an account number listed before a purchase order will be issued.
  • Purchasing reserves the option to return any request that does not have the required information. This will result in the requestor correcting and resubmitting the requisition in CougarMart, as well as additional time before the order is processed.


Special Requirements for Capital Equipment Purchases

When creating a requisition, all pieces and parts that make up a taggable asset should be put together as ONE line item.  Costs incurred in order to put the fixed asset in place or operation should be included in the cost of the asset/asset account.  Ancillary items necessary to place the asset in its intended location and condition for use should be coded to the asset; i.e., freight, installation, labor.

  • Capital and controlled equipment that is being delivered to different campuses must be entered on separate requisitions.
  • Items must be delivered through Central Receiving at the appropriate campus so they can be tagged and the information recorded.
  • The description entered on the requisition must be adequate to assist in the identification of the item. Listing only a part number is not sufficient.
  • Include the name and phone number of the person originating the request. This is the person with whom delivery and installation should be scheduled. This information should be listed in the ATTN: field on the requestor tab of the requisition.


Change Orders

  • Change orders are submitted using the Purchasing Change Request form available on the CougarMart forms page or Showcased Services on the home page. 
  • Change orders cannot be done on purchase order line items that have been closed in Banner (indicated by a check mark in the box adjacent to the commodity description on the Commodity/Accounting screen of the purchase order in Banner.) A new requisition must be entered.
  • Change orders to purchase orders for additional items will not be done for punch-out suppliers.
  • Change orders for additional items, which exceed $500, must be placed on a new requisition. Exception would be for repair of equipment, building, etc. where the cost of the repair is estimated on the original order.
  • Change order requests will be reviewed on an individual basis. It is the department's responsibility to ensure that funds for the additional cost are available in their budget. The Purchasing Change Request form does go through the Budget Approval process in CougarMart and the requisition will fail if sufficient funds are not available.
  • Accounts Payable will handle invoices over the purchase order amount as follows (this does NOT apply to Open Purchase Orders):
    • $50 or less - Payment is automatically processed by Accounts Payable.
    • $50.01 to $499.99 - Department approval is required, but change order is not processed through CougarMart. Accounts Payable will obtain this approval from the department.
    • $500 and greater - Ordering department must process a change order request in CougarMart and Purchasing will process the change in CougarMart and Banner.
  • Change orders must be done to add new line items.


Open Purchase Orders

  • When creating open purchase order requisitions, using the declining balance/open purchase order form, please evaluate the annual spend from the current fiscal year to determine the amount you should request for next FY.  You are not limited on the dollar amount of your open purchase order, except that you should not purchase items that exceed a unit cost of $500 using an open purchase order.  If you have any declining balance purchase orders that were not used, DO NOT request a declining balance purchase order be created for those vendors for the new fiscal year.  Purchasing will reject any requisitions for a declining balance purchase order for a vendor that had a declining balance purchase order during the current fiscal year that was unused by the requesting department.  Wanting to have a declining balance purchase order in place “just in case you need to use them” is unacceptable.  With the changes to approval paths over the past years, over 70% of requisitions are processed to purchase order in one day or less.  You are allowed to do a change order to your open purchase orders throughout the year, as long as the purchase order is still open.  You are responsible for keeping up with the balance on your open purchase orders. If they run out of funds, the open purchase order will be closed.
  • Receipts must be sent to AP within 3 working days and must have the cost center manager's approval.  A physical signature is not required.
  • The open purchase order number must be referenced on the receipt.


Award of Quotes and Bids

Awards are generally made on the basis of the lowest bidder who meets the specifications of the bid. In determining to whom to award a contract, the District may consider the following:

  • The purchase price;
  • The reputation of the vendor and of the vendor's goods or services;
  • The quality of the vendor's goods and/or services;
  • The extent to which the goods or services meet the District's needs;
  • The vendor's past relationship with the District (documentation of past problems must be present before recommending non-award);
  • The impact on the ability of the District to comply with laws and rules relating to historically underutilized businesses;
  • The total long-term cost to the District to acquire the vendor's goods or services;
  • For a contract for goods and services, other than goods and services related to telecommunications and information services, building construction or instructional materials, whether the vendor or the vendor's ultimate parent company or majority owner: 
    (A) Has its principal place of business in this state; or
    (B) Employs at least 500 persons in this state; and
  • Any other relevant factor specifically listed in the request for bids or proposals.


Receiving Orders

  • Items should be checked in immediately and the Receiving Goods Form in Banner completed as soon as possible.  For Open Orders, a receiver should be completed in Banner as soon as the purchase order is published. 
    • Before signing for goods, check boxes for damage.
    • If there is damage to a box, check to make sure the contents are not damaged.
    • If contents are not damaged, accept delivery.
    • If contents are damaged, refuse delivery.
    • Ensure the carrier documents damage to the box even if contents do not appear to be damaged.
    • If damage that could not be detected upon receipt (latent defect) is noticed when the goods are put to use you need to notify the vendor immediately.
    • Always test goods to make sure there are no latent defects. In most cases, there is a time limit as to when goods can be returned.


Shipping Terms

F.O.B. (Free on Board) determines the point at which title or ownership transfers and responsibility for the goods while in transit.

  • F.O.B. Destination: Shipper maintains ownership and is responsible for the goods until received by the buyer at the destination indicated on the purchase order.

    *Any loss or damages would be handled by the shipper.
  • F.O.B. Origin: Buyer takes ownership and responsibility once the goods leave the shippers location.

    *Any loss or damages would be handled by the buyer.


Shipping Costs

Freight Prepaid: The shipper pays the freight charges.
Freight Prepaid and Allowed: The shipper sends the freight and adds the charges to the invoice.

  • Important to include shipping costs on the purchase order.
  • Should ask vendor to include shipping in their price or give a separate price.
  • If the vendor indicates that shipping will be charged or estimates the shipping, include a line item with a description of estimated shipping, a quantity of one, a unit of measure (UOM) of EA, and enter the estimated cost.
  • Ideal shipping term is F.O.B. Destination, freight prepaid and added.
  • Shipper pays freight, owns goods in transit and files claims.

See attached spreadsheet of Freight Terms.


Vendor Documentation

  • Always document unsatisfactory performance by a vendor and keep on file. You never know when unsatisfactory performance will become habitual, so keep good records in order to support any future debarment of the vendor or actions against the vendor.
  • Contact Purchasing anytime a problem arises with a vendor that cannot be rectified at the department level.


Inventory Control

  • Keep records to determine usage history in order to maintain adequate inventory levels.
  • Document item usage to get an idea of the volume of usage. This information could be used to establish annual contracts.
  • Have procedures in place to document where inventory is going.


Federal Grant Funding

  • The Grant Purchasing Procedures found at the link below must be followed for all grant-funded purchases.

Grant Purchasing Procedures