6050 - Policy on the Purchase of Goods and Services


This policy presents basic guidelines for the purchase of goods and services to be used by the college staff, and particularly those involved in bidding and purchasing processes.

Approval Authority

The procurement of goods and services is the responsibility of the Vice President of Administration and Finance acting on behalf of, and through the authority of, the President and the Board of Trustees.

Subject to the provisions of this policy, contractual commitment for the purchase of goods and services may be made by the President, Vice President of Administration and Finance, or Director of Purchasing, with Board of Trustees action required for the purchase of goods and services above the dollar amounts specified in this policy. A contractual commitment is normally created by the issuance of a purchase order or the signing of a contract by the President, Vice President of Administration and Finance, or Director of Purchasing.

Legal Requirements

Washtenaw Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer; therefore, in the performance of any contract or purchase order resulting therefrom, the bidder shall agree not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment with respect to his/her hire, tenure, terms, condition or privileges of employment or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment because of his/her race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, height, weight, marital status, disability, or veteran status. The bidder shall further agree that every sub-contract entered into for performance of any contract or resulting purchase order will contain a provision requiring non-discrimination in employment, as herein specified, binding upon each sub-contractor. This covenant is required pursuant to Act No 453 of Public Acts of the State of Michigan of 1976 and Public Act 220, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Any breach thereof may be regarded as a material breach of contract or purchase order.


A purchase order, which is a contractual commitment to obtain goods or services, shall be issued after receiving an authorized requisition in compliance with the following guidelines:

The Purchasing Agent acting in the best interests of the College shall be required to:

  1. use his/her best judgment to acquire goods and services costing less than $5,000;
  2. request at least three bona fide quotations for purchases costing more than $5,000 but not greater than $20,000 with price being the sole criteria for award;
  3. request at least three bona fide written sealed bids for purchases costing $20,000 or more with price being the sole criteria for award; and
  4. request at least three bona fide written sealed proposals for purchases where multiple criteria in addition to price forms the basis for award.

The College shall reserve the right to reject any and all proposals, and to negotiate with the bidder of its choice. No bidder shall have any expectation of receiving acceptance nor award of its bid.

The Purchasing Agent will award the purchase of goods and services to the highest rated or lowest responsible bidder, as appropriate, meeting specifications of quality, delivery, and service. Purchases shall be made from vendors within Washtenaw County where the price is equal to or lower than vendors outside the County, if quality is equal in the judgment of the Purchasing Agent. Where there is a definite advantage to the College in services or delivery, as determined in the College’s sole discretion, the local vendor may be selected in cases where the price exceeds vendors outside of Washtenaw County.

Construction and Renovation

For renovation and construction purchases (materials and services) of $20,000 or more, the College shall seek at least three bona fide quotations. For renovation and construction contracts costing in excess of $100,000, the College shall seek to obtain at least three (3) formal sealed bids. Construction projects costing more than $200,000 shall be advertised on websites and in trade and/or local general circulation publications as appropriate. The President (or designee) is authorized to approve contracts for construction projects costing the College less than $200,000. The Board of Trustees shall be notified on the monthly Facilities Development Update of any construction or renovation projects costing more than $50,000 and less than $200,000.

The Board of Trustees shall authorize all major construction or renovation contracts costing WCC more than $200,000. When the final contract with a specific vendor is authorized by the Board of Trustees, it will be signed by the President or the Vice President for Administration and Finance.

Bidders shall be notified that direct contact with the president or Board members during the bidding and decision-making process shall be considered to be inappropriate.

Major Construction and Renovation projects with a Board approved budget in excess of $500,000 shall utilize a request for proposal process to select a general contractor. The process shall include advertising the project on appropriate websites and publications, reviewing all required and requested information from contractors, creating a list of approved contractors, receiving and reviewing cost proposals, and presenting the recommendation for the selected contractor to the Board for final approval.

The Board of Trustees will approve change orders which exceed the original contract by more than 10% or $50,000, whichever is greater, or if the change orders push the total project over the $200,000 threshold.

It is the policy of Washtenaw Community College to design, construct, renovate, and maintain its facilities in a sustainable fashion. All new facilities over 5,000 gross square feet and major capital renovations costing more than 50% of building replacement value shall seek to acquire a LEED Silver rating at a minimum. In addition to achieving a minimum of a LEED Silver rating new construction projects (and renovation projects, where applicable) shall be designed and built to minimize energy use by earning at least 40% of the available points for energy performance under the LEED Credit for Optimization Energy Performance where technically feasible and where payback is reasonable. The College will seek to achieve LEED EB (existing building) certification for all existing buildings.

Consultant/Service Agreements

Consultant/Service Agreements equal to or greater than $100,000 will be presented to the Board of Trustees for its approval to proceed with that specific project/agreement. Actual contract/agreements which exceed the amount presented to the Board or the ceiling amount established by the Board by 10% or $25,000 (whichever is greater) must be re-approved by the Board of Trustees. If a Contract/Agreement needs to be expanded at a later date due to unforeseen circumstances, or if the actual expenditures exceed the contract amount by 10% or $25,000 (whichever is greater), it must be returned to the Board for additional approval.

Equipment Purchases

Equipment purchases equal to or greater than $100,000 must be reported to the Board prior to being purchased. Single equipment purchases equal to or greater than $200,000 must be approved by the Board prior to being purchased.

Energy Efficient Products

Whenever reasonable and practicable, the College will purchase ENERGY STAR® –qualified products in all areas for which such ratings exist. This includes, but is not limited to appliances, heating and cooling equipment, water heaters, electronics, office equipment, lighting, food service equipment, commercial and industrial equipment, and residential equipment. In areas for which rating are not available, the College will seek to purchase products that are in the upper 25% energy efficiency in their class.

Access and Equity for Diverse People

WCC promotes the awareness and appreciation of cultural differences and commonalties within the community it serves. This goal requires proactive leadership and accountability at all levels of the institution. Therefore, the college administration will develop and maintain purchasing procedures and practices, in accordance with all applicable state and/or federal laws, which assure the opportunity for minorities to be considered for potential vendor, contractor, subcontractor, and service provider openings that may become available at WCC. The President will provide a report at least annually.

Exceptions to the Policy

The President or Vice President of Administration and Finance may make exceptions for contractual commitment dependent upon the circumstance involved (such as utilities and emergency repairs). Under very unusual circumstances or if a unique product or service may be obtained from only one source, the Vice President of Administration and Finance after consultation with the President, may waive certain sections of this policy. However, the Vice President of Administration and Finance may not waive conformance to State or Federal laws concerning discrimination, limits, or other constraints. The Board of Trustees shall be promptly notified of any such exceptions.

Adopted: February 22, 1966
Revised: February 23, 1982
Revised: February 21, 1995
Revised: September 23, 1997
Revised: March 25, 2003
Revised: June 23, 2009
Revised: September 26, 2023

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