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G-2. Purchasing

A. General Objectives

The College’s procurement program shall:

[1]   Support the mission of the College by procuring in a timely manner the goods and services needed for effective College operations.

[2]   Secure goods and services at the best value for the College.

[3]   Create an open and competitive process for procurement, allowing vendors from all segments of the community to compete for College purchases/contracts in a fair and transparent environment.

[4]   Contribute to the economic vitality of the community served by the College by encouraging the formation, growth, and maximum utilization of Small Local Business Enterprise vendors, herein defined.

[5]   Adhere to and monitor compliance with law, Board Policy, and the terms and conditions of contracts.

B.  Delegation of Authority

[1]   The College President or designee has the authority to approve any contract for an expenditure of $100,000 or less per year.  The Board shall approve a contract or purchase requiring an expenditure of more than $100,000 per year, unless the Board has previously approved a budget or other written plan listing the item(s) and approximate cost.

[2]   For construction and architectural services over $500,000, the Board shall approve the vendor selection. The administration shall provide a solicitation process summary, summary of vendor evaluations, and a ranked list of top submittals, including a recommended firm by the administration.

The Board shall generally assess the administration's recommendation by whether it and the process leading to it are in accord with Board Policy and the General Objectives set forth in Section A of this policy, giving due deference to the administra­tion’s determination on whether a recommendation will meet General Objectives [1] and [2].

[3]   The President, or his designee, shall approve, before advertising, the statutorily authorized construction method that provides the best value for the College. The College shall provide notice of this delegation, and its limits, in the request for bids, proposals, or qualifications or in the addendum to the request.

C.   Emergency

In the event an expenditure is immediately necessary to repair or replace an existing capability that has been unexpectedly lost, or is immediately necessary to meet an unforeseen catastrophe or emergency (i.e., a situation in which immediate action must be taken without Board approval to avoid harm to the College), the President may approve such expenditure, and such expenditure must be reported to the Board at its next meeting, or by written notification provided through the President prior to the next Board meeting. In such an event, the requirements of state law shall apply, unless the Board determines that the delay posed by the methods provided therein would prevent or substantially impair the conduct of classes or other essential school activities. Upon such finding, contracts for the replacement or repair of the equipment or the part of the College facility may be made by methods other than those typically required by state law.

D.   Small Business Development Program

In an effort to maximize the vitality and robustness of the economy of the College’s service area through enhanced opportunities for the utilization of Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) vendors, the College shall establish a Small Business Development Program (SBDP) that seeks to achieve this objective through race- and gender-neutral means. The SBDP shall ensure that SLBE firms are provided the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in all purchasing and contracting opportunities.

A Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) is defined as an independently owned and controlled for-profit business that meets the industry-based size standards established by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 13 CFR 121.201 and is headquartered or otherwise located at a fixed, established commercial address located within the College taxing district.  The size standards may be periodically evaluated and adjusted by the College’s administration based upon local market data collected pursuant to the SBDP to better serve the intent and objectives of this policy. The College administration may rely on the certifications provided by similar programs of other government entities to certify a firm’s eligibility for the SBDP.

 E.   Reports

The administration shall produce an annual report on purchasing activities, contract awards, and payments. The report shall include aggregate expenditures by vendor (including subcontractors where appropriate) for the most recently completely fiscal year. The report shall also identify the following:

[1]   Certified SLBE vendors by firm name and industry category

[2]   Certified HUB vendors by firm name and industry category

[3]   All other vendors by firm name and industry category

[4]   Identified purchases, contract awards, and contract payments made pursuant to each of the following State authorized solicitation methods:

  • Non-Competitive (under $50,000)
  • Sole Source
  • Competitive Bidding
  • Competitive Sealed Proposals
  • Request for Proposal
  • Request for Qualifications
  • Interlocal Contract (includes State Contracts)
  • Job Order Contract

[5]   Brief description of goods or services provided.

F.   Responsible Contracting Practices

[1]   In all purchasing and contracting decisions, staff shall make good faith efforts to include SLBE vendors and shall avoid practices that tend to exclude SLBE vendors. The College shall develop, maintain, and enhance the participation of SLBE firms in all phases of its procurement processes through the SBDP, supporting their efforts to compete for College business.

[2]   The College shall encourage all vendors, suppliers, contractors, and professionals with whom it does business to support the common goal of equal opportunity and mainstream economic participation by all segments of its business community. In the expenditure of College funds, neither the College nor its contractors and suppliers shall discriminate in the solicitation, selection, or treatment of contractors, subcontractors, vendors, or suppliers on the basis of sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, or sexual orientation, or on the basis of disabilities that do not significantly affect the quality of work.  All individuals and entities doing business, or anticipating doing business, with the College are encouraged to support and implement a program designed to achieve the goal of establishing equal opportunity for all.

[3]   Nothing in this procedure is to be construed to require the College to award a contract to other than the best value bidder as required by law and the College’s policies and procedures.

[4]   In deciding which functions to accomplish via external contractors, the administration shall take care not to support patterns of employment that fail to meet community compensation standards, such as the prevailing wage.

[5]   In general, contracts shall be reopened on an equal basis to all qualified vendors at least once every five years. Exceptions require Board approval.

[6]   The College shall have a process by which a vendor can appeal the outcome of a procurement process. The President or his designee shall make the final determination of the appeal.

G.   Routine Real Estate Items

The President may approve on behalf of the College, easements and other agreements regarding real property owned or leased by the College, provided they are minor in nature and have been subject to consultation with legal counsel. The Board shall be notified in writing of items approved by the President before it next regular meeting. This authorization does not extend to the purchase, lease, or sale of real property or to covenants or restrictions.

The Austin Community College Board of Trustees adopted this policy on March 4, 1996 and amended it on September 9, 1996, March 3, 1997, January 5, 1998, May 1, 2000, June 5, 2000, October 2, 2000, April 2, 2001, July 9, 2001, March 31, 2003, October 3, 2005, December 12, 2011, December 1, 2014, and May 1, 2017.


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