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Office of Business Affairs
State Purchasing Policies & Procedures

Anti-sweatshop policy/Apparel Purchases

It is the policy of the State University of New York (SUNY Board of Trustee Resolution June 16, 2009), to require contractors, subcontractors and licensees to certify to the adherence by manufacturers to labor standards in connection with working conditions, compensation, employee rights to form unions and the use of child labor. All apparel suppliers must complete Fair Labor Standards Form.

The University has adopted a policy aimed at ensuring that goods bearing the University insignia, and certain other goods purchased, rented or otherwise acquired by the University, are not produced under sweatshop conditions. This policy affects the University's expenditures for textiles, apparel and sports equipment in particular and incorporates in the decision-making process the University's Statement of Principles for Worker Rights and the requirement that any emblematic apparel, textile and equipment acquisitions must be from companies licensed by the Collegiate Licensing Company.

Invoices/Interest Accrual

When conforming goods and/or services have been received and a proper invoice has been submitted by the supplier and received in the College's Accounts Payable Office, the State requires the supplier to be paid within thirty (30) days from the date it was received (22 days in the State agency and 8 days in the Office of the State Comptroller). Therefore, the College has only 22 days after the invoice is received in Accounts Payable to perform the following:

  • Obtain receiving paperwork;
  • Verify delivery to the department if there are any questions;
  • Match the invoice to the purchase order and receiving information;
  • Make provision for change in pricing to original encumbrance;
  • Input the voucher information on the SUNY accounting system; and
  • Submit all of the necessary paperwork to the State Comptroller's Office in Albany

When the process runs smoothly, the above tasks are completed well in advance of the allotted time. However, the cooperation of all involved parties is critical to ensuring these tasks get completed with timeliness, so that interest is avoided. When an invoice is incorrectly sent to a department instead of the Accounts Payable Office (as directed on the purchase order), the department should immediately forward the invoice to the Accounts Payable Office in 100 Bray Hall with a note attached indicating the purchase order number to which the invoice corresponds.

Confirming Orders

A confirming order is where an individual orders goods or services on the behalf of the University without obtaining in advance a purchase order in accordance to University procurement guidelines. In essence, goods and services are being ordered first and then requisitions are created after goods and services are received and/or the campus has been invoiced. Note, this does not apply to individuals using their Citibank VISA Procurement card. State Procurement Procedures obligate the State/Campus to an expense only by designated campus officers or through the Citibank Visa Procurement card.

The use of "confirming orders" can only occur in cases of true emergencies affecting the immediate health and safety of persons and property and then only if the Purchasing Manager could not be reached to process the transaction through the normal procurement process. A written justification after the fact for such emergencies would also be required.

Electronic Payments

The New York State Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) in conjunction with the Governor's Office of Taxpayer Accountability has instituted a mandatory electronic payment program for all vendors doing business with the State of New York as part of an overall strategy to increase government efficiencies and cut costs.

Accordingly, all contracts and purchase orders executed after February 29, 2010 must contain a provision that requires vendors to accept electronic payments. As such, in fulfillment of this requirement, all vendors, in order to receive payment from the State, are required to complete and submit to OSC either an Electronic Payment Authorization Form for Individuals or an Electronic Payments Authorization Form for Government Entities, Vendors, Not-for-Profits.

The complete form is to be sent directly to OSC (do not send it to the University) at the following address:

NYS Office of the State Comptroller
Bureau of State Accounting Operations
Warrants & Payment Control Unit
110 State Street -9th Floor
Albany, NY 12236

Questions can be directed to OSC by either phone at (518) 474-6019 and (518) 402-4067 or e-mail

Emergency/Critical Purchases

An EMERGENCY situation is an unanticipated, sudden, and unexpected occurrence beyond the control of the campus which threatens:

a) the life, health, safety, or welfare of any person, or

b) the continued public use or function of property of the State of New York.

A CRITICAL situation is defined as a situation, excluding an emergency that will, or has occurred, which impacts a significant campus operation requiring immediate campus action. A campus departments failure to properly and timely plan, in advance, for all procurements which then result in a situation in which normal procurement practices cannot be followed will not constitute a critical situation.


Gifts may come in many forms and from many people: a key chain from the company that delivers overnight mail; tickets to the ball game from a vendor who deals with your agency; even flowers from a satisfied taxpayer. Some companies consider the distribution of such "freebies" to be part of an effective marketing plan, while others consider it good public relations. Under State Law, State officers and employees may not accept or solicit a gift of more than nominal value under circumstances in which it could be inferred that the gift was intended to influence or reward the recipient for performing official duties. The Commission has defined "nominal" as no more than a regular cup of coffee. For more information:

Material Safety Data Sheet

The Environmental Health & Safety Office maintains supplied MSDS sheets. If a department receives an MSDS sheet with an order, please forward it to Environmental Health & Safety, Bray Hall, Room 5.

Purchases Requiring Special Approval

Memberships for individuals that exceed $250.00 must be co-signed by their respective Chair/Vice President.

Purchases of air conditioners or similar energy consuming equipment may be reviewed by the Physical Plant to determine that appropriate electricity is available and that the size of the unit is adequate for the space.

Personal use appliances usually found in kitchens cannot be purchased using State Funds unless certain criteria are met. Kitchen appliances require prior approval by the Purchasing Manager based on a justification that meets established NYS guidelines.

Requisitions for animals (by definition all vertebrates, including fish, frogs, rodents, etc...) must be approved by the Office of Research Programs prior to submission to the Purchasing Office.

Radioactive materials and radiation-producing agents must be cosigned by staff of the SUNY-ESF Environmental Health and Safety Office. Procedures relating to receiving and disposal of hazardous chemicals among other safety issues can be found at the Environmental Health and Safety web page.

Exemptions & Important Notes

The Campus may elect to purchase any commodities or services, regardless of amount from an existing Office of General Services (OGS) contract or a “PREFERRED SOURCE” (Corcraft, Industries for the Blind, etc.) without the need to solicit competitive bids or proposals.

State Employee Owned Companies

Bulleting G202, Public Officer's Law (know your Vendors) dated February 25, 2002 reminds all State agencies State that no State employees shall sell any goods or services having a value in excess of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) to any State agency unless goods and services are provided pursuant to an award or contract let after public notice in the New York State Contract Reporter and a formal, competitive bidding process. Therefore, please be advised the College will not do any business with any State employee owned business without a formal bid process being followed.

Vendor Relations

The Purchasing Department endeavors to build and maintain professional and courteous relationships with suppliers and sales representatives. Purchasing encourages departments to avail themselves of the expertise available from the Purchasing staff in specific commodity areas. When departments deal directly with supplier representatives, the following tips will help:

  • Identify yourself, tell the supplier you are an employee of SUNY-ESF, begin your inquiry and ask for State and/or educational pricing.
  • Consult with several vendors to obtain better product knowledge and appropriate specifications for the purchase.
  • Give the same information to all vendors.
  • Discuss all aspects of your needs, including installation, assembly, maintenance and supplies.
  • Document all information provided by the suppliers.
  • Request delivered prices and guaranteed shipping time, and secure in writing if possible.
  • When talking to a new vendor, request the vendor’s Federal I.D. number. This is required on all purchase orders, so please put it on the requisition.
  • Do not obligate the College by telling a salesperson that she/he has the order. Only a purchase order signed by an authorized agent of the College can commit State funds.
  • Do not sign any contracts or agreements. The Purchasing Department must review all contracts and agreements.
  • Be aware of vendor scams such as “special deals”, especially on copier paper, toner, office products, computer products and maintenance related items. A vendor may call and say, for example: “Prices go up after the first of the month”, or “This is the last one in stock.” If you get a call asking to order anything over the phone, tell the vendor that it is against College policy to make purchases over the phone when they are initiated by the vendor, and offer to transfer them to the Purchasing Department at 470-6685. Please let the Purchasing Department know if you hear from a vendor that you suspect is perpetrating a scam.

Workers' Compensation Law

Sections 57 & 220 Subd. 8

In accordance with the Worker's Compensation law no permit, license, or contract (Purchase orders are included) shall be issued without proof of worker's compensation and disability benefits compliance. This covers construction, services and commodities.  Please review the insurance section of our web page for a list of forms and required coverage.

Reporting Damages, Shortages & Return Authorizations

Any problems with delivered supplies, equipment, furniture, etc. should be reported to the Purchasing Department immediately.  Unless the Accounts Payable Office is advised by Procurement Services to withhold payment because there is a problem, they will process the invoice as normal.

Please be sure to check all boxes, packages, envelopes, etc., for shortages or damages IMMEDIATELY upon receipt.  Send any invoices and/or packing slips received within your department to the Accounts Payable Office in 100 Bray Hall with a note indicating the applicable purchase order number (or purchase requisition number).

Splitting Research, College Foundation and State Funds

When the funding on orders is split between Research or Foundation and State Funds, the purchase requisition should contain the following information: a complete description of the item(s) including manufacturer name and model number; and the State account number and Research Foundation grant (or a copy of the corresponding Foundation purchase order if applicable).

When State funds are used in combination with Research and/or College Foundation funds, the rules that govern SUNY State procurement take precedence.  Any equipment purchased with State funds will become the property of the State.