Biblically Centered Education
Purchasing Section 6.71 Dept: Financial Planning & Operations Revised: June 4th, 2014
Archived versions

Department Policy

The function of the Purchasing Department is to administer procurement for the University in accordance with responsibility and authority delegated by the Vice President, Financial Affairs. The Purchasing Agent and his/her staff are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous, ethical, and professional manner; to maintain good relations with faculty and staff; to give equal consideration to all competitive quoters; to regard each transaction on its own merits; and to promote fair, ethical, and legal business practices. The Purchasing Department subscribes to the Code of Ethics as stated by the National Association of Education Buyers.

Conflict of Interest

Biola University’s Purchasing Department elects to remove the possibility of personal influence that might bear on an employee’s decision in his or her capacity as a University employee.

Faculty or staff may not have influence in purchasing decisions between the University and firms in which they have a financial interest. The university will avoid buying from a firm that is in any way affiliated with staff or faculty particularly if that staff or faculty member is employed in the immediate area of the requisitioning department.

Every effort should be made to avoid situations that have even the slightest possibility for producing a conflict of interest.

Department Purchases and Biola Authored Books

Departments often purchase a small quantity of books, for promotional or other reasons. Such books should be purchased through the Purchasing Department.

If it is a Biola authored book, it is essential that the requisition have the Dean’s signature, in order to avoid conflict of interest. The Purchasing Department will check two sources for all book orders. One will be at the Purchasing Departments discretion and the other will be the Biola Bookstore. The Biola Bookstore will purchase such books for departments at 30% or more off retail, often with no shipping charge on bulk buys.

Purchase of Supplies and Equipment

The Purchasing department assists departments in researching and ordering Biola University equipment and supplies that are not available through Central Stores, the Biola Bookstore, or Information Technology. Purchasing should be consulted prior to the purchase of all items that fall into this category. (Note: for computer purchases, please see the Computer Purchases section, listed below.) Also, please keep in mind that this service is intended for Biola business purchases only and is not for personal use. For more specific details pertaining to particular items, please refer to the descriptions following this section. If you have any questions, please contact the Purchasing department at extension 4751.

The Purchase Requisition

For assistance in identifying a specific item for purchase, please submit a Purchase Requisition Form (available online at Accounting Downloads) to the Purchasing departmen and it will research the item in question. This online form is fillable and can be saved. After Purchasing has completed its research, you will be contacted with recommendations.

If you have already selected an item and/or vendor, the Purchase Requisition is used to instruct Purchasing to place the order and to provide the necessary information to establish a Purchase Order (P.O.).

The Purchase Requisition is the tool that is used to initiate the purchasing function. The form is the communication from a department to Purchasing indicating what goods or services are needed. The following basic information must be completed, before the requisition can be accepted:

  1. Suggested vendor: enter names completely and accurately. If this area is not completed, Purchasing will select the vendor.
  2. Special instructions: any instructions can be indicated by checking the appropriate boxes.
  3. Approvals: the Purchase Requisition must have the signature of the one authorized to approve purchases for the department.  (See note* below.) Vice president approval must be obtained for the following: 1. out-of-state or in-state overnight travel, 2. furniture and equipment purchases that exceed $1,000.00, and/or 3. all off-campus entertainment and events. No requisition will be processed without the proper authorized signatures. In addition, all requests for $2,000.00 or more must have the approval of the Budget Administrator and VP of Finance. This approval will be obtained by Purchasing.
  4. Work order number and will call: these areas are to be filled in when applicable.
  5. Requestor: this is the name of the person requesting the purchase.
  6. Department, extension, and date: these sections are self-explanatory.
  7. Date required: use only if the goods are needed by a specific day. Use a date, not A.S.A.P., RUSH, etc.
  8. Quantity and unit: some examples are 1 ea., 2 doz., or 3.
  9. Description: specific information is required here, including size, color, dimensions, volumes, model numbers, accessories, features, and other pertinent information.
  10. Estimated cost: if an approximate cost is known, enter it here. If you wish to set a dollar limit, enter that figure.
  11. Fund, Organization, and Account must be furnished before an order can be placed.

*Note: there is a listing, by department, of persons who are authorized to sign purchase requisitions and the dollar amount for which they can sign. Each department should contact Accounting for questions relating to this list.

Any questions pertaining to the above procedure should be directed to the Purchasing department.

*Without a properly approved purchase order, the university is not obligated for any purchase.

Standing Order

If you regularly purchase the same items or services from one vendor, you may request authorization from Purchasing for a Standing Order that remains open for multiple purchases. Standing Orders are also used for maintenance agreements. These orders establish an expenditure limit and amount of dollars available for a definite period of time. Standing Orders cover a 12-month period from the beginning of a fiscal year until the end (July 1 to June 30).

Methods of Payment for Supplies and Equipment

Normally, payment will not be made before goods or services are received. If prepayment is necessary, it must be noted on the Purchase Requisition Form justifying the need for prepayment.

Automatic Payment

When orders are placed through the Purchase Order system, payment is handled automatically after receipt of the item by Central Receiving and receipt of the invoice by Accounts Payable.


The Purchasing department reviews all vendor contracts and all those written by departments or individuals on campus, with the exception of deeds, leases, and mortgages on real property; documents pertaining to bank transactions; and deferred income agreements.

When submitting a contract, attach all supporting paperwork and submit to Purchasing. Purchasing will complete a Contract Review/Routing Form, attach it to the contract, and route it for all required approvals. Note: By Board of Trustees approval, the Senior Director of Finance and the Director of Purchasing are authorized to sign contracts under $25,000 and the University President, Vice President of Finance, and Senior Director of Finance are authorized to sign contracts over $25,000. All contracts must be signed by one of the above individuals. After the contract has been approved and signed, Biola’s copy of the original contract and the completed Contract Review Routing Form is kept in Purchasing. The originating department may retain copies as needed.

Sale of Surplus Equipment and Supplies

Purchasing handles the transfer or sale of usable surplus items to other departments on campus, with the exception of surplus computers. If there is no market for the item on campus, Purchasing will offer the item for public sale. Surplus computers are priced and advertised for sale by the Computer Support department. Departments are not allowed to sell or donate equipment, supplies, and/or materials, directly, to any private individual or organization.

Supplies and materials may be transferred between departments on a direct basis without notice to Purchasing. If your department does not know of another department that is interested in buying your items, Purchasing will advertise the items on campus.

Purchasing must be notified, in advance, of any transfer of equipment from one department to another. The Purchasing Department will recommend a fair market price for the equipment, advertise items for sale, and handle paperwork to transfer the sale price from one department budget to another. If an item is sold off-campus, the income will be credited to a Plant Fund account and held for the department for a future equipment purchase. To initiate a request for release of funds, contact Accounting.

Disposal of Surplus and/or Obsolete Equipment and Supplies

The Purchasing department is responsible for coordinating the collection and disposal of university-owned equipment and supplies that are surplus or obsolete. To initiate a request for disposal, contact the Purchasing department. Purchasing will make arrangements for pickup and appropriate disposal.

Purchase/Lease of Biola Vehicles

Purchasing handles the purchase or lease of all Biola vehicles for business use. To initiate a request for a lease car, send a written request to Purchasing describing specifications and details about the expected use of the vehicle. Purchasing will offer two recommendations, taking into consideration price, reliability, and appropriate features. Additional features require the vice president’s authorization.

The Finance department will determine whether the university will purchase the vehicle and charge the department monthly or lease the vehicle and charge the department for the lease. Maintenance is the responsibility of the department holding the keys to the vehicle. The university will establish an appropriate interest rate for all vehicles that are purchased for departments. That rate will be applied to the monthly department charges.

Rental Car Insurance

Biola’s corporate insurance policy covers collision liability on all rental vehicles rented for business purposes. There is no need to purchase the daily collision insurance from the car rental companies. Proof of insurance cards should be obtained from Risk Management prior to your trip.

Travel and Seminar Registration

Seminar registration and arrangements for all travel, including airfare, hotels, etc., are handled by Purchasing.

To initiate a request, submit a Purchase Requisition Form with the applicable information:

  • Name of person(s) involved. If a large group is involved (e.g., Biola-Israel), individual names are not necessary
  • Dates of departure and return
  • Point of departure and destination
  • Reason for travel
  • Full name of seminar (no abbreviations)
  • Dates of seminar


Contact Purchasing with any requests regarding the copiers on campus, whether they are for maintenance, copy code numbers, supplies, etc.

Computer Purchases

Departments are required to purchase all new computer equipment (e.g., desktops, laptops, monitors, servers, etc.) through Information Technology. If Information Technology is unable to provide the item needed, Purchasing will work with Information Technology in order to select the required manufacturer, model, and minimum equipment specifications to meet your department’s needs. Once a recommendation has been established, the information will be returned to your department for review and approval.

Biola University
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