Interim Guidelines

Procurement Services Action Plan

What Departments/Divisions Need to Know

March 30, 2020

We appreciate your patience as we navigate this unprecedented time at NIU. Procurement Services & Contract Management (PSCM) has adjusted some of its work processes to accommodate the needs of campus due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please review the information below on how to handle routine purchases and emergency procurement needs. 

Non-routine or Emergency Purchases

Governor JB Pritzker’s Disaster Proclamation (Proclamation) temporarily suspends the Procurement Code through April 7, 2020, for the purposes of coping with matters related to COVID-19. This flexibility only applies to the extent that application of the Procurement Code would “prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the disaster.”  Unfortunately, the Proclamation does not suspend the Procurement Code for all procurement actions.

Not every situation of immediate need will rise to the level of an emergency. For example, a disruption in services may be very inconvenient and very disruptive to normal services, however an emergency procurement only applies when the services are critical AND affect health, safety or collection of substantial State revenue.

What is considered an emergency purchase?

A statutory emergency may be justified if the situation involves:

  • a threat to public health or public safety; inclusive of COVID-19
  • the need for immediate purchases necessary for repairs to university property to protect it from against further loss or damage
  • the need to prevent or minimize serious disruption in critical university services that affect health, safety, or collection of substantial State revenues
  • the need to ensure the integrity of university records

Emergency Purchases - If you believe you have a need that meets the criteria of an emergency purchase, please email PSCM at pscm@niu.edu  and copy Antoinette Bridges at abridges3@niu.edu. PSCM will work with you to complete the purchase.

Routine Purchases
  • Routine purchases will remain unchanged. Departments should continue to place their requisitions and appropriate documentation in the P2PO system. PSCM will review and obtain any required documentation and approvals.
  • We are eliminating the “pink copy” during this time. Departments and vendors/contractors will receive a .pdf copy of the purchase order, via email.
  • Please use “COVID” as the Program Code on the purchase requisition and net checks in the P2PO system for all purchases related to COVID-19. COVID-19 requests should only cover the time frame needed, generally no more than 12 months for services.
  • We ask that departments review active purchases and contracts to determine which services or supplies need to be halted while the university is in limited operations. Types of changes could include contract cancellations, delayed deliveries, suspension of on-campus bottled water delivery and suspension of recurring supplies.
FY20 and FY21 Requirements

FY20 and FY21 Requirements – We know that this is a busy time and departments should continue to plan and prepare for finalizing FY20 requirements and began the process of identifying FY21 requirements.  Departments may begin entering new FY21 requirements and renewals into the P2PO system. PSCM will begin processing these requests the week of April 13, 2020.

Following are reminders to aid you in planning for the remainder of FY20:

  • PSCM will continue to process RFP, IFBs, Sole Sources, and QBS that were submitted prior to March 1, 2020 –and will work to meet the Department’s requested timelines. Please continue to communicate with the assigned buyer.
  • PSCM will continue to process open orders based on Department’s requested needs.
  • PSCM will continue to process change order increases and decreases as presented by the Departments.
  • PSCM will continue to process Net Checks as annotated on requisition.
  • Contracts are identified as two-party agreements and should be submitted with the requisition for review and processing, if they are considered a routine purchase. In emergencies, these should be submitted directly to Antoinette Bridges (abridges3@niu.edu) or Jean Ann Thomas (jathomas@niu.edu) for review.

Following are reminders to aid you in your planning for FY21:

  • Transactions less than $20,000 do not require competition. We encourage competition to ensure NIU achieves the best price.
  • Transactions between $20,000 and $99,999 must comply with new competition requirements, as outlined in Competition Policy, and include consideration of Business Enterprise Program (BEP) vendors.
  • Transactions $100,000 and above will follow the process identified for transactions greater than $250,000 but do not require Board approval.
  • Transactions greater than $250,000 must receive Board Approval (contact Emily Hochstatter at emurray2@niu.edu for instructions on submitting Board submission requirements). These requests are generally procured via a formal Request for Proposal (RFP), Invitation for Bid (IFB), Sole Source, or Qualification Based Selection (QBS).
  • Departments are encouraged to submit new FY21 RFP, IFB, Sole Source, or QBS as soon as possible. At this time, PSCM is prioritizing processing of procurements related to COVID-19. We will make every effort to process new submissions for FY21, prior to July 1, 2020, however some items may be delayed. We recognize the impact this will cause and appreciate your flexibility.
  • PSCM will continue to work on establishing renewals for FY21. This process includes ensuring proper documentation is submitted to the Chief Procurement Officer for renewals that are already established with an aggregate value greater than $100,000.

We encourage departments to use established IPHEC contracts when feasible and BEP vendors when considering competition requirements. Use of IPHEC contracts and/or BEP vendors will expedite the procurement process.

For purchases utilizing NIU Foundation funds
  • Requisitions and net checks must be submitted using the purchase requisition They should be emailed to Cecelia Bolles (cbolles@niu.edu), with a copy to Antoinette Bridges (abridges3@niu.edu) for processing.
  • PSCM will email a .pdf copy of the purchase order to the requestor.

PSCM appreciates your partnership and patience as we work together to support NIU. Please contact pscm@niu.edu with any questions and we will respond to messages within 24 business hours.

Additional Resources

Contact Us

Procurement Services and Contract Management
Lowden Hall 107
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-1671
815-753-6800 (FAX)