Policy 7101 — Procurement Policy

Policy section:
Section 7100-7199 Purchasing, Claims and Reimbursement
Policy number:
Procurement Policy
Approved By:
Vice-President (Administration)
Approved date:
May 29, 1992
Effective date:
May 29, 1992
September 20, 2010
Administered by:


1.1 Purpose

Mount Allison requires a broad variety of goods and services. Identifying procurement requirements is the responsibility of faculty and staff. Management of the procurement function is the responsibility of the Financial Services Department.

This Policy outlines the following elements of the University’s procurement process

  • Procurement authority and responsibilities
  • Acquisition of goods and services
  • Standardized goods and services
  • Contract versus employment
  • Confidentiality
  • Environmentally aware procurement
  • Risk management and insurance
  • Cross border transactions

Faculty and staff conduct as it relates to procurement activities is governed by Policy 7910 — Code of Business Conduct.

1.2 Application

This policy applies to the procurement of all goods and services funded through all accounts administered by the University, including those funded by operating, ancillary, special purpose, research, contract, endowed and capital funds.

Exceptions may be reported in accordance with the University’s Disbursements Made as Exception to Policy.


2.1 Authority to Purchase Goods and Services

Except as noted below, the procurement of goods and services is authorized through issuing University Purchase Orders. The Procurement Manager, or their designate, is the only official authorized to issue University Purchase Orders.

Purchase Orders will only be issued before the goods are received or the services are rendered.

The following goods and services are not procured through a Purchase Order:   

  • Travel for individual faculty and staff which is governed by the Travel and Entertainment policy. Faculty and staff organizing travel involving students should refer to the International Travel Involving Students policy or the Academic and Athletic Travel Involving Students policy.
  • Entertainment which is governed by the University’s Travel and Entertainment policy.
  • Books, DVD’s, CD’s, films and similar media
  • Artwork purchases initiated by the Director of the Owens Art Gallery
  • Utilities, Insurance, Audit, banking, investment management and actuarial services
  • Legal services that do not involve research (patents, commercialization, etc.)
  • Goods and services procured with a University purchasing card as per the Procurement Card policy.
  • Any good or service less than $500 or such larger amount set by the Controller.
  • Catering services provided by the University’s dining service provider less than $2,500 or such larger amount set by the Controller
  • Honoraria and guest speaker fees up to $5,000 or such larger amount set by the Controller.

The Director of Facilities Management and Security, or their delegate, has the authority to procure goods and services directly on behalf of the University where delay would interfere with the ability to protect the safety of individuals or University property.


The Controller may review and request changes to contracts.

Contracts having a value greater than $5,000 must be signed as per the Signing Officers policy.

The Controller or Procurement Manager may sign sales agreements, applications for vendor credit, purchase orders, vendor services agreements and contracts less than $5,000 where the document accompanies a purchase order.


3.1 Responsibility for Procurement Requests

The Procurement Manager is responsible for arranging for the purchase of goods and services so that they will be available in the appropriate place at the proper time, of the appropriate quantity and quality and at the appropriate price. The Procurement Manager has authority to question purchase requests, specifications and suggested sources and to provide input and request alternate terms and conditions or additional quotations. The Procurement Manager shall not alter specifications without involvement of the initiator or the initiator’s department head.

3.2 Reviewing and Preparing Procurement Requests

The Procurement Manager is responsible for reviewing specifications and sources to ensure they are appropriate. In particular

  • The initiator and the Procurement Manager are jointly responsible for developing a list of acceptable vendors for a specific good or service with the initiator being responsible for the technical aspects of the evaluation and the Procurement Manager being responsible for the commercial aspects.
  • The Procurement Manager is responsible for reviewing each purchase order requisition. The review will include, but is not limited to, reviewing the following matters:
    • a) Authorizations
    • b) Quality
    • c) University standards
    • d) Appropriate for the intended use
    • e) Tenders have been issued where necessary
    • f) Requests for sole source purchases that exceed public tendering thresholds


4.1 Guidelines for the use of Purchasing Method

The University will use a number of methods to purchase goods and services, including Purchasing Cards, Purchase Order Requisitions and Bid Processes.

The process to be followed depends on the estimated cost of the proposed purchase, including the price, freight charges, and insurance, customs and other related costs.

Financial Services can require a competitive bid process to be used regardless of cost if the process is deemed to be in the University’s best interest.

The term “competitive bids” includes Requests for Proposals (RFP), Requests or Invitations to Tender (tenders, ITT, RFT), Requests for Information (RFI), Requests for Quotations (RFQ) and Requests for Pre-Qualification.

Commitments to purchase will be communicated by Financial Services and not the initiator unless the purchase is made using a procurement card. When a procurement card is used the initiator may commit the University in accordance with the University’s Purchasing Card Policy and Procedure.
Purchasing Cards:
Purchase of low dollar items from a supplier in Canada should generally be processed using a University Purchasing Card. The University’s Purchasing Card Policy and Procedure.

Procurement of Goods or Services up to $2,000
Any one item, or an accumulation of items, not exceeding $2,000 in value may be purchased by Financial Services based on the initiator’s knowledge of and experience with the supplier, or based on the initiator’s knowledge of last purchased price, supplier catalogue, verbal or written quotation.

Procurement of Goods or Services over $2,000 and up to $10,000
Any one item or an accumulation of items over $2,000 and not exceeding $10,000 in value may be purchased by Financial Services based on the initiator’s knowledge of and experience with the supplier and at least one original supplier quotation forwarded to Procurement Services with the initiator’s purchase order requisition.

Procurement of Goods or Services over $10,000 and up to $25,000 for Goods, up to $50,000 for Services and up to $100,000 for Construction Services.
Any one item or an accumulation of items over $10,000 but not exceeding $25,000 for goods, $50,000 for services and $100,000 for construction services may be purchased by Financial Services on the basis of at least 3 written competitive quotations. All original quotations must be forwarded to Financial Services with the department’s POR. Supplier terms and conditions, letters of agreement or contracts will be vetted and approved by appropriate University signing officers.

Procurement of Goods over $25,000 or Services over $50,000
The University is required to follow the Province of New Brunswick’s Public Purchasing Act which mandates that purchases of goods above $25,000 and services above $50,000 be publicly advertised.

Therefore, any one item or accumulation of goods over $25,000 or services over $50,000 will be purchased using a publicly advertised process administered by Financial Services.

Some purchases may be exempt from public tendering requirements. Please contact Financial Services to determine if an exemption applies to a particular purchase.

Construction Contracts over $100,000
The University is required to follow the Atlantic Procurement Agreement which mandates public advertising for construction services above $100,000.

4.2 Purchasing Agreements with External Organizations

Wherever feasible, the University supports the volume purchase agreements negotiated on its behalf by CAUBO or Interuniversity Services Inc. (ISI). Suppliers awarded agreements through the processes of these groups will be viewed as suppliers of first choice.

In addition, the University may take advantage of volume purchase agreements negotiated by the New Brunswick Government.

The Procurement Manager is the primary University contact for evaluation of CAUBO, ISI, or government agreements. Where practical the contract details will be distributed to departments. Specific agreements, such as multi-function printers, require direct departmental involvement.


The University generally tries to standardize goods or services in order to lower operating costs of the University.

Examples of where this has been done include personal computers, ergonomic seating, office furniture, letterhead, and network hardware.

Vendors supplying the University with its standards will be preferred vendors. Selection of preferred vendors usually results from a competitive process although competitive sources may often be limited in number.

Any department may recommend goods or services to be identified as University Standards. Departments who do so must provide Procurement Services with information outlining why the good or service deserves to be identified as a standard, including technical specifications, supplier service expectations, current costs, an estimate of costs over five (5) years and an estimate of benefits to the University from standardization. The Procurement Manager is responsible for evaluating any such departmental recommendations and, where appropriate, determining sources for goods or services that meet the standard and informing the University community of the Standard.


Requests to have the University enter into a service contract with a person may be reviewed by Human Resources to determine if the relationship is a contract for services or an employment contract. Financial Services administers contract for services while Human Resources is responsible for employment contracts.


The majority of procurement transactions are confidential in nature and should be treated as such.

The University considers supplier quotations to be confidential information and will not share information about a supplier's quotation with another supplier.

The University will not disclose prices submitted by bidders except as required by law.

Faculty and staff involved in the procurement process will direct any requests for prices from a bidder, supplier or the public to the Procurement Manager.


The University, having recognized the importance of environmental issues and concerns, may adopt a policy of environmentally friendly procurement, where environmentally friendly procurement does not conflict with the established principles of good Supply Management.
This means that the University will purchase, subject to availability and economic considerations, goods and services which:

  • Contain post consumer recycled materials.
  • Contain materials that lend themselves to recycling.
  • Contain a minimum of packaging.
  • Are not harmful to the environment, where less harmful alternatives are available.


University personnel making purchases of goods or services on behalf of the University must determine if the purchase creates any risks for the University. If a risk exists, it must be minimized, if appropriate, through insurance or other forms of indemnification.

Warranties: Goods or services supplied to the University should carry an appropriate warranty, indicating a specific warranty period and remedies available to the University.

Guarantees: In appropriate cases, goods or services supplied to the University should be guaranteed by the supplier to be fit for the purposes for which they are intended.

Public Liability and Property Damage Insurance: Suppliers who are providing services on campus must have sufficient current Public Liability and Property Damages insurance. Generally the amount should be two million dollars ($2,000,000).

Workers Compensation: Suppliers whose personnel are on campus must be in good standing with the workers compensation authority in the province of New Brunswick. In any case where the supplier’s personnel might be required to be on campus, requests for competitive pricing should require potential suppliers to include proof of their Workers Compensation standing as a condition of receiving any award.

Licenses: Where necessary, suppliers providing goods or services must be licensed to provide those goods or services.


All goods purchased from outside Canada must be purchased using a Purchase Order Requisition or a purchasing card in order to properly manage issues of ownership, cross border documentation and importation duties.

Shipments of personal property to employees must not be addressed to the University and will not be processed through customs by the University’s contracted Customs Broker.

Goods imported into Canada will be inspected by Canadian Customs and may be subject to customs duty depending on the type of goods, end use and location of manufacture. All imported equipment must meet CSA or similar standards or have the capability of meeting CSA standards. Suppliers of these goods are required to complete a Canadian Customs Invoice or a Commercial Invoice containing certain information available from Financial Services at purchasing@mta.ca.

All University personnel ordering materials from suppliers outside Canada must be aware of these requirements and ensure that the supplier knows that the goods are being exported to Canada.

Faculty or staff wishing to ship University goods outside of Canada for repair or other purposes should contact Financial Services at purchasing@mta.ca before shipping the goods.

Quick Reference Sheet

This quick reference sheet is to assist faculty and staff with understanding how to go about procuring goods and services.

Goods under $50
Use a Purchasing Card or purchase yourself and be reimbursed through petty cash at Financial Services (3rd Floor Centennial Hall).

Goods and Services under $500 or any amount of books, DVD’s, CD’s and similar media
Use a Purchasing Card or purchase yourself and seek reimbursement with a cheque requisition.

Catering services through University Dining Services (Aramark) less than $2,500
Arrange directly through University Dining Services – no purchase order requisition required.

Goods and Services up to $2,000
Submit a purchase order requisition to Financial Services.

Goods and Services over $2,000 and up to $10,000
Submit a purchase order requisition to Financial Services and attach at least one quote.

Goods and Services over $10,000 and up to $25,000 for Goods and $50,000 for Services
Submit a purchase order requisition to Financial Services and attach at least 3 quotes.

Goods over $25,000 or Services over $50,000
A competitive bid process is required. Contact Financial Services for more information at purchasing@mta.ca.

Construction services
Contact Financial Services for more information at purchasing@mta.ca

Items to note:

  • All items purchased or claimed as a reimbursement using University funds, regardless of the source of funds, are the property of the University.
  • Non-standard computer hardware (Dell and Apple) and software purchases that have not been vetted by Computing Services may not be supported by the University (Computing Services).
  • Purchase order requisitions need to be submitted whenever the service involves students travelling by bus or van. See Academic and Athletic Travel Involving Students.

Financial Services Forms are available on the Faculty & Staff Gateway.

Questions? E-mail purchasing@mta.ca