About the Purchasing Office
Procurement of Goods and Services
The Purchasing Department is responsible for the procurement of goods and services for all campuses/centers of Northwest Florida State College. Goods and services maybe procured through quotes (verbal or written), Invitation to Bid, Request for Quotations/Proposals. The Purchasing Department generally handles in excess of 100 departmental requisitions, from six campus/centers weekly. Purchases are only made with a valid signed purchase order.
All purchasing is handled through the Office of the Coordinator of Purchasing, Northwest Florida State College, 100 College Boulevard, Niceville, FL 32578. The business hours of the Purchasing Department are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You or your representative should stop by the Purchasing Department prior to talking with other College personnel regardless of the product. We welcome you to visit our office since we need to know about your product or service, and also to direct you to the proper College department.
Notice of Fraudulent Purchase Order Attempts
Please be aware there are active ongoing fraudulent attempts to place purchase orders (POs), enter into contracts, and/or request for quotations that purport to originate from Northwest Florida State College using lookalike domain registrations. While the College cannot prevent this illegal activity, we are actively working with law enforcement to investigate the use of our brand and likeness in these fraudulent attempts. Please review the following document to help you identify potentially fraudulent requests.
We are interested in receiving sales calls from vendor representatives. Sales calls to individual departments are allowed; however, you should make appointments in advance, and departments are not allowed to purchase materials during the call. Accordingly, salespersons can visit the Purchasing Department, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. When making sales calls to the Purchasing Department, an appointment is recommended. If you need to cancel an appointment, you should notify the Purchasing Department as soon as possible.
Quotations may be obtained by telephone, fax machine or in writing. This method of obtaining pricing usually limited to purchases under $25,000; however, it can also be used to confirm pricing on noncompetitive items. Vendors should make every effort to ensure that all pricing information, specifications, terms and conditions are made known to the buyer. Prices quoted by these methods must be good for at least 45 days.
Requests for Bids / Bid Quotes
Requests for bids/bid-quotes are more formal methods for requesting pricing. This procedure is used for the purchase of items over $25,000. All information regarding the purchase is written and the bid/bid-quote package remains sealed until the opening date.
Bids and Bid-Quotes
Bids/bid-quotes are opened at a date and time specified in the document. In the event that a vendor is bidding on items other than those specified in the bid, it is important that adequate information accompany the bid so that a fair evaluation can be made of any alternate item(s). The College will be the final judge as to the acceptability of any item bid. Bid/bid-quote openings are open to the public. Vendors may attend the openings on the scheduled date and time. Since bids are a matter of public record, vendors may view them at any time; however, an appointment must be made with the Coordinator to review any bid results. Bid results may be given by phone, but the Purchasing Department takes no responsibility for any errors that may occur during the conversation.
Request for Quotes or Proposal
The Request for Quotes/Proposal is another method for requesting pricing and is generally sued for purchases less than $25,000. This method usually contains special conditions and/or specifications, which the vendor must take into consideration when giving a price. In this instance, the College will consider several factors, which are listed in the document and pricing is not the sole determining factor of the award.
Sealed bids, as required by State of Florida Law, are obtained when the amount of a purchase is likely to exceed the limit established by the State of Florida.
Northwest Florida State College opens bids in a public bid opening held by the Purchasing Department, bimonthly. The bid openings are held on the last Tuesday of the month at 3:00 p.m., prior to the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees. Special bid openings are held in the off months when the need arises and approval by the College President is obtained.
The following is a list of procedures followed by the Purchasing Department after bids are opened:
- Bid results are tabulated and recorded on a tabulation sheet by the Purchasing Buyer.
- A committee is appointed by the Coordinator of Purchasing to examine the bids. The committee is normally made up of two or more persons from the requisitioning department and the Coordinator of Purchasing.
- The committee reviews all bids and prepares written recommendation to the College President relating to the award of the bid. This recommendation may be to award the bid to the low bidder, reject the low bid (with proper justification) and award to the next lowest bidder, to reject all bids and rebid, to cancel the bid and not rebid, or to delay the award until further information can be obtained.
- The committee’s recommendation will be posted on the Purchasing Bulletin Board (Niceville Campus, Administration Building, 1st Floor, Elevator Hallway) no later than ten (10) working days after the bid opening.
- The posted recommendation will remain posted for vendor review for five (5) working days during which time any and all protests must be filed, in writing, with the Coordinator of Purchasing.
- Upon receiving a protest, the Coordinator of Purchasing will notify the College President and the bid review committee members.
- The committee will again meet and make a recommendation to the College President, based on facts included in the protest to; reject the protest, change the original recommendation, recommend delay of the award, or cancel the bid.
- The College President will make his recommendation to the College Board of Trustees at their regular scheduled meeting (normally held on the third Tuesday evening of the months of July, September, November, January, March and May) in the Gallery located in the College Mall on the Niceville Campus.
- The decision of the College Board of Trustees will be final.
NOTE: Bid protests based upon specifications must be received no later than ten (10) days after the mailing of the bid documents to prospective bidders. Failure to file a protest within the time prescribed in s. 120.53(5) Florida Statutes, shall constitute a waiver of proceedings under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.
Terms and Conditions
Vendors are requested and instructed to read all terms and conditions and statements appearing on the forms used for obtaining pricing, particularly the Instructions to Bidders and Purchase Orders. The College adheres to these terms and conditions and also expects vendors to adhere to them. Please read carefully all of the information contained on the college documents prior to submitting your bid.
All bids and requests for quotes/proposals must be received in the Purchasing Department prior to 3:00 p.m. on the scheduled opening date. The correct time will be that kept in the Purchasing Department. Any document received after 3:00 p.m. deadline will be returned unopened. Receipt of the bid or proposal by any other department of the College is not acceptable.
Demonstrations, Trials and Samples
Vendors are encouraged to make demonstrations available to College personnel as often as possible. Any equipment left at the college for demonstration or trial purposes shall remain the responsibility and property of the vendor. Any cost, which may be incurred by the college because of a demonstration or trial, shall be clearly detailed in writing to the Purchasing Department before the items/equipment to be demonstrated or tried are delivered to the college. Vendors are cautioned that notice of a trial or demonstration shall be given to the Purchasing Department prior to delivery. The vendor must remove any equipment, which is left for a trial period, within 30 days. Trial periods should not exceed 30 days. Sample which are requested by the Purchasing Department, to aid and assist in product evaluation, shall be supplied at no charge to the College and, if requested, will be returned at the vendor’s expense.
Vendors are cautioned against making a delivery or performing a service for the College without having an authorized purchase order. If vendors supply items to College personnel without proper authorization, the vendor must assume the responsibility for collection of the payment of these goods or services from the individual with whom the transaction was made. However, for authorized purchases, deliveries shall be made to the address indicated on the purchase order or to other locations as authorized by the Purchasing Department.
After items have been delivered or services have been performed, invoices shall be sent to:
Northwest Florida State College
Accounts Payable Department
100 College Boulevard
Niceville, FL 32578
To ensure prompt payment of your invoice, the purchase order number must appear on your invoice. Failure to indicate the College order number on your invoice will result in a delay of the payment and the possible return of the invoice.
Special Contract Purchases
According to College policy, the Purchasing Department is authorized to use State contracts, other Florida Community College or University contracts, School Board contracts and County contracts. This procedure allows the College to waive competitive bidding as these contracts have already been bid. Substantial quantity savings are obtained by using these contracts since they are based on the requirements of other entities within the State of Florida.
Minority Vendors and Contractors
The College is committed to encourage utilization of minority and women-owned firms in the procurement of goods, services and construction-related activities in accordance with applicable law. Minority and women-owned firms should complete a vendor application, which will be kept on file in the Purchasing Department. All minority vendors who are on file with the Purchasing Department will be contacted for pricing in the commodity areas, which they indicate they can supply.
It is the policy of Northwest Florida State College to provide minority and women-owned businesses with an opportunity to participate in construction Ðrelated services and contracts for the provision of commodities, contractual services and consulting services, and to encourage participation by such businesses. This policy will apply to all College procurement activities.
The College will seek active participation through advertisements, invitation to bid and requests for proposals for procurement activities, and by providing information to minority and women-owned businesses about the plans, specifications and requirements of contracts and projects at the College.
Purchasing Do’s and Don’ts
- Respond to all bids, even if it is a “NO BID”. Failure to respond will eventually lead to removal from the bid list.
- Submit all required documents requested in the bid form (catalogs, price sheets, drawings, etc.)
- When bidding alternates, bid only those alternates equal or better than the item(s) specified in the bid and be sure to include information/specifications on the alternate item.
- Sign all bid documents.
- Submit all bids on time. Allow sufficient time for the bid to arrive in the Purchasing Department.
- Fill all orders received on a timely basis and as specified.
- Don’t bid on contracts that your company cannot complete or for which you cannot obtain the necessary bid.
- Don’t qualify a bid against the terms and conditions of the bid proposal. Example: If a bid specifies a one-year term, don’t bid a six-month term.
- Don’t supply misleading delivery information.
- Don’t ask to change bid prices after bid has been opened.