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The Purchasing Department is responsible to oversee and manage systems that facilitate the purchase of materials and services for all functions of the college. Purchasing provides value added services through the coordination of the procurement, delivery and receipt of goods and services to support the college’s mission as a leader in art and design. As a public institution, the college is governed by the laws and regulations that pertain to procurement in higher education as established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Collectively, the controls outlined in the following sections are designed to ensure an open, fair, and competitive procurement process, as well as an efficient and transparent purchasing process. 

Expenditure Procedures

Expenditure Guidelines - A must for new employees and a good resource for all.

Conflict of Interest Law

Introduction to the Conflict of Interest Law by the State Ethics Commission


 General Purchasing

1. The Purchasing Department employs the competitive procurement process for the purchase of commodities and services from vendors, including independent contractors (as determined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Three Part Test, Ch. 149, s. 148B) unless the procurement qualifies as a competitive procurement exceptions as follows:

a. Incidental Purchase- An incidental purchase is defined as a one-time, non-recurring need for goods and/or services with a total dollar value up to $10,000.

b. Emergency situations that require the immediate acquisition of a commodity or service.

c. Collective purchasing arrangements- The competitive procurement process is not necessary if the commodity or service is available from an existing contract. The College receives increased purchasing power from the contracts of group purchasing organizations including:

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Operational Services Division.
  • Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC).
  • Educational and Institutional Cooperative.

d. Interim contracts to prevent a lapse in contract performance.

e. Hiring contract employees (as determined by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Three Part Test, Ch. 149, s. 148B).

f. Other- Purchases without limitation of amount library books and periodicals, educational and scientific supplies and equipment, printing and binding, emergency repairs and replacement parts, and perishable items, without recourse to any state board, bureau, department or commission; provided, however, that in so doing the College shall follow modern methods of purchasing and shall, wherever practicable, invite competitive bids (MGL c. 15A s.24).

2. No person is authorized to obligate the College without encumbering (having a PO issued) in advance after sufficient funds to meet the obligation have been verified. 

3. Purchasing maintains files that include all documentation related to college procurements.

4. No person is authorized to sign any contract and/or agreement on behalf of the college except the President, Vice President of Administration and Finance, or Associate Vice President of Fiscal Affairs.

5. PC hardware and software acquisitions must be approved by the Technology Department.

6. Building materials and facilities supplies must be approved by the Facilities Department.

7. Purchasing requiring setup or maintenance by Facilities tradespersons must be approved by the Facilities Department.

8. The College's commitment to the principles of Affirmative Action shall be applied to purchasing with the objective of achieving and fostering greater minority and women owned business enterprise participation in College procurement activity and encouraging socially or economically disadvantaged business owners to respond to invitations to bid on the College business.

9. The college promotes the procurement and use of environmentally preferable commodities and services to strengthen markets for recyclable materials and minimize the environmental and health impacts associated with products during their use and disposal.



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