Section Menu


Policies & Procedures

Learn more about Rollins' purchasing policies and procedures.

Purchasing Policy and Procedure

Effective Date March 2010

Purpose and Scope At Rollins College most purchasing actions are conducted by academic and administrative department employees. The purpose of this policy is to convey the basic purchasing principles which include obligations for ethical behavior, compliance with government regulations, proper transaction documentation, and fiscal responsibility.

Methods of Purchasing

There are several methods that may be used to request items or services. They include direct check requests, purchasing card (P-Card), and purchase requisitions and orders.

Direct Pay/Check Request Used to request payment for purchases not covered by a purchase order or P-Card. Forward the Direct Pay/Check Request form and supporting original documentation (invoice, receipts or other evidence of charge) to Accounts Payable for processing.

Purchasing Card The Rollins College P-Card is intended to provide an efficient, cost-effective method of purchasing and paying for small dollar transactions within established usage limits. The program is designed to replace other purchasing options such as small-dollar purchase orders and direct payment vouchers, and reduce the need for expense reimbursement requests, departmental cash advances and petty cash reimbursements. Using the card will provide quicker turn-around time on your orders, and greater flexibility in ordering goods and will also reduce paperwork processing. Specific guidelines on the usage of the Rollins College Procurement Card Program can be found in the Cardholder Handbook on the Rollins College Finance web page.

Purchase Requisitions and Orders A purchase requisition may be submitted to Purchasing requesting product/service for which cost is in excess of the department's maximum P-Card transaction limit. Purchasing will determine if bidding is required and award a purchase order accordingly.

*Within limits, it is at the discretion of the department which method to use when purchasing items or services. The Purchasing Department personnel will work with departments to determine an appropriate method to purchase items or services.

Purchasing Procedure

The Purchasing Department is typically responsible for soliciting written quotes and proposals based on requests provided by individual departments. In the event that the departments have secured, or secure, the necessary quotes themselves, this supporting documentation should be attached to the Purchasing Requisition form and forwarded to the Purchasing Department for review. The Purchasing Department may secure additional quotes if deemed to be in the best interest of the College.

In selecting the vendor, the department's product quality and delivery time requirements will be considered, in conjunction with the total price.

  • In general, purchases under $1,000 may be processed using the Rollins College P-Card as long as they have proper authorization from their budget manager and all decisions and actions are based upon proper business considerations. See "Purchasing Card" on Rollins College Finance Web page.
  • Purchases from $1,000 - $25,000 may be processed by the department or by submitting a purchase requisition to the Purchasing Department. For purchases made directly from a vendor (not on a purchase requisition) who agree to bill the College for payment, you must ensure that you personally receive the invoice and submit it to Accounts Payable with a Direct Pay/Check Request.
  • A purchase requisition is required for the purchase of commodities over $25,000. Documented quotations from two or more vendors by telephone, fax, e-mail, (or justification why not obtained) by the requesting department or by the Purchasing Department are required.
  • If the department has an ongoing need to pay the same vendor the same amount monthly, complete a purchase requisition or Direct Pay/Check Request form and mark the box to indicate the frequency of payments.
Requisitions should be prepared far enough in advance to permit Purchasing to obtain competitive prices and to allow sufficient time for deliveries to be made. The duration of time required for delivery of the item(s) after receipt of the requisition and correct and complete specifications by the Purchasing Department is dependent on the availability of materials and whether the quotation or formal bid process must be used.

Allow three to five working days on purchases not requiring quotations or sealed bids. The quotation and formal bid process may take a minimum of four weeks.

NOTE: Those persons authorized to approve requisitions are certifying that adequate funds are budgeted and available.

A request for proposal (RFP) may be prepared by the Purchasing Department with the assistance of the requesting department. RFP's will then be distributed to an appropriate selection of suitable vendors. Departmental end users and the Purchasing Department will jointly analyze written quotations from vendors and prepare final recommendations.

Departments are encouraged to contact the Purchasing Department well in advance for major projects or technically complex needs to plan for the acquisition of equipment and supplies.

Sole Source Items In instances where required items are highly specialized or of a technical nature, and therefore not available from multiple sources, the requesting department will mark "Sole Source" in the special instructions of the "Type of Order" section.

Purchasing Furniture For information about purchasing furniture please refer to the Furniture Procurement Policy and Procedure

Emergency Purchases The Purchasing Department will authorize emergency purchases during circumstances that are beyond the control of the College involving health, public safety, imminent loss or injury, or where immediate action would reduce more extensive repairs later.

Depending on the urgency or complexity of the issue, the Purchasing Department will either assign a Purchase Order number or place the order directly with the vendor using their Rollins College P-Card. Other cardholders across campus have the authority to use their College-issued purchasing card to purchase items required in an emergency as described above.

Purchases with Special Requirements

  • Computers, Computer Equipment, and Audio-Visual Equipment - The Office of Information Technology must approve all purchases for computers, servers, workstations, printers, peripherals, and software that will be supported by IT.
  • Furniture - The Purchasing Department is required to obtain quotes for all furniture purchases. Only the Purchasing Department can make exceptions to this directive.
The following commodities and professional services require the review and approval from specific College departments other than the Purchasing Department:

Architectural and Engineering Services contact Facilities Services
Audit Services contact Finance Department
Construction Contracts contact Facilities Services
Employment Services contact the Human Resources Department
Insurance contact Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management
Legal Services contact Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Risk Management
Travel Services contact Finance Department

Purchases of Goods and Services for Personal Use The Purchasing Department does not assist or become involved in any transaction for purchases of a personal nature. The Purchasing Department may also question transactions that seem to be of a personal nature or inappropriate use of College funds.

Receipts of Goods and Forwarding of Invoice

  • It is the responsibility of departmental end-users to immediately inspect all incoming shipments for shortages and defects. The responsible vendor should be alerted of any problems or discrepancies. Persisting or unresolved situations should be brought to the attention of the Purchasing Department.
  • It is the responsibility of individual departments to ensure that packing slips, invoices, and freight bills are checked for accuracy and then forwarded to Accounts Payable.

Equipment on Loan from Vendors Departments accepting equipment on loan or temporary trial should ensure vendors understand the agreement does not constitute a commitment to purchase by the College, and the College will not be liable for any theft, loss, or damage to the equipment whatsoever. The College's sole responsibilities will be limited to exercising reasonable care of, and providing reasonable security for, the equipment. The Purchasing Department will provide a Product Evaluation Agreement upon request.

Conflict of Interest and Gratuities

  • Faculty and staff members who would benefit financially from a given potential supplier selling goods and services to the College may not participate in the vendor selection process.
  • College employees may not personally receive any kind of gratuity from a vendor or individual in connection with any decision affecting a College purchase.
  • No employee should be or appear to be subject to influences, interests, or relationships which conflict with the best interest of the College.

An employee or any member of an employee's immediate family who holds a financial interest in a disclosed blind trust shall not be deemed to have a conflict of interest in regard to matters pertaining to that financial interest.

Adherence to Applicable Laws The College and its employees are expected to obey and adhere to laws and regulations applicable to the College's activities.

This document is intended to provide the basic policy and procedure as well as a general understanding of good purchasing practices so our employees can buy on behalf of the College with confidence and expertise.

Sustainable Purchasing Policy

Purpose and Scope The purpose of this policy is to identify practices, guidelines, and policies that support campus sustainability at Rollins. Purchasing decisions should be made that embody the College’s commitment to sustainability, based on a balance between economic, social, and environmental factors. Best practices in sustainable procurement are those that utilize leading edge sustainability factors, standards, and procedures in an efficient and effective way that are successful and replicable. This policy provides guidelines, information, and resources for sustainable purchasing practices.

Guidelines for Sustainable Purchasing We strive to balance practices that are at the same time environmentally sound and fiscally responsible. When making purchasing decisions, we will evaluate purchased goods/materials that are:

  • Durable, not single use or disposable
  • Made from recycled material that can be reused or recycled
  • Biodegradable/compostable
  • Produced or grown locally
  • Lease or rent equipment when appropriate
  • Fair Trade Certified – developing bid specifications, market basket lists, and discount lists requiring vendors to offer certified fair trade products when applicable
  • Purchase goods containing fewer toxic constituents, preferable Green Seal or EcoLogo certified
  • Reduce paper use; set copiers and printers to duplex mode if available and appropriate
  • Energy efficient and Energy Start rated
  • Non-Toxic or minimally toxic
  • Shipped with minimal packaging, preferable made of recycled and or recyclable materials
  • Water efficient
  • Carcinogen free
  • Used – check Campus surplus first!
Examples of environmentally preferred products
  • Post-consumer waste recycled paper and paper products
  • Remanufactured laser printer toner cartridges
  • Energy Star Rated computers and appliances
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Re-refined lubrication, hydraulic oils, and antifreeze
  • Recycled plastic outdoor-wood substitutes including plastic lumber, benches, fencing, signs and posts
  • Recycled content construction, building and maintenance products, including plastic lumber, carpet, tiles and insulation
  • Re-crushed cement concrete aggregate and asphalt
  • Cement and asphalt concrete containing glass cullet, recycled fiber, plastic, tire rubber, or fly ash
  • Compost, mulch, and other organics including recycled biosolid products
  • Re-manufactured and/or low or VOC-free paint
  • Fair Trade certified food commodities such as coffee, tea, sugar and cocoa, [grown with sustainable soil and water use methods]
  • Cleaning products with lowered toxicity
  • Energy saving products
  • Waste-reducing products
  • Water-saving products
 Sustainable Purchasing Checklist
  • (Change arrows to checkboxes)Does this product/item/material exist on campus and can it be borrowed instead of purchased?
  • Can this order be combined with another order to reduce shipping and handling costs and/or to reduce packaging?
  • Is this product available from local (within 200 miles) vendors?
  • Will this product be able to be used by other departments/groups/individuals on campus, thus reducing their need to duplicate purchases?
  • Is this product ENERGY STAR rated (if applicable)?
  • Is this product produced by companies and suppliers with good environmental track records that have independent third-party verification?
  • Is this product certified Fair Trade, an economically and environmentally sound purchase?
  • Does the supplier/company offer annual corporate, social, ethical and environmental reports and other supporting documentation?
  • Is this product durable and/or reusable?
  • Is the product made from raw materials obtained in an environmentally sound, sustainable manner?
  • Is the product made of recycled materials?
  • Is the product shipped using minimal packaging (consistent with care of the product), preferably made of recycled and/or recyclable materials?
  • Is the product recyclable but if not recyclable can be disposed of safely?
  • Is the product and/or its packaging biodegradable or compostable?
  • Is the product non-toxic or minimally toxic (including low or no Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs)?
  • Is the product heavy metal free (e.g., no lead, mercury, cadmium)?
  • Is the product water efficient (if applicable) which means that it uses at least 20% less than comparable products and has the EPAs WaterSense label?
  • Does this product have educational materials, such as signage, that can be displayed where the product is used?

Unless unfeasible, Rollins College shall buy sustainable products with these labels and certifications

Sustainable Purchasing Definitions
  • Environmentally Preferable Products are products that have a lesser impact on human health and the environment when compared with competing products. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product.
  • Green Purchasing -purchasers take into consideration the environmental impact of products when making purchasing decisions, giving preference to more environmentally friendly products.  This can involve developing bid language, specifications, market basket or “core” lists, or vendor evaluation processes that reflect green purchasing goals.
  • Fair Trade - Fair Trade offers producers fair prices and wages and promotes and enhances environmental sustainability, as well as improved social services and improved local infrastructure.
  • Recycled Products are products manufactured with waste material that has been recovered or diverted from solid waste. Recycled material may be derived from post-consumer waste (material that has served its intended end-use and been discarded by a final consumer), industrial scrap, manufacturing waste, or other waste that would otherwise have been wasted.
  • Sustainability- meeting today's needs without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs.
  • Waste Prevention - any action undertaken by an individual or organization to eliminate or reduce the amount or toxicity of materials before they enter the municipal solid waste stream. This action is intended to conserve resources, promote efficiency, and reduce pollution.
  • Reuse - repairing what is broken or giving it to someone who can repair it or use it in its current state.
  • Reduce - using less of products and utilizing other means of doing business when available to reduce the amount and toxicity of trash discarded.
  • Recycle - to reprocess and reuse used material.
  • Life Cycle Evaluation is an evaluation of the major environmental impacts in each life-cycle stage of a product category including resource extraction, production, distribution, use, and eventual disposal or recycling. The evaluation considers energy, resource use, and emissions to air, water, and land, as well as other environmental and health impacts. The purpose of this evaluation is to identify significant life-cycle stages to be addressed.
  • Rechargeable - to replenish the amount of electric power in something, especially a battery.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) - vendors taking on the responsibility for the environmental impacts of their products through the entire product's life cycle; especially the take-back, recycle, and disposal programs.
  • Leasing - a legal rental contract allowing somebody exclusive possession of another's property for a specific time in return for a payment.
  • Certification - an official document or seal providing evidence and details of something that is authentic and verified by a third party.
  • Cradle-to-Cradle - a way of redesigning products so that waste is eliminated, rather than sent to a landfill. Cradle-to-cradle mimics nature in that “waste becomes food”, i.e. decomposing leaves become soil for future food production.
  • Deconstructable - products that can be taken apart and their components reused or recycled to create new products.
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) - how much a product or service costs over its entire life cycle, taking into account not only upfront price but costs due to maintenance, transportation, staffing, training and waste disposal. TCO often reveals that sustainable products and services that are more costly upfront are cheaper over the product’s life cycle.
  • Life Cycle - a product’s life from beginning to end, including: resource extraction, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, maintenance, recycling and waste disposal.

Socially Responsible/Ethical Purchasing Standards Rollins demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and seeks to ensure safe and healthy workplaces for the people who make products for Rollins College. 

Throughout the world, many laborers work under poor conditions for meager wages. Small farmers are often vulnerable to volatile market pricing and, due to long supply chains, receive prices below costs of production, which creates a cycle of debt and environmental degradation.

Many goods purchased by the College are sourced from outside the United States. Imported goods produced in a manner detrimental to the environment and/or to workers may cause social and environmental harm capable of regional or global impact.

Purchasers should strive to ensure that the products they purchase meet International Labor Organization (ILO) manufacturing standards and are Fair Trade certified.  The College recognizes that its purchasing decisions can benefit or protect the environment and workers around the world. In its role as a market participant, the College seeks to direct its procurement toward products made fairly and sustainably.

Policy for Paper Reduction

Purpose This policy sets forth standards and processes aimed at reducing waste at the source; encouraging the purchase and use of durable and reusable products; encouraging the purchase of high post-consumer content recycled products; increasing the total volume of waste materials diverted from landfills to recycling processes; and ensuring the long-term viability of campus recycling operations through appropriate educational programs, coordination, management, and oversight.

Policy As a leader in the community, Rollins College is responsible for creating a culture of sustainability with regard to environmental policies and practices.

Procedures for Paper Source Reduction

  1. Paper office supplies should contain a minimum standard of 30% post consumer waste (PCW) recycled content. Rollins College letterhead should contain 30% post consumer waste (PCW) recycled content. All items should be 100% recyclable.
  2. Copying and Printing
    1. Copiers and printers should be set to default to two-sided copying or printing when possible and practical. You will still be able to override the default setting and print single-sided when necessary. Before changing default settings, it is important to ensure that everyone in your department understands how to override default settings if they must print single-sided.
    2. Outside suppliers and consultants shall be encouraged to print proposals and reports on both sides, using recycled content paper. The documents shall be clearly marked to indicate that they are printed on post consumer waste (PCW) recycled content paper.
    3. Whenever feasible, electronic correspondence should replace written correspondence. When printed documents are required, employees are encouraged to print using the minimum amount of paper necessary. Methods to accomplish this include reducing margin size, reducing font size and two-sided printing.
    4. Forms should be made available to complete and submit electronically whenever possible.
    5. Employees should reuse office paper that is printed on only one side whenever possible. Paper shall be recycled after reuse.
    6. Departmental and course handouts should be distributed electronically whenever possible.
  3. Publications and Mailing Lists
    1. Campus newsletters, catalogs, magazines and other publications are encouraged to be printed using post consumer waste (PCW) recycled content paper. When feasible, departments should consider electronic publications in lieu of printing.
    2. All print publications (newsletters, catalogs, magazines, etc.) should move toward an electronic publication alternative and a clear method for allowing subscribers to opt out of hard copy delivery.
    3. Departments are encouraged to limit the receipt of multiple copies of print publications and instead route or publicly post a single copy for interested parties whenever possible.


  1. The department head is responsible for:
    1. Ensuring that employees receive instruction and orientation regarding their responsibility to participate in campus recycling programs.
    2. Developing steps to reduce excessive printing and copying.
  2. All campus entities with printing or copying responsibilities (including Print Services and Information Technology) are responsible for providing education and support in the operation of all copying and printing devices to promote sustainable practices. For example: All networked copiers are able to copy, print, and scan. It is recommended documents be scanned for emailing or record retention instead of printed whenever possible. Documents needing to be reviewed as hard copies can be produced using 2-in-1 and double-sided.
  3. The Purchasing Department is responsible for:
    1. Working to establish contracts for paper products with the highest percentage of post consumer waste (PCW) recycled content available.
    2. Working with suppliers to promote recycled offerings prominently in electronic ordering systems.
    3. Requesting that companies who currently distribute catalogues provide electronic access and to discontinue mailing multiple hard copies.

Confidential Document Policy

Information coming soon.