Purchasing Policies

College Purchasing and Related Policies

Purchasing Guidelines and Tips


  • DO ask for our help in plenty of time to allow us to do a quality job for you.
  • DO consult us as far in advance of a major procurement as you can. Give us a chance to give you some advice or offer help. We may be able to save you steps and money and or prevent later problems.
  • DO use the purchase requisition as you would a work sheet, providing as much background information as possible and giving any special procurement matters.
  • DO forward, concurrently with your purchase requisition, copies of any pertinent supporting or explanatory documents. Information about the source and price will help us, and often prevent processing delays and duplication of effort.
  • DO notify us immediately upon noting shortages or damage of received goods.
  • DO be specific when filling out purchase requisitions. Part numbers, exact sizes, units of measure, quantities, colors, etc., are important. If there is some question about what you want, talk it over with us.
  • DO be precise and detailed on your purchase requisitions, so that we know exactly what you want.
  • DO feel that you are an important part of the procurement process. Procurement is a cooperative venture at Community College of Philadelphia.


  • DON’T disclose the details of a procurement to an unsuccessful bidder (this is called "debriefing"). This is often a ticklish matter and since we are charged with handling relations with unsuccessful bidders, we always try to handle the contacts in the most professional matter possible. If you are pursued by an unsuccessful bidder, we suggest you turn the matter over to us. Often bidder inquiries are those which should be handled through the College’s Right to Know Office. http://www.ccp.edu/right-know
  • DON’T play one supplier against the other, disclosing one’s price and inviting the other to beat it. This is called "bid shopping" and is considered unethical. Also, it only works once. This practice alienates good suppliers and destroys old and valuable sources. In some instances, it is illegal.
  • DON’T wait until you are in trouble to contact us. Give us an early chance to get involved.
  • DON’T accept demonstration equipment from vendors without advising us. We help protect you from later problems (e.g., warranties, damages) if we know in advance.
  • DON’T give any vendor an order without first obtaining a purchase order from the Purchasing Department.
  • DON’T sign any contracts or agreements. This can result in major liability and responsibility for Community College of Philadelphia. Leave the review and signing of contracts to those who are authorized by the College. Remember – ALL contracts must be reviewed by our Legal Department. In most instances, ONLY the President of the College is authorized to sign contracts and agreements.

Be Careful:

  • BE CAREFUL about going out on a limb without contacting Purchasing. If you are negotiating specifications, price, or delivery with a supplier, you probably should have already touched base with us. It may need to go out for a formal competitive bid.
  • BE CAREFUL when writing specifications, and be even more careful when reviewing specifications which have been written by the supplier. There are different kinds of specifications, and they drastically affect the procurement risk and competition. Whenever you want to buy a non-off-the-shelf item, contact us early.
  • BE CAREFUL about referencing a vendor’s proposal on your requisition because it seems easier than writing the whole description out. Vendor’s proposals almost always contain terms and conditions which conflict with ours and naturally, they always favor the vendor.