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Working with Purchasing

The College has two levels of purchasing activity. Purchases up to $5,000 and directly related to a specific campus are handled by buyers at the campus. All other purchases are handled by the District Office Contracts and Purchasing Department.  Use the contact information on the Contracts and Purchasing homepage to learn how to contact appropriate buyers.

Methods of placing orders

The method used in placing an order is based on the total dollar amount of the purchase including tax and delivery. Awards are made to responsible and responsive bidders whose total cost, quality and availability are most advantageous to the College.

Under $5,000

Purchases are made at the discretion of the Buyer based on the fairness and reasonableness of the price. Competitive pricing will be obtained if a price is in question.

$5,000 to $50,000

Written quotations will be requested from at least three vendors. Faxes are accepted. If you participate in a Request for Quotation, you may obtain the information on the successful vendor and amount of the award by contacting the District Office Purchasing Department after the competitive process is completed and awarded.

Over $50,000

Purchases estimated to exceed $50,000 will be awarded based on one of the two following procedures:

Request for Proposal (RFP)

An RFP is generally issued for services such as architectural, engineering, consultants, etc., or in cases where price may be only one deciding measure, i.e.: new development of a program, new capability or a new state-of-the-art product. A Criteria for Award is included in the Request for Proposal for reference by potential Proposers

Invitation to Bid

A formal bid is requested for purchases where a specific item, service, or job is identifiable and price is the major factor.


The procedures for a Request for Proposal and Invitation to Bid are much the same.

  • A formal notice is prepared providing general specifications and the time and date of opening. This notice, including specific requirements, specifications, and terms governing the resultant contract or agreement are posted on the PCC website.
  • Vendor responses must be in a sealed envelope (or container). The package must be marked with the bid or proposal number to ensure the bid or proposal is properly handled when received in the Purchasing Department. Faxed responses are not acceptable.
  • Follow all instructions issued with the Bid or Proposal. Be sure all forms and other documentation are submitted. All bids must be signed by an officer of your company authorized to enter into contracts.
  • All formal bids and proposals must be received and date/time stamped at the Purchasing front desk in the District Office prior to the due date/time to qualify for the competitive process. Submissions received after the due date/time will be returned unopened.
  • Sealed bids and proposals will be opened immediately following the time and date due. This process is open to the public and all vendors are invited to attend. The opening of a proposal involves only documenting the vendors submitting proposals. No evaluation will be conducted at the opening. The opening of bids involves completion of a spreadsheet with the prices and notation of the documentation submitted. The actual award will not normally take place at the opening.
  • On more complex RFPs and Bids a pre-proposal or pre-bid conference might be held to discuss questions the vendor(s) may have concerning the specifications. If this meeting is noted as “mandatory”, a representative of the vendor must attend. Responses will only be accepted from those vendors who have attended. Vendors interested in these proposals or bids are encouraged to review the specifications prior to the pre-proposal or pre-bid meetings. This will allow vendors to clarify any area in question before submitting a response.
  • Current Requests for Proposals, Bids, and Quotes posted on the PCC website.
  • Bids and Proposals estimated to be over $50,000 are sometimes also advertised in The Daily Territorial.

Methods of Purchasing

  1. The regular purchase order is issued for specific materials or services.
  2. The standing purchase order is issued to cover materials or services on an as-required basis. Blanket purchase orders are also used for situations where multiple deliveries and payments are involved.
  3. The Purchasing Card (PCard) is also used for purchases by Buyers and authorized personnel.