Small Purchase  |  Quick Quote  Invitation For Bid  |  Request For Proposal  Sole Source Procurement  |  Emergency Procurement

The Office of Procurement Services is responsible for the purchasing of all goods and services. Departments have been delegated authority to perform purchases up to a single transaction value of $5,000. The procurement staff will manage purchasing transactions exceeding $5,000.

Solicitations may be made by:

  • Small purchase: is the procurement for goods and services less than $5,000 in value
  • Quick Quote: an informal bid process generally used for procurements with a projected value from $5,000 up to $100,000
  • Invitation for Bids (IFB): used when the commodity or service can be clearly defined and price is the determining factor in the award for procurements greater than $100,000
  • Request for Proposals (RFP): used when the commodity or services cannot be clearly defined and/or when factors other than the price have a greater value in the outcome and negotiations are necessary. RFP is not normally used in the procurement of goods.
  • Sole Source: is used when only 1 source is available for the needed goods or services and requires prior approval before using
  • Emergency Procurement: is used solely for the protection of personal safety or property and requires justification following the use

Small Purchase

A small purchase procurement is for transactions whose value will not exceed $5,000.  A minimum of one (1) DMBE-certified small business should be solicited.  The solicitation can be either in writing or orally (by completing a phone log).  The quote received must be attached to the purchase requisition in eVA.

Quick Quote

A Quick Quote is an informal method of procurement for transactions where the value is expected to be between $5,000 and $100,000.  Quick Quotes are exclusively solicited by the Office of Procurement Services.  They must be posted on eVA for a minimum of 72 business hours.  On occasion, Quick Quotes must be solicited for longer than the minimum necessary time.  This may happen due to the complexity of the solicitation or the need for a site visit.

Invitation For Bid (IFB)

An Invitation For Bid is a competitive sealed bid for procurements with a value expected to exceed $100,000.  The goods or services to be procured must be capable of being described so that bids submitted by potential contractors can be evaluated against the description in the IFB and an award made ot the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.  These solicitations must be posted on eVA for a minimum of 10 days before they can be closed and evaluated.  A site visit or pre-bid meeting will require the IFB to be posted for longer than the minimum 10 days.  Should a need arise to issue an addendum to the IFB, the close date may also be extended.

Request For Proposal (RFP)

A Request For Proposal is a competitive sealed negotiation where factors other than price will be evaluated.  Competitive negotiations allow for both the offertory and the University to negotiate terms and conditions, pricing, contract content, and any other variety of discrepancies.  These solicitations must be posted on eVA for a minimum of 10 days before they can be closed and evaluated. A site visit or pre-proposal conference will require the RFP to be posted for longer than the minimum 10 days. Should a need arise to issue an addendum to the RFP, the close date may also be extended.

Sole Source Procurement

A sole source procurement is authorized when there is only one source practicably available for the goods or services required. Competition is not available in a sole source procurement. Sole source goods or services are provided or manufactured by a specific manufacturer and are only sold directly to the University without distributors. However, a manufacturer may have one designated territorial or authorized distributor set up to sell that manufacturer's goods or services.

When the requesting department believes that only one source exists for a specific item or service, a completed Sole Source document (Adobe Acrobat)  must be submitted to and approved by the Office of Procurement Services prior to the placement of the order for the sole source goods or services. Sole source justification based solely on a single vendor's capability to deliver in the least amount of time is not considered a valid basis for determining a sole source procurement. In your statement, you must address the following items:

  • Explain why this is the only product or service that can meet the needs of the Purchasing Agency.
  • Explain why this vendor is the only practicably available source from which to obtain this product or service.
  • Explain why the price is considered reasonable.
  • Describe the efforts that were made to conduct a non-competitive negotiation to get the best possible price for the taxpayers.

The Assistant Director of Materiel Management has approval authority for sole source procurements up to $30,000. The Director of Materiel Management has approval authority for sole source procurements up to $50,000. Sole source procurements greater than $50,000 are reviewed by the Director of Materiel Management and, if recommended for approval, are forwarded to the Chief of Staff. All sole source procurements will be posted on eVA in the VBO buyer section.

Emergency Procurement

An emergency procurement is an occurrence of a serious and urgent nature that demands immediate action. Emergency procurements are used to protect personal safety or property. To the maximum extent possible, emergency procurements should be competed and negotiated. Vendor qualifications should be checked and verification of insurance coverage, if applicable, information on warranty offered, and any other data pertinent to the procurement. A written determination is to be approved by the Office of Procurement Services indicating the nature of the emergency, the reason for selection of the particular contractor and to be included in the procurement file. The Office of Procurement Services will enter the order into eVA with the signed emergency determination.

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The Commonwealth of Virginia has set the requirement to purchase certain commodities from mandatory sources.  If you desire to purchase these items through another source, you must first obtain a release in writing from the mandatory source supplier prior to the placement of the order.

VCE - Virginia Correctional Enterprises
VCE is the mandatory source for office furniture, seating, wood and metal case goods, printing, banners/signs, embroidery, clothing, textiles, shoes/boots, document management services, optical, license tags, janatorial products, and braille services. Contact VCE at (800) 823-2823 for a complete list of goods and services. All orders must be placed directly to VCE through eVA by the requesting department. Business card orders can only be placed by the Office of Procurement Services, do not contact VCE for business card orders.

VIB - Virginia Industries for the Blind
VIB is the mandatory source for writing instruments, pillows, mattresses, gloves (exam, latex, vinyl, nitrile, high risk EMS), mop heads and handles, spices, tea, contract office services (not including temporary employment services) and mailing services. Contact VIB at (855) 842-7867 for a complete list of goods and services.

VDC - Virginia Distribution Center
VDC carries a wide variety of staple goods, frozen/canned food products, janitorial supplies and paper products. A convenient punchout catalog is available through eVA. Contact VDC at (804) 328-3232 for a complete list of goods and services.

University Contracts
Contact our office for a list of these contracts.

CNU Business Cards
Business cards are to be ordered through the Office of Procurement Services.

Technology Related Equipment: Computers, Printers, Hardware, Software, Peripherals
All technology-related equipment is to be bought by each department, with prior approval from IT. Please see VITA's website for a complete list of contracts.

All copiers are to be rented, purchased, or leased per VITA state contracts by the requesting department. IT must be contacted for recommended models to meet your departments needs.

State Contracts

There are a variety of state contracts available for use to CNU. Go to the eVA website for a complete listing. Note that some contracts are mandatory and others are optional. The state contract number must be reference in the comment section of your requisition.

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The Small Purchase Card is used in conjunction with eVA (electronic Virginia ) and DMBE Certified-Small vendors who accept the Purchasing Card which:

  • substantially reduces costs
  • maximizes the State/University’s purchasing power.


  • Card usage is dictated by the Department of Accounts CAPPS Manual Topic 20355
  • Full time and part-time classified employees can be issued cards
  • Cards are issued with your name and your agency’s name on them
  • Employee must sign an employee agreement form
  • Monthly statements are sent to you from Bank of America or can be accessed online at Bank of America Works. Bank of America customer service can be reached at 1-888-589-3473 opt 4.

Policies and Procedures

  • Dollar limits and restrictions are assigned by supervisor
    • A single transaction is not to exceed $4,999
    • Monthly limit is set by department supervisor, but can not exceed $50,000
  • Use card for Commonwealth of VA/CNU purchases ONLY
  • Personal purchases are not allowed
  • Charge card orders are placed in eVA with the exception of:
    • “over-the-counter” purchases
      • Cardholder must be present at the vendor's business location at the time of purchase.
      • Cardholder may not phone in credit card information prior to receiving goods or services.
      • “over-the-counter” purchases occur the same day pricing is obtained.
    • Travel
    • Conferences with prior approval
  • Notify warehouse of items being shipped by sending them a copy of the PCO (or DO)
  • Purchases are tax exempt (except food and hotels)
  • Invoices that are past due should not be paid using the charge card
  • Card Security
    • Never put your full credit card number in a fax, email or email attachment. If needed, you may include the last 4 digits of your card number.
    • Never allow another person to use your card.
  • Never split a purchase in order to circumvent established spending limits.

Have your supervisor contact the Program Administrator to:

  • Make changes – increase or decrease card limits
  • Temporarily remove restrictions (fraud, travel, car rental, gas/oil, restaurant/food, accommodations)
  • Cancel cards upon termination of employment or suspected fraudulent use