Tallahassee Community College
Overview of Purchase Orders and
Entering an Online Purchase Requisition
Information FOR TCC STAFF
The Purchasing Department at Tallahassee Community College (TCC) is
charged with managing the acquisition of commodities and services necessary
to meet the College’s requirements. All of the staff members with the
Purchasing Department are devoted to fostering a mutually beneficial and
cooperative relationship between TCC staff and our suppliers.
The Purchasing Department’s main purpose is to assure that the College’s
expenditures relating to the acquisition of commodities and services are in
compliance with TCC’s policies, state requirements and sound business
practices. While accomplishing our purpose the department is focused on
obtaining quality commodities and services, and in making sure they are
delivered in a timely manner.
Department staff is committed to maintaining an effective partnership among
TCC staff, our suppliers and our department. Our success in this regard
depends, to a certain degree, on TCC staff becoming familiar with the
purchasing policies and procedures. This document was developed so that staff
may become acquainted with purchase orders, monetary thresholds associated
with purchases, and with the online purchase requisition procedure.
Purchasing Department staff is available to assist in many areas in addition to
the acquisition of commodities and services. Some of these areas include:
1) Consulting on prices, contracts and potential vendors;
2) Evaluating products and suppliers;
3) Supporting departments with disputes, invoicing and deliveries; and
4) Training users on the EagleNet and TCC Port System.
The Purchasing Department welcomes and encourages TCC staff to provide
comments on the effectiveness of our procedures and practices. TCC staff
should feel free to contact any of the purchasing staff identified below, if you
have any of questions or comments.
Bobby Hinson Purchasing Manager 201-6071 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheryl Davis Purchasing Assistant 201-6088 email@example.com
Dalphine Clack Purchasing Technician 201-6089 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenny Shuler Purchasing Technician 201-6069 email@example.com
Curtis Watkins Director, Budget and 201-6046 firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to assisting you!
The purchase of a commodity or service begins by entering a purchase
requisition online via EagleNet. The purchase requisition, along with the
appropriate attachments and after approval from the appropriate budget
manager, is submitted online (i.e. electronically) to the Purchasing Department.
Please refer to the accompanying document titled “How to Enter Your Online
Requisition” to review the step by step procedures for processing online
A purchase order (PO) is a formal document issued by the TCC Purchasing
Department to a vendor. This document indicates the quantity of the
commodities or services required, and the price that has been identified by the
Issuing a PO to a vendor constitutes a legal offer to buy the commodities or
services. Acceptance of a PO by the vendor forms a binding agreement between
the college and the vendor. This agreement requires the vendor to provide TCC
the commodities or services identified in the PO at the stated price. Be aware
that no TCC staff member has the authority to contact a vendor and place an
order that obligates the college for payment for commodities or services prior to
the issuance of a Purchase Order by the Purchasing Department.
Types of Purchase Orders
There are four types of purchase orders: Standard, Blanket, Service and
Standard Purchase Order
Standard Purchase Orders are used for the purchase of all commodities. TCC
staff will initiate their request for a Standard Purchase Order by entering an
online purchase requisition through EagleNet. All purchases over $50,000.00
must be competitively bid if the commodities are not on a contract or
agreement that has already been competitively bid by an outside source. This
requirement also applies to planned purchases that will cumulatively reach or
exceed this total over the length of the fiscal year. Refer to the Competitive
Solicitation section of this document for specific information about this
Blanket Purchase Orders
Blanket Purchase Orders allow for emergency purchases or recurring
purchases of commodities or services when the quantity or frequency of need
cannot be fully determined at the time the Blanket Purchase Order is issued.
TCC staff will submit their request for a Blanket Purchase Order by entering an
online purchase requisition through EagleNet.
Before requesting a Blanket Purchase Order, end users should review their
spending habits for these commodities or services and have the dollar amount
of the Blanket Purchase Order sufficient to meet those needs. Blanket
Purchase Orders cannot extend beyond the fiscal year it was established.
All purchases over $50,000.00 must be competitively bid if the commodities or
services are not on a contract or agreement that has already been competitively
bid by an outside source. This requirement also applies to planned purchases
that will cumulatively reach or exceed this total over the length of the fiscal
year. Refer to the Competitive Solicitation section of this document for specific
information about this purchasing practice.
Service Purchase Orders
Service Purchase Orders are used for service purchases. TCC staff will initiate
their request for a Service Purchase Order by entering an online purchase
requisition through EagleNet. All purchases over $50,000.00 must be
competitively bid if the services are not on a contract or agreement that has
already been competitively bid by an outside source. This requirement also
applies to planned purchases that will cumulatively reach or exceed this total
over the length of the fiscal year. Refer to the Competitive Solicitation section of
this document for specific information about this purchasing practice.
Prepaid Purchase Orders
Prepaid Purchase Orders are generated if the vendor requires that payment be
made to them prior to the college receiving the commodities or services needed.
In most cases an invoice is needed from the vendor and should be attached to
the purchase requisition. TCC staff will initiate their request for a Prepaid
Purchase Order by entering an online purchase requisition through EagleNet.
All purchases over $50,000.00 must be competitively bid if the commodities or
services are not on a contract or agreement that has already been competitively
bid by an outside source. Refer to the Competitive Solicitation section of this
document for specific information about this purchasing practice.
When an order is received by the Receiving Department, the PO is matched
with the vendors packing slip or invoice along with the items received, to
assure that the correct items are received. This department then processes the
receiving PO electronically and forwards the items, along with paper copies of
the PO and receiving report, to the purchaser. The purchaser should verify that
they have received these items, sign off on the receiving report and return it to
the Receiving Department. Any invoices received by the Receiving Department
are routed to the Business Office for payment to the vendor.
MONETARY THRESHOLDS ASSOCATED WITH PURCHASES
Monetary thresholds associated with purchasing categories are identified in
Florida Statute (FS 287.017) and Florida Administrative Code (Section 6A-
14.0734(1) and (2), FAC). Purchases under $50,000 may be accomplished following
the guidance provided in this document and the accompanying document “How
to Enter Your Online Requisition.” Purchases greater than $50,000 must be
competitively bid if they are not to be conducted on an established contract.
Refer to the Competitive Selection section of this document for specific
information about this purchasing practice. Purchases exceeding $250,000
must be authorized by the TCC Board of Trustees. Please consult with the
head of your department, as well as a Purchasing Department representative, if
you are considering a purchase of this magnitude.
All purchases regardless of value should be carried out using good purchasing
practices. Such practices may include but are not limited to receiving telephone
or written quotes. A request for quote (RFQ) that is received from the vendors
verifying their pricing must be uploaded to your requisition in EagleNet. A
request for information (RFI) may be made by a department or the College to
vendors for the purpose of obtaining information on commodities or services.
Responses to these requests are not binding offers nor an agreement by the
College to make a purchase.
The Purchasing Department will gladly answer any purchasing questions and
will provide assistance in finding vendors. Please don’t hesitate to contact us
via email or at the phone numbers provided in this document.
Formal Sealed Bids: Invitation to Bid (ITB) or Request for Proposal (RFP)
For commodities or services $50,000.00 or More
All purchases for commodities or services $50,000.00 or more, whether one
time purchases or an accumulation of like items, are required to be handled
through competitive solicitation. Purchases exceeding this amount may require
a contract that must be signed by the President or his designee. Purchases
exceeding $250,000 must be authorized by the TCC Board of Trustees.
Please consult with the head of your department, as well as a Purchasing
Department representative, if you are considering a purchase of this
The exception exists for purchases specifically exempt from competitive bidding
as indicated in the Department of Education Rules and Regulations (FAC 6A-
14.0734(2)) or Board Policy. Exceptions to the bidding requirement are the
1) Educational tests, textbooks, instructional materials and equipment,
films, filmstrips, video tapes, disc or tape recordings or similar audio
visual materials, and graphic or computer-based instructional software.
2) Library books, reference books, periodicals, and other library materials
3) Purchases at the unit or contract prices established through competitive
solicitations by any unit of government established by law or buying
5) Services or commodities available only from a single or sole source.
(Approved documentation from the manufacturer of the item is required
for this type of purchase).
6) Professional services, including, but not limited to, artistic services,
instructional services, health services, academic program reviews,
lectures by individuals, attorneys, legal services, auditors, and
7) Information technology resources as defined in Section 6A-14.0734(2),
8) Single source procurements for purposes of economy or efficiency in
standardization of materials.
9) Items for resale.
Purchasing Department staff is available to answer any questions regarding
exceptions to competitive bidding.
All competitive solicitations over the $50,000 threshold require more time to
complete than purchases under this amount. The reason more time is required
is attributed to the nature and complexity of the commodity or service desired.
The following provides a summary of the tasks that must be accomplished.
1) Requestor supplies the specifications to the Purchasing Department.
2) Purchasing Department reviews the specifications and adds standard
boilerplate language to the competitive solicitation.
3) The complete solicitation is reviewed by the end user (department
requisitioning the commodity or service) and the Purchasing Department.
4) After review, the competitive solicitation must be advertised for a
minimum of 10 days.
5) Bids from vendors must be received by mail or hand delivered to the
College in a sealed envelope by a specified deadline date and time.
6) The bids received are publically opened on a specified date and time, and
the prices are tabulated by the Purchasing Department.
7) Bid results are reviewed and an award recommendation is made by the
8) Intended award is posted for 72 hours by the Purchasing Department.
This 72 hour posting allows vendors, who feel they have been adversely
affected by this intended award, to file a formal protest.
9) After the intended award has been posted for 72 hours, the end user
enters his requisition request to the Purchasing Department and a
purchase order is issued.
As is apparent from this summary of tasks, most solicitations require a
minimum of 30 days to complete and may require more time depending on
Piggybacking or Tagging On To Other Competitive Solicitations
In lieu of the Purchasing Department soliciting formal sealed bids from vendors
for commodities or services, the College may be able to make purchases from
other city, county, state agency, other schools boards, community colleges or
state universities contracts, provided the language in their solicitations allows
for this practice. The vendor must agree and offer the College the same prices
terms, and conditions as shown in their original bid response. Use of this
method requires that it is in the best interest of the College. Purchasing
Department staff is available to assist with competitive solicitations.
IMPORTANT PURCHASING PRACTICES TO REMEMBER
After a purchase requisition is submitted it is assigned to a member of the
Purchasing Department staff. Please allow a minimum of three (3) business
days for purchase requisitions to be processed after it has been
electronically submitted to the Purchasing Department.
Please do not give the vendor a purchase order number until it has been
fully completed by the Purchasing Department. The funds have not been
encumbered in the accounting system until the Purchasing Department has
completed and printed the Purchase Order.
Acceptance of a Purchase Order by a vendor forms a binding agreement
between the College and the vendor. This agreement requires the vendor to
provide TCC the commodities or services identified in the Purchase Order at
the stated price.
Remember that no TCC staff member has the authority to contact a vendor
and place an order that obligates the College for payment for commodities or
services prior to the issuance of a Purchase Order by the Purchasing
Any staff member who obligates the College for a purchase prior to the
Purchase Order being issued is liable to the College for the amount paid.
Common purchasing terms included in this document are defined in this
section for the convenience of TCC staff.
Commodity: A commodity can be any of the various supplies, materials,
goods, merchandise, food, equipment, information technology and other
personal property that is used at the College.
Service: A service is where a vendor renders his time and services to the
College rather than furnishing specific commodities.
Emergency Purchase: Emergency means a purchase necessitated by a
sudden unexpected turn of events (e.g., acts of God, riot, fires, floods, accidents
or any circumstances or cause beyond the control of the College in the normal
conduct of its business). Poor planning and not submitting your purchase
requisition on time does not constitute an Emergency Purchase.
Competitive Solicitation: A competitive solicitation means an Invitation to
Bid (ITB) or a request for proposals (RFP). Any purchases $50,000 and above
unless exempt by policy or law, requires the Purchasing Department to solicit
prices using one of these methods.
Invitation to Bid (ITB): An ITB is a written solicitation for competitive sealed
bids. The ITB is used when the College is capable of specifically defining the
scope of work and able to write precise specifications outlining the commodities
or contractual services that are required by the College.
Request for Proposal (RFP): An RFP is a competitive solicitation for
competitive sealed proposals. The RFP is used when it is not practicable for
the college to specifically define the scope of work for the commodities or
contractual services that are required by the College.
Request for Quote (RFQ): An RFQ is an oral or written request for pricing or
services information from a vendor. After pricing is received, and depending on
cost, the College will determine which type of solicitation method to use for the
actual purchase of the commodity or service.
Request for Information (RFI): An RFI is an oral or written request by the
College to vendors for the purpose of gathering information on commodities or
services. Responses to these requests are not offers and may not be accepted
by the College to form a binding contract.