It is the policy of ACPE to require a written agreement (i.e., a contract or purchase order) for the purchase of all goods or services costing $2,501 or more, for product revenue agreements, or for any transaction that cannot be completed within one year. The purchase of a capital asset requires a contractor purchase order regardless of amount. Purchases of any items greater than $5,000 require written bids from at least three independent vendors, all of which must be attached to the contract or purchase order along with written justification for the selection of the vendor. Bids are not required if it is a sole source vendor or when timing is a critical issue. These circumstances must be documented by ACPE staff and approved by the Treasurer. If the amount of sole source procurement exceeds $50,000, the Treasurer and along with the Finance and Audit Committee must also approve the arrangement prior to any services being performed.
Contracts – Use of Forms
A contract will be used for purchases with significant detail or complication, particularly when professional services are involved. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Consulting services
- Meeting services such as for facilities, hotels, audio visual, computer rental and services, and registration services
- Ongoing contractual relationships such as travel agencies and cleaning services
Purchase orders will be used for relatively straight-forward purchases of goods or services. Examples include:
- Printing of products, brochures, catalogs, preliminary or final programs, and course handouts
- Purchase of computers, software or hardware, furniture, and supplies
- Simple services such as photographic, mailing, or shipping
Contracts – Preparation and Review
ACPE management is responsible for developing contracts. ACPE management shall ensure that the contract conforms to his/her understanding of the agreement reached or the bid sought. For contracts valued over $10,000, ACPE will ordinarily seek outside legal review before finalizing the agreement. Additionally, ACPE Management shall note any non-conformity with established ACPE requirements and review the contract for the following:
- Clarity of language
- Presence of all material terms and conditions:
- Effective date and expiration of contract
- Specific details of obligations
- Price and relationship of specific payments to specific duties performed
- Place of performance
- Termination clause (that provides for no longer than 60 days notice)
- Copyright or Work Made for Hire provision
- Incorporation of prior or contemporaneous oral or written agreements
- Choice of law provision (i.e., preference is that the law of the State of Georgia shall apply)
- Requested funds have been appropriated and are in the annual budget for the contract’s described purpose or non-budget fund use has been approved or are within scope of authority per the Bids and Purchase Orders Policy.
The Treasurer shall review the contract and ACPE management’s comments for appropriateness of general business considerations.
The following are to be considered during the review:
- Amount and timing of payments
- Commercial reasonableness of terms
- Time and place of performance
- Financial feasibility of the contract terms
- Agreement is consistent with the ACPE Strategic Plan and direction
- Review the insurance coverage and protection included in the agreement
- Ensure that the ACPE’s interests are adequately protected, specifically reviewing the indemnification and hold harmless and intellectual property provisions.
Purchase Orders (POs)
POs are to be prepared and approved prior to placing an order for goods or services. It is never acceptable to prepare a PO from a vendor invoice. Refer to the “Bids and Purchase Orders” policy.
Questions on POs, including when to use a PO versus a contract, contract language or issues, or the contract approval process, shall be directed to the Executive Director.