Procedures for Procurement of Goods and Services Including Small Purchases

The Rules Governing Procurement of Goods, Services, Insurance and Construction by a Public Institution of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia (Subchapter 3 of the Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act), hereafter referred to as “Governing Rules permit a public body to establish small purchase procedures, if adopted in writing, not requiring the use of competitive sealed bidding or competitive negotiation for single purchases of goods and services or the establishment of a term contract if the sum of all phases is not expected to exceed $50,000; however, such small purchase procedures must provide for competition wherever practical.

A user-friendly procure-to-pay matrix including exceptions and special conditions for departments may be accessed below, and is incorporated by reference as a part of W&M procedures.

procure-to-pay matrix
All purchases of goods and services expected to exceed $50,000 shall follow the procedures as set forth in the Commonwealth of Virginia Purchasing Manual for Institutions of Higher Education and their Vendors.

The College of William and Mary, which includes Virginia Institute of Marine Science, “William & Mary”, or “W&M”, Procurement Services Office is the central contracting office for the university for non-capital outlay goods and services.  All such purchases made by any university department shall be made in accordance with the Governing Rules, and such rules and regulations as W&M may prescribe.  Contracts may only be signed by employees with delegated purchase and contract authority in accordance with their level of delegation. While grant purchases are required to be procured via the university procurement policy, grant related transactions shall be coordinated through the Office of Sponsored Programs.

William & Mary shall not issue payment of any invoice for any department covering the purchase of goods and services, when such purchases are in violation of law. Contracts awarded in violation of the law/Governing Rules, are voidable. Contracts signed by individuals without authority to do so are void from the beginning. Individuals signing/awarding contracts without the authority to do so may be held personally liable for payment to the vendor.

In accordance with the Governing Rules and the Commonwealth of Virginia Purchasing Manual for Higher Education Institutions and their Vendors, William & Mary has adopted the following procedures for purchases not expected to exceed $50,000.

These procedures include:

       I.  Preferred Contract Use     
      II.  Mandatory Requirements
     III.  SWaM Purchases under $50,000
     IV.  Professional Service Purchases under $50,000
      V.  Purchases Under $5,000
     VI.  Purchases between $5,000 - $50,000
    VII.  Methods of Procurement
   VIII.  Exempt from Competition 

 I.  Preferred Contract Use:

The use of state contracts issued by Department of General Services, Division of Purchases and Supply (DPS) and cooperative contracts issued by Virginia Association of State College and University Procurement Professionals (VASCUPP) institutions are preferred contracting instruments. Cooperative contracts issued by other public or private organizations or entities, including other educational institutions; public-private partnerships, public bodies, charitable organizations, health care provider alliances and purchasing organizations are allowed only when those contracts are procured competitively with comparable processes as noted below.  § 6. Cooperative procurement (Governing Rules).

II.  Mandatory Requirements:

VCE Requirement:  § 53.1-47. Code of Virginia requires furniture to be purchased from Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE). W&M will use VCE for furniture purchases in excess of $5,000 unless VCE does not manufacture the goods (or equivalent) required, or grants a release for the purchase.

To purchase non-VCE furniture over $5,000, W&M will solicit a written release from VCE.  VCE shall be afforded up to 48 hours to respond to a request for a release of furniture not expected to exceed $50,000. If no response is provided, W&M procurement services may elect to source furniture from other suppliers.

William & Mary may establish mandatory category specific contracts as outlined in the SPP Matrix.

III.  SWaM Purchases under $50,000: 

W&M’s annual plan encourages purchases from Small, Woman-Owned, and Minority-Owned businesses (SWaM). If prices quoted from a SWaM supplier do not appear to be fair and reasonable, or if a SWaM quote is unachievable or does not result in a good business decision for the university, W&M should document the procurement file to that effect, including stating the basis for the determination. 

IV.  Professional Services Purchases under $50,000:

Professional Services are defined as:  accounting, actuarial services, architecture, land surveying, landscape architecture, dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, professional engineering, economist services, and law.  Professional Services when procured are exempt from competition when purchases in the aggregate do not exceed $50,000.  Any purchase of legal services must have prior approval from University Counsel. 

V.  Purchases Under $5,000:

Individual purchases of goods and services costing under $5,000 and in the aggregate do not accumulate to over $50,000 in total annual cost shall be procured through the delegation granted to individual university departments.  However, order-splitting* must be avoided. Where possible, requirements should be combined when practical to obtain quantity discounts and other administrative efficiencies. In some instances, even though the annual amount is less than $50,000, it may be advantageous to enter into a term contract and this should also be considered.

Purchases under $5,000 that are allowable per William & Mary's Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC) Policies and Procedures must be placed on the SPCC.  Check payments will only be processed for items that are not allowable per SPCC policy, identified as an allowable direct pay or reimbursement and in cases where vendors do not accept the SPCC or apply a surcharge to SPCC purchases.

*Order Splitting Prohibition.  The placement of multiple orders within other than a reasonable time period to one or more vendors for the same, like, or related goods or services to avoid using the appropriate method of procurement or to remain within delegated purchasing authority is prohibited and may be considered a violation; order splitting results in higher administrative cost and inefficiencies to W&M.  

VI.  Purchases between $5,000 and $50,000:

The following small purchase procedures have been established by William & Mary when acquiring goods or nonprofessional services up to and including $50,000. Procurements made pursuant to these procedures do not require public bid openings, newspaper advertising of competitively negotiated procurements, nor formal posting of any manner.

VII.  Methods of Procurement and Related Requirements under $50,000: 

Methods of Procurement may include:

a)  Unsealed “Request for Quotes” (also known as unsealed bidding)
b)  Unsealed Proposals, through Request for Proposals
c)  SWaM Award
d)  Sole Source
e)  Emergency
f)   Reverse Auction
g)  Public Auction

Methods of Procurement:

a)  Request for Quotes: A request for quotes may be used to solicit bids or quotes for goods and nonprofessional services from $5,000 up to and including $50,000.   W&M will solicit a minimum of three (3) bidders.  William & Mary will make every effort to solicit VA SBSD registered small businesses, if available. If fewer than the required number of sources are solicited, the reasons shall be documented. VBO advertising is not required under $50,000.

b)  Unsealed Proposals: An Unsealed Request for Proposal method may be used to solicit proposals for goods and nonprofessional services from $5,000 up to and including $50,000.  W&M will solicit a minimum of three (3) suppliers.  William & Mary will make every effort to solicit VA SBSD registered small businesses, if available. If fewer than the required number of sources are solicited, the reasons shall be documented.  VBO advertising is not required under $50,000

Offers may be opened and evaluated upon receipt. All responses must be received at the designated location by the date and hour stated in the solicitation. In lieu of an evaluation committee, the buyer or end user may solely evaluate and rank offers. Best Value method may be utilized for evaluation.  Upon completion of the evaluation, negotiations shall be conducted with the offeror(s) selected.

c)  SWaM Award:  A SWaM award procurement is authorized when the quote received is a Virginia registered SBSD certified SWaM business and the price is determined fair and reasonable by Procurement Services.  Approval of the Director of Procurement or Associate Director is necessary to place an order with a suggested source without seeking further competition.   

d)  Sole Source Procurement: A sole source procurement is authorized when there is only one source practicably available for the goods or services required. (Governing Rules §5.E) Competition is not available in a sole source situation; thus distinguishing it from a proprietary purchase where the product required is manufactured by only one company, but is sold through distributors and competition between them can be obtained. Sole source justification based solely on a single vendor's capability to deliver in the least amount of time is not appropriate since availability alone is not a valid basis for determining a sole source procurement.  The following elements are required to execute a sole source procurement:

                 i.  Written Determination: A written determination documenting that there is only one source practicably available     for that which is to be procured, must be included in the procurement file. The writing shall document the basis for the determination. Public posting is not required.

               ii.  Negotiate a Contract: After the sole source has been documented, a contract may be negotiated and awarded without competition. 

              iii.   Documentation: The sole source documentation must contain the following information:

                    A. Describe the product(s) or service(s) being requested and how same will be used, specify users or target group for requested product(s) or service(s), and benefit to William & Mary.
                    B. Identify other products, services, and associated vendors that were also considered to provide the requested products or services and why those vendors were not selected.
                    C. Explain why the requested products and services are the only products or services that can and will meet all of the necessary requirements of the University.
                    D. Explain why this vendor is the only practicable available source from which to obtain the requested products or services. 
                    E. Please provide a list of peer Universities that are currently using the requested products or services that were also provided by the requested vendor, if known. 

             iv.  Approval and Reporting: Sole source procurements exceeding $5,000 must be approved by William & Mary’s Director of Procurement Services.  Those in excess of $500,000 must be approved by the Chief Financial Officer.

e)  Emergency Procurement Procedures: An emergency is an occurrence of a serious and urgent nature that demands immediate action. (Governing Rules §5.F)Emergency procedures may be utilized only to purchase that which is necessary to cover the emergency. Subsequent requirements shall be obtained using normal purchasing procedures. The potential loss of funds at the end of a fiscal year is not considered to be an emergency.

The nature of the emergency determines what pre-award action may be taken: For an emergency purchase required to protect personal safety or property, efforts should be directed to finding a source and authorizing the contractor to proceed. This does not relieve the university from negotiating a fair and reasonable price and subsequently documenting the procurement action taken.

For other types of emergencies, competition should be sought to the extent practicable, to include verification of the vendor's:

1)  qualifications,
2)  insurance coverage, if applicable,
3)  warranty, and
4)  any other data pertinent to the procurement may be obtained. 

As soon as practicable, after directing the contractor to proceed, a confirming purchase order should be prepared.

Prepare a written determination for signature by the Director of Procurement Services or designated representative indicating the nature of the emergency, the reason for selection of the particular contractor and include such determination with the file. Emergency procurements exceeding $10,000 must be approved by William & Mary’s Director of Procurement Services. Public posting is not required.  

a)  Reverse Auction:  The purchase of goods or nonprofessional services, but not construction or professional services, may be made by reverse auctioning (Governing Rules §5.J)

b)  Public Auction:  Upon a determination made in advance by the Institution and set forth in writing that the purchase of goods, products, or commodities from a public auction sale is in the best interest of the public; such items may be purchased at the auction, including online public auctions.  (Governing Rules §5.I)

VIII.  Exceptions to Requirements:

The following table outlines exceptions to competition and where appropriate exceptions to eVA requirements up to and including $50,000.

Procure-To-Pay Matrix
Buyer Determination to not pursue competition in the best interest of the university: For purchases of goods and services not expected to exceed $10,000, the College’s procurement services procurement officers may, in their discretion and with approval of the Director of Procurement Services or Associate Director of Operations, place an order with a suggested source without seeking further competition. Determination to not pursue competition for goods and services over $10,000 but not greater than $50,000 and not qualified as a sole source may only be approved by the Director of Procurement Services, or the Chief Financial Officer. A written justification will be maintained with the procurement records explaining why it was in the best interest of the university to not pursue competition.

Price - Reasonableness Determinations: When competition is restricted or lacking or the prices offered appear excessive, procurement services is responsible for further analysis to determine in writing if the prices are fair and reasonable. This applies to sole source, single response, contract changes/ modifications, contract extensions, and contract renewals.

Air and Rail Tickets

Financial Operations' Travel Department manages policies and procedures for all travel and food related expenditures.  All air and rail purchases must comply with Travel's transportation guidelines. These guidelines contain information on allowable class of service, required documentation and available purchasing options including the use of the university's contract travel agency, Covington Travel.

  • Covington Travel [W,S] (Contract# C1411-15)
Cell Phones

Please follow the link provided to access the university's Wireless Communications Policy and Procedures.

Computers (also see IT below)

William & Mary purchases of technology must be approved by IT prior to the transaction taking place.  You can learn more about IT purchasing by visiting the Procuring Technology at W&M web page or you can submit an IT Procurement Request through the Request IT application by selecting the Service Request option.

VIMS employees should visit for information on IT purchasing.


An external consultant is defined as a professional who provides professional or expert advice in their area of expertise on a temporary basis for a fee.  If you are interested in contracting with a consultant, please visit Procurement's Contract Templates page to access the Blank Consulting Approval form.  This form must be completed and sent to Procurement for review and approval prior to contracting with a consultant.

Event Rental (Tents, Tables, Chairs, A/V, etc.)

The Conference & Event Services Office is a comprehensive event planning and logistics support office available to oversee a wide variety of College programs (such as personnel staffing, catering, dining hall meals, transportation, tours, audio visual, etc.) for conferences and events held on or off campus.

The following vendors are on contract to provide event rental services to the university.  For projects under $5,000; one quote is required; however you may solicit for multiple quotes to ensure best pricing.  Multiple quotes are required for orders over $5,000. Please advise the vendor to quote contracted pricing and reference the contract number. Procurement's Special Events Pricing Matrix includes pricing from contract vendors on common sized chairs, tables and tents, as well as delivery fees, labor rates and terms and conditions for events.

Magic Special Events [S] (Contract# WM-C1537-17A)
Contact: Harry W. Forrest
Phone: (804) 230-1500

Sharpe Pursuits [M,S]  (WM-C1537-17B)
Contact: Desmond Sharpe
Phone: (336) 273-5575

Special Events Entertainment [S] (WM-C1537-17C)
Contact: Mike Fitzwater
Phone: (757) 485-1212

US Event Structures [S] (WM-C1537-17D)
Contact: Brian Remsberg
Phone: (301) 696-0607

Williamsburg Event Rental [S] (WM-C1537-17E)
Contact: Michelle Butler
Phone: (757) 565-0982

These seven contractors have agreed to terms and pricing for a range of audio/visual related products and services. Use the contract link for each vendor to see the pricing. Note that Stage Right did not agree to specific pricing and departments are encouraged to ask for a quote from a second contractor to determine a fair and reasonable price.

Audiocraft [S] (WM18-1692)
Contact: Ken Crook
View in Contracts Portal

Blue Ridge AV & Lighting [S] (WM18-1692)
Contact: Joe Kalkstein
View in Contracts Portal

Craftwork Sound [S,W] (WM18-1692)
Contact: Debra Smith
View in Contracts Portal

Fidelity Sound Reinforcement [S] (WM18-1692)
Contact: Mark Johnson
View in Contracts Portal

James River Audio Visual Services [S] (WM18-1692)
Contact: Randy Cummins
View in Contracts Portal

S&S Production Services [S] (WM18-1692)
Contact: Sonny Smith
View in Contracts Portal

Stage Right Lighting [S] (WM18-1692)
Contact: David Bell
View in Contracts Portal

Express Delivery (UPS & FedEx)

Departments have the option of setting up accounts with UPS and/or FedEx for express delivery service.  Procurement has outlined the process to create, change and manage these account on Procurement's UPS/FedEx page.


Flowers may only be purchased for display at a public university event, such as commencement, graduation or other business justified purpose supporting the university’s mission. Flowers may not be purchased with an SPCC for condolence or as a gift for employees, family members of employees, students, or guests/visitors.  If you have a need to purchase flowers for public event, please contact Procurement to discuss removing the florist restriction from your SPCC. 

Food (Catering, Business Meals, etc.)

Effective August 6, 2018, all orders to be paid via university funds (state or local) are required to be processed through America To Go (ATG), the campus's online catering platform. All food purchases must follow business meal guidelines as outlined by the Travel Department.  


William & Mary employees are now permitted to source furniture orders under $5,000 through The Supply Room Companies, Inc. (TSRC) [W,S] using cooperative contract #CV1533-16.  Procurement Services has negotiated a quick-ship furniture program to include desk and chair options with product samples available in the Procurement Services office.  Be sure to set up a TSRC account to order online. 

William & Mary employees must continue to utilize Virginia Correctional Enterprises (VCE) for all furniture orders not processed through TSRC, under existing contract.  If VCE does not manufacture the requested goods or is otherwise unable to meet the university's needs, VCE will provide a written release to Procurement Services.  The employee may purchase goods from a different vendor only after receiving VCE's written release.


An honorarium is a one-time payment, made to an individual who is not an employee of William & Mary for a special and non-recurring activity or event for which no remuneration is collectible by law. Honoraria are typically paid to persons of scholarly or professional standing with the intent of showing appreciation for participation in the College educational, research, or public service activities. To process an honorarium, complete the Honorarium Form on Procurement's Contract Templates page.

Hotels and Lodging

William & Mary has contracted with local hotels and B&B's to offer greater value to the university community. The contract terms include direct billing and special pricing at some hotels at per diem rates or better. Room rates are subject to change.

This option is only available for W&M students, faculty, staff and guests when the stay is in conjunction with official W&M business. All guests should use special code WM1693

Local lodging can be found on Procurement's Local Lodging website.

Independent Contractors (excluding Speakers, Entertainers and Performing Artists shown below)

If the determination is made that an individual should be retained as an independent contractor instead of as an employee, the department and the proposed contractor should work together to complete the Independent Contractor - Consultant Agreement found on Procurement's Forms page.  In advance of the work taking place, fill in all the blanks on the form and have both parties sign the agreement. If any alterations are needed or requested, they must be reviewed in advance by Procurement. The department should retain a copy to be submitted to Accounts Payable when the contractor delivers their invoice.

Information Technology (also see Computers above)

William & Mary purchases of technology must be approved by IT prior to the transaction taking place.  You can learn more about IT purchasing by visiting the Procuring Technology at W&M web page or you can submit an IT Procurement Request through the Request IT application by selecting the Service Request option.

VIMS employees should visit for information on IT purchasing.

Lab and Scientific Equipment and Supplies

The vendors below provide goods and services related to the laboratory and scientific equipment and supplies commodity. A contract guide for this commodity is also available on Procurement's Contract Guides by Category page.

  • Amtek Company, Inc. [S] (Contract# UVA1167649) Provides educational solutions and services related to 3D printing and digital fabrication.
  • Colonial Scientific [S] (State Contract#s E194-73039-MA1972, E194-73006, E194-1353, E194-72939)
  • Fisher Scientific, LLC. (Contract# UVA967687)
  • SU Group (Specialty Underwriters Group) provides the university with maintenance on electronic equipment at 15-20% lower cost than maintenance offered by equipment manufacturers. Please contact Bill Vega in Procurement for additional information on the university's SU Group contract.
Maintenance, Repair and Operating Supplies

The vendors below provide goods and services related to the maintenance, repair and operating commodity.  Request for repair or maintenance of William & Mary property should be directed to the Facilities Management department by submitting a Service Request.

  • Ferguson Enterprises (Contract# UVA1473801) Please contact Procurement to get setup with access to Ferguson online.
  • Grainger - (Contract# UVA1703092) Contract pricing may be obtained through Grainger's eVA punch-out catalog or by logging directly into  Please contact Procurement to get setup with access to Grainger's website.
Moving and Relocation

All moving and relocation expenses must be tracked by Financial Operation's, Travel Department to ensure that limits stated on the employee's executed Tenure Agreement are not exceeded.  Because of this, no moving and relocation expenses may be placed on the SPCC.  All individuals involved in the moving and relocation process should contact the Travel Department for guidance before incurring any expenses.

The following vendors are under contract to provide moving services.

Dunmar Moving Systems [S] - Contract # COOP18-1740 (Virginia Tech # VTS-425-2017)
Contact: Kathy Phillips
Phone: (866)971-4322

Office Supplies

Office supplies must be purchased through William & Mary's mandatory contract vendor The Supply Room Companies, Inc. (TSRC) [W,S] using cooperative contract #CV1533-16.  Information on setting up a TSRC account and ordering directly through the company's website may be found on Procurement's The Supply Room web page.

Print and Copy Services

William & Mary utilizes a Print Management Program contracted through ESI (Electronic Systems, Inc.).  This program is run by IT and includes all networked printers and copiers leased or purchased by the university.  Please contact the Technology Support Center (TSC) with questions about this program.

The Print Shop, powered by Hackworth [S], is a full service print shop providing small and large format printing for the campus and surrounding community.  The Print Shop is located on the ground floor of Swem Library.  Print jobs may also be submitted online by visiting  Please visit the Print Shop web page or email for more information.

Promotional and Licensed Products

Products depicting William & Mary trademarks or likeness must be purchased through licensed vendors.  Cardholders may access Auxiliary Services’ Licensing website for a list of vendors and additional information or email

Rental Vehicles

Individuals renting vehicles for university business must use the mandatory Enterprise Rent-A-Car contract (business ID# XZ21032, PIN: WIL). Information on rental rates, contract details and personal use of the contract may be found on Procurement's Enterprise Rental Cars web page

Speakers, Entertainers and Performing Artists (Excluding Independent Contractors shown above)

In most cases, speakers, entertainers and artists will supply contracts to the university. These typically include special terms and conditions, which are addressed by the Speaker Addendum found on Procurement's Forms page.  If the artist and/or their agent/agency agree to the terms of the addendum without any changes and sign the addendum, we can accept their contract as written. If any changes are requested, the addendum must be reviewed in advance by Procurement.

If you are having a speaker/entertainer come to campus that is not submitting W&M with a contract, please use the Speaker Short Form which is also found on Procurement's Forms page.

Tax and Tax Exemption

As an institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, William & Mary qualifies for retail sales and use tax exemption on purchases of tangible property for use or consumption.  Effective April 22, 2016, the Commonwealth of Virginia will allow William & Mary a sales and use tax exemption on purchases of prepared foods, catering and related services provided in connection with the sale of food.  These purchases may qualify for tax exemption if the purchase meets the criteria outlined in Financial Operations' Sales & Use Tax Update.

All tax questions and requests for certificates of tax exemption must be sent to William & Mary’s ARMICS & Tax Compliance Officer, Cindi L. Fellows.  Please include the vendor name and address with your request.  Commonly used certificates of tax exemption are available in Box and may be found by clicking on the link below.  Before requesting a tax exempt form, please be sure to check Box to see if a form is already available online.

Further information on Commonwealth of Virginia tax exemptions, other state exemptions and Federal Tax ID numbers for William & Mary and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science may be found on the Tax Office web page.

Vehicles (Automobiles, Parts and Maintenance)

Automobiles: Employees seeking to purchase cars and trucks should contact Procurement at their earliest convenience.  In most cases this purchase will exceed departmental delegation of $5,000 per order.  It is best to work with a Buyer as early as possible once you have identified a need to purchase a vehicle.  Please contact Sherrene Moore for additional information on contract sources and procurement process.

Repair and Maintenance: The University has established relationships with the following auto parts retailers. 

Advance Auto Parts / CARQUEST
(U.S. Communities Contract 1101149) - Contract pricing is tied to the William & Mary and VIMS account number 1872756586.  You must reference account number 1872756586 when ordering to receive contract pricing.

Local Advance and CARQUEST Auto Parts locations providing contract pricing:






Advance Auto Parts - Store 7266

1256 Richmond Road



(757) 221-7070

Advance Auto Parts - Store 2101

454 Merrimac Trail



(757) 229-4983

CARQUEST Auto Parts - Store 3592

2429 Hayes Road



(804) 642-2172

 O'Reilly Auto Parts
(E&I Contract CNR-1214) - Contract pricing is tied to the William & Mary and VIMS account number 1751119.  You must reference account number 1751119 when ordering to receive contract pricing.

Local O’Reilly Auto Parts locations providing contract pricing:





834 Merrimac Trail



(757) 565-2485

3192 G Washington Mem Hwy



(804) 684-1269