Loyola University Chicago


Supplier Selection


4.1 - General Concept
4.2 - Pre-Qualified Supplier Program
4.3 - Sole/Single Source Purchases
4.4 - Bid Solicitation
4.5 - Supplier Qualification
4.6 - Supplier Suspension/Removal from Bidder's Lists
4.7 - Evaluation of Non Pre-Qualified Supplier Offers and Negotiating With Non Pre-Qualified Suppliers

4.1 General Concept

All Procurement functions of the University are established to support the University as a Jesuit, Catholic institution, helping further promote Loyola’s mission and current strategic plan https://luc.edu/strategicplanning/plan2020/) that requires the campus community to seek actionable ways to live out the call to build a more just, humane, and sustainable world. Loyola maintains a deep commitment to human dignity in the workplace with a mission that creates the cornerstone of our institutional identity and community.  As a result, Purchasing looks to engage with partners that embody these strategic elements and traditions in maintaining a commitment to social justice and the common good.

All Suppliers to Loyola University Chicago must meet certain general requirements. Suppliers must be considered to be qualified or meet qualification standards to provide required materials or services at minimum risk to the University considering price reasonableness, quality for the particular purpose, acceptance of reasonable terms and conditions of sale, delivery performance, and ethical business practices.

As discussed in Section 3.7 Policy Statement On Using Small Businesses, Loyola University Chicago is committed to supporting small business enterprises, including socially and economically Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Small Women-owned Businesses, Small Veteran-owned Businesses, Small Disabled Veteran-owned Businesses and HUBZone Businesses in its purchasing programs.  In accordance with Policy and Procedure, this will be evaluated whenever practical and practicable.

4.2 Pre-Qualified Supplier Program

A Pre-Qualified Supplier is one that has completed a formalized selection process operated by the Purchasing Department, and has been chosen by the University as a supplier who can provide products, materials and/or services that are in the best interests of the University as related to quality of products, materials and/or services; length of contract; advantageous pricing; payment methodologies; delivery practices/performance; supplier operational support and services; ethical business practices; and social and community support. Additionally, a single or sole source may be identified as a Pre-Qualified Supplier as long as Purchasing can provide adequate and complete justification for the designation.

A Pre-Qualified Supplier must agree to sign an agreement/contract which identifies all the terms and conditions under which the agreement/contract will operate, including allowing the University to retain the right to bid on individual requirements of $20,000 or $50,000 or more, depending upon the commodity.

Non Pre-Qualified Suppliers may be used with the understanding that a) the probability of the best deals are with Pre-Qualified Suppliers due to volume discounts, b) transactions which exceed the competitive threshold of $5,000 require added steps by the buyer to justify and properly document the order (utilizing the Buyer Actions Matrix), and c) buyers must negotiate the applicable sales terms and conditions with the supplier along with the method of order and payment (Lawson Purchase Order
versus Web-ordering versus ProCard versus Check Requisition, if applicable).

4.3 Sole/Single Source Purchases


Sole Source: the term used to designate that there is only one supplier that exists that is capable of providing a particular item or service.

Single Source: the term used to designate that even though a product or service is available from various sources, it must, for specific and justifiable reasons, be purchased from one specified supplier.

Buyers are required to substantiate the reason for a sole/single source purchase from a non Pre- Qualified Supplier by providing a written explanation on the Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Form. For Pre-Qualified Suppliers, the Purchasing Department administers the selection process and documents the justification for selection.

Should a departmental user wish to add a supplier(s) to the Pre-Qualified Supplier Directory, a Loyola Buyer or Purchasing Manager will work with the user to ensure the process and any written rationale meets established procurement standards including federal guidelines, if applicable. This may include suggesting alternate suppliers or products, soliciting competitive bids, and documenting price reasonability.

4.4 Bid Solicitation

In order to obtain the best possible pricing and to remain compliant under OMB Circular A-110, FAR regulations and University policies, competitive bidding must be conducted to the maximum extent practicable, as follows:

Less than $5,000: The purchase of goods and services by a buyer should be made by contacting Pre-Qualified Suppliers first, but may be made directly from any responsible supplier (within the guidelines of this manual) of his/her choice. If a non Pre-Qualified Supplier is chosen, the Buyer has an obligation to always determine and secure reasonable prices on behalf of the University and its funding sources.

Equal to or Greater than $5,000 with non Pre-Qualified Suppliers: A minimum of three (3) competitive quotations (two if approved by Loyola Purchasing) or a documented attempt to obtain three (3) quotations but only receiving two responses, are required when obtaining goods and services from non Pre-Qualified Suppliers. A Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Form must be utilized to document the quotation process.

Equal to or Greater than $25,000 with non Pre-Qualified Suppliers: Two (2) or more competitive quotations or a documented attempt to obtain three (3) quotations but only receiving two responses, are required when obtaining goods and services from non Pre-Qualified Suppliers. If the amount is over $30,000, these must be written. A Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Form must be utilized to document the quotation process.

Any bid solicitations where an individual order is expected to exceed $25,000 with non Pre-Qualified Suppliers must be conducted with the assistance of Loyola Purchasing because of the additional requirements for:

  • obtaining certain certifications or meeting certain code requirements,
  • proper documentation of the competitive or non-competitive nature of the transaction, and 
  • proper determination of price reasonableness.

Bid solicitation can be a team effort between Purchasing and the requestor/researcher, or the Buyer can run the competitive process him/herself within the appropriate dollar limitations. 

It is the responsibility of the Buyer to have defined requirements regarding quantity, delivery dates, technical or performance specifications and/or scope of work. 

It is the responsibility of the Purchasing Department to maintain a centralized repository of all required documentation on cost, price, source selection and competitive processes. When using non Pre-Qualified Suppliers, once the Buyer has obtained competitive quotations/proposals, that information shall be documented on the Purchasing Checklist and Bid Summary Form (as required), and should accompany the completed procurement package upon submittal to Purchasing or the requestor for approval and/or retention purposes.

The types of solicitation that can be used are:

Request for Quote (RFQ): Request for Proposal (RFP): Request for Information (RFI): (Reference the Definitions Section 1.4 of this manual)

Exceptions from Bidding:

Pre-Qualified Supplier: If a Pre-Qualified Supplier Agreement is in place, the source selection process was conducted prior to the initiation of the Pre-Qualified Supplier relationship. Further competition during the term of that agreement is not required, unless the Buyer has knowledge of substantial changes in the marketplace for that commodity, or above certain dollar limitations as
identified in the Buyer Actions Matrix.

Competitively Bid Items from Member Cooperatives: Items that can be purchased under competitively bid contracts through a Cooperative in which the University is a member i.e., Educational & Institutional Cooperative (E&I), the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), U.S. Communities, National IPA, and the Horizon Resource Group may, at the discretion of the Purchasing Manager, be exempt from competitive bidding requirements, since competitive bidding was conducted at the time the Cooperative contract was awarded.

Sole Source Purchases: If competition is determined to not be feasible due to the sole source nature of a product/service or supplier, and the order equals or exceeds $5,000 with a non Pre-Qualified Supplier, a written sourcing justification and a determination of price reasonableness is required prior to the commitment being made.

Single Source Purchases: If competition is determined to not be feasible due to a single source nature of an item, service or supplier, and the order equals or exceeds $5,000 with a non Pre- Qualified Supplier, a written sourcing justification and a determination of price reasonableness are required prior to the commitment being made.

Sponsor-owned Items Controlled by Loyola University Chicago: Goods/equipment that will be controlled by Loyola, but are purchased with sponsor funds and will remain the property of the sponsor, shall be purchased according to the provisions of the sponsor agreement.

4.5 Supplier Qualification

Loyola University Chicago will only conduct business with reputable and stable suppliers who are capable of providing the goods and services required. US suppliers must provide either a Federal Identification number or a Social Security number and sufficiently complete a Supplier Information Form indicating business size, type, NAICS number, classification, and product/services line(s), and a W-9 (domestic) form. Failure to provide such information may necessitate the locating of a different
supplier to satisfy the requirement.

Loyola Purchasing will ensure that Pre-Qualified Suppliers do not appear in the U.S. Government Lists of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement or Non-Procurement Programs or are identified on the anti-terrorist list. Buyers are responsible for this debarment verification when non Pre-Qualified Suppliers are used on federal government grants, cooperative agreements or contracts. 

A written certification from the supplier is also required when federal funds are being used. Therefore, when non Pre-Qualified Suppliers are being used, the person making the commitment to the supplier is responsible for obtaining the certifications. All certifications shall be kept on file in the Purchasing Department. The Supplier Conflict of Interest and Compliance Certification Form can be located on the Purchasing website.

To qualify suppliers, Purchasing may request a Dun and Bradstreet or other business financial and background informational reports to determine the financial stability and acceptableness of suppliers who require significant pre-payments or with whom Loyola University has no previous experience. Purchasing will also work to develop new suppliers by inspecting products and facilities. The expertise of the campus community will be utilized to ensure that suppliers can achieve technical requirements. Supplier files maintained by Purchasing may also contain historical experience information. Purchasing will review Pre-Qualified Suppliers periodically and compare with Dun and Bradstreet and other ratings to ensure the continued stability of those suppliers. 

The University must select suppliers who offer the greatest total value for the products and services purchased. The University will employ techniques to develop small, small disadvantaged, small women-owned, small veteran-owned, small disabled veteran-owned and small HUBZone businesses capable of providing the products and services needed by the Institution.

Purchasing will request, as directed by Accounts Payable, that all suppliers complete either a Domestic or International Supplier Information Form and either a W-8 (foreign) or W-9 (domestic), as required, tax withholding form in order to obtain full and proper information and to enter the supplier into the automated Lawson payment system.

4.6 Supplier Suspension/Removal from Bidder's List

Loyola University Chicago will suspend or remove a supplier from the solicitation process if any of the following causes occur on one or more Procurement Card transactions, purchase orders, Web-orders or contracts:

  • Unsatisfactory performance (i.e., poor performance, delivery or default on one or more ProCard transactions, purchase orders or contracts, including any provision of contract terms, for construction service or products/services, including but not limited to over-shipments, undershipments, providing damaged or defective goods, making unauthorized substitutions, billing errors, unallowable billings, service deficiencies, or poor workmanship) unless the unsatisfactory performance is caused by acts beyond the control of the business, such as acts of God, acts of war, terrorism, fires, or strikes (force majeure).
  • Conviction of the business or an officer or principal shareholder for commission of a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain or performing a contract or subcontract.
  • Violation of anti-trust or other laws or statutes including those relating to the submission of bids.
  • Bankruptcy or pending bankruptcy of the supplier.
  • Unethical practices or violation of Loyola University’s policies (including misrepresentation on certifications).
  • Inclusion on the US Government Lists of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement or Non-Procurement Programs or the anti-terrorist list.

The Loyola Purchasing Manager has the authority to suspend a business, for cause, from participating in the University’s solicitation process or in University business. In order for a supplier to modify or shorten the suspension period, supporting documentation must be submitted to the Purchasing Manager, including but not limited to:

  • Bona fide change in ownership and management of the business
  • Elimination or mitigation of the cause for which the suspension was imposed 

Upon termination or expiration of the suspension period, the supplier shall be eligible to participate in the bidding process or receive University business. If a supplier is suspended a second time for the same cause, permanent suspension may result.

Delivery Issues or Failure to Perform 

Further steps required in instances of delivery or performance problems are:

  • It is the responsibility of the requesting department experiencing dissatisfaction with the supplier performance to notify the Loyola Purchasing Manager, in writing, of the complaint.
  • Purchasing will review the facts through discussions with the requesting department to determine the appropriate course of action. If an action is required with a University Pre-Qualified Supplier, the Purchasing Department will take the lead in resolving the issue.
  • The requesting department may be required to provide specific details and reasons for dissatisfaction, in writing.

4.7 Evaluation of Non Pre-Qualified Supplier Offers and Negotiating with Non Pre-Qualified Suppliers 

Evaluation of strictly technical considerations, i.e., design and operating characteristics, are the responsibility of the requestor. It is the Buyer’s responsibility to negotiate all elements of the non Pre-Qualified Supplier purchase (i.e., price, quality, delivery dates, delivery methods, sale terms and conditions, etc.) with the supplier. When assistance is needed in interpreting any of these elements, the Purchasing Manager should be consulted (University Legal Counsel may also need to be consulted on
complex matters).

It is important that anyone making a purchase for the University with a non Pre-Qualified Supplier take note, where appropriate, to supplier terms and conditions and to insure that the language is fair to both parties. Negotiation should be used to make the best overall purchase. Anyone making a purchase with University Entrusted Funds can use Loyola Buyer/Purchasing Manager to assist them in the terms and conditions negotiation process.

Change Notices: Any time a contractual change is made to a sale agreement, all agreed upon changes should be documented. The Buyer should send the supplier a copy of the change documentation. This process will assist in determining liability or responsibility if there is a dispute with the supplier. For assistance in writing a change notice, contact the appropriate Loyola Buyer or Purchasing Manager.

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