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Back to Policy Section VIII: Fiscal and Business Affairs
Section VIII: Fiscal and Business Affairs

Policy Number: VIII-3.10(A)

University of Maryland Procurement Policy

(Approved by the President Revised )


These procurement policies are designed to support and facilitate the educational, research, and public service missions of the University of Maryland, College Park (UM) by applying business practices that provide for public confidence in its procurement system.

This document establishes policies that are relevant to the UM and provide for a procurement process of quality, integrity, broad based competition, fair and equal treatment of the business community and increased economy in the procurement process.


Pursuant to Chapter 15 of the Laws of 1999, Higher Education-University System of Maryland-Coordination, Governance and effective July 1, 1999, "except as provided in Section 11-203(E) of the State Finance and Procurement Article....and any contract for Services and Capital Improvements with a value that exceeds $500,000 shall require the review and approval of the Board of Public Works.... the University System of Maryland is exempt from Division II of the State Finance and Procurement Article."

The Board of Regents approved the USM Procurement Policies and Procedures on December 3, 1999, and on February 9, 2000, the Board of Public Works approved the policies and procedures for the governance of procurements by the University System of Maryland consistent with the mandate of Chapter 15 of the Laws of 1999 (BPW Action Agenda Item 3GM).

The Board of Regents delegated to the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland the authority to implement and to delegate to the presidents of the constituent institutions, to the extent permitted by Board of Regents policy, authority to implement the USM Procurement Policies and Procedures. The Chancellor has delegated to the President, UM, authority to implement the USM Procurement Policies and Procedures. The President has delegated that authority to the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, who has in turn designated the Director of Procurement and Supply to be the procurement officer for the College Park campus.

The Department of Procurement and Supply is responsible for developing a UM Procurement manual/guide to be used in the daily business of procurement.


These Policies are consistent with the USM Procurement Policies and Procedures and apply to contracts by the UM for the acquisition, rental, purchase or lease of supplies (including vehicles and information technology requirements), Services, Maintenance, Capital Improvements, and Architectural and Engineering services.

  1. A Policy or Procedure adopted herein may not change any right or obligation under a procurement contract in existence before the effective date of the Policy or Procedure.
  2. Subcontracts and sub-recipients and other agreements entered into by the University in fulfilling its obligations under federal, state, local and private grants and contracts are not procurement actions and are therefore not subject to these Policies and Procedures.
  3. The UM, with the approval of the USM Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, may, from time to time, amend these policies and procedures in order that they remain consistent with current best methods and business practices.


These policies and procedures do not apply to the lease, sale, purchase, transfer, disposal or any other action involving an interest in Real Property. Transactions of real property are governed by USM Policy 279.0 VIII-4.00-POLICY ON ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION OF REAL PROPERTY (Approved by the Board of Regents, February 1, 1989; Amended, March 1, 1989, Amended December 13, 1996)

  1. The sale, transfer and disposal of surplus personal property. (see USM 248.0 VIII-1.20 - POLICY ON DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PERSONAL PROPERTY)
  2. Collaborative undertakings that support the mission of the University.
  3. Reimbursement contracts for which user eligibility and cost is set by law or by rules and regulations (e.g. Medicaid).
  4. Intergovernmental contracts or like-business agreements.
  5. Purchases for the purposes of resale or remanufacture and subsequent resale.
  6. Agreements creating contractual employee relationships.
  7. Cultural, entertainment, intercollegiate athletic contracts, and exhibitions or displays on university property.
  8. Surveying and evaluating architecturally, archaeologically, historically or culturally significant properties, and other than as to architectural services, preparing historic preservation planning documents and educational material.
  9. Protection and administration of intellectual property rights.
  10. Housing, food and related supply or service contracts for conference facilities.
  11. Contracts of the University System of Maryland for programs and operations located or implemented overseas or out-of-state, if policies and procedures are adopted that promote the purposes stated in the University System of Maryland Procurement Policies and Procedures to govern those procedures.
  12. Any procurement or contract to the extent of any conflict with a governing federal law, regulation, assistance instrument, or other requirement; or the terms of any gift.
  13. Contracts for the purchase, use, or development of curricula materials.


Set forth below are the generally accepted methods of procurement, which may be adjusted, from time to time in the best interest of the University to reflect current business practices. The UM has established procedures for use of these procurement methods, consistent with the USM Procurement Policies and Procedures, and with the needs of the UM. The UM Procurement Procedures are on file in the office of the UM Director of Procurement and Supply.

  1. Small Procurement (under $5,000)
  2. Procurement by Simplified Acquisition Procedures (under $100,000)
  3. Competitive Sealed Bidding
  4. Competitive Sealed Proposals
  5. Sole Source Procurements
  6. Emergency Procurement
  7. Unsolicited Proposals
  8. Procurement by Cooperative Purchasing Agreements
  9. Procurement from Contracts Established by Other Institutions or Agencies
  10. Architectural and Engineering Services

The preferred method of purchase for Small Procurements is the purchasing card in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth at the UM.

Procurements over the Small Procurement limit that are not executed through a competitive process must include a written justification as to why a competitive method has not been used. The justification must include a verification that the price is fair and reasonable and a written certification from the procurement officer that the vendor is a responsible vendor, having the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirement and has the integrity and reliability to assure good faith performance.

The UM Procurement Procedures Manual shall provide specific procedures for the execution of each procurement method.


Contract formation and award shall be consistent with USM Procurement Policies and Procedures.


The following approvals are required before contract execution:

  1. The Procurement Officer has authority to approve Sole Source determinations up to $100,000. All Sole Source determinations above $100,000 must be reviewed and approved by the Vice president for Administrative Affairs in addition to any approvals required at the USM level.
  2. For all contracts over the Small Procurement Limit, approval of the documentation for award including price/cost analysis, contractor responsibility, and basis for award by the Procurement Officer. If the Procurement Officer is not the UM Director of Procurement and Supply, the Procurement Officer must have on file a valid, written delegation of authority from the UM Director of Procurement and Supply.
  3. Sole Source contracts over $500,000 must receive prior approval of the USM Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance.
  4. Capital improvement and service contracts exceeding $500,000 and modifications in excess of $500,000 to such contracts shall be submitted to the Board of Public Works for approval.
  5. Prior approval must be received from the USM Board of Regents consistent with current BOR policy and procedure for any procurement exceeding five million dollars.


  1. Prior notification must be given in writing to the USM Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance for any of the following procurements exceeding one million dollars:
    1. Competitive Sealed Bids
    2. Competitive Proposals
    3. Unsolicited Proposals
    4. Contracts Established by other institutions
    5. Architect / Engineering Services
  2. Prior notification must be given in writing to the USM Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance for any Sole Source procurement exceeding $100,000.
  3. Prior notification must be given in writing to the USM Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance for any Sole Source personal service contracts in excess of $25,000.


  1. Only the Procurement Officer, or other duly authorized representative, may enter into a contract on behalf of the institution.
  2. The Procurement Officer, or their duly authorized representative, should sign the contract documents after the contract documents have been signed by the contractor.
  3. The contract should be signed by the appropriate representative(s) of the contractor with the authority to bind the firm to the terms of the contract, as determined by the type of firm.
  4. A contract with a joint venture may involve any combination of individuals, partnerships or corporations. The contract shall be signed by each participant in the joint venture in the manner set forth in this section.


  1. Only a Procurement Officer is authorized to execute a contract modification on behalf of the University.
  2. A contract modification may be either bilateral or unilateral, on the part of the University.
  3. Contract modifications to capital improvement and service contracts in excess of $500,000 shall be submitted to the Board of Public Works for approval and reported to the Board of Regents through the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.


The University System of Maryland shall, to the maximum extent practicable, purchase supplies and services in accordance with Title 14, Subtitle 1 of the State Finance and Procurement Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland. The System is committed to promoting business with State Use Industries, the Blind Industries and Services of Maryland, and the minority business community. It shall endeavor to achieve and exceed the current State goal for minority owned business participation through the Maryland Department of Transportation certification process.

The University System of Maryland shall abide by the Maryland Code of Regulations (COMAR) Title 21, Subtitle 08 with regard to all debarments/suspensions.


  1. An interested party may protest to the appropriate Procurement Officer against the award or the proposed award of a contract by an institution of the University System of Maryland.
  2. The protest shall be in writing and addressed to the Procurement Officer.
  3. An aggrieved party shall exhaust all administrative remedies provided in this section before seeking judicial review.
  4. A decision of the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals is subject to judicial review in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act governing contested cases.
  5. If a timely protest has been filed, the contract may be awarded if:
    1. a finding is made that execution of the contract without delay is necessary to protect substantial State or University interests or
    2. the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals makes a final decision concerning the appeal.

The UM Procurement Policies and Procedures Manual includes procedures for the administration and settlement of protests and claims.