This Guide Memo serves as an introduction to Chapter 5. It covers general policies for the purchase of major and minor construction, equipment, supplies and services by Stanford. The policies in this chapter do not apply to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, which has responsibility for all University funds, including those received under grants and contracts and those originating with other outside sources, has delegated authority for the acquisition and disposition of property and the expenditure of University monies to various University officers and officials (see Guide Memo 3.2.1: Authorizing Expenditures).
a. Department Administrators
Department administrators in Schools and Departments have the authority to approve the commitment and expenditure of funds for a given purpose and against specific accounts for which they have been officially delegated authority (see Guide Memo 3.2.1: Authorizing Expenditures). For the purposes of this Guide Memo, this action usually takes the form of a Purchase Requisition.
Procurement, part of Stanford's Financial Management Services organization, is authorized to execute contracts and place orders for goods and services, subject to the receipt of an approved Purchase Requisition (see [1.a.] above). With the exception of certain delegations, Procurement is the sole holder of this authority at the University.
c. Purchases by University Departments
Procurement has delegated authority to departments to approve the acquisition of goods or services when the total dollar value of the transaction is less than $25,000 per transaction and does not require a contract or is less than $5,000 on a Purchasing Card transaction. (See Guide Memo 5.3.3: Purchasing Cards.)
d. Unauthorized Purchases
No person not authorized in writing by Stanford may commit Stanford funds to purchase goods or services. If an unauthorized person attempts to commit University funds, Stanford may consider the acquisition effort null and void and decline to pay any invoice that might be issued. Stanford officers, including the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Procurement Officer, and those to whom the Chief Procurement Officer has delegated authority, including operations managers, supervisors and buyers, may refuse to ratify such transactions. In such a case, the supplier may look to the individual placing the order for payment or reimbursement.
Purchases made without an approved Oracle purchase order number will be flagged and Procurement will contact the requestor for review. Further non-compliance will result in written notice to requester, approver, and the appropriate school or department financial manager. A third instance of non-compliance will result in written notice to the Head of the Administrative Department or the Senior Associate Dean of Finance and Academic Dean of the School, and may result in suspension of Oracle privileges and Purchasing Card use.
e. Personal Expenses
Personal expenses and purchases that are not made on behalf of the University or for use by the University are not permitted. These may be considered fraudulent transactions. Purchases must be for the use and benefit of Stanford University, regardless of intent to reimburse Stanford. If any Stanford user associated with the purchase commits purposeful fraudulent or other inappropriate behavior regarding the proper use of the requisitioning and purchasing process, it will be considered serious misconduct and will result in disciplinary action.
The University's policy is that acquisition of products or services will be by competition between potential suppliers, to the maximum practical extent subject to the requirements of quality, price and performance. Attestation of price reasonableness should be acquired prior to submitting any requisition for approval. This is the responsibility of the requestor. Therefore, individuals that request goods and services are responsible for attaining and documenting their efforts related to purchases requests. Requestors may elect to do one or more of the following to ensure and/or document price reasonableness:
a. Solicit competitive bids
b. Compare pricing across suppliers
c. Document justification for a single source or sole source (a single source is a supplier specifically selected amongst others, due to superior compatibility, quality, service, support, continuity, etc.; a sole source supplies a product or service for which there is no alternative supplier). The source justification should include the following information:
1) A specific description of the supplies or services required to meet the needs, and a statement of facts that show the unique qualifications of the services or items selected to satisfy those needs.
2) A description of efforts made to locate other sources of supply.
3) Documentation that the anticipated cost is fair and reasonable. This can be a comparison of prices when the item is generally available or, when the item is to be specially fabricated, an analysis of the manufacturer's cost.
4) Any other information supporting the use of other than full and open competition.
All procurement activities must conform to the University Code of Conduct (Guide Memo 1.1.1), Staff Policy on Conflict of Commitment and Interest (Guide Memo 1.5.2), and Faculty Policy on Conflict of Commitment and Interest (Research Policy Handbook 4.1). Any known or apparent violation of these policies, whether by an employee or a supplier, must be immediately reported as directed in these policies.
b. Personal Purchases
Procurement does not arrange personal purchases for Stanford faculty, staff or students. The Buyer can render assistance to such individuals only by informing callers of the names of known suppliers. The buyer will spend no time locating suppliers or securing quotations. Similarly, a department may not place an order for an individual employee or student and then have that person reimburse the department.
Stanford provides many goods and services on campus for less than an individual order placed off-campus would cost. A department needing a product or service provided by a Stanford source should order from a Stanford organization that provides it. If Procurement receives a requisition from a department for an item available at Stanford, the buyer may forward the requisition to the appropriate Stanford organization or require the department to place an order that can be processed without the assistance of a buyer.
Stanford University receives many government grants and contracts for academic research. In carrying out its sponsored projects, Stanford fulfills the agreement's conditions, some of which are stated in the sponsored project agreement, others in statutes, regulations and policy statements.
a. Terms and Conditions
A grant or contract often requires Stanford to include certain contractual clauses in purchase orders or subcontracts issued under the award. Procurement determines which contractual clauses are appropriate for inclusion in individual contracts. Purchase orders should be placed through the Procurement department to ensure compliance with Stanford's purchasing policies and legal requirements.
b. Prior Approval
If a government sponsored project agreement is a funding source, a government representative may be required to approve a proposed purchase of capital equipment or complex goods or services before the buyer places the order. See the Property Administration Manual for prior approval procedures.
(1) Offices Needing Documentation
The requesting department is responsible for maintaining records of approval documentation. When required, Purchasing or Accounts Payable may request copies of such documents.
If the purchase requires government approval of subcontract provisions, the buyer will obtain necessary approval and keep it in the Procurement Office files.
c. Pre-Acquisition Screening
The U.S. Government Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110 and other government regulations that cover the administration of agreements with federal government agencies require that Stanford screen the existing inventory of capital equipment for availability before ordering capital equipment to avoid purchasing "unnecessary or duplicative items."
(1) Screening Levels
The department making the purchase must screen for items of equipment costing between $5,000 and $24,999 at the departmental level before purchase, and items at $25,000 and above at the University level. Equipment costing less than $5,000 need not be screened.
(2) Loans and Transfers
Government policy encourages loans or transfers of equipment from other government projects.
(3) Where to Get Help
For information on screening procedures, see the Property Administration Manual.
Certain transactions require permits or licenses from the federal government. Stanford's customs broker and preferred vendor for outside logistics services provide consultation and assistance as necessary. Procurement will provide contact information for current vendors on request. The permits or licenses most frequently required to transact business are:
a. Agriculture Permits
The Department of Agriculture issues permits for import of certain organisms and biological vectors. The requesting department is responsible for obtaining a permit for each shipment or group of related shipments. The form required by the USDA is VS 16-3.
b. Import or Export Licenses
The Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State issues licenses for either export or the importation of equipment or technical data. The requesting department is responsible for obtaining and/or signing the required license.
c. Duty Free Entry of Scientific Equipment
The U.S. Department of Commerce may exempt payment of import duties for scientific equipment. Each department requesting such exemption is responsible for filling out the appropriate paperwork. The form required is ITA-338P.
d. Radioactive Materials
A requisition for radioactive materials must contain a Controlled Radiation Authorization (CRA) number (obtainable from Health Physics) before Purchasing processes the order.
The United States Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration enforce strict and detailed regulations to assure the safety of aircraft and other modes of transportation for hazardous materials or "Dangerous Goods." Dangerous Goods include, but are not limited to those that are flammable, combustible, corrosive, reactive, oxidizing, toxic, radioactive, infectious, elevated in temperature, highly magnetic, or compressed gasses. Aerosol cans and Dry Ice are also regulated. Violations may result in monetary penalties.
The person(s) packing the material and/or signing the shipping papers must be trained and certified in the shipping of Dangerous Goods. The training and certification must be repeated within every two year period.
b. Where to Get Help
The Environmental, Health and Safety Department offers training and has a certified shipper on staff. EH&S personnel are available and ready to help prepare any Dangerous Good for shipment. For web-based information, see Shipping of Hazardous Materials.
This Guide Memo describes the organization of the Procurement Department and its relationships with other administrative departments, both within and external to Stanford.
The Procurement Department is part of the Financial Management Services organization and reports to the Senior Associate Vice President for Finance. Component groups are described below.
a. Strategic Purchasing Services
Strategic Purchasing is responsible for acquisition of a wide variety of products and services. Procurement buyers' responsibilities include maintaining lists of prospective and approved vendors, soliciting bids or proposals, negotiating price and terms and conditions of purchase, selecting suppliers and issuing purchase orders.
Contract Specialists are responsible for negotiating, writing and executing written contracts. Contract specialists negotiate and write consulting agreements, sponsored project subcontracts, repair and construction agreements, architectural, engineering and other services agreements and service order agreements.
b. Strategic Payment Services
Strategic Payment Services is responsible for ensuring payment procedures have been followed and suppliers of products or services are paid. Strategic Payment Services also establishes policy regarding sales and use taxes and ensures their collection and remittance.
c. Procurement Systems
The University has implemented Oracle Financials systems to manage its financial transactions. All acquisition transactions, including purchase requisitions, reimbursement requests, purchase orders, invoices, and payments must be entered in the Oracle Financials system. This system is referred to simply as "Oracle Financials" elsewhere in this and other Guide Memos.
a. Internal Audit
Internal Audit conducts periodic reviews of the Procurement organization and facilitates external audits, as required. Staff of both offices work together to implement Internal Audit's recommendations. Procurement may participate in audits of other departments if the audit involves one of Procurement's functions.
b. Office of Sponsored Research (OSR)
OSR has primary responsibility for negotiation and administration of contracts and grants between Stanford and outside sponsoring agencies, including the federal government. OSR's responsibilities include signing, on behalf of the University, various certifications required by federal or state agencies, including the Certification of Compliance form from suppliers or vendors. Procurement and OSR confer on award document provisions that affect either the contracting process, subcontracting under private or federal prime contracts, or University compliance with federal regulations, such as Public Law 95-507 or other socio-economic provisions.
c. Property Management Office (PMO)
The Property Management Office is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining the equipment inventory system. PMO reviews capital equipment acquisitions and surplus property sales requests for conformance with University property procedures.
Surplus Property Sales sells surplus equipment and material to Stanford departments, employees, students and the general public. See Guide Memo 5.2.4: Surplus Property Sales, for more information.
d. Land, Buildings and Real Estate (LBRE).
Multiple LBRE departments provide a range of services, including:
(1) Department of Project Management (DPM)
DPM is responsible for major construction project management and project administration within LBRE. Procurement is responsible for the commercial aspects of contract negotiation, contract execution and contract administration for DPM.
(2) Buildings and Grounds Maintenance (BGM)
The Contracts Group negotiates Service Order Agreements for BGM, which enables the Buildings Operations Group to deal directly with contractors for repairs, maintenance, and minor construction for Stanford structures, systems, and grounds. For contracted facilities renewal and planned maintenance, Zone Management coordinates with Procurement to bid, negotiate, and award maintenance, design, studies, and construction contracts on a per project basis.
(3) Other LBRE Departments
In addition to DPM and BGM, other LBRE departments, including Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM), Land Use and Environmental Planning (LUEP), and University Architect/Campus Planning and Design (UA/CPD) have responsibility for undertaking and/or providing studies, projects and services related to campus utilities and transportation, land use and environmental issues, as well as building and landscape design.
g. Risk Management
Risk Management assists departments with claims over $1,000 for damaged or lost goods.
To facilitate negotiation with vendors on price agreements, Procurement encourages schools and administrative areas to provide the Director of Strategic Purchasing Services with a long-range forecast of anticipated acquisitions during annual budget formulation.
b. Order Management
The University department initiating an order is responsible for the following:
c. Permits and Licenses
The department is primarily responsible for signing or obtaining necessary permits or licenses in support of the acquisition of products, i.e., import licenses, U.S. Department of Agriculture permits for importation of a biohazard, etc. (see Guide Memo 5.1.1: Procurement Policies).
(1) Packing and Shipping Off-Campus
The department is responsible for packing items for shipment. The person(s) packing and/or signing the shipping papers for any "Dangerous Goods" including Dry Ice, must be trained and certified. The training and certification must be repeated every two years. For further information and assistance, see Shipping of Hazardous Materials.
(2) Loss or Damage Claims
The department is responsible for asserting any claim for damaged or lost goods. (Procurement and Risk Management may be available to assist; see Guide Memo 2.4.4: Property and Liability Insurance, and Guide Memo 5.3.1: Requisition Processing.
a. Office of Naval Research (ONR)
The Office of Naval Research has cognizance for administration of most Department of Defense and NASA contracts at Stanford. Procurement works closely with ONR for any necessary approvals on government subcontracts. ONR conducts a periodic review of Stanford's Procurement system and Procurement works with ONR to implement recommendations made.
b. Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)
The Defense Contract Audit Agency conducts periodic audits of Stanford's Procurement system. As with ONR's annual audits, Procurement works with DCAA to implement any recommendations.
c. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA has responsibility for reviewing Stanford's activities under government regulations for doing business with small business and other targeted concerns (see Guide Memo 5.5.1: External Affirmative Action). SBA visits Stanford periodically and examines supplier selection and subcontract award practices, particularly under government contracts for which Stanford has submitted subcontracting plans.
This Guide Memo describes arrangements by which the University advances loans that are repaid over time to schools and departments to finance capital projects, programs or purchase equipment.
a. "University financing" is an internal mechanism whereby the University makes an unsecured loan ("Internal Loan") to a school or department to finance capital projects, programs or purchase equipment and recovers the loan principal, plus interest, over the useful life of the asset by system generated journal entries from a PTA (Project/Task/Award) or PTAs identified by the department. The authorization to borrow is documented in a Funding Agreement for projects that are approved by the Board of Trustees (BOT) and in a Form 1 for other projects. While the asset is owned by the University, the school/department retains all ownership responsibilities, including recording the equipment purchase into the Sunflower Assets System as soon as it is received and in service.
b. "Amortization" also referred to as debt service, is the repayment of principal and/or interest over the term of an Internal Loan. For service centers, the principal component of debt amortization payments on a project is treated as a proxy for asset depreciation expense charges and is included in the service centers' rates as such. Interest is charged and principal balances are amortized based on the prior period's ending principal balance.
c. "Religious Use" means any use including services, meetings and any other activity conducted by or for a religious group or organization in a University facility.
d. "Private Use" generally means the use of tax-exempt-financed property in a trade or business by any person or entity other than the borrower, a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the borrower, or a state or local government entity, and use by the borrower [or any other 501 (c)(3) organization] in an "unrelated trade or business." The use does not have to result in unrelated business income to be considered private use. Private use examples may include but are not limited to: lease of university property to non-university entities; non-compliant management or service contracts (e.g., food service contracts); non-compliant corporate sponsored research agreements; naming rights arrangements with a private user.
e. "Substantial Completion" occurs when an asset is "placed-in-service." An asset is placed in service when one of the following conditions is met (in order of availability and importance):
(1) issuance of a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO)
(2) signed-off Permit,
(3) certification by a Project Manager
Schools and departments may obtain Internal Loans for academic capital projects, capital equipment purchases, service center capital projects and capital equipment purchases, auxiliary projects and capital equipment purchases, bridge financing the receipt of gift pledges and receivables, and other University programs such as the Faculty Staff Housing Program.
Once an Internal Loan is approved, the Treasurer's Office and Capital Accounting determine whether the project is eligible for taxable, tax-exempt, or a mix of taxable and tax_exempt debt. If the Funding Agreement or Form 1 indicates that a capital project is designated for academic purposes and tax-exempt debt is allocated to the project, it is implied that there will not be a change in use throughout the life of the project. Penalties may be incurred if religious and/or private use take place in facilities financed with tax-exempt debt. The Treasurer's Office, the Tax Director or the Capital Accounting Bond/Tax Compliance Analyst in the Controllers' Office should be notified if religious and/or private use in a tax-exempt financed facility is contemplated at any time. Questions regarding Private Use or Religious Use can be directed to the Capital Accounting Bond/Tax Compliance Analyst.
a. University Approvals
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or his/her designee is advised on debt allocations by a group consisting of representatives from the Provost's Office, Land, Buildings and Real Estate (LBRE), and the Controller's Office. Certain allocations of debt may be subject to completion of a debt affordability analysis conducted by the Treasurer's Office and approval by the CFO. Financing of all capital projects requires an authorized Form 1 or, approval from the Board of Trustees (BOT) and an executed Funding Agreement. Form 1 approval procedures are outlined on the LBRE/Department of Capital Planning website. Guide Memo 8.3.1: Capital Projects, provides guidance on capital projects.
The BOT must review and approve increases in budgeted project costs for BOT level projects, including new building construction, projects with a total cost of $10 million and above, use of 5,000 or more new square feet within the academic growth boundary, changes in land use, and projects with major exterior design changes.
Bridge financing of gift pledges for capital projects requires prior approval from the Provost and the CFO and must be documented in a Funding Agreement. The Funding Agreement addresses financial responsibility during and after construction. See Section 4.f for information on the repayment of Internal Loans, which bridge finance the receipt of gifts.
The Capital Accounting department in the Controller's Office is responsible for processing approval for all capital projects and capital equipment loans.
b. Capital Equipment Approvals
Schools may require approval from the School Dean's Office before committing to finance a capital equipment purchase.
The BOT approves University debt issuances and delegates responsibility to the CFO to issue debt in the capital markets and to advance Internal Loans to schools and departments. The organization responsible for servicing Internal Loans (Paying Organization) and funding sources must be identified at the time of approval and documented in a Form 1 or in a Funding Agreement. The Paying Organization will be responsible for monthly amortization payments (interest and principal) on an Internal Loan over the remaining useful life of the asset being financed. The Treasurer's Office is responsible for the repayment of external debt.
a. Budgeted Interest Rate (BIR)
The University accumulates, by project, in a single fund (Single Interest Fund) all interest expense and bond issuance costs ("Interest") from notes and bonds issued to finance capital projects and programs that support the academic mission of the University. The BIR is the weighted average rate of all Interest related expenditures, including administrative costs, over the projected outstanding debt of the University available for project/program loans during the same accounting period (generally the University's fiscal year). The BIR is charged to the outstanding unamortized Internal Loan principal balance. Notes and bonds or other debt issued to finance activities unrelated to the academic not for profit mission of the University, or issued to finance a specific asset are excluded from the BIR calculation.
b. Taxable Debt Premium
If, as a result of management decisions, the project funding structure requires taxable debt when tax-exempt debt would have otherwise been permitted, a 1% interest "Premium" will be assessed. The Premium will be calculated on the Internal Loan principal balance outstanding, it cannot be capitalized and will be charged directly to an operating account until the taxable debt is fully amortized. The Premium is subject to change throughout the internal amortization period. The 1% Premium will be published along with the BIR.
c. Prepayment Penalty
The borrower may incur a prepayment penalty ("Penalty") if debt requested for the project is reduced after the Form 1 or Funding Agreement has been executed. The Premium will be equivalent to (1) interest expense on the corresponding bond obligation until such time as proceeds have been redeployed, or (2) premiums and fees incurred to repurchase the corresponding bond obligation in the open market.
d. Exceptions to the BIR
The BIR is not charged to projects for which construction is in progress (CIP). During CIP and until Substantial Completion, interest on Internal Loans is added to the loan principal balance outstanding and capitalized. During CIP, the interest rate charge is the effective monthly weighted average interest rate computed by Capital Accounting. The intent is to make the capitalized interest expense included in the cost of construction, an accurate component of the total cost of the building, which is then used to calculate depreciation expense for financial reporting.
e. BIR Calculation
Each year in December, or as needed for the general funds forecast, the Treasurer's Office in collaboration with the Capital Accounting group develop a BIR forecast for next fiscal year's budget.
During the course of the fiscal year, the Capital Accounting group compares the effective BIR with the approved BIR. The CFO determines if the variance between effective and approved BIR requires an interim adjustment. In the event of a mid-year reset, the prior months' interest expense will not be restated.
f. Amortization of Internal Loans
In the month following Substantial Completion of a capital project, installation of capital equipment, or the drawdown of an Internal Loan for a program, the Capital Accounting group assesses the BIR on Internal Loan principal balances outstanding and collects principal amortization. Monthly payments are adjusted to reflect changes in the BIR, and amortization proceeds are deposited in the Recycling Pool and used for future internal lending.
Debt service payments start one month following Substantial Completion. For example, if a project is completed during May, the debt service payment will start in June. The project will be charged capitalized interest in May based on April's ending balance. In June, the project will begin amortizing based on May's ending balance. For purchased equipment (not included in a capital project), the debt service payment starts in the month following the payment for that equipment.
The BIR is used to calculate the interest portion of the debt service payments. The BIR may change during a fiscal year. Prior months' interest expense will not be restated. The University reserves the right to make retroactive adjustments to the BIR if required.
There are two amortization schedules: level payment and fixed principal.
Amortization of Internal Loans is based on the lesser of the estimated useful life of the asset category or the actual useful life of the asset (e.g., asset disposal or sale). The following are amortization lives (amortization periods) listed by asset category:
|Computer Equipment||3 years|
|Data Handling Equipment||5 years|
|Scientific/Technical Equipment||5 years|
|Standard Telecommunications Equipment||5 years|
|IT (Information Technology) Systems||7 years|
|General Purpose Equipment||10 years|
|Complex Telecommunications Equipment||10 years|
|Modular Furniture||10 years|
|Shop Machinery and Tools||10 years|
|Dedicated Special Purpose Building Space||15 years|
|Electrical and Utility Control System||15 years|
|Storm Drains||15 years|
|Building Renovations, including component Replacements||20 years|
|Steam and Chilled Water Utility Distribution Systems||22 years|
|Domestic Water and Sanitary Sewer Pipelines||30 years|
|New Building Constructions||30 years|
|Parking Structures and Lots||30 years|
|Steam and Chilled Water Utility Production Equipment||30 years|
|Electric and Signal Ducts||40 years|
|Major Structures (dams and reservoirs)||40 years|
Capital Improvements to a Leased space; lesser of the initial lease term or the asset's estimated useful life.
These amortization periods reflect specific assets' expected useful life and are generally consistent with the University's depreciable lives used for financial statements reporting. For indirect cost recovery and financial statement reporting, academic buildings and land improvements are depreciated by components, but for the amortization of Internal Loans, composite lives are used.
For assets not shown, or if asset life does not fall within the guidelines, please contact Capital Accounting.
a. PTA (Project/Task/Award)
The department contacts Capital Accounting to obtain the financing PTA to which the purchase is initially charged.
b. Purchasing Standard Requisition (STD)
The department completes a Purchase Requisition.
Internal Loan principal balances are amortized in equal installments, plus interest, on the remaining balance. Interest on the loan is charged in the month following the invoice for the purchase is paid. Amortization of principal starts the first month after the equipment is purchased. Debt service payments, including both principal and interest, are automatically charged monthly to the PTA(s) designated by the department (in the requisition).
Interest and principal charges can be viewed on expenditure statement(s) for the applicable PTA(s).
e. Loan Closeout
Charges to a departmental PTA(s) stop when an Internal Loan is paid off.
This Guide Memo describes policies that apply to equipment leases. Capital and operating lease liabilities utilize the University's debt capacity. All uses of debt must comply with the University's debt policy and require prior approval. The only parties authorized to execute documents that commit Stanford to an equipment lease obligation are the Director of Procurement, the CFO, or their designees. For relevant policies, see section 1 in Administrative Guide Memo 5.1.1: Procurement Policies. Approvals, requisition processes and reporting requirements are included.
Leases are contracts under which a lessee has committed to pay stipulated cash payments for the use of an asset for a specific period of time. For the purposes of this memo, an equipment lease is considered the commitment to pay for the use of an asset for longer than one year, with total contracted cash payments over the term of the lease of $5,000 or greater.
Capital and operating leases are considered long-term financial obligations of the University. Therefore, all new equipment leases and lease renewals are considered a use of the University's debt capacity.
Commitments not meeting these qualifications should be considered rentals that are not subject to this policy.
c. Capital Lease
An equipment lease is capitalized if the total anticipated contracted cash payments over the term of the lease, excluding any transportation costs, are greater than or equal to $200,000, on a per contract basis, and at least one of the following criteria is met:
Capital leases are reported as an asset and a liability on Stanford's financial statements and interest and depreciation are expensed.
d. Operating Lease
When an operating lease does not meet the definition of a capital lease in 1.c above, the operating lease payments are expensed as incurred.
a. Approvals and Thresholds
Equipment leases with total anticipated contracted cash payments over the term of the lease of $200,000 and above must be approved by the CFO. Equipment leases with total contracted cash payments over the term of the lease under $200,000 can be approved by managers with requisite expenditure authority in relationship to total contracted cash payments.
b. Approval Forms
The Equipment Lease Approval form can be downloaded from the Gateway to Financial Activities website.
c. Board of Trustees Approval
Equipment leases with total anticipated contracted cash payments of $5,000,000 and above require approval by the Board of Trustees.
Following budget approval, departments must submit an online requisition for the total contracted cash payments over the term of the lease to Procurement in Oracle Financials using the Standard Lease category.
e. Lease Terms
Procurement is responsible for negotiating equipment lease terms. Equipment leases must be signed and executed by the Director of Procurement or the CFO.
f. Reporting Requirements
Departmental Property Administrators are responsible for establishing and maintaining property records for leased equipment in the Sunflower Asset Management System. Leased equipment must be tagged and tracked according to the policies of the Property Management Office.
By September 30 each year, departments must provide the Controller's Office with a certificate and a schedule of all equipment lease obligations to assist with the preparation of the University's financial statements and the property tax-exemption application. Reporting forms for equipment lease obligations can be downloaded from the Gateway to Financial Activities website.
g. Return of Equipment
Unless the department wishes to buy the equipment, a memo to Procurement is sufficient to return the item at the end of the lease. Procurement will notify the lessor.
h. Equipment Purchase at the End of the Agreement
To buy equipment at the end of a lease, the department must submit a new online requisition, using the Standard Capital Equipment category and referencing the original lease purchase order number.
i. Receiving Equipment
The department must inspect, verify and document the condition of leased equipment when received. Online receiving in Oracle Financials is required for leased equipment. A record for each asset must be entered into the Sunflower Asset Management System within 30 days of receipt.
Stanford's high deductible insurance coverage makes it unlikely that the University's insurance carrier would pay for any loss or damage. Therefore, lessor's insurance for equipment should cover all aspects of damage and injury. For more information, contact the Assistant Vice President of Risk Management.
k. Change of Terms
Departments must observe the start and stop dates of the lease. Using the equipment outside the terms of the agreement has significant contractual implications and may subject Stanford to additional rental charges, early termination charges, and other liabilities. The lessor's insurance may be valid only during the stated period. To terminate an equipment lease early, the department must contact the assigned buyer in Procurement.
l. Renewals and Extensions
Departments must submit an online requisition to Procurement to extend the duration or renew the term of a lease.
This Memo describes the policies that apply to equipment loans. Only Procurement and the CFO are authorized to execute documents that commit Stanford to a loan obligation.
a. Loans of Equipment
A loan occurs when Stanford receives free use of equipment. For example, a manufacturer may lend Stanford experimental or prototype equipment that needs testing under regular operating conditions. Even though no payment is involved, other liabilities, such as insurance coverage and repair costs, need to be covered by a loan agreement negotiated, signed and executed by Procurement.
b. Sponsor-Furnished Property
Sponsor-furnished property is a loan of property from a sponsor and managed under the terms and conditions of an existing sponsored award or bailment agreement. The Property Management Office, in conjunction with Office of Sponsored Research, is responsible for ensuring the terms and conditions of the award are followed. Find more information about Sponsor-furnished property at Acquisition chapter, Section 2.4 Loans, Transfers and Leases, in the Property Management Manual.
For policy regarding equipment leases, consult Administrative Guide Memo 5.2.2: Equipment and Real Estate Leases.
a. Initiating the Loan
Following departmental approval, departments must submit an online requisition to Procurement in Oracle Financials using the Standard Capital Equipment category. Forward any agreement forms or other documentation to Procurement.
b. Equipment Purchase at the End of the Agreement
To buy equipment at the end of a loan, the department must submit a new online requisition using the Standard Capital Equipment category and referencing the original purchase order number.
The department must inspect, verify and document the condition of loaned equipment when received. Online receiving in Oracle Financials is required for loaned equipment as it is for purchased equipment.
Departmental Property Administrators are responsible for establishing and maintaining property records for loaned equipment in the Sunflower asset management system. Within 30 days of receipt, loaned equipment must be tagged and tracked according to the polices in the Property Management Manual.
Stanford's goal is for the lender's insurance to cover all aspects of damage and injury related to an equipment loan. Contact the Assistant Vice President of Risk Management or the Director of Procurement if there is any question of Stanford assuming any liability for the loan or that appropriate coverage is provided.
If the lender is not providing insurance, note this on the requisition.
Departments must observe the start and stop dates of the loan. Using the item outside the terms of the agreement has significant contractual implications and may subject Stanford to rental charges, early termination charges, and other liabilities. The lender's insurance may be valid only during the stated period.
Unless the department wishes to buy the equipment, a memo or email to the assigned buyer in Procurement is sufficient to return the item at the end of loan. Procurement will notify the lender.
To terminate an equipment loan early, the department must contact the assigned buyer in Procurement. An online requisition to Procurement is required to extend the duration or renew the term of a loan.
This Guide Memo covers sale of surplus University property.
a. Surplus Property Sales Office
The mission of the Surplus Property Sales office (SPS) is to sell University property for the best possible price while ensuring responsible handling of excess assets and contributing to campus-wide sustainability initiatives. The Board of Trustees has authorized only SPS to perform this function (Resolution Number 3 September 13, 1983). Therefore, the only entity authorized to sell tangible personal property (hereafter referred to as "property") to non-Stanford entities is SPS.
For the purpose of this document "property" is defined as capital and non-capital movable assets including, but not limited to, equipment and accessories, furniture, vehicles, or supplies.
Specialized sales may include significant involvement by departments, including the identification of a potential buyer. In such cases, the sale must be pre-approved and processed by SPS. The check from the buyer is to be made payable to Stanford University Surplus Sales, and include sales tax, where applicable. All payments must be deposited by Surplus Property Sales.
b. University Departments
Departments may not give, sell or donate property to individuals, including Stanford employees and students, or to non-Stanford entities, including non-profits. If a department arranges a buyer to purchase property, the sale amount must be approved by SPS. All sale transactions must go through SPS. Departments may transfer property to other departments, either for no charge or for credit to departmental accounts. The property must be used for University business purposes. The ReUse website is available to facilitate viewing and posting items available for interdepartmental transfer. The transferring and receiving departments must notify the Department Property Administrator (DPA) and Property Service Representative (PSR) of a transfer to ensure asset records reflect the change. Refer to the Property Management Manual for transfer procedures.
a. Transfer Between University Departments
Because title to the item remains in the University, there is no sales tax incurred.
b. External Sales
Sales tax will be applied, as required, to all external transactions.
a. Disposition Requests
The Department Property Administrator (DPA) initiates an excess request upon notification of excess property. Surplus Sales will determine optimum disposition method for the assets, including potential sale. For specific information refer to Section 4.2, Disposition and Transfers in the Property Management Office (PMO) Property Management Manual.
b. Sales Terms and Conditions
Established terms and conditions apply to all sale transactions. Full description of these is available in Section 4.3, Surplus Property Sales, in the Property Management Manual.
c. Sales Commission
As a self-funded department, SPS retains a percentage of all sales based on the SPS Fee Structure, for purposes of offsetting operating expenses. The SPS Fee Structure is reviewed and approved annually as part of the University's budget process. Refer to Section 4.3, Surplus Property Sales, in the Property Management Manual for additional details.
d. Sales Expense
Any expenses related to the sale of an item will be deducted from the proceeds of the sale or charged to the department if no sale occurs. Sales expenses may include, but are not limited to: appraisal, advertising, brokerage, or auction fees; diagnostic, registration, smog and repair costs; moving, handling, transportation, and disposal expenses.
The proceeds from sales of any University-owned property belong to the University. Sales revenues are distributed in accordance with the approved SPS fee structure.
Buyers are responsible for timely packaging, removal and transport of the items they buy.
g. Sale Records
The buyer may not take possession until payment has been received by SPS. Records of all sale transactions are retained by SPS per University Policy as stated in Guide Memo 3.1.5: Retention of Financial Records.
h. Equipment Inventory Update
Property records are updated by PMO as appropriate, to reflect the final disposition transaction.
i. Non-Marketable Property
Items that are broken, inoperable or otherwise deemed unsellable will be disposed or recycled per University policies via the prescribed excess process by Surplus Sales. For equipment items there is no additional cost to departments for this service. For furniture items, such items may be disposed of by departments at their cost with prior approval from PMO.
j. Right of Refusal
Surplus Sales may refuse items that are deemed to be in non-marketable condition. Delivery will be diverted to PSSI for disposal at the originating department's expense.
a. Property owned or funded by Federal or other Sponsors
Authorization from the Sponsor may be required prior to disposal or sale. The DPA must work closely with the Property Management Office in handling such transactions. Contact your Property Service Representative (PSR) for further instructions.
b. Donated Equipment
Internal Revenue Service requirements may restrict or prohibit sale of donated equipment. See Guide Memo 4.2.3: Records of Donated Equipment, for more information.
c. Hazardous Equipment
d. Software and Sensitive Data
Before delivery to SPS, departments must take steps to permanently remove University proprietary information from any computer or computer peripheral device. See Secure Computing for a complete description of University policy regarding data sanitization. Special care should be taken with licensed application software to ensure that the terms of the licensing agreement regarding sale or transfer have been observed.
This Guide Memo describes policies that apply to off-campus real estate leases. Capital and operating lease liabilities utilize the University’s debt capacity. All uses of debt must comply with the University’s debt policy and require prior approval. The only parties authorized to execute documents that commit Stanford to real estate lease obligations are the Vice President for Land, Buildings & Real Estate; the Associate Vice President, Real Estate; or their designees. For relevant policies, see section 1 in Administrative Guide Memo 5.1.1: Procurement Policies. Approvals, requisition processes and reporting requirements are included.
Real Estates Leases
Real Estate Leases are contracts under which a lessee has committed to pay stipulated cash payments for the use of real estate for a specific period of time. Real Estate leases are considered long-term financial obligations of the University. Therefore, all new real estate leases and lease renewals are considered a use of the University’s debt capacity.
When the academic core campus becomes more space-constrained, academic and administrative units begin to look for options outside of campus boundaries to fulfill their space requirements. While physical planning on campus is centrally managed with rules and guidelines established by the University, locations off campus are subject to a completely different set of jurisdictional regulations and University policies depending upon where a particular property is situated. Prospective off-campus users should be made aware of these respective policies prior to choosing their final space destination. These policies are intended to address the political and economic realities of locating an operation or unit outside the academic core campus.
b. Off-Campus Leasing Requirements
1. All off-campus users (whether occupying space on Stanford Real Estate Lands or not) are required to:
a) Confirm their use and/or proposed construction plan confirms with the local zoning code
b) Understand jurisdictional design and construction review and approval processes
c) Pay all necessary fees for jurisdictional and University approval (GUP/SIP fees do not apply)
d) Engage their own resources, including leasing agent, to find space and negotiate the lease
e) Self-administer leases
f) Consult with LBRE before removing property from County property tax rolls
2. If off-campus location is on Stanford Real Estate (SRE) lands, lessee will additionally be required to:
a) Understand that lessee’s direct landlord may be SRE’s ground lessee and that, in those cases, SRE as well as the off-campus user are obligated to comply with the terms of the existing ground lease document
b) In all cases (whether or not there is a ground lease between off-campus user and SRE), the off-campus user must obtain SRE approval for all major improvements and exterior changes to land and buildings, as well as any exceptions to jurisdictional zoning regulations
c) If SRE is direct-owner of the building, obtain SRE approval of all interior improvements; otherwise obtain approval from direct landlord (i.e. SRE’s ground lessee)
d) Adhere to SRE design guidelines and/or policies for a particular location or district, if applicable (Stanford Research Park Handbook, Stanford Research Park Policy Regarding Medical Clinics, Welch Road Planning Guidelines, etc.)
e) Understand that market rents will apply and be charged, even for SRE-owned buildings
c. Approval Process and Thresholds
All real estate leases must be included as a capital request in the Capital Planning Process. The Capital Planning Process is managed by the Vice President for Land, Buildings & Real Estate and occurs in conjunction with the annual budgeting process for the University. Departments are required to submit their capital plans for approval as part of this process. Real estate lease searches and/or negotiations initiated outside the Capital Planning Process must be approved by the Vice President for Land, Buildings & Real Estate.
All real estate leases require separate approval from (1) the Vice President for Land, Buildings & Real Estate if the total anticipated contracted cash payments over the term of the lease are under $1,000,000, or (2), the Provost if the total anticipated contracted cash payments are $1,000,000 or above. Real estate leases with total contracted cash payments of $5,000,000 and above require approval by the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Prior to negotiating lease terms, departments must submit an off-campus lease requisition form to the Associate Vice President, Real Estate. The form can be downloaded from the Land, Buildings & Real Estate website. The Associate Vice President, Real Estate will advise in the search, or direct the requestor to an approved real estate advisor.
e. Approval Forms
Prior to executing a lease, departments must submit an off-campus lease approval form to the Associate Vice President, Real Estate. Real estate lease approval forms can be downloaded from the Land, Buildings & Real Estate website. After approval of the lease transaction and execution of the lease, departments must request a Purchase Order or BU number from Procurement for the total contracted cash payments over the term of the lease, to ensure proper recording of the transaction and to enable payments.
f. Lease Terms
The Associate Vice President, Real Estate or their designee, will assist departments in negotiating lease terms. Real estate leases must be executed by the Vice President for Land, Buildings & Real Estate, the Associate Vice President, Real Estate or their designee, or the Administrator designated by the Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees. Material exceptions to standard terms must be reviewed and approved by the Office of the General Counsel.
g. Reporting Requirements
By January 15 of each year, departments must provide Land, Buildings & Real Estate a schedule of all real estate lease obligations to assist with the preparation of the University’s College Exemption property tax filing.
Lessor’s insurance for real estate leases should cover damage to the building and premises and injury occurring in the building’s common areas. For more information, contact the Director of Risk Management.
i. Change of Terms
Departments must observe the start and stop dates of the lease. Occupying the real estate property outside the terms of the agreement has significant contractual implications and may subject Stanford to additional rental charges, early termination charges, and other liabilities. The lessor’s insurance may be valid only during the stated period. To terminate a real estate lease early, the department must contact the Associate Vice President, Real Estate.
j. Renewals and Extensions
Departments must follow the approval process to extend the duration of the original contract, exercise options included in the original contract, or renew a real estate lease.
This Guide Memo provides an overview of the procurement process. University departments are encouraged to contact Procurement early in the acquisition process. Procurement buyers and Contracts Specialists can help develop technical specifications and provide product descriptions, estimates of cost or price and lists of suppliers.
The University has implemented the Oracle Financials systems to record its financial transactions. All acquisition transactions, including purchase requisitions, reimbursement requests, purchase orders, invoices, and payments must be entered in the Oracle Financials system. Administrative staff typically use the Oracle iProcurement system for requisition entry and lookup, and the ReportMart system for general financial reporting needs. This system is referred to simply as "Oracle Financials" elsewhere in this and other Guide Memos.
a. Preparing Transactions
Online transactions must be prepared by a person with a SUNet ID and appropriate authority to access the online systems. Stanford faculty, staff, and students acting in an administrative capacity all have access to the online acquisition systems.
Every requisition is electronically stored and routed on the computer system to a designated person who is an authorized approver for the account to be charged for the acquisition of products or services.
c. Transaction Processing
Business transactions are processed through Oracle Financials electronically, which includes forwarding or returning purchase requisitions to personnel with signature authority, obtaining authorized approvals electronically, sending appropriate notifications to users, transmission of orders and related documents to suppliers, and payment for products and services.
d. Personal Expenses
Personal expenses and purchases that are not made on behalf of the University or for use by the University are not permitted. These may be considered fraudulent transactions. Purchases must be for the use and benefit of Stanford University, regardless of intent to reimburse Stanford. If any Stanford user associated with the purchase commits purposeful fraudulent or other inappropriate behavior regarding the proper use of the requisitioning and purchasing process, it will be considered serious misconduct and will result in disciplinary action.
e. Getting Started
To help employees gain familiarity with the system, classes are offered periodically. Online tutorials are also available.
In addition to departmental approval, schools may require Dean's Office approval for purchases. A requisition will also be automatically routed to other offices if their approval is needed.
Attachments for requisitions are normally electronically attached to the Oracle iProcurement requisition.
a. Information Source
Departments may obtain information about vendors through lookup in the Oracle iProcurement system, or by contacting Procurement directly.
b. Soliciting Suppliers
After an online requisition of $25,000 or above is made available to Procurement, the assigned buyer works with the requesting department in considering potential suppliers. If written bids, quotations or proposals are appropriate; the buyer prepares and communicates solicitations to prospective suppliers. The buyer and the department select the supplier based on Stanford's policies.
c. External Affirmative Action
The University is committed to doing business with small businesses and other targeted concerns when they can supply products or services that meet the University's needs; see Guide Memo 5.5.1: External Affirmative Action.
Procurement is authorized to assign a contract number to formal contracts. Unless otherwise authorized by the Board of Trustees or delegated authority from the Chief Purchasing Officer, no other University department may assign contract or purchase order numbers in acquisition of products or services.
A written contract may be appropriate in the following circumstances:
When the product, service or terms of acquisition must be changed for the acquisition to meet the University's needs, the department is responsible for initiating an online requisition to authorize the change. Requisitions for change or modification should be promptly processed by University departments. A failure to do so may result in no delivery of the product or service or nonpayment of the supplier.
a. Delivery Points
(1) General Shipments
Most campus shipments are delivered directly to the ordering department by the supplier or shipper. If there are questions or special requirements concerning a delivery, a Procurement buyer can advise on the appropriate manner, place and terms of delivery to be included in an order.
(2) Radioactive Shipments
Radioactive materials may not be delivered directly to any department. All shipments of radioactive material go to the Health Physics Inspection Station at 820 Quarry Road for examination by Health Physics and verification of a CRA (Controlled Radiation Authorization) number. After examination by Health Physics, delivery is made or the materials may be picked up by the requesting department. Refer to Guide Memo 5.1.1: Procurement Policies.
(3) Biohazard Shipments
Bio hazardous material may be delivered directly to University departments; however, each department is responsible for ensuring that a department representative is available to receive the shipment and for ensuring that safe handling of such products occurs upon delivery. Refer to Guide Memo 5.1.1: Procurement Policies.
b. Certification of Receipt or Acceptance
Receipt of goods or services is entered into the online systems. Receiving transactions are used by Accounts Payable to determine eligibility of a particular invoice for payment. Special circumstances may occasionally require more complex procedures. Requestors should work with the cognizant buyer and Accounts Payable representative to accommodate any special needs.
Procurement can expedite orders when notified by a department or supplier that an order needs special attention, i.e., a delivery failed to come in as expected, etc.
The University department is primarily responsible for administering shipping claims. If Procurement was involved in the transaction, the buyer can, upon request, assist departments in handling damage claims, return or repair of defective items, and/or return of the item delivered when the wrong product was shipped. For losses or damage over $1,000, the Risk Management Office may be contacted for assistance.
e. U.S. Customs
The buyer assists departments in complying with U.S. Customs, filling out, signing and submitting applications for duty-free entry of scientific instruments, and permits for importation of organisms and biological vectors.
Note: Procurement uses the services of Stanford's exclusive customs broker and preferred vendor for logistics services, and encourages University departments to do the same. Contact Procurement for more information.
This Guide Memo contains policies on Blanket Purchase Orders.
If a department frequently needs supplies or services from the same supplier, Procurement may establish a blanket purchase order. Blanket purchase orders are established for varying periods, and allow the department to order directly from the supplier. The blanket purchase order contains ordering and billing instructions, a price agreement, and a description of the goods or services that can be ordered.
a. Audit Trail
The ordering department is responsible for maintaining a complete audit trail of transactions under a blanket purchase order. This includes administering and documenting the authority for issuing orders and maintaining records of transactions.
Individual releases under Blanket Purchase Orders are not entered online in Oracle Financials. The ordering department is responsible for tracking releases independently of online systems. All releases must carry the Blanket Purchase Order Number, and any invoices presented must also carry the Blanket Purchase Order Number.
The Procurement Department may determine that the interests of productive business dictate a consolidation of business activity. If many departments use one supplier, then Procurement may establish a University-wide Purchase Agreement with that vendor.
University departments should enter a requisition, for each transaction released against a University-Wide Purchase Agreement.
b. Temporary Service
Agency Agreements are established on a University-wide basis every two years. For information about approved agencies, call Procurement. To obtain temporary service help from an agency on the approved list, the department enters an appropriate requisition online. The Agency in turn references the approved Purchase Order Number on its invoice. The invoice and a copy of the temporary employee's time sheet (previously approved and signed by the department representative at the end of the employee's work) are sent to Accounts Payable for payment.
This Guide Memo contains policies on use of Purchasing Cards (PCard) to purchase goods or services directly by departments. This policy establishes the rules and guidelines for appropriate use of the Stanford-issued Purchasing Card. This policy is based on and in alignment with the expectations set forth by AGM 1.1.1: Code of Conduct, specifically with regard to employing sound business practices and exercising prudent financial management in the stewardship of University resources. For detailed guidance and supporting resources, see the Purchasing Card (PCard) overview on Fingate.
Stanford Purchasing Cards (PCards) are university-liability credit cards issued to active, authorized and trained Stanford employees to purchase eligible goods and services in support of Stanford University business. Only eligible business purchases that are $4,999 or less may be charged to the PCard; splitting transactions and personal purchases are strictly prohibited. All PCard transactions must be reviewed and verified in the PCard system and substantiated by adding a detailed and appropriate business purpose and proof of purchase documentation. See detailed policy and guidance for the PCard on Fingate.
There are two types of PCards: an individual PCard and a Department PCard. The individual PCard is issued to a specific person who is the cardholder and has direct responsibility for facilitating business transactions for a department. The Department PCard is issued to a department and assigned to an individual custodian, who acts as the cardholder. The custodian may use the card directly to facilitate business transactions for the department or may allow usage of the card by others within the department once verifying that the card will be used in alignment with any department and university policies. The policies are the same for both types of PCards, unless specifically noted.
PCards should be used for smaller dollar items ($4,999 or less). iProcurement, which provides users with access to shop from Amazon Business and SmartMart catalog suppliers, is the preferred method for purchasing goods and services due to the university’s greater ability to manage risk, compliance and regulations. Additional benefits of Amazon Business and SmartMart catalog suppliers include pre-vetted suppliers, pre-negotiated pricing and efficiencies such as repeat ordering and a streamlined invoice and payment process. Using a PCard instead of iProcurement to purchase items should be limited to instances where there is substantial benefit.
All university business purchases must be substantiated within 60 days of the expense being incurred. For PCard transactions, this means that transactions must be verified (including appropriate documentation, business purpose and account information) and fully approved within 60 days of the charge being available for verification in the Oracle PCard module. A reasonable timeframe for verification is within 10 days of the charge appearing in the module. Failure to complete verification and approvals within 60 days may result in card suspension and/or expenditures (charges) reported as taxable income to the cardholder or individual custodian.
If a PCard transaction is not verified and approved within 60 days, the transaction will be force cleared by Financial Management Services to a department guarantee account (PTA.) This process occurs at the end of each fiscal quarter. The department is then responsible for allocating the force cleared transaction(s), via the iJournals system, to the appropriate account (PTA) and expenditure type.
For information on how to find and manage force cleared PCard transactions, visit Managing Aging and Outstanding Expense Transactions on Fingate.
b. Verification and Approvals
Cardholders may verify their own transactions. However, all transactions must route to an approver that meets the following criteria:
1. has authority over the account (PTA) charged,
2. does not report directly or indirectly to the cardholder, and
3. is not the beneficiary of the transaction.
A detailed description of all roles and responsibilities is available from the Purchasing Card (PCard) overview on Fingate.
Participation in the PCard program is considered a privilege that carries the responsibility to ensure appropriate use and stewardship of University funds. Inappropriate use of the PCard may result in the loss of the privilege, disciplinary action and/or in termination of employment. Fraudulent use may additionally result in criminal prosecution. The cardholder/custodian or card user will be held personally liable for all unauthorized purchases.
a. Basic Criteria
The PCard is available to active Stanford University employees. Eligibility is based on a departmentally-determined business need and requires:
For more information, see Stanford’s Purchasing Card (PCard) Program.
b. Delegation of Authority
Individuals who have been authorized by their department for PCard use may purchase eligible goods and services, in accordance with the Purchasing Card Policy, for up to $4,999. These purchases must be reasonable and necessary, consistent with established university policies and practices, applicable to the work of the university, including instruction, research, and public service, and must be consistent with sponsor or donor expenditure restrictions.
Note: The purchase cost includes tax, shipping, handling and installation, if applicable. The total purchase item cost cannot exceed $4,999.
c. Department Responsibility
Delegation of authority comes with the responsibility to adhere to University policies and procedures related to purchases.
For a complete list of permissible purchases, see policy and guidance for the PCard. Departments may have more restrictive PCard policies.
a. Examples of permissible purchases ($4,999 or less):
b. Non-permissible purchases
All PCard purchases must be for the benefit of the university; anything purchased for personal use may be considered a fraudulent transaction and may result in the consequences described in the 1. Purpose; c. Misuse section above.
Some types of purchases are not permitted on a PCard due to the difficulty of complying with regulatory requirements, health and safety policies, tax reporting rules or the need for a contract or insurance to protect the university’s interests.
Other types of purchases are not permitted because the university provides a more efficient, cost-effective or controlled method to obtain the item.
The following list includes examples of items that may not be purchased using a PCard. Additional examples are available on the Stanford Purchasing Card Policy webpage.
It is the responsibility of the individual incurring the expense(s), those who assist others with incurring expenses and those involved in the preparation and approval of financial transactions to exercise good financial stewardship over university funds, including adhering to all university policies. See detailed description of all roles and responsibilities: Stanford’s Purchasing Card (PCard) Program.
The custodian/cardholder is responsible for staying current with all PCard policies and procedures, including seeking assistance prior to making/authorizing a purchase if there are questions. All roles below should also be familiar with and refer to Guide Memo 3.5.1 Financial Irregularities as well as the related university resources.
1. PCard roles and responsibilities include:
2. Additional Review and Audit
All Stanford PCard transactions are subject to additional review by the central Financial Management Services department, as well as by internal and external auditors for financial stewardship including compliance with institutional policies and procedures, and any applicable laws and regulations.
Fingate, the Gateway to Financial Activities website, provides process and procedural information for PCard holders, verifiers and approvers. See the Stanford’s Purchasing Card (PCard) Program, Purchasing Card (PCard) Policy and Purchasing Card (PCard) system pages.
The Financial Support Center (FSC) is available to consult with departments on the application process, training, and use of the Purchasing Card.
AGM 3.5.1: Financial Irregularities provides procedures to follow when a suspicion or discovery of financial irregularities arises, as well as resources to report potentially suspicious activity.
Several methods are used to purchase items. In order to choose the most efficient and cost- effective method, see Purchasing and Payment Methods. Additional resources are available at the Stanford’s Purchasing Card (PCard) Program and Stanford Purchasing Card Policy.
This Guide Memo describes policies on making purchases from the Stanford Bookstore or directly from publishers.
a. Stanford Bookstore
Departments order books and supplies from the Bookstore using a Purchasing Card ("P-card") or standard purchase order.
b. Books not Stocked in Bookstore
When books are not available in stock, the Bookstore will order from a book wholesaler or publisher. Books will be shipped directly from the wholesaler or publisher to the department.
c. Purchasing with Grant or Contract Funds
When grant or contract funds are used for Bookstore purchases, the department requesting the purchase is responsible for ensuring that the purchases are authorized by the funding source. In some cases, low-cost items such as calculators are viewed in grants or contracts as general purpose equipment and may not be purchased without advance approval by the funding source. Contact the Office of Sponsored Research for more information.
Direct orders for books should be placed via a standard requisition in iProcurement.
Periodical subscriptions and membership dues should be paid via a Non-PO Payment Request in the Expense Requests system.
a. Requesting Reimbursement
Reimbursement of an individual's personal expenditure for books, subscriptions or membership dues with subscriptions can be made through petty cash if the items are within current petty cash dollar limits. All other reimbursement requests must be made via an Expense Report in the Expense Requests system.
b. Receipt Required
The individual is responsible for providing an original receipt showing proof of payment with the request for reimbursement. A copy of the personal check after processing by the bank can serve as a receipt if none is provided by the supplier.
This Guide Memo describes Stanford's policies on payments to vendors for materials or services ordered.
Accounts Payable pays invoices in accordance with payment terms negotiated or secured by Procurement. Departments must ensure that all purchase commitments (those appropriately executed through iProcurement) are made only with approved, Oracle-generated purchase orders.
Accounts Payable may, at its discretion, verify receipt or acceptance of products or services before paying any invoice.
a. Purchase Orders
Marking the item as received in Oracle Financials indicates to Accounts Payable that the invoice may be paid.
(1) Items Requiring Certification of Receipt or Acceptance
Accounts Payable does not pay the invoice until evaluation has been completed and the item has been accepted (see Guide Memo 5.3.1: Requisition Processing).
Note: The department should not mark the item as received in Oracle Financials until it is accepted.
(2) Capital Equipment and High Value Noncapital Purchases
For capital equipment and noncapital purchases of $5,000 or more, Accounts Payable requires approval through Oracle Financials before paying the invoice.
(3) Low Value Noncapital Purchases
For noncapital purchases over $5,000, Payment Services requires department approval. This approval can be made with a signature on the invoice, by receiving in Oracle Financials, or by email response to Accounts Payable's hold notification.
b. Blanket Purchase Orders
Accounts Payable will start the payment process for the transaction upon receiving an invoice listing the blanket order number.
(2) Void Transactions
Accounts Payable will not pay any invoice that exceeds the not-to-exceed total of the blanket purchase order.
c. Price Differences Between Invoice and Purchase Order
For a number of reasons, the invoiced amount may differ from the dollar amount approved on the purchase order or service contract. If the invoice amount exceeds the amount on the purchase document, the Accounts Payable processor is authorized to pay the invoice amount without a written change order only on a standard purchase order where the difference is not more than 10% of the purchase order amount and the total difference does not exceed $250.
d. Periodic Payment Orders
A Periodic Payment Order authorizes Accounts Payable to make a fixed payment at fixed intervals for a specific period of time. This method is useful for equipment rental or maintenance, where the charge remains constant unless something unusual occurs.
A Periodic Payment Schedule is established by Procurement in consultation with the requesting department and supplier. Under a periodic payment order the requesting department's responsibilities include:
a. Prompt Payment Required
Federal and state regulations require Stanford to pay all freight bills within 7 days of receipt. Accordingly, departments must send the freight bill to Accounts Payable as soon as received.
Procurement attempts to negotiate standard terms of Free on Board ("FOB") Destination. That means the title and risk of loss of the item are passed to Stanford upon delivery of an item at Stanford or any other specified destination. If those terms are not acceptable to the vendor, Procurement negotiates to have the vendor prepay transportation charges and add them as a separate charge on the invoice. However, if shipping charges are not known and not included on the issued purchase order, the vendor may prepay freight and separately invoice for shipping costs.
(1) Payment for Freight Delivery Under a Purchase Order
If any department receives a freight invoice for a product obtained under an issued purchase order, a department representative should forward it promptly to Accounts Payable for payment, ensuring that the purchase order number is clearly noted on the invoice.
This Guide Memo describes or references procedures for authorizing payment for services to the University by individuals who are not University employees. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) currently applies the applicable policies contained herein. SLAC departments should consult the SLAC Office of the Chief Financial Officer website for SLAC procedures which differ from those set forth below. For information about faculty honoraria, please see Chapter 5 of the Faculty Handbook.
Whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor is determined by the facts in each case.
For information about how the University determines whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, see Guide Memo 2.2.3: University Payroll, Section 1.
Stanford reports all payments to applicable tax authorities as required by law. Tax reportable payments are reported annually to the:
a. General Rules
Note: Payments for services rendered may not be processed through petty cash.
b. Use of Purchasing Requisitions
A Purchasing Requisition is used to set up contracts with vendors of services to the University. For more information see Guide Memo 5.3.1: Requisition Processing.
(1) Timing of Request
The purchase requisition should be processed before the services are performed.
(2) Required Information
If the individual's compensation for work performed at the University is paid by a temporary help agency, the person is employed by the agency, and is not put on the University payroll. The University pays the agency, which is then responsible for tax deductions, Social Security payments, and Worker's Compensation insurance.
a. Approved Agencies
Procurement seeks competitive bids every two years from temporary help agencies, and enters into contracts with selected agencies, which are placed on an approved list. Only agencies on the approved list should be used.
For detailed information, see Inviting and Paying Foreign Visitors.
a. Visa Requirements
All offers of reimbursements, travel payments or honoraria to foreign visitors are contingent on the visitor entering the United States on a visa that allows the visitor to receive payments (see Guide Memo 2.4.1: Visas for and Employment of Foreign Nationals.
Visitors with J-1 visa status may be paid honoraria but visitors with non-Stanford sponsored visas must have written permission from their sponsoring officer for payment. Visitors with B-1, B-2, WB or WT status may be paid honoraria if:
(2) Travel Expenses
Visitors from countries that have agreements with the U.S. to waive visitor visas (WB and WT) and visitors with J-1, H-1, B-1 or B-2, or A-1/A-2 visa status may be reimbursed for business travel expenses. Visitors with B-2 visas or WT status must conform to the restrictions listed in (1) above.
b. Tax Information
(1) All Visitors
For non-payroll payments to foreign visitors holding valid visas, the department must submit a Declaration of Tax Status (Stanford Form LA-6), and copies of passport, visa and I-94 card with the Oracle Financials reimbursement request. See Requesting Payment section of Inviting and Paying Foreign Visitors.
Note: all confidential documents and data, including that listed above, should be submitted via the secure Supplier Request Portal.
(2) Visitors from Treaty Countries
If the visitor's country of residence has a treaty with the U.S. ,the following forms may also be required, depending on what type of payment is proposed:
The Travel section of the Gateway to Financial Activities website contains links to printable versions of most of these forms.
Note: Form 8233 and all banking or otherwise confidential data should be submitted via the secure Supplier Request Portal.
c. Tax Identification Number
An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security Number (SSN) is necessary if the payment is for an honorarium and the visitor is claiming a tax treaty by submitting the appropriate exemption form (see Section 5.b.(2) above).
Note: Tax Identification Numbers, Social Security Numbers and all banking or otherwise confidential data should be submitted via the secure Supplier Request Portal.
If there is no Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), 30% taxes will be withheld from honoraria payments. If there is no tax treaty, 30% taxes will be withheld from honoraria payments (see Section 5.b.(2) above).
a. California Withholding at Source
Payments to an individual who is not a California resident are subject to California withholding at source tax. California law requires that Stanford (the "source" of the payment) withhold 7 percent from payments for non-employee personal services made to an individual who is not a California resident, if the aggregate total of such payments to that individual during a calendar year is greater than $1,500 and services were performed in California.
b. California Residency Status
In general, non-employee, non-corporate individuals without a California address, DMV driver's license, or other sufficient evidence of California residency, who will perform their services over a period of fewer than nine consecutive months, will be presumed to be non-California residents unless they submit a Certificate of California Residence (see below).
c. Certificate of California Residence
If an individual claims exemption from California withholding at source on the grounds that he or she is a California resident, no California withholding will be taken from payments that are made after the following procedure has been completed:
Form 590 is valid for one year; a new form must be completed for a subsequent year.
d. Mandatory Communication
The host department administrator must advise any out-of-state visitor in writing and in advance of the requirements in this section.
Supplemental Research Support is payment for research support made by a department to an individual who is not a Stanford employee. Such payments must meet the following criteria:
b. Tax Status
Supplemental research support is treated in all respects as a fellowship for tax purposes. Fellowships paid to non-degree seeking individuals are taxable.
Supplemental research support payments to visiting scholars are authorized through the Payroll Office.
Note: Supplemental research support to a Stanford faculty or staff member must be processed as supplemental salary. See Quick Steps: Request Recurring Payment.
a. Purpose of Expense Advances
The use of cash advances is expected to be rare, but may be appropriate to further University business under certain circumstances including:
As a preferred alternative to an expense advance, the University has a travel card program described on the Gateway to Financial Activities website. Any other advance request not explicitly listed above is considered an exception and requires prior approval by the Business Expense Manager within Procurement Services. The University does not allow expense advances for personal reasons.
b. Authorizing and Issuing Funds
Expense advances are authorized by departments, and are issued to the individual who will be incurring expenses. Responsibility for the University funds remains with the individual until expenditures are accounted for through an expense report in the Expense Requests system.
c. Amount of Expense Advances
The amount advanced may not exceed the estimated cash required for the activity. All advances for travel must include supporting documentation detailing the estimated travel expenses.
Human Subject incentives greater than $200 per subject cannot be advanced and must be processed as a direct non-purchase order payment in the Expense Requests system.
a. Initiating a Request
The department initiates a request for an advance online using the Expense Requests system. See How To: Create Advance Request.
b. Timing of Request
Approved expense advances must be received by the Business Expense department at least 10 working days before the date the funds are needed. Fees will be charged for expedited (“Rush”) delivery of funds or if pickup at the "Will Call" window is requested.
c. Delivery of Funds
Checks for expense advances may be delivered by interdepartmental mail to the department, sent via U.S. Mail, deposited directly to the payee's bank account, or picked up at designated “Will Call” locations.
a. Expense Reporting
An expense report must be submitted in the Expense Requests system no later than 60 days after the completion of the activity (e.g., trip) in order to clear advances. Absent exceptional circumstances, expenses submitted more than 60 days after the date of completion will be reported as taxable income to the individual. See How To: Clear an Advance.
b. Returning Unused Funds
Unused funds, and funds that are no longer needed, must be promptly returned to the University.
If an advance is outstanding more than 60 days past the expected clearing date, the advance will be reported as taxable income to the individual to whom the advance was intended. In this circumstance, the advance will be expensed to the account specified in the advance request. The department is responsible for determining if the advance has been charged to the appropriate account.
The advance recipient will not be eligible to receive any future advances if the advance was not properly cleared.
The university pays directly or reimburses individuals for expenses that are necessary and appropriate to conduct University business. This policy outlines the guiding principles, reimbursement and travel policies and examples of business-related expenses at Stanford University. This policy applies to all fund types and business expenses, including travel undertaken for university business and purchases of items to be owned by Stanford. It should be used in conjunction with resources and procedural information on the Gateway to Financial Activities (Fingate) website. This policy is based on and in alignment with the expectations set forth by AGM 1.1.1: Code of Conduct, specifically with regard to employing sound business practices and exercising prudent financial management in the stewardship of University resources.
This policy is applicable to direct payments and reimbursements of:
Additional information on purchasing methods can be found in AGM 5.3: Purchasing Goods and Services.
a. Supporting University Travelers
Stanford is committed to supporting domestic and international research, business and educational travel that advances the university’s mission, except when circumstances pose a significant risk to health or safety. Exigent circumstances may necessitate additional restrictions or guidance with regard to travel on behalf of the university.
Definition of University-Sponsored Travel
University-sponsored travel is defined as when the university pays directly or reimburses individuals for travel expenses that are necessary and appropriate to conduct university business. This includes the use of any funding source for which the university has financial responsibility and accountability, including operating budgets, donor gifts, federally-sponsored grants and awards, and any other restricted or unrestricted fund. Student and postdoctoral scholar travel that is directly related to their individual course of study, or for which academic credit may be awarded, is considered university-sponsored travel, even if the travel is funded via their base financial support.
Split or Partially Funded Travel
When travel expenses for Stanford faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars or students will be shared by Stanford University and one or more external organizations, even if only a minority of the travel expenses are sponsored by Stanford, the trip is considered split.
In terms of the booking policy, split travel is considered university-sponsored travel and must be purchased through a Stanford Travel booking channel following the Business and Travel Expense Policies detailed here and on the Fingate website.
If it is not easy to separate out the costs that will be covered by the external party, the Stanford Travel Card may be used to pay for the total cost of the trip, then Stanford must be reimbursed by the traveler or travel arranger for the external party portion. See How To Return Personal Expenses Charged to a Travel Card.
Any portion of travel that Stanford pays for must follow Stanford Travel policies and guidelines.
Fully Externally-sponsored Travel
When an outside institution or entity asks Stanford faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars or students to travel on that organization’s behalf and provides full payment for those travel expenses, the trip is considered fully externally-sponsored, also referred to as third party travel.
Stanford University resources may not be used to book, purchase or reimburse expenses for fully externally-sponsored travel. In these instances, the use of the Stanford Travel Card and advances is prohibited, and travel arrangements may not be booked via Stanford Travel booking channels.
The University reimburses individuals under the IRS Accountable Plan when the IRS regulations are met. Under this plan, the reimbursement is not taxable as income to the employee if the expense has a business connection and is also submitted in a timely manner (see sections below). In addition to expenses being reasonable and necessary, the requirements for reimbursement under the IRS Accountable Plan include the following:
a. Business Connection and Substantiation of Expense
Expenses incurred must have a business connection; that is, they must have been paid or incurred while performing Stanford business. The business connection must be adequately explained and documented in the University’s records. Documentation must include:
b. Timeliness of Transaction
Expenses should be submitted immediately and no later than 60 days after being incurred (e.g., return date from trip), or a reasonable explanation must be provided for an exception to be granted. Reimbursable expenses that are submitted after 60 days will be reported as taxable income to the IRS.
c. Non-employee Travel: Students and Visitors
In addition, if the individual incurring the expense is not an employee of the university, additional requirements apply:
Below are examples of reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses. For a complete list and more information, see Business and Travel Expense Policies on Fingate.
a. Examples of Reimbursable Business Expenses
b. Examples of Non-reimbursable Expenses
This Guide Memo outlines policy on establishing and managing a petty cash fund. It should be used in conjunction with procedural information, resources, and forms, which outline the application of this policy and may be found on the Petty Cash Administration section of the Gateway to Financial Activities website (Fingate).
The purpose of a Petty Cash Fund is to allow for the reimbursement or purchase of minor, small-dollar (less than $100), unanticipated business expenses, where the use of alternative means is neither feasible nor cost effective. In general, departments are strongly encouraged to use Stanford Purchasing Cards or to request reimbursement through the Expense Requests system rather than use petty cash, whenever possible. whenever possible.
The Office of the Treasurer is responsible for approving all Petty Cash Fund account requests.
The University has three types of Petty Cash Funds. Fund levels should be reassessed annually and modified as needed based on the volume of activity during the year.
Petty Cash Funds are established for departmental use for incidental and emergency small-dollar purchases where the use of alternative means (e.g., Purchasing Card) is not feasible. Reimbursement for properly approved expenses may be obtained directly from this fund. The size of a Petty Cash Fund will be determined by the business needs of the requesting department, but will typically not exceed $500 in cash on hand, unless otherwise approved by the Office of the Treasurer.
Petty Cash Checking Accounts may be established in departments that make small disbursements by mail (e.g. purchase of subscriptions), or that must make immediate payment (e.g. C.O.D. (cash on delivery) for goods delivered by UPS). The size of a Petty Cash Checking Account will be based on the business needs of the requesting department, but will typically not exceed $2,500, unless otherwise approved by the Office of the Treasurer.
Change Funds may be established by a department, used to give change to customers when they are paying for goods and/or services, and must be reconciled daily. The size of a Change Fund will be determined by the business needs of the requesting department. A written request with the details of the business needs must be submitted to and approved by the Office of the Treasurer.
Unless the department is very large or geographically dispersed, a single petty cash fund per department is usually adequate. Reimbursements from one petty cash fund may be charged to any type of account including sponsored projects. If more than one petty cash fund is needed, a written justification must be submitted to and approved by the Office of the Treasurer.
The department head must appoint an individual to be custodian of the department's petty cash fund. Petty cash custodians must be salaried employees of the University, and may not be undergraduate students, graduate students or temporary personnel. Custodians are required to complete Petty Cash Training. The custodian remains accountable for the petty cash fund until another person is officially designated as the new custodian, or the fund is closed.
The Office of the Treasurer may conduct on-site audits of selected department Petty Cash Funds, Petty Cash Checking Accounts and Change Funds each year. The funds will be selected randomly and the custodian for the selected fund(s) will be notified and an appointment to conduct the audit must be made within 72 hours. For an audit, the custodian will need to provide the auditor with evidence of reconciliations, reimbursement receipts showing the types of reimbursements being made with the fund, and provide evidence that the fund is being stored securely when not in use.
Failure to properly safeguard, reconcile and administer petty cash funds may lead to revocation of the petty cash fund from the department and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Reimbursements from petty cash are authorized for purchases and expenditures up to $100 per transaction. Allowable uses:
(1) Incidental supplies needed for department operations totaling less than $100;
(2) Local transportation (e.g., taxi), parking (non-University related) and bridge tolls, totaling less than $100, that may arise as part of a day trip on official University business;
(3) Necessary and reasonable food (e.g., sandwiches and beverages) brought into the office for business meetings, totaling $100 or less, including tax, delivery and tip.
Special rules apply for the reimbursement of alcoholic beverages.
Petty cash may NOT be used for:
Reimbursement for petty cash must be for the exact amount of the expense. Splitting one transaction in excess of $100 into several parts, or requesting reimbursement of less than the full amount of the expense is specifically not allowed.
This policy statement supports a plan to increase opportunities for minority, women and disabled people, and businesses owned by them, to participate in economic opportunities arising from University business activities.
Stanford University is committed to increasing significantly the opportunities for minority, women and disabled people to engage in business with the University.
This policy statement supports a long-range plan to enhance Stanford's external affirmative action. The plan serves to promote diversity through the judicious use of the University's financial and other resources to increase opportunities for small businesses and businesses owned by targeted concerns to participate in economic opportunities arising from University business activities.
The classes covered by this policy, as defined by the Federal Government, include Asian, Black, Latino/Hispanic and Native American, women of all racial/ethnic background, people who are disabled or physically challenged, veterans, and other targeted concerns.
The President and Provost will provide the leadership for promulgating this policy; however, responsibility for its implementation rests with individual vice presidents, deans, directors of major institutions and centers, the Chief Executive Officer of the Stanford Management Company, and the heads of other organizations not covered above.
Public Law 95-507 and Executive Order 12138 encourage organizations that receive contracts from federal agencies to do business with small businesses and other targeted concerns regardless of size. The University's responsibilities under these laws are described in detail in the document "Utilization of Small Business Concerns, Small Business Concerns Owned and Controlled by Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals, and Women-Owned Business Concerns," which is published in the Procurement Manual. Specific questions as to applicability to particular situations should be addressed to the Office of Sponsored Research.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines the members of these groups. An updated listing can be found online at the U.S. Small Business Administration website.
b. Contracts Affected
(1) Contracts between $25,000 and $499,999
Terms of government contracts over $25,000 in value require the University to have a program to insure business opportunities for small and minority owned businesses. Stanford's External Affirmative Action Program meets that requirement.
(2) Contracts $500,000 and over
For contracts of $500,000 or more, a specific plan must be made and implemented. A Small Business Liaison Officer (a Stanford-designated University official) oversees the operation of the plan. The University is responsible for establishing percentage goals of subcontracting business (expressed as a proportion of total subcontracting dollars) to be awarded to small and small disadvantaged suppliers. For assistance or information on goals required by specific agencies, contact the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR).
(1) Preparing the Subcontracting Plan
When a request for a subcontracting plan is received from an agency, OSR notifies the cognizant department and Procurement. Procurement and the department meet to review product and service areas with subcontracting opportunities, and based on this review, determine reasonable goals for the plan. Procurement submits data for the plan to OSR. Procurement then writes the subcontracting plan and submits it to the government agency.
(2) Vendor Search
Departments must investigate small and disadvantaged business possibilities prior to submitting a requisition. Departments that wish further searching to be done by Procurement should so specify in the "Remarks" screen of the requisition, and should attach documentation of the department's search efforts and their results.
The federal government requires periodic reports on progress toward the achievement of goals set in a contract's original subcontracting plan. Procurement prepares reports of purchases under each contract, and notifies departments of progress against goals.
To help departments, Procurement maintains small business directories and other resources. All the directories are commodity-indexed. Call Procurement for copies and information.
b. Online Access to Supplier Information
Online information about vendor size, ownership status and products offered is available to departments in the Oracle Financials system. Procurement Buyers are also available to assist with sourcing needs.
c. SBA CCR System
The Small Business Administration has developed a computerized, commodity indexed database of small businesses. Call Procurement for more information. Procurement maintains links to this and other resources on the Gateway to Financial Activities website.