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Making Purchases: How to Buy

 Learn how to purchase what you need to carry on the college's mission.

ATTENTION — Spending restrictions are in place due to COVID-19. 

Spending Restrictions In Effect

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in severe financial consequences to New York State that demand prompt action. SUNY has provided guidance stating that colleges are to take steps to reduce spending. In addition, recent budget restrictions require additional action. Therefore, the following purchase restrictions will be in place until further notice. 

Learn More About Spending Restrictions - Updated June 21, 2021

Purchasing Guidelines

All purchases made using state funds are subject to the New York state finance law and rules and regulations promulgated by the Office of the State Comptroller (“OSC”). They are also subject to procedures developed by SUNY and/or the university.

OSC performs pre- and post-audits on various transactions processed by the purchasing office. OSC has the authority to approve or deny payments and/or contracts.

Only the director of contracts and purchasing services is authorized to sign a purchase order to commit a financial obligation on behalf of the college.

Getting Started

P-Cards vs. Purchase Orders


Competitive Purchases

The purchasing office has available a wide variety of primary and open market sources for competitive purchases. Below is a prioritized list of sources for making competitive purchases. 

Making a Competitive Purchase

Threshold for Open Market Sources

The total amount of the purchase represents the total financial obligation incurred by the college. In a multi-year contract, the obligation incurred over the entire contract term must be considered, rather than the annual amount alone.

Download the Purchasing Threshold Matrix

Purchasing Threshold Matrix

Advertising & Competitive Bidding

Download the Advertising and Competitive Bidding Matrix

Expenditure/Reimbursement Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended to assist college personnel with determining if an expenditure is allowable from state funds. State funds include state purpose allocation, DIFR, IFR, and SUTRA funds. These guidelines have been established based upon guidance from the Office of the State Comptroller and SUNY System Administration. To satisfy state audit requirements, departments must be able to provide written justification regarding how the item purchased or service rendered is program or mission related and/or beneficial to the college. 

Please address any questions regarding this document or items not addressed in this document to the budget and financial reporting office and/or the purchasing office. For questions regarding the use of SA funds, College Foundation funds, or Research Foundation funds, please contact the custodian of those funds. 


Additional Important Information

Learn more about other considerations and requirements concerning your purchase.

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