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Making Purchases: How to Buy

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

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.


Jaggaer is our new primary shopping environment and electronic requisitioning, payment, and receiving system. It provides a completely electronic and paperless workflow for purchase requisitions, purchase orders, receiving, and payment vouchers, and improves efficiency by allowing state and Research Foundation orders to be processed, and campus departments to access all documents, within a single system.

Jaggaer is an online requisition/purchasing tool.  When users shop, items are routed through various stages: From shopping through to any necessary approvals, the purchase order being sent to the supplier, the commodities being received, and then the account being payable to the supplier.

Benefits of eProcurement

  • Savings with lower pricing, ability to leverage combined spending, and increased vendor relationships.
  • Efficiencies by reducing manual communication, reducing reliance on paper, and utilizing staff for more strategic activities.
  • Compliance by tracking spending to contracts, use of approved sourcing, and adherence to procurement law and policies.


Jaggaer Basic User Guide

Jaggaer Implementation Plan

Phase Departments Anticipated Date
Beta Testing Administration & Finance, Facilities 10/15/2021
Implementation Round A Academic Affairs 11/15/2021
Implementation Round B

Enrollment Management, Student Services,

Institutional Advancement, President's Office, CTS

Research Foundation Research Foundation 6/30/2022

With the transition to Jaggaer as our primary procurement system, the use of procurement cards will remain restricted.


Getting Started


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.

This table has been developed to assist departments with understanding New York State Procurement Requirements. It provides a general overview of requirements when purchasing commodities, services, construction, and constructed-related services from the open market. Different rules govern the purchase from NYS Preferred Sources; New York State Centralized Contracts; as well as emergency, single source, or sole source procurements.1

Purchase Amount2 Advertising Competitive Selection Outside Prior Approval3 M/WBE Goals
Purchases up to $2,500.00 No publication in New York State Contract Reporter required No competitive selection required. However, the department should take steps to ensure price is reasonable and be able to justify, if requested.  No outside approval generally required No M/WBE goals required
$2500.01 to $10,000.00 Same as above No competitive selection required. However, a Vendor Selection and Price Justification Checklist must be completed.  Same as above Same as above
$10,000.01 to $49,999.99 Quarterly publication in New York State Contract Reporter required Same as above4 Same as above M/WBE goals required for service, commodity, and construction-related service contracts. Construction contracts exceeding $100,000 must also have M/WBE goals
$50,000.00 to $125,000.00 15-day notice in New York State Contract Reporter required Competitive selection required. Must solicit a minimum of three informal quotations from vendors.4 Same as above M/WBE goals required
$125,000.01 to $249,999.99 Same as above Competitive selection generally required.5 Must solicit a minimum of five formal sealed bids or proposals.  Same as above Same as above
$250,000 or More Same as above Same as above5 Must be pre-approved by the attorney general and Office of State Comptroller6  

1. The following purchases have their own specific rules

  1. Purchases from preferred sources do not require publication in New York State Contract Reporter or competitive selection at any dollar level.
  2. Purchases from centralized Office of General Service (OGS) state contracts do not require publication in New York State Contract Reporter at any dollar level, but may require a mini bid.
  3. Single, sole source contract, and emergency procurements must request an exemption from OSC for publication in the New York State Contract Reporter for purchases valued at $50,000 or more. If granted, the college must publish a notice of exemption. While no competition is required for approved exemptions, written justification supporting the sole source, single source, or emergency determination must be kept with the procurement record.
2. In accordance with NYS Finance Law §163 (6)(b), when determining which threshold to follow, the purchase amount should be based on the aggregated purchases for the same commodity or services within twelve months. For multi-year contracts, the total value of the contract across its life should be used for determining the purchase amount, not only the annual expense. Departments may not split orders to circumvent threshold requirements.
3. Certain contracts require approval of officials at SUNY Systems Administration. These contracts include certain academic program agreements, cooperative research agreements, lease and real property agreements, university-wide or multi-campus agreements, and agreements with campus-affiliated organizations
4. Construction contracts exceeding $20,000 and construction-related services exceeding $25,000 require formal competitive bid procedures.
5. Where commodities or services are available from small businesses, New York state certified M/WBE’s; or New York state certified service disabled veteran-owned businesses (SDVOB’s); or where commodities or technology that is recycled or remanufactured is available, purchases may be made in amounts not exceeding $500,000 without competitive bidding, though reasonableness of price must be documented. Purchases of $250,000.00 or more must still be pre-approved by the AG/OSC.
6. Construction-related services of any dollar amount are exempt from prior approval requirements.

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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