Purchasing and Contracts

Purchasing Terms

A

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Amendment
A revision or change to a document typically used with respect to changes to an existing contract.
Award
The presentation, after careful consideration, of a purchase agreement or contract to the selected bidder or offeror.

B

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Back Order
That portion of an order which the vendor cannot deliver on schedule and which has been re-entered for shipment when available.
Best and Final Offer
The final proposal submitted after negotiations are completed that contains the vendor’s most favorable terms for price and services or products to be delivered.
Best Interest of the University
This purchase is made so as to be advantageous to UNLV.
Bid Opening
The formal process in which sealed bids are opened, in the presence of one or more witnesses, at the time and place specified in the invitation for bid document.
Bid Sample
An item furnished by a bidder to show the characteristics of the item offered in the bid.
Brand Name or Equal Specification
Using one or more manufacturers’ brand names, with identifying model numbers, to describe the standards of quality, performance, and other characteristics needed to meet the requirements of a solicitation and to invite bids for equivalent products from any manufacturer.

C

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Competitive Exception
An exception to the competitive requirements due to a sole source, sole brand, emergency situation, etc.
Conflict of Interest
Contracting with any university employee or his or her relative for services or goods represents a potential conflict of interest. It is important that the appearance of preferential treatment be nonexistent. For that reason, such transactions are discouraged.
Construction
A general term used to include all work required to build, improve, alter, repair, maintain, or demolish any public building, road, sidewalk, or other real property structure.
Contract
An agreement between parties, with binding legal and moral force, usually exchanging goods or services for money or other consideration.
Cost Analysis
The review and evaluation of cost data for the purposes at arriving at costs actually incurred or estimates of costs incurred, prices to be paid, and costs to be reimbursed.

D

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Debarment
The exclusion of a company from participating in a procurement activity for an extended period of time, as specified by law, because of previous illegal or irresponsible action.
Descriptive Literature
Information available in the ordinary course of business that shows the characteristics, construction, or operation of an item offered in a bid or proposal.
Discussions
An oral or written exchange of information for the purpose of obtaining information essential for determining the acceptability of a proposal or to provide the offeror an opportunity to revise its proposal.

E

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Emergency Purchase
A purchase made under certain conditions to alleviate a situation that does not allow time for normal competitive purchasing procedures in which there is a threat to health, welfare, or safety.
Escalation Clause
A contract provision that permits the adjustment of contract prices by a given amount or percentage if certain specified contingencies occur, such as changes in the contractor’s raw material or labor costs.
Evaluation Criteria
The factors specified in an RFP that will be considered in determining to whom the contract will be awarded.

F

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Fiscal Year
The 12-month period (July 1 through June 30) between one annual settlement of financial accounts and the next; used for budgeting, financial reporting, and planning.
FOB (Free on Board)
The shipping designation that defines the point of title transfer from seller to buyer. Designation is usually qualified by naming a location, i.e., shipping point, destination, name of city, etc.

I

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Informal Quotation
A competitive bid or price quotation for goods or services that is conveyed by letter, fax, email, or other means and does not require a sealed bid, public opening, or public reading of bids.
Invitation for Bids
A formal request to prospective vendors soliciting bids; contains or incorporates by reference the specifications or scope of work and contractual terms and conditions and requires a sealed bid, public opening, or public reading of bids.

L

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Lead Time
The period of time from the date goods or services are ordered to the date they can be delivered.
Lowest Responsible Bidder
The bidder that submitted a responsive bid at the lowest price of all the responsive bids submitted and whose past performance, reputation, and financial capability are deemed acceptable.

M

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Multiple Awards
The award of a contract to two or more vendors to furnish the same or similar goods or services.

N

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Nonresponsive Bid
A bid that does not conform to the mandatory or essential requirements of the invitation for bid.
Notice of Award
A written notification from the university to the successful bidder or offeror stating that there is an award of a contract in accordance with the bid or proposal previously submitted.

O

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Offeror
One who submits a proposal/offer in response to a solicitation.
Open-End Purchase Order
A purchase order that sets forth the general provision of supplies and services that may be delivered within a given period of time, typically in a fiscal year, but in which quantity and/or delivery is not specified. The quantity and delivery are specified with the placement of orders against the open-end purchase order.

P

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Prebid/RFP Conference
A meeting held with prospective bidders or offerors prior to the solicitation due date to clarify any ambiguities, answer questions, and ensure all bidders or offerors have a common basis of understanding regarding the supplies or services required.
Procurement
Buying, purchasing, renting, leasing, or otherwise acquiring any materials, services, or construction. Procurement also includes all functions that pertain to the obtaining of any material, service, or construction, including description of requirements, selection and solicitation of sources, preparation and award of contract, and all phases of contract administration.
Purchase Order
A legal document used to formalize a purchase transaction with a vendor.
Purchase Requisition
An internal document or electronic transmission whereby a department requests the procurement of materials, services, or construction.
Purchasing Representative
Any person duly authorized by the director of Purchasing to perform the procurement duties and responsibilities outlined in his or her job description and within the limits of that authority.

R

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Request for Information
Solicitation issued to prospective vendors that is used to obtain information relative to how a prospective contractor proposes to perform certain work, its qualifications, and its terms and conditions. Not used to obtain price information.
Request for Proposal
A formal request to prospective vendors soliciting offers; contains or incorporates by reference the specifications or scope of work and contractual terms and conditions and requires a sealed offer and public opening and where other factors will be considered in the selection of the vendor in addition to price.
Request for Qualifications
A formal request to prospective vendors soliciting information on qualifications; requires a sealed response detailing their qualifications and a public opening.
Request for Quotation
An informal solicitation where written quotes are obtained from vendors without formal advertising or receipt of sealed bids.
Responsible Bidder or Offeror
A bidder or offeror who has the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements and has the experience, integrity, perseverance, reliability, capacity, facilities, equipment, and credit that will ensure good-faith performance.
Responsive Bidder
A bidder who has submitted a bid that conforms in all material respects to the requirements stated in the bid.

S

  • Brand-name specification means a specification limited to one or more items by manufacturers' names or catalog numbers.
  • Design specification means a specification that sets forth physical characteristics in definitive terms.
  • Functional specification means a specification that sets forth the specific operational action or results for which it is to be used.
  • Performance specification means a specification that sets forth a capacity objective that has been determined necessary for the item involved.

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Services
Work performed to meet a demand, especially work not connected with a manufacturing process. The furnishing of labor, time, or effort by a contractor or vendor not involving the delivery of any specific end product other than reports that are incidental to the required performance.
Sole-Source Procurement
A good made and marketed or service supplied by a contractor having the exclusive right to manufacture and sell such item or service, substantiated by its technological, specialized, or unique character.
Solicitation
An Invitation for Bid, Request for Proposal, Request for Qualifications, Request for Quotation, Request for Information, or any other invitation or request by which the university invites a company to participate in a procurement process.
Specification
Any description of the physical or functional characteristics or of the nature of a material, service, or construction item. Examples of designated types of specifications:

U

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Unit Price
A price that the contractor is paid for the selected unit for materials or service, e.g., pounds, each, hour, etc.

V

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Vendor
Any company that sells goods or services; a supplier.