Contract Portal Updates

On September 14, 2020, Contract Management launched its updated Procurement Contract Portal. This is a brief overview of those changes and how they might impact both end users and approving departments:

  • The end user will now be responsible for submitting many of the documents and forms necessary for processing at the time of contract submission.
  • Obtaining this information in advance should decrease overall processing time and help prevent bottlenecks.

Depending on the type of contract the following documents may be required at the time the contract is uploaded into the system.  An explanation has been included for the forms that have yielded the most questions:

Detailed training videos and a written user’s guide will follow in the coming weeks.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Contract Management at 205-348-7840 or contracts@ua.edu.

Fiscal Year-End 2020 Reminders

With FY2020 ending in a few short weeks, it is important to note the below dates to ensure that Procurement Services can process all orders and post all transactions to Banner within the Financial Accounting deadlines:

  • New bids should have been requested by Monday, August 31, 2020, at 5 p.m.
  • buyBama Purchase Orders must be created and approved by Monday, September 21, 2020, at 5 p.m.
  • buyBama Receiving must be completed by Wednesday, September 30, 2020, at 5 p.m.
  • Concur Payment Requests must be submitted, approved by all approvers, and to Accounts Payable for processing by Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.
  • Concur Expense Reports must be submitted, approved by all approvers, and to Accounts Payable and P-Card for processing by Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at 5:00 p.m.
  • Banner Encumbrances will roll forward on Friday, October 16, 2020

Campus Deliveries Update

When the University moved to limited business operations in late March, most deliveries to campus from UPS and FedEx were redirected to UA Central Receiving. As of Monday, August 3rd, the University has begun to transition to all UPS and FedEx deliveries being made to campus buildings in the same manner as normal business operations. If possible, please make arrangements for accepting deliveries at your building in order to alleviate delivery delays. If buildings are not accessible, packages will be redirected to UA Central Receiving. Please contact Lane Cox in Purchasing at lncox@ua.edu or 348-8697 with any questions regarding UPS and FedEx deliveries to your building.

Personal Protective Equipment Updates for August 2020

As a reminder, PPE (masks, hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes) needed for COVID safety measures must be procured through the University’s centralized PPE Inventory Process. To request COVID related PPE, an email should be submitted to logistics.ic@ua.edu. Going forward and in preparation for fall semester, we encourage Deans to submit one request for the entire college (broken down by department). The University will provide two (2) cloth masks per employee at no cost to the department. A department FOAP should be provided for all other departmental PPE needs including specialized masks, hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes outside of the classrooms. If other COVID related supplies are needed, approval must be obtained from Procurement Services. When reconciling COVID related supplies, please use the activity code COVD19. This activity code allows the University to easily identify COVID related expenses for possible reimbursement from other revenue sources. Regarding refills for hand sanitizers, please retain the containers, and Logistics will provide refills. Requests for refills are to be submitted through logistics.ic@ua.edu. Effective August 10, 2020, departments will need to pick up their PPE supplies at Central Receiving. Any PPE that would be ordered by a department under normal operations unrelated to any COVID safety measures may be purchased through normal procurement methods.

In addition, masks will be available for purchase in the University’s bookstores. The University is also working with Coca-Cola to make masks available in vending machines, with initial plans to stock them in vending machines in 11 buildings with significant student traffic.

Requests for plexiglass shields in offices are currently being reviewed and installed as needed. Desktop plexiglass is being produced by UA printing. Hanging options will be installed by Building Maintenance. Please contact Jennifer Sumners at jfsumners@fa.ua.edu for any plexiglass shield requests. These shields are to be used in high traffic areas or where 6’ social distancing is not possible. These costs are being covered centrally.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Procurement Services is working to procure the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for the University’s return to operations.  This includes various types of masks, disinfectant wipes and cleansers, gloves, and hand sanitizer.  To date, Logistics has distributed over 10,000 units of PPE to campus departments.  Procurement Services has subsequently charged campus departments approximately $30,000 for these items through journal entries.  The current average costs for the PPE units is included below.  Please note that costs may vary slightly for an items that vary in size.  These are the amounts used to calculate the PPE charges to the departments and are based solely on the costs to obtain these items.  If costs increase or decrease dramatically in the market, these costs will be adjusted accordingly for charging future distributions.

Disposable Masks (per mask)      $0.87
Washable Masks (per mask)        $3.79
Wipes (50 count container)         $6.10
Sanitizer (8 Ounces)                      $6.36
Gloves (Box of 100 Gloves)          $7.53
Disinfectant Spray – Bottle           $3.05

How to Request PPE for your department?

All requests for PPE related to COVID-19 should be submitted by email to logistics.ic@ua.edu.  Your email should include the FOAP that should be charged for the items.  Please note that the central supply of PPE is limited.  As such, please base your requests for PPE on the number of employees in your department.

Vendor Registration and PaymentWorks

In the April 21 Procurement Services Announcement, we communicated the Payment Works system is now live for vendor onboardings.  Please note that this system has changed the process for vendors to register with UA.  Vendors can no longer use the Accounts Payable Vendor Registration site to “self-register.”  The link included on this site is for UA employees to log in to PaymentWorks and initiate invitations to vendors.  Vendors cannot use the link on the website to “self-register” as they must receive an invitation from a UA employee.  See the below FAQs.

What will change for UA Employees?

All UA employees are “initiators” that will invite vendors to connect with the University through PaymentWorks. As an initiator in PaymentWorks, you can send out requests to prospective vendors so they can complete the registration process. You can do this through invitations that you send using the vendor’s e-mail address. Once you send an invitation, the vendor will have the opportunity to complete a New Vendor Registration form and submit their information. You will no longer send vendors the link to the registration site to register.

What will change for UA’s vendors?

Vendors can no longer locate UA’s vendor registration site to “self-register.” Only vendors that are invited to connect through PaymentWorks will be established as vendors. Vendors will submit and update their business information through PaymentWorks. The system includes additional functionality for vendors to view the status of their payments.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Effective immediately, all departmental requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies including but not limited to masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, etc. must be requested through logistics.IC@ua.edu.  Individual departmental purchases on p-card or other means will not be allowed.  With the limited availability of PPE items, the centralized distribution will allow the University to help each department determine their specific needs and provide those items.  Each department will be billed for the items received through a journal voucher.

When making requests to logistics.ic@ua.edu please include the Department, contact person with email address, number of employees needing PPE, purpose of PPE, and departmental FOPAL to be charged.

Purchase or Payment Request Approval Forms Submittal Guidance

As directed by Matthew Fajack, VP for Finance and Operations and Dr. Kevin Whitaker, then Provost, the University is continuing to eliminate all non-essential or discretionary spending until further notice.  All purchase and payment requests over $5,000 except those funded by research contracts or grants are required to go through additional levels of approval using DocuSign Purchasing and Payment Request forms.  There are multiple approval forms in order to accommodate approval authority thresholds and final approving authority.  Campus was previously advised to contact a Purchasing Senior Buyer for the appropriate approval form link since the forms were being routinely updated to address the needs of both campus leadership and campus users.   We are now in a position to communicate the different scenarios and approval form links which should help alleviate submittals on the incorrect form.  Please see scenarios and approval form links below.  Please continue to contact Procurement Services with any questions regarding the approval forms.

Purchase or Payment Request Approval Forms:

Tips to ensure a fast review of your approval form submittal:

  • Please provide a description that someone not familiar with your product or service will be able to easily understand.
  • Please provide a detailed explanation for the “why is this expenditure essential” question during this time of restricted spending.
  • Please attach any documentation in the attachment section that may be helpful to reviewers (e.g. associated contract, email correspondence, invoice, etc.)
  • The approval form is for expenditure review only and should not be misconstrued as Purchasing compliance approval. All University Purchasing policies and guidelines remain in effect during this time and should be followed before order placement.
  • Please include the approved form with your supporting documentation for payment or reconciliation.

Purchasing and Payment Request Form

Per the Interoffice Memorandum issued by Matthew Fajack and Provost Kevin Whitaker, The University has eliminated all non-essential or discretionary spending until further notice.  All purchasing and payment requests over $5,000 will be required to go through additional levels of approval using a newly created DocuSign Purchasing and Payment Request Forms.  Please make purchase or payment requests over $5,000 to the appropriate Purchasing Senior Buyer.  The Senior Buyer will provide a link to the Request Form.

COVID-19 Procurement Services Information and Best Practices

Director’s Desk

Contacting Procurement Services

The Procurement Services staff is working remotely during limited business operations; however, we will remain available to assist campus as needed.  We also have the below departmental emails for which you can contact us.

Thank you!

Kevin R. Stevens

Accounts Payable

  • Accounts Payable Policies and Procedures
    • Only essential purchases absolutely required to perform job duties or for public safety are currently allowed until further notice.
    • For essential purchases, the UA Travel and Spending Policies should continue to be followed during this time. See Accounts Payable Policies and References page for a listing of policies.
  • Processing Payments and Setting up Vendors
    • For expenses incurred prior to March 24, Accounts Payable will continue to process Travel, Entertainment, and Reimbursement Expense Reports and Concur Invoices through the Concur system.
    • For expenses incurred on or after March 23rd, Accounts Payable will process items only for essential purchases or public safety.
    • Invoices on purchases orders will continue to be processed for payment as well.
    • The vendor team will be available to set up vendors for payment.

P-Card Services

  • P-Card Limit Increases
    • Monthly and single purchase limit increases will still be processed on an as needed basis for essential purchases. Please send all requests to pcard@ua.edu.
  • P-Card Due Date
    • The normal due date for all travel and non-travel P-Card expenses is the 18th of the month. Since this date fell during UA’s Spring Break, the due date was extended until 5 pm on Wednesday, March 25th .
    • If transactions with a Post Date of February 29th or prior are not received in Procurement Services by 5 pm on Tuesday, March 31st, cards will be subject to card suspension on Wednesday morning, April 1st.

Purchasing

  • Deliveries to Campus
    • The University will continue to accept deliveries during this time as follows:
      • UPS and FedEx – All deliveries to campus will be redirected automatically by the carriers to Central Receiving. Once received, Central Receiving will provide notification to the recipients.  Recipients can contact Central Receiving to either arrange for package pick-up or arrange for delivery by UA Logistics.
      • USPS – All deliveries to campus will be redirected to Mail Services automatically by USPS as normal, then distributed to recipients through departmental coordination.
  • Purchasing Guidelines
    • Per the Interoffice Memorandum issued by Matthew Fajack on March 23, 2020, the University is eliminating all non-essential or discretionary spending until further notice. Further clarifications are as follows:
      • Essential purchases are understood to be purchases absolutely required to perform job duties or public safety.
      • Funded Contract and Grant expenditures are considered essential.
      • Essential purchases are allowed to be made using P-Cards. Expense reports should include a business purpose supporting the essential nature of the purchase.
      • Presidential approval is required for the following:
        • Issuance of purchase orders
        • Issuance of new bids or RFPs
        • Award of active bids or RFPs

All purchases that require Presidential approval should be requested as follows: Requester → Dean, VP, or AVP → Matthew Fajack or Dr. Whitaker → Dr. Bell

    • When essential purchases are required, all typical UA Purchasing Guidelines should continue to be followed during this time.  See summary below:
      • Vendor Selection
        • Use approved contract vendors whenever possible. A list of all current contract vendors with both Purchasing buyer and vendor contact information can be found on the Approved Contracts webpage.
      • Purchases Over $15,000 Not Available from Contract Vendor
      • Order Placement
        • Use P-Card whenever accepted
        • Purchase Orders through buyBAMA can be used when appropriate. Approvals and issuance to vendors will occur electronically as normal.
      • Payment
        • Use P-Card whenever accepted for essential purchases only.
        • Invoices against purchase orders will continue to be processed during this time, although delays should be expected. Please advise vendors to submit invoices against purchase orders by email to acctspay@ua.edu to help expedite payment.
        • Invoices to be paid through Concur should be submitted as normal.
  • Questions

Furnishings and Design

  • Furnishings and Design Projects
    • The Furnishings and Design staff are available to continue working on existing projects as well as beginning new ones. For existing projects please email your designer with questions, For assistance with new projects, please fill out our DRF Form. If you have any problems, please email Susanna Johnson at sjohnson@ua.edu. Until further notice, all non – essential or discretionary spending has been suspended (see Purchasing section for further information).
  • Vendor Appointments
    • All standing vendor appointments are canceled until further notice.
  • Upholstery Team
    • Since the UA is operating under limited operations, no upholstery work is being completed. Project timelines will need to be adjusted to allow for this unforeseen shut down time. Either your project designer or Kerri Morthland will be in touch to discuss the new completion date.
  • Submittals
    • If the submittal is electronic, please continue the standard operating procedure. If there is a physical sample submittal that needs to be processed during this time, please send the transmittal sheet to furnishings@ua.edu and contact the designer assigned to the project to arrange a drop off/delivery of physical samples.
  • Installations
    • Please contact the designer assigned to the project to confirm the status of the installation.
  • Questions

Contract Admin

  • Construction Bid Openings and Other Meetings
    • All bid openings and other construction-related meetings are being moved online. A schedule of upcoming bid openings and other meetings along with information on how to join or view can be found at constructionpublicinfo.ua.edu starting March 24. Please contact your UA Construction Project Manager for more information.

Contract Management

  • Contract Management Guidelines
    • All Contract Management guidelines should continue to be followed at this time. The Procurement Contract Portal as well as UA Template Agreement Quick Links are available via Contract Guidelines webpage.
    • Additionally, effective immediately, the University is eliminating all non-essential or discretionary spending. Contract Management will continue to negotiate contracts as they are submitted but, until further notice, no contract will be routed for signature.
    • At the time of your contract submission you may request an exception to this policy. You should provide an explanation of why the immediate execution of your contract is essential. Any requests will be reviewed, and you will be contacted regarding the decision.
  • Questions

 

Procurement Training

Concur Travel and Expense Training

Concur eLearning Course

Concur Travel and Expense training provides an introduction to the Concur Travel and Expense system including the four modules – Request, Travel, Expense, and Invoice – as well as setting up profiles, delegates, and default FOAPAL information and booking travel.  This class is required for all P-Card cardholders and UA employees seeking reimbursement (and their delegates), as well as any UA employees submitting requests to pay non-UA individuals and/or entities. Concur Travel and Expense Training is available through a web-based session and through an online eLearning course.  Both the Instructor-led training and the eLearning course fulfill the Concur training requirement for new Concur users to gain system access.

  • The Concur eLearning course is available via the UA LMS.   This is an interactive online course and should take approximately 40-60 minutes to complete.
  • Web-based Concur Travel and Expense training sessions will be offered via Zoom, as needed. Please contact procuretrain@ua.edu to sign-up.

P-Card Policy & Procedures

In the P-Card Policies & Procedures training, learners receive an overview of the Purchasing and P-Card policies and procedures that pertain to the use of The University of Alabama’s Purchasing Card.  New cardholders and reconcilers are required to complete P-Card Policy and Procedures and Concur Travel and Expense training. P-Card Policies & Procedures training is available through a web-based session.

  • Web-based P-Card Policies & Procedures training sessions will be offered via Zoom, as needed. Please contact procuretrain@ua.edu to sign-up.

Help Sessions and Support

Did you know that we offer individual Help Sessions via Bomgar screensharing? Email Concur@ua.edu to schedule a screensharing session and include a brief description of what you need help with.