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Academic Affairs

Procurement & Contracts

Doing Business with Western

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Vendors’ Guide for Doing Business with Western

Thank you for considering Western Colorado University as a market for your company’s products and services. The purpose of this guide is to familiarize businesses with our requirements and procedures for processing purchases and to provide information about our procurement organization. Our goal is to develop and maintain successful business relationships. We are committed to promote our mutual business interests openly and fairly. Please contact us in Western Business Services to share your company, contact, and product/service information, if you need assistance, or have any questions about our purchasing processes.

Vendor Contact

Vendors’ representatives are welcome to visit Western Business Services to keep us current and informed about products and services offered. When faculty and staff are contacted directly, we ask that you also contact Western Colorado University Procurement to open and maintain communication and share information and product resources, etc. Scheduling appointments is appreciated whenever possible, but you are welcome anytime.

Western Colorado University Business Services is in Taylor Hall 328, the University’s administration building, and is staffed by the procurement specialist.


Western Colorado University is a residential, four-year public undergraduate University offering 23 degree programs in liberal arts, sciences and various professional areas. Western has a student population of approximately 2,300 students from across Colorado and all 50 states and employs approximately 265 full and part-time faculty and staff. The University is in Gunnison, Colorado, a rural community 200 miles southwest of Denver. The University’s facilities include approximately 31 buildings, 17 of which are residence halls or apartments, and 10 are academic, administrative, or recreational. Approximately 1,100 students live in our residence facilities. Learn more at western.edu.

Western Colorado University is an agency of the state of Colorado, and its procurement function is governed by the Western Procurement Rules, pursuant to 24-101-105 C.R.S. Purchases are made by the university to support the academic, student life, facilities, administrative and related activities of the University.

Western Procurement Objectives

Western Business Services/Procurement and Contracts is a service arm of the University and exists to ensure that the purchase of goods and services for the University is economical, timely and fair to vendors. We strive to accommodate and expedite the purchase needs of the University and to provide excellent quality service and assistance to University requestors and vendors. We use price agreements and assess cooperative purchasing agreements to identify those agreements that will provide the most advantageous products, pricing and terms for meeting the University’s needs. We comply with applicable laws and the University’s procurement policies, procedures and rules to ensure a high-quality procurement process with integrity, broadly based competition, fair and equal treatment of the business community, increased economy in the procurement process, and uniform procurement procedures.

Authority to Purchase for the University

Only the Western Procurement Department and specifically delegated University staff have the authority to purchase goods and services for the University via purchase order, contract or Western procurement credit card. All purchases must be appropriately authorized before the placement of any order. statutory violation occurs when commitments are made on the University’s behalf without prior approval of a purchase order or a contract when required under Fiscal Rule. Statutory violations not ratified by the controller shall be the personal obligation of the person(s) who ordered the goods or services and/or incurred the obligation. See CRS §24-30-202(3). Vendors who supply goods or services to Western Colorado University without the authorization of a purchase order, contract or delegated cardholder do so at their own risk.

Western Purchase Order Terms and Conditions

The Western Purchase Order Terms and Conditions apply to all purchases authorized by the University by a purchase order.

Click here to view Western’s Purchase Order Terms and Conditions

Western Purchase Order Insurance Requirements
The Western Purchase Order Insurance Requirements apply to all purchases authorized by the University by a purchase order.

Bidding Process

Any purchase with a total estimated cost of $25,000 or more is subject to the University’s bidding process. The solicitation documents, i.e., Documented Quote, Invitation for Bid or Request for Proposals, are prepared in Western Procurement upon receipt of an approved requisition from the requesting University department. The solicitation documents contain all product, performance, delivery and service requirements, technical specifications, and terms of the bid and procurement. Sealed bids or proposals are publicly opened at the time and place designated in the solicitation notice. Bid responses are evaluated by the University’s purchasing agent and the requesting department representative(s). The purchasing agent awards a purchase order or contract to the most responsible and responsive vendor(s) whose bid or proposal meets or exceeds the bid specifications and offers the lowest competitive price or the most advantageous quote or offer.

Documented Quote (Informal Bid)

Purchases estimated to cost more than $25,000 and less than $150,000 are competitively bid informally by obtaining firm quotations in a Documented Quote process with responses allowed by fax or email. Competitive documented quotations may be obtained for purchases less than $25,000 but are not required.

Invitation for Bid or Request for Proposals (Formal Bid)

Purchases of $150,000 or more are competitively bid using a sealed bid or RFP process.


Awards are evaluated and awarded in the manner defined in the solicitation document. Awards are made to responsible vendors only, and the purchasing agent ensures all vendors are treated equitably.

  • DQ: The award may be based on which acceptable response is most advantageous to the University, with price/cost being a consideration. The relative value of competing responses may be compared, not solely the price. The basis for the selection is documented and is final.
  • IFB: Award is made to the lowest responsive bid from a responsible bidder based on the specifications d in the solicitation. The bid constitutes an offer to the University and must be capable of being accepted without modification.
  • RFP: Evaluations by a committee shall be based on the factors and process d in the RFP. A numeric or non-numeric evaluation process may be used to determine which proposal is most advantageous to the University.


A purchase award, in the form of a purchase order or contract is issued upon acceptance of a vendor’s offer or bid and creates a binding contract between the vendor and the University. The purchase order/contract, all bid solicitation documents and the vendor’s bid or proposal serve as integral parts of the vendor’s contract with the University.

Bid Information Distribution System (BIDS)

The Bid Information and Distribution System is a centralized, web-based system through which all Colorado agencies may publish bid solicitation documents, i.e., Documented Quote, Invitation for Bid, Request for Proposals. Also published on BIDS are Request for Information, Proposed Sole Source, and bid-award notices made under solicitations. All BIDS notices are available for public view, and BIDS-registered vendors access complete solicitation documents on the ‘s web site. Register and view notices at Rocky Mountain Bids System for Goods and Services.

Western Procurement will publish all its bid solicitations on Rocky Mountain Bids and may also use other methods of notification. Vendors’ registration in Rocky Mountain Bids is strongly encouraged but is not required for consideration of award by Western Procurement.

BIDS registration gives vendors access to all Colorado agencies’ published bid solicitation documents and optional automatic notification of all bids published in the commodity/service categories the vendor selects for its business. Solicitation documents attached to BIDS Notices are accessed by registered BIDS vendors with a username and password required for registered
BIDS vendors. The $40 annual fee must be received to register a vendor before the bid due date in time to be considered for a bid award by those agencies that require BIDS registration.

The Rocky Mountain Bids Help Desk is available at 303.866.6100 for assistance.

Price Agreements

The State of Colorado Purchasing Office establishes price agreements through competitive bid processes to award wide ” Price Agreements (for Commodities/Services)” for many products and services to a number of vendors from which agencies purchase goods and services. The University is required to purchase from the Price Agreements provided the products or services under the price agreements are in substantial conformity to the needs of the institution. The University shall purchase from the “mandatory” and “permissive” Price Agreements unless better prices, shipping and payment terms are available elsewhere. No dollar limit for purchases exists on orders from Price Agreements and these purchases are not subject to any additional bidding requirements.

Invoice Processing

After purchase order/contracts have been satisfactorily fulfilled by the vendor, the University requires from the vendor a complete descriptive invoice to make payment for goods and services.

Mail, deliver or fax invoices to: Western Colorado University, Accounts Payable, Taylor Hall 328, 1 Western Way, Gunnison, CO 81231; Phone: 970.943.2186; Fax: 970.943.2280.
Invoices not mailed or delivered to Accounts Payable may not be processed promptly. The University’s Accounting Office processes invoices promptly and is happy to answer any questions and resolve any payment issues as expeditiously as possible.

Code of Ethics

Any person employed by Western Colorado University who purchases goods and services or is involved in the purchasing process for the University, shall be bound by the Western Colorado University Procurement Code of Ethics. Western Colorado University holds institutional memberships in the National Association of Educational Buyers and the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing. The University’s purchasing agent adheres to the Codes of Ethics of these professional organizations.

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