Procurement

Questions, Answers and FAQs

 

Q.  Who is the correct contact person for items I'm trying to purchase?
A.   In the past, buyers were assigned specific commodities. Now, any of our Buyers will be happy to assist you.  Please feel free to email procurement@whoi.edu or call the main number 508.289.2371 and a buyer will respond.

Q. When do I need to fill out a Single/Sole Source Justification?
A. Whenever a contractor or independent contractor is used and, In accordance with Institution policy, which has been mandated by Federal Auditors, any procurement valued at $10,000 or more which has not been competitively bid (with the lowest bid selected) must be accompanied by the "Justification for Single or Urgent Purchases" form detailing the following:

  1. The need.
  2. How the vendor was selected.
  3. A list of other vendors considered.
  4. Why the specified vendor was selected over the other vendors.
  5. What has been done by way of cost comparison (competitive bids) to determine that the price being charged is "fair and reasonable" to the funding agency. If the vendor is sole source, there must be sufficient documentation to justify the selection of this vendor.

Original copies of any written quotes from other vendors should also accompany the form.

If the vendor qualifies as "sole source", or "single source", (i.e., the vendor is unique, and, no other vendor in the world is able to provide the product or service), then the justification must detail the need and what there is about the vendor that makes it unique from any other vendors.

Award of a contract by the funding agency does not mean that the specified sources nor their services have been approved. It is up to the Institution to prove that the price is "fair and reasonable" in each and every individual instance.

Please utilize the "Justification for Single and Urgent Purchases" form for this data. Additional sheets may be added if necessary.

Q. What is the definition of an Independent Contractor?
A.
While the IRS has specific definitions “defined as a person engaged in an independently established business - a person engaged in an occupation that contracts to work according to their own methods, without being subject to control of the employer except for results”. The basic concept and process of an independent contractor relationship is one where the “contractor” has an independent occupation and is only responsible for the finished product.

We will utilize the Independent Contractor model whenever we seek to engage a vendor who needs to provide a Statement of Work or, is acting in a similar manor to an Independent Contractor as defined by the IRS. 

When in doubt contact procurement, we can help.

Q. What do I need to provide in order to utilize Independent Contractors?
A. 
Please refer to the Independent Contractor forms page

Last updated: April 4, 2017