Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution receives much of its funding from federal research funds and is required to maintain a federally approved purchasing system. An approved purchasing system complies with federal procurement regulations and internal purchasing policies and procedures.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) conducts a Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR) at WHOI every few years to evaluate compliance. A CPSR involves an examination of the entire purchasing system. It is not limited to federal funds. Purchases made with WHOI or other non-federal funds are reviewed for compliance with Institution Policies and procedures. Purchases made with federal funds are reviewed for compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and appropriate Office of Management and Budget circulars and regulations.
During a CPSR, the review team will randomly select a sample from our Purchase Order records for analysis. The Procurement Department is responsible for supplying supporting documentation. Required documentation can include purchase orders, invoices, copies of competitive quotes or proposals, justification of single/sole source justifications and appropriate price/cost analysis.
Grant and Contract Purchases
When processing any purchase at WHOI, you are required to provide the appropriate supporting documentation to the Procurement Department before a purchase can be made. The appropriate policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the appropriate federal regulations have been incorporated into the WHOI procurement system. Therefore, adherence to the policies and procedures noted in this guide will ensure compliance with most federal regulations.
Additional Federal Approval/Certifications
When using federal funds, there may be additional certifications and approvals required beyond those outlined in WHOI's Policies and Procedures. Requirements may vary from funding-to-funding source and are always subject to change. It is important to review the requirements of the sponsoring agency each time an award is made to ensure you are meeting the latest requirements of the sponsoring agency. Here are some of the standard requirements that are usually mandated:
Although the Procurement Department maintains records of firms that have been debarred, the supplier must certify that they do not have debarred status at the time of a purchase. Again, a Procurement Team representative can assist you in obtaining these certifications.
Subcontracting Plans for Small and Disadvantaged Businesses
The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires a Subcontracting Plan for Small and Disadvantaged Business for each contract $650,000 and over. Prime contractors, such as WHOI, must agree to purchase a percentage of the supplies and services required for performance of the contract from small, women-owned and disadvantaged businesses. Some contracts may set specific goals. Most rely on the Institution to make a good faith effort. The Subcontracting Plan specifies:
Once a contract is awarded, the Subcontracting Plan becomes part of that contract. While the Principal Investigator is responsible for the plan, the Procurement Department maintains the records and submits appropriate reports concerning compliance.
However, Principal Investigators, Department Administrators and others involved in determining the allocation of funds should be familiar with the definitions of Small, Small Disadvantaged and Women-Owned Businesses: