Policy 7101 — Procurement Policy

Policy section:
Section 7100-7199 Purchasing, Claims and Reimbursement
Policy number:
Procurement Policy
Approved By:
Vice-President (Administration)
Approved date:
May 29, 1992
Effective date:
May 29, 1992
September 20, 2010
December 1, 2023
Administered by:


The purpose of this policy is to outline the authority and responsibility for procuring all University goods and services required in its operations. 

2.0 – SCOPE

This policy applies to the procurement of all goods and services from all sources of funds administered by the University including, but not limited to, departmental budgets, RTEs, PERs, departmental special funds, expendable endowments, and research grant accounts.


3.1 ”Competitive Bid” are Requests for Proposals (RFP), Requests or Invitations to Tender (tenders, ITT, RFT), Requests for Information (RFI), Requests for Quotations (RFQ) and Requests for Pre-Qualification.

3.2 “Signing Authority” is defined as a person authorized to approve expenditures from a University account.

3.3 “Signing Officer is defined as a person or persons appointed by the Board or its Executive Committee, as provided for under the By-Laws of the Board of Regents, to act on behalf of the University in the execution of contracts or documents or instruments in writing.


As a publicly funded institution, the University must adhere to the Canadian Procurement Laws and the New Brunswick Procurement Act and must ensure its requirements for goods and services are sourced: 

  • the best value for money while meeting University needs, interests, and requirements. 
  • open, fair, equitable and transparent opportunities for qualified vendors to earn the University’s business including members of groups who are historically and currently underrepresented among the University’s vendors. 
  • statutory, legal, and ethical obligations are met including: 
    • consistency with trade agreements and applicable legislation. 
    • potential or perceived conflicts of interest are considered and addressed. 
    • privacy and protection of personal information according to University policy and applicable legislation. 
  • consideration of accessibility and sustainability criteria and features. 

Faculty and staff conduct, as it relates to procurement activities, is governed by policy 7910 - Code of Business Conduct policy,  which outlines compliance with laws, policies and professional standards, confidentiality, business ethics, conflicts of interest, protection of assets, and procedures for questioning financial information and compliance with this code.

4.1 Responsibilities

4.1.1 The Director of Finance – Controller is responsible for all of the University’s procurement activities and can delegate the management responsibilities to the Manager, Procurement Services;

4.1.2 Department Responsibilities

  • maintain knowledge of procurement policy along with related procedures and processes; 
  • identify procurement requirements, confirm adequate funding, and obtain all necessary approvals according to University policies; 
  • ensure impartiality and fairness during the procurement process; 
  • ensure the Code of Business Conduct policy is followed; 
  • ensure University funds and procurement systems are not used for personal purchases and that there is no opportunity for personal gain;
  • ensure the Purchase Requisition Form is accurately completed and authorized; 
  • in instances where the transaction is to be processed through the University’s Purchasing Card (Pcard) Program, the Department Head / Manager is responsible for ensuring compliance with policy 7102 – Purchasing Card Policy and Procedures; 
  • The Signing Authority is responsible for ensuring sufficient funds are available in the designated account to support purchases;
  • by signing the Purchase Order Requisition, the Signing Authority acknowledges and approves payment for any additional price variance related to such things as Canada Customs duties, taxes and clearance charges, shipping & handling charges, delivery charges, etc;
  • where the University is a named participant in a provincially approved GPO (group purchasing organization), employees are expected to support and participate in those agreements.

4.1.3 Procurement Services Responsibilities

  • ensure procurement procedures, systems and information are in place to support the policy;
  • identify strategic sourcing opportunities to supply goods through University-wide contracts to streamline purchasing transactions and ensure competitive pricing to reduce costs;
  • leverage opportunities for cost savings and service enhancements through collaboration with other entities/institutions or consortium agreements and other; 
  • support University employees with purchasing requirements; 
  • ensure impartiality, equity and fairness during the procurement process; 
  • identify opportunities for meaningful outreach to businesses owned by members of groups who are historically and currently underrepresented and consider the structural challenges that limit the participation of underrepresented and marginalized vendors when developing procurement processes; 
  • ensure procurement contracts with suppliers consider University interests and manage supplier relationships and contract performance; 
  • manages disposal of surplus as per policy 7104 - Surplus Assets policy), customs, and transportation of goods and other related procurement matters; 

4.1.4    Financial Services Responsibilities

  • responsible for ensuring sufficient funds are available to support purchases.

4.2 Authority to Purchase Goods and Services
Except as noted in Section 4.3, the procurement of goods and services is authorized through issuing University Purchase Orders from Purchase Order Requisitions authorized by a Signing Authority. University Purchase Orders can only be issued by the Vice-President of Finance & Administration, the Director of Finance-Controller, the Manager, Procurement Services, or their designate. 

Personal funds shall not be used to make University purchases that would otherwise be required to be purchased using a Purchase Order.

4.3 Goods and Services Exempt from using Purchase Orders
The following goods and services are exempt from requiring a Purchase Order:

  • Travel for individual faculty and staff which is governed by the policy 7100 - Travel Expense policy. Faculty and staff organizing travel involving students should refer to policy - 2220 International Travel Involving Students policy or policy 2221 -  Academic and Athletic Travel Involving Students policy
  • Entertainment which is governed by the University’s policy 7103 - Entertainment policy 
  • Books, DVD’s, CD’s, films and similar media for the University library & University Bookstore
  • Artwork purchases initiated by the Director of the Owens Art Gallery
  • Utilities, insurance, audit, banking, investment management and actuarial services
  • Legal services that do not involve research (patents, commercialization, etc.)
  • Goods and services procured with a University purchasing card as per policy 7102 - Procurement Card Policy and procedures.
  • Any good or service less than 1,000
  • Catering services provided by the University’s dining service provider less than $5,000 
  • Honoraria, visiting artist, guest writer or guest speaker fees up to $5,000. A service agreement, letter of understanding or similar may be required and should be discussed in advance with Procurement. Such payments must be made by the University and not using personal funds.

4.4 Authority to bind the University to a contract

All contracts and agreements greater than $5,000 must be approved and signed as per the policy 8101 – Signing Officers.          

The Director of Finance-Controller or the Manager, Procurement Services may sign sales agreements, applications for vendor credit, purchase orders, vendor services agreements and contracts less than $5,000 where the document accompanies a purchase order.


5.1 Guidelines for the use of Purchasing Method
The University will use a number of methods to purchase goods and services, including Purchasing Cards, Purchase Order Requisitions and Bid Processes, mostly determined based on the estimated cost of the proposed purchase. The thresholds include the price before tax, plus freight charges, insurance, customs and all other related costs. See Appendix A - Summary of Purchasing Thresholds and Appendix B – Purchase Method Table.

The Manager, Procurement Services can require a Competitive Bid process to be used regardless of cost if the process is deemed to be in the University’s best interest.

Purchase Orders will be issued on behalf of the University by Procurement Services. Purchase Orders are issued before the goods are received or the services are rendered.  
When a P-Card is used the initiator may commit the University in accordance with policy 7102 –  Procurement Card Policy and Procedure.

Purchases of services must have a contract, agreement, letter of understanding or similar document in place documenting details and commitments, signed in accordance with section 4.4. 


The University aims to standardize goods or services in order to lower operating costs of the University. Any department may recommend goods or services to be identified as University Standards. The Manager, Procurement Services is responsible for evaluating any such departmental recommendations including consultation with additional appropriate departments and, where appropriate, determining sources for goods or services that meet the standard and informing the University community of the Standard.

  • Purchases not using these standards, including non-standard furniture, must be approved by the Manager, Procurement Services, regardless of the method of purchase (PO, Purchase Cards, or Cheque Requisitions).
  • Purchases of any non-standard computers require pre-approval from the computing services department, regardless of the method of purchase (PO, Purchase Cards, or Cheque Requisitions).


Financial Services administers contracts for services while People & Culture is responsible for employment contracts. Service contracts with an individual may be reviewed by People & Culture to determine if the relationship is considered a contract for services or an employment contract as per the Canada Revenue Agency. 


All procurement transactions are confidential in nature and should be treated as such. 

The University considers supplier quotations to be confidential information and will not share information about a supplier's quotation with another supplier.

The University will not disclose prices submitted by bidders except as required by law.

Faculty and staff involved in the procurement process will maintain confidentiality of information obtained and direct any requests for prices from a bidder, supplier or the public to the Manager, Procurement Services.


The University will endeavour to support environmentally positive initiatives. Consideration will be given to products that are proven to have less negative impact on the environment than other products of the same or similar quality. 


University employees making purchases of goods or services on behalf of the University must determine if the purchase creates any risks for the University. If a risk exists, it must be minimized, if appropriate, through insurance such as public liability, workers' compensation or other forms of indemnification. Warranties, guarantees, licenses and proprietary rights will be considered prior to purchases.


Goods purchased from outside Canada require a purchase order or payment by a University P-card to enable proper identification of importer of record for clearance and to ensure that the University’s requirements are met in relation to CSA standards, University approved standards or other such government standard as may be required.

Exporting goods for repair or other purposes should include consultation with Procurement Services prior to shipment.


Any exceptions to this Policy will be reported in accordance with the University’s policy 7904 - Disbursements Made as Exception to Policy.

Exceptions to this policy can be approved in advance by the Director of Finance – Controller.  Approved exceptions will be reported in accordance with policy 7904 -  Disbursements Made as Exception to Policy.


The procedures of this policy are superseded if the matter is one of preserving life/limb or the likelihood of substantial damage to property or equipment. The Director of Facilities Management, the Director of Student Life and International Affairs, Vice-Presidents, President or their delegates could address emergencies.


High Value

A competitive bidding process (RFP) managed by Procurement Services is required for high value
requirements. Purchases with a value of the following pre-tax thresholds over the duration of the agreement or project are considered high value purchases:

  • Goods & Services with a value of $121,200+  (as of Jan. 1, 2022)
  • Construction with a value of $100,000+ 

Thresholds are set as per the Canadian Procurement Law and the New Brunswick Procurement Act.

Moderate Value

  • Competitive independent quotes (ideally 3 quotes) are required for purchases with a value between $25,000 and $121,199 (including all costs over the length of the project). 
  • Procurement Services can assist in obtaining the required quotes.

Low Value

  • A minimum of one (1) written quote is required for purchases with a value between $2,000 and $25,000 (including all costs over the length of the project).
  • No quotes are required for purchases below $2,000.

P-Card Purchases

Where possible, a University Purchasing Card should be used for purchases within individual P-Card thresholds as outlined in the P-Card Policy.

Dollar Threshold Purchasing Method
Goods under $100 Purchasing Card or purchase personally and request reimbursement through petty cash 
Goods and Services under $1,000 Purchasing Card or purchase personally and seek reimbursement with a cheque requisition
Catering services through University Dining Services (Aramark) less than $5,000 Order directly through University Dining Services. No POR required
Goods and Services over $1,000 and up to $2,000 Submit a purchase order requisition to Financial Services, no quotes required.
Goods and Services over $2,000 and up to $25,000 Submit a purchase order requisition to Financial Services and attach at least one quote
Goods and Services over $25,000 and up to $121,199 ($99,999 for construction) Submit a purchase order requisition to Financial Services, at least 3 quotes
Goods and Services over $121,200 ($100,000 for construction) A competitive bid process is required. Contact Financial Services for more information at purchasing@mta.ca.
Construction services Contact Financial Services for more information at purchasing@mta.ca
Bookstore resale items Contact Financial Services for more information at purchasing@mta.ca

Purchase Orders are issued before the goods are received or the services are rendered.