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Policies & Procedures


Generally, purchase should be planned and the purchasing procedure initiated well in advance of the date that the required goods and/or services are actually needed (allow at least three (3) weeks). In order to devote an adequate amount of time for the development of specifications, identification of vendors, performance criteria, pricing and timely delivery of goods, the College must be able to anticipate all purchases of a special or sizable nature. The need for planning is equally important when considering the supply of printed materials needed for all departments, including events and other occasions.

General Procedures

Internal forms and a small inventory of regularly used office supplies are maintained in the Purchasing Department. Forms and emergency supplies may be ordered by filling out an Office Supply Request Form and sending it directly to the Purchasing Office. Orders will be delivered, if in stock, within 48 hours of the request.

All other purchases, whether for goods or services, require an authorized Purchase Requisition and subsequent Purchase Order signed by the appropriate Management personnel BEFORE a purchase is made. Any person making an unauthorized purchase assumes full responsibility for payment thereof.

Purchase Requisitions are to be submitted only for line items, which have received prior approval within the Approved Annual Budget for each respective Department. Any deviation must have the written approval of the Vice President of Administration and Finance or the President.

Conflict of Interest

Under the Conflict of Interest rules, College employees may not participate in purchasing transactions that involve economic benefit to themselves, their immediate families, or businesses with which they are associated.

Purchase Requisitions

A Purchase Requisition should be prepared providing basic information needed by the Purchasing Department to research, shop, initiate bidding and obtain competitive prices. Departments may provide the name, address and telephone number of a suggested vendor. Please keep in mind that purchases are made solely based on "Performance Criteria," not vendors or brand names. Also include the following:

  • Detailed description of the desired items or services
  • Brief explanation of the intended use
  • Date the goods are needed, and the Department's budget codes (Project and Object)
  • Approval of the Department Chair or Supervisor before forwarding to the Purchase Department for processing

The originating Department will be contacted to discuss price, performance criteria, quantity, delivery and/or various alternatives, if necessary.

The Purchasing Department distributes Purchase Requisitions as follows:

White Filed numerically in Purchasing Department
Yellow Attached to copy of Purchase Order and sent to Accounts Payable
Goldenrod Retained by the Department originating the order
Purchase Orders

A Purchase Order (PO) is a binding contractual agreement between a vendor and the College and is produced by the Purchasing Department based on the Purchase Requisition. It provides the College control that assures that all deliveries meet the terms and conditions reflected on the PO. The Purchasing Department will not accept delivery of any merchandise without a Purchase Order.

The Purchase Order will be prepared and processed based on the information provided on the approved Purchase Requisition and the results of the Purchasing Department research. The initiating Department will received a copy of the final Purchase Order as issued, and will be notified when the goods arrive.

The Purchasing Department distributes Purchase Orders as follows:

Original To Vendor
Yellow To Business office
Copy To Receiving Department
Pink To Department original Purchase Requisition
Contractual Agreements

Contractual Agreements including, but not limited to, equipment leasing, telephone changes or additions, rental or service agreements, and renewals of all such agreements must have prior approval of the Vice President of Administration and Finance or President and be requested through the Purchasing Department. A standard "Otis Contract" is required for all purchases of "services" of a material size. Contractual Agreements of any kind may only be approved and signed by the Vice President for Administration and Finance or President.

Receiving, Delivery and Shipping Services

The Purchasing Department receives goods and equipment shipped to Otis. The Purchasing staff checks shipments for accuracy and completeness and matches the Purchase order number to the Receiving Report, notifies Accounts payable that the goods have arrived and delivers the goods to the respective departments.

The Purchasing Department must be informed immediately if the goods received are damaged. They will notify the shipper and/or the vendor and coordinate the College's claim. Likewise, the Purchasing Department must be informed immediately if you receive the wrong item or quantity.\

Mail Services - Policy for daily mail (word document)

Photocopy Policy (word document)

Purchasing Status Communication

The Purchasing Department will communicate directly with the affected department if it becomes aware of any "severe" problems with a specific order (delivery failure, no longer available, etc.) The current status of a specific item can be checked by accessing the "Purchase Requisitions/Purchase Order Status Report" on the Otis wide area network (WAN) "O" Drive. Each department has its own folder.

Checking Out the Smart and Final Card

The Smart and Final Card can be checked out for purchasing for food and supplies through the Purchasing department. The card can be checked out on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis.

Please direct your questions and/or concerns to the Director of Purchasing at 310-665-6946.

  • A Purchase Requisition must be submitted to the Purchasing department for pre-approval before checking the card out. You can find the Purchase Requisition Form here.
  • The Smart and Final card can ONLY be checked out for three hours at a time.
  • Before receiving the Smart & Final Card you must sign out the card through the Purchasing department.
  • A receipt must be submitted to the Purchasing department when the card is returned back to the Purchasing department.
  • The Purchase Order number must be written on the receipt.
  • Purchasing must log the dollar amount charged to the open account on the pink sign out form located in the Purchasing department.
  • The receipt must be taped onto an 8.5”x11” piece paper and return to the Purchasing department.
  • Purchasing must sign the card back in and record it in the pink log sheet before the end user leaves the Purchasing department.

Please direct your questions and/or concerns to the Director of Purchasing at 310-665-6946.

OfficeMax Partnership Policy