Glossary of Terms

  • A-C

    Alternate: 
    (1) A substitute offer of goods and services which is not at least a functional equal in features, performance and use and which materially deviates from one or more of the specifications in a competitive solicitation.
    (2) A bid submitted in knowing variance from the specifications, terms, conditions or provisions of the solicitation. Such a bid is acceptable only when the variance is deemed immaterial.

    Award: The acceptance of a bid or proposal; the presentation of a purchase agreement or contract to a bidder.

    Amendment: For the purposes of a Contract, shall mean an agreement between the parties to change the Contract after it is fully signed by both parties. Such agreement shall be memorialized in a written document describing the agreed upon change including any terms and conditions required to support such change. An Order Document shall not constitute an Amendment to a Contract.

    Bid: A written offer to perform a contract to purchase or supply goods and/or services in response to an invitation to bid (ITB), Request for Proposal (RFP) or other type of solicitation.

    Bid List: List of potential bidders maintained by Purchasing Services from which names may be drawn for solicitation of bids, quotes or proposals.

    Bid Evaluation: The process of examining a bid after opening to determine the bidder’s responsibility, responsiveness to requirements, and to ascertain other characteristics of the bid that relate to determination of the successful bidder.

    Bid Limit: A dollar limit determined by University Policy. It is the dollar limitation set by University Policy (link) under which purchases may be made without securing competitive pricing. Orders under this limit can be purchased directly by a department without prior approval of Purchasing Services. The bid buy limit does not include tax or freight (with certain exceptions such as special delivery/ inside pickup).  Some exceptions may apply to the purchase of certain items, and by order method.

    Bid Opening: The formal process through which bids are opened and the contents revealed for the first time.

    Bid Sample: A sample required of a bidder for examination, comparison, testing and evaluation by the prospective purchaser.

    Bidder: A supplier who submits a bid, quotation or proposal.

    Brand: A specification identifying a manufacturer of the goods described in a competitive solicitation to identify a standard of quality against which other products will be evaluated.

    Commodity: An article of trade, a movable article of value, something that is bought or sold

    Competition: The process by which vendors vie to secure the business of a purchaser by offering most favorable terms as to price, quality, delivery and/or service.

    Competitive Solicitation: A specification identifying a manufacturer of the goods described in a competitive solicitation to identify a standard of quality against which other products will be evaluated.

    Confirming Order: An archived term for an order in PAS under the direct buy limit where the item has already been purchased.

    Conflict of Interest: A situation where the personal interests of a contractor, public official or employee are, or appear to be, at odds with the best interest of the state.

    Contract (Contract for Services):All types of agreements, regardless of what they may be called, for the procurement of goods and services.  A contract can be the University standard Contact for Services (Link), the University Purchase Order (Link) or a vendor generated contract.

    Contract Management: Planned, ongoing or periodic activity that measures and ensures contractor compliance with the terms, conditions, requirements of a contract, and may include auditing of invoices.

    Contractor: Individual, company, corporation, firm, or combination thereof with whom the purchaser develops a contract for the procurement of goods and services.
    See Supplier.

    Cooperative Purchasing: The combining of requirements of two or more political entities to obtain advantages of volume purchases, reduction in administrative expenses or other public benefits.  MHEC (Link), the Educational and Institution Cooperative (Link), and the Operational Services Division (Link) are examples of Cooperative Purchasing.

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  • D-F

    Debrief: Unsuccessful bidders may be entitled to a debrief meeting with the Buyer and/or end user to discuss the results of the solicitation process.

    Delivery Terms: Conditions in a contract relating to freight charges, place of delivery, time of delivery or method of transportation.

    Design Specifications: A type or method of writing a purchase description characterized by detail as to how the product is to be manufactured or work is to be performed. Appropriate for unique product or custom work.

    Discount: An allowance or deduction from a normal or list price extended by a seller to a buyer to make the net price more competitive.

    Disposition: Transferring, trade-in, selling, or destroying goods that are excess, surplus or scrap.

    Effective Date of Award: The date that performance of the contract shall start.

    Emergency Declaration: Unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the University which present a real, immediate, and extreme threat to the proper performance of essential functions or which may reasonably be expected to result in excessive loss or damage to property, bodily injury, or loss of life.

    Emergency purchase: A purchase made in which the normal competitive purchasing procedures have been waived by a declaration of emergency issued by the Agency Director.

    Encumbrance: An outstanding commitment on a budget. They cease to be encumbrances when paid.

    Equal:
    (1) An offer of goods and/ or services which meets or exceeds the quality, performance adn use of the specifications identified in a competitive solicitation.
    (2) A phrase used to indicate the acceptability of products of similar or superior function, purpose, design and/or performance
    See "Brand"

    Equipment: Personal property of a durable nature that retains its identity throughout its useful life.

    Evaluation Committee: A committee that advises and assist the purchasing activity in evaluation and award.

    Exclusions: To omit from consideration.

    Exemptions: Free from duty or obligation required by others.

    Fair Market Price:
    (1) The price determined by the purchasing activity to be consistent with current market value for the goods or services.
    (2) A price that would induce a willing purchaser or a willing seller to sell in an open market transaction.
     
    FOB: Acronym for Free on Board.

    Formal Competition: Process of soliciting written, sealed bids from several suppliers. Formal competition generally requires that the solicitation be publicly advertised, through a medium such as the internet or newspaper, and bid responses are due at a specific time, and are held sealed until the due date and time, at which time they are opened, reviewed and evaluated through a process managed by the Buyer, with participation from the customer.

    Formal sealed bid: A bid that has been submitted in a sealed manner, either manually or electronically, to prevent its contents being revealed or known before the deadline for submission of all bids.

    Fully Approved: A term used with the UMass BuyWays system to indicate everyone in the approval flow has approved the transaction.

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  • G-O

    Goods and/or Services: Material, supplies, services and equipment offered for sale by a supplier(s) and required by an agency to accomplish continuing and necessary functions.

    Hosted Catalog: Catalog items stored locally - searching for and ordering products is performed within the UMass BuyWays system.
     
    Informal Competition: Process of soliciting competitive quotations from three or more suppliers using an informal method such as email, fax, phone. Used for smaller dollar purchases. Evaluation and award process are conducted by Buyer, requiring minimal participation by customer.

    Informality: An immaterial variation from the exact requirements of the competitive solicitation, having no effect or merely a minor or negligible effect on quality, quantity, or delivery of the supplies or performance of the services being procured, and the correction or waiver of which would not affect the relative standing of, or be otherwise prejudicial to bidders.

    Inspection: An examination of delivered material, supplies, services, and/or equipment prior to acceptance aimed at forming a judgment as to whether such delivered items are what was ordered, were properly delivered and ready for acceptance. Inspection may include a high level visual examination or a more thorough detailed examination as is customary to the type of purchase, as set forth in the solicitation document and/or as agreed between the parties. Inspection shall be acknowledged by an authorized signature of the purchaser.

    Invitation to Bid (ITB): The solicitation document utilized to solicit bids in the formal, sealed bid procedure and all documents attached or incorporated by reference.

    Invoice Discrepancy: A situation created in PAS when an invoice is cleared for payment, but a reason exists within PAS to prevent this. Reasons might include, the invoice amount would send the order over the set Not To Exceed (NTE) limit, the order is closed, etc. Discrepancies must be cleared within PAS before an invoice can be paid. In PAS, an invoice discrepancy is called an ATA (Authority to Adjust).

    Late Bids or Quotations: A bid or proposal received at the place specified in the solicitation after the time designated for all bids or quotations to be received.

    Machinery and Equipment: Equipment purchased for certain University research and development activities may qualify for a sales tax exemption allowed under RCW 82.08.02565, known as the Machinery and Equipment Tax Exemption, or "M&E Exemption."

    Non-Catalog: Item is not available in either a Punch-out or Hosted catalog so the user specifies the item description, price, commodity code, account code, part number and supplier.

    Non-Catalog Purchase Order: After a requisition is fully approved, UMass BuyWays system creates at least one purchase order. Each purchase order is assigned a unique number (beginning with L) that is sent to suppliers to confirm placement of order.

    Non-Catalog Requisition: An electronic request to purchase goods and/or services that may require approval of one or more budget/organization approvers.

    OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer.

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  • P-R

    PayMode: PayMode is an ACH payment option for those who cannot accept payments via ePayables. These are electronic payment transfers made through the Automated Clearing House Network from one account to another.

    Procurement Coordinator: The Buyer responsible for conducting a specific Solicitation.

    Procurement Services: The UMass Lowell department with staff who have formal delegated authority to execute contracts on behalf of the University.

    Prompt payment discount: A discount offered by the bidder to encourage timely payment by purchaser within the stated term identified by bidder.

    Proposal: An offer to perform a contract to supply goods or services in response to a request for proposal.

    Proposer: A person submitting a proposal in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP).

    Punchout Catalog: Users are directed to a supplier website to search for and order products.

    Purchase: Shall include purchase, lease, renting or lease-purchase of goods and services.

    Purchase Order (PO): A contract between a buyer and a seller. It should include an accurate description of what is being purchased, from whom, at what price, and under what terms and conditions. A requisition becomes a purchase order (P.O.) when the order is placed.

    Purchaser: The authorized user of a Contract who may or actually does make purchases of material, supplies, services, and/or equipment under the Contract.

    Quotation: An offer to perform a contract to supply goods and/or services in response to a request for quotation.

    Recycled material: Goods containing recycled materials. Waste materials and by-products that have been recovered or diverted from solid waste and that can be utilized in place of a raw or virgin material in manufacturing a product and consists of materials derived from post-consumer waste, manufacturing waste, industrial scrap, agricultural wastes and other items, all of which can be used in the manufacture of new or recycled products.

    Request for Proposal (RFP): The document utilized to solicit written proposals from potential suppliers. Both cost and non-cost factors are evaluated in addition to conditions of responsiveness and responsibility to achieve best value. A weighted point assignment method of evaluation may be used if considered appropriate.

    Request for Quotation (RFQ):
    (1) The document used to solicit written quotations.
    (2) The request and the quote in response may be either written or oral as specified by the purchasing activity. Factors impacting cost and conditions of responsiveness and responsibility are normally evaluated. Non-cost factors may be evaluated and all factors may be weighted if considered appropriate.
    (3) The required use document generally used for seeking competition on smaller purchases or on purchases lower than the amount that requires competitive sealed bidding.
     
    Requisition: A purchase request entered in UMass BuyWays system by a campus department to communicate what the user wants to buy. The specifications and qualification requirements are written in an outcome based form allowing for consideration of a broad range of different solutions to meet the procurement need.

    Responsible bidder: character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience, and efficiency of the bidder; Further considerations may include, but are not limited to whether the bidder can perform the contract within the time specified, the quality of performance of previous contracts or services, the previous and existing compliance by the bidder with laws relating to the contract or services and such other information as may be secured having a bearing on the decision to award the contract A person who has the capability in all respects to perform in full the contract requirements and meets the elements of responsibility.

    Responsive bidder: A person whose bid conforms in all material respects to the terms and conditions, the specifications, and other requirements of a solicitation.

    RFx: A generic term for a competitive solicitation. The solicitation method used will be determined by the dollar amount of the requested item and the complexity of the project. Different types of solicitations include Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Proposal (RFP), Invitation to Bid (ITB), Request for Information (RFI), Request for Quote and Qualifications (RFQQ).

    Risk: The probability of loss (financial, reputational, physical) to the University arising from actions of the supplier in the performance of a contract. High risk contracts include but are not limited to the following: new technology, complex services/systems, dangerous activities, air charters, vessel charters, patient care related services/equipment. Buyers mitigate these risks by requiring insurance, limiting liability, warranties, verifying references and financial stability, etc.

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  • S-Z

    Segmenting: The segmenting of a requirement or project into parts to avoid dollar limitations or competition is prohibited. The parts of an acquisition are those items which would normally be acquired together to accomplish a task or project.

    Single Source Purchase: A purchase of goods or services which is clearly and legitimately limited to a single source of supply.
    See “Sole Source”.

    Sole Source: Purchases which are clearly and legitimately limited to a single source of supply and purchases involving special facilities, services, or market conditions, in which instances the purchase price may be best established by direct negotiation.

    Solicitation: the documented process of notifying prospective suppliers that the University wishes to receive an offer to furnish goods and/or services. The process may consist of issuing a written RFx (Request for Proposal, Request for Quotation, etc.), public advertising, and posting online notices to prospective bidders. The solicitation process ends with the selection of a supplier based on criteria set forth in the solicitation document. The term “solicitation” is often used interchangeably with the term “bid” or “invitation to bid”.

    Specifications: is a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements for a material, product or service, including the procedure by which it will be determined that the requirement have been met. Specifications are used where well defined materials, products or services are used where well defined materials, products or services are to be provided, and formal specifications for the items are available.

    Splitting: The splitting of continuing/repetitive requirements for the same good or service into several purchases to avoid dollar limitations or competition.
    See "Segmenting"

    State Contract: The written document, administered by the Operational Services Division of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for materials, supplies, services, and/or equipment. State Contracts are accessed through the Comm-Pass system (Link)

    Statement of Work (SOW):  A scope of work describes the work to be performed or the services to be provided. It describes tasks, directs methodologies to be used, and sets forth the period of performance. It should contain only qualitative and quantitative design and performance requirements.

    Subcontract: A person or business that is, or will be, providing or performing an essential aspect of a contract under the direction and responsibility of the Contractor and with the agreement of the Purchasing Activity.

    Subcontractor: A person or business that is, or will be, providing or performing an essential aspect of a contract under the direction and responsibility of the Contractor and with the agreement of the Purchasing Activity.

    Supplier: A vendor of purchased goods and services. See Vendor and Contractor.

    Terms and Conditions: All laws, requirements, and conditions associated with a contract or purchase order (P.O.).

    Used Equipment: Goods offered for sale which do not have a full factory warranty and which are not being rented, leased, or otherwise in the actual possession of the state agency considering the purchase at the time of the purchase transaction.
     
    Vehicle: A device, as a motor vehicle, boat, airplane or a piece of mechanized equipment, for transporting passengers, goods, or apparatus.

    Vendor: A provider of materials, supplies, services and/or equipment. See Supplier.

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