Effective: January 1, 2023 

Under $10,000: Departmental purchases of up to $10,000 are considered "small-dollar purchases." Under most circumstances, these are processed by the requestor's campus department. Typical forms of payment are the University Procurement Card or a small dollar Purchase Order. 

$10,000.01-$100,000: All goods and services between $10,000.01-$100,000, regardless of funding type, require a: 

  • Source Selection & Price Reasonableness form (not required if purchased against an existing CU bid/contract or a cooperative contract from places such as Omnia Partners or E&I)  
  • Price information from at least two suppliers - one from the supplier you are ordering from and the other from a competitor. The price information can be screenshots from two websites or quotes provided from the suppliers. 

The requirement to obtain two quotes will be waived if the purchase is made against an existing CU bid/contract or a cooperative contract, is for a Sole Source item, or is an emergency procurement.  

Over $100,000: The threshold for a solicitation issued by the Procurement Service Center (PSC) will be $100,000 for both goods and services. Purchases of goods and services costing more than $100,000 require that competition be sought via the informal process known as a Documented Quote. 

Over $500,000: For purchases of goods or services costing over $500,000, competition is sought via either an Invitation for Bid or a Request for Proposal. 

The University of Colorado posts its solicitations using an electronic solicitation notification system, currently the CU Sourcing website of the CU Supplier Portal. 

FAQs and Sample Forms

1. I am unclear how to complete the form for my purchase.

Answer: Below are samples on how to complete the Source Selection and Price Reasonableness form: 

  • Previously Awarded Competitive Bid/Contract (may be University or Cooperative Contract):  No form required, just enter your requisition as you have before. 
  • Informal Competitive Quotes/Price Sheets <$100,000Informal Quote Example– Upload a copy of the SSPR and the two quotes received.
  • Sole SourceSole Source Example – Upload a copy of the SSPR, the single quote received, and complete the Sole Source Justification Form in Marketplace. 
  • University Standard Sole SourceStandard Sole Source Example – Upload a copy of the SSPR and the single quote received. 
  • Emergency PurchaseEmergency Purchase Example– Upload a copy of the SSPR and any quotes / invoices received.

2. My department does not receive federal funding. Why do I have to complete the SSPR and obtain an additional quote for my purchase?

Answer: Employees of the University have a fiduciary responsibility to spend University funds appropriately. This includes an assurance that the prices we pay are both fair and reasonable, regardless of the funding source. The SSPR process allows CU to meet this requirement while gaining efficiencies by not issuing documented quotes for all goods over $10,000 and all services over $50,000.

3. Will departments still need to obtain additional quotes for all Sole Source orders?

Answer: No, Sole Source purchases by their nature are only available from one source. However, you will need to complete and upload the SSPR to the requisition and complete the Sole Source Justification in Marketplace. If the purchase falls under a University Standard Sole Source category, then you just need to upload the SSPR and not complete the Sole Source Justification in Marketplace.

4. Auxiliary Departments: I work for an auxiliary department, does this process apply to my purchases? For auxiliary funds, would we check the box for university funding?

Answer: Yes, this process applies to all purchases between $10,000 and $100,000 regardless of speedtype. See FAQ 2 for additional context. All funding that is not federal funding fall under the category of University Funds.

5. Do I have to get a second quote for CU Strategic Suppliers (Staples, Dell, Fisher Scientific, Airgas, Konica Minolta, and Xerox)?

Answer: No, a quote is not required for strategic suppliers as it has already been competitively bid.

6. Do I have to get a second quote for CU punchout catalog suppliers that are not strategic suppliers (e.g. Apple, CDW-G, Grainger)?

Answer: No, the forms are not required when using a punch out catalog.

7. Is this form needed for services from an independent contractor and honorariums?

Answer: In our experience honorariums rarely exceed $10,000. If an honorarium will exceed $10,000 the PSC will review on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please visit https://www.cu.edu/psc/policies/honorarium-hnr

8. The form must be submitted with a requisition but asks for a requisition number, how do we fill out a requisition number if one hasn’t been issued yet?

Answer: The requisition number does not have to be entered before the form is signed. It can be added later by the requisitioner at the time they are entering the requisition in Marketplace.

9. Is a guest speaker a Sole Source?

Answer: Yes, a guest speaker is considered a University Standard Sole Source either under Entertainment Services (#2) or Guest Lecturer Services (#6), depending on the circumstances. In Section III, you can simply say guest speaker for X event or "see agreement".

10. I received a supplier quote with a Sourcewell contract number listed on it. Do I have to complete the SSPR form and submit an additional quote?

Answer: No, Sourcewell, like E&I, NASPO, Omnia and many others is a cooperative purchasing organization that meets the competitive requirements under Section VI of Procurement Rules, so no further competition or SSPR form is required.

11. What happens if my initial purchase is under $100,000, but due to unforeseen circumstances the purchase now exceeds $100,000?

Answer: As happens now if a purchase starts under the bid threshold and later increases to an amount that exceeds that threshold, you will need to work with the appropriate Purchasing Agent to evaluate the situation and determine the best path forward.

12. Is there an exemption for software purchases? What about the maintenance associated with the software?

Answer: Software purchases are not exempted from the SSPR process.  If a software solution is only available from one supplier, then you will follow the Sole Source SSPR process.  Software maintenance, however, is considered a University Standard Sole Source and does not require competitive quotes.