Central PurchasingUniversity of CincinnatiDivision of Administration and FinancingCentral Purchasing

Central Purchasing

Frequently Asked Questions for UC Departments

Which Buyer is responsible for a particular commodity?

Refer to Contacts for a listing of Buying teams and the commodities  for which they are responsible.

How do suppliers become eligible to do business with the University of Cincinnati?

A supplier must be added to the university’s vendor file. To be added, a supplier must complete the on-line vendor registration form. Note: This process merely registers the vendor with the university.  It does not give the vendor an "approved" or "preferred" status, nor does it pre-empt the need for Central Purchasing to solicit bids depending on the dollar amount.

What is the dollar threshold for competitive bids?

See Section 2 in the Purchasing Manual for details about competitive bidding.

When is a justification letter required?

Section 2 in the Purchasing Manual explains the uses of professional justification

Can I initiate a transaction with a supplier and follow-up later with a requisition to the Central Purchasing Department?

No.  Only Buyers in Central Purchasing are authorized to commit the university for purchases over $300. A transaction initiated by any other employee is unauthorized, even if the intention is to follow through later with a requisition. Employees may be held personally liable for any consequential costs or damages by the State of Ohio Attorney General.

Why does Central Purchasing discourage departments from seeking their own bids for large purchases?

The Central Purchasing bidding process assures consistency, fairness, and legal compliance. Board of Trustees’ authority to promulgate competitive bids, is given only to specific individuals. See Contracting Authority.

What do I do if a supplier asks me to sign their form (agreement)?

Never sign a vendor’s form or agreement. You could be held personally liable for any consequential costs or damages by the State of Ohio Attorney General. Supplier agreements must be processed using an A-910, reviewed by Central Purchasing, signed by the appropriate approvers.  The use of a Purchasing Card in conjunction with an A-910 form is prohibited.

Does the university have a disadvantaged/minority Business Enterprise Development program?

Yes. Refer to the disadvantaged/minority supplier information.

How do I check the status of an A-910?

First check with your department head or vice president’s office to make sure that the form was signed and forwarded to Central Purchasing. If so, contact the Buyer for the appropriate commodity to see if it has been processed and forwarded to the Office of General Counsel.

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How do I become a user on a Term Contract?

By completing the Term Contract Participation form that is provided to each department, usually during the month of February each year. If at that time a particular contract was not indicated, and later determined to have a high volume need, contact the Buyer in Central Purchasing via e-mail. Low dollar users do not need to notify Central Purchasing, but must gain UCFlex access to this transaction in order to process release orders.

Do I have to use a contract supplier?

We strongly encourage the use of contracted suppliers whenever possible. The university’s commitments to these suppliers grant quantity pricing which benefits all departments. A letter of justification must be submitted to Central Purchasing in order for a non-contract supplier to receive consideration for purchase of contracted items.

Is there a dollar limit on term contract release orders?

Ordinarily, up to the maximum dollar amount of the entire term contract. This amount can be found as the estimated usage on the cover page of the term contract. For trades-related contracts, the per project maximum is $50,000. Other contracts may also have special limitations.

Who are the suppliers on a particular contract?

Suppliers can be determine by any of the following methods:

  • UC Flex transaction ME3C
  • The detailed contract list on our website
  • A call to the appropriate Buyer in the Central Purchasing Department

How do I know which Buyer handles a particular Term Contract?

Refer to the following list of contract numbers, and then refer to Contacts for additional information for each Buying area.

Is the University of Cincinnati tax exempt?

Yes. The university is an instrumentality of the State of Ohio and is therefore exempt from sales tax in the State of Ohio and from certain Federal excise taxes. Requests from suppliers for tax exemption forms should be referred to the appropriate Buyer Assistant in Central Purchasing. Contact the appropriate Buyer if a supplier questions the university’s exemption.

Where should invoices be sent?

To Accounts Payable.  

    By postal mail, send to the following address:

    University of Cincinnati
    PO Box 212000
    Cincinnati OH 45221-2000

    By email send to ucapinv@ucmail.uc.edu

When will a payment for an invoice be received?

Pay terms are finalized prior to an award and are included in the purchase order or term contract. Payments are handled through the university’s Accounts Payable Office, at (513) 556-6772.

How do I check the status of a check request?

Using UC Flex transaction ME51N, open the check request requisition which you entered. The Status tab in Item Details should indicate the check request PO number if it was processed. If it does not appear, check the Req Status field on the Customer data tab to determine what may be causing the delay. Contact the appropriate Buyer if with additional questions.

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FAQs for Suppliers