June 1, 2023

Procurement Update for Governor’s Executive Order 35

The following is a message from Procurement Services: 

If you have not already heard, Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 35, became effective, with his signature, on July 3, 2019. In short, this Executive Order states that businesses certified with a Department of Small Business of Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) “micro” designation be given preference for purchases up to $10,000. For more information on the full extent of this Executive Order, visit the Procurement Services website.

Since July, Procurement Services has been working diligently to update policies and procedures, create educational materials, provide learning opportunities for staff, and determine ways to provide support to all departments in order to comply with the Executive Order.

In support of the initiative, the University decided to implement the Executive Order requirements to coincide with the September 14, 2019 Small Purchase Charge Card cycle. At the same time, as a way to reduce inefficiencies and administrative burden for buyers and avoid adversely impacting our micro and small vendor community, the University will no longer require or condone after-the-fact quote requests for purchases made outside of the University’s Procurement process.

So, what does this mean?

ALL UMW employees have delegated purchase authority up to $5,000, including individuals without the means for payment of purchases, and are responsible for adhering to all Procurement laws, policies, and procedures.

All campus department buyers are extensively educated in the laws, policies and procedures for making purchases, and understand the proper process for vendor selection. If appropriate steps are not followed prior to completing a purchase, Buyers must provide appropriate documentation in their file to that effect, and per their signature on the Cardholder User Agreement, may be subject to the Inappropriate Card Use, Infractions, and Subsequent Consequences. If someone other than the Cardholder circumvents the procedures then presents the invoice to a Buyer or Accounts Payable for payment, the Buyer or Accounts Payable should document their payment file to that effect. Procurement can provide a template for assistance with documentation.

But I’m not a University Buyer…so this doesn’t affect me, right? Wrong!

Even if you are not a campus Buyer, but you placed an order with a supplier, authorized delivery of goods or services to the University, and/or passed the invoice or request for payment to a Buyer or Accounts Payable without following the prerequisite policies or procedures, you are responsible for the purchase.

Why should I care?

Ultimately, the intent of this new procedure is to ensure that necessary education and resources are available to those employees who may not understand their responsibilities or the policies and procedures that apply to them, and to hold those who knowingly circumvent policies and procedures accountable for their actions.

There is potential for UMW to lose its Level II autonomy for Procurement, which is of considerable benefit to the University, or other associated programs such as the Small Purchase Charge Card (SPCC) program, if a failure to follow established laws, policies and procedures is documented in external reviews and audits.

All University Employees, who are determined to be responsible for circumvention of State and/or University Procurement laws, policies or procedures are required to complete and sign the attached Procurement Circumvention letter to document the occurrence. A copy of this letter is kept on file in Procurement Services and sent to your immediate supervisor and UMW Human Resources as appropriate.

The following remedies will apply for occurrences of this failure to follow University Policies and/or Procedures:

  • 1st occurrence: You will be required to review the Procurement Laws, Policies, and Procedures, and then complete an online training with a passing score.
  • 2nd occurrence: You will be required to attend an in-person educational session with Procurement to prevent further violations. Human Resources, who will receive a copy of the Procurement Procedures Circumvention letter, may apply additional disciplinary action if appropriate.
  • Any subsequent occurrence: The letter will continue to be sent to your immediate supervisor and Human Resources, which may result in further disciplinary action.

Failure or refusal to complete the remedies above are documented in Procurement Services and a notice is sent to your immediate supervisor and Human Resources for any further action.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like more information and resources regarding these procedural changes, the Executive Order, or any other Procurement-related topic, please contact Procurement Services at procure@umw.edu or 540-654-1127