Vendor Relations/Fair Trade

WPI’s departments act on behalf of the university in many procurement matters. All faculty and staff should observe the following with regard to vendor relations:

  • Extend full primary consideration to the objectives and policies of the university.
  • Strive to obtain the maximum value for each dollar of expenditure.
  • Demand honesty in sales representation, whether offered through the medium of a verbal or written statement, an advertisement, or a sample of the product.
  • Negotiate with vendors in good faith.
  • Make reasonable efforts to arrive at an equitable and mutually beneficial agreement that is in the best interests of the university when settling any controversy with a supplier.
  • Avoid activities that would denote the appearance of preferential treatment.

A "vendor" is any firm, corporation, company, or individual with whom WPI presently, formerly, or potentially conducts business.


Questions & Answers

Q.  A family friend is involved in the sale of an item that the university frequently purchases from another vendor. Could I ask the university to consider switching vendors?
A.  While it is possible that such a vendor may offer attractive goods and services, the university wishes to avoid such relationships as they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Q.  A department has a need for a piece of equipment that is valued at $10,000 or more (capital equipment). Is it permissible to commit the university to purchasing the item from a certain company prior to obtaining the required bids?
A.  No. Federal regulations relating to grants require that three bids be received for the purchase of equipment in excess of $10,000. However, if three bids can not be obtained there must be written justification for not obtaining the required number of bids.

 
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