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.