This section will address purchases of $25,000 or less which are processed by state spending units.

6.1 Definition of Authority: In accordance with the Legislative Rules and Regulations, state agencies may make purchases in the amount of $25,000 or less of certain commodities and services.

The $25,000 limit shall be determined based on any of the following conditions:

1. A one-time payment of $25,000 or less made within a twelve (12) month period.

2. Monthly payments of $2,083.33 or less for twelve (12) consecutive months.

3. Periodic payments made in any dollar amount as long as the total amount is $25,000 or less in a twelve (12) month period.

The twelve (12) month period begins with the effective date of the contract. Purchase orders and/or contracts which are renewed or extended for a period of one (1) year and meet one (1) of the above conditions shall also be considered as having met the $25,000 limitation requirement.

State agencies are encouraged to use the State Purchasing Card as a payment method for these purchases, in accordance with State Purchasing Card guidelines.

It is expected that procurements made under delegated authority will mirror, to the greatest extent possible, formal procurement procedures. It is further expected that the forms used in the bidding process will be the most recent version approved by the Purchasing Division, which are available on the Purchasing Division's Internet and intranet sites.

Issuing a series of requisitions or purchase orders to circumvent competitive bidding or to defeat the State Purchasing Card transaction or delegated purchasing limit, commonly referred to as stringing, is prohibited by law.  The Purchasing Director has the authority to suspend or reduce purchasing authority for any spending unit that fails to report multiple contract awards that are deemed by the Director to circumvent the $25,000 threshold within a twelve (12) month period. In the event of suspension or reduction of purchasing authority, the Director shall prescribe revised procedures and limits which may require all spending unit purchases, regardless of amount, be made by the Purchasing Division.

Most state agencies have a procurement officer who is responsible and knowledgeable in state purchasing guidelines as well as their own agency procedures. It is important to note that questions from agency personnel relating to purchasing issues should be directed first to the respective agency procurement officer rather than directly to the Purchasing Division. If the agency procurement officer needs assistance, they are encouraged to contact the appropriate state buyer in the Acquisition and Contract Administration Section of the Purchasing Division for assistance in preparing specifications. (See Appendix C).

Amounts spent with vendors are viewed comprehensively. State agencies should continuously monitor their expenditures with vendors to ensure that the total amount spent with a given vendor, within any  12-month period, does not exceed a bid threshold without the proper level of documentation and bidding.

Agency personnel are encouraged to use West Virginia vendors for delegated purchases, when possible, while maintaining compliance with state purchasing guidelines. A vendor preference is required for agency delegated purchases. For more details regarding this preference, please see Section 7.3.

6.1.1 Purchases $2,500 and Less: Competitive bids are not required, but are encouraged when possible. 

Prior to seeking competitive bids, agencies must first check the following mandatory contracts or internal resources: statewide contract or agency open-end contract existing for the commodity or service, Surplus Property, Correctional Industries and the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. If the product/service is available from one of these sources but that source is not able to supply the product/service, a waiver must be obtained and retained with the purchase order file for each transaction to which the waiver applies.

6.1.2 Purchases $2,500.01 to $5,000: A minimum of three (3) verbal bids are required, when possible, and must be present in the file.

Bids shall be documented and recorded for public record. (See Appendix B for Verbal Bid Quotation Summary, WV-49). An Agency Purchase Order or Centralized Purchase Order is required for purchases exceeding $2,500. Awards are to be made only to vendors who are properly registered with the Purchasing Division. Signed fax bids or electronic bids are acceptable. Screen prints from Internet sites are not acceptable as a valid bid.

Prior to seeking competitive bids, agencies must first check the following mandatory contracts or internal resources: statewide contract or agency open-end contract existing for the commodity or service, Surplus Property, Correctional Industries and the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

6.1.3 Purchases $5,000.01 to $25,000: A minimum of three (3) written bids are required, when possible, and the lowest bid meeting specifications must be awarded the purchase order/contract. All bids must be present in the file.

An Agency Request for Quotations  or a Centralized Request for Quotation should be used for documenting and making these requests. In all cases, state agencies must attempt to obtain at least three (3) written bids for a product or service. A no bid is not considered a bid. The date and time of the bid opening shall be published on the Request for Quotation. An Agency Purchase Order or a Centralized Purchase Order is required. Signed fax bids or electronic bids are acceptable. Screen prints from Internet sites are not acceptable as a valid bid.

A vendor choosing to submit a bid or a written change to a bid by electronic transmission accepts full responsibility for transmission and receipt of the bid or written change to a bid. The state accepts no responsibility for the unsuccessful and/or incomplete transmission of bids by electronic transmission.

Prior to seeking competitive bids, agencies must first check the following mandatory contracts or internal resources: statewide contract or agency open-end contract existing for the commodity or service, Surplus Property, Correctional Industries and the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

6.2 The Bid Process: The agency delegated purchasing process requires certain steps to be taken to complete the purchasing cycle after the acquisition planning process. These steps are explained below:

6.2.1 Solicitation of Bids: In order to achieve the goal of competitive bidding, a minimum of three (3) bids is required, when possible. For agency delegated purchasing (procurements $25,000 or less), care must be taken to solicit vendors capable of providing the necessary products or services. For procedures relating to technology purchases, visit Section 4: Acquisition Planning,  Technology.

Agency personnel are encouraged to use West Virginia vendors for delegated purchases. Requests for Quotations: The Request for Quotation (RFQ) should be used to acquire all tangible property (i.e., equipment, supplies, etc.). The RFQ is required for all purchases between $5,000.01 and $25,000. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted by the Purchasing Director.

An RFQ consists of:

(1) a detailed description of, or specification for, the item(s) being purchased;

(2) delivery date, if required;

(3) bid price per unit of the item(s);

(4) any applicable maintenance; and

(5) quantities of all items.

Each item should be identified by a model number or some other specific identification. Prices cannot be altered after bids are opened. The RFQ should have a date and time for the bid opening, after which bids will no longer be accepted. All bids should be stamped with the date and time of receipt.

6.2.2 Evaluation of Bids: Bids are received, opened and examined by the agency to ensure compliance with all specifications and determination of the lowest responsible bidder. Bids shall be sealed until the date and time set for the bid opening, which shall be open to the public. While bidder information and amount bid are available for public inspection at this time, agency personnel should not discuss any other information with the public, including vendors, during the evaluation period. For guidance relating to the release of contract information, please refer to Section 4.7.9. Additive / Alternative Options (Add-on or Deduct): In construction contracts, there are projects for which alternative options may be requested of the participating bidders. Depending upon funding resources, these options may be included in the evaluation of the bids. When preparing the specifications, agency purchasers must put the alternatives in the order of importance to the agency, with the first alternative being the most essential to the project should additional funding be available. It is highly recommended that additives / alternatives are to be awarded in the order listed. Any exceptions require pre-approval by the Purchasing Director.         

6.2.3 Award Process: After the evaluation of all bids by the agency personnel, an award is made to the lowest responsible bidder who meets the specifications. Generally defined, a responsible bidder is able to furnish the required needs of the organization as requested in the specifications.

If an award is made to a vendor other than the lowest bidder, a detailed justification as to why the lowest bidder was not considered responsible must be written and retained for public record and inspection. The justification must be signed by the evaluator(s) and retained as part of the bid file.

All contracts should be entered into for a firm, fixed price per unit of goods or service. In such cases where the nature of the procurement prohibits a firm, fixed price, a detailed written justification must be included in the file.

A public record of all purchasing transactions must be kept on file at the agency location, and subject to inspection at the discretion of the Purchasing Division. This file must also include a Certificate of Non-Conflict of Interest, Unemployment / Workers' Compensation verification search, specifications used for the bidding process, and any and all attempts to obtain competitive bids.

Prior to an award, a vendor must be in compliance with the following requirements and the agency shall retain documentation in the file: Tie Bids: When purchasing commodities and services of $25,000 or less, occasionally two (2) or more bids of equal terms and amount are received in response to a solicitation, thus, resulting in a tie bid. If multiple awards are not made, the tie bid(s) must be resolved. The preferred method for resolving tie bids is the flip of a coin, draw of a card, or any other impartial method. A witness must be present when resolving the tie and documentation of the method and results, with signatures of all witnesses, must also be included in the file. Errors in Bids: The Purchasing Division's Legislative Rule guides the division in cases of errors in bids for purchases over $25,000. It is recommended that agencies follow these procedures when processing delegated purchases ($25,000 or less).

If an error is discovered by the agency or the Purchasing Division, the burden of proof and timely action for request of relief is the vendor's responsibility. The request for relief must be made in writing by the vendor to the agency within five (5) working days from the bid opening date.

Erroneous bids may be rejected after the bid opening if all the following reasons are met:

(1) An error was made;

(2) The error materially affected the bid;

(3) Rejection of the bid would not cause a hardship on the state agency involved other than losing an opportunity to receive commodities and services at a reduced cost; and

(4) Enforcement of the part of the bid in error would be unconscionable.

In order to reject a bid, the public file must contain documented evidence that all of the above conditions exist. The vendor must specifically identify the error(s), and provide documentation to substantiate the claim that the error(s) materially affected the bid and enforcement of the part of the bid in error would be unconscionable.

The unit price prevails if there is an error in the extension.

6.3 Receiving Procedures: In accordance with the West Virginia State Auditor's receiving report requirements (§155-1-4), materials must be opened and inspected within 24 hours of receipt, otherwise the state agency may be subject to difficulty in obtaining an adjustment. Agencies must verify the shipment against the specifications in the purchase order and retain a copy of the receiving report prepared for the Auditor's office with the purchasing file. For receipt of services, a receiving report similar in form to that required by the Auditor's office shall be completed, signed and retained with the purchasing file.

In cases where receiving reports are retained by another office of the spending unit and the volume of receiving reports would create a storage problem, spending units may include a memorandum to file in the purchasing file indicating the storage location of the receiving reports. The actual reports shall be produced on demand, in accordance with the Code of State Rules, §148-1-4.16.

Agencies must verify quantities received. [If quantities do not match the purchase order, insist on a correction of the packing slip. After all corrections have been made, request that the driver sign all shipping documents before leaving. Do not accept any alternate or substitution without Purchasing Division's approval of commodities and services awarded by the Purchasing Division.]

Several days before the promised delivery of a commodity, the agency should follow-up with the vendor to determine if the promised delivery date will be met. Concurrently, the needs of the end-user in the organization should be monitored to determine the difficulties that may occur if delivery is delayed. It should also be determined from the vendor, during the follow-up procedure, as to the method of shipment to be used - motor freight, parcel post or other carrier. The name of the carrier, expected date and time of delivery and pro-number on the bill of lading should be obtained prior to shipment from the vendor.

6.3.1 Inspection: In accordance with West Virginia Code §5A-3-9, the Purchasing Director reserves the right to inspect the commodities delivered or services rendered to assure conformance with contractual requirements. The agency shall perform this inspection on all delivered commodities and services. Nonconformity is to be reported to the Purchasing Director and the chief officer of the spending unit purchasing such commodities for remedial action. 

6.3.2 Proper Receiving Techniques: Any person receiving commodities is responsible for performing all of the inspection steps described below.

Receipt of Commodities and Services 

The state agency shall check the shipment to determine if commodities are in conformance with the purchase order or contract and verify the following:


The make, model number, brand name and general description of the item(s) delivered match the specifications on the purchase order.

The quantity received agrees with the purchase order quantity, packing list and bill of lading. An actual count is necessary to assure receipt of all items.


Labor services must match the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) and duration (number of hours, days, etc.) described in the purchase order or contract (janitorial, security, etc.).

Service contracts that require the vendor to provide consultant reports, audit reports, statistics or recommendations must be as specified in the purchase order or contract.

Service contracts that require the vendor to perform a particular service, such as elevator maintenance or carpet cleaning, must have all tasks completed as described in the purchase order or contract.

Loss or Damage in Shipment: Filing of claims for loss or damage to merchandise in shipment is the responsibility of the party having title to merchandise during shipment. The title to the commodities is determined by the FOB point on the purchase order.

FOB Destination: Title remains with vendor until goods are received and accepted by the state agency.

FOB Shipping Point: Title passes to the state agency immediately when goods are given to a common carrier at the time of shipment. The state agency is responsible for any and all damages or losses while merchandise is in transit. If damages occur to merchandise in shipment, it is the state agency's responsibility to file a claim on behalf of the state.

Obvious Loss or Damage

FOB Destination: Note all losses or damages on receiving papers, sign and have driver sign. Write the word Refused on receiving papers. Do not accept merchandise with obvious damage from carrier under any circumstances.

FOB Shipping Point: Note all losses or damages on receiving papers, sign and have driver sign. Retain all merchandise in the condition in which it was received and notify both the carrier and seller in writing and by telephone within five (5) working days. The carrier will send a representative to investigate the claim.

Concealed Damage and Losses

FOB Destination: The damage or loss may become evident when uncrating. If this is the case, stop uncrating and retain all merchandise and crating in exactly the same condition in which it was received. Notify the vendor immediately in writing and by telephone. Do not use any of the merchandise and do not destroy any packaging material.

FOB Shipping Point: Follow the same procedure as in the above paragraph. The state agency must notify and file a claim with the carrier.

6.3.3 Freight Terminology: Freight or shipping terms should always be included in a contract which you have initiated with a particular vendor. Purchase orders should have a specified point of origin and destination plus carrier to be used. Misunderstanding of the freight terms may cause problems in the receiving end of the purchase. In accordance with the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing’s (NIGP) Public Procurement Dictionary of Terms (2008), the definitions for Free on Board (F.O.B.) Destination and Free on Board (F.O.B.) Origin are noted as follows:

Free on Board (F.O.B.) Destination: Where the seller or consignee delivers the materials to a specified delivery point. The cost of shipping and the risk of loss are borne by the seller or consignee. Title passes when delivery is received by the buyer at destination. Seller has total responsibility until shipment is delivered.

Free on Board (F.O.B.) Origin: Title is transferred from seller to buyer at the origin of the shipment. Buyer owns the goods in transit and files any claims. Buyer has total responsibility. The payment of the freight charges is determined by contract terms.

6.4 Payment Process: To promote good public relations and to avoid interest on late payments, state agencies should establish internal procedures to expedite payment of vendor's invoices. Please refer to the Payment Processing Guide issued by the State Auditor's Office (304-558-2261) for all questions regarding invoice processing.

6.4.1 State Purchasing Card: When possible, the spending unit is encouraged to use the State Purchasing Card. The use of the State Purchasing Card, however, is not justification to avoid utilizing statewide or agency contracts, but is simply a method of payment.

Agencies must use statewide contracts, unless specifically exempt by the Purchasing Director. For additional information, please refer to the State Auditor's Office Purchasing Card Program Procedures located at:


6.5 Fixed Assets: After payment has been made to the vendor, reportable property must be added to the Fixed Assets System.

6.6 Public Records: All records maintained at the agency level related to purchase orders and/or contracts are considered public records. (Refer to Section 1.7)

6.7 Attorney General's Office Instructions for Use of WV-96: The Attorney General's Office has provided instructions for the use of the Agreement Addendum (WV-96) for agency delegated purchases. The instructions are included in Appendix Q of this handbook.

6.8 Changes: Occasionally, it becomes necessary to amend, clarify, change or cancel purchasing documents. A contract change order is required whenever the change affects the payment provision, time for completion of the work and/or the scope of the work. 

Renewals of existing contracts and price changes may only be executed if language exists in the original contract specifically allowing such. The Purchasing Affidavit is required only for renewals of existing contracts.

All agreements, many change orders and other documents require an effective date, at which time the vendor may begin to supply the commodities and services as specified. Changes to the original purchase order must be sequentially numbered in the appropriate space. To effect the change, written concurrence from the vendor is required. The explanation of change to an existing contract must be described with sufficient detail and clarity that any individual could review and generally understand the contract and change.

Any change of a purchase order in excess of ten percent (10%) of the original contract amount (aggregate) is strongly discouraged, and changes that will cause the original contract amount to exceed $25,000 during the course of a year are forbidden. 

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