University System of New Hampshire
Financial and Administrative Procedures


Procedure: 12-006
Issued By: USNH Senior Contract Officer
Issued Date: 07/01/2005
Revised Date: 07/01/2005

There are two basic purchasing contract types in use throughout the University System of New Hampshire. These definitions (and informational instructions) are to be used as a guide to help everyone to understand what is meant by the terms used by the staff in the campus purchasing offices.

Vendor Pricing Agreements

A vendor pricing agreement (VPA) is for a specific period of time which can be more than one year in length. There is no guarantee to the vendor that any USNH institution or department will use the agreement, nor any guarantee of exclusivity. In addition, there are no minimum usage requirements; however, there may be minimum order requirements. Unless the VPA has been developed by the State of New Hampshire Bureau of Purchase and Property, a VPA is always developed by a campus purchasing office, regardless of the potential dollar value; however, it may not always be competitively bid. Examples of VPAs include Boise; VWR; Fisher Scientific; resale agreements (e.g., Dell computers at UNH); and the agreements available through E & I Services, Inc. (n.b., E & I = Educational and Institutional Cooperative Purchasing). Either a P-card or purchase order may be used to make purchases from a VPA. A sub-set of the VPA is specifically designed for construction/renovation only. As with the general VPA, there are no guarantees to the vendor. It's developed by a campus purchasing office in conjunction with the campus's facilities staff. This form of VPA requires the use of USNH-modified AIA documents regardless of the potential dollar value. If used, a purchase order will be required.

Purchase Agreement

A Purchase Agreement is usually for a one-time buy. The exception to this would be a multi-year service agreement. Unless a sole source justification is approved, or a State contract is utilized, the acquisition will require a competitive bid or proposal process. An agreement involving the acquisition of goods will have quality standards specified and there will be specific quantities for each item. An agreement for the acquisition of services will have performance standards specified and a timeframe in which the services are to be delivered. There is always a purchase order associated with the buy. Examples of purchase agreements include obtaining furniture for a new building; equipment acquisitions and obtaining contracted services such as custodial or dining. In addition to the general purchase agreements, as with the VPAs, there is a specific sub-set of Purchase Agreements for use in construction/renovation work. They, too, are for one-time buys. In most instances, a competitive bid or proposal process will be required. There may be times when a sole source justification is applicable (e.g., hiring original contractor to make modifications to a specific building). In all cases, construction standards will be specified. There is always a purchase order associated with the buy. Construction related purchase agreements with a purchase value of $35,000 or more will require the use of USNH-modified AIA documents.

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