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Purchasing Procedures

Purchasing Procedures
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College adheres to strict policies regarding purchasing, procurement, and contracts made on behalf of the college. This information is provided here to assist employees who make requests for purchases or have purchasing authority.

If you have any questions regarding the purchasing process, please contact a staff person in the Business Services Department.


Request for Purchase (NPR) form
Click here to see an example of a completed Request for Purchase form.


MNSCU Purchasing Policy
The complete MNSCU policy 5.14.5 regarding purchasing procedures is located here.


Contract Requirements
The complete MNSCU policy 5.14 regarding procurement and contract requirements is located here.

Any questions regarding contracts can be directed to Lori Driscoll in the Business Services Department, 218-879-0860.


Purchasing Process

The following guidelines apply to all purchases requested and made on behalf of the college:

  1. Purchases under $5,000 should be executed in the best interest of the college. Staff should compare prices, vendors, and product/service options to assure financial resources are used in a responsible manner.

  2. Purchases over $5,000 require quotations unless a current state contract is utilized. Purchases over $5,000 must be prepared on forms approved by the system office. If you estimate the purchase to be over $5,000 you must contact the Purchasing Office for proper MNSCU procedures (879-0860.)

  3. Purchases over $25,000 require sealed bids. If you estimate the purchase to be over $25,000 you must contact the Purchasing Office for proper MNSCU procedures (879-0860.)

  4. There are additional purchasing requirements published in MNSCU Procedure 5.14.5, please contact purchasing if you have any questions regarding a purchase.

  5. Complete an NPR/Requisition for Purchase form (found in trays near staff mailboxes)
    1. Fill in vendor name, address, phone and fax number.
    2. Give as much information as possible in the description area (ie. who, what, why, where, when, etc.)  Attach any relevant paperwork.  Remember to include pricing.
    3. Include cost center of the department to which this purchase should be charged.
    4. Sign and date on “Requested by” line.

  6. Submit to supervisor for approval and signature. If President is supervisor, submit to CFO for signature. If over $3,000, CFO will secure President’s signature as well.

  7. Once supervisor has signed it, the requisition is passed on to Chief Financial Officer for approval.

  8. CFO will review budget to ensure sufficient funds are available in applicable department budget.

  9. If insufficient funds are available within budget, individual must work with supervisor and CFO to discuss options and possible budget transfers.

  10. Approved request is then given to the Purchasing Department to be entered into the computer.  The request is given a Purchase Order (PO) number at this point in the process.

  11. Once entered into the system, a PO is printed and faxed or mailed to the vendor.

  12. The yellow copy of the Requisition for Purchase form showing the PO number is given back to the person making the request.

  13. Purchase Orders: Purchase orders are required to initiate a purchase of goods or services.
  14. When a vendor will not accept a purchase order the following procedure applies:

  15. Purchasing will obtain a statement from the vendor verifying the vendor will not accept State of Minnesota purchase orders. Purchasing will determine if another vendor can reasonably provide the product or service.

  16. If Purchasing deems no other vendor can provide the product or service, then Purchasing may suggest the individual request use of the campus corporate Visa credit card.

  17. Purchases approved for payment utilizing the campus Visa card still require a purchase order using the US Bank as the vendor. Purchasing will attach the vendor statement to the purchase order when forwarding the approved purchase order to accounts payable. Accounts payable will process the payment to the credit card upon receipt of an invoice and/or confirmation that the charge has been placed.

  18. All other exceptions must be approved by the Business Office prior to creating an obligation.

  19. Contracts for Vendors: Service contracts are required for non-tangible services such as consulting, writing, legal, educational, instructional, professional, and technical services when the cost is greater than $200. Contact purchasing at 879-0860 to obtain contracts or with any questions regarding contracts. For further information regarding contracts or contract templates see:

  20. Funds must be encumbered prior to making any obligation. An expenditure or obligation authorized or incurred prior to encumbering funds is illegal and ineligible for payment until made valid and is in violation of M.S. 16A.15,Subd.3. Any person authorizing or making the payment, or taking part in it, is liable to the state for the amount paid. A knowing violation of M.S. 16A.15, Subd.3 is just cause for progressive discipline.


16A Statute Reference
The Minnesota Statute 16A.15 regarding encumbering state funds for purchasing can be viewed in the pdf file located here.


Accounts Payable Process

  1. Payment for products and services: All payments will be processed within 30 days as required by the State of Minnesota according to the following procedure:
    1. Invoices: Vendors should submit invoices to accounts payable staff. Accounts payable staff  will ask originator of order to stop in business office and complete the following:
      1. Review the invoice to verify that services and or products have been received.
      2. Indicate the date services and or products were received.
      3. Sign, date and mark invoice “ok to pay”
      4. Accounts payable staff will submit payment to the vendor only upon receipt of the approved invoice. Therefore, staff must review and approve/deny invoices in a timely manner. Any questions should be directed to accounts payable staff at 879-0809.

    2. Packing slips: Vendors will often include a packing slip with the shipment. Packing slips are forwarded to accounts payable staff by receiving staff when shipments are received. Packing slips are verification the shipment has been received on campus. Accounts payable staff will not forward invoices to the originator when a packing slip is present and matches the invoice, instead accounts payable will process payment. Any questions should be directed to accounts payable staff at 879-0809.

    3. Prepayment: Prepayment of products and services is not permitted for any expense (except subscriptions, software, and memberships that have an invoice or an amount due clearly stated.)

    4. No payment will be processed from just a purchase order, from any “special handling instructions” included on a purchase order, or from a statement. An invoice must be provided with authorization to process payment.

 2101 14th Street       Cloquet, Minnesota 55720       1.800.657.3712       218.879.0800       Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or 1.800.627.3529
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