Procurement Process

The purchasing process used by Northampton Community College is classified as a decentralized system. This means that the departments and the Purchasing Department share in the procurement process. Whenever possible, departments are asked to determine their own needs and select vendors that will be able to provide the required goods or services as quickly and economically as possible. Employees authorized to purchase goods and services on behalf of the College should select the best combination of price, quality and service to meet the specific needs of the programs. The lowest priced goods and services, with adequate quality and service for the specific need, should be selected.

A written contract or purchase order shall be the only evidence of a contractual obligation between the College and the successful bidder, contractor, or supplier. Contracts or purchase orders for purchases less than $20,000 may be authorized by the signature of the Assistant Controller or the Controller. Contracts executed for purchases in excess of $20,000 may be authorized only by the Vice President Finance and Operations.


All purchases costing less than $5,000 may be made by the Purchasing Department after solicitation of telephone quotations. All purchases of services (except those of a personal nature) and personal property (exclusive of non-competitive items) costing more than $5,000 but less than $20,000 may be made only after solicitation of firm quotations in writing from two (2) or more vendors.

Public Bidding Requirements

All purchases (except those of a personal nature) costing $20,000 or more shall be purchased and contracts awarded only after public notice has been given by advertisement published in not less than two (2) newspapers of general circulation at least ten (10) days before the bids are received and opened. The Board of Trustees, at a regular or special meeting, shall award contracts to the lowest responsible bidder, but shall have the right to reject any and all bids or select a single item from any bid. All bids shall be received in writing, in sealed envelopes, by the College at a designated place and time and be opened by the College and will be approved at a subsequent Board Meeting, at which time contracts will be let. When warranted, bids shall be accompanied by a bond with corporate surety or a certified check of not less than 10% of the bid amount.