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Procurement Policies for BSU and NTC

Please remember that BSU and NTC procurement guidelines apply to all BSU and NTC purchases, whether by purchase order or p-card, and regardless of the type of account (i.e. 9 ledgers, summer session profit accounts, grant accounts, etc.).

If you have questions, please contact Procurement Staff:

Sandy Steffen 218-755-2044 or Rebecca Wilkinson 218-755-2050

NOTE****Once you submit a PO and all of the required documentation to the Procurement Office, please allow up to 48 hours to process the PO.

State Law Regarding Encumbrance of Funds:

Minnesota law requires the encumbrance of funds BEFORE an order is placed or services are rendered. Do not place an order or allow work to begin before a purchase order (PO) is fully processed (it must be at the 450 level). In addition, contracts must be fully signed AND funds must be encumbered by a purchase order BEFORE any work begins under the contract. Anyone who violates this requirement will be required to explain why they violated Minnesota Statutes 16A.15, Subdivision 3 using the After the Fact 16A Form. These forms are tracked and reported to Administration annually.

Sales Tax

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is generally exempt by Minnesota Statute from sales tax on purchases. However, purchases of motor vehicles, meals and lodging are generally not exempt from sales tax.

In order for purchases to qualify for exemption, the purchases must be made by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities directly (accompanied by the BSU Tax Exempt Form or the NTC Tax Exempt Form; employee purchases are not exempt from sales tax if paid for with individual funds.

Individuals may be subject to penalty if they use Minnesota State Colleges and Universities certificate of exemption incorrectly for personal purchases.

MnSCU Board Policies:

The MNSCU Board Policies concerning Procurement are at the following website: Particularly note Part 5 about Encumbrances, Part 6 about Prepayment, and Part 10 about Targeted Group Businesses.

MnSCU Purchasing Control System:

The MNSCU PCS (Purchasing Control System), is used to create purchase orders for supplies, materials, equipment and services to be purchased for your department or area. Each department is responsible for choosing an appropriate person(s) to have access to PCS for the purpose of entering purchase orders. If you need training to use the MNSCU PCS system, please contact the Procurement Office.


Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College participate in a MnSCU contracted p-card program. Information governing the use of p-cards is available at:

Contracted Services (non-construction):

Information governing contracted services is available at:

Food Purchases:

Anytime you are purchasing food for anyone other than students (for example: food for faculty, staff, student workers, the general public, etc.), an approved Special Expense Request Form is required PRIOR TO THE EVENT. The Dean and/or Vice President of your area must approve the request before the purchase can be made.

Memberships & Subscriptions:

The preferred method to initiate payment for memberships and subscriptions is with a purchase order, rather than requesting reimbursement on an employee expense report. Memberships and subscriptions must be paid for in the appropriate fiscal year of their occurrence. Please do not leave memberships until the end of the fiscal year to pay, nor try to pay for them in a different fiscal year than they occur. The p-card is NOT allowed to pay for memberships.

Conference or Workshop Registration Fees & Travel Expenses:

Registrations and travel expenses are NOT allowed by purchase order NOR by p-card. However, registration fees and hotel reservations may be made on certain designated travel cards. Contact:

  • For BSU employees: Susan Turner, 218-755-2850,
  • For NTC employees: Doreen Kuhrke, 218-333-6611,

For more information, please visit
or contact the Travel Desk at 755-2850 (Deputy 203).

Signature Authority:

Deans, chairs, faculty, and staff typically do NOT have legal authority to sign documents nor enter into agreements on behalf of Bemidji State University or Northwest Technical College. Depending upon the type of agreement/document, it may need signature by the Director of Procurement and Logistics, the Business Manager, a Vice President or the President. In addition, such agreements may require review by the Attorney General's Office before we can agree and sign. If you are asked to sign an agreement on behalf of BSU or NTC, please send it to the Director of Procurement & Logistics (Box 8) for review and determination of appropriate signature authority.

Obtaining Quotes:

When obtaining quotes, do NOT show vendors quotes from their competitors. This gives an unfair advantage. Price quote information is not public until after the purchase is made and then it must be requested from the Procurement Office. The best way to obtain comparable quotes is to prepare a document listing the product(s) you want to purchase and leave blanks for the vendor to fill in prices. Always require vendors to include applicable shipping/handling/freight on their quotes or to indicate none will be charged. If possible, request that shipping terms be "FOB: Destination, Freight Prepaid and Allowed." This means the vendor pays for the shipping and owns the product in transit until it arrives at our location. If anything happens to the product in transit, the vendor must handle the problem.

Vendors Where Purchase Orders Can Not Be Used:


  • Amazon
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Home Depot
  • Joann Fabrics
  • Marketplace Foods
  • OfficeMax
  • Target
  • Wal-Mart