Washington State University Direct-Buy Limit FAQs

DIRECT-BUY LIMIT FAQs

What is the direct-buy limit?

It is an important purchasing threshold amount, set by Washington statute.  Goods costing less than the direct-buy limit may be purchased without price competition.  The experience of the purchaser is relied upon to obtain the required quality at the lowest cost.  Purchasing Services’ buyers can provide sourcing assistance.  Email purchasing@wsu.edu to contact a buyer with appropriate commodity expertise.

Is the limit $10,000 per item, or $10,000 per order?

$10,000 per order, before tax and shipping are added. See notes below regarding tax and shipping for purchases near the $10,000  threshold.

How can I purchase goods costing less than $10,000 ?

Departments are encouraged to make direct-buy purchases from contract vendors or obtain informal quotes from 2 or more vendors. Either a purchasing card with $10,000 single transaction limit, or a department order form is acceptable for these purchases. How to:

PCard: to request a single transaction limit increase on a purchasing card account, complete a PCard Change Request form and email it to purchasing@wsu.edu

Notes on tax and shipping for PCard: if merchant charges Washington Sales Tax and/or shipping, bringing the transaction total amount over $10,000 , this will cause the transaction to decline. However, comp tax is not charged by merchant, so a comp tax amount is not included in the $10,000 limit.

Department order: The revision of BPPM 70.07 Department Orders is not yet published, however the Department order form had been reprogrammed to accept line items totaling up to $10,000 and may be used immediately.

Notes on tax and shipping for department order: On department orders, neither sales nor comp tax is included in the $10,000 limit. When a line item for shipping puts the total order over $10,000 , delete it. Departments are not required to add shipping on department orders. This guidance is written into the current policy version of BPPM 70.07.

How can I purchase goods costing more than $10,000 ?

Prepare specifications for the product(s) or service(s). Have a departmental Requisition prepared and sent to Purchasing Services with these specifications attached. A buyer will obtain the necessary quotes or bids, then provide requestor with bids for review and recommendation. The buyer issues a purchase order to the successful vendor.

Can I collect three quotes attach them to a requisition and have Purchasing Services place the order over $10,000 ?

State procurement rules for price competition make such a collection of quotes incomplete:

1) At least one certified minority-owned business and one certified women-owned business must be solicited for each quote or bid.  Purchasing Services has access to the database of these certified businesses. RCW 43.19.1906(2)

What I need to order is “sole source” – there’s only one vendor that can supply it. Does this order have to be bid?

No, if there is adequate sole source justification.  To the Departmental Requisition, attach a sole source justification written to the Guidelines posted on this website.  If available, attach the quote provided by sole source vendor.  If the justification is approved, the buyer will issue a purchase order.

I can only accept a specific product, but it is distributed by more than one vendor. Should I write a sole source justification?

To the Departmental Requisition, attach a memo stating specifically why no substitute product is acceptable.  Specifics are required, so following the outline of the Guidelines for sole source is recommended.  If approved, the buyer will obtain quotes or bids from distributors.