Information For Vendors
How to Sell to the University of Alaska
The University procures supplies, equipment, and services, including construction, in support of its educational and research missions.
For formal solicitations such as Invitations for Bids (IFB) or Requests for Proposals (RFP) Alaska Statute and University Board of Regents Policy require that they be publicly advertised.
Informal solicitations, such as Requests for Quotations (RFQ) are not publicly advertised. Procurement Officers generally look for local sources first, followed by in-state sources, then national and international sources if necessary. To ensure that you are included in these opportunities, as well as any non-competitive opportunities, it is best to contact the appropriate Procurement Officer. Procurement workload is distributed amongst Procurement Officers by commodity group.
The current list of Procurement Officers with their commodities and contact information can be found at the Terms and Conditions of Purchase Order PDF.
For formal solicitations such as Invitations for Bids (IFB) or Requests for Proposals (RFP) Alaska Statute and University Board of Regents Policy require that they be publicly advertised. Formal solicitations may be viewed at the following links:
For UAF: Bid Express.
For UAA and UAS: AEPlans
These links may also be accessed at Alaska Online Public Notices.
Informal solicitations, such as Requests for Quotations (RFQ) are not publicly advertised. Construction Contracting Officers generally look for local sources first, followed by in-state sources, then national and international sources if necessary. To ensure that you are included in these opportunities, as well as any non-competitive opportunities, it is best to contact the appropriate Construction Contracting Officer at the campus in which you are interested in providing services. The current lists for each campus can be found:
Only University staff with delegated procurement authority may make purchases or bind the University to the terms of a procurement contract. Procurement authority rests with the Board of Regents. This authority is delegated to the University President, who in turn delegates procurement authority to the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO). The CPO re-delegates procurement authority as needed throughout the institution.
While there may be exceptions, procurement authority is generally re-delegated as follows:
- Procurement Officers work for University of Alaska Procurement and Contract Services. The job titles of Procurement Officers are Chief Procurement Officer, Senior Contracting Officer, Contracting Officer, or Purchasing Agent. Note that a single Contracting Officer is also assigned to the University of Alaska Southeast Finance Office. Procurement Officers issue all formal solicitations, most informal solicitations, most exempt procurements and most sole/single source contracts (with CPO approval) for procurement of non-construction goods and services.
- Construction Contracting Officers work for the University of Alaska Anchorage Department of Facilities Planning and Construction and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Division of Design and Construction. In addition the University of Alaska Southeast Director of Facilities Services has a delegation of procurement authority as a Construction Contracting Officer. The delegations of procurement authority for Construction Contracting Officers are used for infrastructure and facilities construction (including maintenance, repair, and upgrades of building, driving surfaces, and utilities), architectural services and engineering services. Construction Contracting Officers issue all formal and informal solicitations, exempt procurements, and sole/single source contracts (with CPO approval) for construction related procurements.
- Procurement Technicians are decentralized staff who have received training in procurement policy and practices and have delegations of procurement authority up to $25,000. Procurement Technicians can issue purchase orders and contracts up to the dollar limit of their delegation, including RFQs, exempt procurements, and sole/single source procurements (with CPO approval) for non-construction goods and services.
- The University also has a procurement card program (ProCard) whereby some faculty and staff can make purchases using a University issued credit card. The default limit for ProCards is $2,500 per purchase. However some staff including Procurement Officers, Procurement Technicians, and select fiscal staff may have higher limits. In addition, waivers may be granted to ProCard holders to allow for a single purchase higher than the default per purchase limit when appropriate.
Only staff with delegated procurement authority have the ability to make purchases or bind the University to a procurement contract (except for ProCard purchases). For purchases other than by ProCard, a University Purchase Order, which can only be provided by someone with delegated procurement authority, will act as your notice to proceed with delivery of goods or services.
Whenever possible the University seeks full and open competition for the purchase of goods and services. The current dollar thresholds for different types of competitive purchases are as follows:
Formal Procurements (Over $100,000 for procurement and over $200,000 for construction): Prescribed process is either an Invitation for Bids (IFB) or Request for Proposals (RFP).
Informal Procurement ($10,000 to $100,000 for procurement and $50,000 to $200,000 for construction): Prescribed process is Request for Quotation or other informal competitive process such as a term contract solicitation for construction.
Small Dollar Procurement (less than $10,000 for procurement and $50,000 for construction): Small dollar procurements do not require competition, though competition may be sought whenever possible. Good business practices are required and if multiple sources are available then the purchases should be spread around to the extent practical. Some items have higher small procurement thresholds. These include:
- Professional Services (up to $100,000)
- Concession contracts (gross annual receipts up to $100,000)
- Hotel, convention, or catering services (up to $100,000)
- Leased real property (less than 7,000 square feet)
There are also some goods and services which are exempt from competitive processes and unique circumstances where there may be a sole/single source who can provide goods or services. In these cases the justification will be included in the procurement file. In addition, the CPO must approve all sole/single source procurements.
Alaska law grants preferences to qualifying Alaska bidders when State appropriations are used for the purchase. Alaska preferences cannot be used when Federal appropriations or private funding is used for the purchase. Examples of Alaskan preferences include:
- Alaska Bidder Preference = 5%.
- Alaska Products Preference = 3%, 5%, or 7%. The preference granted depends on how much value is added in Alaska. The product must be pre-certified as eligible for the preference by the Alaska Department of Commerce.
- Employment Program Preference =15%. Bids by state certified nonprofit programs that exist to assist and hire people with physical or mental handicaps.
- Disability Preference = 10%. Bids by sole proprietors whom the state has certified to have a disability, partnerships if each partner is certified by the state to have a disability, or corporations if 50% or more of the employees are certified by the state to have a disability.
Once you receive a purchase order (PO), or contract, it is your responsibility to deliver goods or services in accordance with the terms. Along with the purchase specific terms on the face of the PO or included in the contract, the University standard terms and conditions of purchase order may apply. They can be found on the Terms and Conditions of Purchase Order PDF. If the PO or contract does not agree with your understanding of what is to be provided, contact the Procurement Officer as soon as possible. If there are changes to the PO or contract make sure they are provided to you in writing. If you proceed without written authorization, you do so at your own risk.
Contact the Procurement Officer as soon as possible if you are unable to deliver as required. This allows the University to either look for other options or readjust its requirements as needed. Remember that the decision to cancel or modify the order based on any performance issue rests solely with the University.
The IRS and the Alaska Department of Labor (DoL), require Independent Contractor Determinations for all service providers who are not incorporated. The default position of the IRS and DoL is that all non-incorporated individuals providing service to the University should be classified as employees unless it is clear that the individual qualifies as an independent contract under all of the IRS common law factors. These factors include:
- Behavioral: Does the company control or have the right to control what the worker does and how the worker does his or her job?
- Financial: Are the business aspects of the worker’s job controlled by the payer? (these include things like how the worker is paid, whether expenses are reimbursed, who provides tools/supplies, etc.)
- Type of Relationship: Are there written contracts or employee type benefits (i.e. pension plan, insurance, vacation pay, etc.)? Will the relationship continue and is the work performed a key aspect of the business?
Non-incorporated service providers will be asked to complete Section A of the University’s Independent Contractor Status Determination Form. This will allow the University to determine if the service provider can be classified as an independent contractor under IRS common law factors. The department requesting services will complete Section B of the Independent Contractor Status Determination Form. This will allow the University to determine if the services sought are eligible to be outsourced to an independent contractor. Under IRS and DoL rules, many services which are currently, or have been previously, performed by University employees cannot be outsourced. In addition, Independent Contractor Determinations may require review by Risk Management to assess the level of risk associated with the contractor's activities. The risk manager may specify appropriate types and levels of insurance the contractor must have prior to providing service.
IRS Revenue Ruling 87-41 identifies 20 factors that should be considered as guidelines to determine the degree of control over the individual. Not every factor is applicable in every situation, and the degree of importance of each factor varies depending on the type of work and individual circumstances. However, all relevant factors are considered in making a determination, and no one factor is decisive. It does not matter that a written agreement may take a position with regard to any factors or state that certain factors do not apply, if the facts indicate otherwise.
- Instructions. An employee must comply with instructions about when, where and how to work. Even if no instructions are given, the control factor is present if the employer has the right to control how the work results are achieved.
- Training. An employee may be trained to perform services in a particular manner. Independent contractors ordinarily use their own methods and receive no training from the purchasers of their services.
- Integration. An employee's services are usually integrated into the business operations because the services are important to the success or continuation of the business. This shows that the employee is subject to direction and control.
- Services rendered personally. An employee renders services personally. This shows that the employer is interested in the methods as well as the results.
- Hiring, supervising and paying assistants. An employee works for an employer who hires, supervises, and pays workers. An independent contractor can hire, supervise, and pay assistants under a contract that requires him or her to provide materials and labor and to be responsible only for the result.
- Continuing relationship. An employee generally has a continuing relationship with an employer. A continuing relationship may exist even if work is performed at recurring although irregular intervals.
- Set hours of work. An employee usually has set hours of work established by an employer. An independent contractor generally can set his or her own work hours.
- Full-time required. An employee may be required to work or be available full-time. This indicates control by the employer. An independent contractor can work when and for whom he or she chooses.
- Work done on employer's premises. An employee usually works on the premises of an employer, or works on a route or at a location designated by an employer.
- Order or sequence set. An employee may be required to perform services in the order or sequence set by an employer. This shows that the employee is subject to direction and control.
- Oral or written reports. An employee may be required to submit reports to an employer. This shows that the employer maintains a degree of control
- Payment by hour, week or month. An employee is paid by the hour, week, or month. An independent contractor is usually paid by the job or on a straight commission.
- Payment of business and/or traveling expenses. An employee's business and travel expenses are generally paid by an employer. This shows that the employee is subject to regulation and control.
- Furnishing of tools and materials. An employee is normally furnished significant tools, materials, and other equipment by an employer.
- Significant investment. An independent contractor can make a significant investment in the facilities he or she uses in performing services for someone else.
- Realization of profit or loss. An independent contractor can make a profit or suffer a loss.
- Works for more than one person or firm. An independent contractor is generally free to provide his or her services to two or more unrelated persons or firms at the same time.
- Offers services to general public. An independent contractor makes his or her services available to the general public.
- Right to fire. An employee can be fired by an employer. An independent contractor cannot be fired as long as he or she produces a result that meets the specifications of the contract.
- Right to quit. An employee can quit his or her job at any time without incurring liability. An independent contractor usually agrees to complete a specific job and is responsible for its satisfactory completion, or is legally obligated to make good for failure to complete it.
Where can I get more information?
Please visit or call the purchasing offices for more information. We are here to help. Contact information follows.
University of Alaska
Procurement & Contract Services
2025 Yukon Drive, Suite 001
PO Box 757940, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7940
Phone:(907) 474-7315 Fax: (907) 474-7720
University of Alaska Southeast
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Phone: (907) 796-6371
Fax: (907) 796-6469
Web: Business Services