Here you'll find answers to common questions regarding purchasing processes and procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: Does the Public Health Emergency declaration change who can purchase items on campus?
No. The delegated authority for UW System procurements remains the same. The Purchasing Director on your campus currently holds this delegation. This is not a change.
Q: I’ve heard rumor that the Emergency declaration means we don’t have to follow the normal purchasing rules. Is that true?
No. The DOA State Procurement manual already has a policy and procedure in place for Emergency Procurements. This is not a change. Your campus Purchasing Directors will understand the rules and procedures to follow if your campus needs to make an emergency procurement.
Q: I heard that DOA State Bureau of Procurement (SBOP) sent out a waiver notice and we are not required to use DOA mandatory contracts during this period of emergency. Is that true?
This is half-true. The SBOP implemented a blanket business case exception for those products needed to support campus preparedness measures in response to COVID-19. This blanket business case exception applies to the following contracts and for those products (e.g. hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, face masks, cleaning agents, etc.) that are unavailable due to short supply or significant lead times. This business case exception waives the use of the four mandatory contracts but does not waive the applicable bidding procedure, if bidding can be accomplished. Please contact Purchasing for further direction before making the purchase if you believe you cannot complete the bidding process.
It is important to understand that the blanket business case exception only covers these four mandatory contracts, and more importantly, only covers health related items that these vendors sell.
- Office Supplies (505ENT-M19-OFFSUPPLY-01)
- Cleaning Chemicals (505ENT-M16-CLEANGCHEMS-00)
- Medical Supplies (505ENT-M19-MEDICALSUP-00)
- Maintenance Repair and Operations (505ENT-M19-FACILITMRO-00)
Q: Has DOA SBOP waived any other Procurement Manual requirements due to this State of Emergency?
No, not currently (3/18/2020). All Procurement Manual procedures are still required to be followed.
Q: Can the purchase of software be considered an Emergency Procurement?
It will depend, and you should work closely with LTS Consulting and Purchasing prior to this sort of purchase.
Q: During this time when several people are now working remote from home, can the shipping address on POs and Pcard purchases be set so the product ships directly to an employee’s home?
No. All purchases must be sent to the following address:
Central Receiving/ATTN: Your Name/Department Name
651 University Drive
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Shipping/Receiving and Mail Services continue to have representation on campus and will deliver packages as staffing allows. If you are waiting for a package, you may schedule a pickup time by emailing the appropriate contact as shown below. In your email, please provide where the package is coming from and the tracking numbers. A photo ID is required for pickup.
Due to limited staffing, please have delivery drivers schedule appointments with Shipping/Receiving when delivering palletized orders.
*Hours are subject to change, so please confirm before arriving on campus.
Q: Help! Now that I’m working from home, I need some peripherals for my computer/laptop. Who do I contact?
LTS Consulting has a list of peripherals that they know work well with the machines we have on campus. They have also been working with Purchasing and multiple vendors to place larger orders to accommodate campus’s needs. Contact LTS Consulting to see if they have what you need. Their Working Remotely webpage is another great resource!
Q: What do we do if we need to print something?
Printers – Users are allowed to bring printers home that were directly connected to their computer. All other printers need to remain on campus. You are strongly encouraged to modify your workflows to reduce the need for printing wherever possible. LTS can provide remote assistance with connecting a printer you already have at home to your work computer that was also brought home. Contact the LTS Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-836-5711.
Printer Supplies – Ink and toner supplies for University-owned printers ONLY are still required to be purchased through the mandatory vendors within the Shop@UW portal. Any orders must be delivered to a UWEC address at this time. Staples is the provider for new ink and toner purchases. Buy On Purpose is the vendor for refurbished. Purchase of supplies for personally owned printers is not allowed and will not be reimbursed. Please contact email@example.com with any purchasing questions.
Printing Services – This service is still available and are providing delivery services on campus. If you are unable to come to campus, they are also offering delivery within 15 miles and curbside pickup between Schneider and Phillips Hall. Please visit the Printing Services website for up-to-date information.