Contracts

There are certain instances where we do not have to follow normal purchasing procedures as prescribed by state law and the most valuable of these exemptions are contracts. Contracts are established with suppliers through the bids while using the collective purchasing power of many entities to lower pricing and increase value to the university. 

If the item you need is on a mandatory state contract and your purchase meets the contract requirements, you must procure from the contract.

Please contact Procurement Services if you have questions about procuring off the contracts listed below or if you need help in locating an appropriate contract. 

State Contracts

State contracts are issued by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration State Procurement Office in Little Rock through the bidding process. When purchasing from a state contract dollar limits do not apply but some contracts may have a minimum order amount. There are two types of state contracts:

  • Mandatory State Contracts. The Office of State Procurement has established state contracts for certain commodities and services where substantial savings can be achieved by quantity purchasing. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is required to purchase from the awarded state contract vendor when items on mandatory contracts are needed.
  • Non-Mandatory State Contracts. The Office of State Procurement has established some non-mandatory contracts that use quantity purchasing and establish a maximum price.

The terms and conditions, delivery schedules, and pricing structures for these contracts should be reviewed carefully before placing orders. Both the State of Arkansas and the suppliers have certain rights and responsibilities under each contract.

A comprehensive list of state term contracts, along with contract details and contact information, can be viewed on the DFA’s State Contracts page. Mandatory contracts will be marked as such. 

Please call Procurement Services with any questions if necessary.

Cooperative Contracts

A myriad of cooperative contracts offering commodities and services are available to public procurement units. Procurement Services is your link to accessing those contracts. 

Cooperative buying allows member institutions to purchase goods and services from contracts that have already been bid or negotiated. These contracts establish a maximum price for multiple commodities and services.

When a department seeks to participate in a cooperative purchasing agreement that has not already been approved by the system, they will need to contact Procurement Services. 

If a decision has already been made regarding a cooperative purchasing agreement, other member institutions should defer to that determination.

Below are some of the most commonly used cooperative contracts available. **Pre-approval may be required—contact Procurement Services for direction prior to purchase**

UA Little Rock Term Contracts

UA Little Rock term contracts are generated for goods or services for which an agreement on price and/or terms is executed for an established period of time. Term contracts may be generated for copier or equipment leases, equipment or software maintenance, trash pickup, pest and termite control, professional or technical services, and other types of services. 

A contract may be entered into for up to a maximum of seven (7) years. In some instances, it is advantageous for contracts to expire annually unless renewed by mutual, written agreement. However, Arkansas law dictates that the initial contract term cannot be longer than four (4) years before the first renewal, with a maximum of three (3) one-year renewals. The aggregate number of years under a non-exempt contract remains seven (7) regardless of the length of the initial contract term. 

A term contract can take several forms:

  • The initial term can be for 12, 24, or 36 months and may or may not allow for optional 12-month extensions, at the same price or with previously agreed-upon price increases only. 
  • The initial term can also be for 12 months with no allowance for optional extension periods. If so, we may stay with the same supplier from year-to-year, or change suppliers, but in either case, the price is renegotiated each year.  Depending on the service provided, the contract may be paid in its entirety at the beginning of the term, or it may be paid monthly, quarterly, or in other increments. Other forms of agreements can also be negotiated depending upon the requisitioner’s needs.

There are specific memorandums to address term contract renewals which are generated during the contract administration process. 

When a term contract is expiring and there are no renewal options available, the requisitioner is notified and instructed how to proceed.  A term contract may be requested so that Procurement Services is authorized to obtain bids or generate a contract, or the requisitioner may be instructed to obtain bids or negotiate a price with the supplier.  With a copier lease, the requisitioner is directed to the state contract to select a new machine.

When a term contract is expiring but there are still renewal options available, the requisitioner is notified to confirm that both they and the supplier wish to renew at the current price.  The requisitioner will obtain written verification from the supplier confirming contract renewal at the current price, and then sends Procurement Services written authorization to renew.

If the requisitioner or the supplier does not wish to renew under the current price and terms, the process to procure a new contract begins again.

Term contracts are entered in Workday using the “Create Supplier Contract” task. When a supplier contract has been finalized, both the supplier and the requisitioner are notified and documentation is provided to the supplier.

Service Contracts

See Services

Purchasing Thresholds

Purchasing thresholds are set by state law and are based on the initial cost of a contract. Initial cost, which does not include renewal options, is the total cost of the initial contract (cost x # years). For example, the initial cost of a three-year contract at $5,000 per year is $15,000. This example is considered a small order due to the initial cost being below $20,000 and can be purchased on the open market. Contracts with an initial cost above $20,000 are handled as follows:

  • Competitive quote bids must be obtained for contracts when the initial cost exceeds $20,000. 
  • Procurement Services must bid contracts for which the initial cost exceeds $75,000. 

It is important to note that contracts that require quote bids or sealed bids can be time-consuming.

Unless a commodity or service is exempt, please check the Purchasing Thresholds listed below before committing to a supplier, to ensure all state law requirements have been met.