Frequently Asked Questions

 Q1. Where is my purchase order?

Answer: Using the requisition number you may check the Banner FOIDOCH screen for the transaction status. All related purchase order numbers, check payments, invoices, and "key-rec'd" items will appear as they are processed. The following are the status indicators: (A) Approved, (C) Completed, (F) Final Reconciliation, (P) Paid, (R) Receipt Required, (S) Suspended, (O) Open, (X) Cancelled, (V) Void, (H) Hold, and (T) Tagged Permanently.


 Q2. I don’t know the exact dollar amount needed, what do I do?

Answer: Issue a requisition for an amount "not to exceed" and define the term of the contract (the beginning and ending date). A service order will be issued to the vendor.


 Q3. The purchase order is issued to a different vendor from the one I suggested. Why?

Answer: The decision to change a vendor is generally the result of establishing "best value" for the District. This process is conducted based on the type of items requested and the dollar amount. Purchasing & Contract Management may need to obtain multiple quotes or issue the purchase order to a contract vendor in order to obtain best value.


 Q4. Will I be provided with a paper copy of the purchase order?

Answer: No, you need to do this yourself by using Banner. In FOIDOCH, use the requisition number to call up the purchase order. After you call up the purchase order, by using the print screen option, you can print up a copy for your records.


 Q5. How long does it take to generate a purchase order once I submit a requisition?

Answer: Once the budget head approves the requisition, there are several factors to consider:

  • Complexity of the order
  • Dollar value of the requisition
  • Whether a competitive process is needed 
  • Whether the requisition has all the information needed (i.e. size, color, etc.)
  • The time of year (August and September are very busy months)

 

All requisitions are processed in an expeditious fashion. Purchases made from contracted vendors are processed within a one-week time frame.


 Q6. Can I have items delivered to a specific location?

Answer: Generally, deliveries go to the Distribution Center at the Administrative Services Building "B." If special delivery instructions are required, please make note of it under "document text" on the requisition.


 Q7. For first-time or unusual purchases, do I need to contact Purchasing first?

Answer: The Purchasing & Contract Management Department's responsibilities include ensuring that the District receives the best value for each dollar spent. The Department has buyer assignments based on commodities and service specialties. The buyers have developed extensive commodity/service expertise and knowledge. They have access to a large supplier base and knowledge of local suppliers' performance, pricing, special offers, state contracts and purchasing cooperative contracts.


Contacting the Purchasing & Contract Management Department first can result in substantial time and cost savings. If the purchase or service requires a competitive process, one of Purchasing & Contract Management's responsibilities is to ensure that the District complies with Texas competitive process statues. We are required to give any supplier who provides a proposal a fair and openly competitive opportunity to receive The District's business. We must follow formal procedures that guarantee that all potential suppliers have the same written and verbal instructions regarding a specific procurement request. Additionally, all potential suppliers must be given the same amount of time to prepare an offer. We must exercise good business judgment to receive the most value for each dollar spent procuring goods and services.


 Q8. What if I received the incorrect item(s) or the item(s) is/are damaged?

Answer: As soon as possible, please call Jorge Hernandez (x6496). Be prepared to identify the vendor, the purchase order number, and describe the condition of the shipment and/or delivered items. Jorge will contact the vendor and will attempt to obtain a satisfactory resolution to the problem.


 Q9. What if I don’t know the vendor or the vendor is not in Banner?

Answer: You may submit a requisition and leave the vendor name blank.


 Q10. Who are the approved vendors for computer purchases, as an example?

Answer: Approved vendors can be found in the link below:


Approved Contracts


Note: For large quantity purchase quotes, please contact the buyer.


 Q11. What do we tell a vendor who calls about payment of an invoice?

Answer: If the vendor does not have a purchase order, then the requestor needs to check back in Banner on the FOIDOCH screen to see first if the requisition has been approved and that a purchase order number has been approved and issued. If the vendor has a purchase order number, then ask the vendor if they have submitted an invoice to Accounts Payable as per the instructions on the purchase order. If a purchase order was issued and the vendor has submitted a proper invoice to Accounts Payable, then the vendor should be directed to Accounts Payable according to the vendor's first letter in the company name (exclude "The", "A", or "An") or if the vendor is a person, then according to the first letter of his/her last name. The Accounts Payable staff designated for those letters can be found here: Accounts Payable


 Q12. Why do I have to "key-rec" purchase orders and what is the procedure?

Answer: All merchandise ordered on a purchase order has to be key received in Banner. If satisfied with the merchandise, make a copy of the signed invoice or signed delivery receipt (make sure the purchase order number is referenced) and fax it to Distributional Services (x7847). This procedure in turn initiates payment to the vendor and this should always be accomplished in a timely manner.


 Q13. What is the fiscal year-end procedure on Open Purchase Orders?

Answer: As we approach fiscal year-end, you need to make sure all purchases are "key-rec'd" by Distributional Services and that all invoices have been submitted to Accounts Payable. For repetitive needs, please submit a new requisition on Banner at the beginning of the new fiscal year.


For open service orders there is no "key-rec'd" procedure required. However, once the services are completed satisfactorily, please ensure that the service invoice or delivery receipt is signed by the budget head with an "ok to pay". This must be done in a timely fashion and upon services rendered. Please submit the signed invoice/receipt to Accounts Payable. This will assist them in expediting the internal process for completing transactions, and will allow for payment to vendors in a timely fashion.


If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact the Customer Service Specialist at 915-831-6496.


 Q14. What do I do if I need to purchase something in a rush?

Answer: If the purchase is for $100.00 or you may utilize the petty cash procedure. If the purchase is for $500.00 or less in the aggregate, you may utilize the check request procedure. If the purchase is for over $500.00, you must input a requisition into Banner and you must alert the buyer responsible for the commodity of the need for urgency. The buyer will expedite the requisition after it has been approved by your Budget Head. Progress on the purchase may be monitored by using the Banner FOIDOCH screen. Please keep in mind that the proper College procedures and state and federal laws must still be adhered to in making the purchase. These may affect how quickly the buyer can act.


 Q15. What is “an after the fact?”

An “after the fact” or “unauthorized (purchasing) transaction” occurs when an employee of the College makes an oral or written commitment to an outside entity to purchase goods or services, or otherwise create a financial commitment or liability for the College, without having the authority to do so and/or without going through the proper purchasing process as outlined in the College’s Purchasing Procedures 4.10.04.10 or 4.10.04.14.


The College relies on a set of internal controls, which as a publicly-funded entity, it is required to maintain. The purchasing processes outlined in the aforementioned Procedures are part of those internal controls. An “after the fact” transaction circumvents those internal controls, and is to be avoided. A report on all “after the fact” transactions is sent to the Vice President of Financial and Administrative Operations annually.


Tips to avoid “after the fact” transactions:


  • Plan ahead. If you expect that you will be needing to purchase goods and/or services not exempt from the requisition process (see aforementioned Procedures for exemptions), enter the requisition into Banner as soon as you have identified the need. Be sure that all needed approvals are done in Banner and that there are sufficient funds in the account used, otherwise the requisition won’t reach the Buyer.
  • If you don’t know the exact dollar amount needed (say in the case of a catering event where you don’t know the exact final cost until after the event), then enter the requisition for an “amount not to exceed.” Be sure to enter an amount that you will not exceed! Then, after the event, to free up the funds that you encumbered but did not use, send Purchasing & Contract Management a Request for Change Order form to reduce the amount of the purchase order to the exact final amount of the invoice. This will free up your unused funds so you can use them for another purchase.
  • Be careful with contracts that you need every year, or that may renew automatically. Examples of these include a maintenance contract on software, a software license or a maintenance contract on a printer. In situations like these, be sure that you enter the requisition into Banner and that it is fully approved and gets to the Purchasing & Contract Management Department sufficiently ahead of when your current contract expires. Do not wait until you get an invoice (a bill) to alert you to enter the requisition. An invoice, more often than not, represents a liability for the College. You want the requisition and resultant purchase order to precede the invoice, not follow it! Unfortunately, this will require you to keep track of those contracts that you need from year to year, and issue the requisition to Purchasing & Contract Management sufficiently ahead of the current contract ending (or renewal) date. Also, please give us enough time to work the requisition!