Direct visits or discussions by vendor representatives with college employees in the various user departments are acceptable for the purpose of familiarizing them with current products, literature and/or technical information unless otherwise instructed in a solicitation notice. Vendors are requested to check in with the Procurement office either in person or by telephone prior to or after the visit or discussion. Contacts or correspondence concerning negotiations affecting purchases involving price, terms, conditions and delivery shall be with the Procurement office.
Vendors are reminded that only the College Procurement office has the authority to issue orders on behalf of the college. However, other college personnel may place orders using a state purchasing card (Visa). All orders require either a valid purchase order number or a valid state purchasing card number.
Purchasing Policies and Procedures
Trident Technical College is a state agency governed by state law. Procurement and Inventory Control are centralized under the director of Procurement and Risk Management. College policies and procedures are consistent with the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code, which governs the expenditure of all funds, unless specifically excepted.
The Procurement office procures goods and services for all divisions and departments of the college on each of its four campuses and three sites. The Procurement office adheres to the ethical standards adopted by the National Institute of Government Purchasing.
Purchases must be authorized by the Procurement office. Normally, vendors should not make shipments until they have a college purchase order or a state purchasing card number.
All products for evaluation must have a valid Trident Technical College purchase order number assigned prior to delivery to the college.
The college will not accept or consider binding upon the college any purchases that have not been authorized by the Procurement office or made with a state purchasing card and may either return the items to the vendor at vendor’s cost or consider them a donation to the college.
- Non-Competitive Purchases: Orders for less than $1,500 do not require competition, provided that the price is fair and reasonable. The preferred method of purchase for orders less than $500 is using the state purchasing card. Most departments have a state purchasing card assigned to at least one person.
- Competitive Purchases: Purchases for more than $1,500 require some form of competition.
- Orders for less than $5,000 require solicitation of at least three verbal or written quotations.
- Orders between $5,000 and $10,000 require solicitation of at least three written quotations.
- Orders between $10,000 and $25,000 require solicitation of at least five written quotations. The solicitation must be advertised at least once on the South Carolina Business Opportunities publication (SCBO) which is available on the State Materials Management website by subscription or in hard copy in all public libraries. Additionally all such solicitations are posted in the Procurement office and on the Materials Management website.
- If allowed in the solicitation, vendors may fax quotations.
- The provisions of Section 11-35-4210, Right to Protest, of the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code do not apply to contract awards resulting from the under $25,000 small purchases procedures listed above.
Formal Purchasing Processes
- Competitive Sealed Bids or Competitive Sealed Proposal:
- Orders between $25,000 and $100,000 are purchased through competitive sealed bid or competitive sealed proposal. They are advertised in SCBO and posted in the Procurement office and on the Materials Management website.
- Orders greater than $100,000 are purchased from solicitations made by the State Materials Management Office.
- Formal Quotes, Bidding Conditions and Instructions: Bidders should carefully examine solicitation documents, including any addenda, checking closely for requirements for bonds, insurance, catalog cuts, samples, references, etc. Should the bidder find any discrepancies or ambiguities, notify the Procurement office immediately.
No verbal interpretation of specifications shall be binding upon the college. Bidder shall make all requests for interpretations or clarifications to the Procurement office at least five business days preceding the date set for solicitation opening. The Procurement office will make all modifications, interpretations to, or clarifications of the specifications by written addendum. No allowance will be made for oversight or misunderstanding by the bidder after bids are received.
The bid form must be typewritten or handwritten in ink to show prices and notations. No erasures will be allowed. Errors must be crossed out and initialed by the person signing the bid.
Signatures on bids or quotes must be by a person(s) duly authorized to bind contracts.
Sealed Bid Submission
Bidders must submit a bid in a sealed envelope, clearly marked with the solicitation number. Bidders are responsible for the actual delivery of bids during business hours. The Procurement office will not accept bids after the date and time stated in the solicitation. Bidders are advised to allow sufficient time for mail delivery. College mail is picked up once per day between 7:30 and 8 a.m. and is then processed through the college’s central mailroom. Bidders may not fax sealed bids.
The successful bidder will take affirmative action in complying with all federal and state requirements concerning fair employment, employment of the disabled, and the treatment of all employees, without regard to or discrimination by reason of race, color, religion, gender, national origin or disability.
Bid openings are public on the date and at the time specified in the solicitation. Bids are opened and read aloud. No bid may be altered, amended or withdrawn after the scheduled bid opening. Negligence on the part of bidders in preparing bids confers no right for the withdrawal of a bid after opening. By signing and submitting any bid, the bidder certifies under penalty of perjury that the bidder has not acted in collusion with any other bidder or potential bidder. No public opening will be held for quotations.
All invoices must reference purchase order numbers and be submitted to Trident Technical College, Accounts Payable Office, P.O. Box 118067, FS-C, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Any invoices received in the Accounts Payable office that do not reference a purchase order number will be returned.
All shipments must be shipped f.o.b., freight prepaid, unless otherwise directed on the purchase order. Delivery by the vendor to the common carrier does not constitute delivery to the College. Any claim for loss or damage incurred during transport shall be between the vendor and the carriers. Shipments must be delivered to the “Ship to” address on the purchase order, which in most cases is the Receiving Department, Bldg. 600, 7000 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29418. All shipping documents must reference the college purchase order number unless the purchase was made with the state purchasing card.
Employees of Trident Technical College are prohibited from accepting gifts, meals, trips, rebates or any promise of future reward or compensation or any other article and/or object of value from a vendor, although the intent of such a gesture may be honorable or a customary practice of the vendor. It is suggested that these gratuities be directed in cost saving to our solicitations for benefit to the entire college.
Minority Business Enterprise
The college fully supports the efforts of the governor and the state legislature to assist minority-owned businesses to develop as part of the state’s policies and programs which are designed to promote balanced economic and community growth. Therefore, the college wishes to ensure that those businesses owned and operated by minorities in the state of South Carolina are afforded the opportunity to participate fully in the overall procurement process that will result in awarding contracts to certified, qualified and responsive minority business firms.
Reservation of Rights
Trident Technical College reserves the right to make any revisions or modifications to the content of this guide without prior notice to the vendor. If a disparity occurs between this guide and a bid document or purchase order, the bid document and/or purchase order will govern. The information stated in this guide shall not be construed as an interpretation of college policy and procedure or interpretation of state statutes.
Questions or Additional Information
Should any questions arise concerning the contents of this publication, or doing business with Trident Technical College, contact the director of Procurement and Risk Management at 843-574-6232.
North Rivers Commerce Center
2050 Mabeline Road
Bldg. 940, Suite G
North Charleston, SC 29407
Carol A. Belcher, C.P.M
Director of Procurement and Risk Management
Robert Tyner, C.P.M.
Procurement Card Coordinator