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Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College Columbia University
Purchasing at TC

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Purchasing at TC

The mission of the Office of Procurement is to cultivate a program of selecting best cost options and most beneficial purchases for the college and ensure the College is getting the most value of the items being purchased or contracted for.

Online Office Supplies Orders - Weeks Lerman

Ordering from Weeks Lerman

Special note - some departments order on-line through the internet but some items still need to be submitted to the Purchasing Office on hard copy if they are not on-line.   Weeks-Lerman catalogs are available for you to pick up in the Purchasing Office, 29 Zankel.  The College has negotiated a 45% discount on all office supply orders and 15% discount on all toner cartridges purchased through Weeks Lerman.  To order office supplies from Weeks Lerman, you will need to fill out a Purchase Requisition.  Please see the complete instructions for filling out a Purchase Requisition in the previous section of this guide, in conjunction with the special instructions for Weeks Lerman found below.

Ordering:

  • Fill out the top of the purchase requisition the way you would for any other purchase requisition.  At the bottom of the requisition, don't forget to indicate the correct index and account number and obtain an authorized signature.
  • Discount each item ordered and list the discounted price on the purchase requisition under Unit Price.  The easy way to figure out the price at the discounted rate, is to multiply the regular price of the item by ".55".  The amount that appears on your calculator will be the exact amount you will write under "unit price" on your requisition.  Please note - toner cartridges are only a 15% discount, calculated by multiplying the regular price by ".85".
  • Furniture and electronic equipment are among the items that are not discounted by 45%.  Feel free to contact the Purchasing Office (X3136) for assistance in obtaining the best price for these items from our preferred vendors.
  • If you have any questions about the items in the catalog (or ones you can't find), the exact price or "in stock" conditions, feel free to call Weeks Lerman at their number listed on the front of the catalog (718) 803-4909.  Their staff are friendly and helpful

Delivery

  • Weeks Lerman will be delivered directly to your office within 48 hours of the time that TC's Purchasing Office faxes your completed order to them. the delivery people have been instructed to get the signature, printed name, and date received by the department representative before they are allowed to leave the package.  This information will be forwarded to Shipping & Receiving for payment processing.

Returns or Exchanges

  • Should you have any items to return or exchange, any questions regarding partial orders, or any other questions about your order, please call Weeks Lerman (718) 803-4909 where their staff will help you find a solution.

On-Line Ordering

Contact Emily McGuinness (718) 803-4998 for on line ordering authorization and training.

Frequently Used Account Numbers

Frequently Asked Questions

1.       Q:  When do I follow the contracts process?

A:  Whenever you want to hire a person (other than an employee) or organization to perform services.  The contract process must be followed before the person or organization can commence providing services.

 2.       Q.  When do I need to fill out a Request for Independent Contractor Approval (RICA) form?

A: Each time you intend to hire an individual or organization to perform services equal or greater than $1,000 during a fiscal year.

3.       Q:  Who fills out the RICA form?
A
: The person responsible for reviewing the services provided by the independent contractor.

4.       Q.  How far in advance of the contractor's work do I have to submit the required forms?
A: Two weeks

5.       Q:  To whom do I submit the RICA form?
A:
The Office of Purchasing

6.       Q:  To whom do I submit the Honorarium form?
A: For Honoraria less than $1,000, you submit the following forms to Accounts Payable:
1. Consulting/Honorarium Payment Request form
2.  W-9
Honoraria over $1,000 require contracts and recipients of the honoraria are treated as independent contractors

7.       Q: How do I request a payment for an independent contractor?
A1:
If the payment during a fiscal year is less than $1,000, you submit the following document to Accounts Payable:

1. Check request form
2. Itemized invoice
3. W-9 form

A2: If payment during a fiscal year is between $1,000 and $2,999, you must submit the following documents to the Office of Purchasing:
1.  RICA form
2.  Requisition form
3. W-9 form
Once a Purchase Order is created and a contract number is assigned the Office of Purchasing will notify you and you can commence submitting itemized invoices to Accounts Payable for payment.

A3:  If payment during a fiscal year is equal or greater than $3,000, you must submit the following documents to the Office of Purchasing:
1.             RICA form
2.            Requisition form
3.            W-9 form
5.            Scope of Work

Single Source Justification or Bids

8.       Q:  How do I know how much money a prospective service provider has been paid by the college?

A:  the best way is to ask the Contractor or check BANNER.

9.       Q: Once Purchase Order or contract is in place, how do I pay an independent contractor?

A: Either in person or by mail submit an itemized invoice to Accounts Payable.  Accounts Payable will issue check in accordance with the Payment Process.

10.   Q:  How long will it take for an independent contractor to get paid?

A: If a purchase order or an executed contract is required, then once it is in place, the Office of Purchasing or the Office of the General Counsel will notify you and you can commence submitting invoices to Accounts Payable.  Once a proper itemized invoice is received by Accounts Payable, it will generally pay the invoice in approximately 14 days.

11.   Q:  Do I fill out a PAF or check request form to get an independent contractor paid?

A:  A PAF is for the College’s employees only – NOT independent contractors.  To pay an independent contractor see answers to questions 6 and 7 above.

12.   Q:  Is there a difference in the way I fill out he paperwork for an independent contractor who own a company?

A: No

13.   Q.  What is the PO process?

A:  A Purchase is used for the both goods and services. Purchase Orders for services area assigned a “PA” number.  Purchase Orders for good are assigned a “PO” number.

14.   Q:  Who has to sign RICA form and the Requisition form?

A:  the individual designated by the department is authorized to approve consulting/honorarium payment request forms, invoices check request, RICA forms and requisition forms for services up to $2,999.  Individuals designated by the President, Vice President or Provost (see Appendix 3) are authorized to approve contracts, RICA forms and Requisition forms for services up to $20,000.  The President, Vice President and Provost are authorized to approve contracts, RICA forms and Requisition forms for services between $20,000 and $100,000.  The Vice President for Finance and Administration and the President, Provost or Vice President must approve contracts, RICA forms, and Requisition forms for services over $100,000.

15.   Q:  Does the independent contractor have to submit an invoice?

A:  Yes.  Regardless of the amount of payment, before any payment can be made to an independent contractor, an itemized invoice with the Purchase Order number must be submitted to Accounts Payable.

16.   Q:  What insurance coverage does the independent contractor need?

A:  The required insurance coverage depends on the level of risk or liability exposure of the College. A determination will be made on a case by case basis by the Office of the General Counsel. 

17.   Q:  Where can I find the RICA forms that I have to fill out?

A:  the forms are available at RICA and hard copies can be picked up from the Offices of the Vice Provost (113 Zankel), Office of Purchasing (29 Zankel) or the Office of the General Counsel (331 Horace Mann)

18.   Q:  Whom do I contact for assistance with filling out the RICA form?

A:  For assistance contact the office of the General Counsel at (212) 678-6637 or the Office of Purchasing at (212) 678-3138.



Purchasing at TC