Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Amount of Contract

The total financial obligation incurred by the University. In a multi-year contract, the obligation incurred over the entire set term must be considered, rather than the annual amount alone.


In relation to Project Sunlight, an appearance is a substantive interaction that is meant to have an impact on the decision-making process of the state. Covered appearances include in-person meetings and video chats/conferences. Phone calls/conferences are optional for SUNY to report and all written (letters, faxes, forms. and emails) are not considered appearances.

Best Value

The basis for awarding contracts for services and technology that optimizes quality, cost and efficiency, among responsive and responsible offerers, which shall reflect, wherever possible, objective and quantifiable analysis.

Blanket Purchase Orders

Specified dollar amounts are allocated to a purchase order for goods and services that are provided on an as-needed basis. Payments are made when the materials are provided and invoiced.


Material commodities, supplies, products, construction items or other standard articles of commerce other than technology or printing, which are the subject of any purchase or other exchange. The State Finance Law requires commodity contracts to be awarded based on lowest price from a responsive and responsible offerer.

Confirming Orders

Confirming requisitions are considered "after the fact" orders and usually represent a request to pay for materials, supplies, or equipment already received. They are against State Finance Law.


A new agreement, permit, memorandum of understanding or lease, or an amendment of same.


A vendor from whom the University obtains commodities, services or technology.


Defined as "an urgent and unexpected requirement where health and public safety or the conservation of public resources is at risk." A failure to properly and timely plan in advance for a procurement, which then results in a situation in which normal procurement practices cannot be followed, will not constitute an "emergency."

Emergency Purchases

An unanticipated, sudden and unexpected occurrence beyond the control of the college which threatens: (1) the life, health, safety of welfare of any person, or (2) the continued public use or function of property of New York State. Written explanation of the emergency must be signed by the President or Vice President for Finance & Administration.


An amount set aside to reserve all, or a portion of, an appropriation for payment of future expenses, i.e., payments for capital construction, monthly lease or maintenance agreements, or other contracts (including purchase orders).

Invitation for Bid (IFB) 

A form of solicitation used for procurements where the needed commodities, services or technology can be translated into exact specifications and the award can be made on the basis of lowest price or best value when the best value determination can be made on price alone.  Awarded on the basis of lowest price and responsible vendor.

Lowest Price

The basis for awarding contracts for commodities among responsive and responsible offerers.

Pre-bid Technical Review

Submission by the prospective purchaser of commodities or services of the technical portion of a request for proposal to the appropriate office for pre-bid review, recommendation and/or approval. Such portion shall be composed of a detailed description of the commodities to be purchased, or the services, including consulting or construction, to be performed.

Procurement Record

Documentation of the decisions made and the approach taken in the procurement process and summarized in the Procurement Record Checklist.


A bid or other form of written or oral submission of a quotation by a contractor, upon purchaser's request, usually in competition with other contractors. Proposals are usually opened publicly at a specific time and place.

Project Sunlight

Project Sunlight is a government-mandated component of the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 with which all state agencies must comply. Project Sunlight is an online database that provides the public with an opportunity to see what entities and individuals are interacting with government decision-makers. For the text of the law, see Chapter 399 Part A, section 4 of the Laws of 2011.

Purchase Order

A purchase order is the document that requests a vendor/supplier to furnish to the campus specified commodities/services. A purchase order is processed by the Purchasing Department based on a requisition received from a department.


A quotation is the current price/s and pertinent information needed from a vendor/supplier and for whom they will furnish specified commodities and/or services.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

A form of solicitation used for procurements of services and/or technology where factors in addition to cost are considered and a comparative evaluation of the proposals is necessary.


A requisition is the form departments use to request the Purchasing Department to purchase specified commodities and/or services.


The performance of a task or tasks, except for architectural, engineering or surveying services, which may include a material good or a quantity of material commodities, and which is the subject of any purchase or other exchange. For the purposes of these procedures, printing and "Technology" shall be deemed services.

Single Source

Defined as "a procurement in which although two or more offerers can supply the required commodities or services, the ... state agency, upon written findings setting forth the material and substantial reasons therefore, may award the contract to one offerer over the other."

Small Business

Defined as one which is resident in this state, independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field and employs one hundred or fewer persons.

Sole Source

Only one vendor can provide the commodities or services required.

Written documentation must include:

  • The unique nature of the requirement, including a description of other models, brands, potential offers, etc., that were considered, and explanation of their unacceptability
  • The basis upon which it was determined that there is only one known vendor able to meet the need
  • How the campus determined the cost to be reasonable (i.e., a "fair market price" that could be anticipated had normal competitive conditions existed, and how that conclusion was reached)

State Term Contract/s

A negotiated agreement between the State of New York and a vendor for the delivery of specific commodities, at a specific price, for a specified period of time. The Office of General Services (OGS) negotiates term contracts under which all New York State agencies may purchase their requirements for standard commodities that are in common use without the need for quotations or formal bidding.


A tabular format listing of all pertinent information from contractors' proposals, including a description of the commodities and/or services to be provided, which permits a comparison of proposals received and a determination of the lowest responsible vendor.


Means either new or used commodities and/or services which result in a technical method of achieving a purpose or improvement in productivity. Technology is treated as a "service" for contract procedure purposes.