General Purchasing Procedures

The following is a brief synopsis of the District’s purchasing policies and procedures in compliance with the Education Code, Public Contract Code, and Civil Code. Compliance with these procedures will facilitate processing of orders in a timely manner foreach college and the District as a whole. These procedures apply regardless of the funding source. General Services Department staff is available to provide assistance and may be reached at (650) 574-6508.


When goods or services are needed, the Requestor/Requisitioner should research the required item(s), obtain quotes as necessitated by the dollar limit guidelines, verify budget availability and complete an online Banner Requisition. All backup documents (e.g. quotations, service contracts, W-9 forms, Certificates of Insurance) should then be forwarded to General Services.

Purchases of Software and Hardware should be made in consultation with the IT Department. See the "Software and Hardware Technology Purchases" section of these General Purchasing Procedures.


The completed Requisition must be reviewed and approved by the designated Department and/orDivision-level approver(s) and then the Administrative-level approver(s). If a Requisition is disapproved, it is returned to the Requisitioner for revision and resubmission.

Purchase Order

The District Buyer reviews the approved Requisition and, if the information is accurate and the necessary documentation has been received, completes an online Banner Purchase Order. Once approved, the Purchase Order is forwarded to the vendor. Goods should never be purchased or services performed without a Purchase Order authorizing the expenditure.

Commodity Received

The Requestor/Requisitioner receives the goods or services from the vendor.


The Requestor/Requisitioner examines the vendor's invoice for accuracy, initials the approved invoice for payment, and forwards it to the Accounts Payable Department. The District Accounts Payable representative reviews and processes the approved invoice, cuts the check and forwards payment to the vendor.

Standing Orders

Standing Orders are open purchase orders for the procurement of goods, services or maintenance-repairs on an as-needed basis during a specified period of time. District quote guidelines apply to individual and/or cumulative dollar amount totals for purchases made against a standing order.


Prepayment is acceptable only if the vendor refuses to supply products or services without prepayment. If prepayment is requested on a Requisition, appropriate documentation, such as an order form, pro-forma invoice, or a vendor letter indicating item description, price and prepayment requirement is necessary before processing.

Procurement Cards

An employee is not authorized to use a District procurement card for personal purchases or for the purchase of inventoried equipment, initial membership in employment related organizations, payment of wages, or payment to independent contractors. No purchases of IT related electronic equipment such as cell phones, laptops, tablet computers, desktop computers or printersmay be made using a procurement card. General equipment purchases must be limited to less than $1,000. See the "Procurement Card User's Guide" on the Purchasing Downloads page for detailed information regarding procurement card purchases.

Fixed Assets

Equipmentand furniture with a unit price of $5,000 or more (including sales tax, delivery and installation) are fixed assets and must be assigned an asset inventory number by the General Services Department.Fixed asset account codes must never be combined with non-fixed asset account codes. When creating a requisition with fixed assets it is advisable to choose the Commodity Accounting option by unchecking the Document Accounting button in the Banner Requisition form.

For tracking purposes, all inventoried equipment and furniture are tagged with a SMCCCD Asset Inventory Number and are entered into the District'sfixed assets records upon receipt. The District uses the Banner fixed asset system to record the District's assets, set up threshold values and define the life and depreciation method of each type of fixed asset. Documentation for moving fixed assets from location to location and deleting them from the system are located at "Fixed Asset Inventory Forms". An inventory of fixed assets is performed every other year.

Fixed asset purchases must always be made through the Banner Requisition/Purchase Order process and should be charged to one of the following account numbers:

  • 6320 - Books and Multimedia
  • 6450 - Inventoried Equipment
  • 6459/6459N - Computer Software (Taxable or Non-Taxable)
  • 6470 - Furniture/Fixtures
  • 6490 - Equipment Federal Grants