Oregon procurement manual

What is procurement authority?

Procurement authority is the power to conduct any part or function in the procurement process (refer to Procurement Overview). 

In addition to the power to award or modify a contract or purchase agreement, procurement authority may also enable a procuring agency to select the sourcing method, manage sourcing activities, negotiate contracts and draft contracts and other solicitation documents throughout the procurement and contract life cycle.

Where is procurement authority granted?

Oregon state law requires that the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) conduct all contracting for products and services for state agencies. This requirement is in effect unless an agency is specifically authorized by some provision of statutory law, is granted authority by DAS through administrative rule, or obtains a written delegation of authority agreement to conduct procurements within the level of authority granted.
  • Oregon Revised Statute (ORS).
    • Public Contracting Code (ORS 279A, 279B and 279C).
    • Agency specific code.
  • DAS administrative rule.
    • Specifically, OAR 125-246-0170.
    • Other administrative rules may dictate processes affecting authority.
  • State Chief Procurement Officer (State CPO)-delegated authority
    • Case-by-case basis
    • Requested by an agency
    • Granted by State CPO

DAS delegated procurement authority

DAS delegates procurement authority at certain dollar thresholds to agency heads and Designated Procurement Officers (DPOs). Before purchasing products or services, an agency must include documentation in its procurement file identifying the authority used to conduct the procurement. Authority and accountability for procurements is delegated to individuals based on the knowledge, skills and abilities of staff assigned to procurement duties. The delegation of authority to procure products and services ties to the type of procurement, and the thresholds outlined in statutes and rules or in a delegation agreement with an agency. Click on a title below to view examples of delegation by rule and by type of procurement below:

  • Small Procurements of products and services.
  • Intermediate Procurements, Competitively Sealed Bidding, Competitively Sealed Proposals, Sole-Source Procurements, and Special Procurements not exceeding $150,000, and amendments.
  • Competitive quotes of public improvements estimated not to exceed $100,000.
  • Contract administration, with some limitations.
  • Direct appointments and informal selection procedures of Architectural and Engineering (A&E).
The State CPO has delegated procurement authority for all other procurements exceeding the thresholds for intermediate procurement, informal procurement, competitive quote, A&E and public improvement.
  • One-time, nonrepetitive Joint Cooperative Procurements, provided that the procurement does not exceed any applicable dollar threshold.
  • Special Procurements by rule.
  • Sole Source Procurements.
  • Emergency Procurements.
  • Federal program procurements not exceeding $150,000.
  • A&E Procurements.
  • Brand Name Specification Determinations for solicitations.
  • Brand Name Specification Determinations for Sole Source Procurements.
  • Selling or leasing of products and services.
  • Buy Decision.
The State CPO has delegated procurement authority for all other procurement types.

An agency that conducts procurement under DAS authority can request DAS services, or alternatively, may request an agency specific delegation from the State CPO through ORPIN. The agency DPO or designee must approve this request.

  Resource: Use the DAS Procurement Services Delegation of Procurement Authority Request Template to document delegation of authority within an agency.
An individual with delegated authority within an agency can further delegate procurement authority according to administrative rule (refer to OAR 125-246-0165). To subdelegate authority, the individual must describe in the delegation document all powers, limitations and duties of the individual to whom authority is delegated.

Although an authorized individual can subdelegate procurement authority within an agency, the responsibility for operating within the rules remains with the individual to whom authority was granted. This narrow delegation of authority supports an agency’s ability to balance its operational requirements with an acceptable level of risk. For example, a procuring agency may have authority to execute a procurement, but it may also be required to obtain DAS Procurement Services or other state entity approval of the selected procurement method prior to executing the procurement or the contract. 

Procurement authority provides an agency the ability to plan, execute and manage a procurement from concept to contract closeout, however, more broad ranging authority, such as that tied to contract value, may also have additional requirements. For example, agencies are delegated authority to execute Special Procurements under $150,000 (refer to OAR 125-246-0170), but this authority is limited by the requirement that the Special Procurement method be reviewed and approved for use by the State CPO (refer to OAR 125-247-0287).

An agency should note that expenditure authority does not have any impact on procurement authority. Expenditure authority grants the individual the ability to execute an agreement and commit state funds to support the agreement only. An individual who has expenditure authority for a contract does not necessarily have the procurement authority to conduct the procurement leading to the contract.

How to determine procurement authority

An agency must review all of the referenced statutes, administrative rules and associated policies to determine its procurement authority and the procurement actions it can take. Several variables can drive procurement authority including, but not limited to, any combination of the following:
  • The agency.
  • The procurement type, or what is to be procured.
  • The beneficiary of the procurement.
  • The dollar value of the procurement.
  • The procurement method being used.
Because these factors can broadly impact a procurement, an agency should determine its authority early in the Plan stage and verify its authority throughout the procurement. An agency must use the information gathered in planning to ensure that it has considered all aspects of a procurement to determine its procurement authority before acting. Additionally, an agency must consider its procurement authority throughout planning and reconsider if changes occur or if additional information regarding the procurement is identified that may affect its authority.

If an agency determines that procurement authority exists to support its actions, then the agency should clearly document and reference where that authority is granted prior to conducting a procurement.

If an agency has any question about its procurement authority, it should contact DAS Procurement Services for assistance in reviewing relevant policy and process to determine its procurement authority. By using an agency’s procurement authority the procurement professional is assuring that the procurement is performed according to all applicable statutes, rules and processes.

Roles and responsibilities

DAS delegates specific procurement authority to the State CPO and individuals in agencies that serve as agency DPOs. Click on one of the roles below to view a description of responsibilities:

Administrative rule lays out the powers and authorities of the State CPO:
  • Delegate and subdelegate procurement authorities.
  • Approve Special Procurement requests and receive filed protests of approvals of Special Procurements.
  • Conduct hearings, approve agency findings, approve exemption requests, and issue exemption orders for public improvements.
  • Create all procedures and specifications required by the Public Contracting Code and DAS Public Contracting Rules.
  • Receive, maintain, and act upon information contained in reports, including personal contract reports and exemption reports.
  • Receive and resolve protests according to cooperative procurement law and goods and services procurement law.
  • Receive notices, conduct hearings, and make decisions regarding prequalifications, debarments, and disqualifications.
  • Approve expedited notices for Sole Source procurements.
  • Procure and administer Cooperative Procurements and receive, hear, and resolve related protests and disputes.
  • Approve General Service Administration federal programs or federal contracts
  • Authorize public notice of bids, proposals, and public improvement contracts to be published electronically.
  • Approve the manner and character of retainage.
  • Approve exemptions waiving or reducing the bid security or bonds for public improvement projects.
  • Approve electronic-filing (e-filing).
  • Approve procurement-related activities required by other law.
  • Establish standards of required education, training, and professional experience to conduct a procurement or administer a contract, approve programs or persons that satisfy the standards, and determine any disputes or requests for exception.
  • Conduct cost analyses, approve feasibility determinations and exceptions.
  • Other DAS procurement actions specifically required by the DAS Public Contracting Rules.
Administrative rule lays out the powers and authorities of an agency DPO:
  • Serve as the exclusive supervisor and manager of the agency's procurement system.
  • Conduct, supervise and manage the procurement and the procurement process for the agency according to state law and administrative rules, except for those procurements conducted by a delegatee to whom the DPO has delegated authority.
  • Prepare or monitor the use of specifications or statements of work for agency procurements.
  • Issue solicitations and implement other non-solicitation methods for all agency procurements.
  • Award and execute contracts and perform of all necessary functions to bring the contracts into their final, legally enforceable forms.
  • Comply with the reporting requirements of the state law, administrative rules and DAS policy.
  • Monitor sourcing decisions, procurements, development of contracts, awarded contracts, contract compliance, spend, delegations, Special Procurements and exemptions.
  • As a result of monitoring activities, determine opportunities, establish targets, and use methods to optimize savings through strategic sourcing.
  • Conduct cost analyses, approve feasibility determinations and exceptions, and comply with administrative rules.