Acquisition Policy for Computer and Networking Equipment Software

Computer equipment and software purchases having a purchase price greater than $25,000 will be reviewed for technical and financial complications and to satisfy State reporting requirements.

General Policy

This policy is in effect for planned acquisitions of computer equipment, networking equipment and software (hereafter referred to as equipment) for any purpose having a purchase price greater than $25,000. The total value of the acquisition shall be the controlling consideration, whether by purchase, rental, or gift. All sources of funds (state, institutional, trust, etc.) are covered by this policy. Donated equipment with a commercial value of $25,000 or more shall also be covered by this policy and will be reviewed, primarily for any technical or financial complications and to satisfy State reporting requirements.

  1. The objectives of this policy are:
    1. To review the adequacy of the proposed system as a solution for the data processing problems considered.
    2. To evaluate the impact of the acquisition on University facilities, including space, utilities, and air conditioning.
    3. To evaluate the impact of the acquisition on campus computer systems, both existing systems and future systems development.
    4. To determine that cost effective alternatives, if any, have been considered.
    5. To identify probable growth of expenditures and assure that financial requirements related to the acquisition are understood.
    6. To satisfy State reporting and approval requirements.
  2. The review for approval will be conducted as follows:
    1. Equipment used for research and instructional purposes (including student labs and work centers)--by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Computing and Communications (or delegate).
    2. Equipment used for administrative purposes--by the Associate Vice President, Administrative Information Technology Services (or delegate).
    3. Equipment acquisitions for AITS over $100,000--by the Vice President for Business and Finance (or delegate).
  3. Guidelines
    1. Acquisitions through the Purchasing Division

      The departmental representative may contact the Purchasing Division to secure information concerning specifications, prices or bids for equipment in accordance with the normal University purchasing procedures. Upon receipt of this information, the departmental representative will forward to the Purchasing Division a list of the proposed equipment on a Requisition form.

      At the same time, a statement of application utilizing the format indicated on the attachment to this policy statement is to be sent to the appropriate reviewing office indicated in B1, B2, and B3 above. These offices will notify the Purchasing Division when approval is granted. For donated equipment, notification will be forwarded to the departmental representative.

      When notice of final approval is received, the Director of Purchases will issue the Purchase Order. If the purchase is for $100,000 or more, the Director of Purchases will submit supporting information to the Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs. After review and approval, the Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs will forward the materials to the Board of Trustees via the Associate Vice President for Business and Finance.

    2. Acquisitions from the Computer Center at Central Stores

      The departmental representative may contact the Computer Center at Central Stores for equipment which is not to be purchased through the Purchasing Division. Upon receipt of pricing information, a Stores Requisition form with a list of the equipment is to be forwarded by the departmental representative to the Computer Center.

      At the same time, a statement of application utilizing the format indicated on the attachment to this policy statement is to be sent to the appropriate reviewing office indicated in B1, B2, and B3 above.

      These offices will notify the Computer Center when approval is granted. For donated equipment, notification will be forwarded to the departmental representative.

      When notice of final approval is received, the Manager of the Computer Center will release the equipment for delivery to the department.

    3. Acquisition for Networking Equipment and Software

      The Report of the Campus Committee for Network Planning, dated November 1989, provides guidelines for the acquisition of in-building network equipment.

      Any unit that installs a LAN that is not capable of communicating over the Campus Backbone should be aware of this limitation at the time of the purchase. The Network Design Office of the Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services must maintain a list of LAN equipment and software that has been evaluated and determined to be appropriate for use in conjunction with the Campus Backbone. The Purchasing Division should flag all requisitions for networking equipment and software and check with the Network Design Office to determine whether the equipment is compatible with the Campus Backbone. If the equipment is not compatible, the requisitioning unit must ask the Network Design Office for an evaluation of the equipment or software to determine its suitability for use in conjunction with the Campus Backbone. To purchase equipment and/or software that is not compatible with the Campus Backbone, the requisitioning unit should be required to sign a waiver:

      "We understand that the equipment and/or software we are requisitioning has not been approved by the Network Design Office for use in conjunction with the Campus Backbone. We have weighed this limitation in making our decision, and we have decided to purchase this equipment despite this limitation."

Requisitioned equipment or software should either be approved by the Network Design Office, or there should be a signed waiver from the requisitioning unit before the requisition is processed.

Any unit that provides a generally available campus service must make LAN choices that are compatible with the Campus Backbone.

The Network Design Office should evaluate networking equipment and software and decide which configurations it will support. Units will be encouraged to purchase configurations that will be supported by that office.

The installation of any equipment that connects to the Campus Backbone should be coordinated with and managed by the Network Design Office to insure the integrity of the Campus Backbone.

The current edition of Regulations Governing Procurement and Bidding at the University of Illinois will be followed in the acquisition of all data processing equipment or software. Such procedures will include the appropriate administrative approvals as required.

Any questions which arise concerning the acquisition policy or the information to be submitted for review should be directed to the Purchasing Division.

Note that the procedures outlined above involve transactions that will take time to complete. All staff members should initiate their requests promptly and allow several days for processing. If Board of Trustee approval is required, (generally, the Board meets only once a month) and if a deadline is missed, the request could be delayed for another month.

See Attachment I: Acquisition Policy for Computer and Networking Equipment and Software (PDF).

Also see Campus Stores, Mail, and Receiving.