Guidance For Spending Federal Funds

Expenditure of federal funds requires abiding by federal guidelines published by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This guidance has been called the “Omni-Guidance,” “Supercircular,” or “Uniform Guidance.” Uniform guidance provides the following information applicable to expenditures of federal funds.

When procuring property and services under a Federal award, a state must follow the same policies and procedures it uses for procurements from its non-Federal funds. The state will comply with §200.322 Procurement of recovered materials and ensure that every purchase order or other contract includes any clauses required by section §200.326 contract provisions. All other non-Federal entities, including sub recipients of a state, will follow §§200.318 General procurement standards through 200.326 Contract provisions.

  1. Micro Purchase Threshold <$5,000
    1. No quotes needed – same as OK fair and reasonable threshold and OSU P-Card single purchase maximum.
  2. Small purchases – up to $150,000
    1. Must have quotes - OSU and A&M board policy is stricter and must be followed.
    2. Any purchase over $25,000 requires verification that the supplier is not on the federally suspended or debarred.  Contact the purchasing office for assistance at 405-744-5984.
  3. Sealed bid - over $150,000
    1. Competitive proposals required – follow OSU Central Procurement Office guidelines
    2. Price is a major factor
    3. All procurement transactions must be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition consistent with Federal Uniform Guidelines.
    4. Competition may not be restrictive
    5. A firm fixed price contract award will be made in writing to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Where specified in bidding documents, factors such as discounts, transportation cost, and life cycle costs must be considered in determining which bid is lowest. Payment discounts will only be used to determine the low bid when prior experience indicates that such discounts are usually taken advantage of.
  4. Sole source procurement
    1. Uniform Guidance also establishes limited the use of sole source awards to four specific justifications:
      1. Product/service is only available from a single source;
      2. A Public Emergency Procurement
      3. The Federal Awarding Agency Authorization  (the awarding agency specifically authorizes a non-competitive procurement after a written request from the Non-federal entity);
      4. Inadequate competition after solicitation of multiple sources
    2. These changes were effective July 1, 2018 and will result in a review of all sole source justifications at OSU when federal funds are being utilized. The most significant change to the sole source section of UG (from the OMB circulars) is that the “continuity of research” is no longer an acceptable justification. When a requisition is processed through the University’s OK Corral, if justification #3 is used, award documents or any approvals by the Awarding Agency must be attached to the requisition. 
    3. University Purchasing will continue to manage the sourcing, (including the evaluation of sole source justifications) award, and negotiation for acquisitions above $25,000. (VPR approves research contracts). Additionally, every sole source will require a price/cost justification and will require the University to negotiate profit with the vendors for those sole sources. Sole Source requisitions must include a published price listing of the item(s) or service(s) or other supporting documentation from the vendor showing the price. When Federal funding will is used for a service, the vendor should be notified via the requisition of that fact and that the lowest and best price available be quoted.
      1. Awards made to other state agencies (Interlocal Cooperation Act) and title 18 professional services will continue to be non-competitive as outlined in Oklahoma Statutes.
  5. Academic Research Consulting is a vital part of many sponsored projects and often the expertise necessary for a project’s successful completion is so specific that only a limited number of laboratories, Universities, or individuals may be able to fulfil the research requirements.
    1. The University has historically used this need as a sole source justification for awarding academic research consulting services. To more effectively manage these potential sole source awards, Principal Investigators should provide documentation supporting the sole source during the requisition process. This documentation should include any Federal Agency approvals made during the grant’s awarding process and/or any specific approvals by the agency.
    2. The Principal Investigator should provide a “Sole Source Certificate.” All documentation must be attached to the Ok Corral requisition prior to the procurement of the services.
    3. University Purchasing reviews all sourcing awards to ensure compliance, including the evaluation of sole source justifications/award, negotiations, and execution of research consulting contracts.


Electronic Code of Federal Regulations website    
Grants & Contracts financial administration website
OSU A&M Central Procurement website