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Doing Business with SUNY

Doing Business with SUNY

About SUNY

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of universities, colleges, and community colleges in the world. Its 64 campuses are divided into four categories, based on educational mission, types of academic opportunities available and degrees offered. The largest institutions are the four University Centers: Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, and Stony Brook. SUNY's administrative offices are in Albany. This web site has procurement information pertaining to the 29 State-operated campuses within the SUNY system.

The Office of General Services (OGS) and the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) have outlined important information you should know about Doing Business With New York State. While SUNY does, on occasion, purchase under different authority, it is important for you to understand the general purchasing practices of NYS.

How SUNY Buys

NYS Finance Law §163 and SUNY Procedure 7553 Purchasing and Contracting (Procurement) prioritize how the State University of New York (SUNY) does purchasing.1 The dollar value of the procurement determines how SUNY purchases commodities and services. Procurements are generally made in following order:

  1. from Preferred Sources when they meet form, function and utility;
  2. through OGS Centralized Commodity Contracts or Consortia/Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) Contracts;
  3. through University-wide Contracts;
  4. by Discretionary Buying2 in the open market - with documentation of reasonableness of price;
  5. via Competitive Procurements:
    • Invitations for Bid (IFB) - awarded to the lowest price;
    • Requests for Proposal (RFP) - awarded to the best value; or
    • Request for Qualifications (RFQ) - awarded to the most qualified.

When making procurements, SUNY is required by law to provide to and obtain from vendors certain documentation.  Here is a list of many, but not all, of the forms required for different types of procurement.  For additional information, see SUNY Procurement Policies & Procedures.

1Campuses may chose to have more restrictive procurement guidelines.  Please check with the campus you wish to do business with for details about their specific purchasing rules.
2SUNY's discretionary threshold is $125,000. Where commodities or services are available from small businesses, New York State certified M/WBEs or SDVOBs; or where commodities or technology that are recycled or remanufactured is available, effective October 13, 2010, SUNY may make purchases in amounts not exceeding $200,000 without competitive bidding.

What SUNY Buys

The SUNY procurement process is decentralized.  While there are some University-wide contracts, each of the 30 state-operated campuses does the vast majority of their own purchasing.  You are encouraged to contact the individual campus purchasing offices to:

To help identify where else you might do business with the State of New York, the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) compiles a "Directory of Frequently Purchased Commodities and Services" for New York State agencies, including SUNY, and public authorities. You may obtain a free paper copy by calling OSC at (518) 474-0203.

Additional information about how to sell to the State of New York can be found on OSC's "How to do business with New York State" webpage.

SUNY encourages vendors to register in the State's Vendor Responsibility System (VendRep System). The VendRep System allows business entities to enter and maintain their Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire information (required for contract valued at $100,000) in a secure, centralized database.

Where SUNY Advertises

Procurement opportunities with SUNY can be found in several places.  NYS Economic Development Law §142 requires that SUNY advertise all individual procurements that are valued over $50,000 in the New York State Contract Reporter (NYSCR).

The State University Construction Fund (SUCF) and the Dormitory Authority State of New York (DASNY), which are separate entities from SUNY, do the majority of construction on SUNY campuses and have Tentative Bid Listing (SUCF) and Bid Forecast (DASNY) posted on their respective websites.

Campuses may also place advertisements in local papers, the Albany Times Union (for construction),  trade magazines and publications geared toward minority- and women-owned businesses (i.e., Minority Commerce Weekly).

Remember to visit the News & Reports page for important announcements.

Debriefings & Protests

SUNY, in accordance with NYS Finance Law §163(9)(c), "shall, upon request, provide a debriefing to any unsuccessful offerer that responded to a request for proposal or an invitation for bids, regarding the reasons that the proposal or bid submitted by the unsuccessful offerer was not selected for an award."

Should a vendor wish to protest the award of a contract, the vendor should contact the SUNY campus if the campus has a protest procedure.  If the campus does not have a protest procedure, the vendor should follow SUNY procedure 7561: Contract Award Protest Procedure.

Doing Business with SUNY