Procurement and Contracting Under AIP – Small Purchase Procurement
Small purchase procedures [2 CFR § 200.320(b)] are those relatively simple and informal procurement methods for securing supplies, construction services, etc. that do not cost more than the "simplified acquisition threshold" as identified 2 CFR § 200.88. This value is currently set at $250,000 but is subject to periodic adjustment. Small purchase procedures provide public agencies with a more expedient method of procuring equipment and small construction projects.
Application of Small Purchase Procedures
Sponsors may use small purchase procedures whenever the anticipated cost of their proposed equipment or construction procurement is less than the simplified acquisition threshold.
When applying the small purchase procedure, a sponsor must obtain price information from an adequate number of qualified sources. This requires the sponsor to obtain a minimum of two bid proposals. However, sponsors should strive to maximize competition. A sponsor must not purposely limit participation to just two firms or exclude a vendor who expresses interest in competing for the procurement transaction.
Sponsors may rely on oral solicitations for very small procurements provided the sponsor properly documents the procurement action. For other than very small purchases, the sponsor should initiate a written solicitation that requests a written proposal. The sponsor must document all procurement activities and actions and note vendors/companies that do not express an interest in the procurement.
When using small purchase procedures for construction work, a sponsor must still prepare a set of contract specifications and plans to clearly describe the technical requirements of the project. The sponsor must incorporate all applicable AIP contract provisions, which includes language for Davis-Bacon, Civil Rights, Buy American and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. While the sponsor must solicit a minimum of two bid quotes, the sponsor should strive to maximize competition.
Sponsors must not confuse the small purchase procurement procedures with the requirements for procurement of professional services discussed in the current version of AC 150/5100-14, Architectural, Engineering, and Planning Consultant Services for Airport Grant Projects. The AIP requirements for procurement of professional services are not related to the simplified acquisition threshold (presently $150,000). Sponsors must conduct their acquisition of professional services using a qualification based selection (QBS) process.