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Administration: Campus Office Services - Purchasing Department

Purchasing Department


OBF Advisory: Notice to CUNY Vendors - Fraudulent Purchase Orders.

The Purchasing Department is a centralized business unit committed to providing the timely and efficient acquisition of quality goods and services for the Lehman College Community.

Our mission if to provide procurement services that exceeds the needs and expectations of our customers and to award contracts/purchase orders to the most responsive and resposible vendor. Our mission is achieved through...

  • Commitment to customer service
  • Processing orders in a timely manner
  • Procuring of goods at minimum inventory and operating investment
  • Expanding relationships with Minority-Owned, Women-Owned and Service-Disabled Veterans-Owned Businesses
  • Complying with the policies and procedures set forth CUNY's Procurement Policy and New York State.
  • At the right cost
  • At a minimum inventory and operating investment

The vision of Purchasing is to be a customer centered team, engaging with all departments to facilitate the seamless delivery of value-added goods and services.

Procurement Overview

All procurements funded with tax levy funding and non-tax levy funding (Student Association, Auxiliary Enterprises and the Art Gallery) is processed through the City University of New York's Fully Integrated Resources and Service Tool (CUNYfirst).

General Purchasing Procedures & Policies

Confirming orders are a violation of CUNY's Procurement Policy. A confirming order is an order placed by an end user/requester without following the procurement process which begins with the creation of a Purchase Requisition (PR) and ends with the issuance of a Purchase Order (PO) by the Purchasing Department.

In the event of an emergency, which is defined as an unforseen occurrence or condition where a threat to health, safety, life or limb exists; please contact Purchasing immediately. the VP of Administration & Finance makes the final determination of whether an emergency procurement is appropriate and the abbreviated procurement methods used to identify the selected contractor. The emergency procurement must be submitted to thee Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, University's General Counsel, and the University Chief Procurement Officer for further pre-approval. Casual planning does not constitute an emergency.

The procurement process originates when an approved Requisition is submitted into CUNYfirst. Senior Administrators are responsible for approving requisitions for the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment, and services necessary to support academic and administrative operations. Only the Purchasing Department is authorized to issue orders, enter into contracts, and agreements with prospective vendors.

General Dollar Thresholds and Requirements (OTPS Tax-Levy Funds)

Competitive Solicitation Process


Dollar Range Requirements Average Time from Requisition to PO 
Up to $19,999 Informal Purchase: Requestor may submit a quote. Email quotes must be obtained from a minimum of five (5) MWBE's/SDVOB's where feasible. Quote submissions must be submitted via email by the date/time specified by Purchasing.  1 - 3 weeks
$20,000 - $100,000

Informal Purchase: Requestor must submit a quote and/or Scope of Work.

  • Goods/Services valued up to $100,000
  • Goods/Services valued up to $250,000 when purchasing from State-certified Minority/Women-Owned Businesses (MWBE) and small Disadvantaged Veteran Owned Business (SDVOB)
  • RFQ's will be emailed to a minimym of seven (7) respondents who must submit their Quote via email/fax by the RFQ Response Deadline
  • Advertisement (min. 15 business days) is required for all purchases over $50,000.
  • Review and approval may also be required by CUNY's Office of General Counsel (OGC)
2 - 6 weeks
$100,000 & Above

Formal Purchase: Requestor must submit a quote and/or Scope of work.

Invitation for Bids (IFB) or Requests for Proposal (RFP):

  • Advertisement in NYS Contract Reporter is required.
  • Review and approval is required by CUNY's Office of General Counsel.
  • Purchases of $500,000 require submission of a Board Resolution for approval by CUNY's Board of Trustees, NYS Attorney General and the NYS Office of the Comptroller.
3 to 9 months

Requisition Process

Requests for goods and services in CUNYfirst are made by a broad group of employees at the college. To ensure that all requests for goods and services are approved appropriately, within budget and are compliant with internal controls. The Office of the University Controller has established the following procedure for Requisition Approvals within CUNYfirst:


  • For all requisitions, a Requester in CUNYfirst is defined as the person who is responsible or accountable for the purchase.
  • The Requester may be the primary beneficiary of the goods or services; or
  • The Requester may submit requisitions on behalf of a broader set of beneficiaries (such as faculty, students, or department staff). In this case, the Requester is still accountable for the purchase but is not the primary beneficiary of the goods/services.

Approval Procedures

All requisitions must be approved in CUNYfirst by:

  • The Requester's Supervisor, regardless of who creates the requisition.
  • The appropriate department budget approver(s).
  • The category approver for the following goods and services:
    • Intormation Technology
    • Hazardous Materials
    • Furniture
    • Outside Legal Services; and
    • Construction funded from operating funds, Auxiliary Enterprises and Resolution A (Capital funds projects).

Each category approver is responisble for ensuring requisitions routed to them satisfy CUNY's requirements and policies related to the relevant category of goods or services.

  • Information technology requisitions will be routed to the CIO and/or their designee(s).
  • Hazardous materials requisitions will be routed to the Hazmat/OSHA Manager and/or their designee(s).
  • Furniture requisitions will be routed to the Facilities Manager and/or their designee(s).
  • Outside Legal services will be routed to CUNY's OFfice of General COunsel for approval.
  • Construction requisitions will be routed to the Facilities Manager and/or their designee(s).

Purchase Order

A purchase request (PR) is entered in the system by the department's authorized requester. The PR goes through a series of approvals and budget checks before it reaches Purchasing.

Once the PR is in Purchasing's queue for processing, the assigned Purchasing Agent (PA) reviews the requisition, accompanying attachments and category codes and if additional information is required, the PA will contact the requester for clarity. The procurement process will begin when the PA is sarisfied with all documentation submitted. After the solicitation has been completed, the PR will be sourced into a purchase order (PO) and submitted to the Purchasing Director for review and approval.

The dispatched PO is sent to the vendor via email with a copy provided to Accounts Payable. The dispatched PO also becomes viewable to the Requester (via Manage Requisitions), Mail & Central Receiving, Property Management, Accounts Payable and the AVP for Financial Operations.

NOTE: The process from a requisition to a PO varies based on the dollar amount and/or complexity of the transaction.

Independent Contractor Agreements (ICA)/Speaker Agreement

The University may engage individuals or firms to provide services not otherwise available CUNY. However, before a consultant/speaker can be engaged, the end user is responsible for determining that there are no current employees who can fulfill the requirements as part of their duties.

NOTE: Pursuant to the New York State Public Officers Law §73(8)(a)(i), consultants must not have been employed or paid as an employee by CUNY, SUNY, New York State agency or any entity that derives its funds from New York State.

If the end user believes that a particular consultant/speaker is the only individual/firm able or is otherwise uniquely qualified to perform the services needed, then the end user must:

  • Provide Purchasing with a justification stating why the chosen consultant is uniquely qualified to perform the services requested.
  • Identify which other consultants were considered.
  • Explain in detail why the other consultants considered were determined to be inadequate; and
  • Explain how it was determined that the price being charged is fair and reasonable.

Current student/employee cannot be hired as an IC.

A detailed Statement of Work, the specific qualifications required, and proposed payment terms are needed to review the steps in the procurement process prior to contract execution. The Statement of Work must be prepared by the end user/requester and cannot be prepared by the consultant providing the services.

To begin the Independent Contractor Agreement (ICA):

Create a requisition once the ICA has been completed by the Consultant and return to Purchasing for review and signature by the Purchasing Director. An executed copy of the ICA and PO will be sent to the Consultant.

Speaker Agreement (SA)

  • Provide Purchasing with the Speakers resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Attach the event program, flier, email blast or agenda describing the event and its purpose along with the sign-in sheet

To begin the Speaker Agreement (SA):

Create a requisition once the Speaker Agreement has been completed by the Speaker for review and signature by the Purchasing Director. An executed copy of the Speaker Agreement and PO will be sent to the Speaker.

Independent Contractor Agreement

Speaker Agreement


  • Marvin Smith
    Procurement Director 
    Office: Shuster Hall, Room 022
    Phone: 718‐960‐8209
    Fax: 718-960-7392
  • Noreen Crawford
    Purchasing Agent
    Office: Shuster Hall, Room 022
    Phone: 718‐960‐8301
    Fax: 718-960-6950
  • Raj Mohabir
    Purchasing Agent
    Office: Shuster Hall, Room 022
    Phone: 718‐960‐8071
    Fax: 718-960-8124
  • Alma Martinez
    Assistant Purchasing Agent
    Office: Shuster Hall, Room 022
    Phone: 718‐960‐8302
    Fax: 718-960-7392