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Office of General Counsel Policies & Guidelines

Policy Number: 
4:02:10:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

To ensure efficiency, fairness, transparency and maximum level of competition in the procurement of goods and services for the Tennessee Board of Regents System. This policy includes the criteria and process for procurements conducted by Institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents. It is not intended to cover all Tennessee Board of Regents policies and guidelines or all possible issues that may arise in the procurement process; rather, it is intended to give you a general guideline for how to address procurement issues. Institutions are responsible for complying with all other relevant policies.

Definitions: 
  • Institution – means any of the community colleges, colleges of applied technology and System Office departments within the Tennessee Board of Regents.
  • System Office – the administrative offices of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

As used in the Procedure area, the following definitions apply, unless the context otherwise requires:

  • “Aggrieved Respondent” means a respondent, who was not awarded a contract and claims their rights were infringed in connection with a solicitation or award by the Institution.
  • “Calendar Day” means all days in a month, including weekends and holidays.  In the event a final calendar day falls on a weekend, holiday or other day where offices are closed, the next business day becomes the final calendar day.
  • “Central Procurement Office” means the State office established and empowered by T.C.A § 4-56-104.
  • “Chief Procurement Officer” means an official of the State as defined by T.C.A. § 4-56-104, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Procurement and Contracts of the System Office, or the senior procurement official of an Institution, as applicable.
  • "Commodity Codes/Classes" means The National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP)
  • “Contracting Party/Contractor” means a person or legal entity with the independent legal capacity to contract or sue and be sued that has been awarded a contract through proper authority.
  • “Cooperative Purchasing Agreement” means a written contract procured for the benefit of two or more governmental entities to make purchases of goods or services.
  • “Debarment” means excluding a Vendor from participation in procurements or contracts.
  • “Emergency Purchase” means a purchase made during an actual emergency arising from unforeseen causes without the issuance of a competitive solicitation.
  • “Evaluation Team” means the committee comprised of persons who will evaluate responses to a RFP, RFI or ITB/RFQ. All persons serving on an evaluation committee shall be adequate to the scope and nature of the procurement.
  • “Fully Executed Contract” means a signed contract that has been duly approved by all necessary State signatories as required by policies, guidelines, and laws.
  • “General Services Administration” means the procuring agency of the U.S. Federal Government.
  • “Gift” means a voluntary transfer of goods or services to the Institution made gratuitously and without consideration.
  • "Grant" means any grant of money awarded to the Institution, for the furnishing by the Institution of assistance, whether financial or otherwise, to any person or entity to support a program authorized by law. The term “Grant” does not include an award with the primary purpose of procuring an end product, whether in the form of supplies, services, or construction, or any contract resulting from such an award that should otherwise be provided on a competitive basis.
  • “Immediate Family” means a spouse, parent, sibling or child.
  • “Institution” means the TBR System Office and/or any Institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.
  • “Invitation to Bid (ITB)/Request for Quotation (RFQ)” means a procurement method where a contract is awarded to one or more bidders based on the lowest Responsive and Responsible bid which meets the required specifications, taking into consideration quantifiable factors including but not limited to the conformity of the goods and/or services to the specifications, and discount allowed for prompt payment or other reason(s), transportation charges, and the date of delivery specified in the solicitation. 
  • “Notice of Intent to Award” means an Institution’s written notice to a bidder/proposer of a solicitation that the evaluation is complete, that names the respondent who is considered for award, and states that the procurement file is open for public inspection.
  • “Non-responsive” means failure of a bidder/proposer who submits a response to a solicitation to conform in all material respects to the solicitation’s requirements.
  • “Proposal” means a Proposer’s response to an Institution’s solicitation for goods and/or services.
  • "Proposer" means any person or legal entity with the legal capacity to enter into contracts and sue and be sued who responds to a written solicitation for goods or services issued by the Institution.
  • “Proprietary Purchase” means the procurement of a good or service that is protected under trade secret, patent, trademark, or copyright law by a vendor having exclusive legal right to provide, manufacture, or sell the good or service.
  • “Protest” means a written complaint filed by an Aggrieved Respondent in connection with a solicitation or award of a contract by the Institution.
  • “Purchase Order” means a written or electronic document issued by the Institution’s Procurement Office to a supplier authorizing a purchase.
  • “Registered Vendors List” means a list of potential bidders who have successfully completed the Institution’s vendor registration process.
  • “Request for Information” means a solicitation sent to a broad base of potential suppliers for the purpose of developing strategy, building a database, or preparing for a Request for Proposals or a Request for Quotation.
  • “Request for Proposals (RFP)” means a written solicitation for written proposals to provide goods or services to the Institution.
  • “Respondent” means a person providing a written response to a solicitation.
  • “Response” means a respondent’s written response to a solicitation.
  • “Responsible Bidder/Proposer” means a vendor who has the capacity in all material respects to perform fully the contract requirements, and the integrity and reliability that will assure good faith performance.
  • “Responsive Bidder/Proposer” means a person who has submitted a proposal which conforms in all material respects, to the terms of a solicitation.
  • “Small Dollar Purchases” means the procurements of goods or services totaling less than the amount required for competitive bids.
  • “Sole Source Purchase” means procurement of a good or service from a single uniquely qualified vendor.
  • “Solicitation” means a written document that facilitates the award of a contract to Contracting Parties for goods or services. Examples of solicitations include, but are not limited to, an Invitation to Bid/Request for Quotation, a Request for Information, and a Request for Proposal.
  • “Solicitation Coordinator” means the Institution's procurement professionals who acts as the primary point of contact and manages the procurement.
  • "State" means the State of Tennessee, including its departments, agencies, and entities that fall under its purview.
  • “State Agency” means the departments, agencies, and entities of the State of Tennessee.
  • “Statewide Contract” means a contract for goods or services established by the Chief Procurement Officer that all State Agencies must utilize and that may be used by local governments, higher education and not-for-profit entities.
  • “Supplier” means a person or legal entity who has the legal capacity to enter into contracts and who supplies goods or services to the Institution through a contract or a purchase order. A “supplier” includes all persons or legal entities referenced as “vendors” in this Guideline.
  • “TBR System Office” means the central administrative offices of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

“Term Contract” means a contract for goods or services in which a source or sources of supply are established for a specified period of time at an agreed upon price or prices.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1.  Purchasing Authority
    1. The authority to approve procurements of goods and services is delineated in TBR Policy 1:03:02:10.
  2. General Procurement Policies
    1. Procurement Generally
      1. Procurements of goods or services shall be in compliance with all applicable federal and state requirements and TBR Policies and Guidelines.
      2. All procurement of goods and services shall be based upon the principle of competitive bidding except when an alternate procurement method is justified in writing and approved by the appropriate authority, as required by TBR Policy 1-03-02-10.
      3. A complete record shall be maintained of each procurement transaction to provide a clear audit trail.
    2. Procurement Guideline
      1. The Office of Business and Finance and the Office of General Counsel in conjunction with the Council of Buyers shall maintain a procurement guideline, which may be in electronic format, setting forth all processes and procedures for the procurement of goods and services to ensure that all procurements are in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and all applicable TBR Policies and Guidelines.
      2. All Institutional procurements shall be in compliance with the procurement guideline.
      3. Each Institution shall maintain a procurement guideline, which may be in electronic format, setting forth any procedures of the Institution in addition to or necessary to comply with this Policy.
  3. Council of Buyers
    1. The Chancellor has established a Council of Buyers that shall be chaired by the Chief Procurement Officer for the TBR System Office and shall be comprised of at least one (1) procurement representative from each community college and three (3) regional representatives from the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology who shall be appointed by the Chancellor or designee.
    2. The Council should meet quarterly, or at minimum semi-annually, or upon request of the Chancellor or designee.
    3. The Council of Buyers shall develop procurement initiatives, procedures and recommendations which shall be submitted to the Chancellor or designee, related to the following:
      1. Development of uniform procedures, forms, and general conditions governing procurements which may be feasible and practicable for use by all Institutions.
      2. Strategic sourcing initiatives to foster cooperation and cost savings efficiencies.
      3. Consideration of the feasibility and advantages of term contracts for the System and of designation of certain Institutions as responsible procurement agents for specific materials, supplies, equipment, and/or services for the System.
      4. Formulation of a uniform code of ethics for governing the professional conduct of employees responsible for procurement.
      5. Any other matters referred to the Council by the Chancellor or designee.
  4. Exceptions
    1. The Chancellor or designee may approve exceptions to the requirements of this Policy in appropriate cases.
Procedures: 
  1. Introduction
    1. The purpose of this Procurement Guideline (“Guideline”) is to provide guidance and detailed procedures concerning procurement methods, administration, award and management. This Guideline applies to the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) System. For procurements that result in contract documents, the Contract Policy No. 1:10:00:00 and Contracts Guideline G-030 shall apply.
  2. Code of Ethics
    1. This Code of Ethics shall be applicable to all employees in the Tennessee Board of Regents System who are primarily responsible for the purchase of goods and/or services.
    2. Employees must discharge their duties and responsibilities fairly and impartially.
    3. Employees shall grant competitive bidders equal consideration, regard each transaction on its own merits, and foster and promote fair, ethical and legal trade practices.
    4. It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee who is involved in procurement to become or be, while such an employee, the employee of any party contracting with the particular governmental body by which the employee is employed.
  3. Conflict of Interest
    1. It shall be a breach of ethical standards for any employee, in the performance of their official duties, to participate directly or indirectly in any proceeding or application, request for ruling or other determination, claim or controversy, or other particular matter pertaining to any contract, or subcontract, and any solicitation or proposal thereof, in which to their knowledge:
      1. They, or any member of their immediate family has a substantial financial interest; or
      2. a business or organization in which they or any member of their immediate family has a substantial financial interest as an officer, director, trustee, partner or employee, is a party; or
      3. any other person, business, or organization with whom they or a member of their immediate family is negotiating or has an agreement concerning prospective employment is a party.
    2. The determination of whether a substantial financial interest exists shall be based upon the criteria identified in Section VI.A.1.b.(2) of TBR Policy No. 1:02:03:10, Conflict of Interest.
    3. Direct or indirect participation shall include, but not be limited to, involvement through decision-making, approval, disapproval, recommendation, preparation of any part of a purchase request, influencing the content of any specification or purchase standard, rendering of advice, investigation, auditing or in any other advisory capacity.
  4. Purchasing Authority
    1. Procurement of goods and services made in accordance with the guidance provided herein may be approved by Presidents of Institutions, with the following exceptions.
    2. Except as provided in TBR Policy 1:03:02:10, the authority of the Presidents shall not include:
      1. the purchase or lease of real property;
      2.  any purchase totaling more than $249,999.99 annually;
      3. the purchase of insurance; or
      4. purchases for capital outlay projects from any fund source whatsoever.
        1. Purchases as noted above, which are not within the authority of the President, require additional approval(s) by the TBR System Office, Fiscal Review, or the State Building Commission (SBC), etc. as appropriate.
        2. See Exhibit 1 for submittal documentation required for procurements and contracts that require TBR System Office and/or Fiscal Review approval.
    3. Purchase orders issued pursuant to purchase orders and/or contracts which have already received approval by the TBR System Office do not require additional submission to the TBR System Office when the purchase orders clearly specify the goods and services of the contracts or any approved amendments thereto.
      1. This exception does not include purchase orders issued from University of Tennessee, State of Tennessee, General Services Administration (GSA) or Cooperative contracts, unless notified otherwise by the TBR System Office.
    4. Goods, Materials and Supplies
      1. Procurement of goods, materials, and supplies under this policy shall not require a monitoring plan, but shall comply with TBR and Institution internal controls and audit procedures.
    5. In any instance in this Guideline in which the Chancellor, President, Chief Business Officer, or Chief Procurement Officer is specified to have approval authority, such officer may delegate the approval authority, as specified in TBR Policy 1:03:02:10 to designees.
  5. Procurements Generally
    1. The procedures set forth in this section shall apply to all procurements of goods or services.
      1. In cases where TBR policies and procedures do not address a specific procedure for purchase of a particular item, federal and state requirements will govern, as applicable.
      2. All purchases shall be based upon the principle of competitive bidding except as may be otherwise provided herein. It is the responsibility of the Chief Procurement Officer to ensure that the competitive bid process is fair and open. Required documentation related to competitive bidding shall be routed through the Institution’s procurement/contracts office, prior to the purchase, to ensure compliance with applicable policies and guidelines.
      3. No procurement shall be divided or split to circumvent the proper procurement process. For example, if seven items totaling $12,000 are needed for a particular project or purpose and can be obtained from a single source of supply, these items should be obtained via a competitive process instead of multiple Small Dollar Purchases. Similarly, if purchases that fall within the Small Dollar Purchase authority are of a recurring nature and the aggregate total is expected to exceed the amount allowable for Small Dollar Purchases, the procurement is presumed to exceed the Small Dollar Purchase authority and a competitive procurement method must be used (e.g., RFQ, ITB or informal quotes). If an estimate of total expenditures cannot be determined, but may exceed the bid threshold, a competitive process should be followed.
    2. Purchases from Small/Minority/Women/Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses:
      1. All Institutions, in accordance with state and federal law, shall actively promote and encourage diversity participation with small, minority, women and service disabled veteran owned businesses as further defined in Exhibit 2 to this policy.
      2. Institutions shall encourage business to seek certification by the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise (GoDBE), as applicable.
    3. Limitations of Liability
      1. The Chancellor, President, or their respective designee(s) may authorize the procurement of goods and services with a limitation of a contractor's liability.
      2. Unless authorized by the Chancellor or the Chancellor’s designee, no contract shall limit a contractor's liability to an Institution in an amount less than two (2) times the maximum liability, estimated liability, or maximum revenue of a contract.
      3. A limitation of liability in a contract with an Institution shall not be permitted for the following:
        1. Liability for intellectual property or to any other liability, including, without limitation, indemnification obligations for infringement of third-party intellectual property rights;
        2. Claims covered by any specific provision in a contract with the Institution providing for liquidated damages; or
        3. Claims for intentional torts, criminal acts, fraudulent conduct, or acts or omissions that result in personal injuries or death.
    4. A limitation of liability included in a contract with an Institution shall not waive or limit the Institution's legal rights, sovereign immunity, or any other immunity from suit provided by law.
    5. Notwithstanding the above, the Chancellor, President, or their respective designee(s) may authorize:
      1. The acquisition of software for use restricted solely to academic teaching or research upon terms that may limit the contractor's liability or warranties in an amount less than two (2) times the maximum liability; provided, that in no event, shall the liability of the contractor be limited for intentional torts, criminal acts or fraudulent conduct; and
      2. The acquisition of software or services, materials, supplies and equipment for free or at nominal cost upon terms that may limit the contractor's liability or warranties in an amount less than two (2) times the maximum liability; provided, that in no event, shall the liability of the contractor be limited for intentional torts, criminal acts or fraudulent conduct. T.C.A § 12-3-1210
    6. The provisions of this Section V.E, are not required to be followed for contracts of adhesion; for such contracts, the provisions of G-030, Contracts of Adhesion, may be applied.
  6. Procurement Methods
    1. The following methods may be used to procure goods and/or services:
      1. Small Dollar Purchases. Institutions may make non-recurring purchases totaling less than $10,000, cumulatively in expense or revenue, without documenting any quotes or proposals from multiple vendors. Purchasers should take appropriate steps, e.g. conducting price comparisons, processing appropriate agreement documents, etc., to ensure that such Small Dollar Purchases are made based upon terms, conditions and pricing that are in the best interest of the Institution.
      2. Informal Solicitations. Except as provided in Section I. above, Institutions may make purchases totaling less than $50,000 in expense or revenue based upon written, telephone or electronic bids. For purchases totaling $10,000 - $49,999.99, bids must be solicited from at least three (3) Responsive/Responsible Bidders/Proposers. Informal bids do not require an original signature, and bids may be written, electronically transmitted or telephoned. Complete file documentation shall be maintained.
      3. Formal Solicitations. A formal solicitation process shall be used when the estimated aggregate total of the expense or revenue is $50,000 or more, including renewal terms of multi-year awards. Written sealed bids must be solicited from fifteen (15) vendors or the number of vendors on the Registered Vendors List--whichever is less and to all that request the specific ITB/RFQ/RFP. The Chief Procurement Officer must approve the use of less than fifteen (15) vendors. In addition, if the annual estimated aggregate total of the purchase is $100,000 or more, solicitations must be sent in a manner that verifies proof of delivery.
        1. The types of formal solicitations are provided below.
          1. Request for Information (RFI). An RFI may be used to gather information regarding the capabilities, including technical aspects and services offered, by various Suppliers/vendors for particular goods or services. The information resulting from the RFI shall typically be followed by a competitive process for the actual procurement.
          2. Invitation to Bid (ITB)/Request for Quotation (RFQ)
            1. Goods, materials, and supplies (cumulatively called "goods") should be awarded to the lowest Responsive and Responsible Bidder pursuant to an ITB/RFQ.
            2. An ITB/RFQ may be used to procure services, if the specifications for delivery of such services are defined to a level of detail such that award is made to the lowest Responsive and Responsible Bidder. Examples of this type of services may include, but are not limited to:
              1. pest control;
              2. security services;
              3. moving and hauling;
              4. refuse collections;
              5. charter services;
              6. printing services, and
              7. maintenance services
            3. At a minimum, Institutions shall use the attached ITB/RFQ Terms and Conditions, Exhibit 3.
          3. Request for Proposals (RFP).
            1. For competitive procurements of goods and/or services, where cost is not the only determining factor for award, a Request for Proposal using the Standard RFP Template (See Exhibit 4) should be used.
            2. An RFP shall specify all steps and evaluation criteria as necessary to finalize selection of the successful proposer.
            3. A multi-step RFP process should be used when additional steps are necessary to qualify and/or demonstrate the goods and/or services proposed.
          4. Determining Type of Solicitation.
            1. For competitive procurement of goods, an ITB/RFQ is appropriate, and in general, a purchase order may be used to finalize the purchase.
            2. Except as permitted under Section VI.A.3.(2)(b), for competitive procurement of services, an RFP is more appropriate, and a purchase order is generally not sufficient to serve as the written contract for the services.
            3. For procurement of services which will require TBR System Office approval, the Standard RFP Format shall be used.
      4. Reverse Auction. A reverse auction process allows for specified goods or services to be made electronically during a specified time period. When conditions are favorable, Institutions may elect to use a reverse auction procurement method to achieve maximum competition among qualified Respondents, and to obtain the highest level of quality at the lowest price for goods or services. An award shall be made to the lowest Responsive and Responsible bidder.
      5. Procurements Under Another State Entity’s Bid Process. Institutions may purchase goods or services using the competitive procurement process of another state entity. The process of the other state entity, except for the Central Procurement Office, must have specified that other Institutions would be permitted to purchase under the process. Institutions may purchase goods or services using the competitive procurement process of the Central Procurement Office which do not so specify. Institutions are strongly encouraged to include language in their competitive processes to allow extension of their process for use by other TBR and/or UT institutions as well as state departments. This Section does not preclude Institutions from using a Statewide Contract as a bid in accordance with its competitive bidding process.
      6. General Services Administration (GSA) Contracts. When a vendor maintains a General Services Administration (GSA) agreement with the United States of America, or any agency thereof, the Institution’s procurement office may directly negotiate with that vendor for the commodity/services provided for in the GSA agreement. The price shall not be higher than that contained in the contract between the General Services Administration and the vendor affected.
      7. State Manufactured Goods and Services. Institutions are required to purchase goods and services from other State agencies, e.g. Department of Correction, Tennessee Rehabilitative Initiative in Correction (TRICOR), Tennessee Business Enterprises, and Community Rehabilitation Agencies (CMRA) / TRUST in Tennessee, whenever such items or services are available therefrom and meet the desired conditions and standards. Such contracts may be based upon non-competitive negotiation. 
      8. Procurements under Cooperatives. Pursuant to the Tennessee Interlocal Cooperation Act, T.C.A. § 12-9-101, Institutions may purchase goods and services through TBR System Office approved Cooperative Purchasing Agreements. The current approved list of TBR contracted cooperatives may be found at: http://www.tbr.edu/purchasing/cooperatives 
      9. Emergency Purchases. Institutions may make purchases of goods or services, without utilizing formal solicitation procedures, to meet bona fide emergencies arising from any unforeseen cause. Bona fide emergency purchases must be approved by the Chancellor, President, or their designee, and file documentation of the circumstances of any such emergency shall be maintained. Emergency purchases must be made on a competitive basis and processed by the Institution’s procurement office, if practicable.
      10. Competitive Negotiation/Alternative Competitive Procurement Method.
        1. A competitive negotiation process may be used only in cases when the Institution is unable to obtain needed goods and/or services by a traditional competitive bid process. Reasons to use a competitive negotiation process include:
          1. Public need will not permit the delay incident to the RFP process;
          2. No acceptable proposals have been received after the RFP process;
          3. Rates payable for the services are regulated by law;
          4. Other circumstances as approved by the TBR System Office.
        2. The requesting party shall work with the Institution’s procurement office to define the process to ensure the safeguarding of the information and provide fairness to the vendors in the process. 
        3. Use of the competitive negotiation process requires prior approval of the Chancellor, President, or their designee.
        4. File documentation specific to each use of competitive negotiation shall be maintained.
      11. Non-Competitive Procurements
        1. Contracting with Another State/Governmental Entity. Personal, professional and consultant service contracts may be obtained by non-competitive negotiation when the contractor is a State Agency, a political subdivision of the state, or any other public entity in Tennessee, or an entity of the federal government.
        2. Sole Source and Proprietary Purchases.
          1. Whenever specifications are not so worded or designed to provide for competitive bidding, a Sole Source or Proprietary Purchase may be allowed. A Sole Source Purchase is available only from a single Supplier; a Proprietary Purchase allows for a competitive procurement process to be used that specifies a particular good or service.
          2. Written justification for Sole Source or Proprietary Purchases must be submitted in writing for approval by the Chancellor, Presidentor their designee. The TBR Justification for Non-Competitive Purchases and Contracts Form (See Exhibit 5) must be completed and approved by the TBR System Office (when applicable).
          3. In addition to the Justification for Non-Competitive Purchases and Contracts Form, the following additional documentation may also be required as a part of the request:
            1. A letter from the Supplier, which details the basis for non-competitive procurement, based upon the factors listed in Section b.(4) below.
            2. Letter(s) from business and industry which supports the purchase of a particular good or service as industry or business standard.
            3. A letter from the manufacturer specifying their distribution practices, i.e. available only directly or through distributors.
              ​(Note: All letters mentioned in this section are to be provided on the originator’s company letterhead and must be signed by an authorized official of the company.)
          4. Factors to be considered in determining Sole Source and Proprietary Purchases include the following:
            1. Whether the vendor possesses exclusive and/or predominant capabilities or the items contain a patented or copyrighted feature providing superior utility not obtainable from similar products;
            2. Whether the product or service is unique and easily established as one of a kind;
            3. Whether the program requirements can be modified so that competitive products or services may be used;
            4. Whether the product is available from only one source and not merchandised through wholesalers, jobbers, and retailers;
            5. Whether items must be interchangeable or compatible with in-place items;
            6. Whether the cost of conversion, including but not limited to disruption, retraining, and replacement precludes bidding competitively;
            7. Whether the product is to be used in an instructional setting and the intent is to provide instruction on the specific product or diversity of products;
            8. For personal, professional and consultant services, whether the use of non-competitive negotiation is in the best interest of the Institution;
            9. Other justification(s) as approved by the Chancellor, President, or their designee.
        3. Purchases for Resale in Auxiliary Enterprises. Certain items for resale for which customers have expressed a preference, and/or promotional items procured under accepted retail merchandising practices, may be purchased without adherence to requirements for minimum notice and number of bids. Appropriate documentation shall be maintained which supports the action taken.
      12. Special Purchase Categories
        1. Purchases for Libraries:
          1. Each Institution shall be responsible for developing procurement policies and procedures for its library.
          2. Purchases of books, electronic or hard copy, are capital expenditures and can be made without formal bids or quotations.
          3. Purchases of electronic journals, subscriptions, and databases for libraries shall be procured through the Institution’s procurement or contract office in instances when a competitive process can be used or when Fiscal Review Committee is required.
          4. In addition, any required electronic or written agreements to license journals, subscriptions, or databases shall be routed through the Institution’s procurement or contracts office for review and approval prior to use.
          5. Appropriate documentation must be maintained for purchases to support Sole Source Purchase.
          6. Library purchases for electronic media may be subject to Accessibility Standards. (See Section XIV.)
        2. Grant Purchases
          1. Purchases utilizing grant funding shall comply with the conditions of the grant and applicable state and federal guidelines.
          2. State grant purchases for goods or services shall not be made from vendors on the State of Tennessee Debarred Vendors List, https://www.tn.gov/generalservices/procurement/central-procurement-office-cpo-/local-units-of-governments-/procurement-information.html 
          3. Federal grant purchases for goods or services shall not be made from vendors on the List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and Non-Procurement Programs, available at https://www.sam.gov/SAM
        3. Utility Contracts
          1. Institutions shall purchase or contract for all telephone, electric light, gas, power, postal and other services for which a rate for the use thereof has been established by a public authority in such manner as the Institution deems to be in the best interest of the State of Tennessee.
          2. Each such purchase or contract shall be made on a competitive basis, whenever possible unless it has been determined that such purchase is single source. If such purchase has been determined to be single source, the purchase shall then be made pursuant to the section above related to Non-Competitive Negotiation.
      13. Gifts. Gifts do not require a procurement process subject to this Guideline. See TBR Policy 4:01:04:00 Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts.
      14. Outsourcing. Institutions are encouraged to determine whether some services can be delivered more economically by the private rather than the public sector. The following process is hereby permitted and encouraged:
        1. The state's cost of the service may be ascertained and kept confidential as part of the evaluation process. This cost must be finally determined and provided to the Chancellor, President, as appropriate, in a sealed envelope prior to bid/proposal due date.
        2. The service may be the subject of an ITB/RFQ/RFP, as appropriate, which approximately describes the services provided by the TBR/Institution.
        3. The ITB/RFQ/RFP may require that if the proposer’s/bidder’s price exceeds the state’s confidential cost, the proposal/bid may be rejected.
  7. Procurement Processes
    1. Initiating a Purchase
      1. A Purchase Requisition or other appropriate documentation may be used by an Institutional department to request the Procurement Office procure a given good and/or service. All Purchase Requisitions/requests require sufficient detail, as specified by the Institution’s Procurement Office, to allow the proper processing to acquire the good and/or service (e.g. quantity, description, vendor, delivery instructions, etc.).
      2. Purchase requisitions/requests will result in one of the following:
        1. Purchase Order
        2. Contract
        3. Procurement Card Purchase
        4. Competitive Solicitation
    2. Purchase Order
      1. A purchase order means a written or electronic document issued by the Institution’s Procurement Office to a Supplier authorizing a purchase. Sending a purchase order to a Supplier constitutes a legal offer to buy products and/or services. Acceptance of a purchase order by a Supplier forms a contract between the TBR Institution and Supplier. Delivery by the Supplier constitutes acceptance of the purchase order. See Exhibit 6 for the Purchase Order (PO) Terms and Conditions.
    3. Contract
      1. A contract is a written agreement which conforms to TBR Guideline No. G–030, Contracts and Agreements, https://policies.tbr.edu/guidelines/contracts-guideline
    4. Procurement Card Purchase
      1. A procurement card purchase is an acquisition of goods and/or services using a payment method whereby purchasers are empowered to deal directly with Suppliers for purchases using a credit card issued by a bank or major credit card provider. Generally, a pre-established credit limit is established for each card issued. Procurement card purchases are subject to the requirements of Institution/TBR policies and applicable state laws.
    5. Competitive Solicitations
      1. Whenever a purchase necessitates a competitive solicitation, the solicitation may be a formal or informal process and may take the form of a Request for Quotation/Invitation for Bid (RFQ/ITB) or Request for Proposal (RFP), which may involve a multi-step process in order to determine the successful proposer. The steps and components defined below are required in a competitive solicitation, regardless of its form.
        1. Planning the Solicitation. Proper and sufficient planning should be performed to ensure the successful acquisition of the goods/services. Such planning may include, but not be limited to, the following:
          1. Determine appropriate method of procurement, i.e., ITB/RFQ/RFP, based upon nature and scope of deliverables being purchased;
          2. Estimate expected total expenditure or revenue;
          3. Confirm availability of funds for expenditure;
          4. Evaluate historical spending trends for the same or similar items;
          5. Draft open specifications using available information sources;
          6. For all ITB/RFQ/RFPs exceeding $100,000, written certification from the author or committee that the specifications, to the best of their knowledge, are not proprietary shall be documented in the bid file. (See Exhibit 7)
          7. Identify existing equipment, if any, as trade-ins;
          8. Define timeline for receipt of deliverables;
          9. Determine evaluation criteria, i.e. how an award will be made, i.e. lowest total cost, lowest cost per item or groups of items, best overall evaluated bidder, etc.
          10. Identify prospective vendors.
        2. Scope of Work and Specifications. Whenever possible, the scope of work and procurement specifications for goods and services shall be worded or designed to permit open and competitive solicitation.
          1. The scope of work is a detailed description of what is required of the vendor to satisfactorily perform or deliver what is required under the contract. The scope of work should provide a clear and concise description of the desired goods and/or services.
          2. Specifications used for competitive bidding shall be functional or performance specifications, when practicable, and must be clear, unambiguous and written to promote open and fair competition. Specifications may take the following forms:
            1. Descriptive Specifications. A descriptive format consists of a conventional listing or paragraph text description of specification data and should; if practicable:
              1. Identify the product using generic terminology in the description;
              2. List any characteristics that determine performance capability and identify those characteristics that are essential in order to meet performance requirements; and
              3. Detail the minimum or maximum acceptable performance requirements for each characteristic with as much tolerance and flexibility as practicable.
            2. Specifications Based on Brand Name.
              1. All brand and model numbers used for the purchase of goods must be those in current production and available in the market. The use of brand and model names alone will not be permitted as a substitute for performance or functional specifications, unless providing performance or functional specifications is impracticable. When an item is specified by the use of brand names, the words "or equal" should be included.
              2. Reference to brand names, trade names, model numbers, or other descriptions peculiar to specific brand goods, is made to establish a required level of quality and functional capabilities. It is not intended to exclude other goods of comparable quality or functionality. Comparable goods of other manufacturers will be considered if proof of comparability is contained in the response.
              3. It shall be the responsibility of the vendors, including vendors whose product is referenced, to furnish with the bid such specifications, catalog pages, brochures or other data as will provide an adequate basis for determining the quality and functional capabilities of the product offered. Failure to provide this data may be considered valid justification for rejection of a bid.
            3. Specifications Based on Standard Specifications and Scopes of Work. Institutions may develop standard specifications and scopes of work for the procurement of goods and/or services which fit, insofar as possible, the requirements of the majority of its departments that use the same.
            4. Specifications Based on Catalogs, Price List, or Price Schedules. Specifications may require vendors to respond to a solicitation using a plus (+) percentage (%), minus (-) percentage (%), or net cost offered as a discount or surcharge applying to the goods listed in the catalog, price list, or price schedule described within the solicitation. Solicitations of this type shall include a specific list of items for competitive analysis.
            5. Specifications Based on Qualified Goods List. Specifications may include a list of pre-approved brands and model numbers that meet the requirements. Whenever such pre-approved items are listed, the solicitation shall provide an opportunity for the submittal of additional items for consideration by the Institution for inclusion in the approved brands/model numbers. If additional items are approved for bidding, notification shall be provided to all bidders. The decision to approve additional brands/models for bidding shall be at the sole discretion of the Institution.
            6. Life Cycle Costing. The life cycle costs of commodities as developed and disseminated by the federal government shall be used as feasible. In determining life cycle costs, the following factors may be considered in the bid evaluation:
              1. the acquisition cost of the product;
              2. the energy consumption and the projected energy cost of energy over the useful life of the product; and
              3. the anticipated resale or salvage value of the product.
            7. Energy Efficiency Standards. Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that has established energy efficiency standards utilized by the federal government in its contracting for major energy-consuming goods. The Energy Star website, http://www.energystar.gov/, provides a qualified list of goods meeting Energy Star’s minimum energy specifications, life cycle costing calculations, life cycle cost formula information, and qualified goods that meet Energy Star’s rating for using less energy and helping to protect the environment. Institutions may use goods listed on the Energy Star website’s list of qualified goods as “acceptable brands and models” on bid documents. Office equipment, appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling products and systems purchased by Institutions shall be Energy Star qualified; provided, that such Energy Star qualified products and systems are commercially available.
            8. Specifications to Permit Remanufactured/Recycled/Re-Refined/ Used Goods. All goods offered and furnished must be new unless the ITB/RFQ/RFP specifically permits offers of used, remanufactured, or reconditioned. ITBs/RFQs/RFPs which specifically permit offers of used, remanufactured, or reconditioned goods shall require a warranty; however, the Chancellor, President, or designee shall have the authority to waive this requirement. For applicable procurements, whenever an Institution deems such to be advantageous, specifications may be worded or designed so as to permit bidding of remanufactured/recycled/re-refined/used goods. Such specifications shall be comparable in use and quality to new materials, supplies and equipment.
            9. Specifications for Purchases of Chemical Products. Specifications for purchases of chemical products shall require the vendor to provide a material safety data sheet (MSDS) for such chemical products as listed on the national MSDSSEARCH repository. A site, operated by or on behalf of the manufacturer or a relevant trade association shall be acceptable so long as the information is freely accessible to the public.
        3. Drafting the Solicitation. The Institution’s procurement office will prepare a solicitation document using the information developed during solicitation planning. The solicitation document shall include sufficient information to permit a complete and accurate bid/proposal and shall, at a minimum, contain the following information:
          1. The required sole point of contact from the Institution;
          2. The time and place that bids will be received and opened;
          3. Information describing the purpose of the procurement, technical requirements, bidder qualifications, and any other information considered relevant to the goods or services being acquired;
          4. The quantity of goods or services required;
          5. If the estimated expenditure or revenue exceeds $100,000 annually, the solicitation document shall specify at least one question/answer period and/or pre-bidders’ conference, with a written record of questions and responses provided to all prospective bidders;
          6. Expected time of delivery;
          7. Amount of insurance, bid or performance bond, if any;
          8. Pro-forma contract, if applicable, containing the terms and conditions required by the Institution;
          9. Description of the criteria used to evaluate bids/proposals;
          10. Date bids/proposals will be available for public inspection;
          11. An inquiry to bidder regarding whether other TBR/UT institutions and/or state agencies may purchase from the contract; and if so, the period of time during which the contract terms and pricing will be available to other institutions; and
          12. Standard terms and conditions applicable to the solicitation.
        4. Minimum Notice and Number of Bids. The minimum required notice and number of bids for competitive solicitations shall be as follows:
          1. If the estimated amount of the purchase (or revenue) is $10,000 but less than $50,000, written, telephone or electronic bids must be solicited from at least three (3) qualified vendors. When telephone bids are solicited, a record of the bidders and amounts bid shall be maintained.
          2. If the estimated amount of the purchase (or revenue) is $50,000 or more, written sealed bids must be solicited from fifteen (15) vendors or the number of vendors on the Registered Vendors List--whichever is less and to all that request the specific Solicitation. The Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer must approve the solicitation of less than 15 bids.
          3. If the annual estimated amount of the purchase is $100,000 or more, solicitations must be sent in a manner that verifies proof of delivery.
          4. An ITB/RFQ for goods and services must be sent at least fourteen (14) days (ten (10) days when all vendors are local vendors) before the date that the bids are scheduled to be opened. The Chief Procurement Officer may approve a shorter number of days for Guideline or electronic informal bids, as applicable.
          5. For RFPs and applicable ITB/RFQs, e.g. an ITB/RFQ having requirements in addition to or other than the purchase of goods, a minimum of four (4) to six (6) weeks should be allowed for vendors to adequately prepare a competitive proposal based on the method of RFP or ITB/RFQ delivery, bid specifications and pre-bid/proposal questions, comments, and responses. Examples of solicitation processes which would need to allow at least six (6) weeks include, but are not limited to:
            1. Banking and other financial services;
            2. Bookstore and food services operations;
            3. Custom software and or IT system services;
            4. Advertising management services, and
            5. Any other bid for which the additional time is appropriate.
          6. A vendor’s general or standing request for notice for all Solicitations of a given type shall not suffice as a request for a specific Solicitation and shall create no obligation on the Institution.
        5. Communication with Bidders/Proposers. When specified in the solicitation document, all bidders shall communicate only with the procurement sole point of contact. Failure of the bidder to communicate with the procurement sole point of contact may result in disqualification. Amendment and/or modifications to the requirements shall be in writing and provided to all prospective Respondents. No solicitation may be orally modified or amended.
        6. Pre-Bid/Proposal Conference/Question and Answer Period. If appropriate, a pre-bid/proposal conference and/or a question and answer period shall be included in the solicitation process. The purpose of the pre-bid/proposal conference and question and answer period is to provide prospective bidders/proposers the opportunity to submit questions/comments regarding the solicitation. A written record of all questions/comments submitted along with the Institution’s official responses is to be prepared and made available to all prospective bidders, as an addendum to the solicitation document. Bids/proposals shall take into consideration any and all amendments to the solicitation document, and responses shall reflect any changes made to the solicitation. Should extensive changes to a solicitation document be required, the Institution may elect to cancel the solicitation and reissue it based upon a revised solicitation document.
        7. Delivery of Bids/Proposals. Bids/Proposals must be received at the specified location on or before the date and hour designated for bid opening. All bids received shall be date and time stamped to show compliance with the designated opening date and time. Late bids will be rejected and may be retained unopened in the bid file or returned to the bidder/proposer upon their request. Whenever an unopened bid is returned to a vendor, a written record shall be maintained.
        8. Vendor’s Information on Bid. Each bid should include the full name and business address of the bidder. If the vendor is a corporation, the name shall be stated as it appears in its corporate charter. Any resulting contract or purchase order will be issued to the business name specified in the bid.
        9. Bid Format and Signature. Bids must be in the form specified by the Institution. All formal bids must bear a signature. The signatory on the bid must have authority to bind the company in the contract.
        10. Bid Withdrawal, Revision, and Rejection.
          1. Bid Withdrawal.
            1. Before bid opening, a vendor may be permitted to withdraw a bid entirely and/or submit a substitute bid. The vendor making such a request must submit suitable identification.
            2. After bid opening, a vendor will be permitted to withdraw a bid only where there is obvious clerical error in the bid such as a misplaced decimal point, or when enforcement of the bid would impose unconscionable hardship due to an error in the bid resulting in a quotation substantially below the other bids received. Withdrawal of a bid after bid opening will be considered only upon written request from the vendor. In cases of errors in the extension of prices in the bid, the unit price will govern.
          2. Bid Revision.
            1. A bid may not be revised after bid opening, however, after evaluation is completed and the successful bidder/proposer is selected, the Institution may initiate negotiations which serve to alter the bid/proposal in a way favorable to the Institution. For example, prices may be reduced, time requirements may be revised, the bid/proposal may be revised to supply omitted contract terms, etc.
            2. In no event shall negotiations increase the cost or amend the proposal such that the apparent successful proposer no longer offers the best proposal.
          3. Bid Rejection.
            1. All bids shall be subject to rejection by the Chancellor or designee, or President or designee.
            2. Any proposal that restricts the rights of the Institution or otherwise qualifies or limits the bid/proposal may be considered to be Non-Responsive, and the bid/proposal may be rejected.
            3. If the Institution determines that a bidder/proposer has provided information which the proposer knew or should have known was materially incorrect, or was not submitted independently without collusion, the subject bid/proposal may be determined Non-Responsive and may be rejected, and the bidder/proposer may be excluded from the solicitation opportunities.
            4. Action to reject all bids shall be taken only for unreasonably high prices, errors in the ITB/RFQ/RFP, cessation of need, unavailability of funds, failure of all proposals to meet technical specifications, lack of competition, a determination that the goods/services can be more economically delivered pursuant to an agreement with another TBR institution of other State Agency, or a determination that proceeding with the procurement would be detrimental to the best interests of the Institution, the reason for which must be documented and approved by the Chancellor, President, or their respective designees.
            5. When it becomes necessary to reject all bids, in a formal solicitation process, the reason for such rejection must be set out in complete detail and made available to all bidders who submitted a bid.
            6. If another solicitation document is to be issued, all prior bids/ proposals shall remain closed to inspection by the public until the evaluation of the re-bid is complete.
        11. Acceptance of Bids/No Rights Created.
          1. Notwithstanding any provision contained herein or in any solicitation document, submission of a bid/proposal shall not create rights, interests or claims of entitlement in any bidder/ proposer, including the successful bidder/proposer. Notwithstanding any action or agreement to the contrary, no such right, interest, or claim shall exist unless and until a purchase order has been issued or a Fully Executed Contract is issued.
        12. Evaluation of Bids Received in Response to an ITB/RFQ.
          1. When more than one item is specified in the bid, the Institution may specify in the bid document that it shall have the right to determine the low vendor(s) either on the basis of each individual item, a group of items, or the total of all items.
          2. The contract for purchase shall be awarded to the lowest Responsive and Responsible bidder which meets the required specifications, taking into consideration quantifiable factors including but not limited to the conformity of the goods and/or services to the specifications, any discount allowed for prompt payment or other reason(s), transportation charges, and the date of delivery specified in the solicitation.
        13. Evaluation of Bids Received in Response to an RFP.
          1. An RFP includes subjective as well as objective evaluation criteria. Evaluation of proposals submitted in response to an RFP is based upon a points system, whereby a contract for purchase of goods or services is made to the best evaluated proposer and not necessarily the lowest cost proposer.
          2. The RFP requires that a proposal contain separately sealed technical and cost proposals. The goal is to permit the evaluation of a proposal’s technical capabilities by a selected group of evaluators without considering the cost factor.
          3. Compliance with the mandatory RFP requirements shall be determined by the Solicitation Coordinator in consultation with the Chief Business Officer or designee.
          4. Evaluation of technical offers shall be determined by an Evaluation Team. Members of the Evaluation Team should be adequate and appropriate to the scope and nature of the RFP. Members of the Evaluation Team must complete the Evaluator Conflict of Interest/Confidentiality Form (See Exhibit 8)
          5. Procurement department representatives shall review the proposals to ensure procurement procedures were followed and shall offer guidance to the Evaluation Team, but shall not serve on the Evaluation Team, and shall not score technical proposals received, except in instances where the RFP is directly related to a good/service needed by the procurement department.
          6. Any technical offers shall be evaluated based on the criteria of the RFP and other information learned during the technical evaluation process.
          7. Technical offers not deemed acceptable will not proceed to the pricing phase. Cost proposals shall not be opened if the associated technical proposal has been deemed Non-Responsive and is rejected by the Institution.
          8. Technical proposals must not include any cost proposal information. Inclusion of cost proposal information in a technical proposal will result in automatic disqualification of the proposal without further consideration.
          9. Technical proposals are opened and scored separately prior to cost proposals being opened/evaluated. Once technical scores are finalized, the Solicitation Coordinator will open and score the cost proposals based upon the criteria as set out in the RFP, with the lowest cost bidder receiving the highest score and remaining proposers receiving a pro-rated score thereafter.
        14. Site Visits and Presentations.
          1. A solicitation may provide for site visits to bidder/proposer locations by evaluators and/or presentations by bidders/proposers as part of the evaluation process. In such event, any scores resulting from these activities will be applied prior to the opening of the cost proposal.
        15. Tied Responses – Resolution.
          1. A tie exists when two or more Respondents offer goods or services that meet all specifications, terms and conditions at identical prices including cash discount offered for prompt payment. A tie will be broken by considering the following factors, in descending order:
            1. First preference shall be given to a “Tennessee Bidder”. Pursuant to T.C.A. § 12-4-121(c)(2), a “Tennessee Bidder” means a business that is:
              1. Incorporated in this State;
              2. Has its principal place of business in this State; or
              3. Has an established physical presence in this State.
            2. Second preference shall be given to certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) bidder.
            3. Third preference shall be given to the bidder who was the low bidder on other items being bid for the same requisition.
            4. Fourth preference shall be given to the bidder who offers the best delivery.
            5. If a tie remains, it shall be broken by lot or coin toss.
        16. Notice of Intent to Award.
          1. For RFPs and applicable ITB/RFQs, a notice of intent to award shall be sent to all responsive and Responsible Bidder/Proposers containing, at a minimum, the content provided by the TBR System Office.
        17. Alternate Bids.
          1. Alternate bids will not be considered unless specifically called for in the bid.
        18. The scope of the good(s)/service(s), as defined in the solicitation, shall form the basis of the resulting contract and cannot be expanded beyond the scope of the final solicitation document.
        19. In order to provide a clear audit trail, the ITB/RFQ/RFP file (hard-copy or electronic) shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
          1. Documentation from the requesting department
          2. A copy of the ITB/RFQ/RFP issued (including specifications),
          3. A list of vendors for the solicitation, including the date vendors were sent the ITB/RFQ/RFP and bidders actions,
          4. For RFPs and applicable ITBs/RFQs, any pre-bid questions/responses or addendums to the ITB/RFQ/RFP,
          5. Any vendor correspondence (i.e. intent to propose letters, questions, etc.),
          6. For RFPs and applicable ITB/RFQs, all documentation relating to the composition of the Evaluation Team and the evaluation documentation used to make the award,
          7. As applicable, any documentation that warrants a re-bid of the ITBs/RFQ/RFP,
          8. Any informal bid complaints and the respective responses/actions,
          9. Any formal bid protests,
          10. As applicable, copies of intent to award letters,
          11. Purchase order and/or contract or respective reference information, and
          12. And any other documentation applicable to the procurement.
    6. Exemptions
      1. Certain procurements/payments, as specified by the Institution, may be exempted from these processes/procedures. These include but are not limited to the following:
        1. Telephone bills
        2. Utility bills, including connection fees
        3. Internet Connection Fees
        4. Freight charges
        5. Postage charges
        6. Notary public fees
        7. Fees in connection with titles or title searches
        8. Vehicle rental while on approved travel
        9. Tuition, fees, and supplies for state employees
        10. Emergency medical expenses               
  8. Protested Bids
    1. Right to Protest.
      1. Protest procedures shall be included, or a link thereto, in all ITBs/RFQs/RFPs.
      2. An Aggrieved Respondent may protest, in writing, to the Chief Procurement Officer within seven (7) Calendar Days from the date of notice to award. Protests must be received by the Institution’s Procurement Office no later than the close of business of the seventh Calendar Day.
      3. The following are the sole grounds for a protest:
        1. The contract award was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or exceeded the authority of the awarding entity;
        2. The procurement process violated a constitutional, statutory, or regulatory provision;
        3. The awarding entity failed to adhere to the rules of the procurement as set forth in the solicitation and this failure materially affected the contract award;
        4. The procurement process involved responses that were collusive, submitted in bad faith, or not arrived at independently through open competition; and
        5. The contract award resulted from a technical or mathematical error during the evaluation process.
      4. Any issues not raised by the protesting party after the seven (7) Calendar Day period shall not be considered as part of the protest.
      5. Protests shall include the required bond, as specified in Section VIII.C, below. Protests received which do not include the required bond shall not be considered. See Exhibit 9 for sample protest bond.
    2. Signature on Protest Constitutes Certificate.
      1. A protest must be signed by an authorized company representative, who certifies that they have read such document, that to the best of their knowledge, it is well grounded in fact and that it is not submitted for any improper purpose, such as to harass, limit competition, or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of the procurement or of the litigation.
      2. If the protest is submitted in violation of any provisions of this Section VIII.B, appropriate sanctions, which may include removal from future bid opportunities and forfeiture of the protest bond, may be imposed.
    3. Protest Bond
      1. The protesting party shall post, with the Chief Procurement Officer of the Institution, at the time of filing a notice of protest, a bond payable to the Institution in the amount of five percent (5%) of the lowest cost proposal evaluated or five percent (5%) of the highest revenue proposal evaluated. Calculation of the value of the bond shall be made based on the total value of the procurement, including any renewals thereof. Such protest bond shall be in form and substance acceptable to the Institution and shall be immediately payable to the Institution conditioned upon a decision by the Chief Financial Officer or designee that:
        1. A violation of Section VIII.B.;
        2. The protest has been brought or pursued in bad faith; or
        3. The protest does not state on its face a valid basis for protest.
      2. The Institution shall hold such protest bond for at least eleven (11) Calendar Days after the date of the final determination by the Chief Financial Officer.
      3. At the time of filing notice of a protest of a procurement in which the lowest evaluated cost proposal is less than one million dollars ($1,000,000), or in which the highest evaluated revenue proposal is less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), a minority, women, small or service disabled veteran-owned business protesting party may submit a written petition to the Chief Financial Officer for exemption from the protest bond requirement.
        1. Such a petition must include clear evidence of business classification which shall be validated with the ethnicity information supplied with the solicitation. The petition shall be submitted to the Chief Financial Officer who has seven (7) Calendar Days in which to make a determination.
        2. If an exemption from the protest bond requirement is granted, the protest shall proceed as though the bond were posted.
        3. Should the Chief Financial Officer deny an exemption from the requirement, the protesting party shall post the bond with the Chief Procurement Officer of the Institution as required in Section VIII.C.1. within five (5) Calendar Days of the determination.
      4. Authority to Resolve Protest.
        1. The Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer has the authority to resolve the protest. If deemed necessary, the Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer may request a meeting with the protesting party to seek clarification of the protest issues.
        2. The final determination of the Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer shall be given in writing and submitted to the protesting party.
        3. The protesting party may request that the final determination of the Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer be considered by the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer. The request for consideration shall be made in writing to, and received by, the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer within seven (7) Calendar Days from the date of the final determination by the Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer.
        4. The Institution’s Chief Financial Officer has the authority to review and resolve the protest. If deemed necessary, the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer may request a meeting with the protesting party to seek clarification of the protest issues. The final determination of the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer shall be given in writing and submitted to the protesting party.
        5. The protesting party may request that the final determination of the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer be considered by the Chief Executive Officer, or President of the Institution. The request for consideration shall be made in writing to, and received by, the Chief Executive Officer or President within seven (7) Calendar Days from the date of the final determination by the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer.
        6. The Institution shall have no longer than sixty (60) Calendar Days from receipt of the protest to resolve the protest.
        7. The protesting party may request that the final determination of the President be considered by the Chancellor. The request for consideration shall be made in writing to, and received by, the Chancellor within seven (7) Calendar Days from the date of the final determination by the President.
        8. The determination of the Chancellor or designee is final and shall be given in writing and submitted to the protestor.
        9. Should the Institution fail to acknowledge receipt of a protest within fifteen (15) Calendar Days and to resolve the protest within sixty (60) Calendar Days, the protesting party may request that the Chancellor consider the protest. Such request shall be in writing and received by the Chancellor within seven (7) Calendar Days from the expiration of the sixty (60) day period.
      5. Stay of Award
        1. Prior to the award of a contract, a proposer who has protested may submit to the Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer a written petition for stay of award. Such stay shall become effective upon receipt by the Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer.
        2. The Institution’s Chief Procurement Officer shall not proceed further with the solicitation process or the award until the protest has been resolved in accordance with this section, unless the Institution’s Chief Financial Officer makes a written determination that continuation of the solicitation process or the award without delay is necessary to protect substantial interests of the Institution.
  9. Reports
    1. Reports shall be submitted to the TBR System Office as follows:
      1. Small/Minority/Women/Veteran-Owned Business Report. This quarterly report, required by T.C.A. § 12-3-1107, consists of transactions with minority-owned, women-owned, small, service disabled veteran-owned businesses shall be reported to the TBR System Purchasing and Contracts Office on a quarterly basis (January March, April June, July-September, and October December). A comprehensive report is submitted to the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise (GoDBE).
      2. Contracts Report. This quarterly report consists of contracts for all personal, professional, and consulting contracts exceeding $5,000. This report shall also include non-competitive contracts with a value of $50,000 and greater. This report shall be reported to the TBR System Purchasing and Contracts Office. A comprehensive report is then submitted to the State’s Fiscal Review Committee.
      3. ITB/RFQ/RFP Diversity Report. This quarterly report consists of contracts/purchase orders issued from request for quotations and request for proposals for goods and/or services pursuant to T.C.A. § 12-3-1107 and shall be reported to the TBR System Purchasing and Contracts Office. A comprehensive report is then submitted to the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise (GoDBE).
      4. Senate, Finance, Ways and Means Report. This annual report consists of a list of all contracts (both goods and services) with a value of $50,000 or greater (both revenue and expenditure contracts).  This request includes all contracts currently active. This shall be reported to the TBR Business and Finance Office. A comprehensive report is then submitted to the Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee.         
  10. Vendors
    1. Vendor Registration. Each Institution shall maintain a process by which prospective vendors may register to conduct business with the Institution.
      1. The Institution’s registration system shall enable the Institution to generate a list of vendors who have registered to provide specific commodity classes.
      2. The Institution may require the vendor to submit information (other than the vendor application) which demonstrates its ability to provide certain goods or services prior to inclusion on the list of vendors.
    2. Tennessee Statutory Vendor Requirements/Registration
      1. Illegal Immigrants
        1. No person may enter into a contract to supply goods or services to the Institution without first attesting in writing that the person will not knowingly utilize the services of illegal immigrants in the performance of the contract, and will not knowingly utilize the services of any subcontractor who will utilize the services of illegal immigrants in the performance of the contract. T.C.A. § 50-1-103.
      2. Sales and Use Tax
        1. No person may enter into a contract to supply goods or services to an entity without first registering registered or receiving an exemption from the Department of Revenue for the collection of Tennessee sales and use tax. T.C.A. § 67-6-601–608.
      3. Pursuant to T.C.A § 62-6-101 et seq., construction bids with an estimated total of $25,000 or greater require bidders to provide its TN contractor’s licensure information, including classification and date of expiration with its bid response.
    3. Removal from Vendors List
      1. Vendors who fail to provide adequate goods and/or services may be removed from the vendors list.
      2. Reported failure to comply with bids, awards, and/or orders, etc. shall be documented and maintained.
      3. Examples of failure to comply include but are not limited to:
        1. Over, under and/or late shipments;
        2. Failure to ship;
        3. Damaged and/or defective products;
        4. Shipments not in conformance with specifications;
        5. Unauthorized substitutions.
      4. Other principal causes for removal from the vendor list are:
        1. Billing Errors;
        2. Service Deficiencies;
        3. Unethical Practices;
        4. Misrepresentation of Merchandise;
        5. Unwillingness to amend impermissible clauses;
        6. State or federal debarment status.
      5. Failure of a vendor to perform satisfactorily in any of the above areas may result in a vendor's liability for damages to the Institution.
  11. Receiving
    1. Freight, Shipping, Receipt, Storage and Inspection of Goods.
      1. Freight and Shipping. There are two (2) types of shipping: FOB Destination and FOB Origin.
        1. Free On Board (FOB). “FOB” is an acronym for "free on board" when used in a sales contract. The seller agrees to deliver merchandise, free of all transportation expense, to the place specified by the contract.
          1. FOB Destination. Under “FOB Destination,” title and risk remain with the seller until it has delivered the goods to the location specified in the contract. FOB Destination is the standard method for institutional shipments.
          2. FOB Origin. “FOB Origin” means that title and risk pass to the buyer at the moment the seller delivers the goods to the carrier. The parties may agree to have title and risk pass at a different time or to allocate shipping charges by a written agreement. In order to agree to FOB Origin, the vendor or Institution must provide shipment protection for the Institution’s interest.
        2. Receipt. Upon receipt of supplies, materials, and equipment, the receiving Institution shall promptly make a written certification that the items received were equal in quality and quantity to those purchased by entering verification on the receipt documents (hard-copy or eProcurement). The Institution’s copy of the Purchase Order may be used to verify goods or services received.
        3. Shipping Documents. Upon delivery, the Institution shall:
          1. Verify that the shipping documentation names the Institution as the actual consignee and that the number of cartons, crates, etc., listed is the same as the amount received.
          2. Examine containers for signs of external damage or pilferage. If signs of damage or pilferage are obvious or suspected, it must be noted on each copy of the freight bill and signed (not initialed) by the delivering driver.
          3. Sign the freight bill and retain a copy for Institution’s records. The notation "SUBJECT TO FURTHER INSPECTION" may accompany the Institution or central receiving’s signature.
          4. Count and inspect the internal contents of all boxes, crates or cartons to determine that the material received matches the description listed on the packing slip, receiving documents, and/or purchase order, in regard to quantity, quality, size, color, model number, specifications, etc. and record in the Institution’s eProcurement system.
          5. If any discrepancies (i.e. wrong item(s), overages, shortages, damages) exist, they must be noted on the packing slip, receiving report, and/or purchase order. Appropriate corrective action shall be taken for all discrepancies.
          6. All receiving records should indicate the quantity and date received and any other information pertinent to the receiving process.
          7. The material received must be retained or sent to the proper department. Damaged goods deemed unacceptable are to be retained for further disposition.
  12. Contract Monitoring
    1. Service Contracts. All service contracts shall contain a provision that states that the contractor’s activities shall be subject to monitoring by the Institution and/or state officials. These contract types include, but are not limited to:
      1. Personal Service
      2. Professional Service
      3. Software Related Agreements
      4. Grants, including subcontracts
      5. Memorandums of Understanding
    2. Monitoring Plan. Institutions shall maintain a monitoring plan (See Exhibit 10) for all service contracts to ensure the following:
      1. Contract performance in terms of progress and compliance with contract provisions;
      2. Communication with Contractor to ensure maximum performance and intended results;
      3. Financial obligations of the Institution do not exceed the contract pricing;
      4. Deliverables are received;
      5. Appropriate approval and remittance of payments for acceptable work are in accordance with contract provisions and applicable law;
      6. Maintenance of records for each contract that documents activities such as procurement, management, and sub-recipient monitoring, if applicable; and
      7. Evaluation of contract results in terms of the achievement of organizational objectives.
    3. Goods, Materials and Supplies. Procurement of goods, materials, and supplies under this policy shall not require a monitoring plan, but shall comply with TBR and Institution internal controls and audit procedures.        
  13. Surplus Property
    1. Surplus property is personal property which has been determined obsolete, outmoded, unusable or, no longer usable by the Institution, or property for which future needs do not justify the cost of maintenance and/or storage.
    2. Disposal of such property must be in accordance with TBR Policy No. 4:02:20:00, Disposal of Surplus Personal Property.
  14. Accessibility
    1. Institutions shall seek to afford persons with disabilities the opportunity to use Informational/instructional and technologies to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.
    2. Institutions shall include language in applicable procurements that the products/services, including any updates, provided to the Institution will meet the accessibility standards set forth in WCAG 2.0 AA (also known as ISO standard, ISO/IEC 40500:2012), EPub 3 and Section 508 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act.
    3. When signature is required by the Institution, to demonstrate that the vendor’s product complies with the aforementioned accessibility standards, the vendor shall verify accessibility by completing the Vendor Product Accessibility Statement and Documentation Form (See Exhibit 11). If the vendor is not compliant with the aforementioned accessibility standards, the vendor shall describe by using the Accessibility Conformance and Remediation Form its plan for product/service compliance.
  15. Fiscal Review
    1. Certain procurements/contracts must be also filed with and reviewed by the State’s Fiscal Review Committee. This includes procurements/contracts that meet all of the following criteria:
      1. Contracts that are non-competitive; and
      2. Contracts that have the potential of being for a period of more than one year; and
      3. Contracts that exceed $250,000 in total value (including all potential renewals)
    2. For all procurements/contracts that meet these criteria, the Institution shall work with the TBR System Office to produce/coordinate the documentation required for Committee submittal/review.
  16. Bonds
    1. Performance Bonds
      1. The Institution may require a bond to secure a Contracting Party’s performance of a contract.
      2. When required, the amount of the bond shall be stated as a percentage of the contract price (but may not exceed 100 percent (100%) of the total contract price), and the amount may be reduced proportionately after contract award or performance under the contract moves forward successfully.
      3. All bonds must be filed with the Institution within fourteen (14) Calendar Days after receipt of request. Personal checks shall not be acceptable in the place of performance bonds. However, bank cashier’s checks shall be accepted.
      4. An irrevocable letter of credit or a certificate of deposit, which shall be held by the Institution from a State or national bank or a State or federal savings and loan association having a physical presence in Tennessee may be accepted by the Institution in lieu of a performance bond, subject to approval of the terms and conditions of said irrevocable letter of credit or certificate of deposit.
    2. Bid bonds.
      1. A bid bond is a surety bond issued by an insurance company, bank, or other financial institution, to ensure that the winning proposer will enter into a contract.
      2. All bid bond amounts shall be stated as a set amount or as a percentage of the contract value. In no event shall the bid bond amount exceed five percent (5%) of the estimated value of the contract.
      3. Bid bonds submitted by unsuccessful Respondents shall be returned upon contract award.
      4. Personal checks shall not be accepted in the place of bid bonds.
      5. Other forms of security to guarantee a bid bond may include an irrevocable letter of credit or a certificate of deposit or cashier’s check from a state or national bank or a state or federal savings and loan association or other financial institution having a physical presence in Tennessee.
      6. The terms and conditions of all forms of security to guarantee a bid bond shall be approved by the Institution before they are accepted as security for the Respondent’s performance.
      7. In addition to any applicable requirement of T.C.A. § 12-4-201, no contract for the services of a construction manager shall be awarded for any public work in this state by any city, county or state authority or any board of education unless there is posted at the time of the submittal of a bid for services by a construction manager a bid bond equal to ten percent (10%) of the value of the services proposed and the value of the work to be managed or may at the time of contracting provide payment and performance bonds in amounts equal to the combined monetary value of the services of the construction manager and the value of the work to be so managed. T.C.A. § 62-6-129.
    3. Payment Bonds
      1. A payment bond is a good and solvent bond to ensure that the contractor will pay for all the labor and materials used by the contractor, or any subcontractor under the contractor, in such contract.
      2. No institution shall award any contract in excess of $100,000.00 for public work until a payment bond of twenty-five percent (25%) of the contract price is provided by the contractor to the Institution.
      3. Where advertisement is made, the solicitation shall include the bond requirement. T.C.A. § 12-4-201.
    4. Protest Bond - Refer to Section VIII. C., above.
  17. Strategic Sourcing Group
    1. The Strategic Sourcing Group, primarily a subset of the Council of Buyers, shall seek opportunities to improve system-wide efficiencies by leveraging purchasing and sourcing resources across the TBR system. The Group shall seek advice and input from key functional areas in which procurement and sourcing needs are often common and substantial.
    2. The Group’s activities shall include, but not be limited to:
      1. Developing a framework of shared governance and accountability to ensure the System's approach to strategic sourcing is effective, responsive, and sustainable;
      2. Establishing new collective agreements and enhancing existing agreements to ensure that procurements are in the best interest of the System.
      3. Serving in an advisory capacity for system-wide agreements
  18. Prohibited Transactions
    1. No personal items shall be purchased through the Institution or from funds of the Institution for any employee of the Institution or any Immediate Family of any employee.
    2. No employee of an Institution responsible for initiating or approving requisitions shall accept or receive, directly or indirectly, from any person, firm or corporation to whom any contract may be awarded, by rebate, gift or otherwise, any money, or any promise, obligation or contract for future awards or compensation.
    3. Whenever any contract is awarded contrary to the provisions of TBR Purchasing Policy 4:02:10:00 or this Guideline, the contract may be void and of no effect, and if the violation was intentional, the employee responsible for the purchase may result in disciplinary proceedings under TBR and Institutional policy. TBR Policy 1:02:03:10, Conflict of Interest.
  19. Procurement Guideline
    1. Each institution shall maintain a written procurement Guideline (may be in electronic format) which sets forth any procedures of the Institution which are in addition to and necessary to comply with this Guideline.
  20. Exceptions

Any exceptions to the procedures outlined in this Guideline shall be subject to the approval of the Chancellor or designee and shall be requested in writing by the President or designee. Exceptions shall be made on a case-by-case basis. If an exception is made, a written determination signed by the Chancellor or designee shall be included in the procurement file.

Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All State and Federal statutes, codes, Acts, rules and regulations referenced in this policy

History

Source: TBR Meetings, March 5, 1976; June 30, 1978; December 12, 1980; September 18, 1981; June 25, 1982; September 30, 1983; September 20, 1985 ; December 4, 1987; June 24, 1988; June 30, 1989; September 22, 1989; September 21, 1990; June 28, 1991; June 25, 1993; September 23, 1994; September 20, 1996, March 7, 1997, December 5, 1997; March 27, 1998, December 4, 1998; June 28, 2002; June 27, 2003, April 2, 2004; September 30, 2005; December 8, 2006; March 30, 2007; June 29, 2007; September 28, 2007; March 28, 2008; December 4, 2008; June 19, 2009; TBR Board Meeting September 25, 2009. Revisions to Exhibts: 9/13. March 30, 2016: Complete policy revision and renaming (changed from Purchasing Policies and Procedures); Sept. 2018 ministerial revisions due to FOCUS Act and policy & guideline revamp, and deletion of Guideline B-120. 

Policy Number: 
4:02:09:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is the establishment of procedures for the acquisition of property by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Introduction
    1. Pursuant to T.C.A. §§ 49-8-111 and 49-8-203, the Tennessee Board of Regents (Board) has the authority to purchase and condemn land, and to receive donations of property (Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts, Board Policy No. 4:01:04:00) on behalf of institutions governed by the Board, and to be vested with title to property so acquired.
    2. Any proposed acquisition of property by any manner shall be subject to the approval of the Chancellor.
  2. Procedures
    1. The approval of land acquisition by purchase or condemnation shall be subject to the following procedures:
      1. Each institution shall submit to the Chancellor for consideration and approval, a campus master plan or an amended master plan which indicates land acquisition needs, or an individual acquisition request.
      2. Upon approval of the campus master plan or amendment or an individual acquisition request, an institution may request a land acquisition by submitting the proper documentation for each proposed acquisition to the System Office. This documentation shall include:
        1. The justification of the need for the property;
        2. A description of and the location of the property;
        3. The estimated amount of funds required for the acquisition and the source of funds;
        4. A plat of the property;
        5. The name(s) of the present owner(s); and
        6. Deed to property.
      3. The property acquisition request will be submitted by the System Office to the Department of Finance and Administration (F&A) for submission to the State Building Commission (SBC) Executive Sub-Committee (ESC) for approval. After SBC ESC approval, F&A staff will obtain a title commitment, an appraisal, and a survey and prepare an option to purchase the property.
      4. If an option to purchase the property is signed by the seller, it will be submitted to the Chancellor for final approval of the proposed acquisition. If negotiations fail, the institution may request that condemnation proceedings be commenced for acquisition of the property.
      5. If acquisition of the property by purchase is approved, F&A will be responsible for recording the warranty deed and forwarding the deed and title insurance to the System Office.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; T.C.A. § 49-8-111

History

TBR Meetings, September 24, 1976; September 30, 1983; June 29, 2007.

Policy Number: 
4:02:05:01
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish the criteria, process, and procedures for naming of buildings and facilities, and affixing plaques to new or renovated buildings and facilities at institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Naming Buildings and Facilities
    1. General Statement
      1. The naming of buildings, facilities, grounds, and organizational units of institutions for individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to society is an honored tradition of higher education.
      2. The prerogative and privilege of such naming’s’ on the campuses of the Tennessee Board of Regents System are vested in the Board.
      3. Authority to name identifiable sub-units or components of buildings and facilities, however, is delegated to the institution president, subject to the criteria and process set forth below.
      4. This policy applies to all buildings of the institutions governed by the Board.
      5. It also applies to other facilities, grounds, and organizational units which the institution wishes to dedicate in the name of an individual or group.
      6. Buildings designated by their general purpose or function are not subject to this policy.
    2. Criteria
      1. In general, individuals and groups for whom buildings are named must have made a significant contribution to the field of education, government, science, or human betterment.
      2. To preserve the integrity of all buildings named in the System, this honor must be reserved for individuals of recognized accomplishment and character; no building may bear the name of an individual convicted of a felony.
      3. In general, buildings should not be named for active employees of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
      4. With respect to the naming of buildings on a particular campus, special consideration shall be given to:
        1. The historical significance of the contribution of the individual or group to the institution;
        2. The association of the individual or group with the building to be named;
        3. Any financial contribution of the individual or group to the institution; and
        4. State, regional, national, or international recognition of the individual's or group's contributions and achievements.
      5. A given surname may be assigned to only one building on a specific campus.
      6. In all cases, naming rights are considered to be in effect for the duration of the effective and typical useful life of the physical building, space or abject, and not in perpetuity.
      7. If necessary, the Board reserves the right to remove a name associated with any physical building, space, object, or project at any time if the naming gift pledge remains unfulfilled, it is in the best interests of the institution or of the donor to do so, or to protect the reputation of the institution and/or the donor.
    3. Process
      1. The institution president shall charge a committee to consider and make recommendations for the naming of a building.
      2. The committee shall be comprised of student, faculty, and administrative representatives; other representatives of the campus community may serve on the committee, as deemed appropriate by the president.
      3. The committee shall consider all suggested naming, which satisfy the criteria cited above. Any individual or group associated with the institution may suggest a name for consideration by the committee.
      4. The committee shall submit a report to the president, which includes a recommendation for the naming, documentation of all suggestions considered, and justification of its recommendation.
      5. For naming which requires Board approval, the president shall submit a recommendation, along with the committee's report and any additional supporting information deemed appropriate, to the Board through the Chancellor.
      6. No publicity shall be given to the recommendation for naming until it is considered by the Board.
      7. For naming not subject to Board approval, the president shall determine and make known the naming in the manner deemed most appropriate.
    4. Dedication Ceremony and Plaque
      1. Upon approval of the naming by the Board, an appropriate dedication ceremony may be planned and conducted by the institution.
      2. The institution also may erect a dedication plaque or comparable marking upon approval of the naming by the Board.
      3. The plaque may be separate from the building plaque provided by State regulations.
      4. In addition to the individual or group for whom the building is named, the dedication plaque should identify the institution president, the Chancellor, and the Chairman of the Board at the time the naming was approved.
  2. Building Plaques
    1. An institution may affix a building plaque to a new or newly renovated building or facility.
    2. All building plaques must comply with Tennessee Board of Regents guidelines adopted pursuant to this policy and State Building Commission policy on building plaques.
    3. This section shall apply to any new or newly renovated building or facility.
Procedures: 
  1. Building Plaques
    1. The Board of Regents has authorized institutions to affix building plaques to new or newly renovated buildings or facilities.
      1. An institution may choose to erect a building plaque in lieu of or in addition to dedication plaques authorized under Board Policy 4:02:05:01.
    2. An institution may affix a building plaque which shall include the name of the Governor(s), Chancellor(s), all State Building Commission members, the names of the members of the Board, President(s) the architect, contractor and state architect from the date of Building Commission approval of a specific project to the completion of the project.
    3. If the building/facility has been named for an individual or group in accordance with Board Policy 4:02:05:01, the building plaque may include the name of the individual or group for which the building/facility is named. 
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

TBR Meetings, April 13, 1973; September 30, 1983; June 28, 1985; March 21, 1986; September 18, 1992; March 30, 2007; June 24, 2011; June 28, 2012.

Policy Number: 
4:01:07:02
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to assure that, with regard to any foundation established to support any TBR institution or its programs, the relationship of the foundation to the institutions is clearly defined and is set forth in a formal, written manner that (1) defines the legal authority and operating control of the institution with respect to the foundation; (2) describes the relationship of the foundation to the institution and the extent of any liability arising out of that relationship; and (3) demonstrates that the fund‐raising activities of the foundation further the mission of the institution.

Definitions: 
  • Foundation - For purposes of this policy, a foundation is defined as a tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation, chartered within the State of Tennessee for the sole purpose of supporting and advancing the mission of an institution or its programs. This policy does not apply to foundations established solely to support an institution’s research activities.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. The Foundation's Relationship to the institutions
    1. A foundation is not an operational function of an institution; it is a separate legal entity. A foundation’s identity must be maintained separate from the institution. 
    2. The foundation's relationship to the institution is based upon a shared interest in the institution's development and success of the institution's mission. Therefore, institutional participation in and support of foundation operations and activities are, therefore, appropriate and desirable.
    3. The accountability of a foundation and of the institution as it relates to the foundation is a concern common to the foundation, the institution, and the Board. Institutions should not promote, encourage or agree to use of a foundation in ways that are, or appear to be, abusive, inappropriate, or do not follow sound business practices.
  2. General Requirements
    1. The governance structure of a foundation must be determined by the foundation. To ensure an appropriate level of institutional participation in the foundation governance, the institution’s president or designee should hold a voting membership on the foundation’s governing body. In order to assure that the foundation acts as a separate entity, a quorum of its governing body may not consist of a majority of members who are employed by the institution.
    2. Each institution shall enter into a written agreement with any foundation(s) governed by this policy that documents their understanding of their relationship and describes their respective responsibilities. Institutions must use the standard agreement that is attached to this policy or another agreement approved by the Chancellor. Every agreement must contain, at a minimum, the provisions of the standard agreement.
    3. The foundation shall adopt an annual budget. In order to assure that the foundation’s objectives are aligned with those of the institution, the institution shall advise the foundation of its needs and priorities for the fiscal year in question.
    4. The foundation shall develop policies and procedures concerning its operations, including, but not limited to, the following:
      1. Policies that address the solicitation and acceptance of contributions to the foundation. The policies must incorporate sound business principles and safeguard compliance with donor intent and conditions. Such policies shall provide that, prior to acceptance of any gift to the foundation that will require substantial institutional support such as staff, financial assistance, storage, on‐going maintenance, etc., approval must be obtained from the president of the institution and, if applicable, from the Chancellor.
      2. Policies and procedures that address the management and investment of contributions to the foundation, subject to the requirements of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, T.C.A. § 35-10-201 et seq.
      3. Policies and procedures that address the foundation’s procurement and contracting activities.
        1. Such policies and procedures shall implement sound business practices and prudent use of foundation funds, including encouragement of the use of competitive procurement of goods and services, when practicable.
        2. Such policies and procedures must include a process for determining authority for authorizing contracts on behalf of the foundation and for authorizing expenditure of foundation funds. Authority for these functions cannot be delegated solely to an employee of the institution.
      4. Policies that, in accordance with T.C.A. § 49‐7‐107(c), establish and adopt a code of ethics that apply to and govern the conduct of all members of the foundation’s governing body. Such policies shall require that members review and acknowledge the code of ethics annually.
      5. Policies that identify who may release the foundation’s records upon receipt of a request.
    5. No institutional funds, including contributions to the institution, may be transferred directly or indirectly to the foundation; provided, however, this shall not prohibit the institution from providing in‐kind services to the foundation, such as office space and the use of support staff. It is understood that instances may occur where a donor inadvertently directs a contribution to the institution which is intended for the foundation. Procedures shall be established to clarify donor intent.
    6. Foundations must respect Board and institutional authority over personnel administration. Foundation expenditures for compensation and other payments to or for the benefit of institutional personnel and reportable as income to the recipient, such as salary, expense accounts, automobiles, club or other organization memberships and dues, etc., must be approved in advance, annually, by the institution president, unless the salaries funded by the foundation are in accordance with institution’s compensation plan and included in the institution’s personnel budget. Advance approval of the Chancellor shall be required if payments outside the institution’s compensation plan are made to or for the benefit of any institutional employee, including the president, and if the aggregate value of such payments to any individual institutional employee exceeds fifteen hundred dollars ($1,500) per fiscal year. This provision does not apply to reimbursement of business expenses incurred by institutional employees or to non‐ taxable recognition awards given to institutional employees.
    7. The foundation’s governing body shall issue reports, at least annually, on the activities of the foundation, which shall be submitted to the president of the institution. An annual financial report shall be issued, prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, including all required note disclosures.
    8. In accordance with T.C.A. § 49‐7‐107(b), all annual reports, books of account and financial records of the foundation shall be subject to audit by the Comptroller of the Treasury of the State of Tennessee. Records and accounts maintained by the foundation shall be audited on the same cycle as the institutional audit performed by the Comptroller, or, with the prior approval of the Comptroller, an independent public accountant may perform such an audit. The contract between the independent public accountant and the foundation shall be approved in advance by the Board of Regents and the Comptroller and shall be on forms prescribed by the Comptroller. All annual reports, books of account and financial records of a foundation shall be available for audit by the internal auditors of the affiliated institution or the Tennessee Board of Regents.
    9. Copies of the initial and amended foundation charters and bylaws filed with the Secretary of State shall be submitted by the president of the institution to the Board of Regents’ Office of General Counsel.
    10. The Chancellor shall have the authority to grant exceptions to this policy when deemed appropriate and necessary. An exception must be requested and granted in writing.
  3. Implementation
    1. No later than twelve (12) months after adoption of this policy, all institutions shall have conformed any existing agreement with foundations to the requirement of this policy.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. §§ 49-8-203, 49-4-107, 35-10-201 et seq. 

History

TBR Meeting, August 17, 1973; TBR Meeting, September 20, 1985; September 21, 1990; June 28, 1991; December 3, 2004; TBR Meeting March 30, 2007; Revised at TBR Board Meeting September 16, 2015.

Policy Number: 
4:01:05:60
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents, on behalf of its Institutions, adopts this Identity Theft Prevention Policy and enacts this program in an effort to detect, prevent and mitigate identity theft, and to help protect the Institutions, their faculty, staff, students and other applicable constituents from damages related to the loss or misuse of identifying information due to identity theft.

Definitions: 
  • Covered account - includes:
    • Any account that involves or is designated to permit multiple payments or transactions; or
    • Any other account maintained by the Institution for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of identity theft to students, faculty, staff or other applicable constituents, or for which there is a reasonably foreseeable risk to the safety or soundness of the Institution from identity theft, including financial, operational, compliance, reputation or litigation risks.
  • Identifying information - is any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific person, including but not limited to:  name, address, telephone number, social security number, date of birth, government issued driver’s license or identification number, alien registration number, government passport number, employer or taxpayer identification number, student identification number, computer Internet Protocol address or routing code, credit card number or other credit card information.
  • Identity theft - means a fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without authority.
  • Red flag - is a pattern, practice or specific activity that indicates the possible existence of identity theft.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Background
    1. The risk to the institutions of the Tennessee Board of Regents (hereinafter referred to as "Institutions"), its faculty, staff, students and other applicable constituents from data loss and identity theft is of significant concern to the Board and its Institutions, and the Institutions should make reasonable efforts to detect, prevent, and mitigate identity theft.
    2. Under this Policy the program will:
      1. Identify patterns, practices or specific activities (“red flags”) that could indicate the existence of identity theft with regard to new or existing covered accounts (see Definitions);
      2. Detect red flags that are incorporated in the program;
      3. Respond appropriately to any red flags that are detected under this program to prevent and mitigate identity theft;
      4. Ensure periodic updating of the program, including reviewing the accounts that are covered and the identified red flags that are part of this program; and,
      5. Promote compliance with state and federal laws and regulations regarding identity theft protection.
    3. The program shall, as appropriate, incorporate existing TBR and institutional policies and guidelines such as anti-fraud programs and information security programs that establish controls for reasonably foreseeable risks.
  2. Identification of Red Flags
    1. The following examples of red flags are potential indicators of fraud or identity theft. The risk factors for identifying relevant red flags include the types of covered accounts offered or maintained; the methods provided to open or access covered accounts; and, previous experience with identity theft. Any time a red flag or a situation closely resembling a red flag is apparent, it should be investigated for verification.
    2. Alerts, notifications or warnings from a credit or consumer reporting agency.  Examples of these red flags include the following:
      1. A report of fraud or active duty alert in a credit or consumer report;
      2. A notice of credit freeze from a credit or consumer reporting agency in response to a request for a credit or consumer report;
      3. A notice of address discrepancy in response to a credit or consumer report request; and,
      4. A credit or consumer report indicates a pattern of activity inconsistent with the history and usual pattern of activity of an applicant such as:
        1. A recent and significant increase in the volume of inquiries;
        2. An unusual number of recently established credit relationships;
        3. A material change in the use of credit, especially with respect to recently established credit relationships; or,
        4. An account that was closed for cause or identified for abuse of account privileges by a financial institution or creditor.
    3. Suspicious documents. Examples of these red flags include the following:
      1. Documents provided for identification that appears to have been altered, forged or are inauthentic.
      2. The photograph or physical description on the identification document is not consistent with the appearance of the individual presenting the identification.
      3. Other information on the identification is not consistent with information provided by the person opening a new covered account or individual presenting the identification.
      4. Other information on the identification is not consistent with readily accessible information that is on file with the Institution, such as a signature card or a recent check.
      5. An application appears to have been altered or forged, or gives the appearance of having been destroyed and reassembled.
    4. Suspicious personal identifying information. Examples of these red flags include the following:
      1. Personal identifying information provided is inconsistent when compared against other sources of information used by the Institution. For example:
        1. The address does not match any address in the consumer report; or,
        2. The Social Security number (SSN) has not been issued or is listed on the Social Security Administration's Death Master File.
      2. Personal identifying information provided by the individual is not consistent with other personal identifying information provided by that individual. For example:
        1. There is a lack of correlation between the SSN range and date of birth.
      3. Personal identifying information provided is associated with known fraudulent activity. For example:
        1. The address on an application is the same as the address provided on a fraudulent application; or,
        2. The phone number on an application is the same as the number provided on a fraudulent application.
      4. Personal identifying information provided is of a type commonly associated with fraudulent activity. For example:
        1. The address on an application is fictitious, a mail drop, or a prison; or
        2. The phone number is invalid or is associated with a pager or answering service.
      5. The social security number provided is the same as that submitted by another person opening an account.
      6. The address or telephone number provided is the same as or similar to the address or telephone number submitted by that of another person.
      7. The individual opening the covered account fails to provide all required personal identifying information on an application or in response to notification that the application is incomplete.
      8. Personal identifying information provided is not consistent with personal identifying information that is on file with the Institution.
      9. When using security questions (mother's maiden name, pet's name, etc.), the person opening that covered account cannot provide authenticating information beyond that which generally would be available from a wallet or consumer report.
    5. Unusual use of, or suspicious activity related to, the covered account. Examples of these red flags include the following:
      1. Shortly following the notice of a change of address for a covered account, the Institution receives a request for a new, additional, or replacement card, or for the addition of authorized users on the account.
      2. A covered account is used in a manner that is not consistent with established patterns of activity on the account. There is, for example:
        1. Nonpayment when there is no history of late or missed payments;
        2. A material change in purchasing or usage patterns.
      3. A covered account that has been inactive for a reasonably lengthy period of time is used (taking into consideration the type of account, the expected pattern of usage and other relevant factors).
      4. Mail sent to the individual is returned repeatedly as undeliverable although transactions continue to be conducted in connection with the individual's covered account.
      5. The Institution is notified that the individual is not receiving paper account statements.
      6. The Institution is notified of unauthorized charges or transactions in connection with an individual's covered account.
      7. The Institution receives notice from customers, victims of identity theft, law enforcement authorities, or other persons regarding possible identity theft in connection with covered accounts held by the Institution.
      8. The Institution is notified by an employee or student, a victim of identity theft, a law enforcement authority, or any other person that it has opened a fraudulent account for a person engaged in identity theft.
      9. A breach in the Institution’s computer security system.
  3. Detecting Red Flags
    1. Student enrollment. In order to detect red flags associated with the enrollment of a student, the Institution will take the following steps to obtain and verify the identity of the individual opening the account:
      1. Require certain identifying information such as name, date of birth, academic records, home address or other identification; and,
      2. Verify the student’s identity at the time of issuance of the student identification card through review of driver’s license or other government-issued photo identification.
    2. Existing accounts. In order to detect red flags associated with an existing account, the Institution will take the following steps to monitor transactions on an account:
      1. Verify the identification of students if they request Information;
      2. Verify the validity of requests to change billing addresses by mail or email, and provide the student a reasonable means of promptly reporting incorrect billing address changes; and,
      3. Verify changes in banking information given for billing and payment purposes.
    3. Consumer/Credit Report Requests. In order to detect red flags for an employment or volunteer position for which a credit or background report is sought, the Institution will take the following steps to assist in identifying address discrepancies:
      1. Require written verification from any applicant that the address provided by the applicant is accurate at the time the request for the credit report is made to the consumer reporting agency; and
      2. In the event that notice of an address discrepancy is received, verify that the credit report pertains to the applicant for whom the requested report was made and report to the consumer reporting agency an address for the applicant that the Institution has reasonably confirmed is accurate.
  4. Responding to Red Flags
    1. Once a red flag or potential red flag is detected, the Institution must act quickly with consideration of the risk posed by the red flag.
    2. The Institution should quickly gather all related documentation, write a description of the situation and present this information to the Program Administrator for determination.
    3. The Program Administrator (see Section VI) will complete additional authentication to determine whether the attempted transaction was fraudulent or authentic.
    4. The Institution may take the following steps as is deemed appropriate:
      1. Continue to monitor the covered account for evidence of identity theft;
      2. Contact the student or applicant for which a credit report was run;
      3. Change any passwords or other security devices that permit access to covered accounts;
      4. Close and reopen the account;
      5. Determine not to open a new covered account;
      6. Provide the student with a new student identification number;
      7. Notify law enforcement;
      8. Determine that no response is warranted under the particular circumstances;
      9. Cancel the transaction.
  5. Protecting Personal Information
    1. In order to prevent the likelihood of identity theft occurring with respect to covered accounts, the Institutions may take the following steps with respect to its internal operating procedures:
      1. Lock file cabinets, desk drawers, overhead cabinets, and any other storage space containing documents with covered account information when not in use.
      2. Lock storage rooms containing documents with covered account information and record retention areas at the end of each workday or when unsupervised.
      3. Clear desks, workstations, work areas, printers and fax machines, and common shared work areas of all documents containing covered account information when not in use.
      4. Documents or computer files containing covered account information will be destroyed in a secure manner. Institution records may only be destroyed in accordance with the Board's records retention and destruction policy, 1:12:01:00.
      5. Ensure that office computers with access to covered account information are password protected.
      6. Ensure that computer virus protection is up to date.
      7. Avoid the use of social security numbers.
      8. Utilize encryption devices when transmitting covered account information.
    2. Institutional personnel are encouraged to use common sense judgment in securing covered account information to the proper extent.
    3. Furthermore, this section should be read in conjunction with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), the Tennessee Public Records Act, and other applicable laws and policies.
    4. If an employee is uncertain of the sensitivity of a particular piece of information, he/she should contact his/her supervisor. The Office of the General Counsel may be contacted for advice.
  6. Program Administration
    1. Oversight and Appointment of the Institutional Program Administrator
      1. The Identity Theft Prevention Policy is the responsibility of the governing body, the Tennessee Board of Regents. Approval of the initial plan must be appropriately documented and maintained.
      2. Each individual institution is required to tailor this program taking into consideration its size, complexity, and nature of its operation. Each institution will consider the types of accounts it offers and maintains, the methods it provides to open those accounts, the methods it provides to access its accounts and its previous experience with identity theft.
      3. Operational responsibility of the program at each individual institution is delegated to a Program Administrator appointed by the President and shall include but not be limited to;
        1. The oversight, development, implementation and administration of the program;
        2. Approval and implementation of needed changes to the program; and,
        3. Staff training.
      4. The Program Administrator is also responsible for ensuring that appropriate steps are taken for preventing and mitigating identity theft, for reviewing any staff reports regarding the detection of red flags, and for determining which steps should be taken in particular circumstances when red flags are suspected or detected.
      5. A report to the Institution’s President should be made annually concerning institutional compliance with and effectiveness of the program, and the responsibility for such report may be placed with the Program Administrators. This report should address;
        1. Service provider arrangements;
        2. The effectiveness of the program in addressing the risk of identity theft;
        3. Significant incidents of identity theft and the institution’s response; and,
        4. Any recommendations for material changes to the program.
    2. Staff training
      1. Staff training shall be conducted for all employees for whom it is reasonably foreseeable, as determined by the Program Administrator, that may come into contact with covered accounts or identifying information.
    3. Periodic Updates to the Program
      1. At periodic intervals established in the program, or as required, the program will be re-evaluated to determine whether all aspects of the program are up to date and applicable.
      2. Consideration will be given to the Institution’s;
        1. Experiences with identity theft situations;
        2. Changes in identity theft methods, detection methods or prevention methods; and,
        3. Changes in the Institution’s business arrangements with other entities. 
      3. Periodic reviews will include an assessment of which accounts are covered by the program.
        1. As part of the review, red flags may be revised, replaced or eliminated. Defining new red flags may also be appropriate.
      4. Actions to take in the event that fraudulent activity is suspected or discovered may also require revision to the program.
    4. Overview of service provider arrangements
      1. It is the responsibility of the Institution to ensure that the activities of all service providers are conducted in accordance with reasonable policies and procedures designated to detect, prevent, and mitigate the risk of identity theft.
      2. In the event the Institution engages a service provider to perform an activity in connection with one or more covered accounts, the Institution will take the following steps to ensure the service provider performs its activity in accordance with reasonable policies and procedures designed to detect, prevent and mitigate the risk of identity theft.
        1. Require, by contract, that service providers have such policies and procedures in place; or,
        2. Require, by contract, that service providers review the Institution’s program and report any red flags to the Program Administrator.
          1. Specific language for inclusion in contracts can be found in TBR Guideline G-030 Contracts and Agreements.
      3. A service provider that maintains its own identity theft prevention program, consistent with the guidance of the red flag rules and validated by appropriate due diligence, may be considered to be meeting these requirements.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All Federal and State statutes, codes, rules and regulations referenced in this policy.

History

March 26, 2009 Board meeting; June 19, 2009.

Policy Number: 
4:01:05:50
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The Tennessee Board of Regents is committed to the responsible stewardship of its resources. Management of each TBR institution is responsible for maintaining a work environment that promotes ethical and honest behavior. Additionally, it is the responsibility of management of each TBR institution to establish and implement internal control systems and procedures to prevent and detect irregularities, including fraud, waste and abuse. Management at all levels should be aware of the risks and exposures inherent in their areas of responsibility, and should establish and maintain proper internal controls to provide for the security and accountability of all resources entrusted to them.

Definitions: 
  • Fraud - An intentional act to deceive or cheat, ordinarily for the purpose or result of causing a detriment to another and/or bringing about some benefit to oneself or others. Fraudulent activities may include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Theft, misappropriation, misapplication, destruction, removal, or concealment of any institutional assets or resources, including but not limited to funds, securities, supplies, equipment, real property, intellectual property or data.
    • Improper use or assignment of any institutional assets or resources, including but not limited to personnel, services or property.
    • Improper handling or reporting of financial transactions, including use, acquisitions and divestiture of state property, both real and personal.
    • Authorization or receipt of compensation for hours not worked.
    • Inappropriate or unauthorized use, alteration or manipulation of data, computer files, equipment, software, networks, or systems, including personal or private business use, hacking and software piracy.
    • Forgery or unauthorized alteration of documents.
    • Falsification of reports to management or external agencies.
    • Pursuit of a personal benefit or advantage in violation of the TBR Conflict of Interest Policy.
    • Concealment or misrepresentation of events or data.
    • Acceptance of bribes, kickbacks or any gift, rebate, money or anything of value whatsoever, or any promise, obligation or contract for future reward, compensation, property or item of value, including intellectual property.
  • Waste - Waste involves behavior that is deficient or improper when compared with behavior that a prudent person would consider a reasonable and necessary business practice given the facts and circumstances. Waste is a thoughtless or careless act, resulting in the expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use, or squandering of institutional assets or resources to the detriment or potential detriment of the institution. Waste may also result from incurring unnecessary expenses due to inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls. Waste does not necessarily involve fraud, violation of laws, regulations, or provisions of a contract or grant agreement.
  • Abuse - Abuse involves behavior that is deficient or improper when compared with behavior that a prudent person would consider a reasonable and necessary business practice given the facts and circumstances. Abuse also includes misuse of authority or position for personal financial interest or those of an immediate or close family member or business associate. Abuse does not necessarily involve fraud, violation of laws, regulations, or provisions of a contract or grant agreement. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, Government Auditing Standards, July 2007.)
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Preventing Fraud, Waste or Abuse
    1. Maintaining an Ethical Work Environment
      1. Management is responsible for maintaining a work environment that promotes ethical and honest behavior on the part of all employees, students, contractors, vendors and others.
      2. To do so, management at all levels must behave ethically and communicate to employees and others that they are expected to behave ethically.
      3. Management must demonstrate through words and actions that unethical behavior will not be tolerated.
    2. Implementing Effective Internal Control Systems
      1. Management of each TBR institution has the responsibility to establish and implement internal control systems and procedures to prevent and detect irregularities, including fraud, waste and abuse.
      2. Internal controls are processes performed by management and employees to provide reasonable assurance of:
        1. Safeguards over institutional assets and resources, including but not limited to cash, securities, supplies, equipment, property, records, data or electronic systems;
        2. Effective and efficient operations;
        3. Reliable financial and other types of reports; and
        4. Compliance with laws, regulations, contracts, grants and policies.
      3. To determine whether internal controls are effective, management should perform periodic risk and control assessments, which should include the following activities:
        1. Review the operational processes of the unit under consideration.
        2. Determine the potential risk of fraud, waste, or abuse inherent in each process.
        3. Identify the controls included in the process (or controls that could be included) that result in a reduction in the inherent risk.
        4. Assess whether there are internal controls that need to be improved or added to the process under consideration.
        5. Implement controls or improve existing controls that are determined to be the most efficient and effective for decreasing the risk of fraud, waste or abuse.
      4. Most managers will find that processes already include a number of internal controls, but these controls should be monitored or reviewed for adequacy and effectiveness on a regular basis and improved as needed. Typical examples of internal controls may include, but are not limited to:
        1. Adequate separation of duties among employees.
        2. Sufficient physical safeguards over cash, supplies, equipment and other resources.
        3. Appropriate documentation of transactions.
        4. Independent validation of transactions for accuracy and completeness.
        5. Documented supervisory review and approval of transactions or other activities.
        6. Proper supervision of employees, processes, projects or other operational functions.
    3. Reviews of Internal Control Systems
      1. Audits or other independent reviews may be performed on various components of the internal control systems.
    4. Internal Audit
      1. Internal Audit is responsible for assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of internal controls that are implemented by management and will often recommend control improvements as a result of this assessment.
      2. During an audit of a department or process, Internal Audit will also perform tests designed to detect fraud, waste or abuse that may have occurred.
    5. External Audits
      1. The Tennessee Department of Audit, Division of State Audit, performs periodic financial audits of Tennessee Board of Regents institutions.
      2. One purpose of this type audit is to evaluate an institution’s internal controls, which will often result in recommendations for control improvements.
      3. State Audit will also perform tests designed to detect fraud, waste or abuse that may have occurred.
    6. Other Reviews
      1. Various programs may be subject to audits or reviews by federal, state or other outside agencies based on the type of program, function or funding.
      2. Although audits and reviews may include assessments of internal controls, the primary responsibility for prevention and detection of fraud, waste or abuse belongs to management.
      3. Therefore, management should take steps to review internal controls whether or not audits are to be performed.
  2. Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse
    1. Responsibility for Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse
      1. Any official of any agency of the state having knowledge that a theft, forgery, credit card fraud, or any other act of unlawful or unauthorized taking, or abuse of, public money, property, or services, or other shortages of public funds has occurred shall report the information immediately to the office of the Comptroller of the Treasury (T.C.A. § 8-19-501(a)), To ensure compliance with this statute, the Tennessee Board of Regents system office provides a means for institutional employees and others to report such matters, which are subsequently reported to the Comptroller's Office.
        1. Institutional administration with knowledge of fraud, waste or abuse will report such incidents immediately.
        2. Others, including institutional management, faculty and staff with a reasonable basis for believing that fraud, waste or abuse has occurred are strongly encouraged to immediately report such incidents (T.C.A. § 8-50-116).
        3. Students, citizens and others are also encouraged to report known or suspected acts of fraud, waste or abuse.
        4. Although proof of an improper activity is not required at the time the incident is reported, anyone reporting such actions must have reasonable grounds for doing so.
        5. Employees with knowledge of matters constituting fraud, waste or abuse, that fail to report it or employees who knowingly make false accusations may be subject to disciplinary action.
    2. Protection from Retaliation
      1. State law (T.C.A. § 8-50-116) prohibits discrimination or retaliation against employees for reporting allegations of dishonest acts or cooperating with auditors conducting an investigation.
      2. The Higher Education Accountability Act of 2004 directs that a person who knowingly and willingly retaliates or takes adverse action of any kind against any person for reporting alleged wrongdoing pursuant to the provisions of this part commits a Class A misdemeanor.
    3. Confidentiality of Reported Information
      1. According to T.C.A. § 49-14-103, detailed information received pursuant to a report of fraud, waste or abuse or any on-going investigation thereof shall be considered working papers of the internal auditor and shall be confidential.
      2. Although every attempt will be made to keep information confidential, circumstances such as an order of a court or subpoena may result in disclosure.
      3. Also, if TBR or one of its institutions has a separate legal obligation to investigate the complaint (e.g. complaints of illegal harassment or discrimination), TBR and its institutions cannot ensure anonymity or complete confidentiality.
    4. Methods for Reporting Fraud, Waste or Abuse
      1. Any employee who becomes aware of known or suspected fraud, waste or abuse should immediately report the incident to an appropriate departmental official. Incidents should be reported to one of the following officials or offices:
        1. A supervisor or department head;
        2. an institutional official;
        3. the institutional internal auditor;
        4. the Office of System-wide Internal Audit at 615-366-4441 or reportfraud@tbr.edu; or
        5. the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s Hotline for fraud, waste and abuse at 1-800-232-5454.
      2. If the incident involves their immediate supervisor, the employee should report the incident to the next highest-level supervisor or one of the officials or offices listed above. Employees should not confront the suspected individual or initiate an investigation on their own since such actions could compromise the investigation.
      3. A department official or other supervisor who receives notice of known or suspected fraud, waste or abuse must immediately report the incident to the following:
        1. President/Vice President for Business and Finance, or designee.
        2. Internal Audit Department
        3. Safety and Security Office/Campus Police (when appropriate)
      4. The President/Vice President or designee receiving such notice will immediately notify the TBR Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance and the System-wide Chief Audit Executive regarding the acknowledged or suspected fraud or misconduct.
      5. The System-wide Chief Audit Executive will notify the Comptroller of the Treasury of instances of fraud, waste or abuse.
      6. After initial notification, each institution should refer to TBR Guideline B-080, Reporting and Resolution of Institutional Losses, for additional reporting procedures.
  3. Investigations/Actions
    1. Cooperation of Employees
      1. Individuals involved with suspected fraud, waste or abuse should assist with and cooperate in any authorized investigation, including providing complete, factual responses to questions and either providing access to or turning over relevant documentation immediately upon request by any authorized person.
      2. The refusal by an employee to provide such assistance may result in disciplinary action.
    2. Remedies Available
      1. The Tennessee Board of Regents will evaluate the information provided and make a determination concerning external reporting obligations, if any, and the feasibility of pursuing available legal remedies against persons or entities involved in fraud, waste or abuse against the institution.
      2. Remedies include, but are not limited to;
        1. terminating employment,
        2. requiring restitution, and
        3. forwarding information regarding the suspected fraud to appropriate external authorities for criminal prosecution.
      3. In those cases where disciplinary action is warranted, the Office of Personnel/Human Resources, Office of General Counsel, and other appropriate offices shall be consulted prior to taking such action, and applicable institutional and Board policies related to imposition of employee discipline shall be observed.
    3. Resignation of Suspected Employee
      1. An employee suspected of gross misconduct may not resign as an alternative to discharge after the investigation has been completed.
      2. Exceptions to this requirement can only be made by the institution’s President, and require advance consultation with and approval by the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
      3. If the employee resigns during the investigation, the employment records must reflect the situation as of the date of the resignation and the outcome of the investigation (General Personnel Policy, 5:01:00:00).
    4. Effect on Annual Leave
      1. An employee who is dismissed for gross misconduct or who resigns or retires to avoid dismissal for gross misconduct shall not be entitled to any payment for accrued but unused annual leave at the time of dismissal (Annual Leave Policy, 5:01:01:01; T.C.A. § 8-50-807).
    5. Student Involvement
      1. Students found to have participated in fraud, waste or abuse as defined by this guideline will be subject to disciplinary action pursuant to the TBR Policy 3:02:00:01, General Regulations on Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions.
      2. The Dean of Students/Vice President of Student Affairs/TCAT President, or designee, will be responsible for adhering to applicable due process procedures and administering appropriate disciplinary action.
    6. Confidentiality during Investigation
      1. All investigations will be conducted in as strict confidence as possible, with information sharing limited to persons on a “need to know” basis.
      2. The identities of persons communicating information or otherwise involved in an investigation or allegation of fraud, waste or abuse will not be revealed beyond the institution and staff of the TBR Offices of General Counsel, Business and Finance and System-wide Internal Audit unless necessary to comply with federal or state law, or if legal action is taken.
    7. Management’s Follow-up Responsibility
      1. Administrators at all levels of management must implement, maintain, and evaluate an effective compliance program to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse.
      2. Once such activities have been identified and reported, the overall resolution should include an assessment of how it occurred, an evaluation of what could prevent recurrences of the same or similar conduct, and implementation of appropriate controls, if needed.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All Federal and State statutes, codes, acts, rules and regulations referenced in this policy.

History

TBR Board Meeting, March 28, 2008; TBR Board Meeting, December 8, 2011; TBR Board Meeting, March 27, 2015.

Policy Number: 
4:01:05:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office, Board Members
Purpose: 

This policy addresses staffing, responsibilities of the internal audit function, audit planning and reporting on internal audit activities.

In addition to this policy, the Office of System-wide Internal Audit maintains an audit manual. The purpose of the audit manual is to provide for consistency, continuity, and standards of acceptable performance.

Definitions: 
  • Definitions are provided in the body of the policy.
Policy/Guideline: 
  1. General Statement
    1. The internal audit function contributes to the improvement of the institution's operations by providing objective and relevant assurance regarding risk management, control and governance processes to management and the Board.
    2. Management is responsible for evaluating the institution's risks and establishing and maintaining adequate controls and processes.
    3. To provide relevant information, the internal audit activity will consider the goals of the institution, management's risk assessments and other input from management in determining its risk-based audit activities.
  2. Internal Audit Standards
    1. Each internal audit function shall adhere to The Institute of Internal Auditors' (IIA) International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and Code of Ethics (T.C.A. § 4-3-304(9)). The Institute of Internal Auditors, International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), incorporates the definition of internal auditing, the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing, the Code of Ethics, and the Core Principles for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing into one document. It includes the following definition of internal auditing:
      1. Internal Auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization's operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.
    2. Risk is the possibility of an event occurring that will have an impact on the achievement of an institution's goals and objectives.
      1. Risk is measured in terms of the impact an event may have and the likelihood that the event will occur.
      2. To optimize the achievement of the institution's goals and objectives, the Board and management acts to minimize the related risks by implementing reasonable procedures to control and monitor the risks.
    3. Governance processes are the combination of processes and structures implemented by the Board to inform, direct, manage, and monitor the activities of the organization toward the achievement of its objectives.
      1. Examples of such processes include;
        1. The organizational structure within an institution or a department.
        2. Policies, guidelines and procedures instituted by the Board or management to direct and control a particular activity such as maintenance fees or hiring practices. 
        3. Preparation and review procedures for preparing reports such as annual financial statements or federal grant or financial aid reports.
    4. The IPPF includes attribute standards, which address the expected characteristics of organizations and individuals performing internal audit activities and performance standards, which describe the nature of internal audit activities and establish criteria to evaluate the performance of internal audit activities.
    5. To assure compliance with the IIA Standards, internal audit offices must implement and maintain a quality assurance and improvement program that incorporates both internal and external review activities.
      1. Internal reviews include both ongoing and periodic review activities.
      2. External reviews must be performed at least every five years by a qualified, independent reviewer.
      3. Results of quality assurance reviews will be communicated to the Audit Committee and management.
  3. Internal Audit Personnel
    1. Community Colleges shall employ at least one full-time internal auditor.
    2. Titles of internal audit staff shall be consistent within the overall institutional structure.
    3. Internal Audit Staff
      1. Internal audit staff must possess the professional credentials, knowledge, skills, and other competencies needed to perform their individual responsibilities.
      2. The internal audit function collectively must possess or obtain the knowledge, skills, and other competencies needed to perform its responsibilities.
      3. The campus Internal Audit Director and the System-wide Chief Audit Executive must be licensed as a Certified Public Accountant or a Certified Internal Auditor, maintain an active license and annually complete sufficient, relevant continuing professional education to satisfy the requirements for the professional certification held.
      4. Other system auditors should annually complete sufficient, relevant continuing professional education to satisfy the requirements for their related professional certification or, at a minimum, forty hours of relevant continuing professional education.
      5. Internal Audit Directors should communicate concerns to management and the System-wide Chief Audit Executive regarding the lack of sufficient resources to complete the objectives of an engagement or the audit plan.
      6. Such resources may include the need for additional personnel or personnel with specialized knowledge, such as those with knowledge of fraud, information technology or other technical areas.
    4. Appointments
      1. The appointment of campus Internal Audit Directors as recommended by the President is subject to approval by the Chancellor or designee (T.C.A. §.49-14-106).
      2. The appointment of the System-wide Chief Audit Executive is subject to review and approval by the Audit Committee of the Board of Regents (T.C.A. §.49-14-102).
    5. Compensation
      1. Compensation of the internal auditors is subject to review by the Audit Committee of the Board of Regents.
      2. Compensation of the System-wide Chief Audit Executive and the system office internal auditors is subject to review and approval by the Audit Committee of the Board of Regents.
    6. Termination or Change of Status
      1. The termination or change of status of campus Internal Auditor Directors (T.C.A. § 49-14-106) requires the prior approval of the Chancellor and the Audit Committee of the Board of Regents.
      2. The System-wide Chief Audit Executive (T.C.A. §.49-14-102) may be removed only for cause which requires a majority vote of the Board of Regents.
  4. Internal Audit Role and Scope
    1. Reporting Structure
      1. In accordance with T.C.A. § 49-14-102, the System-wide Chief Audit Executive reports directly to the Audit Committee and the Tennessee Board of Regents.
      2. Campus internal auditors report to the respective campus President with audit reporting responsibility to the Audit Committee and the Board through the System-wide Chief Audit Executive.
      3. This reporting structure assures the independence of the internal audit function.
    2. The TBR, Office of System-wide Internal Audit, hosts periodic meetings and communicates with the audit directors on matters of mutual interests.
    3. The Office of System-wide Internal Audit maintains an internal audit manual to guide the internal audit activity in a consistent and professional manner at each institution.
    4. The internal auditors’ responsibilities include:
      1. Working with management to assess institutional risks and developing an audit plan that considers the results of the risk assessment.
      2. Evaluating institutional controls to determine their effectiveness and efficiency.
      3. Coordinating work with external auditors, program reviewers, and consultants.
      4. Determining the level of compliance with internal policies and procedures, state and federal laws, and government regulations.
      5. Testing the timeliness, reliability, and usefulness of institutional records and reports.
      6. Recommending improvements to controls, operations, and risk mitigation resolutions.
      7. Assisting the institution with its strategic planning process to include a complete cycle of review of goals and values.
      8. Evaluating program performance.
      9. Performing consulting services and special requests as directed by the Audit Committee, the Chancellor, or the institution’s President.
    5. The scope of internal auditing extends to all aspects of institutional operations and beyond fiscal boundaries. The internal auditor shall have access to all records, personnel, and physical properties relative to the performance of duties and responsibilities.
    6. The scope of a particular internal audit activity may be as broad or as restricted as required to meet management needs.
    7. Objectivity is essential to the internal audit function. Therefore, internal audit personnel should not be involved in the development and installation of systems and procedures, preparation of records, or any other activities that the internal audit staff may review or appraise. However, internal audit personnel may be consulted on the adequacy of controls incorporated into new systems and procedures or on revisions to existing systems.
    8. Management is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and responding to potential risks that may impact the achievement of the institution’s objectives. Auditors continually evaluate the risk management, internal control, and governance processes. To facilitate these responsibilities, Internal Audit will receive notices or copies of external audit reviews, program reviews, fiscally related consulting reports, cash shortages, physical property losses, and employee misconduct.
  5. Audit Plans and Activity Reports
    1. Internal Audit shall develop an annual audit plan using an approved risk assessment methodology.
    2. At the beginning of each fiscal year, after consultation with the Chancellor or President and other institution management, Internal Audit will prepare an annual audit plan. The audit plan must be flexible to respond to immediate issues and will be revised for such changes during the year.
    3. Audit plans and revisions will be reviewed by the System-wide Chief Audit Executive and approved by the Audit Committee.
    4. At the end of each fiscal year, Internal Audit will prepare an annual activity report of all significant audit services performed.
    5. Annual activity reports and approved audit plans will be provided to the Comptroller's Office, Division of State Audit.
  6. Audit Engagements
    1. Audit engagements will be planned to provide relevant results to management and the Audit Committee regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of processes and controls over operations. To ensure management's expectations are met, auditors will communicate with management regarding the objectives and scope of the engagement.
    2. In planning and during the engagement, auditors should consider and be alert to risks that affect the institution's goals and objectives, operations and resources. Auditors should consider risks based on the operations under review, which include but are not limited to the risk of financial misstatements, noncompliance and fraud.
    3. An audit work program will be designed to achieve the objectives of the engagement and will include the steps necessary to identify, analyze, evaluate and document the information gathered and the conclusions reached during the engagement.
    4. Working papers that are created, obtained or compiled by an internal audit staff are confidential and are not an open record (T.C.A. § 4-4-304(9)).
  7. Communicating Audit Results
    1. A written report that documents the objectives, scope, conclusions, and recommendations of the audit will be prepared for audit engagements providing assurance to the Board and management. Management will include corrective action for each reported finding.
    2. Internal Audit will follow-up on findings or recommendations included in internal audit reports, investigation reports, and State Audit reports. The status of Internal Audit recommendations and/or findings will be monitored through the recommendation logs. For recommendations not corrected at the time of Internal Audit follow-up or the corrective action due date, management will be asked to provide a revised corrective action implementation date. A written internal audit follow-up report is required for all State Audit reports that include findings, regardless of the current status of audit findings. The Chancellor or institution’s President, along with the Audit Committee, will be notified at the conclusion of a follow-up review if management has not corrected the reported finding or implemented the recommendation.
    3. A written report that documents the objectives, scope, conclusions and recommendations will be prepared for investigations resulting from allegations or identification of fraud, waste or abuse. As appropriate to the circumstances, management will include corrective action for each reported finding. In a case where allegations are not substantiated by the review and there are no other operational concerns to report to management regarding the review, the case may be closed by writing a memo to the working paper file documenting the reasons for closing the case.
    4. Reports on special studies, consulting services, and other non-routine items should be prepared as appropriate, given the nature of the assignment.
    5. All internal audit reports will be signed by the institution's Internal Audit Director and transmitted directly to the Chancellor or President, in a timely manner.
    6. The Internal Audit Director will transmit an electronic copy of the internal audit report to the System-wide Chief Audit Executive.
    7. The System-wide Chief Audit Executive will present significant results of internal audit reports to the Audit Committee quarterly.
    8. The System-wide Chief Audit Executive will provide a copy of each report to the Comptroller's Office, Division of State Audit.
  8. Exceptions
    1. Any exceptions to the policy established herein shall be subject to the approval of the System-wide Chief Audit Executive and the Audit Committee.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; All other State statutes referenced in this policy; Institute of Internal Auditors

History

June 3, 1981 TBR Presidents’ Meeting; July 1, 1984; May 20, 1986; February 14, 1989; November 14, 1989; August 13, 2002; February 10, 2004; November 18, 2004; Changed from Guideline B-050 at TBR Board Meeting, June 29, 2007; TBR Board Meeting, December 6, 2007; TBR Board Meeting, December 8, 2011; TBR Board Meeting March 27, 2015; TBR Board Meeting September 29, 2018.

Policy Number: 
4:01:04:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is to establish responsibilities and procedures regarding the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to the institutions governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

T.C.A. § 49-8-203 provides:

Board shall have the power to receive donations of money, securities, and property from any source on behalf of the institutions..., which gifts shall be used in accordance with the conditions set by the donor.

The Board considers the solicitation and acceptance of gifts to be appropriate administrative responsibilities of institutional presidents and delegates to the presidents the authority to solicit and accept gifts in accordance with the provisions of this policy.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. General Statement
    1. The Board recognizes the vital importance of gifts to institutional development.
    2. Gifts of real and personal property from individuals and organizations often benefit institutions by making possible the accomplishment of objectives for which support from other sources is limited or unavailable.
    3. Gifts also often represent a means by which the donor may contribute to an aspect of postsecondary education that is of particular interest to the donor.
    4. The Board authorizes and encourages the institutions to solicit and accept gifts for purposes that are consistent with their missions.
    5. All activities related to the solicitation and acceptance of gifts shall be implemented in a manner which serves the mutual interests of the donors and institutions.
    6. To this end, each institution shall develop policies and procedures which incorporate the following provisions.
      1. Solicitation of Gifts
        1. The president shall designate the campus official(s) authorized to approve and conduct activities for the purpose of soliciting gifts to the institution.
        2. Criteria and procedures for soliciting gifts shall be established which clearly define appropriate activities and the campus approval process.
        3. Solicitation of gifts which may require a commitment of institutional resources must be approved by the president.
      2. Acceptance of Gifts
        1. The president is authorized to accept gifts on behalf of the institution, subject to the following conditions:
          1. Only the Board may accept a gift if board acceptance is a condition set by the donor;
          2. Only the Chancellor and Board may accept gifts of real property or any permanent interest in real property, and title must be conveyed to the Board on behalf of the institution; in the name of the Tennessee Board of Regents for the use and benefit of the institution.
          3. Any acquisition of real property by gift or devise which obligates the institution, Tennessee Board of Regents or State of Tennessee to expend State of Tennessee funds for capital improvements or continuing operating expenditures shall be approved by the State Building Commission in accordance with T.C.A. § 4-15-102(d)(2) prior to acceptance by the Chancellor and Board. Any such Deed transferring title to the Tennessee Board of Regents shall not be recorded until the State Building Commission has approved the acceptance of the gift property.
          4. Gifts with conditions that ultimately will require consideration by the Board or Chancellor must be approved by the Chancellor prior to acceptance (e.g., gifts to support the initiation of a new academic program or capital improvement project); and
          5. Gifts of property subject to an indebtedness must be approved by the Chancellor prior to acceptance.
          6. The cost of accepting or keeping a gift in accordance with donor restrictions should not cost more than the benefit of the gift.
        2. The president may recommend approval by the Chancellor or Board prior to acceptance of any gift.
        3. The president may delegate to a campus official or officials his/her authority to accept gifts on behalf of the institution; however, institutional policies must identify the specific types of gifts that may be accepted by the designated official(s). The acceptance of all gifts is subject to confirmation by the president.
        4. Corporate stock given to an institution may be sold by the institution through or in consultation with a registered security broker within 60 days of receipt of the stock certificate, and the sale may be executed by the president or a designated representative.
        5. Appropriate procedures must be established for acknowledging acceptance of gifts and for ensuring compliance with conditions set by the donors and in compliance with IRS regulations.
      3. Records and Reporting
        1. Adequate records of all gifts shall be maintained by the institution in accordance with accepted accounting procedures to allow a proper audit trail.
        2. A summary of all gifts to the institution during a fiscal year shall be included in the institution's annual report to the Board, as required by Board Policy (No. 1:02:10:00, Annual Reports).
      4. Foundations
        1. For purposes of distinguishing institutional gifts and related procedures from those of foundations established pursuant to Board Policy (No. 4:01:07:02, Foundations):
          1. The institution may not accept gifts specifically intended for the foundation, and only gifts specifically intended for a foundation may be accepted by a foundation.
          2. In general, institutional resources may not be used to meet conditions of gifts to a foundation; however, exceptions may be approved by the president or the Chancellor in accordance with the provisions of this policy on acceptance of gifts.
          3. The institution must maintain records of gifts to the institution separate from those of gifts to the foundation.
          4. The institution shall report gifts to foundations in the summary of gifts during a fiscal year to be included in its annual report, as provided in this policy in b. under Records and Reporting.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203; T.C.A. § 4-5-102

History

TBR Meeting, September 30, 1983; September 21, 1990; TBR Meeting, March 15, 1991; TBR Meeting March 20, 1992; TBR Meeting March 30, 2007; Board Meeting June 20, 2014.

Policy Number: 
4:01:03:00
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges
Purpose: 

The purpose of this policy is the establishment of Tennessee Board of Regents policy regarding the payment of student fees and enrollment of students.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Student Fees and Enrollment
    1. All assessed fees by an institution governed by the Tennessee Board of Regents are due and payable at the time of registration.
      1. An institution may implement deferred payment plans as may be allowed under a TBR guideline and as authorized for the student.
    2. An individual will be considered enrolled and counted as a student at a TBR institution when:
      1. all assessed fees have been paid (unless otherwise noted in policy); or
      2. the initial minimum payment due under any deferred payment plans has been paid; or
      3. an acceptable commitment from an agency or organization approved by the institution has been received by the institution.
    3. An individual shall possess an acceptable commitment when an application(s) for financial aid has been timely submitted with the reasonable probability of receiving such.
      1. Agencies or organizations which may be approved by the institution for purposes of making acceptable commitments for applicants shall be limited to agencies of the federal or state governments authorized to provide financial aid, established financial institutions within the state, established in-state and out-of-state corporations which employ the applicant, foreign embassies and foreign corporations, and other organizations within the state which have previously demonstrated the ability to pay the commitment.
      2. An acceptable commitment from an agency or organization shall be limited to a commitment which identifies the applicant and promises to pay all unpaid assessed fees for such applicant.
      3. No commitments from individuals will be accepted on behalf of applicants.
    4. Notwithstanding any other requirements in policy, there will be no record holds, enrollment holds, or purging of students for non-payment if the debt owed, whether current debt or prior debt, is less than $100.
    5. All outstanding debts and obligations of $100 or greater not evidenced by an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see Section IV) or a current semester deferred payment agreement must be fully satisfied by the 14th day purge of the semester.
    6. An individual will not be considered for admission/readmission as a student until all past due debts and obligations of $100 or greater incurred in prior academic terms, of whatever nature, have been paid, or the student , if allowable, has entered into an acceptable acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see Section IV) with the institution for the past due debts and obligations.
    7. When an individual tenders payment of fees by means of a personal check or credit card, the individual may be considered and counted as a student. If the payment is subsequently dishonored by the financial institution, and the payment is not redeemed in cash, the institution has the option to not consider that student as enrolled for the term.
      1. At the discretion of the institution, the student may be considered enrolled and will be assessed the applicable returned payment fee, the applicable late registration fee, and normal collection procedures as prescribed in TBR Guideline B-010 (Collection of Accounts Receivable) will be followed.
      2. Institutions may deny future check writing privileges to students who have paid registration fees with checks that are subsequently dishonored.
      3. While institutions have discretion in how these situations will be handled, all students must be treated the same at that institution.
      4. The institutions are authorized, subject to approval by the Board, to establish charges for late registration and/or payments which are returned dishonored, and such charges shall become assessed fees for purposes of admission.
  2. Records Holds
    1. Except as provided in sub-section II. B. hereof, institutions shall not issue diplomas, transcripts, certificates of credit or grade reports until the student involved has satisfied all debts or obligations of $100 or greater or the debts or obligations are evidenced by notes or other written contracts providing for future payment, such as, but not, limited to, loans authorized under federal or state education or student assistance acts. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree. Diplomas, transcripts, certificates of credit, and grade reports shall not be withheld for debts that are less than $100.
    2. The colleges in the college system of Tennessee shall issue a certificate of credit or official transcript for a student seeking admission to any college in the college system of Tennessee if the student has entered a written agreement (acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay) to satisfy the outstanding debt or obligation owed to the college issuing the certificate of credit or official transcript in the form of Exhibit 1 hereto.
      1. Any credit or official transcript issued under this subsection shall indicate that it is subject to an outstanding debt to the issuing college.
      2. The college receiving the certificate of credit or official transcript issued shall not subsequently issue a diploma, certificate of credit or official transcript to that student until it receives proof that the student has satisfied the outstanding debt to the college that issued the certificate of credit or official transcript. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree.
  3. Enrollment Holds
    1. A student must pay any past due debts and obligations owed to the institution incurred in prior academic terms before being permitted to register at the institution unless the debt is less than $100, or an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement (see section IV) for the prior debt or obligation has been executed.
    2. Institutions shall allow enrollment when the outstanding obligation is less than $100.
      1. Additionally, all known debts and obligations to the institution incurred during the current term of $100 or greater must be satisfied prior to a student being allowed to pre-register for any future terms.
    3. An amount owed under the institution’s deferred payment plan for enrollment fees which is not yet due shall not cause an enrollment hold to be applied.
    4. A student that is currently assigned to a collection agency will be allowed to register if the student signs an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement in the form of Exhibit 1 hereto that acknowledges they will not receive a diploma, certificate of credit or official transcript (except as provided in II. A and B Above) until the debt is paid in full. This does not prohibit the conferring of the degree. The student account will not be recalled from the collection agency.
  4. Acknowledgement of Debt/Promise to Pay Agreement for Prior Debt and Obligations
    1. A student who has prior outstanding debt of $100 or more and was not enrolled in the preceding semester (excluding summer semester) may execute an acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement with the institution.
      1. The acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement will require that the debt be fully satisfied before a diploma or degree will be issued. However, this does not prohibit the conferring of the degree.
      2. The acknowledgement of debt/promise to pay agreement will require continuous enrollment.
        1. If continuous enrollment is not maintained the debt the institution may continue with immediate collection efforts as prescribed in TBR Guideline B-010 (Collection of Accounts Receivable) or pursuant to the terms of any previously executed repayment agreement.
      3. A student may only ever execute one such agreement with the institution.
      4. "Continuous enrollment" means a student is enrolled in the fall and spring semesters of a single academic year unless granted a medical or personal leave of absence. Allowable medical or personal reasons may include illness of the student; illness or death of an immediate family member; extreme financial hardship of the student or student’s immediate family; fulfillment of a religious commitment encouraged of members of that faith; fulfillment of required initial active duty for training as a National Guard or Reserve member or for National Guard or Reserve mobilization.
  5. Applicability of Fees
    1. In accordance with this policy, the president of an institution has the authority to determine the applicability of certain fees (as defined in Guideline B-060 Fees, Charges, Refunds and Fee Adjustments), fines, charges, and refunds, and to approve exceptions in instances of unusual circumstances. All such actions should be properly documented for auditing purposes.
  6. Exceptions
    1. The Chancellor or designee may approve exceptions to the requirements of this policy in appropriate circumstances.
    2. Requests for exceptions must be signed by the President and include sufficient justification documentation.
Sources: 

Authority: T.C.A. § 49-8-203; Public Chapter 739 of the Public Acts of the State of Tennessee, 2018

History:

TBR Meetings, June 20, 1975; September 30, 1983; June 24, 1988; June 29, 1990; June 21, 1996; December 8, 2006; December 4, 2008; June 21, 2013; March 30, 2016; June 22, 2018.

Policy Number: 
4:01:02:30
Policy/Guideline Area: 
Business and Finance Policies
Applicable Divisions: 
TCATs, Community Colleges, System Office
Purpose: 

The following policy is adopted by the Tennessee Board of Regents relative to the planning and design of facilities on the campuses of institutions governed by the Board.

Policy/Guideline: 
  1. Facilities Planning and Design
    1. Prior to proceeding with preplanning or design of any project for which an architect or engineer is engaged, the institution president shall, in coordination with the Tennessee Board of Regents staff, develop a comprehensive program statement for the project.
    2. This program statement shall fully set forth the scope of the proposed project and the functional requirements to be satisfied.
    3. When approved by the Board of Regents staff, the program statement shall be the basis for the preplanning and design of the project.
    4. The Chancellor shall ensure that the preplanning, design, and final plans of each project are carried out in conformance with the approved program statement.
Sources: 

Authority

T.C.A. § 49-8-203

History

TBR Meetings, October 12, 1973; September 30, 1983; December 8, 2006

Pages

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