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How to Buy

Step 1 - Planning

Planning ahead gives the end user/department more options in the purchasing process. To save time, plan ahead.

Determine whether the goods or services you wish to purchase are available on a state contract. Another option is to check ISU Surplus for previously used items that are available at considerable savings. If planning to use a Purchase Order, log in to PaymentWorks https://www.paymentworks.com/app  for a list of registered vendors.  If a vendor isn't listed you have two options:

  1. Send the vendor an invitation through PaymentWorks https://www.isu.edu/financeadmin/accounts-payable/
  2. Send an email to Bonnie Liston noting the vendor name, contact name, email address, and why this vendor is needed.

Step 2 - Buying Limits

The required solicitation process is determined by the dollar amount of the purchase and includes shipping and handling, and the commodity type. Please contact the buyer for the good and service you need to discuss the process and requirements.

Unsure of which method, click here for more detail    Procurement Method Determination

 See the exemption items list for guidance on specific goods/services.

Step 3 - Buying Methods

When planning to buy goods and services for the University, it's helpful to know the buying methods that are available to you and when it's appropriate to use them.

Goods and Services

Travel Purchases

Responsibilities of the Purchaser


All faculty and staff at Idaho State University are required to adhere to the intent and spirit of the Purchasing Policies and Procedures. They are designed as a means to acquire the necessary goods and services as effectively and economically as possible, while also maintaining compliance with the laws of the State of Idaho. Employees are subject to penalties as described in Idaho Code, including, but not limited to, those in Section 67-9231.

Employees are prohibited from obtaining goods or services by avoiding the competitive process through such actions as splitting purchases, creating false emergency situations, and purchasing outside open contracts without authorization.

Any effort to circumvent or abuse State and University Purchasing Policies and Procedures will not be condoned and is subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

All employees are involved in business transacted by the University in one form or another, including those using the University PCard. Each employee has a personal responsibility to conduct University business in an ethical manner, as described in Idaho Code Section 67-9233.

Conflict of interest

A conflict of interest is described as having a private interest that competes with your professional obligations with ISU to a degree that an independent observer might reasonably question whether your professional actions or decisions are materially affected by personal considerations, including but not limited to personal gain, financial or otherwise.

Influencing/conspiring to influence

The University prohibits the influencing or conspiring to influence purchasing decisions and contract awards. Attempts to influence may include kickbacks and bribes, peddling or payment of a fee, back door selling, hard-sell tactics, fraternization, or offering gifts to avoid following published procedures or gain advantages.