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How to purchase CFI funded infrastructure

The CFI defers the procurement process to the institution receiving the funds; therefore, CFI requires that all purchases related to its projects follow the institution’s usual tendering and purchasing policy and procedure.

At a minimum, the grant holder must ensure that all goods or services purchased from his/her grant are considered eligible according to the list published by each Agency (NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR).  In addition, grant holders are required to indicate receipt of goods or services in accordance with stipulated terms and conditions (including pricing) by signing all invoices and reconciliation reports.

The institution has the right and the responsibility to withhold approval of expenses proposed by a PI that contravene CFI requirements or institutional policies.

As part of the application development, Principal Investigators (PIs) are required to include an itemized equipment list with an estimated budget for each item.  To provide a reasonable estimate of the cost of any item, Strategic Procurement Services assists the PI with quote solicitations.  PIs can solicit quotes directly by using the Vendor Quote Solicitation Form (PDF) prepared for this purpose.  This form can be used to solicit quotes for goods or services up to $50,000 in estimated value.  If the anticipated value exceeds $50,000, PIs must contact Strategic Procurement Services for a formal competitive bid.

A formal competitive bidding process, as per the institution’s usual tendering and purchasing policies and procedures, must take place prior to the purchase of each item. The institution should not make any purchase commitments to vendors when soliciting pricing information at the proposal and award finalization stages, ensuring that a formal competitive bidding process can be carried out prior to the actual purchase.

In accordance with the Agreement on Internal Trade (to which both York and the CFI are obligated) purchases in excess of $100,000 must be publicly advertised by Strategic Procurement Services through an electronic tendering system.  York uses Merx for this purpose.

Vendors must be given a reasonable amount of time to adequately respond to a call for competitive bids.  A minimum of fifteen (15) calendar days must be provided for this purpose. Strategic Procurement Services is responsible for managing the competitive bid process and will work with the PI to ensure the process is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

Purchases can only be made once CFI approves the award and has transferred the funds to York University. Strategic Procurement Services will only authorize purchases that have been approved by the CFI through its confirmation of the information provided on the itemized list.  This is done to ensure that York will not have to pay for purchases which may otherwise be found to be ineligible after the fact.

  1. Funding is transferred into the PIs cost centre.
  2. Research Accounting notifies the PI and Strategic Procurement Services that the cost centre has been established and purchases can begin.
  3. PI completes and approves a Purchasing Requisition(s) (PR) ensuring the purchases made match the approved line items found on the itemized equipment list.
  4. Purchasing Requisition and all supporting documentation is forwarded to Strategic Procurement Services for review to ensure completeness.
  5. All completed PRs are forwarded to Research Accounting for review of eligibility and available funding.
  6. Once the review by RA is completed, the requisitions are returned to Procurement Services to ensure:
    • all applicable costs are captured (i.e. taxes, installation costs, shipping, etc.)
    • any in-kind contribution is properly supported
    • requisition is compared to the one that was submitted with the finalized budget to ensure no changes are made to items, pricing or in-kind contributions
    • where changes are requested, Procurement Services will follow-up with the PI
  7. Once Strategic Procurement Services has completed their due diligence they will issue a Purchase Order (PO) to the selected vendor and send a copy of the PO (receiving copy) to the PI.

Once the product is received and inspected, or the services(s) is rendered, the PI must sign the receiving copy of the PO and send to Accounts Payable ( with the invoice for vendor payment.