Vendor Guide

Seattle Colleges, the flagship district in Washington state, educates and trains nearly 50,000 students a year at Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, South Seattle College, and five specialized training centers.

Underscoring its position on the Pacific Rim, the district is recognized for its global outlook and is home to one of the largest community college international programs in the country.

The district is nationally recognized for innovations in instruction, student services, and programs, and it is a charter member of the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Purchasing Guidelines

The Purchasing Department is the central procurement authority for Seattle Colleges. This department implements purchasing guidelines, solicits bids, initiates requests for proposal, issues purchase orders, and establishes contracts for goods and services as well as consulting services.

As a public agency, Seattle Colleges is bound by Washington state laws or Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Therefore, the Purchasing Department establishes its purchasing and contracting commitments in accordance with purchasing rules, laws, and regulations of state—and, in some cases, federal or local—government.

The Purchasing Department has developed thresholds and authorities for different commodities depending upon the relevant RCW as noted below:

Goods and Services, Professional Services

(RCW 39.26 and RCW 28B.10.029)

  • $10,000–$99,999: Purchasing seeks competition and advertises an informal solicitation
  • More than $100,000: Purchasing seeks competition and advertises a formal solicitation

The Purchasing Department awards contracts and/or issues purchase orders based on (a) lowest bid or (b) evaluation of multiple criteria. Generally, the solicitation document, either a Request for Quotation, Invitation for Bid, or Request for Proposal, clearly shows the method, instruction, deadline, delivery schedule, and any other specific requirement related to that purchase. Vendors must comply with all the requirements of each solicitation to be considered responsive and responsible.

Seattle Colleges

  • May cancel or withdraw a solicitation in whole or in part and reject any and all bids or proposals at any time prior to an award.
  • Reserves the right to determine the low bidder, on the basis of either an individual item or a group of items or all items, and to make an award, either in whole or in part, unless otherwise provided in the solicitation.
  • Pays for goods and services received within 30 days of the receipt of an invoice or pursuant to the terms of a specific purchase order or contract.

Procurement Card

Seattle Colleges’ departments have authority to purchase goods and services up to $2,500 by use of a procurement card (ProCard). This amount cannot exceed $2,500, including shipping costs and taxes. A ProCard cannot be used for:

  • Paying for travel expenses (i.e., hotel, meals, gas, car rental)
  • Printing of business cards, letterheads, and envelopes
  • Obtaining fixed assets even if the cost is less than $2,500—examples are digital cameras and portable video projectors.

Green Purchasing

Seattle Colleges has a strong commitment to the environment and seeks environmentally preferable products and services. The Purchasing Department may seek, specify, or favorably score products that are recycled, certified, or provide innovative and environmentally preferable solutions.

Supplier Diversity

Seattle Colleges strongly encourages the participation of minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses; socially and economically disadvantaged business enterprises; small businesses; and local businesses in its purchasing and contracting activities. Participation may be through direct contracting, subcontracting, or a business partnership.

Seattle Colleges is dedicated to providing fair and equal purchasing and contracting opportunities to a diverse clientele and allowing open access to all businesses. To view formal and informal solicitations, please visit our Solicitations web page. Certain solicitations or purchases may be posted at the Electronic Business Solutions (WEBS) with the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services at

Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) certifies vendors that are minority- or women-owned businesses. Vendors are encouraged to contact OMWBE at directly for certification.

Helpful Points to Assist Our Vendors

  1. Visit Doing Business with Us for updated information about purchasing and contracting, purchasing staff, solicitations, and notices to our vendors.
  2. Any and all information you provide to Seattle Colleges, even email communications, is a public record. As a public organization, Seattle Colleges is required to respond to public records requests and disclose information from its purchasing records that may consist of vendors’ confidential information. Please do not include any sensitive or proprietary information in your official bids, proposals, quotations, or correspondences. If you do so and do not want disclosure of such information, you must have an attorney obtain an injunction to prevent the release of information.
  3. Register for the Washington Electronic Business Solutions (WEBS) with the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services at You will then receive information about all the state agencies’ solicitations, including Seattle Colleges.
  4. Register your business with Washington State’s Department of Revenue at and provide us with your Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) number. Seattle Colleges cannot do business with a vendor or contractor that does not have a UBI number OR a document showing the vendor’s exemption from having one. In accordance with RCW 82.32.030, vendors must have a UBI in Washington state unless they can demonstrate that they earned less than $12,000 gross income in the prior year.
  5. Follow the solicitation requirements, and allow sufficient time for submitting bids or proposals.
  6. Do not accept orders without an authorized purchase order or contract number from Purchasing unless the purchase is less than $2,500 and is made with a procurement card. Doing otherwise is at your own risk.
  7. Deal directly with the buyer or contract administrator as specified on each purchase order or contract.
  8. Indicate purchase order or contract number on all invoices, correspondence, and any related documents regarding a contract or purchase order.
  9. Address all shipments according to the “Ship To” instruction on the purchase order.
  10. Ship partial orders and submit partial invoices unless the purchase order or contract directs otherwise.
  11. Address all invoices according to the “Bill To” instructions on the purchase order or contract. An incorrect billing address may cause a delay in payment.
  12. Do not offer any gift or gratuity to any Seattle Colleges employee.