Where is the Procurement Communications Reporting System?
The Procurement Communications Reporting System is located at: http://pcrs.illinois.gov. You will need an ID before accessing the system.
Who must file a report?
Not all employees who speak with vendors regarding a product or service are required to file a report. The procurement communications reporting requirement applies only to communications that impart or request material information or make a material argument regarding an active procurement matter and that are made to an employee who, by nature of his or her duties, has the authority to participate personally and substantially in the decision to award a State contract. The University of Illinois has identified the following roles assumed to have authority to participate personally and substantially in the decision to award a State contract:
- Members of the Board of Trustees and designees
- Vice President for Business and Finance and designees
- President and designees
- Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and designees
- Senior Associate Vice President and Associate Directors of Capital Programs and designees
- Senior Associate Vice President of Business and Finance and designees
- Executive Assistant Vice President and Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance and designees
- University Counsel
- Directors, Senior Associate Director, and Assistant Directors of Purchasing and designees
- Director of Business Services and designees
- Director of University Sourcing and designees
- Director of Real Estate Planning and Auxiliary Enterprise Support and designees
- Director of Budgets and Financial Analysis and designees
- Director and Assistant Director of Budget Operations and Analysis and designees
- Director and Assistant Director of Grants and Contracts and designees
- Assistant Vice President University Office for Facilities Planning and Programs and designees
- University Director, Procurement Support Operations and designees
- Coordinator for Business and Finance and designees
- Executive Director for Business and Finance and designees
If you do not serve in one of the roles identified in this list, you still might be required to report if you participate substantially in the decision to award a particular contract and participate in a communication that imparts material information or makes a material argument regarding a potential action on an active procurement matter. Please contact the University Ethics and Compliance Office to discuss your participation in the communication so we may assist you in determining whether or not you are required to file a report.
How soon after the communication do I need to file my report?
Reports must be submitted within 30 days of the communication. Employees should obtain login ID’s and password as soon as possible to ensure filing within the standards defined by law.
What happens if I choose not to file a report?
The Illinois Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500/50-39) states, “An employee who knowingly and intentionally violates this Section shall be subject to suspension or discharge.”
What information will I need to complete the report?
- Name, title, phone number (email address if you communicated via email) of the person you communicated with
- Name of the vendor company
- Date and time of the communication
- Length of the communication (in minutes)
- Action requested]
- Summary of communication
- List of participants including: name, title, telephone number, and email address
Please see the Procurement Communications worksheet to assist you in collecting the necessary information during your communications. If you are missing information in a required field, you can enter “000000000.”
What happens to my communication once it is submitted into the reporting system?
Following submission but prior to being posted on the website, your report may be reviewed by the State Purchasing Officer (SPO) for malicious content. All reports should be kept clear of malicious content, strictly summarizing the communication only. Following this review, the report will be posted to the Procurement Policy Board website for viewing by the general public.
Where can I get help with this process?
If you are looking for assistance regarding whether or not to file a report, please send an email to the University Ethics and Compliance Office at email@example.com or call the Ethics Line at 866-758-2146.
If you are having difficulty logging in, need to change or have your password reset, or are having technical difficulties within the reporting system, please contact the Department of Innovation and Technology:
- Go to www.doit.illinois.gov
- Scroll down to the “Manage Passwords” section
- Select the “DoIT Identity Management” (DIM) link
- Under the “Identity Management” header, select “Reset your Password or Unlock your Account"
- In the Domain drop-down, select “Other Employees [SPS]”
- In the Username field, enter your user name (ex: John.Doe)
- Type the Image Code in the field provided
- Select, “Continue”
- Select the Radio Button under Step 1 to “Receive an email message with an identity confirmation at your email address”
- Check your email for a message from IdentityManagement@illinois.gov to locate the code and enter that code into the field provided on the screen
- Proceed to changing your password per the on-screen instructions
How can I obtain an ID to file a report?
University of Illinois employees who need to submit a report to the PPB must provide the following information to the University Ethics and Compliance Office via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain a user ID and password for the PCRS website (http://pcrs.illinois.gov)
- first name
- middle initial
- last name
- UIN (University Identification Number - from icard)
- email address
- campus code (single digit number: 1, 2, 4, or 9)
- college code (two letter code)
- department code (three digit number)
If you do not know your campus, college and department code, please ask your unit business manager, as they should be able to provide this information.
What are the password requirements for the PCRS system?
Passwords cannot contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters. Additionally, password must be at least 7 characters long and meet three of the four following criteria:
- english uppercase characters (A-Z)
- english lowercase characters (a-z)
- base 10 digits (0-9)
- non-alphabetic characters (for example, 1, $, #, %)
What communications DO NOT require reporting?
The following communications are exempt from the reporting requirement and do not need to be reported to the PPB:
- vendor demonstrations if the demonstration is required as part of the RFP/IFB
- statements/presentations made in a public forum
- communications regarding matters of procedure and practice (e.g., number of copies for RFP response, the manner of filing, status of a matter)
- statements made between employees of the University, other Illinois public universities, State of Illinois employees, IPHEC (Illinois Public Higher Education Consortium) when the employee is exercising experience or expertise or exercising oversight or management authority, or between employees of the University and the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission.
- unsolicited communications providing general information about products, services, and, best industry practices, etc.
- communications received in response to a procurement solicitation (e.g., request for proposal, request for information, notice of potential opportunity, request for qualifications, invitation for bid, small purchase, sole source, or emergency solicitation or questions and answers posted to the Illinois Procurement Bulletin to supplement the procurement action, provided the communications are made in accordance with the instructions contained in the procurement solicitation, procedures, or guidelines
- communications that are privileged, protected, or confidential under law
- communications that are part of a formal procurement process
- communications regarding existing contracts
- memberships in professional, academic, or athletic organizations on behalf of the University, and employee, or student
- procurements for events or activities paid exclusively by revenues generated by the event, gifts or donations for the event or activity, or any combination thereof
- procurement for events or activities for which the use of specific vendors is mandated or identified by the sponsor, provided that sponsor is providing the majority of the funding
- expenditures necessary to provide artistic or musical services, performances, or productions held at a venue operated by the University
- expenditures for periodicals and books procured for use by teh University library or academic department, except for expenditures related to textbooks for student use or materials for resale or rental
The above FAQ states communications that are part of a formal bid process are exempt. What is a formal procurement process?
A "formal procurement process" is a process set out by statute, rule, or the solicitation, guidelines, or procedures, including but not limited to the posting of procurement opportunities, the process for approving a procurement business case or its equivalent, fiscal approval, submission of bids, the finalizing of contract terms and conditions with an awardee or apparent awardee and the like.
Examples of additional situations that would be considered part of the formal communications process include, but are not limited to, the following (also see Reporting Exceptions for more examples of items that are part of the formal procurement process or are specifically exempt from reporting):
- questions during the time a solicitation is published including
those that result in an amendment posted to the Procurement Bulletin.
Note: Exempt communications must be true clarifications with the
question and the response being posted.
- questions that do not change the scope of work and are merely process related (e.g., to verify bid opening date/time, explain how to submit proposals, verification of address)
- questions asked during a public pre-proposal/bid meeting which is scheduled when the solicitation is published
- clarifications requested after the bid opening
- vendor demonstrations after the bid opening if demonstrations are requested in the RFP or other public solicitation document
- BAFO (best and final offer negotiations) before publishing an intent to award a contract
- the protest process, including requiring information from the newly awarded contractor to respond to the protest
- price adjustment requests as originally set forth in the contract
- communications regarding the return of samples provided during the solicitation
Once a contract is awarded, communications no longer require reporting when the vendor and University are working out final details and logistics.
Do all change orders require reporting?
Yes. As stated in Section 50-30(a) of the Illinois Procurement Code, all change orders, regardless of dollar value/amount, must be reported on the PPB's website
Do purchases such as flights booked online or items bought in a store where there is no direct communication with a vendor require reporting?
No. Procurement communications reporting is only required in those situations where a commodity or service is being directly negotiated with the vendor. Store purchases on a P-Card or airline tickets bough through Travelocity, Expedia, or a similar vendor, would not require reporting.
If I am making a supply purchase through the University's i-Buy system, am I required to report my communications with the i-Buy vendor?
If the supply you are purchasing is a punch-out item, the University already has an existing contract with the vendor for that item. Per the Procurement Policy Board, communications related to purchases under an existing contract DO NOT require reporting uless the communication is related to the execution of a change order. However, if the supply is a non-catalog item and you have had discussions with the vendor leading to the purchase, you would need to report the material discussion through the Procurement Policy Board's communication website at: http://pcrs.illinois.gov.
If I attend a vendor expo or similar event where multiple vendors are on-site showcasing their products, do I need to report the discussions I have with those vendors?
Discussions that are more general in nature and are informational only would not require reporting. However, any discussions that go into greater detail regarding a current or future need, extending beyond the basic information-gathering and that are tailored more specifically to your University unit may require reporting.
I was cc'd on a communication from a vendor on a procurement-related matter. If the communication is one that requires reporting, do I need to file a report, in addition to the person in the "To" section of the email?
Since you were cc'd on a communication from a vendor that does meet the reporting requirements, both you and the primary recipient will need to report the communication. If the communication does not meet the reporting requirements, neither would need to submit a report. If, however, one University employee forwards the message to another University employee, that would not be reportable.