Procurement Policies and Procedures

Procurement Record Retention Policy

Effective 1/1/2020

*Scanned buyWays documents are good thru 6/30/2024 (this will be updated quarterly as approval to destroy records is received from State Archives).

Pursuant to University Records Management Document Retention requirements, procurement records are required to be maintained for seven years.  When using the buyWays eProcurement system, the system itself is the system of record for procurement documentation to include actual purchase requisitions/orders, invoices, receipts, approvals, solicitation documentation, lease agreements, contracts, written determinations, internal notes/references, and all other attached procurement related documentation.  No other documentation is required to be maintained to meet document retention requirements.  Departments will not maintain duplicate files of procurement related documentation already captured in buyWays. 

For procurement records received in paper form (a paper invoice is the most likely example), the record must be scanned and attached to the appropriate record in buyWays.  The user scanning the document is responsible to ensure the scanned image is legible and saved in buyWays, after which point, the paper record can then be stored until approval is given to destroy the document by the State. 

Electronic invoices, or invoices received directly into buyWays, are already electronic records in the system and do not require further printing, scanning or filing.  Invoices or other records emailed to Clemson should be saved as a separate .PDF and attached to buyWays.  The email itself will follow rules for email retention. 

For those records with special retention schedules longer than the seven years (most likely specific Federal awards), the electronic procurement record maintained in buyWays will be transferred as an electronic file(s) to a network drive at the time that buyWays records of seven years or older are purged.

If not using buyWays, end users are required to legally maintain all documentation related to a specific procurement and adhere to document retention schedules.

Procurement Records Retention Procedure

For procurement records maintained in buyWays, Procurement will coordinate with the eProcurement supplier and Records Management to conduct an annual deletion/purge of the electronic procurement records in accordance with the seven year retention requirement.  Individual departments do not need to manage this process.  The process for deleting/purging the electronic records will consist of Procurement submitting a request to purge procurement records to Records Management for the specific time period (records older than seven years).  Grants and Contracts will be notified at this time, so procedure to transfer procurement records with a longer than seven year retention period can be completed.  Once approval has been granted to destroy records, the University Procurement Director will perform the two step process in buyWays to purge the appropriate files. 

For procurement records that are received by the University as paper documents, these files will be scanned and attached to the appropriate record in buyWays. 

Procurement will seek approval to destroy the paper documents for all records scanned into buyWays by the University monthly.  When State Archives grants approval, Procurement will notify individual departments via a message posted on the Procurement website advising of the approval to destroy the paper records for a specific period of time (the goal is for a specific calendar month at a time but this may change based on demand).  During the time while the department is storing the paper records, they do NOT need to file them in a specific manner – a box or recycling bin that will not be emptied during that month is perfectly acceptable.

For grant related procurement records, or any other procurement record that may have a retention requirement greater than seven years, the appropriate department of record will notify Procurement of the specific procurement records that need to be maintained longer than the seven years.  Prior to the annual deletion/purge process, Procurement will coordinate the transfer of these procurement records to a location on the network drive as electronic files.  The department of record will then be responsible for destruction of those records according to their retention schedule.