Systems and Procedures
A Division of The Corporate Controller's Office

Procedure BS2013 - Multimedia and Print Center

Auxiliary & Business Services

Policy Steward facilitating procedure: Associate Vice President for Auxiliary & Business Services

Table of Contents:


The Penn State Multimedia and Print Center (MPC) has been designated the responsibility for managing the manufacture and procurement of printing, copying, and addressing in a timely and cost-effective manner in accordance with Policy BS07 - Authority and Procuremen t.

This procedure documents the process by which these responsibilities will be carried out, including the handling of requests, bidding, outsourcing (if/when needed), managing the production and quality control on behalf of departments/customers, making payment to vendors and billing to departments.




All requests for printing, copying, and related mail services required by departments/customers and organizations at all University locations, whether in the form of individual jobs, multiple jobs to be done over time with a single vendor, or any contractual commitments for services that involve any printing or mailing when the anticipated printing costs are in excess of $250, are to be routed to the MPC. For locations other than University Park, this procedure governs jobs exceeding a printing cost of $1,000.

Specifications can be submitted through a customer service representative via telephone, email, fax, or via the website for the Penn State Print Portal , or in person (at your location or at MPC).

In consultation with the department/customer, a decision will be made as to whether the needs can be met using internal capabilities or outsourcing is necssary. If the estimated MPC costs for producing the project are up to $2,500, (excluding paper, addressing, and postage) the project will be generally completed by MPC. If the department/customer chooses to use MPC, there is no requirement to seek additional bids. If the department/customer requires competitive bidding, MPC will coordinate the procurement of the material/services in accordance with the University purchasing guidelines. Projects with an estimated or historical printing cost exceeding $10,000 (excluding paper, addressing, and postage), if not produced at MPC will in most cases be competitively bid.


Bids will be solicited from appropriate vendors for printing costs, (including MPC), based on the quality and delivery requirements for the level of work involved. Bids will be solicited using the Penn State Printing Portal for viewing specifications and submitting prices. The department/customer may identify vendors to include in the bid. Generally the costs requests will be production costs with the understanding that the University will supply the paper. Prices obtained through the Portal are not accessible to any vendor or MPC, (except for their own price), until after bid closure. MPC will add the price of paper to all bids. Purchasing Services will open and review the bids and forward to MPC. Awards will be made on the basis of electronic bids submitted by vendors plus the costs of the paper added by MPC. The award process will be managed by customer service representatives at MPC.

Outsourced Work

All jobs outsourced will be awarded to the vendor providing the best-value. Best-value criteria will be stated in the specification document. The best-value criteria and a list of suggested vendors will be reviewed with the customer before posting the bid. In the absence of unique best-value criteria, jobs will generally be awarded on the basis of the most competitive cost including paper. Generally bids will be solicited from multiple vendors that can meet the criteria. When appropriate, certain jobs will be directly awarded to a vendor without soliciting multiple bids (direct award).

MPC customer service representatives are available to help in developing specifications and suggesting alternatives to departments/customers. At the request of the department/customer, MPC customer service representatives can assist in the job management function once the job is awarded. This can include activities such as review of proofs, press-cehcks, delivery arrangements, and quality control functions.

Payment Processing

For payment of outsourced work, the vendor will submit an invoice to MPC. Once the product and the associated invoice charges have been approved by the department/customer and MPC, MPC will release the payment. MPC will direct bill the department/customer in accordance with the Procedure CR2069 - Direct Billing to cover the costs of the vendore invoice, paper, addressessing, and postage charges where applicable.


The Financial Officer is responsible for ensuring that procedures pertaining to the accountability and safeguarding of all cash receipts, cash funds, and other assets are established and followed in accordance with approved University policies and procedures. Regular audits relating to advances, cash, travel, equipment accountability, and other expenditures provide a means to protect University assets. The Financial Officer is responsible for working with Internal Audit when audits are being performed in the administrative area.


Record retention must be managed in accordance with Policy AD35 - University Archives and Records Management , and records schedules approved by the Records Management Advisory Committee, Office of General Counsel, and Office of the President. These retention requirements are the University's retention criteria, either derived or based upon federal, state, and local statute or regulations, industry standards, and business needs. Retention beyond recommended time periods require justifiable reasons and warrant review by the Records Management Officer or designee. All documents must be maintained in such a manner so as to provide ease of access for review, and to provide a suitable audit trail for all transactions.

Upon expiration of a stated period of time, documents must be discarded and/or destroyed, unless permission is granted by Records Management Officer or designee to retain the records. Archival records created more than 20 years prior to the current date must be reviewed before destruction. Units should also contact the University Archivist before discarding any document which may be of permanent or historical value to the University. To safeguard the privacy of individuals, documents that contain salary information, personally identifiable information (PII), or student records must also be shredded. See Policy AD53 - Privacy Policy and AD22 - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act for additional information regarding privacy and the protection of an individual's personal information. For documents that must be shredded, departments may arrange for Blue Bag service by contacting the Blue/White Shredding Program of the Office of Physical Plant. Exceptions to the practice are as follows:

Additional questions may be directed to the University Archivist or the Records Management Officer.




For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this procedures, please contact the Director of the Multimedia and Print Center.


Procedure Status:

Date Approved: 5/14/2015

Most recent changes:

Revision History (and effective dates:)