Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions & Q&A from Spend Report Training for Colleges and Departments

External Vendors Ask...

How do I register to do business with the University of South Florida?.

Vendors should first register with USF's purchasing department by submitting the vendor application form and required attachments.

I am a registered vendor with USF, is there anything else I need to do?

Yes. USF's Office of Supplier Diversity encourages all minority, women, veteran and service-disabled veteran businesses to connect directly with USFOSD by submitting the USFOSD Certified Supplier form, along with your business's capability statement and all federal, state, city or other recognized certifying body certifications.


What certifications are recognized by the University of South Florida?

USF recognizes the following certifications:

Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE)
Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)
Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (VBE) or (VET)
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB)
Small Business Administration 8(a) (SBA 8(a))
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

For more information, visit the Recognized Certifications page.

Who do I need to get certified by?

Qualifying small-, minority-, women-, veteran- and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses should be certified by one of the following certifying entities: Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC), Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), State of Florida Department of Management Services (DMS), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), and Florida's Department of Transportation's (FDOT).

For more information, visit the Recognized Certifications page.


What are the eligibility requirements for certification?

General qualifications for certification through the State of Florida's Department of Management Services, the state's office of supplier diversity, include 51% or more ownership of firm by a qualifying minority, woman or veteran, control of the business enterprise, and U.S. citizenship among others.


Where can I find more information about USF's current opportunities?

More information about USF's current business opportunities can be found in the Find Opportunities page and under "Additional Purchasing Resources" in Register with USF Purchasing.

How do I contact USF buyers?

USFOSD has compiled a listing by department and college of contacts. This information can be found under Find a Contact at USF. We encourage you to use this information strategically to introduce yourself and your business.


What can the USF Office of Supplier Diversity do for my business?

The USF Office of Supplier Diversity is here to help you by connecting your business directly to relevant University buyers. USFOSD will share your business capability statements and profiles with USF departments and colleges, share information with you regarding vendor fairs and educational resources, and spotlight selected diverse businesses via Facebook and Twitter, as well as on the Office of Supplier Diversity website.

How can I find out the latest news and events from USFOSD?

Connect with USFOSD on social media by following and liking our page on Twitter and Facebook. You will receive all the latest news and information on upcoming events, as well as helpful tips and resources

How can USF buyers find me?

USF buyers can find you if you have been added to the USFOSD Certified Supplier database. To be added you need to submit the USFOSD certified supplier form and the required documentation.


USF Buyers Ask... 

What is supplier diversity and why is it important to USF?

Supplier diversity is a proactive business strategy that seeks to provide suppliers equal access to sourcing and purchasing opportunities. This is important to USF because this positions the University to continue to create a platform of economic growth and development for the diverse business community in the Tampa Bay region. In addition, a diverse supply chain affords USF access to vendors who are proving they can provide better pricing, products and service offerings, in some cases, and also helps USF's supply chain better reflect the demographics of our community.


How can I increase utilization of diverse businesses at USF?

By considering a diverse business before making any purchase – big or small. Make a true "Good Faith" effort in including diverse businesses when getting quotes and making vendor selections.

Find a Vendor in our diverse vendor database. Vendors are categorized by goods, services and construction with specific sub-categories.

For more information or assistance in finding a vendor, visit or contact USFOSD directly at: 813-974-5052.

I have just purchased goods or services from a diverse business, do I need to report it?

For all procurements with a diverse business, please track and report the spend using the Spend Reporting Form. For construction projects, tier 2 reporting is required. For more information, visit here.

There's a specific good or service I need and want to consider using a diverse business, but can't find a vendor that offers what I need in the vendor database, what do I do?

Let us know! Email with a description of the goods, services or project you require and any vendor requirements you may have. USFOSD will work to find a diverse vendor that fits your needs. Allow for 48 hours to process your request

I don't make big purchases - just small PCard buys - do I still need to consider using a diverse business? 

Yes! Every purchase you make from $1 to $1 million matters. With your help we can positively impact economic growth and development for families and communities right here in Tampa Bay.

For more information, visit Benefits of Supplier Diversity

How can I support the USF Office of Supplier Diversity?

Your support is invaluable! Help us get the word out to your fellow USF teammates about the USF Supplier Diversity initiatives and let's make an impact together. Also, if you come across a great diverse business, let us know! We want to spread the word about them throughout USF and with your help, we can increase our diverse business utilization substantially.

Also, don't forget to connect with USFOSD on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest news and developments of USF's supplier diversity program


CBE comprises a number of types, such as Veteran owned, women owned, Asian pacific etc. Why only the focus on black owned? Isn't CBE utilization all inclusive?

There is a significant disparity in our utilization of black owned businesses and we need to focus on this area. Over 60% of our diverse owned spend is with WBEs, which is very disproportionate. We are trying to spread our spend across all categories.


How can we check to see if existing companies that we spend with could be WBE's or CBE's or has this been done already?

You can ask them if they are certified as diverse business. If not, ask if they are eligible. You can direct them to contact USF OSD for assistance with the certification process.



In the past, we have been "strongly recommended" to use certain vendors because they are CBE/WBE. Unfortunately, they have provided subpar services on several occasions, we were still "strongly encourages" to use them. Why should we continue using a vendor if they are not providing good and consistent service in timely manner?

Like every category of vendors they may be issues. Let OSD help you find good vendors to work with.


If we have a CBE who holds a prime contract/PO also reports Tier 2 diverse that a duplication or should more than 100% of the spend be reported?

If a CBE holds a prime contract, they are still required to report their subcontractor spend to USF. We do not double count this participation.


Do the businesses have to be certified? If we are working with a business that we discover is minority owned but not certified, how do we proceed?

At this time we are not requiring vendors to be certified but will likely change. You can still utilize the vendor. If you know a vendor is not certified they should be encouraged to certify and they can contact USF OSD for assistance.


When a Supplier goes thru the Bull Marketplace to get added as a supplier do they have to be certified in order to be marked as a diverse supplier?

At this time we are not requiring vendors to be certified but will likely change. If you know a vendor is not certified they should be encouraged to certify and they can contact USF OSD for assistance.


Do you want us to include businesses in the report that indicate to us they are MBE, even if they are not certified? (for example a restaurant who doesn’t want to take the time and expense to certify)

Yes, at this time we are allowing businesses to self-certify. However, we do want to encourage them to get certified if they are eligible because eventually it will be required. There are many certifications that are free of charge and we can help them with that information.


Low cost and diverse does not necessarily mean quality. What kind of oversight will there be if the organization does not perform?

We will need to set expectations just like we do with all vendors. If there are concerns, the OSD can assist but we would encourage you to not go into a contractual obligation with a supplier expecting them to fail because they may be a small business. Again, have an open mind knowing new suppliers may need to understand our processes and procedures just as we have done with suppliers who have been doing business with us for years.


Much of our purchasing dollars are sole source. We would like to see more competition in these areas and would welcome supplier diversity but it doesn't exist today. Is there a way USF could encourage new diverse entities to enter these categories.

If it's sole source contact OSD and they will search to find diverse vendors for you. Please allow 48 hours turnaround time.


When will you be notified if you are the one identified for your department to do this report? Should those people already have been notified?

The Deans or Senior VPs were given until Sept. 30 to notify that person.


With the possibility of very tight budgets, we are reducing our spending in our small unit. This means that we will be spending very carefully or little at all. Our standard expenses like Office Depot or Ricoh have been set for years - do we need to change those venders? Our monthly reports for the next months will likely be 0. Is this a problem?

OSD would like for you to make an effort to use diverse suppliers whenever possible, but we do understand that Covid-19 has impacted spending. According to Procurement the expectation for Office Depot is that they will be utilized for consumable office supplies as per their contract. But diverse suppliers can be used for other purchases outside of those consumable office supplies. Procurement is also looking at current contracts for opportunities with other diverse suppliers.


Are any of our Bulls Marketplace Punchout vendors Diverse? If a vendor sells something that a Bulls Marketplace offers, which should we choose?

We do not have any diverse suppliers in Bull Marketplace at this time. But Procurement is working to add them and will highlight those vendors.


Does the Tier 2 apply to sub-contractors too or only Construction?

Tier 2 spend would include all sub-contractor used by the main contract holder. The main contractor would fill out the Tier 2 spend report.


What is the proper way to find out if vendor we would like to use is an MBE? Some staff may not feel comfortable asking somebody if they are a diverse vendor.

You can use the Vendor Listing on the OSD website to find suppliers that have been identified as diverse. You can also search the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, or the State of Florida supplier diversity sites.


If you have multiple vendors you are considering and if the Diverse vendor but they are not offering the best price or the lowest quote are we required to go with the Diverse vendor.

You're not required to use the diverse owned supplier however take all factors into consideration (e.g. timing of service, customer service). Diverse vendors might prove to be a better option if the price difference is minimal and the service is favorable.


Should every purchase include a diverse competitive quote or only those spends over $5000.00?

For every purchase we encourage the purchasing agent to receive a quote from a Diverse Vendor. If you are unable to locate one please feel free to reach out to so that we can get a list for you.


Is there an identifier on the vendor id that will list them as a diversity supplier when we are submitting a PO request?

The vendor will be able to classify themselves as a CBE/MBE when they register with USF Purchasing via the Jagger system (Bull Marketplace). They will also choose their classification as either, woman-owned business, African-American, Asian-American and upload any certifications.


Even if we don't have a contract that is due for renewal right now can we send you a list of the vendors we work with that are sole source to see if you can identify a more diverse alternative.

YES, You absolutely can.


What is the percentage of spend with black owned businesses?

There is no specific percentage for black owned businesses. Our goal is 13-20% of our spending with diverse vendors.


How does USF compare to other FL. State Universities with this initiative?

USF is leading the FL SUS in this initiative. We have the most comprehensive program of all other universities in the state.


Can you provide more guidance on how Deans and VPs will held accountable in their annual performance appraisals? Are thresholds being established for each college and administrative area to get to the 13-20% goal?

That guidance will be provided by our new Chief Human Resources Office Angela Sklenka.


Can a graph be provided that overlays the % of diverse spend for USF compared to benchmark % in the community so we can see any disparities easily and quickly - and this can be easily updated on a dashboard.

At this time, this is not a tool we have available. We will look at implementing.


We have women owed businesses that we work with but in the Bull Marketplace they are not identified as diverse suppliers

They should be. They can contact OSD for more information on certification but if they are women owned please include them in your spend report.


Are all of the vendors listed on the OSD vendor listing spreadsheet currently active?

Yes, we continually go through this listing and updated based on the information we are receiving.


Are certified vendors already coded into the purchasing system so that spend is automatically coded as minority spend?

It depends on if a CBE specifies their diverse category during the vendor setup process. If they do, then we can pull the data but if they do not designate themselves we cannot capture that data.


What about if we use Amazon for different products?


Can the Bulls Marketplace supplier number be added to the vendor listing type spreadsheet for each vendor?

At this time and we cannot add it at this time but it is something we can discuss for the future.


In addition to the website as a resource are there trainings for the diverse suppliers on how to do business with USF as a large entity?

OSD is working with IT to create training videos for suppliers


Should Pcard holders review the Spend Report training?

Yes, we definitely encourage PCard holders to review the Spend Report Training for Colleges and Departments. A recording of the training is available to view and the PowerPoint Presentation can be viewed or downloaded.


Is there one point of contact for each department that submits the report or is it every individual attending this training?

No, not every individual attending the training. Your Dean or Sr. VP will be appointing someone to collect the data. OSD expects one report from each College or Department (e.g. one from the college of Nursing, one for Administrative Services,) OSD has contacted Senior Leaders to inform them they need to appoint someone by Sept. 30.


Are Foundation purchases included?

If you are using Diverse Owned suppliers you should use the Spend Report form to report that spend. Yes, that does include Foundation and other DSOs.


What FAST queries are available for building the spend report?

There could be FAST queries you can use to find spend for your College or Dept. However, for the purpose of your spend reporting you would input the relevant data into the OSD Spend Report Form. We don't have Fast queries by college or department; OSD is going to work with IT to create these queries. Once these are built OSD will compare them to the monthly spend reports from Colleges & Departments. OSD knows that some spend for diverse vendors is missing because the vendors are not tagged in the FAST and Jaggaer system and Spend Report Form will help to fill those gaps and give better visibility of the diverse spend to senior leadership and the community.


You mentioned getting diversity supplier information directly from Construction Managers on project over $4M. What about project below $4M?

Many of these fall under Continuing Services contracts or sub-contractors that are diverse. Please send that data with the College or Dept. Spend Report form


If a company is owned by a black woman, how do we classify?

We categorize them the way they choose to be categorized. The majority of the Black woman owned businesses will be categorized under African American businesses.


Are handicapped owners also included as diverse CBE?

At this time, there are no goals in this category.


Where can we find the spend report form?

You can find  the Spend Report Form for Colleges and Departments on the OSD website.


How would you like us to track CBEs when utilizing PCards?

PCard purchases with diverse suppliers should be reported via the Spend Report Form.


Do we track businesses owned by religious minorities or LGBTQ individuals?

At this time we do not, but it is coming soon.


Are we entering monthly data or year to date as the months go on?



Is inputting the spend data a completely manual process? Will this process require each college to review every transaction and manually review if they are a diverse supplier or is there some automated process for this?

This is a manual process for now. However, we are working to automate.


Are we reporting E&G only? Including auxiliary? Including contract & grants? Including Foundation?

E&G primarily but if there is spend with diverse suppliers from our DSO organizations, we want it to be reported.


How do we cross reference all of the vendors that we spend with to their minority status?

In some instances you will have to ask them. We are including their classification on the vendor listing on the OSD website.


Is there a query we can pull to capture all purchases for the month and analyze those purchases?

You may be able to work with purchasing to build that. At this time, we do not have an individual query to provide to you.


Do we need to submit anything if we did not purchase from a diverse supplier during the month?

Yes, please submit the report with $0 in the respective fields.


If you know a supplier is diverse but they're being paid with PCards, can these vendors be counted on the monthly spreadsheet?

Yes, please include them on your suppliers on the monthly report and we will compare to the information that we receive from JP Morgan Chase


Do you want us to report spending on PO and Travel?

Yes, if there are spend in all of those areas with diverse suppliers, please report. However, in our final reports we typically remove travel.


What if we need more lines than available on the Spend Report form? Do we combine spend or add a second page?

We would like to see individual lines for each supplier with their designation. However, if you make a purchase with the same supplier multiple times in the same reporting period, it would be okay to group that spend and just give a brief description of services for what they provided.  You can add more rows to the spreadsheet if needed.