Supplier Ethics, Responsibility, and Safety

The highest standards of business ethics and conduct should be applied by all Dartmouth employees in relations with suppliers. When making decisions affecting suppliers, employees shall not obligate either themselves or the College to a supplier. In conducting business with suppliers, employees are also expected to act fairly and objectively and in the best interests of the College.


Fairness to suppliers is promoted by the following means:

  • By giving all salespersons a fair, prompt and courteous hearing on any subject that is justified by the nature of their products or services.
  • By keeping competition open and fair.
  • By discouraging revision of bids after submission and insisting on receiving the best price initially and holding the bidder to it.
  • By keeping buying specification fair and clear and not including impractical or unnecessary specifications.
  • By showing consideration for the vendors' difficulties and cooperating with them to the fullest extent possible.
  • By not soliciting quotes from a potential supplier unless we are willing to use that supplier should the offer be acceptable in quality, price, delivery terms and service. Qualifications of a supplier will be determined by Procurement Services before a quotation is requested.
  • By not bargaining with suppliers. Ensure that each bidder's quoted price is compared with other bids submitted under the same conditions.
  • By keeping prices confidential and not divulging those prices to competitors.

In cases when the appropriate Procurement Representative is not already providing the communication interface with suppliers, employees should consult with Procurement Services if questions arise relative to these relational guidelines.


Mutual respect between supplier and Buyer has always been and always will be an important factor in business. It is to be encouraged between the two parties where it can be of advantage to both. There is nothing questionable or unethical in lunching with a supplier, either to give the salesperson a better opportunity to present his or her case or to cultivate a business relationship, provided the employee accepts such intentions as they would from any other person and keep themselves free from obligation. Employees must not become obligated to any supplier and shall not participate in any transaction in which they may personally benefit.

No gifts, beyond those of an advertising nature and insignificant value, generally distributed to all potential customers, may be accepted by any Dartmouth employee. Gifts received which are unacceptable according to this policy shall be returned to the donors.


Dartmouth employees shall not accept purely social entertainment offered or sponsored by suppliers. Entertainment is not construed to mean an occasional business meal or a function where Dartmouth stands to benefit from the supplier association.


Special pricing can not be offered to specific departments. Special price agreements must be offered campus wide. All special price offerings should be brought to the attention of the appropriate individual in Procurement Services.


Vendors shall not set up display booths or promotional events without prior authorization of the appropriate individual in Procurement Services. All advertisements left or distributed on campus shall be reviewed and approved by the appropriate individual in Procurement Services prior to distribution.

Dartmouth Policies Pertinent to Vendors

The following policies apply to all members of the Dartmouth Community, including business partners. Please review these policies to ensure understanding and compliance. 

Affirmative Action
Confidentiality of Business Information
Conflict of Interest
Drug-Free Campus and Workplace
Electronic Communications
Emergency Procedures
Employment of Relatives
Health & Safety
Lobbying and Political Activities
Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct
Sexual Harassment
Weapons Policy

OSHA Regulations

All materials or equipment procured by Dartmouth College for use by its employees must be in full compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Act requirements and regulations.

Vendors Providing Chemical Products Covered Under The Federal Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)

In accordance with the requirements outlined in the Federal Hazard Communication Standard, Dartmouth College requires that all chemical products sold to the College be accompanied by a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet).

Whenever possible, the MSDS paperwork should be included with the products being purchased by or donated to the College. When this is not possible or practical, the MSDS paperwork must be sent directly to the responsible person using the product(s).

Do not send MSDS paperwork to Environmental Health and Safety or Procurement Services. If the products are being ordered for one of our inventory operations, MSDS paperwork must be included with the shipment or sent directly to the appropriate stockroom shipping address.

Campus Visits and Delivery

Procurement Services requests that you conduct your business on the Dartmouth campus in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Report to the Procurement Services with each visit.
  • Call ahead for an appointment whenever possible. This will ensure that you have access to the appropriate individual for your intended visit. A listing of the personnel in Procurement Services with the areas of responsibility can be found here. Be prepared to discuss at least one new idea, a new product, current market trends, and any other new cost saving ideas during your visit.
  • Make arrangements with the appropriate member of Procurement Services before delivering equipment to a department for evaluation purposes. An Evaluation Purchase Order is required prior to the delivery of any equipment for evaluation purposes.

Any questions regarding the above documentation or contents should be directed to the Director of Procurement Services or designate.

Contractors, Vendors and Service Provider Parking

Vendors visiting the Dartmouth campus may park in designated visitor parking spaces. Vendor Representatives are required to contact Dartmouth College Parking & Transportation Services (603) 646-2340 to inform them of the location of their vehicles. Vendor Representatives visiting the campus on a regular basis are asked to register their vehicles with Parking Operations. For more information on parking go to Contractors, Vendors and Service Providers.

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