Generally, certification is a shorthand reference for procurement authority, that is, the power to sign the contract or award.
Specifically, certification is a process whereby the Budget and Control Board grants an agency procurement authority for contracts with an actual or potential value above $50,000. The term "certification" is a reference to the certificate issued by the Budget and Control Board to memorialize its grant of procurement authority to a state agency, college, or university. The certificate identifies the agency, the types of procurements they can conduct, and for each type, the dollar limits below which the agency can make direct procurements. To illustrate, a sample certificate is attached below.
For procurements up to $50,000, agencies have statutory authority to conduct their own procurements. This authority is sometimes called "base certification."
Caution: Authority is not a substitute for compliance with the procedural and approval requirements of the procurement laws. Likewise, authority is not a substitute for a legislative appropriation of funds.