Approval Requirements for Purchase Obligations

[Procedure] Last Updated: December 2015
Prior Manual Number: 9-4

Purchase obligations initiated by the university must have written administrative approval before the obligation is paid. Approval responsibilities are assigned to various administrators, depending on the dollar value of the obligation.

A purchase obligation may be:

  • a single purchase;
  • an open order for multiple purchases from the same vendor within a fiscal year;
  • a multi-year purchase contract, or
  • a lease.

When the purchase involves a multi-year obligation, the cumulative amount for all years determines the level of approval required.

University approved policies require the signature of the Director of Procurement Services, or his/her designee, on all Purchase Orders generated by the Procurement Services department. The Director has delegated the authority to sign Purchase Orders up to $5,000 to the assigned Buyer. Purchase Orders of $5,000 or more require the Director’s signature in addition to that of the assigned Buyer.

Obligations, or orders, from $25,000 up to $250,000 must also be approved by the President of the University or his/her designee. Currently that authority is vested in the Vice President, Finance and Administration. Reviews and approvals are performed weekly, depending upon availability of authorized staff and other scheduled activities.

Buyers must submit purchases requiring Presidential approval by Tuesday morning of each week to the Procurement Services Program Administrative Assistant. These approval requests are then prepared for review, then forwarded Finance and Administration Assistant for submittal. Notification of approvals granted is usually received by the Director of Procurement Services by Monday or Tuesday of the following week.

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