Policy Manual




Policy #:


Authorized by:

Associate Dean for Administrative and Financial Services 06/06/91

Approved by:

Dean of the University

Purchases of equipment, supplies, and services will, in general, be processed through Department Heads to the appropriate Assistant/Associate Dean for approval. Additionally, academic division chairs have their own assigned fund and may initiate a purchase against these funds without prior approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Properly approved orders will then be forwarded to the Business Office for processing.

Merchandise ordered on approval will also require a purchase requisition, with the necessary approvals as noted above, and the fact that unsuitable material may be returned should be clearly stated. Merchandise to be returned should be delivered to the Business Office no later than seven (7) days prior to the end of the approval period. If merchandise on approval should be ordered directly from the vendor without following the above procedure, it will be necessary to return all merchandise (including that portion to be retained) to the vendor. Then, in order to comply with University purchasing regulations, a new order following established procedure will have to be processed for the desired merchandise.

The functions of the Business Office in the acquisition process are:

1. To ensure that all University and State regulations are followed.
2. To ensure that the budget is not overspent.
3. To ensure that purchase requisitions are promptly processed.
4. To receive incoming shipments and to deliver to the individual placing the order.
5. To contact the vendor and generally follow through when an order is delayed.
6. To ensure that incoming shipments are checked and the receiving report submitted to the Accounts Payable Section at the Controller's Office.

In order to effectively exercise these functions, it is essential that no University funds be committed for purchases except by the Business Office.

The following purchasing regulations became effective July 30, 1981:

 $ 00.01 - $ 500.00?Buyer, upon election, may solicit only one source provided requisition is annotated "Price is Fair and Reasonable". Such purchases shall be distributed equitable among qualified suppliers. When practical, a quotation will be solicited from other than the previous supplier prior to placing a repeat order.

$ 500.01 - $ 1,499.99?Telephone quotations may be obtained from a minimum of two qualified sources of supply. The purchase requisition is to be properly documented.

$ 1,500.00 - $19,999.99?The system Purchasing Office reserves the function of inviting bids in this price range. The number of bids required varies depending on the cost involved. Personnel on the Sumter Campus have the option of submitting the names of preferred bidders. However, the central purchasing office may add to this list. Normally, the purchasing agent processing the bid will confer with the Sumter purchasing office before making an award.

$20,000.00 or more?Competitive sealed bids by Central State Purchasing.


Must have the approval of the department Chairperson and the appropriate Assistant/Associate Dean. In addition to the buying process described above, the Sumter Campus has a number of Blanket Purchase Orders. These are intended for small purchases where there is an emergency or the amount is small. For this reason, care should be exercised in using these orders so as to not exhaust them before the end of the fiscal year. Purchases from a single vendor are limited to $400.00 (including sales tax) within a twenty four hour period and this limit applies on a campus wide basis. For information on where purchases may be made on these blanket orders as well as if there is sufficient daily balance available to support your order, contact the purchasing clerk in the Business Office.

Additionally, for vendors where a blanket order is not in effect, a faculty/staff member may be reimbursed by the Business Office for a purchase not to exceed $20.00 (including tax). IF A RECEIPT is presented to that office.


Certain types of purchases require special rules. Included are food purchases, contracting for advertising, contracting for printing. If you are given an assignment requiring a purchase in an area with which you are not familiar, contact the Business Office before proceeding.