5.058 Purchase Order Issuance

Purpose: University Financial Policy No. 1201 authorizes the Executive Director of Procurement Services to formulate procedures for efficient and responsible conduct of procurement. This procedure will provide instructions for the processing of University Purchase Requisitions to result in the issuance of University Purchase Orders on a consistent basis throughout the University.


5.0581. Delegation of Authority. Authority to bind the University through the purchasing process is delegated to individuals with titles: Buyer, Senior Buyer, Contract/Sourcing Manager Category Lead, Executive Director and the Director of a Procurement Center specified in University Financial Policy 1201.

5.0583. Method of Purchase Order Issuance. All purchase orders shall be issued and authorized by an individual, identified under DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY (5.0581) of this procedure, using the University BuySite system or Accounts Payable/Purchase Order (APS/PO) System.

5.0584. Release of Purchase Order. All University Purchase Orders produced as described in 5.0583 above will be issued to the Vendors in hard copy document form, cXml, eMail, FAX copy form, or other electronic media from Procurement Services.  Procurement Services reserves the right and responsibility to release, suspend release, cancel, modify or alter the language and content of any University Purchase Order, if in the judgment of the Executive Director of Procurement Services or his delegated representative, the Purchase Order does not meet the procedural requirements of the procurement process, or otherwise is not in the best interests of the University to issue.

5.0585. Requisition and Purchase Order. The University of Chicago Buysite Requisition or PURCHASE REQUEST, Purchasing Form 100 (hereinafter "Requisition") must be used as the source of information for data entry.  A resultant purchase order will be issued from an authorized request.

5.0586. Dollar Limit Authorization. A University Purchase Order may be issued by any individual designated in DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY (5.0581) for dollar amounts up to the delegated authority limit of each procurement personnel.  A University Purchase Order of $250,000.00 and above must have the prior signature approval on the requisition of the Category Leads, the Director of a Procurement Center (as limited by University Financial Policy 1201), the Executive Director of Procurement Services, or a delegated procurement agent of the University as provided for in other Policies of the University.

5.0587. Purchase Item Selection. A University Purchase Order will be issued for approved items requested by faculty or staff of the University as presented to a Buyer on the Requisition. Items should be adequately described on the Requisition providing the supplying vendor a complete and accurate description on the final Purchase Order document received. Clarity and attention to detail are the responsibility of the Buyer authorizing the Purchase Order. Items are to be selected for maximum functional requirements while seeking the minimum acceptable standards necessary to achieve quality of product and availability for delivery.

Market Research. The selection process, or market research effort, is a shared responsibility of the requesting individual and the Buyer. Both parties contribute to the information gathering process that leads to the complete preparation of the Requisition.  Information gathered related to the suppliers queried and the prices quoted must be recorded on the BuySite Price Reasonableness form. This information may be gathered verbally, documented and signed by the market researcher (Buyer or otherwise) for a University Purchase Order that has a total dollar amount between the value of $5,000.00 and $25,000.00.

Request for Quotation. For a University Purchase Order of $25,000.00 or more, the market research data gathered must be a formal written supplier pricing as a response to a written Request for Quotation

5.0588. Purchase Price Analysis. Documented Price analysis is a review and examination by the Buyer of the prices proposed by suppliers to determine that for equal or alternate equivalent items they are fair and reasonable. This analysis may be weighted to favor the availability of desired functional features of the items. If the lowest offered price for an item does not result in the final selection of that item because of additional needed functional attributes at a higher price, that decision to expend an additional amount should be noted by the Buyer, with explanation in sufficient detail appropriate to the dollar level of the expenditure.

Price Analysis. Required documentation shall include at least one of the following methods of price analysis in order to show that the final price is fair and reasonable:

  1. Price competition by quotation occurs when quotation offer from two or more acceptable offers can be concluded to be fair and reasonable.
  2. Copies of Catalog prices or published price list may be used as documentation of fair pricing when there has only been one acceptable offer received.
  3. Prior Price Quotation. A copy of a previous price quotation from an identical item purchase less than 6 months previous to the evaluation date shows price reasonableness, if the previous purchase was subjected to price analysis.
  4. Sales to others documentation such as a copy of the suppliers invoice of sales to others when a supplier does not publish a price list or catalog of items, by comparison to the current offer will show price reasonableness.
  5. Price information from a sole source supplier that does not publish prices of items, may be shown to be fair and reasonable if the supplier completes a Certificate of Commercial Pricing document form which is available from the Procurement Services.

5.0589. Required Documentation. Failure to submit the documentation necessary to justify a procurement action for Purchase Orders of $25,000.00 and above may result in cancellation by Procurement Services of an issued University Purchase Order.