DPO and PO Procedures

DPO Forms are available through the Purchasing Office. This form is not available in a downloadable format at this time.

The Departmental Purchase Order (DPO) is the University's small dollar purchase order and may be used to order materials or services with a cost of $5,000 or less. Items on state contract can be purchased with a DPO as long as the total is under $5,000. Be sure to state on the DPO that it is a "State Contract Price". Include the Price Agreement Number on the DPO.

Office furniture must still be purchased from Colorado Correctional Industries unless a waiver has been approved. Computer purchases should still be made from Bear Logic, as equipment must be compatible with campus Information Technology standards.


Goods and services should be purchased using a DPO (if $5,000 or less) or regular purchase order (if over $5,000). Departments are not to issue consecutive, or nearly consecutive, DPOs for the purchase of like items to circumvent the $5,000 limitation. There are no encumbrances recorded for purchases made with the DPO.

Authority to use the DPOs is granted to departments having the capability to exercise control, follow-up and receipt acknowledgment procedures. The Director of Purchasing of the University is delegated the final authority for all University purchases. In order for this authority to be delegated to the department and/or college level, a "Delegation of Purchase Orders (DPOs) to $5,000" must be completed and on file in the Purchasing Office.

The issuing department must secure accurate pricing before placing the order to assure that merchandise, plus freight or shipping charges, does not exceed the $5,000 limitation. Several FOAPs can be put on one DPO, but the dollar amount of all FOAPs cannot exceed $5,000.

Confirming requisitions issued to cover materials or services that have been ordered on a DPO and exceed the limitation will be considered an unauthorized purchase and a personal liability.

Misuse of DPOs will result in cancellation of the department's authorization to use the forms and may result in a personal liability for the materials and/or services obtained.

The issuing department is responsible for the proper completion of the DPO. An authorized signature is to be on the form prior to the forwarding of the order to the vendor. Once signed, the white copy is either mailed or delivered to the vendor. The yellow copy is used to initiate the actual payment to the vendor. Payment will not be initiated with any other copy but the yellow. If the yellow copy is lost or mailed to the vendor in error, the DPO must be voided and reissued.

Materials purchased with a DPO may be picked up by the ordering department. Materials shipped or mailed are addressed directly to the ordering department. However, United Parcel Service and motor freight shipments generally are delivered to the UNC Warehouse. Materials received at the Warehouse are checked only for visible exterior damage and are then delivered to the ordering department. If this merchandise is damaged from shipping, it should be left in the original package and returned immediately to the Warehouse where a claim will be filed. The ordering department is responsible for the completion of the "Receiving Information" section of the DPO once the materials are received or the services are performed. At that point, the vendor's original invoice is attached to the completed yellow copy of the DPO and it is forwarded to the Accounts Payable Office for payment. The ordering department is responsible for the return of unsatisfactory merchandise.

It is the University's policy to pay a vendor only after receipt of the materials or service. If advance payment is required for orders such as purchases from the US Government, the white and yellow copies of the DPO are sent to the Accounts Payable Office for processing.

It is important that one individual within a department or college be given control over the issuance of the DPOs within the particular area. This individual should be in the office of the dean, director or department head. The DPO forms must be picked up in the Purchasing Office, they cannot be mailed. The Purchasing Office issues the DPOs in a sequentially numbered block to the responsible individual. The DPOs should be issued using the lowest sequence number available. Compliance with these rules will be monitored on a monthly basis, based on payment records.

Conditions and Instructions of Order

  1. NOT VALID OVER $5,000 (including freight or shipping charges).
  2. No backorders permitted. Cancel unshipped items.
  3. No C.O.D. orders accepted. Collect freight shipment WILL NOT be accepted.
  4. Shipments are to be directed to the department.
  5. Invoice must accompany shipment.
  6. Cash discount period to begin on date of receipt of order or receipt of invoice,whichever is later.
  7. Purchases are tax exempt (98-03693).
  8. No unauthorized substitutions.
  9. Computers/computer-related equipment not purchased from UNC Bear Logic will not be supported or maintained by Information Services.


  1. Purchases from employees.
  2. Material stocked in the UNC Warehouse.

Departmental Purchase Order Instructions

  1. Ordering Department Information: Fill in the date of the order, the individual placing the order, the name of the department and the telephone number to call in case of problems. If the individual who is handling the paperwork is different from the individual placing the order, put the name beside the telephone number.
  2. Vendor: Fill in the vendor name and complete address. The vendor name and address can be only four lines and no more than 30 spaces a line. Anything beyond these limits will not be printed on the check.
  3. Ship and Bill To: Fill in the department name and address.
  4. Banner FOAPs: Enter the FOAP to be charged. Up to five different FOAP numbers can be used. It is not necessary to list the same FOAP more than once; total all charges to each FOAP and list on one line.
  5. Description: Fill in the quantity, unit, unit price, total cost and each invoice number being paid. Several invoices can be paid onthe same line as long as they are being charged to the same FOAP. Fill in a complete and detailed description. Examples:
    1. When paying a restaurant or when paying for refreshments, include information about the occasion and those attending plus an "Official Function" form when appropriate;
    2. When buying miscellaneous supplies, state their purpose.
  6. Receiving Information: Signature, department name and date received. If the vendor requires advance payment, note "Check Enclosed" in the description section and do not sign the receiving line.
  7. Grants and Contracts Signature: If applicable, for the authorized signature of the grant FOAP being charged.
  8. Authorized Signature: Only a person who is authorized on the FOAP being charged can sign. If more than one FOAP is being charged there must be an authorized signature for each.