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Policies and Procedures

The Purchasing Department provides the University community with the efficient procurement of goods and services and ensures maximum value for the dollars spent.  The Purchasing Department is responsible for ensuring that all purchases of goods and services are made in accordance with UNC Procurement Rule, Fiscal Rule, Board Policies, and if applicable, State and  Federal policies. All purchases, regardless of funding source, are subject to the same policies.

  • Dollar Threshold Purchasing Guide

    PURCHASES: $9,999 or less

    (Including applicable shipping):

    • External Purchases:  May use UNC VISA or check request
    • Internal Purchases:  Must use Electronic Internal Order (“EIO”) system.

    PURCHASES: $10,000 or greater

    Goods (Including applicable shipping)

    • $10,000 through $49,999:
      • Must be encumbered as a Purchase Order prior to placing the order with the contractor (Fiscal Rule)
      • May be processed at the discretion of the department
    • $50,000 or greater:
      • Contact Purchasing Department, 351-2287, as soon as the need for the purchase arises.
      • Requires solicitation process.
      • Must be encumbered as a Purchase Order prior to placing the order with the contractor (Fiscal Rule)


    • $10,000 through $49,999:
      • Must be encumbered as a Purchase Order prior to placing the order with the contractor (Fiscal Rule)
      • May be processed at the discretion of the department.
    • $50,000 or greater:
      • Contact Purchasing Department, 351-2287, as soon as the need for the purchase arises.
      • Requires solicitation process.
      • Must be encumbered as a Purchase Order prior to placing the order with the contractor (Fiscal Rule)


  • How to Place an Order

    For purchases under $10,000, you may directly place your order with the contractor using your UNC VISA or by submitting a check request to Accounts Payable once the invoice arrives.

    For all purchases at or exceeding $10,000, a purchase requisition is required prior to the purchase being made.  To generate both Regular and Standing Purchase Orders, please complete a Purchase Requisition form. Use a Purchase Requisition form to initiate the purchase of goods or services. The Purchase Requisition must be signed by the person in your department that has FOAP authority to approve the requisition and begin the purchasing process.

    Once the Purchase Requisition is completed and signed by the FOAP approving official, you may forward it to Purchasing in one of the following ways:

    • Upload the Purchase Requisition into Xtender, “Purchasing- Requisitions Only” routing status; or
    • Email the Purchase Requisition to purchasing@unco.edu

    Once it has been received, the purchasing agent will complete the purchase order process.

    The purchase order is the official and binding document issued to the contractor authorizing the expenditure of University funds for goods and services.

    Regular Purchase Orders are used for a one-time purchase of goods or services that is expected to result in one payment.

    Standing Purchase Orders are used when a department expects to make repeated purchases of goods or services over an extended period of time.  Multiple payments may be made against the PO.  All Standing Purchase Orders will be closed at the end of each Fiscal Year.  Should you need to renew your Standing Purchase Order, you must complete the Standing Order Transfer Form and return it to the Purchasing Office by May 31st of each year.   

  • Fiscal Rule Violations

    A Fiscal Rule Violation, also known as a Statutory Violation or After the Fact Purchase, is incurred when an order is placed for $10,000 or more, including shipping, prior to a Purchase Order being established.  Without ratification (approval), a Fiscal Rule Violation will result in personal liability for the person placing the order without the purchase order.

    Should your school or department incur a Fiscal Rule Violation, you will be required to complete the Fiscal Rule Violation and Ratification Form prior to any payments being made to the vendor.  This form requires the signatures of the party responsible for the violation, the school or department director’s signature, and the signature of the College Dean or area AVP.  Once all signatures have been obtained, the form, along with a signed purchase requisition, needs to be sent to the Purchasing Office at Campus Box 61.  At that time, the violation will be reviewed and, if approved, ratified by the Chief Procurement Officer, the Controller, and the CFO.

    A second (or more) violation in a rolling 12 month period, will also require the signature of your area Vice President on the Fiscal Rule Violation and Ratification form  prior to ratification.

  • Bidding Process

    Purchases of goods or services costing more than $49,999, require that a solicitation process be completed.  We recommend that if you anticipate a purchase will exceed the bid threshold, that you contact the Purchasing Department as soon as the need for a purchase arises.

    The Purchasing Agent will determine the type of solicitation that will be used.

  • Exceptions to the Bidding Process

    Sole Source

    When there is only one source from which to purchase a good or service, bidding may not be required. If you believe that your purchase meets this definition, please complete a Sole Source Justification and submit it to the Purchasing Office for approval.  The determination of whether a good or service meets the requirements to be approved as a sole source rests solely with the Purchasing Office

    Orders Based on Existing Bids

    If the good or service is part of an active bid award (the bid was awarded in the last year or the University exercised its right to renew a bid award), then you may reference the Bid Number on your Requisition and a new bid will not be required.

    Exempted Items

    There are 16 exclusions to the requirement that a bid be issued for the purchase of a good or service.  These exclusions are:

      1. No University funds, including Agency funds, are expended or the Contract is Revenue-Producing. The University shall maximize the return to the University when Revenue-Producing Contracts are involved. However, in the case of Revenue Producing Contracts for which the University is considering more than one vendor, the Purchasing Department will use a competitive process.
      2. The Procurement is between the University and a Public Entity.
      3. The Procurement is for Services provided by architects, engineers, landscape architects, industrial hygienists, and land surveyors. (See C.R.S. §§ 24-30-1401 through 24-30-1407.)
      4. A vendor's item is procured for Resale. This exclusion, however, does not apply to items procured for resale to other University departments.
      5. The Procurement of Services from a specific vendor is necessary to comply with the specific terms and conditions of a sponsored project grant or contract.
      6. The Procurement is for an employment contract.
      7. The Procurement is for land, an interest in land or other real property, water or mineral rights.
      8. The Procurement is for insurance policies for the University and its employees.
      9. The Procurement is for books and materials, including electronic materials, purchased for the University’s library collection.
      10. Hotel and airfare expenses. When purchasing these services, the purchaser should obtain the Best Value for the University. (Note, all contracts for travel related purchases must still be reviewed and approved by the Purchasing & Contracts Department).
      11. The Procurement is for water, gas, electric, and telecommunications services, which are routinely purchased by the University.
      12. The Procurement is for legal services approved by the University’s General Counsel.
      13. The Procurement is for used or pre-owned equipment or vehicles, provided that the Purchasing Agent has determined that competition is not practical or would not be advantageous to the University.
      14. The Procurement is for dues and/or memberships.
      15. The Procurement is for software license renewals, software maintenance, or upgrades to existing software used by the University.
      16. The Procurement is for advertising such as in a newspaper, magazine, television commercial, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising, indoor display, social media, or other media outlet where the University brand or programs are being advertised to a specific consumer segment.