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Chapter 22. Purchasing
Section 22.1. Purchasing Guidelines


22.1.2. Methods of Purchasing


Methods of Purchasing: There are several methods that may be utilized to request items or services. They are: blanket orders; check requests; petty cash; purchasing credit card; and purchase requisitions and orders.

Blanket Orders: An open order for a specified period which authorizes the vendor to allow items/services to be charged by one of the authorized persons listed on the order. A blanket order is for items/services usually less than $5,000, including freight. See section 22.3.4. Blanket Orders for the entire procedure using blanket orders.

Check Requests: A form used to request payment for certain items. Items which are normally paid on a check request are: conference/seminar registration fees; fellowships and honorariums; inter-library loan; lodging deposits; lodging expenses for non-employees; memberships; postage; refunds/overpayments; royalty payments; agency fund expenditures (student organizations/payroll deductions) and petty cash replenishment requests. See Accounting Services, Chapter 2.7.2. for the entire procedure using check requests.

Petty Cash: A petty cash fund is established in a department to improve the efficiency of departmental operations. These funds are available to purchase minor items when it would be otherwise impractical to purchase items through the usual purchasing methods. Petty cash is for items less than $200.00 and not on the prohibited list. See Accounting Services, Chapter 2.7.10. for the entire procedure using petty cash.

Purchasing Credit Card: A credit card to provide departments and requisitioners with a widely accepted method of ordering small dollar, petty cash type items. The credit card is the preferred method for purchasing items less than $5,000 and not on the prohibited list. See section 22.8. Purchasing Card for the entire procedure using the departmental credit card.

Purchase Requisitions and Orders: A form used to request purchase of supplies, equipment, and services. See section 22.2.4. Purchase Requisitions and 22.3.1. Purchase Orders for the entire procedure using purchase requisitions and orders.


Within limits, it is at the discretion of the department which method to use when purchasing items or services, except that some purchases require a purchase order. The Purchasing Department personnel will work with departments to determine an appropriate method to purchase items or services.

Prior: 09/14/2001
Adopted: 07/01/2006 Increased limit to $5,000 from $2,500 for blanket orders and purchasing credit card.
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