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Emergency Purchases

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Policy 509.13

1 Introduction

2 Scope

3 Definitions

3.1 Emergencies

Emergencies are defined by Purchase and Contract Division as situations which endanger lives, property or the continuation of a vital program and which can be rectified only by immediate on-the-spot purchases or rental of commodities, printing or services.

3.2 Pressing Needs

Pressing needs is one arising from unforeseen causes, including but not limited to, delay by contractors, delay in transportation, breakdown in machinery, or unanticipated volume of work.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Waiver of Competition

4.1.1 Current purchasing rules of the State of North Carolina permit waiver of competition in cases where emergency of pressing need is indicated. Although competition may be waived for proper cause, its use is required wherever practicable. When emergency or pressing need action is necessary, and the expenditure is over the University's benchmark of $150,000, prior approval must be obtained from Purchase and Contract Division if time permits.

4.2 When to Use

4.2.1 When emergency or pressing needs conditions exist that necessitate a purchase that cannot be handled by the routine procurement procedures, Procedure Statement 1, then the University's emergency purchasing procedures may be used.

4.3 Hand Carry Procurement Request

4.3.1 If possible, a procurement request should be prepared and signed by the individual authorized to expend funds from the applicable budget account. The request may then be hand carried to the Controller's Office for budgetary approval. If approved, it should then be taken to the Purchasing Office to have a purchase order issued. If the purchase is a legitimate emergency or pressing need, the Purchasing Office will:

  1. Solicit quotations by telephone, if appropriate, and/or verify quote (s) provided by department.
  2. Obtain the approval of the State Purchase and Contract Division, if over the University delegation.
  3. Prepare a purchase order and give the vendor copy to the department representative to make the purchase.

4.3.2 An invoice for the purchase should be delivered or mailed to the Controllers Office.

4.3.3 In cases where competition would normally be required, but is waived, the department will be asked to provide written justification explaining the urgency of the need which precludes seeking competition.

4.4 Telephone Emergency Purchase Request

4.4.1 When a purchase must be made in an emergency situation and there is not enough time to hand carry a procurement request to Purchasing, approval should be obtained over the telephone. The Purchasing Agent will give the department a purchase order number to use in making the necessary purchase. After the purchase has been made, the department must prepare a confirming procurement request, including the emergency purchase order number, and send it through the normal channels to the Purchasing Office, along with the vendor's invoice.

4.4.2 Depending on the circumstances and the dollar amount of the purchase, the department may be required to follow-up with written justification explaining the urgency of the need which precludes seeking competition.

4.4.3 Limited Use - This emergency procedure will not be authorized except in those instances where it is impossible or impractical for a department to bring a procurement request to the Purchasing Office prior to the placing of an order.

4.5 Procedure For Making Emergency Purchases

4.5.1 Procedure References Refer to Policy 509.13, Emergency Purchases, and Policy 509.8, Purchases from Commercial Vendors.

4.5.2 Procedure Description As with all types of purchases, the University Purchasing Office has the sole authority for entering into contracts to secure all emergency materials. Use one of the following procedures to make an emergency purchase based on the available time:

  1. Conditions allow for the procurement request to be hand carried through the normal procedures to obtain the vendor copy of the purchase order or the purchase order number: Procedure Steps

  1. Prepare the procurement request as described in Procedure Statement 1, obtaining the necessary approval signature.
  2. Hand carry the procurement request to the Controller's Office and obtain final budgetary approval.
  3. Take procurement request to the Purchasing Office and explain the reason for making the emergency purchase. Depending on immediate circumstances, the Purchasing Office will either: Prepare a purchase order and give you the vendor's copy, or Give you a purchase order number to use in making the purchase.

  1. Take the vendor's copy or a purchase order number and make the purchase. Either obtain an invoice from the vendor and deliver it to the Purchasing Office, or ask the vendor to send an invoice to the Appalachian State University Purchasing Office. The purchase order number should be referenced on the invoice.
  2. The emergency is such that it does not allow time for a procurement request to be hand carried through the normal procedure: Telephone the Purchasing Agent to obtain approval to make the purchase and a purchase order number. Make purchase using the purchase order number. Obtain a vendor's invoice with the above purchase order number referenced. As soon as possible, prepare a confirming Procurement Request and send it through the normal channels to the Purchasing Office, along with the vendor's invoice.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Original Effective Date

9 Revision Dates