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Small Purchases

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Policy 509.22

1 Introduction

2 Scope

3 Definitions

3.1 Small Purchases

The North Carolina Agency Procurement Manual, Section 1.3.1, effective May 8, 2013, defines small purchases as those purchases of commodities, services or printing, not covered by a term contract, involving an expenditure of public funds of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or less.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Competition

4.1.1 Competition is not required by statute for those purchases of equipment, supplies, materials, and services which meet the definition of small purchases. However, it is the responsibility and obligation of all University employees to seek the best possible value when making purchases with University funds. Accordingly, where appreciable value can be gained without undue sacrifice of convenience and/or necessity, the Purchasing Department may seek competition for certain purchases under $5000.

4.2 Documentation

4.2.1 This small purchase policy in no way changes the requirement to obtain proper authorization documentation through the Purchasing Department or the Controller's Office prior to committing any University funds for the procurement of commodities or services. Normal purchases processed through the Purchasing Department require a purchase order. Certain small purchases as indicated below may be accomplished without a purchase order and documented as specified in the Business Operations Section of this manual.

4.3 Petty Cash Purchases

4.3.1 As a result of the increasing costs of issuing procurement requests, purchase orders, and checks, petty disbursing funds have been established for small purchases and emergency purchases.

4.3.2 Petty disbursing funds are available through the Controller's Office for use by University departments and areas under University control.

4.3.3 This procedure does not replace the routine purchasing procedures. However, if the purchase meets the criteria outlined below, this procedure may be used in lieu of the regular purchasing procedures.

4.3.4 The Central Petty Disbursing Fund may be used when:

  1. There is a need for items that can be purchased locally at an economical price.
  2. The University Warehouse does not have the items in stock.
  3. The reimbursement amount is within the limits established in Policy 501.16.
  4. The budget account to which the purchase is being charged is maintained by the ASU Controller's Office.
  5. State Term Contract items must be purchased from contract vendors.
  6. The purchase of first aid supplies must be approved by the Safety Officer before reimbursement will be made by the Controller's Office.

4.3.5 If there is any question about a purchase being legitimate, the Petty Disbursing Officer in the Controller's Office should be asked for clarification prior to making the purchase.

4.3.6 The University cannot be responsible for the purchase if it does not meet the established purchasing regulations and criteria listed in items 1 through 6 above.

4.3.7 For details on this procedure, see Policy 501.16.

4.4 Check Request Purchases

4.4.1 Certain small purchases totaling less than $1,500 including taxes, delivery and costs to place item into operation may be made using a Check request in lieu of following the normal purchase procedure.

4.4.2 The following restrictions must be strictly adhered to by all personnel making procurements under this procedure:

  1. Total value of the purchase (including taxes, delivery, and costs to place item into operation) must be less than $1,500. Orders may not be split to avoid this threshold.
  2. Contracted personal services.
  3. Items listed on State Term Contracts must be purchased from a State Contract Vendor.
  4. Items stocked in the Central Warehouse stores. These items must be purchased through the warehouse.
  5. Purchases from overseas vendors.
  6. Purchases requiring prepayment.
  7. Research gases.
  8. Radioactive materials.
  9. First aid supplies should be approved by the Safety Officer prior to purchase.
  10. Purchases unauthorized for State Fund expenditure, such as: items for personal use, alcoholic beverages, and entertainment expenses (to include food).

4.4.3 The Controller's Office has the responsibility for management and oversight of this procurement procedure. For details on this procurement method, see Policy 501.10.

5 Additional References

North Carolina Agency Purchasing Manual

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Original Effective Date

9 Revision Dates