Send Us Feedback
New Version

Purchasing

The procurement of all goods and services must be made in accordance with the University of Colorado Procurement Rules as well as any other applicable authority to ensure accountability to the public and fairness to the vendors.

PSC Purchasing Services helps departments obtain the best value for every dollar while complying with applicable rules. It includes several program areas: Purchasing, Sustainable Purchasing, Procurement Card Program, Strategic Sourcing, Contract Services, Procurement Systems, and the Small Business Program.

Buying Goods and Services for the University

There are several ways that goods and services may be purchased, depending on what is being purchased
and the dollar amount and/or nature of the purchase(s):

When the total purchase - including shipping - is $5,000 or less, a campus department is authorized to purchase using one of the methods of procurement outlined below. The method varies depending on the nature of the specific purchase.

Procurement Card

You should use the University VISA card as appropriate for your small-dollar purchases. Individual cardholder limits can be set up to $5,000 per transaction. You cannot use the card for everything - some items are prohibited. For a current listing of prohibited purchases, see the Procurement Card Handbook.

Purchase Order

This is a purchase order created and approved in the CU Marketplace by the campus department prior to an order being placed. You use it for purchases up to $5,000, especially purchases from catalog vendors with an online catalog in the CU Marketplace.

Payment Voucher (PV) or Payment Authorization (PA) form

Use these to authorize payment for purchases not requiring a commitment voucher (i.e., the Procurement Card or a purchase order). You can only use the PV or the PA to pay for the specific goods and services - in the specified dollar amounts - listed in the PSC Procedural Statement Payment Voucher/Authorization. The Payment Voucher is an online form in CU Marketplace. The Payment Authorization is a paper form, obtainable from the PSC Forms website.

In some cases, individuals can be reimbursed for small-dollar purchases of goods. There are restrictions on this ... and reimbursements should not be the usual way that the department obtains goods.

When the total purchase - including shipping - is over $5,000, a PSC purchasing agent usually needs to finalize the order. There are some exceptions to this: For example, purchases from catalog vendors up to $10,000 can be finalized in the Marketplace by the campus department.

Requisition

The requisition is an online request created and submitted in the CU Marketplace by the campus department. The requisition initiates action by the purchasing agent. Issuance of a Purchase Order (PO) by the purchasing agent is your authorization to proceed with receiving the goods or services.

Standing Purchase Order Requisition

The SPO requisition is also an online request in the Marketplace. SPOs are used for repetitive purchases or for services provided by a non-catalog vendor over a specific period of item (e.g., personal services contracts). The SPO requisition initiates action by the purchasing agent. Issuance of a Purchase Order by the purchasing agent is your authorization to order directly from the vendor, during the specified time period and within the specified dollar limits.

Payment Voucher (PV) or Payment Authorization (PA) form.

Use these to authorize payment for purchases not requiring a commitment voucher (i.e., the Procurement Card or a purchase order). You can only use the PV or the PA to pay for the specific goods and services - in the specified dollar amounts - listed in the PSC Procedural Statement Payment Voucher/Authorization. The Payment Voucher is an online form in CU Marketplace. The payment Authorization is a paper form, obtainable from the PSC Forms website.

The Bottom Line

All purchases must be made in accordance with the University of Colorado Procurement Rules as well as any other applicable authority to ensure accountability to the public and fairness to the vendors. Any person employed by the University of Colorado who purchases goods and services, or is involved in the purchasing process, for the University, is bound by the Procurement Code of Ethics. The goal of Purchasing Services is to assist you in efficiently obtaining the best value for every dollar, while complying with applicable rules.

The University of Colorado, as a public institution of higher education of the State of Colorado, is exempt from all federal excise taxes and from all Colorado State and local government sales and use taxes.

A commitment voucher (Procurement Card or a purchase order) is required to purchase an item from a vendor except in specific situations.

Questions About Purchasing?