Open Purchase Orders

Section: IV – Purchasing
Page: 16 - 17
Subject: Open Purchase Orders
Effective: July 1, 2000

The purpose of an open purchase order is to make on-the-spot purchases of apparatus, supplies, materials, goods and services.

The total amount of the open purchase order should not exceed $9,500.

Individual transactions shall not exceed $2,500.

All of the procedures regulating purchasing through existing state contracts are applicable to purchases made through open purchase orders. Open purchase order procedures may be appropriately utilized to obtain small quantities of items and sundry services. Sufficient controls must be established to insure proper protection of funds and to insure that open purchase order authorizations are not used to circumvent normal purchasing practices.


Following are the procedures to be used for open purchase orders.

1. The director of a department having a recurring need for miscellaneous supplies or services of a minor nature should submit a requisition to the Purchasing Department specifying the category of materials needed and a list of the names of the individuals who will be authorized to place and pick up orders.

2. Various sources in the area should be solicited to obtain the most favorable price quotation and cash discounts. Quotation documentation should be on file in the Purchasing Department and in Accounts Payable for invoice verification.

3. An open purchase order should be prepared containing the following information:

  • the period of time covered by the order,
  • the supplies, materials, goods or services covered,
  • the total dollar amount which can be encumbered under the open order, and
  • the dollar limitation (not to exceed $2,500) applicable to each individual transaction.

4. Review open purchase order requirements monthly to determine if there is a continuing need for the open order.

5. Before making a purchase against the order, authorized users of open purchase orders should determine their need for items available against the order and determine that applicable purchasing procedures permit the specific purchase under the circumstances. Persons authorized to make purchases shall be held personally liable for unauthorized purchases or improper practices.

6. Merchandise received should be accompanied by delivery tickets specifying:

  • the name of the supplier,
  • the number of the open purchase order,
  • the date of the call,the name of the person placing the call or making the pickup,
  • an itemized list of supplies furnished,
  • the quantity, unit price, extensions and applicable discounts, and
    the date of delivery.

7. Receipt of the supplies/services and the date received should be acknowledged on the delivery ticket by the person receiving the supplies/services. Delivery tickets should then be forwarded to the appropriate director for review, filed until the end of the week, then forwarded to the Accounts Payable.

8. At least weekly, suppliers should submit an invoice, supported by copies of delivery tickets, covering all items delivered within the billing period. Invoices will be reconciled with signed delivery tickets.

9. The appropriate director shall review and approve all invoices prior to their being processed for payment. The green receiving copy of the purchase order or a copy of it shall be signed by the director/designee indicating approval for payment or for partial payment.

Quotations, Bids and Contracts

Only assigned Purchasing Department personnel are authorized to solicit quotations and award bids or contracts. However, it is not necessary to solicit quotations or discounts for state contract items prior to issuing an open purchase order.