Purchasing Department

Delegated Departmental Purchases


With prior approval, departments are delegated authority for the purchase of most goods and services up to $5,000. There are limited exceptions, which are described below. Intentionally splitting large orders to circumvent University delegated limits is prohibited. Always contact the Purchasing Department if you are uncertain whether a particular purchase is delegated or not or if there are other restrictions attached to that purchase.

Purchasing Assignment Authorization

The department must have on file with the Purchasing Department a delegated departmental purchaser authorization for each employee who will be making purchases for the department. Authorizations must be renewed annually. Each department purchaser is required to complete on-line training annually and any other required trainings on various purchasing topics.

Required Documentation for Purchases of $5,000 or less Processed with a Voucher

For purchases of $5,000 or less that will be invoiced by the vendor, departments must obtain a quote from the vendor prior to the purchase to ensure the items and amount charged on the invoice match the quote.  Telephone quotes or verbal quotes must be confirmed with a fax or email. 

  • This quote must be uploaded to the voucher as backup documentation, along with the invoice.
  • Quotes are not required for direct purchases of $5,000 or less, such as over-the-counter purchases or purchases with a credit card. 
  • Departments are encouraged to obtain multiple quotes for purchases of $5,000 or less, whenever possible, to help them determine which vendor provides the best value.
  • When paying with State funds, the voucher must include at least two of the following pieces of documentation: invoice, quote, and/or delegated departmental purchase order form.

Delegated Departmental Purchase Order Form

This form is the equivalent of a Purchasing Department PO, except that is has been tailored for departmental use.  In the event that a vendor requires a PO and the purchase is under $5,000 this form should be used instead of processing a Requisition through purchasing. 

Departmental purchase order numbers should be assigned and tracked by each department as follows:

BUS 12 1
Department Designation Fiscal Year Consecutive Number

EXAMPLE: BUS-12-1

Departments are required to keep records of delegated purchases for three years from the close of the current fiscal year to comply with State records retention requirements.

Exceptions

  1. Printing purchased with state appropriated funds costing more than $1,000 must be requisitioned by the department for Purchasing to competitively bid.  

  2. Advance payments are prohibited unless specifically allowed under State Comptroller rules.   Refer to the section Advanced Payments for detailed information.

  3. Purchases from the Texas Industries for the Blind and Handicapped (TIBH) for products that they carry.  See the TIBH website http://www.purchaseplus.com/ 

  4. The UHV/VC Library has been delegated the authority for the purchase of resource materials that are a part of the library collection.  This includes purchases of books, serials, journals, subscriptions, microfiche, films, and similar resource materials.  However, non- delegated purchases must still be requisitioned through Purchasing either at UHV or VC.  The Library must document delegated purchases through a Library purchase order, a Departmental Purchase Order or contract agreement. 

  5. Purchases of any type of insurance must be requested through Business Services.   

  6. Purchases of any type of Professional Services, Consulting Services, Legal Services, as defined by state statute must be processed through Business Services, Contract Administration. 

  7. Any purchase of a controlled asset where the individual item cost is $500 or greater is required to be requisitioned.  Controlled assets are defined as fax machines, telecopiers, stereo systems, cameras, video recorders, laser disk players (TV, VCR, Camcorders), desktop computers, laptop computers and printers. 

  8. Purchases using Higher Education Assistance Funds (HEAF) are delegated to the department up to $5,000.  Purchasing approval must be received on the voucher for Accounts Payable to process payment.   

  9. Other Exceptions: The following services do not require a separate order form as a record of the service being purchased and are not subject to the $5,000 limit.  Such purchases are documented by an approved voucher and invoice and include:

    • Cable TV Services and Internet Connection Services 
    • Advertising (classified ads, employment ads, phone directory ads, internet ads - attach copy of ad to voucher) 
    • Freight/Shipping Fees   
    • Insurance, ERS and Others (restricted purchase) 
    • Intra-agency payments (ITV, wire transfer, or voucher) 
    • Library payments (ITV) (Amigos, electronic services) 
    • Maintenance Agreements unless terms and conditions of agreement require signature and review by Business Services, Contracts Administration 
    • Membership Fees and Dues (voucher must be approved by President) 
    • Notary Fees 
    • Pianist, Organist, Singers, Speaker services 
    • Postage Meter Rental, Postal Permits 
    • Professional Dues and Licenses 
    • Refunds to students and others 
    • Registration and Conference Fees (can include associated books and materials) 
    • Service Charges (bank, credit card, etc.) 
    • Services where Contract Administration has recommended the voucher process instead of a formal contract 
    • Texas Register Listings 
    • Transmittal of Fees to the State of Texas 
    • Transmittal of Fees to University of Houston-System Components 
    • Travel and Procurement Card Vouchers Tuition under the Employees Training Act of 1969 
    • Unemployment Compensation Payments 
    • Utilities Services, including electricity, natural gas, telephone and TXANN service, water and sewer services
    • Western Union Services or other Wire Transfer Services 
    • Worker's Compensation Claims   
    • Exceptions approved in advance by the Comptroller, Director of Business Services or Vice President for Administration and Finance