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University of Houston-Victoria

Emergency Purchase Orders

An emergency purchase is defined by the Texas Government Code, chapter 2155.137 and Texas Administrative Code, Title 34, Part 1, Chapter 20 as the "purchase of goods or services so badly needed that an agency will suffer financial or operational damage unless they are secured immediately."

The essence of an emergency is time. Emergency purchases should be rare and based on unforeseen circumstances…poor planning not being one of them. In other words, normal purchasing procedures cannot be reasonably expected to provide the required goods or services within the needed time frame without the University experiencing operational or financial damages.

All emergency purchases require a letter of justification. The letter is to be signed by the requestor as well as the Cabinet Level Supervisor and must:

  • State the reason for the emergency purchase by explaining what the emergency is and/or what caused the emergency situation;
  • State the financial or operational damage that will occur if needs are not satisfied immediately (do not just say there will be a loss or damage will occur…be specific); and
  • State why the needs were not or could not have been anticipated so that items could have been acquired through the University's normal procedures.

Emergency Purchase Procedures

  • The requesting department communicates to Purchasing via phone or E-mail that they are preparing a requisition that is an "Emergency" and attaches a completed Letter of Justification to the requisition documents.
  • Purchasing reviews the emergency justification, and, if it is acceptable, approves the purchase as an emergency by signing the letter and moving forward with the bid. It should be noted that the decision to declare an acquisition an emergency rests with Purchasing. If the acquisition is not considered to be a genuine emergency, then the order will be processed as any other normal procurement of that type and dollar amount.
  • Purchasing uses standard informal bid procedures, obtaining the required number of bids (if that is possible, considering the emergency situation).
  • Emergency purchases of goods and services over $25,000 must be posted on the Texas Marketplace for a minimum of one (1) day.
  • After bids are taken, the order is awarded to the lowest and best bid meeting the emergency need.
  • Purchasing prepares a Bid Tabulation or Spot Purchase form to record bids.
  • Purchasing retains the following documentation with the purchasing file for future audit:
  1. Departmental requisition;
  2. Emergency Justification Letter from the department;
  3. Copies of bids (if applicable);
  4. Bid tabulation sheet (if applicable);
  5. Vendor Record of Good Standing, printed off State Comptroller's Web site;
  6. Purchase order;
  7. Copy of all invoices and vouchers;
  8. Verification of Texas Marketplace posting (over $25,000);
  9. Copy of HUB Good Faith Effort (GFE) forms for purchases over $100,000 (if applicable).

Emergencies Occurring After Normal Weekday Work Hours

Purchasing staff may be contacted at home for emergencies occurring outside of normal working hours. Depending on the emergency, each situation will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

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