UConn HomeBanner


Purchasing User's Manual



2.1 Initiating a Purchase via Purchase Requisition (PR)

2.1.1 The first step is to determine exactly what your needs are and what functions you want the item and/or vendor to perform. It is equally important to allow enough time for the entire purchasing process to unfold. This process includes preparing the requisition and obtaining authorized approvals, processing in the Purchasing Department, mail time and delivery. Depending on what is ordered, the entire transaction could be completed in days or months.

The initial action required is preparation of a purchase requisition. Departments must enter their requests online in FRS, which results in the printing of the Electronic Requisition Form No. PUR-4C.

You can expedite your request by supplying the following information:

  1. The date the requisition is prepared as well as the date material is required. Requisitions with a specific delivery date will be given priority over those with missing or indefinite delivery requirements, i.e., "ASAP". Use "RUSH" as defined in section 2.2.B.
  2. When inputing the PR, include the Delivery Code number, department name and address.
  3. The requestor's name and phone extension should also be provided, in the event the purchasing agent needs clarification on requested items.
  4. An itemized list of the goods and/or services required including all pertinent descriptive information, such as:
  • Model, catalog or item number;
  • Description, specifications, quotes obtained, agreements or any other documentation that clarifies the goods or services to be purchased;
  • Unit of measure: box, case, each, ream, etc.;
  • Number of units required;
  • Current price or price estimate of unit, if known;
  • Any other charges, i.e., delivery charge, setup charge, installation, etc.;
  • First and last name of person who provided current price quote as well as date quote was given, if obtained;
  • Vendor number, if in FRS, or list vendor address, phone number, fax number and FEIN;
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of any vendors you wish included on subsequent bid solicitations;
  • FRS account code and relevant object code;
  • Signature of the appropriate Dean, Director or Department Head or his/her designee.

Back to top

2.1.2 Purchase Order Types

At times it may be more effective to identify the purchase request as a special order type; i.e., blanket or standing order, sole source, or prepay. The following guidelines may be used to determine if your request conforms to the necessary criteria:

A. Blanket Order
This type of order may be utilized to purchase a defined commodity group when only the estimated amount of money to be spent over a specified period of time is known. While a representative list of items to be purchased should be identified, the actual quantities and type of items as well as specific prices may be unknown when the purchase order is established. This arrangement expedites the delivery process by allowing the department to issue releases against the blanket order directly with the vendor until the obligated funds are exhausted. Examples of commodities which can be purchased using a blanket order include miscellaneous laboratory gases, miscellaneous hardware items, advertising, art supplies, etc.

B. Standing Order
This type of purchase order can be used when a specific item(s) is to be shipped in specific quantities on a predetermined shipping schedule i.e., ship two cases of petri dishes on the first and fifteenth of every month for twelve months. Exact quantities and unit prices are defined in a standing order. Examples of commodities which can be purchased using standing orders include such high volume items as animal feed, computer paper, pipette tips, specific laboratory gases, etc.

C. Sole Source
This type of order should be used ONLY when certain circumstances exist. Examples of these circumstances are: 1) no other source of supply is identified to be available after exhaustive research has been conducted of all known market areas and the results are properly documented, 2) when compatibility with existing equipment is critical, 3) for continuity of research, etc. Purchase requisitions for a sole source purchase must be accompanied by a written justification identifying why the purchase should be handled as a sole source transaction. A useful questionnaire is available from the Purchasing Department to help in documenting the sole source justification. Contact any purchasing agent in Purchasing to receive one.

D. Prepay
To protect the University's interests, prepayments are usually not allowed, unless some type of financial security can be negotiated. However, on occasion, purveyors of books, periodicals, films, memberships, or licenses will require advance payment. The Connecticut state statutes provide for prepayment in these cases. Vendor prepayment requirements must be communicated to the Purchasing Department at the time the purchase requisition is submitted. Failure to do so may result in lengthy delays.

Completed purchase requisitions should be forwarded to the Purchasing Department via the FRS system for processing. The electronic purchase requisition should be followed with all supporting documentation, e.g., price quotes, vendor policy statements requiring prepayment, etc.

Revised: 11/2001

Back to top

2.2 How Your Purchase Requisition is Converted to a Purchase Order

When a purchase requisition is received, the Purchasing Department does the following:

  • Reviews the requisition to determine that all required data is provided to assure prompt processing of the order.
  • Checks for accuracy and correct use of object codes.
  • Determines how the order should be processed using the criteria outlined in Section 2.1.
  • Determines which of the following three priorities the purchase order should be given:

A. Routine Orders
Non-competitive routine orders with a total cost of $10,000 or less or orders for products available under existing State or University Contracts (regardless of dollar value). These orders will usually be processed and mailed to the vendors within four working days after receipt of the purchase requisition, provided no further information is required from the department.

Competitive routine orders are defined as those valued in excess of $10,000 for products not available under existing State or University contracts. Competitive routine orders will be processed and mailed to vendors only after the statutorily required competitive bids have been solicited. Normally, fourteen (14) calendar days are allotted for the informal bid process.

Public Notice - All competitive routine orders over $50,000 shall be advertised in at least two (2) daily newspapers published in the State of Connecticut, on the DAS Portal and on the Purchasing Web site at least twenty-one calendar (21) days prior to the scheduled bid opening. However, the advertising period can be shortened in some special circumstances. All invitations to bid are posted in the reception area of the Purchasing Department.

B. Rush Orders
These orders are defined as those which, if not placed in less than the four (4) business days allotted for routine orders, would make it impossible for a department to conduct normal operations. Rush requisitions must be received in the Purchasing Department accompanied by all required information.

Requesting departments will be notified the next business day when a nonÐcompetitive rush order can be placed. Competitive rush orders will be assigned a purchase order number only after the requisite competitive bids have been solicited.

Note: Purchase order numbers for rush orders can be given out over the telephone the same day by contacting the appropriate team in Purchasing. Additionally, at the Purchasing Department's discretion, documentation supporting the critical nature of the request may be required.

C. Emergency Orders
These orders are defined as those which, if not placed immediately, would result in: 1) the cessation of critical services, i.e., health care, police and/or fire protection, etc.; 2) loss of life or limb; 3) significant property damage exceeding $1,000 or more; or 4) would result in substantial financial loss in excess of $5,000.

Emergency Orders submitted to Purchasing, depending on the nature of the Emergency, require approval or waiver from routine purchasing procedures from the Chief Executive Officer of the University. Additionally, the Purchasing Department will require documentation supporting the critical nature of the request.

Should an emergency exist by reason of extraordinary conditions or contingencies that could not be foreseen and guarded against, or because of unusual trade or market conditions, the Chief Executive Officer of the University, may make purchases without competitive bidding if it is in the best interest of the University. Statute requires that all emergency orders be reported to the President of the University and the Board of Trustees. Emergency purchases may preclude the use of existing contracts if the contract vendor cannot meet the emergency delivery requirements.

Revised: 4/2012

2.3 Special Commodity Purchases

This section is devoted to those procurement which are unique either in substance or circumstance. Each has its own exception criteria for processing as identified below.

2.3.1 Books, Publications, Periodicals, Film/Video Tape Rentals, CD-ROMs, Advertisements, Conference Registration

For procurement purposes, this category includes any Film/Video Tape Rentals, CD- ROMs, books, magazines, periodicals, reprints, etc., or copies thereof (page charges) which have been previously published and are available for sale or for a contribution. This category does not include printing or photocopying services. The options available for procurement and the applicable procedures for each option are noted as follows:

  1. Direct Order - Under $2,000
    Purchases valued at less than $2000.00 may be placed directly with the vendor without Purchasing Department authorization. Orders may be placed by phone or in writing by using the vendor's order form or a personalized letter. It is advisable to call the vendor prior to using this mechanism to verify that a letter order is acceptable. Either format should instruct the vendor to send both the goods and the invoice to the ordering department. Upon receipt of the order, immediately submit the original copy of the invoice to Accounts Payable, Unit 6080. Failure to act promptly may result in the University being placed on credit hold thereby making it more difficult to place future orders with that vendor.
  2. Prepay - Under $2,000
    Orders under $2,000, requiring prepayment may also be processed directly through Accounts Payable. Send the vendor's original order form or proforma invoice (along with a Form CO-17) to Accounts Payable, Unit 6080.
  3. Over $2000 or PO Required
    If an order exceeds $2000.00, or if the vendor requires a purchase order, a purchase requisition should be submitted to the Purchasing Department, Unit 6076. Order placement can be expedited by submitting price documentation and/or a vendor's order form or announcement with the requisition.
    Note: No competitive bids are required for these special purchases.
  4. Conference Registrations
    Purchase orders are not required for conference registrations, regardless of the amount. Conference registration fees may be paid using the University Purchasing Card, or a CO-17 or on a Prepaid Registration fee form, available on the Travel Web site at http://www.travel.uconn.edu/forms.html

Back to top

2.3.2 Catering Services

A. Contracting for Catering Services

Catering contracts are defined as those wherein the private contractor serves the food. Contracts for coffee and pastry services, etc., where the food is delivered but not served are not considered catering contracts. Any catering requirement involving an agreement, regardless of the dollar amount, must be submitted to Purchasing. The business purpose of the event, an agenda a listing of guests as well as written approval from the Department Head, Director or Dean must be provided. Refer to Section 5f of the Travel Policies and Procedures.

Under $2000

University departments are authorized to contract for catering services without first obtaining a purchase order number, provided the total expenditure is less than $2,000. Catering services invoices for less than $2,000 should be submitted directly to the Accounts Payable Department using a Disbursement Voucher in KFS.

Departments making catering arrangements under this authority are encouraged to obtain a written and signed quotation from the selected vendor. If there is any question about whether the catering services might exceed $2,000, you should obtain a purchase order number before the services are provided.

Note: The University Purchasing Card cannot be used for catering services at any dollar level.

Over $2,000, under $10,000

Catering services which exceed $2,000 but fall below the bid threshold of $10,000 must be submitted to the Purchasing Department on a purchase requisition, accompanied by a signed quotation from the vendor, in advance of the required services.

Over $10,000

Catering services are not exempt from competitive bidding. The Purchasing Department provides competitive bidding for catering as a service to those departments who wish to use it. To take advantage of this service, submit a purchase requisition along with your specifications and recommended vendors. Allow a minimum of twenty-one (21) calendar days for the bid process. The bids will be reviewed with you, prior to the award. A purchase order will be issued to the successful bidder. Generally the vendor will be paid Net 10 from the date of the final invoice after services are rendered. Deposits are negotiable.

If you elect to obtain bids, three (3) important points must be followed.

  1. The upfront research/legwork done by the department should eliminate vendors with an undesirable location. A minimum of three (3) written quotes should be solicited from three (3) facilities where you would be willing to hold your event.
  2. Your department's requirements must be issued in writing to the facilities you are soliciting. It is essential that all vendors are provided the same information/requirements to bid and it is verifiable. Include a response date so you can negate any offers received after that date.
  3. Submit a purchase requisition along with all your supporting documentation. If no other information is needed by purchasing, a purchase order will issued to the successful vendor. The vendor will be paid Net 10 from the date of the final invoice after services are rendered. Deposits are negotiable.

State procurement statutes require the University to competitively bid catering services when the cost is $10,000 or more. Therefore, when departments contract with vendors using this authority they should advise the vendors that their invoices will not be honored unless they are for less than $10,000.

Selecting the option most appropriate to accomplishing your objective will expedite the ordering process and reduce the amount of time spent filling out and filing forms.

Note: Any catering service contract with a cumulative annual cost of $50,000 or more is subject to the Standard Wage Statute and must be handled entirely through the University Purchasing Department in concert with the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Revised: 03/2013

Back to top

B. Insurance Requirements for Catering Contractors

For the protection of University personnel, property and University guests, all caterers conducting business on campus will be required to present evidence that they have both liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. A Certificate of Insurance, naming the University of Connecticut as an "additional insured", must be submitted to the Purchasing Department prior to the catered event. Minimum acceptable coverage will include the following:
General Liability, Automobile Liability, Excess Liability

General Aggregate..$1,000,000
Any Auto..$1,000,000
Personal Injury .......$ 300,000
Each Occurrence ....$ 300,000
Combined Single Limit ..$300,000

Since the Purchasing Department does not write purchase orders for catering services valued at less than $2,000, it will be the ordering department's responsibility to ensure that the necessary documents are submitted and meet the above criteria.

Back to top

2.3.3 Office Supplies

A University stockless office supply contract has been established to provide requisitioners a wide variety of economically priced office supplies delivered to the University the next day. This category does not include office equipment or office furniture.

Orders for office supplies may be placed by submitting a completed University of Connecticut Office Supply Requisition form directly to the Purchasing Department either in person, via campus mail, or by facsimile. Select the desired office supply items from the current approved catalog in conjunction with the customized office supply catalog. Retain the blue Requisitioners copy of the two-part form and forward the white copy to the Purchasing department, Unit 6076, for order entry. After your order has been placed, a computer-generated order acknowledgment will be forwarded to you referencing the pre-numbered Office Supply Requisition form. Your department's account will be immediately charged for this order using the Office Supply Requisition number as the reference number. This number will be entered into FRS with an X prefix, similar to Transfer Voucher charges; Central Stores will be credited.

Office supply orders will be delivered directly to your department by Central Stores personnel. You will be required to sign for the actual number of packages received. Immediately upon receipt of your order, inspect the contents against your computer-generated order acknowledgment. You will also receive a copy of the packing slip, enclosed in each order which should be matched to your original Office Supply Requisition and the order acknowledgment. It is recommended that these documents be retained in your files. If the order is accurate and complete, no further action is required by you, the payment process will automatically proceed.

Report any problems or discrepancies immediately to the contracted vendor for resolution.

If a supply item needs to be returned to the vendor, simply complete the back of the appropriate packing slip and complete a University Form BO-800. Forward both documents with the item(s) being returned to Central Stores.

Contact Team 5 in the Purchasing Department, for assistance and a copy of the customized Office Supply Catalog, which contains more detailed instructions.

Back to top

2.4 Receiving Report Procedures

After goods or services have been received, the final action required by the department is to confirm receipt of the goods.

To maintain cordial vendor relations, it is imperative the requesting department immediately verify receipt of goods and/or services. Except for shipments against blanket, lease, maintenance, printing, advertising orders, etc., the proper document for this purpose is the Receiving Report or FRS online receiving. When completed, the Receiving Report allows payment of any invoices which may be pending against the referenced Purchase Order.

At present, there are two options for documenting receipt of goods and/or services ordered by a regular and standing purchase order. They are 1) the receiving report copy of the Purchase Order or, 2) for those departments who have received access approval, direct online receiving in FRS.

With the first option, the Purchasing Department provides a Receiving Report to departments after a purchase order has been printed. When goods or services are received, the department must complete the form and return it to the Accounts Payable Department for data entry. The second option permits each department to enter the receiving information directly into FRS at the time of receipt. This option reduces administrative time and provides for a more efficient payment process.

Inquiries regarding online receiving capability should be directed to the Purchasing Department at 486-2619.

Even if a department is online, the Receiving Report provided by Purchasing can be used. This document presents the goods or services in purchase order sequence thereby facilitating ease of identification and data entry efficiency. The information required from the receiving department is as follows:

  • Quantity - List the quantity of each item received in the appropriate column.
  • Partial/Final Designation - Check the appropriate space to indicate if the receiving report represents a partial or final delivery; if partial, make an extra copy of the blank report before completing the copy to be submitted. The FRS receiving reports may be photocopied as many times as necessary to report partial deliveries.
    One receiving report should be submitted for each shipment and should only reflect the contents of the shipment being reported. Receiving reports should not reflect cumulative receipts as doing so may result in inaccurate records.
  • Signature/Date - An authorized department representative must sign and date the receiving report.
  • Accepted Quality Code - For use when recording the quality of the goods or services received. If left blank, we will assume the product/services are acceptable.
  • Reject Reason Code - For use when documenting rejected shipments. This information would be verified by filing a Return Goods Authorization (See Section 2.5).
  • Receiving Report No. - For use by those receiving departments which desire to keep records of multiple shipments against a given order. Receiving report numbers are assigned by the department receiving the goods or services using any sequence that suits their needs.
  • Received By - For use when the person who receives the goods or services is not the same person who submits the receiving report.

Revised: 11/2001

Back to top

Blanket Order Receiving Procedures

Receiving report procedures for blanket orders are more streamlined. Briefly, the Accounts Payable Department will send copies of invoices against blanket orders to the receiving department. The department identifies...
1. date goods or services were received
2. release #, if one was used
3. signature of individual authorized to receive shipment
...and returns such invoices to Accounts Payable to acknowledge receipt of goods and/or services.

Central Warehouse has rubber stamps identifying the information elements required. They are available via transfer voucher.

Revised: 01/96

Back to top

2.5 Returned Goods Procedure

Most orders arrive in good condition and contain the correct merchandise. However, occasionally goods must be returned due to duplicate shipments, incorrect items, or because they are damaged.

To assure proper credit or exchange and to maintain continuity in the return process, the following procedures are recommended;

  1. Notify the appropriate purchasing agent of the problem(s) with the order.
  2. Complete a BO-800 form and a Transfer Voucher Form BO-20. Either send it to Central Stores (Unit 6114) or call Central Stores (6-6301) to request pick-up of goods. If no return is required, send the BO-800 to Purchasing (a Transfer Voucher will not be necessary).
  3. The Central Warehouse driver will sign the completed BO-800 form when the pick up is made leaving the fourth (pink) copy with the department for their records. The Central Warehouse will hold the parcel(s) and retain the BO-800 fifth (blue) copy. The remaining BO-800 copies (white, yellow and green) will be sent to the purchasing team responsible for the purchase.
  4. Upon receipt of the completed BO-800 form from Central Stores, the Purchasing Department will contact the vendor. The designated purchasing agent will arrange for the return or disposal of the goods and request a replacement, credit or substitute, as specified by the ordering department. Departments should not make their own arrangements to return merchandise.
  5. The Purchasing Department will then inform Central Stores (via the green & white copies) of the proper disposition, indicate any freight costs to return, as well as notifying the Accounts Payable Department of action taken.
  6. The Central Warehouse will return or dispose of the goods according to the buyer's instructions and inform the Accounts Payable of the disposition using the third (green) copy of the BO-800.
  7. If the goods are to be returned for credit or cash reimbursement, the vendor will be asked to submit a photocopy of the BO-800 with the credit memo or check to the Accounts Payable Department so that it can be matched to the Accounts Payable (green) copy and credited to the requesting department.
  8. If replacement merchandise is requested, the vendor will use the white copy of the BO-800 form as the packing slip to identify the shipment appropriately.

These procedures provide the audit trail necessary to determine the status of returned merchandise and offer a mechanism for monitoring vendor/carrier performance. They also allow the Central Stores, Purchasing and Accounts Payable Departments to assume the responsibility for merchandise returns and follow-up, if required, while saving your department considerable frustration as well as freight and telephone expenses associated with returning merchandise.

Revised: 11/2001

Back to top

2.6 Equipment Loan Agreement

It is common practice in some industries for vendors to place equipment with prospective buyers on a "trial basis". While it is often advisable to "test drive" equipment before making a purchase decision, doing so is not without certain risks. In the absence of any written agreement to the contrary, vendors may attempt to recover damages for stolen or damaged equipment either from the University, the individual who accepted the equipment, or both. Because vendor owned equipment is not insured by the State or the University, a University of Connecticut Equipment Loan Agreement has been developed to document the University's limited liability.

A University of Connecticut Equipment Loan Agreement should be completed, in duplicate, prior to accepting any equipment on a trial basis. Department Heads are authorized to sign for the University. (It is the vendor's representative's responsibility to determine who is authorized to sign for the vendor.)

DO NOT SIGN ANY FORMS PROVIDED BY THE VENDOR. If a vendor requires the use of their forms, objects to the use of the University's form, or requests language changes, they should be referred to the Purchasing Department. In the absence of a properly executed University of Connecticut Equipment Loan Agreement, any claims by a vendor for lost or damaged equipment may result in a personal liability for the individual who accepted the equipment.

A photocopy of all executed Equipment Loan Agreements should be sent to the Purchasing Department. (See Example G for sample of Equipment Loan Agreement.)

Issued: 01/96

Back to top

2.7 Warranty - Equipment

Although a manufacturer may provide a standard written warranty, the University can negotiate any aspects which are deemed to be in its best interests, such as, period of warranty, type of warranty, or delays.

If you anticipate a delay in putting equipment into service, two options are available:

1. Schedule the delivery so that it coincides with the date the equipment can be used. This option minimizes the risk of damage in storage and eliminates questions about the warranty on-site date.

2. Advise purchasing of any anticipated delays so a deferred warranty can be negotiated.

Back to top




Purchasing Department
3 North Hillside Road Unit 6076
Storrs, CT 06269-6076
(860) 486-2619
(860) 486-5051 Fax