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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 four program areas: Purchasing, Procurement Card Program, Contract Services, 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):

  • Procurement Card: The Procurement Card is the preferred purchase method for small-dollar transactions. Individual cardholder limits vary but can be set up to $5,000. However, you cannot use your Procurement Card for everything—there are restrictions.
  • Department Purchase Order (DPO): A Purchase Order created within the campus department prior to an order being placed for purchases up to $5,000 where the Procurement Card is not acceptable. The DPO is provided to the vendor, documenting the University's intent to purchase. However, there are restrictions on using a DPO for furniture.
  • Payment Voucher: The Payment Voucher is used in a limited capacity to authorize payment for purchases not requiring a commitment voucher.
  • PO Requisition: The campus department creates and approves PO Requisitions in the Finance System. The Requisition initiates action by the Purchasing Agent. Issuance of a Purchase Order by the Purchasing Agent is the authorization to proceed with receiving goods or services. The Purchasing Agent may need the department to provide Price Cost Analysis information.
  • SPO Requisition: SPOs are used for either 1) repetitive purchases as needed from time to time, or 2) services to be provided over a specific period of time, such as maintenance agreements, personal services contracts, and subcontracts. The campus department creates and approves SPO Requisitions in the Finance System. The Requisition initiates action by the Purchasing Agent. Issuance of a Standing Purchase Order by the Purchasing Agent is the authorization to proceed with receiving goods or services. The Purchasing Agent may need the department to provide Price Cost Analysis information.
  • Payment Voucher: The Payment Voucher is used in a limited capacity to authorize payment for purchases not requiring a commitment voucher.

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 the Purchasing Department 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, DPO, PO, or SPO) is required to purchase an item from a vendor except in specific situations.

Questions About Purchasing?