Goods and services that are ordered repetitively (such as laboratory supplies, office machine maintenance, chemicals, petroleum products, and other items) may be written on annual or multi-year contract orders. Contract purchase orders are issued by the Procurement Services Department on the basis of competitively bid prices. Negotiated pricing may also be obtained by Procurement Services when only one source exists. Annual contract orders may be established from a single requisition, generally alleviating the need for further requisitions during the contract period.
General (blanket) orders allow departments to buy a limited number of supply items needed from day-to-day (e.g., fresh fruits and vegetables in the dining halls or items purchased infrequently from a specific source such as repair parts, miscellaneous laboratory chemicals, etc.). The value of any release issued against a general purchase order is limited to a stated dollar amount, usually less than $2,000 per transaction. Total fiscal year expenditures on a general order may not exceed $10,000.
Contract and General Order Encumbrances:
An approximate dollar amount is encumbered each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) when an order is written or renewed, except for those contract/general orders intentionally written without an assigned fund number (thereby permitting usage by multiple department cost centers). One or more funds may be encumbered on the same order. Encumbrances may be increased, decreased, or moved to another fund during the year as funds are used.