Policies & Procedures



Section: PUR
Part: POL
Statement No.: 2.0
Date: 05/20/2013
University of North Carolina - General Administration
Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual
Title: Purchase Order



1.       Definition:


A purchase order is the document authorizing a supplier to furnish the described goods and/or services to General Administration at an indicated price, time and location. Other terms and specifications can be indicated on the purchase order form. Upon acceptance of the purchase order by the supplier, the document becomes a contract between General Administration and the vendor.


2.       Change Order Policy:


a.    A change order is required for any purchase order change that will increase the original encumbrance amount.


b.    The change order amount must be computed and submitted to the Purchasing Office in writing as a request to increase the original encumbrance by the required amount.  The written change order request can be included on a requisition or emailed to the Purchasing Department.  The change order request needs to include the current purchase order number, vendor name and details regarding why the change order is being requested.  The current line item number and amount that needs to be changed should also be included.


c.    Should the extra amount requested cause the dollar amount of the original purchase order to exceed $24,999.99, then Purchase and Contract approval must be obtained before the extra amount is authorized.


d.    Changes to purchase orders already accepted by vendors must be requested by the Purchasing Office. Most vendors are willing to make reasonable changes to an order without penalty to the purchaser. Generally, only when a vendor may have expended funds for fabricating special equipment will a charge be made for changing or canceling an order.


e.    Changes (including cancellations or liquidations) to purchase orders are authorized only by a Change Order Purchase Order issued by the Purchasing Office.


3.       General Policies: 


a.    A purchase order is prepared by the Purchasing Office of General Administration prior to ordering goods and/or services, and once provided to a vendor serves as authorization to furnish the objects ordered.


b.   When a purchase order is written to a vendor by the Purchasing Officer, it becomes a binding contract and cannot be broken by either party so long as both parties live up to the terms and conditions of the agreement. To break or cancel the contract requires the consent of the both parties (see change order above.)


c.    When a purchase order is written to a vendor but is not in accordance with the terms and conditions which were previously offered by the vendor, it does not become a binding contract until the purchase order is acknowledged and accepted by the vendor in writing.