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Award Management

Purchasing Basics

Purchase Orders

Principal investigators may request via a requisition that a purchase order be issued to a vendor for the purchase of commodities, equipment, and various services. The purchase order is an offer to purchase commodities, equipment, and services from vendors and, when accepted without change by the vendor, constitutes a legal binding contract. The purchase order specifies the quantity, description, price, delivery date, terms and conditions, payment terms, “ship to” address, and special instructions to the vendor. Purchase orders are generated from the information provided on the requisition and are sent to vendors by the Procurement Department. Vendors or principal investigators may not make any changes in the purchase order without written approval from the purchasing agent.

All items on the purchase order are cost coded and the total amount of the order is committed against the project budget. The commitment is relieved when payment is made to the vendor. Freight and U.S. Customs charges, if applicable, are generally not committed against the purchase order unless requested or if costs are substantial.

Procurement Card (PCard) Program

In addition to all requirements of the university’s PCard Policy, all purchases must be directly allocable and allowable to the project, and all purchase prices must also be reasonable. Use the card responsibly.

Cardholders agree not to use delegated purchasing authority to obtain these restricted items:

  • animals
  • equipment
  • radioactive materials
  • alcoholic beverages
  • guns and ammunition
  • repairs
  • patient care
  • airline tickets
  • entertainment
  • individual meals
  • subcontracts
  • consultant agreements
  • advertising
  • rental agreements
  • general purpose equipment
  • purchases outside time frame of project
  • purchases exceeding budget
  • maintenance agreements
  • pre-payment of purchase orders
  • renovation and construction purchases
  • items that may be considered taxable income to a private individual
  • memberships and subscriptions in an individual’s name (must be in the name of the department)
  • Ohio Board of Regents funded purchases
  • cash advances (note: this is not a debit card or smart card)

Change Orders

Vendor Requested

Change orders are often requested by vendors that require changes or cancellations. After consultation with the principal investigator or initiator, an acceptance or counter offer of the change will be documented by issuing a written change order.

Initiator Requested

Principal investigators must convey their requests for changes or cancellations to a purchase order by submitting a requisition to Procurement, listing the purchase order number in the space provided on the requisition form and indicating on the first line in the body of the form that a change order is requested. The change, additions, or deletions must be listed. Procurement will then issue a change order to the vendor.

Shipments for Repair or Return

Requests for shipping equipment or material to a vendor must be submitted to Procurement on a requisition form. The requisition must state how the item is to be shipped, value of the item, reason the item is to be shipped to the vendor, who is paying shipping and insurance costs, complete description of the item including model number, Office of Sponsored Programs tag number, serial number, and complete “ship to address.” The original purchase order number on which the material was acquired must be referenced for return of damaged items.

If repair costs other than shipping are to be incurred, a confirmed or written price quotation should be included, if available. Provide a vendor contact name and a return authorization number when required. Include the location of the item to be shipped and Ohio State Receiving & Shipping will be instructed to pick it up. Procurement will prepare the shipping documents. All items should be shipped in the original containers or professionally packed. If the investigator no longer has the original container, the supplier may need to be contacted in order to obtain the appropriate shipping container and packing material (or packing instructions). Insurers will not pay damage claims for inadequately packed items.

Expediting Orders and Purchases

When it is necessary to expedite a purchase order, the principal investigator should contact Procurement (292-6871) and be prepared to provide the:

  • purchase order number,
  • project number
  • vendor name
  • description of the item being expedited

The investigator may contact the vendor directly. The purchase order should not be changed or duplicated. If a change order or cancellation is necessary, the investigator should contact Procurement.