Purchasing in a Nutshell

Texas A&M University departments have delegated authority to make purchases of equipment, supplies, and services within specified dollar limits (including freight and/or postage), depending upon the source of funding. This limited authority was delegated to allow departments to expedite the purchase of items needed immediately without having to prepare a purchase requisition. The dollar limits for the three type of funds available to departments are:

Purchasing in Nutshell

Departments are encouraged to purchase equipment supplies and services from Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs). An online Hub Directory is available to assist you in identifying HUBs.

For purchases exceeding the delegated departmental spending limits, requisitions, bids and purchase orders processed through the Department of Procurement Services are usually required. The following guidelines apply:

Type of Order Type of Funds Requisitioning Procedures
Non-Emergency Purchases, Goods and Services

All Funds
($10,000.01 or more)

Submit specifications to Procurement Services on a Purchase Requisition Form or through FAMIS
Emergency Purchases, Goods and Services

All Funds
($10,000.01 or more)

When possible, contact Procurement Services for prior approval. Enter a Confirming Purchase Requisition and a letter of justification explaining the nature of the emergency.

* Freight costs must be included in all dollar limits listed above.

* Large purchases may not be divided into small lot purchases in order to meet the specified dollar limits. (University Rule 25.07.03.M0.01 Section 2.1.3)

Departments are advised to carefully evaluate and plan their goods and services requirements on a monthly/yearly basis whenever possible.

Justification of Proprietary (Sole Source) Purchases with Local and State Funds
If the specifications restrict the purchase of goods or services to only one manufacturer, a sole source justification, found on Screen 253 within the Purchasing Module of FAMIS, must be completed. The justification must answer the following two questions:

  1. What are the unique features and why are they needed.
  2. Why competing products will not be satisfactory?

The first question should be answered in functional terms. Indicate why the dimensions or performance characteristics are essential to your work. The answer to the second question should indicate specifically the particular requirements of the specification where other known products or services do not comply.

Emergency Purchases
An emergency purchase is defined as a purchase of goods or services that if not secured immediately, the university will suffer financial or operational damage.

When possible, contact Procurement Services prior to acquiring the goods or services. If the situation allows, informal bids will be taken. Department should submit a requisition after the order has been placed and include a letter of justification that must:

  • state the reason for the emergency purchase by explaining what the emergency is and/or what caused the emergency situation.
  • state the financial or operational damage that will occur if needs are not satisfied immediately; and
  • state why the needs were not or could not be anticipated so that the items could have been purchased through regular procurement procedures.

Non-complying Purchase Requisitions
Departments do not have the authority to make purchases in excess of $10,000 that have not been approved prior to the goods being delivered or services being rendered. Non-complying purchase requisitions include, but not limited to, confirming requisitions and requisitions that split large purchases into smaller purchases in order to circumvent purchasing procedures. Procurement Services encourages questions and will assist requisitioners in determining the best method available in acquiring goods and services.