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Purchasing Department

Policies & Procedures

For general purchasing policy and procedure information, refer to the Regulations Library, Procurement.
[1. Regulations Library; 2. Part 3: Gen Admin & Operations; 3. Bids & Proposals or Procurement]

Lawson Purchase Orders Top

  1. All purchases, with the exception of capital equipment and check requests (reference the Finance web page for policies regarding the use of check requests), must be procured through the use of the Lawson order system.
  2. Purchase orders are to be obtained before the receipt of goods or services. Vendors are instructed that if they accept orders without a valid purchase order number they risk the possibility of not being paid for goods or services rendered.
  3. Bill Only purchase orders (to pay invoices) are to be used only for emergencies after hours or weekends) or specifically in the Surgical Service areas for reimbursement of patient implants, unless prior arrangements have been made through Purchasing. The use of Bill Only purchase orders will be monitored for inappropriate use by the Purchasing Department.
  4. Service orders are to be used for any type of intangible item, including janitorial services, snow plowing, temporary employee services, repairs, bottled water services, copier and fax leases, maintenance agreements, or hardware and software agreements. Do not submit a service requisition for miscellaneous (tangible) supplies, as the order will be cancelled by your buyer and you will have to resubmit an order for those items as a Special.

Bidding Requirements Top

As a general rule, requests for purchase are to be bid according to the following guidelines:

  1. $0 - $4,999.00 value - purchase decision may be made at the discretion of the buyer. As appropriate, each transaction should reference existing state contract, University contract/price agreement, or actual record of solicited prices, if written quotations are requested.
  2. $5,000.00 - $19,999.00 value - buyer is to obtain a minimum of three verbal quotations. Any exceptions will be noted in writing setting forth complete reasoning for non-solicitation of quotations.
  3. $20,000.00 - $49,999.00 value - buyer is to obtain a minimum of three written quotations or prepare an informal bid. Any exceptions will be noted in writing setting forth the reasons for not obtaining responses in writing.
  4. $50,000.00 - up - buyer is to prepare a formal bid. The only exceptions to advertised bids are: (1) emergency purchases, interpreted to be a threat to public health, welfare, or safety; or (2) qualifying as a sole source under the provisions of section 63-56-23 of the Utah Procurement Code. Requests for handling purchases under either exception must be documented by a memo from the requisitioning department justifying the exception. All such requests must be endorsed by the Director of University Purchasing or the Assistant Director of University Purchasing and forwarded to the Vice President for Administrative Services or designate for approval. This approval may be delegated in writing to the Director of University Purchasing from the Vice President for Administrative Services or designate for items or services that routinely qualify under the sole source provisions of the Utah Procurement Code.

At the Buyer's discretion, written quotations or informal bids may be solicited for a request valued less than $15,000.00, when in the Buyer's judgment circumstances warrant.

When, in the buyer's judgment, bidding is not practical where dollar values would indicate bids should be obtained, appropriate written documentation must be obtained, reviewed and proper supplemental action taken, in consultation with the purchasing manager or the director of Hospital Purchasing, prior to a purchase order being issued.

Emergency Purchasing Requirements Top

Emergency Procurement

Reference Policy 3-191: Small Purchases and Expedited Procurement  

A.  When there exists a threat to public health, welfare or safety as the result of emergency conditions, as determined in writing by the president or vice president for administrative services, or his/her designee [i.e., David Entwistle, Quinn McKenna, or Gordon Crabtree], the purchasing agent is authorized to make emergency procurements.  Such emergency procurements shall be made with as much competition as practicable under the circumstances.

B.  The written determination of the existence of the emergency, stating the basis thereof, together with a written statement of justification for the selection of the particular supplier/vendor shall be placed in the contract file.


As a general rule, the requesting department will be responsible for determining product requests which are to be classified as an emergency. Examples of emergency purchases are:

  1. the replacement of an x-ray tube which burns out,
  2. the request for a part to repair a piece of equipment which is giving support to a patient,
  3. the request for a product, unavailable from current inventories, which is needed to treat a trauma patient,
  4. the acquisition of a pharmaceutical product deemed necessary to the well-being of a patient in a traumatic situation.

Since the Purchasing Department is responsible to provide procurement support for emergency requests and since Purchasing personnel will be required to judge the authenticity of an emergency request; the following guidelines are established:

  1. Departments may arrange for the emergency delivery of products outside of regular working hours, provided they notify the Purchasing Department on the next regular working day. Purchasing will then arrange for a purchase order to be issued.
  2. Emergency purchases which arise during regular working hours are to be arranged through the Purchasing Department. Once contacted, Purchasing will issue a purchase order to the vendor who can respond most expeditiously. The responsible buyer will do his/her best to ensure the costs involved in making sure the purchases are reasonable with respect to existing market and/or contract conditions.
  3. If the responsible buyer has reason to believe the request can be accommodated by use of normal procurement practices, they are to inform the requesting individual and provide guidance and direction as to the process which is to be used. Any disputes or disagreements which arise with the requesting individual are to be reported to the purchasing manager or the director of Hospital Purchasing for assistance or confirmation that the course of action taken is appropriate.
  4. All requests exceeding $4,999.00 processed as emergency purchases must be followed with a requisition from the requesting department and appropriate written documentation defining the emergency nature of the request. The documentation is to be signed by the requesting department director for purchases of $4,999.00 to $49,999.00. Documentation must include the signature of an associate administrator for purchases which exceed $49,999.00. If documentation does not accompany the requisition or the documentation is not signed by the department director, the responsible buyer will complete and send an "Emergency Order Memorandum" to the department director for his/her signature of authorization. The responsible buyer will then track the memorandum and complete the "Emergency Order Tracking Log" appropriately. If no response has been received from the department director within a one week period, the responsible buyer will send another "Emergency Order Memorandum." This procedure is to be followed until three memorandums have been sent. The buyer is to record the actions and outcomes on the "Emergency Order Tracking Log." Photocopies of log sheets representing monthly activity are to be submitted to the purchasing coordinator for review at the end of each month.
  5. Emergency purchase requests which exceed $49,999.00 are to be reviewed and authorized by the purchasing manager or the director of Hospital Purchasing prior to processing. In the absence of both the purchasing manager and the director of Hospital Purchasing, the responsible buyer is to proceed using his/her best judgment, notifying the purchasing manager or director of Hospital Purchasing at the next available opportunity.

Sole Source or Physician Prescription Requirements Top

Requests for the purchase of products, services or equipment, which are described by the requesting department as sole source or physician prescribed, are to be accommodated only after the following steps have been taken and authorization received:

  1. For requests ranging between $4,999.00 to $49,999.00, the requesting department is to provide written documentation of the request's sole source nature along with any additional information, descriptions or circumstances which support the request. The responsible buyer will consult with the purchasing coordinator or the director of Hospital Purchasing to affirm the acceptability of the documentation prior to proceeding with the purchase.
  2. For requests exceeding $49,999.00, departments are required to obtain written authorization from their cognizant associate administrator prior to any action on the part of the Purchasing Department. Once authorization is obtained, departments will be required to follow the procedure described in paragraph A (above). Upon concurrence by the purchasing coordinator or the director of Hospital Purchasing, the purchasing coordinator or director will initiate a memo of support and recommendation. The department's letter of documentation and the memo of support and recommendation will be forwarded to the University Purchasing Director. The University Purchasing Director will solicit authorization from the Vice President of Administrative Services or the Assistance Vice President for Finance (designee), upon receiving written authorization, the responsible buyer will proceed with the purchase doing his/her best to ensure the costs involved in making the purchase are reasonable with respect to existing market and/or contract conditions.
  3. If authorization for sole source purchase is denied, the responsible buyer will proceed to follow the standard procurement guidelines.

Management Reports Top

Management reports, which can be obtained through the Lawson system, are to be used by Purchasing personnel to quantify, group, categorize, etc., product information for the purpose of developing contracting and procurement strategies. Reports should also be used to identify receiving and accounts payable information which is required in problem solving and other communication activities with hospital departments and vendors.

The director of Hospital Purchasing, along with the manager and the senior buyer, and with assistance from buyers and other staff members, will review management reports on a six month basis (approximately November and May of each year) for the purpose of identifying dollar volume activity by vendor and dollar volume by commodity and commodity group. Commodities where dollar volume activity is $10,000 or more will be reviewed in more detail. Dollar volume activity which is not associated with contracts, single source or proprietary status will be identified for appropriate action.