7.5.2 Authority to Purchase

Added: 11/06/2013
Revised: 07/08/2015
Last Reviewed: 07/31/2018
Effective: 08/07/2015







 According to the Georgia Procurement Manual (GPM) Section I.2.5.3,

The Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) Commissioner may delegate authority to a designee or to any state entity or official as permitted by the State Purchasing Act. Each state entity is required to identify a qualified individual to serve as its official procurement officer.

GPM Section 8.3 provides:

SPD may, at its discretion, delegate purchasing authority (DPA) to state entities to permit those state entities to make purchases on their own behalf. It is the intention of the State Purchasing Division Deputy Commissioner to delegate purchasing authority to the maximum extent possible.

The Agency Procurement Officers (APO)/College/University Procurement Officer (CUPO) is responsible for ensuring the state entity does not exceed its Delegated Purchasing Authority (DPA) and that all conditions of the DPA are met. Further, the APO/CUPO is responsible for ensuring all staff exercising such DPA are properly skilled and trained to perform the assigned purchasing tasks. The APO/CUPO should contact State Purchasing Division (SPD) to resolve any questions regarding DPA.

The CUPO has the authority to commit University funds for supplies, materials, equipment and contractual services. However, the CUPO should receive approval from the requesting Department/Unit Head or the Executive Vice President for Finance & Operations for expenditures to be committed.

The Procurement Officer has full authority to question the quality, quantity, and kind of material requested in order to serve the best interests of the University.

When it appears to the Procurement Officer that the University would benefit by the procurement of materials, equipment, and supplies different from those shown on the Request for Purchase, or from other than the recommended source, the Officer can make the change, with the advice and knowledge of the Department/Unit concerned.

The University budget establishes funds to be used for certain purposes under the authority of the designated Department/Unit Head. Within the prescribed budgetary limits, he or she has primary responsibility for approval of all expenditures charged against accounts under his or her administration. In the event that a Department’s/Unit’s budget does not have an adequate balance to cover costs for necessary purchases, a request for a Budget Amendment should be completed and approved by the Office of Fiscal Affairs prior to initiating a Request for Purchase (Requisition/ePro).

With limited exceptions, University Departments/Units are NOT authorized to make direct purchases. The CUPO delegates restricted purchase authority to:

Department Delegated to Whom Purchase Type
Plant Operations Department AVP Facilities Public Works Contracts
Campus Stores Campus Store Manager Items for Resale
Various Purchasing Card Holders Purchases allowable within purchasing card regulations
Library Librarian Collection acquisitions, binding services, microfilm services and interlibrary loan items

In general, University Departments/Units have no purchasing delegation in any area where the law or State Purchasing regulations require formal competition or where central fiscal controls would be compromised.

A Department/Unit Head may delegate the authority to approve expenditures on appropriate documents, providing the Fiscal Affairs Office has been appropriately notified of the delegation; however, the responsibility for such approval cannot be delegated.

Some purchases require additional approvals as specified by state, USG or MGA regulations. See the following table for some of these special approval items.

Type of Purchase Additional Approval Require
Technology Purchases < $100,000 MGA Chief Information Officer
Technology Purchases > $100,000 USG VC/CIO
Hazardous Materials Office of Risk Management
Weapons Chief of Police

As specified in the USG Business Procedures Manual, Section 11.1:

The term “technology” is defined in O.C.G.A. § 50-25-1 and includes, but is not limited to:

“hardware, software, and communications equipment, including, but not limited to, personal computers, mainframes, wide and local area networks, servers, mobile or portable computers, peripheral equipment, telephones, wireless communications, public safety radio services, facsimile machines, technology facilities including, but not limited to, data centers, dedicated training facilities, and switching facilities, and other relevant hardware and software items as well as personnel tasked with the planning, implementation, and support of technology.”