Emergency / Pressing Need
Section: IV – Purchasing
The purpose of a pressing need/emergency purchase order is to obtain authorization to make purchases on the open market in cases of genuine emergency or pressing need.
An emergency is defined generally as a situation which endangers lives, property or the continuation of a vital program, and which can be rectified only by immediate on-the-spot purchase or rental of equipment, materials, supplies, or services.
A pressing need arises from unforeseen causes including, but not limited to, delay by contractors, delay in transportation, breakdown in machinery, or unanticipated volume of work.
The following procedures should be followed when there is a need for an emergency or pressing need purchase order.
1. Obtain approval from the appropriate principal/director for the issuance of the emergency order. (Prior authorization lists may be on file in the Purchasing Department for the Maintenance and Transportation Departments.)
2. The principal/director/designee should advise the purchasing agent of the reason for the emergency order.
3. The purchasing agent should verify the fund balance of the school/department before continuing. If funds are not available, the purchasing agent should contact the budget analyst for direction before continuing with placement of the order.
4. The purchasing agent should enter the information into the computer system while gathering the information from the principal/director. When the caller is an authorized person in the Maintenance or the Transportation Department, the purchasing agent shall indicate TD-18 (transportation work order) or AS-58 (maintenance work request order), job site, etc. on the pressing need/emergency purchase requisition.
5. If the item or items required are on state contract, the purchasing agent shall contact the contractor to determine if immediate delivery can be made.
6. If the state contractor cannot make immediate delivery, the item or items can be purchased on the open market after obtaining such quotes as time permits.
7. When time permits, bids should be obtained for goods or services purchased on the open market.
8. The purchasing agent gives the authorized caller a purchase order number.
9. The school/department should sign the receiving copy, attach packing slips and delivery tickets, and return the copy to the appropriate director for review and filing until the end of the week. Then it should be forwarded to Accounts Payable.
10. The Purchasing Department shall maintain a log of all emergency/pressing need purchase orders issued. The log should show purchase order number, date, vendor, general description, department, caller and dollar amount.
Note: When the computer system is not available, the purchasing agent may assign an emergency (manual) purchase order number. The emergency purchase order should be encumbered as soon as the computer system is again available.