An unauthorized purchase is a purchase made outside of the authorized procurement processes. Examples of unauthorized purchases include but are not limited to:
- Employee purchases supplies for the office, writing a personal check for the purchase;
- Employee calls a supplier and places an order for supplies without prior issuance of a purchase order or use of a Purchasing Card;
- Employee purchases a new computer for the office using a personal credit card;
- Employee signs a supplier contract for services or supplies.
In all four cases above, the employee made a purchase (committed funds) on behalf of Lock Haven University without securing the appropriate approvals first and use of a Lock Haven University authorized purchasing method. The purchased items may be appropriate for business use; however, approvals for all purchases must be secured before the purchase is authorized through issuance of a purchase order, contract or use of a Purchasing Card.
Factors to consider with unauthorized purchases include the costs of processing invoices and checks, personnel time, and any travel involved to make such a purchase. Many times, these costs offset the perceived savings in the purchase price. Following Lock Haven University authorized buying methods ensures that all approvals are properly documented and also ensures that Lock Haven University receives the best price.
How to Avoid Unauthorized Purchases
The appropriate utilization of Lock Haven University authorized buying methods should be used to satisfy all purchase requirements. If there is a unique requirement that may require special handling, contact the Procurement Department for advice or assistance.