Requisitions and Purchase Orders

Requisitions for a Purchase Order

A requisition is used to initiate a central office purchase (i.e. a request for a PO).  Requisitions are created in ARC, which allows users to create either an Autosource PO for UwPA based purchases or a Central Purchase Order.  Once the requisition is budget checked and all required approvals obtained, including that of CU Purchasing, a purchase order will be generated in ARC.  Key elements are:

• To ensure timely delivery of goods or services, prepare the purchase requisition and back-up documentation accurately, giving special attention to a clear, detailed description of the product or service

• If there is a quote number from the vendor, be sure to include it on the requisition

• After creating the requisition, upload supporting documents into OnBase via the web form

• Do not break up purchases into smaller transactions in order to avoid purchasing requirements

• Review the status of a pending requisition that has been submitted to CU Purchasing by using the Procurement Documentation system

Note that a requisition will not move forward until both DAF approval is provided and the supporting documentation is submitted.


Helpful Document to View or Print

Purchasing Process QuickGuide



Central Purchase Orders

A Central Purchase Order is a document issued to an approved supplier by CU Purchasing confirming an agreement for the supply of goods and services, such as materials, parts, supplies, equipment, repairs, construction and construction-related items, and consultant services.  A Central PO is issued by CU Purchasing upon receipt of an approved requisition (via ARC) from a requesting unit, submission of documentation (via OnBase) that supports the purchase request, and subsequent approval of the proposed purchase consistent with University purchasing policy.

Central POs must be used for:  1) goods purchases in excess of $500* for non-UwPAs, and 2) all service agreements at all dollar thresholds.

*goods purchases under $500 can be accomplished through a voucher only as long as the there is an official quote provided by the supplier.

Autosource Purchase Orders

An Autosource Purchase Order is a document issued directly to an approved supplier by a school or unit confirming an agreement for the supply of certain purchases of goods without requiring review by CU Purchasing.

Autosource POs may be used for the purchase of goods and services from UwPA vendors in amounts approved by CU Purchasing.


Contract Purchase Orders (aka Fixed Cost Request in ARC)

Contract Purchase Orders are those purchase orders that contain a start date and end date.  Many Contract Purchase Orders have multi-year encumbrances, meaning that the term of the purchase order (period from start date through end date) crosses more than one fiscal year.  Examples of Contract Purchase Orders are purchase orders covering consultant agreements, service/maintenance contracts, etc.

Competitive Sourcing

As laid out in the University’s Competitive Procurement Policy, those making procurements are required to obtain competitive proposals, bids, or price quotations, as maximally practicable, on products and services used by the University.

Administrators should keep in mind the following:

Purchasing Guide:  Consult the CU Purchasing Guide to determine if the product and/or service can be provided by a UwPA supplier

When There Is No UwPA:  In the event a UwPA has not been established for the particular product and/or service, conduct a competitive bid process if (1) the requisitioned products and general services total $2,500 or more, individually or as a system, or (2) the service provider requisition totals $25,000 or more

RFQs:  If goods or services have standard or easily compared specifications, use the Request for Quote (RFQ) competitive sourcing process; submit a completed Bid Summary Sheet as supporting documentation

RFPs:  If goods or services do not have standardized specifications or have complex requirements, use the Request for Proposal (RFP) competitive sourcing process

Evaluating Quotations:  Evaluate all price quotations on the basis of compliance to provided specifications/requirements, other communicated factors such as quality of goods/services and customer service support, and, ultimately, cost

Confidentiality:  Safeguard all information given to those bidding, as well as the information received from those bidders, so that it remains confidential

Sole/Single Source Procurement:  If a purchase is not competitive, indicate this when doing the requisition in ARC, complete the Sole/Single Source Justification Form provided, and give ample documentation to justify the procurement decision

Conflict of Interest:  Ensure that those requesting single/sole source procurement are in compliance with the University’s conflict of interest policies and any obligations set forth in that policy

Much more detailed guidance is provided in the University’s Competitive Procurement Policy, with which all Administrators should be familiar.  The policy also contains in its appendices relevant forms, templates, and process guidance.