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Unauthorized Purchases

    • Last Updated: 06/17/2016
    • Effective Date:

    Policy Statement

    A purchase that is contrary to the rules and regulations established by State Purchasing DivisionState Purchasing Division  or Board of Regents shall be void and of no effect.  Any official of a state entity or institution who willfully purchases or causes to be purchased any materials, supplies or equipment contrary to the rules and regulations will be personally liable for the cost thereof.  If paid for from state funds, the amount may be recovered in the name of the state. (O.C.G.A. Section 50-5-79).

    Additionally, it is unlawful for UGA to make purchases for the personal use of its employees (Acts of 1939 40-1936 and HB1113). While it is difficult to specifically define all such goods and services, the following list includes examples of items which have previously been denied (by State Purchasing Division, other State agencies, and UGA) for purchase using state funds, on the grounds that the apparent end-use is personal in nature:

    • Holiday decorations and cards 
    • Cut flowers / plants 
    • Coffee makers, refrigerators, microwaves 
    • Entertainment, alcoholic beverages and/or refreshments 
    • Table radios 
    • Watches, groundbreaking shovels and other items to be granted as a donation or gratuity in     favor of a person, corporation or association 
    • Dues to a Chamber of Commerce 
    • Employment agency placement fees 
    • Clothing, such as tuxedos, used for commencement services or other personal use 
    • Personal moving expenses 
    • Retirement gifts or gifts of any nature, gift cards 

    In general, University departments are not authorized to make fiscal commitments against University funds except under petty cash procedures, check request procedures, or as outlined in the p-card manual. If such a commitment is inadvertently made, the Procurement Office cannot process a purchase order and there is no assurance such a purchase can be paid. The person who made the purchase, or the person who directed that it be made in an unauthorized manner, may be personally liable to settle the matter with the supplier. If an unauthorized charge purchase is submitted for payment or reimbursement, it will be reviewed by an appropriate level of University Management and a case-basis determination will be made as to its disposition. A letter will be required explaining the circumstances of the transaction and why University purchasing procedures were not followed.

    Reason for policy
    To provide guidance as to what is considered an unauthorized purchase and information about the liability of improper (unauthorized) purchases.
    Procedures
    When an unauthorized purchase is identified, the department and employee making the purchase will be notified and appropriate actions may be taken to discipline the purchaser and recoup any funds expended in an improper manner.  The purchaser will be required to submit an explanation of why proper purchasing policy and procedure were not followed along with an assurance that steps will be taken to avoid future violations of this nature.  The explanation should include a description of the unauthorized purchase, why the unauthorized purchase occurred, evaluation of pricing, confirmation that the department has the available resources to pay for the unauthorized purchase and a description of preventive steps.  If a purchase request/requisition has been submitted in UGAmart, and the buyer ascertains that the purchase has already occurred or that work has commenced, the requisition may be subject to rejection and the purchaser required to follow unauthorized purchase procedures.
    Additional contacts

    Annette Evans 

    Phone Number: 706-542-2361

    Policy definitions

    BOR – Board of Regents

    SPD – State Purchasing Division

    Responsibilities

    Responsible University Senior Administrator: Vice President for Finance & Administration 

    Responsible University Administrator: Procurement Officer 

    Policy Owner: Procurement 

    Policy Contact: Annette Evans 

    Phone Number: 706-542-2361 

    Responsibilities: It is the responsibility of either 1) the individual who made the unauthorized purchase or 2) the person who directed the unauthorized to be made to write the letter of explanation set forth in the Procedure section above.

    Record Retention

    Unauthorized purchases are identified during review of check requests and check request retention requirements are applicable.

    Record Copy: Procurement