The procurement of all goods and services through outside vendors is the responsibility of the Purchasing department. By directive of the Board of Trustees of Indiana University, only Purchasing has authorization to commit University funds for goods and services. Overall, the Purchasing department is responsible for ensuring that purchases are reasonable and made according to IU Policy. Purchasing is available to assist with contracts, bidding, researching an item, or working with vendors.

IU Policy states that purchases must be made through a Contract Vendor when available (Policy P-20). If a department needs help with purchasing an item, departments should contact the Commodity Specialist in that area for assistance.

To begin the purchasing process, a department issues a requisition for goods or services through EPIC. The requisition routes for approval to the fiscal officer or delegate of the account. Upon approval, the requisition routes to the Southeast Accounting Services department for approval. The Accounting Services department audits the requisition for contract availability, funding, marketing activity, licensing and trademarks, and reasonableness of purchase. Upon approval, the requisition either becomes an automatic purchase order (APO) if under $1,000 or routes to Purchasing for issuance of a Purchase Order. Upon issuance of a Purchase Order, a copy of the order is automatically faxed to the vendor.

Requisitions valued in excess of $1,000 must be processed or approved by the Purchasing department unless the requisition is with a contracted vendor in which case the value must be over $5,000 to require approval by the Purchasing department. The Purchasing department will assist departments with these purchases or contracts. Regardless of who processes the requisition, the process of purchasing should normally be completed in one to five days for simple, routine requests, while several weeks may be required for complex requests. After Purchasing has issued a purchase order, the requesting department will have access to an electronic copy, and the vendor will be faxed or mailed a copy.

The following methods are available for procuring goods and services from outside vendors:

Electronic Purchase Requisitions

All IU Southeast department offices are set up to process electronic purchase requisitions through EPIC. On-line requisitions are the quickest and most efficient method to process a purchase request. Once approved, the requisition is automatically received at the Purchasing department for processing. The on-line requisition also contains a note screen which allows initiators the ability to provide detailed information regarding the request.

Automatic Purchase Order (APO)

Campus customers can process small dollar on-line requisitions which will generate an Automatic Purchase Order (APO). Three steps must occur for an APO to be processed.

  1. The initiator must select an existing vendor from the EPIC database
  2. The department's APO dollar limit must not be exceeded
  3. The item being purchased must not be a restricted item

When all three of the above requirements are met, an APO will be generated upon approval of the requisition, and the vendor will receive the APO via fax. When any of the three requirements of an APO are not met, the requisition will be received by Purchasing as an electronic requisition and an APO will not be generated. In the event that an attachment must accompany the APO, the initiator has the option to have the vendor APO copy printed rather than sent by fax.

Purchasing Card (P Card)

The Indiana University Purchasing Card Program has been designed to allow for the direct procurement of low-cost purchases and access to electronic commerce contracts by the end-user through the use of a Purchasing Card. Use of the card will provide quick placement of orders, greater flexibility in ordering, and reduced paperwork processing. Completion of an application/agreement form is required in order to obtain an IU Purchasing card. Each card will have a transaction and monthly spending limit. All purchases must be made in compliance with Indiana University expenditure policies, and supported by an original itemized receipt.

Departments are responsible for reconciling their P Card transactions on a monthly basis. When the P Card statement is received, departments should review the charges on the statement to verify their legitimacy and match the appropriate receipt(s) with each charge. The P Card statement, all receipts, and any other pertinent information pertaining to the charges should be scanned. The scanned document is then uploaded to the Accounts Payable Department website. Inquiries about the IU Purchasing Card should be directed to IU Purchasing or the IU Southeast Accounting Services Department.


Purchasing/Accounting Services will provide training for each department/division who desires to use any of the above purchase processes. Detailed written instructions are also available.

Responsibility of Initiators

It is the responsibility of every initiator to provide accurate and detailed information when submitting a request, regardless of which available method for ordering are utilized. Initiators should thoroughly review and proofread every order. Errors will cause a variety of problems, including, but not limited to, delays, wrongly shipped items, wrongly shipped quantities, and duplicated work. Initiators who submit insufficiently detailed information for their requests should expect processing delays to occur. Additionally, those who submit inaccurate information resulting in incorrect shipments will be expected to work in conjunction with Purchasing, Accounts Payable, and vendors to resolve all problems.

Certificates of Insurance

Because of liability concerns, it is imperative that the following procedures be followed when a department considers contracting with any vendor to do work on campus, or on behalf of the campus. The Purchasing department must be contacted before a department contracts someone to come on campus to work. Purchasing will solicit the vendor for a certificate of insurance. Upon receipt of the certificate of insurance by Purchasing, it will be submitted to the IU Risk Management department for approval. IU Risk Management's primary concern is to ensure that all vendors performing work on any campus carry an adequate amount of insurance in the event of accidents involving campus employees or students, campus property, and even their own employees. If no insurance or insufficient insurance is carried by any vendor, an accident could easily result in Indiana University being sued or being left without coverage for injury or damaged property. When an APO is prepared, Purchasing will notify the initiator when coverage is approved in order to complete the order. Purchasing will handle the details upon receipt of a purchase requisition. By strictly following the above procedures, the campus and University will not be put in jeopardy for liability concerns. The Purchasing department should be contacted to discuss any questions or situations prior to contracting services.

Emergency Situations

In the event of an unavoidable emergency during business hours, the Purchasing department can be contacted by telephone at (812) 855-5008 to issue an emergency purchase order; however, all pertinent information must be provided by the requestor in order for the purchase order number to be generated through EPIC.


Merchandise purchased through outside vendors will be delivered either directly to the requesting office or to the Service Building dock for subsequent delivery by Mail/Receiving personnel.