HBP Part 7.7.5. Blanket Purchase Orders

Handbook of Business Procedures

Date published: January 27, 2012
Last revised: October 29, 2015
Issued by: Purchasing


A. Introduction

Blanket purchase orders at The University of Texas at Austin allow for recurring purchases of a specific service or commodity when the quantity or frequency of delivery cannot be fully determined at the time the purchase order is initiated.

B. Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to blanket purchase orders.

  • They are school- or department-specific, and funds must be encumbered based on a reliable estimate of the amount to be purchased within the fiscal year.
  • They cannot extend beyond the current fiscal year.
  • All campus-wide, multiple-department, and/or multiple-year requirements must be placed on a contract. Note: Schools and departments may issue a blanket purchase order to proportionally encumber funds in a specific fiscal year for services and commodities that are on contracts spanning multiple fiscal years.
  • Equipment leases and maintenance agreements should not be on blanket purchase orders because the quantity and frequency of delivery must be defined at the inception of those agreements.
  • They are not intended for the purchase of items for which the university requires additional supporting documentation, such as an Official Occasion Expense Form (OOEF). Note: Blanket orders can be used to order coffee, water, and other drinks; however, the school/department is responsible for maintaining any required OOEFs related to such purchases.
  • They are not for use with UT Market orders.
  • They are paid on *DEFINE VP1 voucher documents.
  • All blanket orders must contain verbiage specifying the contract period. For example: “Contract period is from date of order through August 31, 20XX. There shall be no price increases during this contract period.” Schools and departments must inform the supplier of intent to use a blanket purchase order when requesting a quote for goods/services and that the pricing will be held for the term of the blanket order.
  • If appropriate, the blanket order may contain verbiage about estimated usage. For example: “This order is an estimate of usage/services only. No maximum or minimum quantity is guaranteed.”

C. Establishing a Blanket Purchase Order

The method used to establish a blanket purchase order depends on the total amount of the purchase order and whether any anticipated single release of a portion of the order will be greater than $15,000.

  • Blanket Purchase Orders Equal to or Less than $15,000

    Departments can use a POINT Plus PBO requisition document to issue a blanket purchase order for an amount equal to or less than $15,000. Departmental administrators are responsible for processing payment vouchers against the purchase order and making modifications to the purchase order within the allowable dollar threshold.

  • Blanket Purchase Orders Greater than $15,000

    The Purchasing Office issues blanket purchase orders for amounts greater than $15,000 upon receiving an approved requisition document from a department. The requisition must encumber an amount that is a reasonable estimate of the total purchase value for a given fiscal year. Departmental administrators are responsible for processing payment vouchers against the purchase order and for making modifications to the purchase order, including removing any remaining encumbrances at the end of the fiscal year.

    The Purchasing Office processes requests based upon whether any individual release against the purchase order is anticipated to be greater than $15,000:

    • If single releases (single invoice or delivery) against the blanket purchase order are expected to be greater than $15,000, the award must be based on university guidelines regarding informal bids, formal solicitations, or exclusive acquisition justifications. For more information, see the Handbook of Business Procedures, 7.4. Purchasing Process - General Information.
    • If single releases against the blanket purchase order will not exceed $15,000, an award can be made without informal/formal bidding or an exclusive acquisition justification. Note: Departments must include the statement “no single invoice or delivery against this purchase order can exceed $15,000” in the body of the purchase order.



Part 7. Purchasing - Table of Contents