Procurement Authority

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 10.2(6), UPM 10.2(7), UPM 10.2(8)
Reviewed and Updated: October 15, 2020
Contact: Procurement Services 


Each university employee shares the responsibility for maintaining the public trust in Iowa State University. All procurements of goods and services on behalf of the university are to be handled in a fair, open, and ethical manner.

Policy Statement

Procurement Services

Procurement Services, within the division of Operations and Finance, has been delegated the responsibility for handling all procurement transactions and administering procurement policies and procedures. This authorization to act for the university is in accordance with Board of Regents, State of Iowa, policies and procedures.

Departments and other units

Department chairs and directors are responsible for ensuring all procurements of supplies, equipment, technical services and professional services are conducted consistent with relevant university policies, including the segregation of duties policy. Segregation of procurement-related duties shall be maintained to ensure the existence of adequate procurement controls. Adequate segregation of duties shall include the department chair or designated individual responsible for authorizing procurements and approving payments, with a second individual responsible for coordinating acquisition and, when possible, a third individual verifying receipt of ordered items or services.

Departmental faculty, staff, directors, chairs, and deans have no inherent authority to make purchases. Purchases of goods and services for university business purposes need prior review and approval by Procurement Services before an order is placed or a commitment is made that binds the university, with the following exceptions:

  • Purchasing card purchases (by delegated authority only)
  • Items that do not require processing through Procurement Services (see ISU’s Procurement and Payment Methods)
  • Purchases exempted by Procurement Services or the Senior Vice President for Operations and Finance with payments processed directly through the Controller's Department

In the event of emergency situations endangering life or property, should Procurement Services not be available, orders may be placed or personal funds may be used with acquisitions reimbursed at funding department discretion.

When a conflict of interest arises, reimbursement of personally expended funds is not permitted without approval from Procurement Services.

University departments may seek approval from Procurement Services to use university purchasing cards (Visa credit cards) for university business, subject to monthly dollar limits as established by Procurement Services. The standard limits may be modified by Procurement Services to meet unique departmental needs. When procurement authorization is extended to departments, such as through the use of purchasing cards, it is for the purpose of facilitating daily operations. This authorization is contingent upon departmental compliance with the specific requirements and limitations established by Procurement Services.