Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

Section 7.5 - Emergency Purchases

Date: April 2006
Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance


Emergency Purchases

The Illinois Procurement Code defines an emergency as a situation involving public health, public safety, or cases where immediate expenditure of funds in excess of the competitive bid threshold is necessary for repairs to State property to protect against further loss or damage, to prevent or minimize serious disruption in State services, or to insure the integrity of State records. Emergency conditions may result from fires, explosions, adverse weather conditions, or epidemic conditions. They may also result from untimely breakdown, damage, or loss of equipment vital to the maintenance of health or safety standards. In such situations, the Illinois Procurement Code provides that the competitive selection process is not required.

Purchasing procedures, including bidding requirements, may be waived in emergency cases where it becomes important for a transaction to be completed within a certain time. Effort is made to accelerate or modify normal procedures to accommodate an emergency rather than to eliminate a procedure. Examples of such efforts include requesting quotations verbally or by e-mail or facsimile machine. The Purchasing Division should be contacted as soon as a department determines that an emergency purchasing situation exists. If the emergency purchase exceeds the dollar threshold at which the Board of Trustees approval is required, the transaction will require Board of Trustees approval as described below.

The campus Executive Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance is responsible for issuing instructions to the Director of Purchases regarding the procedures that should be followed for determining emergency purchases. The Director is responsible for ensuring that in emergency situations the normal pattern for reviewing and approving purchases is maintained and the purchasing processes are accelerated and expedited. Notice of the emergency procurement is published in the next available Illinois Higher Education Procurement Bulletin.

The Purchasing Division is responsible for preparing all affidavits that must be filed with the Auditor General of the State of Illinois and the Chief Procurement Officer for Higher Education (CPO). These must be filed within ten days after an emergency purchase has been made from state appropriated funds.

Emergency Board of Trustees Approval of Purchases

In certain situations, it is not feasible to wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees to obtain approval to issue a purchase order or enter into a contractual agreement. University policy, subject to certain limitations, delegates authority to the President of the University to approve such purchases. Purchases requiring Presidential approval are to be conducted in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Illinois Procurement Code prior to submission for such approval.

Presidential approval - In the General Rules, Section 4, G, The Board of Trustees has delegated authority to the President of the University to approve emergency transactions that, in the opinion of the President require immediate action, in which case the President shall act to approve the transaction on behalf of the Board of Trustees and report the same promptly to the Board of Trustees.

In emergency situations, and subject to certain limitations, the President of the University may approve purchases as follows:

  • For emergency transactions less than $1,000,000 - upon recommendation from the University Comptroller, the President shall act to approve the transaction on behalf of the Board of Trustees.
  • For emergency transactions equal to or greater than $1,000,000 and less than $2,000,000 - the President shall make a reasonable effort to consult with individual members of the Executive Committee of the Board before giving this approval.
  • For emergency transactions of $2,000,000 or more - the President shall make a reasonable effort to consult with all Board members before giving this approval.


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Last Updated: November 16, 2011