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Subpart 5-3.6—Small Purchases cient, although even this requirement
may be reduced on full consideration of SOURCE: The provisions of this Subpart
the factors set forth in § 1-3.603–1(c). 5–3.6 appear at 27 F.R. 8113, Aug. 15, 1962.
Care should be taken to prevent admin$ 5–3.602 Policy.
istrative costs from being disproportion
ate to the amount of the purchase. The Where it is found that small pur
number of quotations obtained and conchases of special items not stocked by
sidered or the number of sources of supthe supply distribution facilities can be
ply utilized when making small purhandled more economically at points of
chases will depend to a large extent on use, authority to make such purchases
what knowledge the purchasing officer should be delegated to responsible em
has of the current availability and price ployees of the requisitioning service or
of the desired item in commercial marstaff office. The requirements for pro
kets. Such information may be availcurement from mandatory sources of
able from past experience with the item supply shall be complied with.
or may require development. $ 5–3.603 Competition.
8 5–3.603–2 Data to support small pur$ 5–3.603-) Solicitation.
chases. (a) Quotations or offers may be solic- When other than the lowest quotation ited by use of written requests, tele- is used as the basis for the purchase, the gram, telephone, or personal contact, reason(s) for rejecting any lower quotawhichever is considered the most appro
tion shall be entered on the quotation priate for the particular transaction. It form concerned. is the responsibility of the purchasing
8 5–3.604 Imprest funds (petty cash) officer to determine in each instance the
method. type of solicitation and quotation that is in the best interests of the Government. & 5–3.604-1 General.
(b) When written quotations are solic- (a) Imprest funds shall be utilized to ited for small purchases ($2,500 or the fullest extent for all authorized small less), Standard Form 18, Request for purchases when this method results in Quotations, shall be used (see Subpart savings. It is essential that authority 1-16.2). It is not necessary to furnish
to make small purchases be at the lowest prospective suppliers a copy to be re
practical operating level. tained unless requested by a supplier or it (b) Purchases made from imprest is known that a copy is desired. When funds shall follow the generally accepted Standard Form 18 is used by a purchas- policy of purchasing satisfactory mering activity, it constitutes merely a re- chandise at fair prices without favoritism quest for price quotations and is not an
to any vendor. The cost of the item to offer to purchase. Therefore, issuance
be purchased, the commodity, and the by the Government of a purchase order quantity involved will generally govern pursuant to price quotations received the action to be taken. If a special item on Standard Form 18 does not constitute costing only a few dollars is required, a acceptance but, instead, is a new offer to minimum amount of time and expense be accepted or rejected by the one quot- should be devoted to consummating the ing; such acceptance will usually be by transaction. However, as a general rule delivery.
purchases should be made from firms (c) When it is desirable to request offering the best prices. quotations from outside the local trade (c) The Heads of Services and Staff area and time does not permit the use Offices in the Central Office and the of written solicitations, telegraphic solic- Regional Administrators, or their desitation may be used. Telegraphic ignees, will designate ordering employsolicitations shall not ordinarily be used ees authorized to approve purchases and to solicit prices from local suppliers nor such authority shall be at the lowest shall it be used if written requests for practical operating level. quotations will suffice. (d) While there are instances where
8 5–3.604—3 Agency responsibilities. quotations should be solicited from addi- Instructions for the establishment and tional sources, soliciting quotations from control of imprest funds are set forth in two to four suppliers ordinarily is suffi- $ 5–3.652.
$ 5–3.604_4 Use of imprest funds.
amount of cash needed to make the pur
chase. The transaction shall be docuA vendor may be reimbursed for the
mented by means of Standard Form cost of the supplies and the parcel post
1165, Receipt for Cash-Subvoucher. or other delivery charges which he has
The cashier will have the employee makalready prepaid by a payment from im
ing the purchase sign the “Interim Represt funds. Payments to common car
ceipt for Cash" stub of Standard Form riers for line haul transportation are
1165 as a receipt for the cash advanced. not authorized.
The employee will then be given the “Re$ 5–3.604–6 Procurement and payment.
ceipt for Cash-Subvoucher" portion of
Standard Form 1165, to be used by him Purchases through use of imprest
to secure a receipt from the vendor for funds shall be accomplished by which
the cash purchase unless the vendor furever of the following methods is deter
nishes a receipt in the form of an origimined to be most practical:
nal invoice, bill, sales slip, cash register (a) Purchases by imprest fund cash
ticket, etc. When the purchase is coniers. Imprest fund cashiers will make
summated, the employee must return small purchases when so requested by
Standard Form 1165 and the vendor's an authorized ordering employee. In
receipt, if the latter is furnished, to the such cases the authorized ordering em
imprest fund cashier. The cashier will ployee, or his designated agent, shall
require that the ordering employee sign furnish the cashier with necessary in
Standard Form 1165 or the vendor's reformation, such as unit, quantity, de
ceipt and indicate thereon the appropriscription, and delivery requirements.
ation, allotment, and other identifying The cashier will make all necessary ar
symbols. At this time the cashier will rangements to consummate the pur
mark the "Interim Receipt for Cash” chase, including the arrangements for
stub "Void" in ink and give it to the emdelivery.
ployee. It is essential that the employee (1) When the ordering employee is require the cashier to take such action in close proximity and will be available, and the cashier at that time will rethe cashier will have the ordering em.
quire the return of any unused cash, or ployee sign the receipt and indicate pay to the employee any amount of perthereon the appropriation, allotment,
sonal funds which the employee may and other identifying symbols when the have used over the original amount adpurchase is effected.
vanced to him. As a rule the purchase (2) When the ordering employee is should be consummated and the receipt not in close proximity or may not be
returned to the cashier the same day. A available, the cashier will require the
purchase for which cash is advanced ordering employee to furnish, prior to
must be consummated and the receipt effecting the purchase, GSA Form 49,
returned not later than the fifth workRequisition for Equipment, Supplies, or ing day following the date of the adServices. Only the data essential to the vance, otherwise the cashier is required transaction shall be furnished, which
to take immediate action to recover the shall always include the appropriation,
cash advanced. allotment, and other identifying symbols.
(2) The imprest fund cashier may (3) When the ordering employee and
reimburse employees for amounts paid the cashier are the same individual, as
by them for authorized purchases and may be the case in many smaller funds the employee being reimbursed shall furor transactions, the cashier will sign the
nish the cashier with a vendor's receipt receipt as ordering employee and indi- or its equivalent as provided in (1), cate thereon the appropriation, allot
above, except as otherwise provided. ment, and other identifying symbols
Such vendor's receipt shall show the apwhen the purchase is effected.
propriation, allotment, and other identi
fying symbols and shall be “Approved as (b) Purchases by ordering employees. advantageous to the Government” by an Purchases by authorized ordering em- ordering employee or such other approvployees may be made either with ad- ing official as may be so authorized and vances of cash or with their own funds. is so known to the imprest fund cashier.
(1) When the purchase is to be The cashier will require the employee bemade by a designated ordering employee, ing reimbursed to sign the vendor's reor his agent, so known to the cashier, the ceipt as a receipt for the cash reimbursecashier will advance the estimated ment.
fund cashier, and such other copies as are essential for local administrative purposes. $ 5–3.605 Order-Invoice-Voucher.
(c) Payment when Standard Form 44 Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher, is used. When small purchases are made locally on Standard Form 44, arrangement should be made where feasible to have an imprest fund cashier make payments therefor from his fund, within established limitations. It is more economical for the Government to pay by cash than to schedule the standard form to the disbursing officer and to issue a Government check, as well as being generally more acceptable to the vendors.
(d) Receipts. Each purchase made shall be supported by an original bill, sales slip, cash register ticket, invoice, etc., of the dealer or by Standard Form 1165, or equivalent receipt form, itemizing the articles or services purchased and amount thereof.
(1) When individual purchases are for $3 or more, the receipt form must be signed by the dealer or his agent as evidence of payment, in addition to the requirement that the articles or services purchased be itemized. If the name of the vendor and/or the articles purchased cannot be noted on the receipt form, the missing information shall be placed on a subvoucher which shall be attached to the receipt.
(2) In the case of purchases of less than $3, a receipt showing the articles or services purchased should be secured, but the signature of the dealer will not be necessary. In those instances of purchases of less than $3, where it is impossible to secure a dealer's invoice, bill, etc., the employee making the purchase, even though he may be an imprest fund cashier, shall detail on Standard Form 1165, or equivalent form, the articles or nature of the services purchased and shall sign the subvoucher indicating receipt of the funds from the imprest fund.
(e) Use of purchase orders. No purchase order should be issued for local purchases, where contact may be in person or by telephone, unless required by the vendor or to obtain Government discounts or for tax exemption purposes. When required, any approved purchase order form may be used and shall be endorsed “Payment to be made in cash” if the vendor is to make delivery or "Ship C.O.D." if shipment is to be made by parcel post. The ordering employee shall cause any required purchase orders to be prepared in an original for the vendor, one copy for the ordering employee, and one copy for the imprest
$ 5–3.605–1 Standard Form 44.
(a) General. In general, use of the Standard Form 44, Purchase OrderInvoice-Voucher, will not serve the best interests of either the Government or business when the accounting system of the seller requires production of an invoice as a matter of routine. In such cases, whichever of the other authorized methods of making small purchases is most appropriate shall be used. Whenever possible, within the dollar value limitations of each method, preference shall be given to the use of imprest funds and blanket purchase arrangements (see $$ 5–3.604 and 5–3.606).
(b) Authorization for use of form. All responsible employees of the services and staff offices who have need therefor shall be authorized to make small purchases through the use of Standard Form 44 in accordance with this $ 5– 3.605–1, and subject to such limitations as may be determined necessary. It is essential that such authority be delegated to the lowest practicable operating level.
(c) Issuance of books from stock. Issuances of books from stock shall be made only to the Heads of Services and Staff Offices in the Central Office and to the Regional Administrators and the Heads of Services and Staff Offices in regional offices, or to their designees. These officials shall be responsible for the custody and issuance of the books to the users, and shall maintain a simple card record for each book issued. This record shall show the name of the person to whom issued; the inclusive serial numbers of the forms in the book; the operating activity allotment symbol; the total purchase limitation for the book; date issued; and the date the book was returned. Users shall be required to return the covers of completely used books so the record can be properly closed out. This card record shall account for all sets of Standard Form 44. A periodic, at least quarterly, review of this card record shall be made to insure the return of books no longer needed by users.
(d) Lost books. (1) In order to avoid payment for any unauthorized purchases made through the use of a lost
book, the issuing official shall report immediately the following information regarding each lost book to the Office of Financial Management, OFA, or the Office of Regional Financial Management, as appropriate:
(i) Name of employee to whom book was issued;
(ii) Name of seller on last form used;
(iii) Serial numbers of unused forms; and
(iv) Any other pertinent information.
(2) If a lost book is later recovered, it may be placed in use after the appropriate Office of Financial Management is notified.
(e) Issuance of books to users. In each case the official authorized to issue books of Standard Form 44 shall, before issuing a book to a user:
(1) Enter the operating activity symbol in ink on the front cover of the book and instruct the user to insert this symbol in the section captioned “purpose (Project, etc.)” at the time each purchase is made with Standard Form 44.
(2) Enter the total purchase limitation amount and date issued for that book in ink on the front cover and instruct the user that he shall not exceed such total amount in purchases. The determination of the purchase limitation amount entered on the front of the book will be the responsibility of the operating activity. A summary control of the total of the limitation amounts by activity symbols on books in use may be necessary where more than a few books are issued. Any necessary adjustments in the purchase limitation amounts and the activity symbols on the books in use at the end of any quarter of the fiscal year will be made by the operating activity.
(3) In the case of partially used books that are returned and reissued, line out in ink the purchase limitation amount and enter a new amount and date extended on the next line. If the reissued book is to be used under a different activity symbol, line out in ink the initial activity symbol and enter the new activity symbol. Such changes on reissued books must also be made on the issuance card record before the book is released to the new user.
(f) Instructions for use of the form. General procedural instructions governing the use of Standard Form 44 are printed on the forms and the inside cover of the book. Users of Standard Form 44 shall also be subject to all applicable administrative instructions issued by the services and staff offices, such restrictions the dollar amounts for single purchases, or otherwise. Standard Form 44 shall be made out at the time the order is placed, and shall not be used to confirm the receipt of goods or services previously ordered.
(g) Payments. Promptness in making payments is essential if Standard Form 44 is to accomplish its mission of simplifying selling to the Government. The officials authorized to issue books of Standard Form 44 shall instruct users in the proper completion and handling of these forms in order that payment may be expedited. It is essential that the person receiving the supplies immediately mail or deliver the Receiving Report-Accounting copy (pink) of the Standard Form 44, to the appropriate Office of Financial Management.
(h) Availability of form. Standard Form 44 is available from each regional Administrative Operations Division in books of twenty-five carbon interleaved sets. These books shall be ordered as the current need exists.
(i) Serial numbering and overprinting. All sets of Standard Form 44 used by GSA will have serial numbers overprinted thereon and the words “General Services Administration" and "Office of Finance and Administration" overprinted in the spaces provided for the consignee and the office to be billed. The front cover of each book also will be overprinted with the inclusive serial numbers of the sets of forms therein and lines for the insertion of the operating activity symbol and the amount and date of total purchase limitation for that book. No other overprinting is authorized. § 5–3.606 Blanket purchase arrange
ments. § 5–3.606-1 General.
(a) Blanket purchase arrangements are a means of establishing "charge accounts” wiht qualified sources of supply to cover anticipated small requirements of readily available supplies or services of the same general category. Substantial savings can be realized by reducing
or eliminating instances where numerous (2) Individual calls against such individual purchase orders are issued to arrangements shall not exceed $2,500. the same local suppliers for similar small (3) The Government will be oblirequirements during relatively short pe- gated only to the extent of the call orders riods of time. Related arrangements for
actually made against the blanket purperiodic billing also reduce the cost of chase arrangement by authorized per
sons. processing payments. (b) Establishment of blanket purchase
(4) Suppliers shall be required to arrangements may be proposed by the
submit an invoice, no more frequently
than monthly. The original of each depurchasing activity, by administrative officials, or by the requisitioning activity.
livery ticket shall accompany the inSince the objective is simplicity and
voice. economy, the purchasing activity should (5) When feasible, the blanket purtake full advantage of any information chase arrangement should specify the available from and consider recommen- place(s) to which deliveries are to be dations made by the requisitioning office
made. (Usually the arrangement will when placing such orders.
provide for delivery to the requiring ac(c) Users shall be subject to all appli
tivity.) cable administrative instructions issued (6) The arrangement should state, by services and staff offices, such as re- insofar as practicable, the discount strictions on the dollar amounts for
terms which will apply to orders placed single purchases which, in any case, may
against the blanket purchase arrangenot exceed $2,500.
ment. (d) Ordinarily a separate blanket pur
(b) Only the persons whose names chase arrangement should be established are listed in the blanket purchase arfor each requiring activity.
rangement shall be permitted to request (e) Blanket purchase arrangements
deliveries. Delivery (call) orders normay also be made with other Govern- mally shall be made orally, either by telement agencies.
phone or in person. Procurement under
blanket purchase arrangements may not $ 5–3.606_3 Establishment of account.
be effected if the requirements are avail(a) When establishing blanket pur- able from regular supply channels. chase arrangements, the advantages Therefore, prior to placing calls against both to the supplier and to the Govern- the blanket purchase arrangement, each ment should be explained to the supplier. requirement shall be screened for availThe supplier should be advised that the ability from mandatory sources of suparrangement does not obligate the Gov- ply. Necessary controls shall be mainernment to buy.
tained by the person placing call orders (b) To the extent practicable, blanket under the blanket purchase arrangepurchase arrangements for like items ment to insure that any limitation stated shall be equitably distributed over a pe- therein is not exceeded. After the necriod of time among different suppliers. essary screening of the requirements has § 5–3.6064 Documentation.
been accomplished, the authorized per
son will place the call. The person plac(a) Blanket purchase arrangements ing the call will identify himself to the normally shall be documented. GSA
vendor and, after determining that the Form 300, Purchase Order, may be used required supplies or services can be furfor this purpose. Each blanket purchase nished, will establish agreement with the arrangement shall contain appropriate vendor as to the unit price and total provisions relating to the following:
amount, and the time of delivery. The (1) Authorization to the supplier to blanket purchase arrangement identififurnish the supplies or services described cation, and requisition number if any, in general terms in the arrangement should be specified each time a delivery when called for by authorized person(s) is requested. listed therein. Blanket purchase ar- (c) Each blanket purchase arrangerangements may be limited as to total
ment shall be numbered or otherwise dollar value, specified items, commodity identified in an appropriate manner, and groups, or classes; or the scope of the shall include the statement, “Negotiation blanket purchase arrangement may be authority-section 302(c)(3), Federal unlimited for all items that the supplier Property and Administrative Services is in a position to furnish.
Act of 1949."