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Special Purchases

About this Policy

Special Purchases

Policy Number: 26402

Effective Date:

Last Updated:

Responsible Office:
UM System Supply Chain

Responsible Administrator:
Chief Procurement Officer

Policy Contact:

Campus Accounting Office or UM System Supply Chain


  • Finance

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This policy covers purchases made by the University for items that are unique in nature or have special requirements.

Reason for Policy

To ensure certain requirements are met for special purchases that do not apply to all purchases made by the University.

Policy Statement

Purchases that are of unique nature or have special requirements are considered to be Special Purchases.  They include, but are not limited to, the following acquisitions:

  • Acquisition from External Sponsors
    • Includes all property acquired with use requirements or limitations.  As such, it is to be inventoried, tracked and disposed of in accordance with the sponsor’s requirements.
  • Affiliation/Sponsorship by University
    • Outside entities may be formally affiliated with the University in a mutually beneficial endeavor.  Public and not-for-profit entities, and higher education institutions can be sponsored through the University’s procurement contracts under certain conditions.  Eligibility shall be determined by the Chief Procurement Officer.  Participation shall not be construed to be obligatory by any affiliated entity and in no case shall the evaluated merit for the affiliated institution compromise the University’s abilities to acquire the best contract.
  • Alcohol, Drugs, and Hazardous Materials
    • All purchases of drugs, alcohol, and hazardous materials are to be made in compliance with Federal and State laws.
  • Bookstore Purchases
    • University-operated bookstores, located on each campus, have authority to purchase certain goods without the prior consent of UM System Supply Chain.
    • Bookstores may sell items that assist the students in their study or pleasure, such as office supplies, calculators, books, manuals, study aids, computers, wearing apparel, packaged food products, etc.  The bookstore manager may purchase these items for resale to individuals without taking competitive bids when necessary.
    • Students, faculty, staff, alumni and family members, and the general public may purchase these products from the bookstore, provided personal funds are utilized.
    • Emergency purchases or items that are not available from other UM System Supply Chain approved University supply or service centers may be purchased from the University bookstores.  
  • Construction
  • Cooperative Purchasing
    • When it is in the University’s best interests, the University may enter into cooperative purchasing arrangements for acquisition of goods and services with any public entity or group and execute respective contracts under those agreements providing that the procurement methods and procedures of such entity or group are comparable to those of the University.
    • The University may also use pre-existing procurement contracts of public entities or groups when the procurement methods and procedures are comparable to those of the University, and all parties (sellers and buyers) are in agreement that the University is eligible for pricing, terms and conditions of these agreements.
    • The University may procure supplies and equipment for use at the University of Missouri Health Care at contract prices arrived at through bids or negotiations by Vizient of Irving, Texas, when in the best interests of the University.
    • Supply Chain will ensure that the procedures used to determine a contract award, and the terms and conditions of the contracts are comparable to University policies and procedures.
  • Emergency Purchases
    • University personnel may make emergency purchases in cases that have or could impose significant provable loss to the University or where human life or property is endangered.  When an emergency condition arises, and the need cannot be met through normal procurement methods, the emergency purchase shall be made with such competition as is feasible under the circumstances.  Whenever practical, approval of the Chief Procurement Officer shall be obtained prior to the purchase.
    • The person responsible for the emergency purchase shall provide written documentation stating the basis of the emergency purchase and for the selection of the particular contractor.  A written account of the emergency circumstances shall be sent promptly to the Chief Procurement Officer or designee as soon as possible.  Normal purchasing procedures shall be followed as soon as the emergency is over.
  • Libraries
    • The libraries on each campus are authorized to issue purchase orders on library materials funds for the acquisition of specific items.  These items include books, periodicals, documents, electronic resources, institutional memberships, interlibrary loan fees, and other materials the libraries make available to their users.  The campus libraries are authorized to execute license agreements as needed for these purchases in accordance with University purchasing policies and procedures.
    • All other purchases, including leases, rentals, software licensing and service contracts, must be made in the form, format and method as authorized by the Chief Procurement Officer in accordance with University purchasing policies and procedures.
  • Radioactive Materials
    • The purchase of radioactive materials shall be made only for those having an active authorization issued by Environmental Health and Safety and/or the Campus Radiation Safety Committee for the material, quantity and form being requested.
  • Service/Maintenance Agreements
    • Agreements and contracts associated with service and maintenance of equipment must be reviewed and authorized by UM System Supply Chain.  This typically covers items such as office equipment, computing equipment and software, and specialized research equipment.
  • Supply Centers
    • Items offered through supply centers at each campus, which only provide supplies and/or services to University departments, shall not be in conflict with system-wide supply contracts or in any way diminish the strategic sourcing initiatives promulgated by UM System Supply Chain. 



UM System Supply Chain:

  • Consider special purchases for approval when required by policy


  • Obtain approvals for the purchase of special items as applicable

Additional Details


Related Information

Other purchases with special requirements or restrictions are found in the below list of policies:

How to Buy Website


This policy combines the following former policies: 

  • Business Policy Manual 306 – Special Purchases (revised 10/20/2010)
  • Purchasing Policy Manual 505 – Cooperative and UM System-Wide Purchasing
  • Purchasing Policy Manual 601 – Categories


Reviewed 2023-01-30