Purchasing & Procurement

Document Currently Under Review

Current Status: Sent For Approval 3 March 2015

Purchasing Procedure

Policy Code: FN1454


The primary object of this procedure is to support University staff in the provision of goods and services that are fit for purpose, value for money and are available when required.


The University Procurement Team are available to advise and direct University Schools/Sections on best practice routes for the procurement of goods and services in line with their Financial Delegation, the University Purchasing Thresholds and Policies and Procedures, in order to achieve value for money and sustainable quality of supply. 

Additional guidance is available from the Victorian Government Purchasing Board Website.


The University is committed to achieving best practice procurement that is visible, accountable and achieves quality and sustainable supplier relationships. No preference in the placement of orders is to be given to any member of council, member of staff, donor of any gift (money or in kind) or any person associated with the University in any capacity whatsoever.  The University Policy on Probity Auditing is to be referred to when procuring goods or services on major projects that are of high value, high profile, highly complex or contentious or politically sensitive .


This document sets out the procedures to be followed by all University staff involved in purchasing goods and services. The procedure incorporates the placement of orders, the receipt of goods or services and approval for payment.


Accounts Payable: The process of issuing payments, either by cheque or electronic funds transfer (EFT) to suppliers of the University.
Attractive Items: Single items of equipment that incur expenditure of between $150 -$4,999 and are not likely to be consumed in one year.  Attractive Items need to be recorded in an Attractive Item Register for the purpose of recording custody and location of the item.
Approved Supplier: Suppliers contracted to the University after going through a formal selection process such as Request for Tender process (RFT) or Request for Quotation process (RFQ).
Finance System: The finance software application used throughout the University.
Finance Authorised User: Staff authorised to access the Finance system and nominated to have electronic purchasing access, and may enter Purchase Requisitions directly into the Finance system.
Financial Delegation: Relevant Heads of Schools and Directors of Sections authorised under the Financial Delegation Policy, who are responsible for committing funds within their cost centre budgets. They may delegate authority to staff - Refer to Delegations - Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy.
Probity Auditor: An Auditor engaged to establish a program of audit testing based on identified criteria.
Purchasing: Procuring goods or services to support University staff in providing a quality service in the most cost-effective and timely manner.
Purchasing Threshold: Purchasing Thresholds is a structure set for all requisitions of goods and services.
Purchase Order: Is the official instruction given to a supplier for goods or services required.
Receipting: Is the method of official acceptance that goods/services have been delivered as ordered.
University: the University


Quantifying the Purchasing Requirement for Goods / Services on Behalf of the University


  1. The need for purchase.
  2. Approval and availability of funds.
  3. That the procurer has delegated financial authority Delegations - Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy and procurement in line with Purchasing Thresholds.
  4. The environmental impact of chosen goods or services - seek advice from the University Sustainability Officer - d.boucher@federation.edu.au.

Risk Heath and Safety and Purchasing

Check if any Risk Health and Safety Issues need to be considered and addressed in the respect of procured goods or service required. Refer to the Financial Services - Purchasing and Occupational Health and Safety website.

Selection of Purchase Option

Determine the purchase option that will best suit the required acquisition in respect of process and value for money.

Refer to Purchasing Thresholds listed under Forms.

Acceptable Purchasing Methods

  1. Purchasing Card - ideally to be used for purchases of one off low value items, travel expenses, accommodation, conferences etc. Refer to Purchasing Card Policy.
  2. Purchase Order. Refer to Purchase Order Process.
  3. No Other Method of Placing Orders is Acceptable. These are the only purchasing methods available other than for claims made under the University Travel Policy or for minor incidental expense claims (refer Minor Expense Staff Reimbursements Procedure). Claims, by staff, for reimbursement of purchases made outside of this procedure will not be paid by the University. Cash claims of any type will not be entertained.

Supplier Selection

  1. If an Approved Supplier exists for a required product or service, they should be considered as the first option . Approved Suppliers are identified on the Finance ordering system.
  2. Approved Suppliers are selected following a fromal Competitive Tendering/Quotation and Contracting process (Refer Approved Suppliers - E Tendering for Obtaining Quotations and Conducting Tenders Guidelines) or by accessing contracts available to the University from the Victorian Government or other consortiums and buying groups of which the University is a member.
  3. New Suppliers are proposed by the person initiating a requisition by forwarding the Supplier Application Form to the new supplier for completion.

Requisition Information


  • Supplier details:
    • Contact / Delivery details
    • Firm cost price
    • Quantity
    • Funding source
    • Service details or product specifications/technical requirements
    • GST included cost where applicable (Refer: GST Guidelines)
    • Timelines - where applicable

Purchase Requisition Authorisation

Relevant staff members delegated to committing funds within their costs centre budgets authorise purchase requisitions. Refer to the Delegations - Contract, Financial, Staffing and Tender Policy.

The person authorising the requisition must satisfy themselves that the requirements of the Purchasing Thresholds have been met before authorising a requisition. Refer to Purchasing Thresholds listed under Forms.

Requisitions Entered by School/Section

An Authorised Financial System User with purchasing access enters details of an authorised Purchase Requisition into the Finance System.

NB: If a procuring department instructs suppliers to provide goods or services by methods other than Purchasing Card or Requisition, this may result in payment delays that could jeopardise future supplies of goods or services to the University.


Consideration should be given to:

  • Availability and whole life costs in respect of consumables, spare parts and service. Could there be another department within the University with a requirement for the same goods/service and if so could the combined purchase volumes realise savings?
  • Environmental impact of long distance haulage from supply source - is there an alternative source?
  • Replacement of existing goods - disposal (will supplier of new goods dispose of old equipment?).
  • New service provider - check existing service, maintenance/contract provider has been given timely notice to cease service and avoid excess charges.
  • Responsible disposal of dangerous materials and possible contamination - seek advice from the University Sustainability Officer d.boucher@federation.edu.auand ensure paper audit trail.
  • Where goods are listed ensure removal from Asset Register. Contact: Finance Officer - Assets h.braich@federation.edu.au

Purchase Orders

Once the relevant authorised person has approved all details of expenditure, the Purchase Requisition is converted to a Purchase Order.

The Purchase Order is forwarded to the supplier as confirmation of the order.

Orders should state that goods be delivered direct to the order requester's receipt point.

The Purchase Order should state that Supplier Invoices be delivered directly to the Accounts Payable section of Finance Operations. Failure to comply could lead to delay in payment inline with University payment terms.


Goods Received on Campus

Should be inspected and signed for upon delivery.

Confirmation of Receipt of Goods or Services

The person initiating the requisition or their nominated receiving officer has the responsibility to confirm that goods/services received conform to specified order requirements and are as detailed on the receiving note.

Completed Orders

Confirmation of the receipt of goods or services should be registered on the Finance ordering system to enable the payment of the Supplier account.

Incomplete Orders

When orders are only partially received only the component value of the received goods should be entered onto the Finance ordering system.

Authorisation for Payment

Invoices are authorised for payment by the requester upon completion of the Receipting process on the Finance system. Failure to receipt will disallow payment.

Attractive Items / Asset Register

The Financial Management Act and the University Fixed Asset Policy requires that information for single items of equipment costing between $150 - $4,999 (Attractive Item) be listed on an Attractive Item Register. This register should be kept within the School/Section/Portfolio and made available for audit when requested. Details of items with a value over $5,000 in value must be advised to the Finance Asset Administrator. Attractive and Asset goods must be made available for audit upon request. Details logged should include Supplier, date of purchase, value, make, serial number if available and details of where the item is kept.


  1. The Manager, Financial Operations is the custodian of this procedure and has overall responsibility for ensuring that the following activities are performed:
    • Maintaining financial records.
    • Payments to suppliers.
  2. The Manager, Procurement has responsibility for the maintenance of this procedure.
  3. Heads of School/Section are responsible for ensuring that the following activities are performed:
    • Approving expenditure from School/Section funds.
    • Nominating and authorising staff to expend funds.
    • Purchasing Thresholds requirements are being satisfied.
    • Details of expenditure are clearly recorded.
  4. Authorised Financial Delegates approving requisitions must ensure the following:
    • Total cost on requisition is within their financial delegation.
    • All expenditure details are recorded on the requisition.
    • Purchasing Threshold guidelines have been complied with.
  5. Distribution of Purchase Orders is the responsibility of Finance Operations.
  6. The person receipting goods from carriers or supplier agents are responsible for checking and signing for number of items received.
  7. Authorising Invoices for payment by way of receipting goods received on the Finance system is the responsibility of the person who initiates the requisition or their nominated receiving officer.
  8. The Asset Register is maintained by the Financial Operations Section, Mt. Helen.
  9. The Attractive Item Register is the responsibility of the Head of School/Section.

Forms/Record Keeping

Title Location Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Financial System Authorised User - Applications Financial Operations Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years
Supplier Applications Accounts Payable - Mt. Helen Manager, Financial operations 7 Years
Requisition Form School or Section entering the Purchase Requisition/Order Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years
Purchase Order Accounts Payable - Mt. Helen Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years
Receiving authority Receiving Area Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years
Financial Delegation Authorised by the Vice-Chancellor Finance Portfolio Vice-President, Finance Permanent
Partial Delivery Notification Accounts Payable -Mt. Helen Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years
Staff Requisition for Reimbursement form Accounts Payable Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years
Equipment Approval Form Financial Operations Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years
Quotations School or Section entering the Purchase Requisition/Order Manager, Financial Operations 7 Years


The Purchasing Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. an Announcement Notice under ‘FedNews’ on the ‘FedUni’ website and through the University Policy - ‘Recently Approved Documents’ webpage to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure, and
  2. inclusion on the University's online Policy Library.