Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Purchasing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Purchasing

The questions and answers below represent general situations associated with the Engineering Business Office, and may not reflect unique circumstances. Answers are only relevant to the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, and may not reflect or represent guidelines, procedures or information from other colleges, departments, or units at Colorado State University.

For more specific answers, please contact

Q: What is the Purchase Request Form, and when is it required?

A: The Purchase Request Form is required prior to any purchase $10,000 or greater. An itemized quote is required along with the form.

The below table provides documentation guidance for the most common requests or those requests with unique documentation requirements. Additional documentation may be requested.

Documentation Requirements

Every purchase request should be accompanied by a quote. Acceptable formats include a formal vendor quote, a screen shot from a website, an email, etc. as long as it shows the vendor name, what is being purchased, quantity, and unit cost.

Approval/waiver from University Public Art Committee

Waiver from RamCopy through University Communications

Approval from Engineering Technology Services and an approved HP Computer Program Exception form

Risk Management and CSU Drone Center approval

Maintenance Agreement

Banquet Event Order, Rooms Agreement, Performance Event Contract, Speaking Engagement Agreement, etc.

Completed Feed or Animal form

Waiver from University Communications
Does NOT include promotional items

Use of a licensed vendor and artwork approval from when applicable

Solid Scope of Work with deliverables and payment terms.

Solid Scope of Work with deliverables and payment terms, Independent Contractor vs. Employee form, PERA form

None if quote was pulled from punch out catalog and used to populate the cart

Software agreement

Approved vehicle request form. Approved EAR (if applicable)

Q: What is the purpose of a purchase order (PO)?

A: A purchase order formalizes transactions, providing clarity and legal protection. It ensures efficient acquisition of goods and services within budget and in compliance with policies. If you need a copy of a PO, please contact

Q: What constitutes an emergency purchase?

A: A purchase may be considered an emergency when there is an adverse impact to the University and/or it’s programs, there is a need to preserve or protect University property, or the health or safety of any person(s) or animals(s) is adversely impacted.

The following are not considered emergencies:

    • Purchases that need to be rushed because of an avoidable failure to plan ahead.
    • Purchases to meet fiscal year end or end of sponsored research funding deadlines.

Q: When is a Capital Equipment Supplement form required?

A: The Capital Equipment Supplement form is required when purchasing a single item over $5,000 with federal dollars or over $10,000 with non-federal dollars. The Capital Equipment Supplement form is also required when purchasing multiple items that will create a system cumulatively over $5,000 (federal) or $10,000 (non-federal).

Q: What is an Open Purchase Order, and when is it used?

A: An Open Purchase Order (OPO) is utilized when anticipating the purchase of the same or similar items from a single vendor throughout a fiscal year. This type of purchase order should specify the item type, start and end dates, single order limit, maximum dollar amount, and authorized individuals. Open purchase orders should be initiated for estimated costs for the entire fiscal year. Open purchase orders are not suitable for Shop Catalog vendors.

Q: What is a sole source procurement, and when can it be used?

A: A sole source procurement can be defined as any procurement/contract entered into without competitive process, based on a verifiable justification that only one known source exists or that only one single supplier can fulfill the requirements. To request a sole source, please provide EBO the Sole Source Form.

A requirement for a particular proprietary product or service does not automatically justify a sole source procurement if there is more than one potential bidder or offeror for that item.

A preference for a brand name product does not justify a sole source procurement.

A good’s or service’s “uniqueness” alone may not qualify the producer or supplier of the good or service as a sole provider of a good or service.

Q: How are payments requested, and what is the Payment Request Form used for?

A: Payments are requested using the Payment Request Form. The form is used for payment amounts less than $10,000 to either vendors or individuals. An itemized invoice or receipt is required.

Q: Are there any restrictions related to items being shipped to a personal residence?

A:  University goods should never be delivered to a personal residence.

Q: What is the Official Function Form, and when is it required?

A: The Official Function Form is required for events involving expenses for food, drinks, and entertainment. It must advance university objectives with a focus on cost-effectiveness and clear benefit.

Q: Why should Engineering Technology Services be consulted before purchasing a computer?

A: ETS should be consulted to ensure proper guidance and recommendations are followed for computer purchases. Computers purchased without ETS consent will not be supported by ETS.

Q: How can I contact EBO for purchasing-related queries?

A: You can contact EBO at