Skip to main content

PS-05.C.05 - Emergency Purchase Orders

PDF version

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 09, 2020

ISSUE #: 6

PRESIDENT:  Dr. Antonio Tillis (Interim)


This document outlines the circumstances under which a situation may qualify as an emergency and the process by which an Emergency Purchase Order (EPO) may be placed at the departmental level. This policy complies with SAM 03.B.01, Purchasing Guidelines, and with all university, state, and federal regulations and applies to all University of HoustonDowntown (UHD) departments and funds, with any distinctions noted. 


An emergency purchase is defined by the Texas Administrative Code (Rule 391.103) as a purchase of goods or services for which delay would create a hazard to life, health, safety, welfare, or that an agency will suffer financial or operational damage unless they are secured immediately. 


2.1 The UHD Purchasing Department is authorized to provide for emergency purchases and is the primary authority for determining whether a stated departmental need qualifies as a bona fide emergency eligible for an Emergency Purchase Order (EPO). 

2.1.1 When a situation exists wherein the requirement for goods and services is so severe that the university will suffer operational or financial damage if the goods or services are not secured immediately, an emergency purchase order should be executed. 

2.1.2 An "emergency purchase" may be required when a needed good or service involves a higher level of expenditure from state funds than otherwise allowable and/or the university cannot tolerate the six to eight weeks it may take for the state to place an order. 

2.1.3 The emergency must be of a time critical nature such that a rush purchase processed through normal channels will not suffice. 

2.2 Emergency Purchase Orders are restricted to the following dollar limits set forth in Dispensing of Emergency Funds

2.3 Emergency purchases require a letter of Emergency Justification signed by the college/division administrator stating: 

2.3.1 The reason for an emergency purchase by explaining what the emergency is and/or what caused the emergency. 

2.3.2 The financial or operational damage that will occur if needs are not satisfied immediately. (Do not just state there will be a loss or damage.) 

2.3.3 Why the needs were not or could not have been anticipated so that items could be procured through regular procurement procedures. 


There are no procedures associated with this policy.


Responsible Party (Reviewer): Executive Director, Budgets, Procurement and Contracts

Review: Every three years on or before August 1st . 

Signed original on file in Human Resources.


Issue #1: 11/01/99

Issue #2: 10/15/01

Issue #3: 08/12/10

Issue #4: 11/19/14

Issue #5: 03/19/18


UH System Administrative Memorandum 03.B.01

Dispensing of Emergency Funds

Emergency Justification Letter