Emergency Purchase Orders

When an emergency occurs, an established process must be followed to request an emergency purchase order. First, contact Purchasing to initiate the emergency purchase order request. An emergency is defined per PSU Policy BS09 as follows:

“For purposes of this policy, an emergency shall be defined as a sudden and unforeseen situation, and with the potential to pose a threat to the safety of personnel or property, requiring immediate action.”

Emergency Purchase Order FAQs

What is needed to request an emergency purchase order?
To request an emergency purchase order, a faculty or staff member must provide the emergency request to the appropriate Purchasing agent/assistant by email or phone. If by phone, please follow up with an email providing the reason for the emergency, potential threat, supplier and supplier’s contact information (including email address), the estimated dollar amount, quote (if available), and copy the financial officer (FO) for the department on the email.  

How long will it take to issue the emergency purchase order?
In most cases, it will take one to three hours if the requester submits everything required. 

Who will approve the emergency purchase order?
All emergency purchase orders must be approved by either the director or assistant director of Purchasing. The Purchasing agent/assistant must attain approval using the information provided by the requester. After being approved, a temporary purchase order will be signed by either the director or assistant director of Purchasing.

Who is responsible to provide the emergency purchase order to the contractor/supplier?The Purchasing agent/assistant will provide a temporary purchase order document, which will include the University’s terms and conditions, to the contractor/supplier. The temporary Penn State purchase order includes the basic and required terms and conditions such as Penn State insurance requirements, OSHA, and background checks. 

How is the emergency purchase order distributed to the contractor/supplier?The temporary purchase order document will be delivered to the contractor/supplier using the email address provided by the requester. The Purchasing agent/assistant will copy the Penn State employee requesting the emergency purchasing order when the purchase order document is sent to the company via email.

When can the contractor/supplier start their work or order supplies?
The contractor/supplier can begin the work or order supplies after receiving the emergency purchase order document from Purchasing. 

What happens after the emergency purchase order is sent to the contractor/supplier?

The Purchasing agent/assistant will send a follow-up email to the requester to advise that a shopping cart will need to be entered in SIMBA after the work is complete. The shopping cart is necessary to make all payments against the emergency purchase order. It is important to wait until after the work is complete before entering a shopping cart in SIMBA to ensure no change orders are required. 

When entering a shopping cart, the following two items are required: 

  • EMERGENCY PO# EXX-XXXXXX must be entered in the reference PO field and in the Supplier Notes of the first line item.  
  • The requester should attach the final invoice and any other related documents to the first line item of the shopping cart.