Purchasing Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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1. When is it appropriate to use a Procurement Card?

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A University procurement card is the preferred method to make purchases costing less than $5,000.

NOTE: Any type of equipment over $1,000 (including shipping) that would be considered sensitive minor equipment and computers and printers ordered on the Computer Order Forms are not authorized to be purchased on procurement cards.

For additional restrictions and limitations on procurement card usage, see Fiscal Policy FI0530 (Procurement Cards) external link.

2. When is a Requisition in IRIS required?

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  • Generally, a requisition is required to be entered in IRIS for purchases of $5,000 and above that are not covered under a framework order with a contracted vendor.
  • Additionally, a framework requisition must be entered in IRIS when repetitive purchases from a single vendor are expected to exceed $5,000 per year.
  • A requisition must be entered in IRIS in situations where a vendor requires a hard copy purchase order for purchases less than $5,000.

3. May I accept a gift or gratuity from a supplier?

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University personnel who are connected in any way with requisitioning or procuring equipment, supplies, and services used by the university shall NOT accept personal gifts, gratuities, or kickbacks (as defined by Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.203-7).

4. How do I obtain access to IRIS for purchasing activities?

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Your supervisor should send an email to Charles Cossar email in Finance & Operations to request appropriate access for you.

You should then go to the Human Resources Employee Training Calendar to enroll in the IRIS Navigation & Overview class and subsequently other classes related to your purchasing duties.

5. How do I renew my copier rental framework order?

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Send an email to Dianne Holmes email in Purchasing Services to request renewal.

6. How can I access a full list of G/L codes?

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Refer to the list of Expense General Ledger Account Definitions external link maintained by the Controller's Office.

7. Where can I find a list of IRIS reports available?

8. Where can I find a list of University purchasing contracts?

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Read the UTHSC Purchasing Contracts (Hyperlink TBD) page.

9. When are competitive bids required and who do I contact?

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Competitive bids are generally required for purchases of $5,000 and above that are not covered under a University or State contract. In some cases, purchases can be made on a non-competitive basis.

Contact Purchasing Services at 901-448-5594 for guidance.

10. How do I cancel or change a purchase order?

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Refer to the UTHSC Request PO Change or Cancellation page for detailed instructions.

11. When is it appropriate to use a Non-Competitive Justification (NCJ) form?

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For purchases of goods or services totaling $5,000 and above that are only available from one source. Refer to Fiscal Policy FI0410 (Purchasing Bidding Requirements) external link for additional guidance.

12. What is the definition of sensitive minor equipment?

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These are equipment items of a movable nature which are particularly vulnerable to theft and have a cost or fair value (for donated items only) between $1000 and $4,999.99.

For a listing of equipment falling in this category, see Fiscal Policy FI0605 (Equipment) external link.

13. When do I need to create an asset number(s) in IRIS?

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For equipment costing between $1,000 and $4,999.99 that is classified as sensitive minor equipment and all equipment and software costing $5,000 and above.

See Fiscal Policy FI0605 (Equipment) external link for additional guidance.

14. Under what circumstances should I pay sales or use tax?

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As a state institution, the University is exempt from paying Tennessee sales tax. Vendors should be advised of the University's exempt status and asked to omit sales tax charges from all purchases billed to the University.

A Tennessee Department of Revenue Certificate of Exemption secured login required (UT Administrative Portal login required to view document) should be given to vendors when such purchases are made.

The Controller's Office also maintains certificates of exemption for purchases made in certain other states, view the State Sales & Use Tax Exemptions external link page for details.

15. What is the procedure for sending equipment to Surplus?

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Complete a UTHSC Surplus Property Transaction Form Adobe PDF, obtain the signature of your department business manager then follow instructions on the form for submittal to Surplus Property.

16. What products are available from General Stores?

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General Stores stocks and sells a wide variety of research products and chemicals. General Stores is also the designated source for copy paper.

17. How do I get training for requisition processing in IRIS?

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Go to the Human Resources Employee Training Calendar to enroll in the Purchasing and Asset Management class. This class is offered every other month. Additional one-on-one training is available by calling Purchasing Services at 901-448-5594.

18. Where do I find training materials for requisition processing?

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View the Purchasing Requisitions manual External Link prepared by the IRIS Project team. Additional purchasing training materials are also available at the IRIS Administrative Support website.

19. Where can I find a list of IRIS forms that includes definitions?

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Log onto the UT Administrative Portal secured login required and click on the Forms link on the left side of the page.

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Contact Us

Purchasing Services
201 East Street, Room 201
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901-448-5594
Fax: 901-448-8028
Email: purchasing@uthsc.edu