Emergency Purchases

Emergency Purchases are defined in USF Regulation USF4.02040(2)(a) as follows:

When the USF System President or designee determines, in writing, that a delay due to the competitive solicitation process would pose an immediate danger to public health or safety or the welfare of the USF System, including USF System tangible and/or intangible assets, or would otherwise cause significant injury or harm, the USF System may proceed with an emergency purchase. The emergency purchase is limited to the purchase of only the type of items and quantities of items necessary and for only the time period necessary to meet the immediate need.

Further, to accommodate Emergency Purchases, USF Regulation USF4.02060(1) states that Contracts for commodities or contractual services or licenses shall consist of a purchase order or bilateral agreement entered into by the University of South Florida Board of Trustees and signed by the University of South Florida System (USF System) President or designee prior to the commodities being delivered or contractual services being rendered or in unusual circumstances, within thirty (30) days of the commodities being delivered or contractual services being rendered by the vendor.

Examples of Emergency Purchases include:

• A roof is leaking and causing damage to USF property so an immediate roofing contractor is needed;
• IT systems have been compromised and immediate consultancy is needed to fix the situation;
• Research was put at risk by equipment failure and replacement was available next day.

Examples of non-emergency purchases include:

• Preventive maintenance service by a contractor;
• Project implementation services;
• New research equipment for a planned project.

Essentially, purchases cannot be considered an emergency on the basis of poor planning. Emergency Purchases are situational and are required to be documented as described in the above regulations. USF Accountable Officers are expected to use sound judgment in expecting an exception to after the fact purchase orders based on Emergency Purchases.

In a true emergency situation, appropriate action, including procurement, should take place promptly on the judgment of leadership with an expectation that required documentation will be supplied to support the emergency.