April 29, 2020

Essential spend only reminder; reduced limits announced for procurement cards

In order to support recent budget guidance from the Treasurer’s Office and continue to adapt to changes that have resulted from the coronavirus, Procurement Services is announcing expanded purchasing and travel restrictions. The goal is to help reduce spending at the West Lafayette, Northwest and Fort Wayne campuses.

Essential spend

As previously communicated, all nonessential expenditures – for example travel, conferences, use of consultants – are to be suspended and new financial commitments are to be avoided until further notice. Essential functions are defined as purchases or contracts that support research, online learning or infrastructure (technological or physical). Purchasing should continue to be limited to activities and items supporting essential functions.

Research-related expenditures

Research conducted on sponsored fund accounts should continue using standard purchasing approaches. It is important that orders involving perishable items be made only when it is certain they will be received and used within shelf life. New faculty hires may purchase equipment and/or supplies using startup funds as specified in their offer letters. Prior to purchasing, arrangements must be in place for receiving the order by the intended ordering unit (e.g., department, center) at the receiving location (i.e., specific building). More information including guidance on other sponsored funding can be found on the COVID-19 research operations page.


Travel restrictions currently in place will continue. More information will be shared in a forthcoming communication.

Purchasing of essential PPE and protective supplies for Fall 2020

Procurement Services is working with campus stakeholders and vendor partners to identify personal protective equipment (PPE) and protective supplies (hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, etc.) for the fall semester. There should be no need for departments to purchase on their own; all requests for specific products should be submitted to Procurement Services at purchasingrequest@purdue.edu.

Procurement card limits

Effective May 1, purchasing card (P card) monthly limits will be reduced to $1,000, and the following purchase types no longer will be allowed on P cards:

  • Airlines.
  • Hotels.
  • IT hardware, software and services.

P cards used to support research activities may need different monthly limits. Those requests should be submitted as a temporary increase using the P Card Temporary Increase Request form. Travel cards should be used to reserve travel activity, such as airline and hotel reservations, if a travel waiver is approved.

Ariba catalogs must be used whenever possible, and orders placed on the P Card will be monitored to ensure compliance and support of essential functions. For purchases in which P Card use is appropriate, P Card guidelines must continue to be followed.

More information

Check the Procurement website for the most current purchasing information related to COVID-19 and spend reduction initiatives.

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