PPP03 Best Judgement Purchasing – Less than $5000.00

Effective 12/8/00
Replaces 7/1/99


Best Judgment purchases ($5,000.00 or less) may be placed by issuing an external requisition or by using the Purchasing Card. Requisitions will be converted without change to official purchase orders unless special approval is required. The department should review PPP #4 (special approvals) prior to completing a requisition.


A published contract for the supplies or services being requested may exist. The department should check UW-Madison, UW-System and State Contracts, Shop@UW, or Purchasing Services for pricing and terms prior to completing a requisition.

2.1 If Purchasing Services receives a requisition items that require special approval, the department contact person will be notified and asked for assistance in obtaining the required documentation. The requisition will not be processed until this requirement is met.

2.2 The Department must inform the vendor of the UW Madison policy by which vehicles (trucks) exceeding 30 feet in length will be restricted from making deliveries and pick-ups on campus. The exceptions are vehicles necessary for the delivery or pick-up of perishable commodities, radioactive material and private construction vehicles. Options available to the vendor include the follwing:

Vendor deliveries or pick-ups using vehicles which are less than 30 feet. Vendor ships or picks-up via common carrier in vehicles which are less than 30 feet (e.g. Fed EX; UPS; Speedy, etc.). Vendors who are unable to deliver or pick-up per one of the above methods, must deliver (or pick-up) to the UW-Madison Materials Distribution Services facility (MDS) located at 1061 Thousand Oaks Trail, Verona WI 53593.

For specific policy language and restrictions, Department staff and Vendor representatives should review the UW-Madison Transportation Services web site and/or the Shop@UW web site.


3.1 Under $100 Low Dollars (LD) and $100 – $5,000 Best Judgment Orders:
The department prepares an external requisition, making sure to have the complete vendor name and address (do not include the vendor phone number in this area) as the “suggested vendor” and processes the requisition through normal approval channels.

Purchasing Card – See PPP #26.

Best Judgment requisitions are entered in to the Electronic Purchasing System and departments receive a copy through inter-departmental mail.

3.1.1 Confirming Phone/Fax Orders
Departments may place an order directly with the vendor and immediately prepare a requisition. The body of the requisition must clearly state “CONFIRMING TELEPHONE (OR FAX) ORDER TO (full Name of Person contacted and Date) — DO NOT DUPLICATE.” Purchasing Services does not send a hard copy of Confirming Phone or Fax orders to the vendor unless departments include the statement “VENDOR REQUIRES HARD COPY OF PO” in the body of the requisition.

3.1.2 Cash With Order
Request for Cash with Order (CWO) will be processed if vendor requires payment prior to shipment or if prepayment will result in a discount to the UW-Madison. “Cash With Order” or CWOmust be indicated in the body of the requisition. Two copies of price documentation must be forwarded with requisition.

3.1.3 Blanket Orders
The departments should establish a Blanket Order if they repeatedly issue requisitions for Best Judgment or LD Orders to the same vendor. Refer to PPP #8 for Blanket Order procedures and/or PPP #9 for Contract Order procedures.

3.1.4 Tracing orders
Departments should trace (e.g. follow up, expedite) their own Best Judgment Orders. Purchasing Services is available to assist departments whenever necessary (262-1526).

3.1.5 Returning Materials
Refer to PPP #7 (Return Materials Authorization) when returning or exchanging products. Purchasing Services is available to assist departments whenever necessary (262-1526).