PPP06 Illegal Purchases

Effective 07/15/14
Replaces 8/23/01


It is the responsibility of each person to comply with Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Codes when expending public funds (regardless of the source of the funding) deposited with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wis. Stats. 16.77(2) states whenever a person “…contracts for the purchase of supplies, materials, equipment or contractual services contrary to ss. 16.705 to 16.82 or rules promulgated … the contract is void, and any officer or subordinate is liable for the cost thereof.


The purchasing agent responsible for that commodity or service, you can link to Purchasing Services Directory or call the Purchasing reception area at 262-1526 to find which agent has that commodity.


Purchasing Services will take the following actions for the following illegal actions:

3.1 Fragmented purchase requisitions will be combined and processed using the appropriate competitive process.
3.2 Serial purchases identified by Purchasing Services will be stopped and brought to the attention of the appropriate Dean/Director.
3.3 A Return Materials Authorization form modifying the original purchase order in any way is illegal. Modification to a purchase order may only be made by an official change order issued by Purchasing Services.


Any person responsible for initiating an illegal purchase (responsibility will be determined by Department/Dean and/or Purchasing Services) will be held personally accountable until the transaction is resolved. Resolution options are:

4.1 To submit a letter signed by the individual AND the Dean/Director, which must include:

4.1.1 Description of the goods or services purchased.
4.1.2 Circumstances which led to the illegal purchase.
4.1.3 Justification for lack of prior Purchasing Services approval.
4.1.4 Statement of actions being taken to prevent repetition of the situation.

4.2 To return goods to the vendor for full credit. The individual may be required to pay restocking or other charges, if any.

4.3 To pay for the goods or services personally from own funds, NOT from public funds.