Subpart 13.3 Simplified Acquisition Methods
13.301 Governmentwide commercial purchase card.
(a) Except as provided in 32.1108(b)(2), the Governmentwide commercial purchase card is authorized for use in making and/or paying for purchases of supplies, services, or construction. The Governmentwide commercial purchase card may be used by contracting officers and other individuals designated in accordance with 1.603-3. The card may be used only for purchases that are otherwise authorized by law or regulation.
(b) Agencies using the Governmentwide commercial purchase card shall establish procedures for use and control of the card that comply with the Treasury Financial Manual for Guidance of Departments and Agencies (TFM 4-4500) and that are consistent with the terms and conditions of the current GSA credit card contract. Agency procedures should not limit the use of the Governmentwide commercial purchase card to micro-purchases. Agency procedures should encourage use of the card in greater dollar amounts by contracting officers to place orders and to pay for purchases against contracts established under Part 8 procedures, when authorized; and to place orders and/or make payment under other contractual instruments, when agreed to by the contractor. See 32.1110(d) for instructions for use of the appropriate clause when payment under a written contract will be made through use of the card.
(c) The Governmentwide commercial purchase card may be used to
(1) Make micro-purchases;
(2) Place a task or delivery order (if authorized in the basic contract, basic ordering agreement, or blanket purchase agreement); or
(3) Make payments, when the contractor agrees to accept payment by the card (but see 32.1108(b)(2)).
13.302 Purchase orders.
(b) Purchase orders shall
(1) Specify the quantity of supplies or scope of services ordered;
(2) Contain a determinable date by which delivery of the supplies or performance of the services is required;
(3) Provide for inspection as prescribed in Part 46. Generally, inspection and acceptance should be at destination. Source inspection should be specified only if required by Part 46. When inspection and acceptance will be performed at destination, advance copies of the purchase order or equivalent notice shall be furnished to the consignee(s) for material receipt purposes. Receiving reports shall be accomplished immediately upon receipt and acceptance of supplies;
(4) Specify f.o.b. destination for supplies to be delivered within the United States, except Alaska or Hawaii, unless there are valid reasons to the contrary; and
(5) Include any trade and prompt payment discounts that are offered, consistent with the applicable principles at 14.408-3.
(c) The contracting officer’s signature on purchase orders shall be in accordance with 4.101 and the definitions at 2.101. Facsimile and electronic signature may be used in the production of purchase orders by automated methods.
(d) Limit the distribution of copies of purchase orders and related forms to the minimum deemed essential for administration and transmission of contractual information.
(e) In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3332, electronic funds transfer (EFT) is required for payments except as provided in 32.1110. See subpart 32.11 for instructions for use of the appropriate clause in purchase orders. When obtaining oral quotes, the contracting officer shall inform the quoter of the EFT clause that will be in any resulting purchase order.
13.302-2 Unpriced purchase orders.
(a) An unpriced purchase order is an order for supplies or services, the price of which is not established at the time of issuance of the order.
(b) An unpriced purchase order may be used only when
(1) It is impractical to obtain pricing in advance of issuance of the purchase order; and
(2) The purchase is for
(i) Repairs to equipment requiring disassembly to determine the nature and extent of repairs;
(ii) Material available from only one source and for which cost cannot readily be established; or
(iii) Supplies or services for which prices are known to be competitive, but exact prices are not known (e.g., miscellaneous repair parts, maintenance agreements).
(c) Unpriced purchase orders may be issued on paper or electronically. A realistic monetary limitation, either for each line item or for the total order, shall be placed on each unpriced purchase order. The monetary limitation shall be an obligation subject to adjustment when the firm price is established. The contracting office shall follow up on each order to ensure timely pricing. The contracting officer or the contracting officer’s designated representative shall review the invoice price and, if reasonable (see 13.106-3(a)), process the invoice for payment.
13.302-3 Obtaining contractor acceptance and modifying purchase orders.
(a) When it is desired to consummate a binding contract between the parties before the contractor undertakes performance, the contracting officer shall require written (see 2.101) acceptance of the purchase order by the contractor.
(b) Each purchase order modification shall identify the order it modifies and shall contain an appropriate modification number.
(c) A contractor’s written acceptance of a purchase order modification may be required only if
(1) Determined by the contracting officer to be necessary to ensure the contractor’s compliance with the purchase order as revised; or
(2) Required by agency regulations.
13.302-4 Termination or cancellation of purchase orders.
(a) If a purchase order that has been accepted in writing by the contractor is to be terminated, the contracting officer shall process the termination in accordance with
(b) If a purchase order that has not been accepted in writing by the contractor is to be canceled, the contracting officer shall notify the contractor in writing that the purchase order has been canceled, request the contractor’s written acceptance of the cancellation, and proceed as follows:
(1) If the contractor accepts the cancellation and does not claim that costs were incurred as a result of beginning performance under the purchase order, no further action is required (i.e., the purchase order shall be considered canceled).
(2) If the contractor does not accept the cancellation or claims that costs were incurred as a result of beginning performance under the purchase order, the contracting officer shall process the action as a termination prescribed in paragraph (a) of this subsection.
(a) Each purchase order (and each purchase order modification (see 13.302-3)) shall incorporate all clauses prescribed for the particular acquisition.
(b) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.213-2, Invoices, in purchase orders that authorize advance payments (see 31 U.S.C. 3324(d)(2)) for subscriptions or other charges for newspapers, magazines, periodicals, or other publications (i.e., any publication printed, microfilmed, photocopied, or magnetically or otherwise recorded for auditory or visual usage).
(c) The contracting officer shall insert the clause at 52.213-3, Notice to Supplier, in unpriced purchase orders.
(d)(1) The contracting officer may use the clause at 52.213-4, Terms and Conditions Simplified Acquisitions (Other Than Commercial Items), in simplified acquisitions exceeding the micro-purchase threshold that are for other than commercial items (see 12.301).
(2) The clause
(i) Is a compilation of the most commonly used clauses that apply to simplified acquisitions; and
(ii) May be modified to fit the individual acquisition to add other needed clauses, or those clauses may be added separately. Modifications (i.e., additions, deletions, or substitutions) must not create a void or internal contradiction in the clause. For example, do not add an inspection and acceptance or termination for convenience requirement unless the existing requirement is deleted. Also, do not delete a paragraph without providing for an appropriate substitute.
(3)(i) When an acquisition for supplies for use within the United States cannot be set aside for small business concerns and trade agreements apply (see subpart 25.4), substitute the clause at FAR 52.225-3, Buy American Free Trade Agreements Israeli Trade Act, used with Alternate I or Alternate II, if appropriate, instead of the clause at FAR 52.225-1, Buy American Supplies.
13.303 Blanket purchase agreements (BPAs).
(a) A blanket purchase agreement (BPA) is a simplified method of filling anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services by establishing “charge accounts” with qualified sources of supply (see subpart 16.7 for additional coverage of agreements).
(b) BPAs should be established for use by an organization responsible for providing supplies for its own operations or for other offices, installations, projects, or functions. Such organizations, for example, may be organized supply points, separate independent or detached field parties, or one-person posts or activities.
(c) The use of BPAs does not exempt an agency from the responsibility for keeping obligations and expenditures within available funds.
13.303-2 Establishment of BPAs.
(a) The following are circumstances under which contracting officers may establish BPAs:
(1) There is a wide variety of items in a broad class of supplies or services that are generally purchased, but the exact items, quantities, and delivery requirements are not known in advance and may vary considerably.
(2) There is a need to provide commercial sources of supply for one or more offices or projects in a given area that do not have or need authority to purchase otherwise.
(3) The use of this procedure would avoid the writing of numerous purchase orders.
(4) There is no existing requirements contract for the same supply or service that the contracting activity is required to use.
(b) After determining a BPA would be advantageous, contracting officers shall
(1) Establish the parameters to limit purchases to individual items or commodity groups or classes, or permit the supplier to furnish unlimited supplies or services; and
(2) Consider suppliers whose past performance has shown them to be dependable, who offer quality supplies or services at consistently lower prices, and who have provided numerous purchases at or below the simplified acquisition threshold.
(c) BPAs may be established with
(1) More than one supplier for supplies or services of the same type to provide maximum practicable competition;
(2) A single firm from which numerous individual purchases at or below the simplified acquisition threshold will likely be made in a given period; or
(3) Federal Supply Schedule contractors, if not inconsistent with the terms of the applicable schedule contract.
(d) BPAs should be prepared without a purchase requisition and only after contacting suppliers to make the necessary arrangements for
(1) Securing maximum discounts;
(2) Documenting individual purchase transactions;
(3) Periodic billings; and
(4) Incorporating other necessary details.
13.303-3 Preparation of BPAs.
(a) The following terms and conditions are mandatory:
(1) Description of agreement. A statement that the supplier shall furnish supplies or services, described in general terms, if and when requested by the contracting officer (or the authorized representative of the contracting officer) during a specified period and within a stipulated aggregate amount, if any.
(2) Extent of obligation. A statement that the Government is obligated only to the extent of authorized purchases actually made under the BPA.
(3) Purchase limitation. A statement that specifies the dollar limitation for each individual purchase under the BPA (see 13.303-5(b)).
(4) Individuals authorized to purchase under the BPA. A statement that a list of individuals authorized to purchase under the BPA, identified either by title of position or by name of individual, organizational component, and the dollar limitation per purchase for each position title or individual shall be furnished to the supplier by the contracting officer.
(5) Delivery tickets. A requirement that all shipments under the agreement, except those for newspapers, magazines, or other periodicals, shall be accompanied by delivery tickets or sales slips that shall contain the following minimum information:
(i) Name of supplier.
(ii) BPA number.
(iii) Date of purchase.
(iv) Purchase number.
(v) Itemized list of supplies or services furnished.
(vi) Quantity, unit price, and extension of each item, less applicable discounts (unit prices and extensions need not be shown when incompatible with the use of automated systems, provided that the invoice is itemized to show this information).
(vii) Date of delivery or shipment.
(6) Invoices. One of the following statements shall be included (except that the statement in paragraph (a)(6)(iii) of this subsection should not be used if the accumulation of the individual invoices by the Government materially increases the administrative costs of this purchase method):
(i) A summary invoice shall be submitted at least monthly or upon expiration of this BPA, whichever occurs first, for all deliveries made during a billing period, identifying the delivery tickets covered therein, stating their total dollar value, and supported by receipt copies of the delivery tickets.
(ii) An itemized invoice shall be submitted at least monthly or upon expiration of this BPA, whichever occurs first, for all deliveries made during a billing period and for which payment has not been received. These invoices need not be supported by copies of delivery tickets.
(iii) When billing procedures provide for an individual invoice for each delivery, these invoices shall be accumulated, provided that
(A) A consolidated payment will be made for each specified period; and
(B) The period of any discounts will commence on the final date of the billing period or on the date of receipt of invoices for all deliveries accepted during the billing period, whichever is later.
(iv) An invoice for subscriptions or other charges for newspapers, magazines, or other periodicals shall show the starting and ending dates and shall state either that ordered subscriptions have been placed in effect or will be placed in effect upon receipt of payment.
(b) If the fast payment procedure is used, include the requirements stated in 13.403.
(a) The contracting officer shall insert in each BPA the clauses prescribed elsewhere in this part that are required for or applicable to the particular BPA.
(b) Unless a clause prescription specifies otherwise (e.g., see 22.305(a), 22.605(a)(5), or 22.1006), if the prescription includes a dollar threshold, the amount to be compared to that threshold is that of any particular order under the BPA.
13.303-5 Purchases under BPAs.
(a) Use a BPA only for purchases that are otherwise authorized by law or regulation.
(b) Individual purchases shall not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold. However, agency regulations may establish a higher threshold consistent with the following:
(1) The simplified acquisition threshold and the $7 million limitation for individual purchases ($13 million for purchases entered into under the authority of 12.102(f)(1)) do not apply to BPAs established in accordance with 13.303-2(c)(3).
(c) The existence of a BPA does not justify purchasing from only one source or avoiding small business set-asides. The requirements of 13.003(b) and subpart 19.5 also apply to each order.
(d) If, for a particular purchase greater than the micro-purchase threshold, there is an insufficient number of BPAs to ensure maximum practicable competition, the contracting officer shall
(1) Solicit quotations from other sources (see 13.105) and make the purchase as appropriate; and
(2) Establish additional BPAs to facilitate future purchases if
(i) Recurring requirements for the same or similar supplies or services seem likely;
(ii) Qualified sources are willing to accept BPAs; and
(iii) It is otherwise practical to do so.
(e) Limit documentation of purchases to essential information and forms as follows:
(1) Purchases generally should be made electronically, or orally when it is not considered economical or practical to use electronic methods.
(2) A paper purchase document may be issued if necessary to ensure that the supplier and the purchaser agree concerning the transaction.
(3) Unless a paper document is issued, record essential elements (e.g., date, supplier, supplies or services, price, delivery date) on the purchase requisition, in an informal memorandum, or on a form developed locally for the purpose.
(4) Cite the pertinent purchase requisitions and the accounting and appropriation data.
(5) When delivery is made or the services are performed, the supplier’s sales document, delivery document, or invoice may (if it reflects the essential elements) be used for the purpose of recording receipt and acceptance of the supplies or services. However, if the purchase is assigned to another activity for administration, the authorized Government representative shall document receipt and acceptance of supplies or services by signing and dating the agency specified form after verification and after notation of any exceptions.
13.303-6 Review procedures.
(a) The contracting officer placing orders under a BPA, or the designated representative of the contracting officer, shall review a sufficient random sample of the BPA files at least annually to ensure that authorized procedures are being followed.
(b) The contracting officer that entered into the BPA shall
(1) Ensure that each BPA is reviewed at least annually and, if necessary, updated at that time; and
(2) Maintain awareness of changes in market conditions, sources of supply, and other pertinent factors that may warrant making new arrangements with different suppliers or modifying existing arrangements.
(c) If an office other than the purchasing office that established a BPA is authorized to make purchases under that BPA, the agency that has jurisdiction over the office authorized to make the purchases shall ensure that the procedures in paragraph (a) of this subsection are being followed.
13.303-7 Completion of BPAs.
An individual BPA is considered complete when the purchases under it equal its total dollar limitation, if any, or when its stated time period expires.
13.303-8 Optional clause.
The clause at 52.213-4, Terms and Conditions Simplified Acquisitions (Other Than Commercial Items), may be used in BPAs established under this section.
13.305 Imprest funds and third party drafts.
Imprest funds and third party drafts may be used to acquire and to pay for supplies or services. Policies and regulations concerning the establishment of and accounting for imprest funds and third party drafts, including the responsibilities of designated cashiers and alternates, are contained in Part IV of the Treasury Financial Manual for Guidance of Departments and Agencies, Title 7 of the GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies, and the agency implementing regulations. Agencies also shall be guided by the Manual of Procedures and Instructions for Cashiers, issued by the Financial Management Service, Department of the Treasury.
13.305-2 Agency responsibilities.
Each agency using imprest funds and third party drafts shall
(a) Periodically review and determine whether there is a continuing need for each fund or third party draft account established, and that amounts of those funds or accounts are not in excess of actual needs;
(b) Take prompt action to have imprest funds or third party draft accounts adjusted to a level commensurate with demonstrated needs whenever circumstances warrant such action; and
(c) Develop and issue appropriate implementing regulations. These regulations shall include (but are not limited to) procedures covering
(1) Designation of personnel authorized to make purchases using imprest funds or third party drafts; and
(2) Documentation of purchases using imprest funds or third party drafts, including documentation of
(i) Receipt and acceptance of supplies and services by the Government;
(ii) Receipt of cash or third party draft payments by the suppliers; and
(iii) Cash advances and reimbursements.
13.305-3 Conditions for use.
Imprest funds or third party drafts may be used for purchases when
(a) The imprest fund transaction does not exceed $500 or such other limits as have been approved by the agency head;
(b) The third party draft transaction does not exceed $2,500, unless authorized at a higher level in accordance with Treasury restrictions;
(c) The use of imprest funds or third party drafts is considered to be advantageous to the Government; and
(d) The use of imprest funds or third party drafts for the transaction otherwise complies with any additional conditions established by agencies and with the policies and regulations referenced in 13.305-1.
(a) Each purchase using imprest funds or third party drafts shall be based upon an authorized purchase requisition, contracting officer verification statement, or other agency approved method of ensuring that adequate funds are available for the purchase.
(b) Normally, purchases should be placed orally and without soliciting competition if prices are considered reasonable.
(c) Since there is, for all practical purposes, simultaneous placement of the order and delivery of the items, clauses are not required for purchases using imprest funds or third party drafts.
(d) Forms prescribed at 13.307(e) may be used if a written order is considered necessary (e.g., if required by the supplier for discount, tax exemption, or other reasons). If a purchase order is used, endorse it “Payment to be made from Imprest Fund” (or “Payment to be made from Third Party Draft,” as appropriate).
(e) The individual authorized to make purchases using imprest funds or third party drafts shall
(1) Furnish to the imprest fund or third party draft cashier a copy of the document required under paragraph (a) of this subsection annotated to reflect
(i) That an imprest fund or third party draft purchase has been made;
(ii) The unit prices and extensions; and
(iii) The supplier’s name and address; and
(2) Require the supplier to include with delivery of the supplies an invoice, packing slip, or other sales instrument giving
(i) The supplier’s name and address;
(ii) List and quantity of items supplied;
(iii) Unit prices and extensions; and
(iv) Cash discount, if any.
13.306 SF 44, Purchase Order Invoice Voucher.
The SF 44, Purchase Order Invoice Voucher, is a multipurpose pocket-size purchase order form designed primarily for on-the-spot, over-the-counter purchases of supplies and nonpersonal services while away from the purchasing office or at isolated activities. It also can be used as a receiving report, invoice, and public voucher.
(a) This form may be used if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The amount of the purchase is at or below the micro-purchase threshold, except for purchases made under unusual and compelling urgency or in support of contingency operations. Agencies may establish higher dollar limitations for specific activities or items.
(2) The supplies or services are immediately available.
(3) One delivery and one payment will be made.
(4) Its use is determined to be more economical and efficient than use of other simplified acquisition procedures.
(b) General procedural instructions governing the form’s use are printed on the form and on the inside front cover of each book of forms.
(c) Since there is, for all practical purposes, simultaneous placement of the order and delivery of the items, clauses are not required for purchases using this form.
(d) Agencies shall provide adequate safeguards regarding the control of forms and accounting for purchases.
(b) Other than commercial items.
(1) Except when quotations are solicited electronically or orally, the SF 1449; SF 18, Request for Quotations; or an agency form/automated format may be used. Each agency request for quotations form/automated format should conform with the SF 18 or SF 1449 to the maximum extent practicable.
(2) Both SF 1449 and OF 347, Order for Supplies or Services, are multipurpose forms used for negotiated purchases of supplies or services, delivery or task orders, inspection and receiving reports, and invoices. An agency form/automated format also may be used.
(c) Forms used for both commercial and other than commercial items.
(1) OF 336, Continuation Sheet, or an agency form/automated format may be used when additional space is needed.
(2) OF 348, Order for Supplies or Services Schedule Continuation, or an agency form/automated format may be used for negotiated purchases when additional space is needed. Agencies may print on these forms the clauses considered to be generally suitable for purchases.
(3) SF 30, Amendment of Solicitation/Modification of Contract, or a purchase order form may be used to modify a purchase order, unless an agency form/automated format is prescribed in agency regulations.
(e) SF 1165, Receipt for Cash Subvoucher, or an agency purchase order form may be used for purchases using imprest funds or third party drafts.