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Purchase Order and Competitive Bidding thresholds

Effective immediately, Purchase Order and Competitive Bidding thresholds are increased from $2,000 to $5,000.

Increasing the thresholds to more accurately reflect the cost of projects will enable departments to operate more efficiently and with greater flexibility. Please use your OneCard for low dollar purchases. We recognize that not all purchases can be made using the OneCard. Therefore, Purchasing will continue to offer the option of issuing a PO for transactions in the $2,000 to $4,999 as requested by department.

For purchases in excess of $5,000, the requisitioning departments and Purchasing Services shall follow the PO limit and competitive bidding procedures as outlined in the Purchasing Manual, conducting competitive bidding with at least three vendors.

Please note that ORSP has approved the threshold increases to the PO and competitive bidding limits. The increases will not conflict with the existing ORSP policy requirements related to grant funded projects.


PO Limit: A PO is required for all computers, regardless of dollar value.

Competitive Bidding is not required for requests of $5,000 or greater when:

  1. Bids have recently (within the previous 12 months) been received for the same items and the bids are still valid.
  2. Item is a University standard (furniture, computers, etc.)
  3. The item must be purchased from a sole source distributor or manufacturer.
  4. Existing University sanctioned LVAIC, E&I (or other consortium contracts) or Lehigh Master Service Agreement (MSA) “preferred” supplier agreements are used. MSA List
  5. There is other justification for not soliciting competitive bids (memo of explanation must be provided).

*Purchasing has the right and responsibility to question and to require sole source justification regarding supplier selection.

Please contact Jane Altemose, Sourcing Manager (x84637, jca209) with any questions.