• Table of Contents
  • 410.00    Definitions
  • 420.00    Unauthorized Purchases
  • 430.00    Ratification of Unauthorized Purchases
  • 440.00    Personal Gifts to be Declined
  • 450.00    Conflict of Interest
  • 460.00    Purchases Near Close of Fiscal Year
  • 470.00    Trial or Demonstration Equipment

410.00 Definitions

"Contract" means a written agreement between two or more parties that are authorized to legally bind each party to provide goods or services in exchange for consideration. Common contracts issued by MSU include Departmental Purchase Orders (DPOs), Purchase Orders (POs), Contracted Services Agreement's (CSAs), and contracts issued as a result of the "Request for Proposal" process.

"Exigency purchase", means a purchase made without following purchasing procedures due to a sudden and unexpected happening or unforeseen occurrence/condition, which requires immediate action. An exigency purchase is commonly referred to as an Emergency Purchase.

"Ratification" means the act of approving an unauthorized commitment by an official who has the authority to do so.

"Services" means the furnishing of labor, time, or effort by a contractor. Services does not include employment agreements or collective bargaining agreements, the provision of human services administered by the department of public health and human services, or services related to construction contracts.

"Supplies" means all property except as otherwise provided by law, including but not limited to equipment, materials, printing, and commodities, and excluding land or any interest in land.

"Unauthorized commitment" means an agreement that is not binding solely because the Department representative who made it lacked the authority to enter into that agreement on behalf of the University or the Department failed to comply with Purchasing Procedures.

For further definition, please refer to Appendix R "Glossary of Terms" and Montana Code Annotated (MCA) 18-4-123 located at:

420.00 Unauthorized Purchases

Departments are responsible for complying with the procurement procedures established herein. Departments are liable for purchases that are made that are not compliant with procurement regulations, policies, and procedures. Departments will be held accountable for improper handling of procurement. At the discretion of the MSU-Bozeman Director of Procurement & Contract Services, the delegation authority established herein may be reduced, suspended or revoked for failure to adhere to State laws, rules, and procurement procedures.


430.00 Ratification of Unauthorized Purchases

The University has implemented a "Ratification" process for unauthorized purchases. Procurement & Contract Services will contact the department to seek information regarding the unauthorized commitment. The department must submit information as requested by Procurement & Contract Services. Upon receipt, Procurement & Contract Services will review the information and make a determination to ratify the unauthorized commitment, if deemed in the best interest of the University.

The Director of Procurement & Contract Services at MSU-Bozeman is designated as the ratifying official and will seek approval of the ratification from the Assistant Vice President for Financial Services. Upon approval, the Director of Procurement & Contract Services will ratify the unauthorized commitment. The authority may be exercised only when -

  1. Supplies or services have been provided to and accepted by the University, or the University has obtained or will obtain a benefit resulting from performance of the unauthorized commitment;
  2. The ratifying official has the authority to enter into a contractual commitment;
  3. The resulting contract would otherwise have been proper if made by an appropriate Procurement Official or designated representative;
  4. Procurement & Contract Services and the Assistant Vice President for Financial Services has authorized payment after seeking guidance from MSU Legal Counsel, as needed, to ensure compliance with State of Montana Laws;
  5. Funds are available and were available at the time the unauthorized commitment was made; 

440.00 Personal Gifts to be Declined

Personal gifts or gratuities that might influence or give the appearance of influencing the requisition or purchase of material(s) must be declined. Occasionally, gifts or premiums of little value are unavoidable. When these are received, they are to be considered University property and should be reported as a notation on the invoice, and included on the department petty equipment or supply inventory.

450.00 Conflict of Interest

University employees may not participate in a purchase if they have a conflict of interest. See the MSU Conflict of Interest Policy .

A conflict is created if an employee or employee’s immediate family member has any financial interest in an entity involved in a University purchase that the employee is in a position to recommend or approve.  See Section 510.2 Conflict of Interest Policy.


460.00 Purchases Near Close of Fiscal Year

Purchase Requisitions and invoices for supplies, equipment or services submitted at or near the close of a fiscal year (June 30) are to reflect essential requirements and are not to be used to exhaust appropriation balances. The MSU-Bozeman University Business Office will issue fiscal year end instructions each April.

470.00 Trial or Demonstration Equipment

Departments are authorized to make arrangements for trial or demonstration equipment. Departments must send the "Product Demonstration" letter to the vendor prior to receipt of the equipment. This letter does not waive the department's responsibility to follow purchasing procedures. Departments are not authorized to use the product demonstration as leverage for purchasing the equipment. The terms and conditions of this letter may not be revised unless approved by Procurement & Contract Services. The letter template is reflected in Appendix S.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents