Who Approves What?

Levels of Approval

The CP and Emergency Team Leader should discuss, decide on, and document three things:

  1. Who in the Field Office or on the Emergency Team can approve purchases?
  2. For what amounts?
  3. On what budgets?

We’ve attached a simple form on which they can document these decisions. There should be an original on file in the Finance Department and a copy in Purchasing.

If you don’t know what your approval authority level is, or who else has approval authority, you should ask the Team Leader, MQC, or CR about this table.

Meanings of Approvals

There are three purchasing forms that need approval.  The approval authority levels documented in the “Authority Matrix” or “Table of Authorities” described above apply to these three forms.

  1. Purchase Requisitions
  2. Bid Comparison Forms
  3. Purchase Orders or Contracts

Following is what an Approval of each of these documents means.

  1. The person who approves a Purchase Requisition Form is saying…
    1. All of the information on this document is correct.
    2. The information on this document is complete, nothing is missing.
    3. It’s OK to spend Agency time looking for these materials or services.
    4. If the cost of those services is under $500,the purchasing department has the authority to make a decision about where to buy the items or services, in collaboration with the Requester.

      This is an internal document.  This it only has meaning within CRS.

  2. The person who approves a Bid Comparison Form is saying…

  3. This is an accurate reflection of the bids we collected,

  4. This decision on a vendor shows good judgement, and I agree with it.

  5. I authorize the purchasing department to start the purchase of items or services from the vendor indicated on this form, at the specified price and under the specified terms.

    Note that the suggestion of vendor and selection reasoning on the form may have been done by a bid committee, or may have been done by the requester and purchasing department by themselves.  Either way, an approval on this form means it’s OK to go ahead and buy.

    This is an internal document.  This means it only has meaning within CRS.

  6. Approving a Purchase Order or Contract means…

    We are purchasing these items or services.  We are legally obligated to pay the vendor the amount written on this document for the items or services written on this document, as long as they are delivered according to the terms and conditions in this document.

    This is an external document that will have meaning outside CRS.  When we sign it we have made a contract with the vendor.

Approval Rules

Rule 1       All approvals must be done at least one level above the originator (requester).  This means that even if the Requester has the authority to approve the amount of the purchase he or she is requesting, that person must have the form approved by a higher-level authority.

Rule 2       For transactions $5,000 or above, at least 3 people must be involved in the complete cycle from request to approval.  Two of these people must be Emergency Team Leader or Head of Office and above.

Rule 3       Anyone delegating their authority to a level below, whether temporary or permanently, must do so in writing, with concurring approval from the next level up Approver.

Rule 4   If any level of approval is absent (i.e. on leave, sick), then the request must go up to the next level of approval authority.