Purchase of Goods and Services Policy


To provide guidelines regarding acceptable procedures for purchase of goods and services.
To ensure that the Agency is accountable for the funds it receives.


  1. Approval of purchases should be made in advance of the purchase transaction taking place.
  2. Expenditures for goods and services must be supported by purchase orders and authorizations to ensure that only valid expenses are charged to programs.
  3. Expenditures must be approved by an authorized person as defined in the guidelines provided by Policy D 3.1 – Approval of Purchases and/or designate in accordance with the list of staff with signing authority available on the All STAFF Sharepoint site.
  4. Due to the nature of some transactions, a purchase order is not warranted (i.e. renewal of magazine subscriptions, request for funds to refill a postal meter etc.). For these transactions, a cheque requisition may be completed. Cheque requisitions must follow the same approval procedures as purchase orders.
  5. An integral part of the purchasing procedure is the use of purchase orders. Electronic purchase orders are available on the Intranet and/or the CRM system. Purchase orders provide written confirmation for the supplier or store that a purchase is authorized. Purchase orders should be used for all expenditures, with the exception of Employee Expense Claims, Petty Cash transactions, Employment Ontario claims and transactions generated by cheque requests.
  6. Purchase orders (see example attached) are to be completed prior to placing the order and approved by the appropriate level in accordance with the guidelines within Policy D 3.1 – Approval of Purchases and/or designate in accordance with the list of staff with signing authority available on the Intranet
  7. Generally, all operating expenditures must be within the approved Annual Business Plan.
  8. For purchases of goods and non-consulting services costing up to $999.99, the specific cost should be determined in advance of the purchase, taking measures to ensure that the best price is obtained.
  9. For purchases of goods and non-consulting services exceeding $1,000 and not exceeding $10,000, an approved vendor of record can be contracted (see Policy D 3.5 Vendors of Record). For purchases of goods and non-consulting services exceeding $10,000 and not exceeding $100,000, three quotes must be obtained from the approved vendor of record list and documented on the purchase order. A rationale must also be documented, using the Non-Competitive Approval form designated for contravening 3 quotes, when the lowest price is not selected. This form should be approved by the Director or designate of the division.
  10. All consulting services must be competitively procured through an invitational or open competitive process irrespective of value. A minimum of three suppliers must be invited to submit a written bid to provide services. Consulting services are defined as the provision of expertise or strategic advice that is presented for consideration and decision-making.
  11. Any procurement of goods and services of any kind exceeding $100,000 must be procured through an open competitive process (See Policy D 3.9).
  12. If there are exceptional circumstances for which the above policy cannot be followed (e.g. lack of competition in sector, emergency) a Non-Competitive Approval form must be completed and approved by the CEO.
  13. Once the purchase order is completed and properly authorized, a copy will be electronically sent to the Finance Department and confirmation of the approved purchase order will be emailed to the requestor and the approver. It is recommended that a copy of the approved electronic purchase order be forwarded to the vendor as payments will be delayed or halted in the absence of a valid purchase order number on an invoice.
  14. Blanket purchase orders can be generated for recurring expenses and will be maintained on a spreadsheet by the Finance Department and/or within commitments within the CRM system.
  15. When the goods are received, the staff member is to check and sign the packing slip or invoice indicating the goods were received and accepted. These documents are then forwarded to accounts payable to be matched to an authorized P.O. and invoice for payment. (Note: the packing slip or invoice does not require the signature of an authorized person if a properly authorized purchase order is completed. However, it must be a staff member who did not order the goods to maintain segregation of responsibilities).
  16. When cheques are presented for signature, the electronic supporting documentation is available for review by the CAO or designate. The documentation will be reviewed to ensure that expenditures are valid program costs, the allocation of costs is correct, and the expenditures are properly authorized.