Purchasing and Business Services Manual (PUR)

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Effective: 3/30/1984

Revised: 11/12/2014

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PUR 303–05: Blanket Orders

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To expedite purchasing miscellaneous supplies, especially recurring orders of small value items

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Purchasing and Business Services

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Blanket orders are issued for a specified time period at an estimated total dollar amount to:

  1. encumber funds


  2. establish a purchasing arrangement with a supplier for a period of time (e.g., monthly, quarterly, yearly) for:
    1. orders of miscellaneous items


    2. recurring orders of specific items.

Departments using blanket orders must ensure that expenditures remain within funds encumbered.

Contract Blanket Orders

Contract blanket orders are used to purchase supplies when the cost of the individual items covered by the blanket order has been established. Normal competitive purchasing methods are used to select suppliers.

Convenience Blanket Orders

Convenience blanket orders are used to purchase supplies of miscellaneous items, when the exact nature of the supplies cannot be determined at the time of issuing the order. They are generally used for recurring purchases of a large variety of low-value items that the using department picks up from the supplier. Because each individual purchase from a convenience blanket order is of low value, it is not necessary to follow the sealed competitive bid procedure.

Except in extreme circumstances, convenience blanket orders will not be issued for less than $5,000 nor for less than three months. Departments are encouraged to use Departmental Limited Value Purchase Orders (PDLVPOs) (see PUR 304–01), the Purchasing Card (see PUR 304–04), or other small-dollar purchasing methods.

Funds Management

Blanket orders, SC documents in Advantage, may be used to manage funds. A department may establish a blanket order for an initial dollar amount and then adjust this encumbrance throughout the year to better reflect the actual need. Sometimes the need expressed in a blanket order is dependent upon some other factor; for example, a blanket order for maintenance of electric carts may need to be adjusted as electric carts are purchased or salvaged. Nevertheless, when the dollar amount encumbered on a blanket order that was established without competition approaches an amount that requires competition, Purchasing and Business Services normally will initiate a competitive solicitation process.

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Blanket orders are not to be used to purchase capital items.

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The procedure for blanket orders can be found on the Purchasing and Business Services Web site.

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