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Confirming Orders Procedure

The WVU Procurement, Contracting and Payment Services (PCPS) team reminds employees that confirming orders are not permitted when purchasing goods and services.

What is a confirming order?
A confirming order occurs when an employee works directly with a supplier to have a good or service delivered without first submitting a requisition in Mountaineer Marketplace and having a purchase order issued.

Examples of confirming orders include:

  • An employee brings an individual on campus to speak at an event. The employee works with the supplier directly via email or phone and does not submit a requisition in Mountaineer Marketplace for approval until they receive an invoice from the supplier once services are completed. Though the employee may have the supplier complete an Independent Contractor Form, that form does not serve as an agreement and does not eliminate the transaction from being considered a confirming order.
  • An employee orders a piece of equipment via email or phone, and the supplier provides the employee with an invoice that needs to be paid via check or Automated Clearing House (ACH).
  • An employee allows a supplier to provide a service (i.e., consulting, labor, IT, graphic design, inspections, sub-contract, etc.) without submitting a requisition in Mountaineer Marketplace or working with PCPS beforehand. This also includes situations in which services begin before an agreement is finalized or executed.

Why should confirming orders be avoided?

  • Beginning July 1, 2023, the State Auditor’s Office will reject confirming orders and require an individualized memo that explains why the confirming order occurred and what methods are being used to avoid future confirming orders. Additionally, the State will require WVU’s Chief Financial Officer to sign each memo.
  • Confirming orders do not allow the University to accurately forecast upcoming spending, which creates budgetary and cash impacts.
  • When purchasing services, agreements are required before services are provided. If a supplier provides services without a purchase order and/or agreement, the University’s liability and risk increase.
  • In several instances, confirming orders have created duplicate payment risks because the University cannot confirm if the order was already paid against as with true purchase orders.
  • These requisitions take more time and effort for departments due to the increasingly detailed documentation required.

How should these orders be processed instead?
Assuming the order is a critical need and should be purchased under current budget restrictions and/or guidelines, employees should follow these steps:

  • For goods: Check PCard guidelines to see if the PCard can be used to purchase the goods. If the purchase cannot be made via PCard, submit a non-catalog order form in Mountaineer Marketplace before the goods are ordered or provided.
  • For services: A non-catalog order form should be submitted in Mountaineer Marketplace before the services are provided. An agreement will likely be needed. The Independent Contractor Form does not serve as a service agreement. If services are ongoing but the exact dollar amount is unknown, one non-catalog order form should be submitted for the fiscal year. The University can then create a blanket purchase order.

Can confirming orders occur during an emergency?
Confirming orders are only permissible in emergency situations or a specific situation where the PCPS team has explicitly instructed the employee to process an order in this manner.
What happens if an employee submits a confirming order?
Employees who submit confirming orders that are not an emergency or who are not specifically directed by PCPS to do so may be personally responsible for the payment of the invoice.