Business Procedure Manual campus collage Vertical red bar NIU
Northern Illinois University
Table of Contents A - Z Listing Finance and Facilities Home NIU Home
Open Orders
Procedure No. 9-6
Issued 12/2015

An open order is used to facilitate the repetitive purchase of items or services of nominal cost from the same supplier.  It is preferable to place several individual orders for specific items at specific prices, each of which must be processed for approval and placement.  An open order, however, is subject to approval and placement once, but the goods or services provided may be less controlled than individual orders.

Open orders are written with “not-to-exceed” dollar limits.  To establish an open order with a specific vendor, a Purchase Requisition must be submitted by a University department requesting an open order for items or services, as required, usually for a period of time not exceeding the balance of the fiscal year in which the request is made. The dollar amount shown on the Purchase Requisition will be obligated against the requesting department’s available budget balance for the type of funds required.

The department then contacts the vendor directly for delivery of the products or services that are procured on the order, as needed.  The department may add to this amount, reduce the amount obligated, or close the order completely by submitting a Change Order request to the Accounts Payable Services office.  The change order must use the Purchase Requisition form, signed by a person(s) authorized to incur expenditures against the organizational fund(s).

In order to receive payment from the University for items charged against an open order, the vendor must submit an invoice to the Accounts Payable Service Office referencing the Purchase Order number for the open order.