Business Services Policies

BS16 Limited Order

Policy Status: 


Policy Steward: 

Associate Vice President for Auxiliary & Business Services


  • Purpose
  • Limitations
  • Selection of a Vendor
  • Transmittal of Limited Order
  • Maintenance of Records
  • Further Information

    To set forth the regulations to be observed in using the Limited Order, and the responsibilities that are to be assumed by departments who purchase materials using this procedure.


    Limited Orders are restricted to small dollar purchases under $500 in total (this limitation is $250 at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center) , freight not included. No invoice will be approved for over $500.The Limited Order is for items in stock by the company for their immediate shipment. There are to be no back orders. Limited Orders may be used for authorized repairs or services costing under $500 that are not part of maintenance agreements.

    The Limited Order may not be used for any of the following:

    • Advances
    • Conference Registrations
    • Equipment over $250
    • Honoraria
    • Maintenance Agreements
    • Memberships
    • Payments for Lease/Purchase Agreements
    • Petty Cash Reimbursements
    • Prepayments
    • Rentals
    • Travel Expenses
    • Utilities

    Purchases made against the Limited Order are specifically restricted by the conditions spelled out on the form and do not require prior Department of Purchasing Services' approval for each transaction. Multiple Limited Orders are not to be used to circumvent the regular Purchase Order procedure.

    Limited Orders are not to be used to circumvent General Stores or standard purchasing procedures.


    The department or individual authorized may select the vendor who can best supply the item(s) required. The Department of Purchasing Services maintains a list of vendors under contract to supply the University at discounted rates.


    The individual authorized by the department to use the Limited Order hand carries or sends the typed, approved order directly to the vendor.


    The department assumes the responsibility for maintaining the necessary records, limiting the use to authorized personnel, verifying receipt of materials ordered from the vendor, and processing the first carbon copy (white) of the Limited Order and the original invoice to the Department of Purchasing Services via normal mailing channels for payment. Adequate precautions are to be taken to prevent duplicate payments to vendors.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Associate Vice President, Auxiliary & Business Services.

    Effective Date: March 6, 1998 

    Date Approved: February 25, 1998 

    Date Published: March 11, 1998 (Editorial changes- October 25, 2013)

    Most Recent Changes:

    • October 25, 2013 - Editorial changes. Addition of policy steward information, in the event that there are questions or requests for changes to the policy.

    Revision History (and effective dates):

    • February 8, 2005 - Editorial change to eliminate "General Forms Usage Guide" and correct bad links.
    • December 11, 1990 -
      • Limited orders restricted from use for repairs and services that are part of maintenance agreements.
      • Added restrictions for use for - travel expenses, conference registrations, equipment over $250, and maintenance agreements.
      • Added reference to listing of contracted vendors.
    • March 6, 1998 - Renumber and relocate BS16 from PC11.
    • March 23, 1990 - Added a $250 limitation to Hershey Medical Center Limited Orders.
    • March 1, 1990 - Raised Limited Order purchase limit from $250 to $500.
    • March 6, 1987 - Raised Limited Order purchase limit from $100 to $250, and removed use for authorized repairs or services.
    • February 18, 1986 - Editorial change to the format of prohibited uses.
    • January 1, 1983 - Raised Limited Order purchase limit from $50 - $100.
    • March 2, 1982 - Added General Forms Usage Guide page number, how invoices are to be sent to Purchasing Services.
    • February 1987 - Multiple Limited Orders are not to be used to circumvent the regular purchase order procedure. Removed requirement for only one invoice per Limited Order.
    • May 1, 1976 - New Policy.