The College has specifically defined standard purchasing methods for procuring goods and services for College business purposes (listed below in order of preference).  Unless otherwise specified, individuals must adhere to the purchasing method(s) identified for each good or service.

Contracted Services

Office Supplies:  Lafayette College selected W.B. Mason as its current office supply provider.  All office supplies should be purchased from W. B. Mason at the discount pricing (until and unless the College changes its selected provider).  Contact the Procurement Office for a user I.D. and password to the discount website.

Air Travel:  Airline ticket purchases can be made through the American Express online travel system or Emanuel Travel Service in Easton, PA, the College’s designated providers (until and unless the College changes its selected provider).  To request a log-in and password to the website, employees should contact the Procurement Office.

Note: The College P-Card can be used to book airfare on other websites when a lower cost for airfare is found.

Car Rental: Refer to the College’s Transportation Policy.  When needed and in compliance with the stipulations of the Transportation Policy, employees should rent a car through Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the preferred car rental company selected by the College, by calling 610-253-7599, or booking on-line at the link below.  Advantages for Lafayette renters include “Best Rate”: The best rate is automatically extended with no loss of driver protection benefits. Driver protection benefits on business rentals include Damage Waiver and liability protection, and free Emerald Club enrollment.

Our CONTRACT ID # is XZ57472. For rentals to be billed directly to the College, renters should also reference billing number 17186358, and provide your Banner FOAP account. If only the Contract ID # XZ57472 is provided and no billing number, then the renter would be required to pay using a credit card. For the central billing, while making reservations, confirm (click “yes”) in “Confirm Trip Purpose” the trip is for business, a “Billing” section will display, click “yes”, and enter your 19 digit FOAP Banner number.

Reservations for out-of-area locations for picking up a car rental can be made through the local Easton office, or on-line with a personal credit card or College P-Card, using the Contract ID #  XZ57472.

Note: All renters must be an approved driver with the College.  See policy here.

Food Service:  All food served on College property should be provided by Lafayette College’s Dining Services, unless one of the authorized vendors are used and in compliance with the College Policy.  Refer to the College’s Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Policy and the Alcohol Policy for food purchased on campus.

All other goods or services provided by a College department: Lafayette College’s internal service providers (e.g.,Reprographics and Bulk Mail Department, Design Services, Plant Operations, Information Technology Services) should be utilized when possible to furnish goods and services.

In each of the scenarios described above, the initiating department can make a purchase if they have adequate budgetary funds by providing an appropriate 19 digit Banner accounting code (FOAPAL), which stands for Fund(6) –Org(5) –Account(6) –Project(2).

Before making any purchase, it is always prudent to get at least 2 quotes.  Higher purchase amounts require 3 quotes (see procedures and chart). Many items can be purchased at significant discounts through our membership in group purchasing organizations (GPOs), where these organizations leverage the volume spend of many member institutions to get discounts, and pass it along to their members.  Some examples are E&I, US Communities, PA COSTARS, Sourcewell, NIPA, PEPPM, LVAIC.  Contracts include photography and technology equipment, vehicles, laboratory & scientific equipment, turf, software, furniture to name a few.  If you have a product or service in mind, see if it is available via any of the GPO organizations to receive access to the discount. See the links below to see if a supplier has a contract.  You can contact them directly to find out more information, or contact our dept.  at X5017 for more information.


The College J.P. Morgan Chase P-Card is the preferred way to purchase goods, services and travel in accordance with the College P-Card policy (see Policy Chart) and up to a limit of $4,999 per transaction.  All permanent employees may request a card with approval from their Department Head by sending the P-Card application listed in forms to the Procurement Office.   Please review the P-Card Policy including the Non-Authorized P-Card charges.

The P-Card requires an additional approval form when used for any purchases using restricted funds (i.e., gifts, federal, state or any other grants). See P-card Grant Approval form.

Open Purchasing/ Open Purchase Order

All goods and services under $4,999 and within the Policy (use the Policy chart) can be purchased and paid for using the Payment Authorization Form.  An OPEN Purchase Order is a particular form of Purchase Order that is used when the ordering department must purchase goods or services regularly throughout the fiscal year from a single supplier and the supplier does not accept the College P-card and/or the supplier requires a purchase order number.  (ex. Lafayette Inn)

An Open purchase order is limited in terms of (1) the items for which it can be utilized, (2) who can place the orders (by department), and (3) the amount of the order must be under the $4,999.99 limit and must comply with Policy.  Open Purchase Orders do not encumber the budget so they do not require a budget account.  When requesting an Open purchase order use the Purchase Requisition form so that it will  not encumber a budget account.  The “Payment Authorization” form is used to pay an invoice against an open order.

Open Purchase Orders cannot be used for any restricted items referenced in the Policy Chart.

Payment Authorization Form

The Payment Authorization form will be the only form used for all Invoices with or without a purchase order, honorariums, and all other payments, except for reimbursements.  This form replaces a receiving copy of a purchase order and the check request form.  The Payment Authorization Form should be sent to the Accounts Payable Office.

Travel /Expense Reimbursement form will still be used and sent to the Accounts Payable Office after all approval signatures are on form.

Electronic On-Line Purchase Requisitions

Purchase Requisitions should be utilized for departments requesting the purchase of goods or services of $5,000 or over.  An on-line  Purchase Requisition describing the goods or service requested should be completed and will required approval on-line by a duly authorized Department Head/Budget Manager.  An appropriately approved Purchase Requisition results in a Purchase Order being issued to the Supplier by the Procurement Office, and the respective College department’s budget will reflect the commitment of funds.  As appropriate for the circumstances, Purchase Orders may be related to a one-time expense or a commitment to a Supplier for goods or services to be delivered during the course of a fiscal year (example: specific monthly charges for services).  See the On-Line Requisition directions.

Limited Purchase Order

In some circumstances when a P-Card may not be feasible, requests for limited purchase orders will be considered by the Procurement Manager.  Limited purchase orders can be used to purchase goods and services under $500 from local Suppliers.  Limited purchase orders are pre-numbered and approved, much like a blank check. The Procurement Services Office maintains a record of the Limited purchase order numbers assigned to each department.  Departments should maintain appropriate security of their limited purchase orders and ensure they are utilized only in accordance with the policy and procedures.  Receipts and records must be retained according to the College’s document retention standards (or if none exist, the legally-required or otherwise appropriate industry standards).

Limited Purchase Orders cannot be signed out to Student Groups by the Procurement Office.  Student Groups requiring a Limited purchase order must go through the Office approving the account to be charged.  Records and responsibility must be kept by the department issuing use of a Limited Purchase Order to a student or student group.

Limited purchase orders cannot be used for any items not approved in the policy, nor for any goods or services described in the College-Contracted Supplier Purchasing Systems, or any purchases using restricted funds (i.e., gifts, federal, state or other grants or endowed accounts); only purchases to be charged against the College’s general E&G or Auxiliary operating budgets (primarily Fund codes 100100 and 100200 as well as certain 66xxx and 65xxx Fund Codes) are eligible.

See the Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages Policy for special use of a Limited purchase order for food purchases and the approved outside vendors.   Any Limited used for a food purchase must have details listed:  Reason, Attendees, type of food purchased.

Personal (Out-of-Pocket) Funds

In limited circumstances (primarily travel-meal related) and in accordance with the College’s Reimbursement Policy, small dollar purchases may be made using personal funds. Requests for reimbursement for purchases of this type require a Reimbursement Form and receipts showing a description of the goods/service purchased and proof of payment.  In order to avoid unauthorized purchases that may not be reimbursed, the Reimbursement Policy should be reviewed and questions should be directed to the Accounts Payable Office prior to making any purchase with personal funds.