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Unauthorized Commitments and Ratifications

Here at SLAC there has been a recent spike in what are called "unauthorized commitments"—written or oral commitments to buy goods or services, made by someone who lacks procurement authority to commit SLAC funds. As a reminder, SLAC procurement specialists are the only individuals who may commit Department of Energy funds at SLAC. Commitments made by individuals without delegated authority to commit DOE funds will be subject to the Unauthorized Commitment Ratification process to determine whether they would otherwise have been proper and in the best interest of the SLAC. In the event that the commitment is not ratified (that is, approved), the person who created the unauthorized commitment may be held personally liable for vendor payment.

Examples of unauthorized commitments include, but are not limited to:

  • Requesting or accepting materials or services from a vendor when a subcontract has not been awarded. (Note: Purchase requisitions are not subcontracts.)
  • Authorizing a vendor/subcontractor to perform work or deliver materials without written, delegated authority.
  • Authorizing work that exceeds the total allowable expenditures or extends beyond the current term of a subcontract.
  • Ordering materials or services that are outside of the scope of the subcontract.
  • Authorizing a release under a blanket subcontract without formal designation in the subcontract as having authority to issue releases.
  • Improper use of a SLAC purchasing card (PCard).
  • Committing funds or expenditures in excess of one's designated procurement authority.
  • Commitment for the expenditure of funds by an unauthorized individual.
  • Directing another person to do any of the above, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

For more information about SLAC's Unauthorized Commitment Ratification process, please contact Alan Kong (x4138).

—from the SLAC Procurement Department
SLAC Today, December 8, 2010