Signature Authority and Purchase Authorizations

  1. I have been given signature authority over several accounts. What does this mean?
  2. Now that I have been given signature authority over an account, can I now go out and buy things directly from a vendor without going through Procurement?
  3. What is the difference between commitment authority and contractual authority?

I have been given signature authority over several accounts. What does this mean?

Having signature authority (commitment authority) over an account or a group of accounts means that you can authorize the expenditure of funds against those accounts up to the limit that you have been granted authority. It does not mean that you can contract directly with local vendors.

Having signature authority over an account means that you can approve requisitions and check requests for amounts up to the limit that you have been granted. 

For further information, contact the AURA Procurement Manager, Suzanne Baron Helming.


Now that I have been given signature authority over an account, can I now go out and buy things directly from a vendor without going through Procurement?

Unless otherwise specifically granted authority, AURA employees may not contract with or purchase directly from vendors. Only procurement and contract personnel have that authority. Simply receiving signature authority (commitment authority) over a certain account or group of accounts is not authorization to contract with vendors (contractual authority).

Individuals who have been issued a Purchasing Credit Card have been given contractual authority by the Procurement Manager up to the limits on their credit card. Beyond that limit, they are not authorized to contract with vendors for goods and services.

Separating commitment authority from contractual authority is a basic method used by businesses to reduce the possibility of fraud or embezzlement. See the next question for detailed information on commitment authority and contractual authority.

 


What is the difference between commitment authority and contractual authority?

Commitment authority is an authorization to expend funds from specific accounts. This authority is delegated from the center director to subordinates. On the other hand, contractual authority is the authority, granted by AURA, to enter into contractual agreements with third parties as long as those agreements are supported by valid, approved requisitions.

Because of the checks and balances found in accounting and purchasing practices, individuals with contractual authority are rarely granted commitment authority.

To add, delete, or amend the commitment authority delegations for specific individuals within AURA or to receive a copy of the complete signature authority list, contact Suzanne Baron Helming, AURA Procurement Manager.

The Procurement Manager has delegated this authority those individuals authorized to use a Purchasing Credit Card purchasing credit card. For further information, contact Suzanne Baron Helming, AURA Procurement Manager.