Howard University
Purchasing Policies and Procedures Manual
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Purchasing Manual
XII. General Stores
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Page Index:
   A. Requesting Items from General Stores
   B. General Stores Catalogue
   C. Credit Returns to General Stores


  • A General Stores facility, warehouses inventories of frequently used items that are maintained and managed by the Materials Management Department (MMD).
  • A catalogue, listing all items stocked in General Stores will be prepared by MMD and distributed to all University departments. 
  • User departments are required to order from General Stores if the commodities are listed in the catalogue. User departments are not permitted to order items listed in the catalogue from outside vendors especially commodities listed and currently available in the Stores catalogue. (The personnel abusing the policy shall be personally liable for such purchases). 
  • The price of each commodity in General Stores will not include a mark-up, as determined by MMD. Savings will be passed on to the user departments.
  • All General Stores Requisitions shall be sent to Financial Programming by General Stores staff for reimbursement for issues to requestors.


A. Requesting Items from the General Stores

        Departments desiring items stocked in General Stores will prepare a Request for Purchases (RFP). Information needed to complete the RFP, such as, price and description, will be obtained from the General Stores catalogue which is distributed to all departments. RFP's are entered online through the Financial Record System and transmitted to the General Stores.

B. General Stores Catalogue

        The catalogue of office supplies is compiled for the convenience of all offices requesting common-use supplies from General Stores. The items listed in the catalogue must be ordered on a RFP. When properly approved, RFP's should be forwarded to the General Stores Warehouse. Requests may be hand carried or sent through campus mail.

        To satisfy emergency requirements, when approved, requests to obtain a maximum of four line items may be hand carried directly to General Stores. The request will be processed while the requestor waits. All requests should be typed so information will show on carbon copies legibly.

        When ordering requirements, refer to this catalogue for appropriate stock numbers correct item description, unit of issue and unit cost. Prices listed are accurate as of the date this catalogue was printed, however, due to rapid inflation these prices should be used only as a guideline to assist departments in monitoring expenditures from their budget.

        Items will be identified and issued according to stock numbers, therefore, please type stock numbers accurately. If a discrepancy occurs between the stock number and description, the stock number will prevail. Items out of stock will not be placed in a due-out status. Substitutions will not be made without the concurrence of the requestor.

        Items will be added to the stock list when they meet certain demand criteria. Also, when an immense usage factor for one item has been predetermined, Department Heads may request that item(s) be stocked at general stores.

        All supplies provided by General Stores will be charged against the requesting Department's budget. Upon receipt by General Stores, all requests will be screened for proper account number, budget category; valid approval, price verification and checked against commodity list. Requests rejected by FRS for insufficient funds will be returned to the originating department without further processing.

        Considering the time it takes to check stock, pull orders at the warehouse and process requests through FRS, all requests received at General Stores will be processed in 1-2 days. Departments are responsible for checking and verifying all supplies received. When receiving supplies from General Stores, if recipients compare their file copy with delivery receipts, errors and claims of shortages will be minimized. Please contact the General Stores warehouse, 806-2370/2372 to receive proper credit when discrepancies do occur.  All claims of shortages must be made within 24 hours after receipt of supplies. If a responsible representative is not available in a department to receive a delivery, the supplies will be returned to General Stores for delivery at another date. This procedure is implemented to reduce claims that supplies were never delivered or received.

C. Credit Returns to General Stores

        The following procedures will be followed when a department returns supplies to General Stores for credit (unused items the department no longer needs or has an excess quantity):

        The department will be issued a "Credit Returns" voucher from General Stores for supplies returned to General Stores. Credit will be given for items purchased during the current fiscal year only. Credit will not be given for items purchased during any previous fiscal year. The request will be given the original request number on which the item(s) was requested, list the item(s) being returned and reflect the initial cost. A Separate request must be prepared for supplies obtained on different request numbers.

        Credit returns will not be valid nor authorized for credit unless they are received at General Stores in the proper quantities recorded on the associated turn in document. To minimize errors, and substantiate our verification techniques, a General Stores Request (turn in document) will always accompany credit return items. Items returned must be in the proper unit issue pack i.e. dozen (dz), box (bx), case (cs) as issued. Broken packs will not be regarded as credit returns. Items received in broken packs will be redistributed to other user departments when requested, at no additional cost.


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