Purchase orders – information for suppliers

With effect from 1 September the Trust will be implementing a ‘No PO, No Payment’ policy which means that no request for goods or services can be made without a valid Purchase Order (PO) number being in place.

This is to ensure that payments to our suppliers are made as quickly and efficiently as possible and that there are no delays to invoices being paid due to no PO number being present. Failure to follow the process will delay payment; invoices will be placed on hold and the supplier notified until valid purchase order number is provided. This will apply to the Trust and its subsidiary organisations.  

Why is a requisition required?

There are many advantages of using purchase orders.

  • It is a formal instruction to our suppliers that we are contractually committing to purchase goods or services from them. Suppliers should not commit to provide goods without a valid order.
  • It keeps individuals safe as all purchase orders are authorised in line with our ‘Standing Financial Instructions’ (SFIs). In fact the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation States “failure to comply with SFIs and SOs may lead to disciplinary action (including dismissal) and/or criminal action (including prosecution) under the relevant legislation.  In some cases prosecution, disciplinary and civil action to recover any monies may be pursued concurrently.”

If a purchase order is not raised we are risking the following:

  • Individuals are making a contractual agreement with suppliers outside of the Trust’s Scheme of Delegation – i.e. they have no authority. This could result in the individual being liable for the costs if expenditure is not authorised or the goods/services are not in line with the Trust’s requirements

The proper processes such as tendering may not have been followed – putting the individual and the Trust legally at risk.

The process to pay takes much longer, with the risk that the supplier doesn’t get paid, or it takes so long to retrospectively sort out issues, that the supplier stops providing goods or service.

How does my invoice get paid?

When the supplier quotes a valid purchase order number on their invoice it clears for payment as soon as the goods or services have been receipted without the need for any manual authorisation. This greatly speeds up how quickly we can pay our invoices, reduces queries from suppliers and makes it easier for everyone!

Please bear the above in mind whenever you need to procure goods or services. If you are in any doubt please contact a member of a Procurement Department who will be able to advise you. Where purchase orders should be raised and are not we will be contacting the individuals and their managers to discuss. We will also work with suppliers who provide goods and services without valid PO.