An emergency is any unforeseen combination of circumstances, or the
resulting state, that prevents the completion of a task necessary to the Postal
Service's operation. Emergencies also include situations that might interrupt
Postal Service operations or damage an asset that is vital to the Postal
Service's operations. Examples of emergencies range from those having
significant impact (e.g. catastrophic events such as a natural disaster) to
those of a more minor nature (e.g. eBuy servers being down). Depending on
the size and scope of the emergency, various responses are appropriate.
The Postal Service has developed a range of responses to various types of
emergencies. In the SCM area, Purchase/SCM Teams should either: 1) as
part of their purchase planning prepare contingency plans for emergencies
or 2) be prepared to effectively respond to an emergency. In addition,
portfolio managers should establish a contingency plan so that requirements
met by his or her portfolio can continue to be met during an emergency.
Coverage of emergency contracts for mail transportation are addressed in
the commodity specific practices.
It is the objective of the Postal Service to curb unauthorized contractual
commitments and maverick purchases. An unauthorized contractual
commitment occurs when a Postal Service employee who has not been
delegated contracting or local buying authority, or who exceeds such
authority, takes action to cause another party to deliver goods or services.
Because such actions may not be an appropriate or advantageous business
arrangement for the Postal Service, management attention is warranted. In
addition, unauthorized contractual commitments do not include the required
terms and conditions necessary to protect the interests of both parties.
Unauthorized contractual commitments range from simple misunderstandings
to serious deviations from Postal Service Supplying Principles and Practices.
Procedures for ratifying unauthorized contractual commitments may be found
in the Management Instruction AS-710-1999-2, titled Unauthorized
A maverick purchase occurs when Postal Service employees purchase
supplies or services from a source other than from a supplier with whom the
Postal Service has negotiated a framework agreement and, therefore,
specific discounts. Maverick purchases prevent the Postal Service from
leveraging purchasing power and ensuring the integrity of the supplier
evaluation and selection process. For this reason, the Client and Supply
Management must work together to actively monitor and eliminate maverick
In emergencies, the Client must always contact the Contracting Officer for
any immediate purchasing needs. If the Contracting Officer cannot be
reached, the Client may commit funds to sustain the Postal Service's
operations through the use of eBuy. eBuy is the electronic commerce portal
that provides the Postal Service's employees with electronic requisitioning,
approval and invoice certification capability and is available at
http://ebuy.usps/jsp/co/Login.jsp. eBuy is the Postal Service's preferred
method of order placement.
However, if eBuy is not available or if the requested products or service
cannot be found on eBuy, the Client may contact a supplier to begin
emergency work. The Client may then pay through either credit card or
invoice to the Postal Service. Although these commitments occur before
obtaining Contracting Officer approval, they do require the concurrence of the
Client's manager. The Client must contact the Contracting Officer the next
business day to determine whether any follow-up work or a contract is
needed. When such postpurchase approval practices are used, the
Contracting Officer must provide approval within ten (10) business days of
the actual commitment. The documentation must include a justification of
Ordering topic, Place Order task, Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive