[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Go to previous section of document Link to chapter contents   Go to next section of document


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.

Unauthorized Contractual Commitments and Maverick Purchases

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 Contractual Commitments.

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 purchases.

Return to top of page

Emergency Purchases

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 postapproval.

Other Topics Considered

Ordering topic, Place Order task, Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive Requirements

Go to previous section of document Link to chapter contents   Go to next section of document