What is Purchase Order?

A Purchase Order (PO) is a commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller, indicating types, quantities, quality, timeliness and agreed to price for products or services the seller will provide to the buyer. Sending a PO to a supplier constitutes a legal offer to buy products or services. The offer is accepted by the seller when she supplies the requested items. A contract is formed and the seller can expect payment in return for the delivered goods.

The federal government will sometimes issue blanket purchase agreements (BPA). A blanket purchase agreement is a simplified acquisition method that government agencies use to fill anticipated repetitive needs for supplies or services. Essentially, BPAs are like “charge accounts” set up with trusted suppliers.

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