Skip to main content
Logo of GPL Procurement Excellence Network

An initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab



  • Stephanie Tipton

    City of Philadelphia
    Chief Administrative Officer

Event Materials

Adopting Your Optimal Purchasing Threshold



| 1:00 pm

- 2:00 pm


Feeling overwhelmed by the number of low-stake solicitations your central purchasing team has to review? Receiving complaints from department partners that your formal purchasing process is slowing them down? One cause might be inadequate purchasing thresholds, or the dollar values at which the purchasing rules change within your jurisdiction. Purchasing thresholds are an important guardrail for your procurement process, but tricky to get right: set too low, your purchasing thresholds can majorly slow you down; but set too high, and your thresholds may open you up to greater risk of noncompliance or not provide a fair opportunity for vendors to compete.

This training was a breakdown of what you need to know about effective purchasing thresholds – including when to modify them and when to leave them be. We helped attendees evaluate if their purchasing thresholds were right for their jurisdiction, provided strategies for creating purchasing thresholds that maximize efficiency, and shared examples of governments that have modified their purchasing thresholds to better fit their needs. And if they did decide to adjust their purchasing thresholds, we also covered best practices for making the case to their governing authority.