If a purchase request is received after the buy, it is an unauthorized procurement. If the program area utilized a credit card appropriately for the same buy or placed an authorized release against an established blanket purchase agreement, then ratification would not be necessary. The procurement mechanism creates the unauthorized buy. However, procurement does not equate solely to Contracts and Acquisitions processes; it applies to all acquisitions/buys. A reimbursement is still a procurement, only in reverse. If we want the government to ultimately pick up the tab, the choices are to 1) have someone with procurement authority place the order, 2) obtain reimbursement by a pre-approved procurement reimbursement mechanism, or 3) ratify an unauthorized buy.

Limited reimbursement is available with the general expense mechanism, in which there is an implied prior approval by adhering to the conditions set forth in the process.