Original Issuance Date: October 15, 2019
Last Revision Date: March 21, 2023

1. Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to identify individuals authorized to sign procurement contracts on behalf of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

UW System Director of Procurement

3. Scope

This policy does not apply to contracts for Architectural and Engineering (A/E services) or construction.

4. Background

The sources of authority for the UW System purchase of goods and services and authority to sign contracts with suppliers are described below.

  1. Per Stat. §16.70, the state of Wisconsin’s Department of Administration delegates procurement authority to purchase goods or services  to special designated agents including the UW System Director of Procurement and UW-Madison’s Director of Purchasing Services. This authority is described in a formal delegation agreement. Purchases or contracts exceeding the delegation agreement require the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s review and approval.
    • The UW System Director of Procurement is authorized to sub-delegate the authority to qualified individuals at UW institutions. The UW-Madison Director of Purchasing services is authorized to sub-delegate authority to qualified individuals at UW-Madison.
  2. The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents’ (BOR) procurement authority is found in Wis. Stat. 36.11(1)(b), and authorizes the purchase of goods and services supporting the educational and research mission of the university. It is for purchasing goods and services unique to the university’s academic and student life. This authority is separate from the state of Wisconsin’s Department of Administration’s delegated procurement authority. These are goods and services which are not purchased by other state agencies nor found in state mandatory contracts. This procurement authority also covers purchases of goods and services that have been statutorily assigned to the university.

    By following the procurement procedures laid out in these UW System Administrative procurement policies, federal grant and contracting regulations should be met. Some additional contract clauses may be needed to meet specific federal grant or contract requirements.

    Regent Policy Document (RPD) 13-1, General Contract Approval, Signature Authority and Reporting, establishes the Board of Regents’ contract signature authority policy. The Board of Regents delegates contract signature authority to the UW System President who may delegate to Chancellors who may then delegate contract signature authority to others on their campus.

5. Definitions

Procurement Authority: The authority to award a contract to a supplier. Use of an acceptable procurement process is required to establish the authority (e.g. bid, RFP, non-competitive justification or policy exemption).

Procurement Contracts: These procurement policies govern contracts with third parties who provide goods or services to the university. They apply regardless if the UW institution pays the vendor or receives revenue from the vendor. These policies do not apply to general contracts such as collaborative academic agreements with other universities or affiliation agreements.

Contract Signature Authority: The authority to sign a contract with a supplier for goods and services on behalf of the state of Wisconsin or on behalf of the UW System BOR.

6. Policy Statement

All state of Wisconsin Procurement Contracts must follow an authorized procurement process and be signed by formally delegated contracting personnel within the UW System, per the RPD 13-1, General Contract Approval, Signature Authority, and Reporting.

The state of Wisconsin procurement authority covers the purchase of general goods and services such as office supplies, general furniture, and maintenance and repair (MRO) items.

All Board of Regents’ procurement contracts with suppliers must follow an authorized procurement process and must be signed by  formally delegated university contracting personnel. The President and Chancellors shall delegate procurement contract signature authority only to individuals who have knowledge, training and expertise in developing, negotiating and awarding procurement contracts. These individuals must confer with Purchasing personnel to determine the appropriate procurement authority  and Purchasing must conduct the appropriate procurement process based on that determination. All Board of Regents contracts shall follow the Board of Regents procurement policies and RPD 13-1, General Contract Approval, Signature Authority and Reporting for approval levels and contracts shall be signed by university contracting personnel.

UW institutions and the UW System Office of Procurement have the responsibility to ensure these policies are being followed.

7. Related Documents

2 CFR 200.318 – General Procurement Standards

Wis. Stat. § 16.70, Purchasing; definitions

Wis. Stat. § 36.11, Powers and duties of the board of regents

State of Wisconsin Procurement Delegation Policy

Regent Policy Document 13-1, General Contract Approval, Signature Authority and Reporting

UW System Delegation of Procurement Authority

UW-Madison Delegation of Procurement Authority

8. Policy History

Revision 1: March 21, 2023

First approved: October 15, 2019*

*This policy supersedes UW System Administrative Policy 505 (Formerly G8), Purchasing Responsibility & Authority

9. Scheduled Review

March 2028