Original Issuance Date: October 15, 2019
Last Revision Date: April 20, 2023

1. Policy Purpose

 The purpose of this policy is to establish authority and a process to contract for goods or services needed in an emergency situation.

2. Responsible UW System Officer

 UW System Director of Procurement

3. Scope

 This policy pertains only to goods and services that fall under the Board of Regents procurement authority and applies only to emergency situations. This policy does not apply to purchases made due to an insurance loss, such as a vehicle accident, a flood, fire or tornado.  This policy does not apply to contracts for Architectural and Engineering (A/E services) or construction.

4. Background

This policy provides authority to quickly buy goods or services when there is an emergency. This only applies to goods and services that would normally be purchased using the Board of Regents authority. An example for use of this policy is if a supplier went into bankruptcy and discontinued critical services with no notice, the university could enter into a contract with another supplier for the short term to bridge the need for services.

Losses due to floods, fires, vehicle accidents, or data breaches are managed through the state of Wisconsin insurance program and are managed by the UW System Office of Risk Management. This policy does not apply to those types of circumstances.

5. Definitions

Emergency Procurement: The need to purchase goods or services not using the normal procurement policies and procedures due to an emergency event.

  1. If the emergency event involves loss of property or life, it is an insurance event and shall be handled by the UW System Office of Risk Management and covered by the State/UW System insurance program.
  2. If an emergency event disrupts the university mission or threatens the public health, safety, security, welfare, and all of the below conditions exist, then this policy should be used:
    • was unforeseen;
    • calls for immediate action;
    • and cannot be responded to using established procurement methods

6. Policy Statement

When there is an emergency need for goods or services the UW institution should, to the greatest extent possible, seek quotes to obtain services. If the emergency procurement exceeds the simplified bidding threshold, the institution is authorized to use simplified bidding to obtain services but must document the justification for using emergency procurement authority in the contract file.

If a contract exceeds $500,000, UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee may have the contract reviewed by their legal counsel. Other UW institutions may contact the UW System Office of Procurement, who will work with the UW System Office of General Counsel on an expedited review.

7. Related Documents

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

8. Policy History

Revision 2: April 20, 2023

Revision 1: March 21, 2023

First approved: October 15, 2019

9. Scheduled Review

March 2028