Purchasing Policies Manual


Policy Title: Contact With Sales Representatives
Policy Number: 4.1
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: August 2006

University personnel having a need to contact sales representatives about a particular brand name or product may contact the vendor for the required information. If you need assistance, call one of the Procurement and Contracting Services Department Buyers. University personnel who are approached by sales representatives should remind them to contact the Procurement and Contracting Services Department as well. Sales representatives are instructed by Procurement and Contracting Services to call and make an appointment if they want to contact a University department about their products.

When writing to prospective suppliers for information, University personnel must include the statement, "information requested for planning and budgeting purposes only. Purchase Order will be issued by the Procurement and Contracting Services Department when a procurement decision is made."

Policy Title: Selection of Vendors
Policy Number: 4.2
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: September 2006

Authority for the final selection of the vendor is the responsibility of the Procurement & Contracting Services Department. We encourage the departments to submit the names and addresses of known vendors and we will add to the selection list from our file.

Vendors are selected for their capability to serve the needs of the University in the most economical and efficient manner possible. Past performance and cooperation are important factors. Vendors must comply with the Equal Opportunity Act (Executive Order 11246, as amended) since it is the policy of the University to promote the full realization of Equal Employment Opportunity through an Affirmative Action program.

Departments should keep the Procurement & Contracting Services Department informed of transactions which work well for them, as well as those on which problems arise.

Policy Title: Small Business Utilization Program
Policy Number: 4.3
Effective: July 1996
Latest Revision: July 2017

As part of the effort to increase the amount of business the University of Arizona does with small business, to comply with specific federal small business utilization goals as directed by the Federal Acquisition Regulations (herein called targeted businesses), and to comply with ABOR University Procurement Code Policy 3-803.D.1, awards shall be made utilizing the following procedures:

  1. The Arizona Board of Regents University Procurement Code requires that all purchasing transactions exceeding an aggregate dollar amount of $100,000 be awarded on the basis of sealed competitive proposals (RFP) or bids (RFB). In addition to this requirement, the University will make a good faith effort to include Arizona Small Businesses in at least 50% of those businesses solicited. Any procurement with an aggregate cost not exceeding $100,000 shall be awarded to a Small Business, if practicable, in accordance with the University of Arizona procurement policies and procedures contained herein.
  2. Any purchase that does not exceed an aggregate dollar amount of $10,000 should be made via the P-Card, or Arizona BuyWays. Departments are encouraged to make purchases from small businesses wherever possible in support of the University's overall Small Business Utilization Program goals. Vendors will be recruited to participate in the University Procurement Card program and a best effort will be made to assure that small businesses are included according to their availability and ability to provide the required goods and services.
  3. Any product or service identified as and obtained under Federal Subcontracting plans which does not exceed an aggregate dollar amount of $100,000, shall be awarded to targeted businesses where possible to contribute towards the achievement of the established goals as set forth in the submitted subcontracting plan. Such awards will be made in accordance with procedures promulgated by the University's Chief Procurement Officer on the basis of the most responsive and responsible bid or proposal. Where this is not practical, documentation will be required explaining why such utilization is impractical, so as to demonstrate our "good faith" efforts in support of the submitted subcontracting plan.
  4. Multiple awards, at the discretion of the Buyer or purchasing unit, may be made for any major University procurement where more than one source of goods and services exists and such practice will not result in a degradation of the product, service or price supplied to the University. Such awards will allow small businesses to compete effectively on specific portions of major University procurements and is an appropriate mechanism to increase business activity between the University and small businesses.
  5. Any procurement’s made from large distribution vendors who are able to document that products were acquired from a small business, shall be considered as acquired from that small business in the fulfillment of the University's Small Business Utilization Program goals. A report reflecting the sales volume from small businesses will be requested on a monthly or quarterly basis and applied to the small business goals.
  6. The Procurement & Contracting Services Department in collaboration with Planning Design & Construction will require all design consultants and general contractors to report subcontract, material and equipment purchases from small business concerns for project contracts in excess of $100,000. Through this collaborative effort the general contractor would utilize these business concerns on a "best effort" basis for their subcontracting and vendor activity. A Design Consultant or General Contractor Subcontracting Report would be required prior to receiving final payment.
  7. Refer to Section 6.19 of this Manual for Federal Reporting requirements.

Business Types

One of the following Business Types must be used when creating a Vendor in UAccess. This information is required to comply with ABOR, State and Federal reporting requirements. Any Supplier Diversity type with "Small" in the title must have less than 100 employees or less than $4 million in annual sales. Otherwise it is a "Big Business".

  • Non-Profit - NA
  • Alaska Native Corporation - 51% or more owned and controlled by an Alaskan Native
  • AZ Small Disadvantaged Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a minority and located in Arizona
  • AZ Small Women-Owned Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a woman and located in Arizona
  • AZ Small Disadvantaged Women-Owned Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a minority woman and located in Arizona
  • Big Business - 100 or more employees or more than $4 million in annual sales
  • Historically Black College / University - NA (Federal Tracking and Reporting Only)
  • Small Disabled Veteran-Owned Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a disabled veteran
  • Foreign Business - Business located outside of the United States
  • Small Hub Zone - 51% or more owned and controlled by a person living and working in a Historically Underutilized area
  • AZ Small Business - Less than 100 employees or less than $4 million in annual sales and located in Arizona
  • Small Business or Individual - Less than 100 employees or less than $4 million in annual sales (also may be used for setting up an individual as a Vendor)
  • Small Disadvantaged Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a minority
  • Small Women-Owned Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a woman
  • Small Veteran-Owned Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a veteran
  • Small Women-Owned Disadvantaged Business - 51% or more owned and controlled by a minority woman and not located in Arizona

The following resources may be utilized in finding qualified Small Businesses:

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Tucson-Southern Arizona Black Chamber of Commerce

Pacific Southwest Minority Supplier Development Council

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)

For further information contact the Small Business Utilization Program Manager.

Policy Title: Exceptions to Competitive Solicitations
Policy Number: 4.4
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: January 2009

In accordance with the ABOR University Procurement Code and University Purchasing Policies contracts shall be awarded via competitive solicitations except as follows:

  1. Sole Source Procurements (ABOR Policy 3-803D.2)
  2. Emergency Procurements (ABOR Policy 3-803D.3)
  3. Procurement of livestock, animals, feed, etc. (ABOR Policy 3-803D.4)
  4. Procurement of materials at auction or at commodity index - excluding real property (ABOR Policy 3-803D.4)
  5. Arizona Correctional Enterprises (ACOR's) and Arizona Industries for the Blind (ABOR Policy 3-808G)

Policy Title: Request For Bids (RFB)/Proposals (RFP)
Policy Number: 4.5
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: July 2017

This Policy details the requirements, and procedures, pertaining to the following aggregate dollar thresholds.

With certain limited exceptions, purchases exceeding $100,000 are required by the ABOR University Procurement Code to be awarded as a result of sealed competitive bids (RFB) or proposals (RFP). In accordance with ABOR University Procurement Code Policy 3-803.C.1, the Chief Procurement Officer of the University has determined that the competitive proposal (RFP) process is usually in the best interests of the University and is the better means of promoting fair and open procurement for the following reasons:

  1. Observation that bidding only, based on the low bid dollar amount, often results in acquisition of lower quality of goods;
  2. Price competition alone does not necessarily result in fair competition or favorable pricing;
  3. Awards based on comparative evaluation of price, quality, performance capability and other qualitative factors usually prove the most advantageous to the University;
  4. Prior procurement experience indicates that competitive sealed proposals usually result in contracts that better serve the University's interests.

Therefore, all University purchases which exceed an aggregate dollar amount of $100,000 should be awarded in accordance with a sealed competitive proposals (RFP) process. However, some purchases may more appropriately be made by sealed competitive bids (RFB), for example, when the sole determining factor in such selection process is pricing. Therefore, authority is hereby delegated to each Buyer to determine the appropriate procurement method. Difficult or unclear situations shall be discussed with the Chief Procurement Officer.

All sealed vendor responses are to be opened at a public proposal/bid opening. This mandatory requirement includes purchases of all supplies, equipment, insurance and contractual services exceeding an aggregate dollar amount of $100,000 made by the University.

  • Tied Low Bids (pertains to Bids only): In the event of a tie involving two or more low bids, the Vendors submitting the low bids will be given a chance to submit revised bids. The award will be made to the responsive and responsible Vendor submitting the revised low bid. In the event there are still two or more tied bids the Buyer will conduct a drawing, in the presence of two witnesses, to determine the winning bid. The award will be made to the low responsive and responsible Vendor whose name is drawn. The process will be documented and made a part of the Bid file. This procedure will be used whether the solicitation is an Informal Request for Bids or a formal Sealed Request for Bids.

Sealed RFP's and RFB's will be sent to a minimum of 3 vendors and posted on our website, if practicable, and may be advertised. The Buyer is to make a good faith effort to include Small Businesses for at least fifty percent (50%) of those vendors solicited. Exceptions to this sealed RFP/RFB requirement are stated in University Purchasing Policy 4.4, which includes the provisions for emergency procurements or sole source procurements. An emergency exists if there is a threat to health, welfare, or safety; or if a situation exists which makes compliance with this competitive process impractical, unnecessary or contrary to public interest. Emergency procurements shall be made with such competition as is practicable under the circumstances and must be documented by the completion of the "Justification for Emergency Purchase" form with approvals obtained as stipulated on the form. A departmental request for a sole source purchase must be documented by completion of the "Justification for Sole Source Procurement" form and approved by the Chief Procurement Officer or designee.

ABOR University Procurement Code Policy 3-803.D.1 states (in part): Any procurement which does not exceed the aggregate dollar amount of $100,000 shall be restricted, if practicable, to Small Businesses.

The Chief Procurement Officer has determined that transactions not exceeding $10,000, procured directly by the campus community in accordance with the Financial Services Manual - Policy 9.18 Small Dollar/Direct Purchase Procedures, which includes the Purchasing Card (P-Card); and Arizona BuyWays, are impracticable to mandate awarding to Small Businesses. The Director has also determined that it is impracticable to require Departments to document why small dollar purchases were not made from a Small Business when purchases are made in accordance with FSM Policy 9.18. Departments are encouraged to use the P-Card for these transactions whenever possible. They are also encouraged to make efforts to identify Small Business for these purchases. The use of the P-Card, or Arizona BuyWays will not only streamline purchasing but will allow departments to have greater purchasing flexibility, and generally is more efficient and cost effective for the University.

  • ALL transactions, including blanket purchase orders, processed by Procurement and Contracting Services not exceeding an aggregate dollar amount of $100,000 SHALL be restricted to Small Business unless it is impracticable. Departments will be required to provide documentation to Buyers to justify any purchase in this category not awarded to a Small Business. The Buyer has the authority to, and shall, document all transactions NOT awarded to Small Businesses. Documentation for not awarding to Small Business will be based on one, or more, of the following: 1) Price; 2) Delivery Date; 3) Not available from Small Business/Buyer Experience; 4)Contract Vendor (e.g., UA, State, E&I, GSA, etc.); 5) Continuity in Research; 6) Sole Source; 7) Match existing; or 8) Hotel/Conference/Food/Business Entertainment.
  • For procurements over $10,000 and not exceeding $100,000, the Buyer shall conduct an informal solicitation (i.e. fax, phone, email, or written) to a minimum of 3 vendors. ONLY Small Businesses shall be included in the solicitation, unless it is determined impracticable by the Buyer and so documented. Departments may conduct the informal solicitation, and send the documentation to purchasing as an attachment to the requisition. Departments will be required to provide documentation to Buyers to justify any purchase that is not awarded to a Small Business.
  • Independent Contractor and Consultant services shall be procured in accordance with the Financial Services Manual - Policy 9.12.
  • All purchases utilizing Federal money require that: 1) Blanket Orders be subject to an existing University contract; and 2) all expenditures exceeding $10,000 have Buyer substantiation of selected source and pricing.
  • Blanket Purchase Orders where an annual expenditure is estimated between $10,000 and $100,000 may require competitive bidding. Such bidding decisions will be at the discretion of the Buyer, based on the nature and competitiveness of the requested purchase requirement. Annual expenditures exceeding $100,000 require competitive sealed bids. The requisition must include a description of the items and a list of the people authorized to place orders on the Blanket Order. The following questions must be answered in the Notes and Attachments on the requisition.
    1) What item(s) or category(ies) will be included in your purchases on the Blanket Order?
    2) Provide a brief explanation of the use of the item(s) or category(ies) listed above.
    3) What is the estimated annual dollar amount of this Blanket Order?
    4) How long will the Blanket Order be open?
    5) State the reason this vendor was selected.
    6) Why is this not being processed using a PCard?
    7) If a BIG BUSINESS was chosen, why? Can a small business provide the same service or product?
    8) Please list authorized users allowed to order against this purchase order.

For further information concerning these Purchasing Policies, contact one of the Procurement and Contracting Services Buyers.

Procurement of Design and Construction Services: Procurement authority has been delegated to the Assistant Vice President of Planning Design and Construction (PDC) for the procurement of design and construction services, and management of all new construction, renovation, and remodeling projects. Projects costing less than $50,000, labor only, and maintenance projects may be handled by in-house Facilities Management forces.

Policy Title: Preparation of Specifications and Response Evaluation Criteria
Policy Number: 4.6
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: May 2019

This policy establishes responsibility for preparing specifications and developing evaluation criteria for bidder responses.

Procurement & Contracting Services (PACS) is responsible for issuing solicitations for the procurement of goods and services. Solicitations include Requests for Bid (RFB), Requests for Proposal (RFP), or any other requests for prices, including all supporting documents. PACS and the requesting department share responsibility for preparing specifications (a component of the solicitation), as well as developing evaluation criteria.

Terms and Conditions

PACS is primarily responsible for the terms and conditions of the solicitation.


Although PACS and the requesting department share responsibility for the specifications, the requesting department is primarily responsible for developing the technical or performance specifications of a solicitation.

Specifications must be written with a view to securing goods or services with the appropriate quality for the particular procurement. Only the grade or degree of goods that will meet, but not exceed, the requirements will be purchased by the university.

In order to ensure objective contractor performance and eliminate unfair competitive advantage, contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals are precluded from competing for such procurements


Specifications must be written fairly and equitably and must not be:

  1. unduly restrictive
  2. prejudicial to any supplier
  3. a basis for just complaint from any competitive bidder.


The descriptor “brand name or equal” may be used in specifications as a means of defining performance or other salient requirements of a procurement. When the descriptor “brand name or equal” is used, the specific features of the named brand that are required must be clearly identified so that it is clear what would make a competing product an “equal.”
Where brand name only is desired, the requestor shall justify in writing the reasons for specifying a particular brand name through the respective buyer to the chief procurement officer. This document will be retained in the bid file.

Energy Conservation Considerations

In developing specifications for items that have a high rate of energy consumption, consideration must be given to energy conservation. When purchasing items from categories in which Energy Star-qualified products exist, the university will make Energy Star compliance a mandatory specification. Refer to http://www.energystar.gov for more information on the Energy Star program.

Response Evaluation Criteria

PACS and the requesting department share responsibility for developing the evaluation criteria for the responses to an RFP. The evaluation criteria should include a method for scoring supplier responses against specific criteria.

A method for scoring each evaluation criterion will simplify the evaluation process and enable the response evaluator(s) to explain why any responding firm was or was not selected.

Technical Evaluation of Proposals

For procurements using Federal money, and where else appropriate, the requesting department staff will compare the technical and/or performance characteristics of the goods and/or services offered against the requirements of the solicitation.  The results of this technical evaluation will be documented in writing and will include the technical and/or performance reasons for recommending an award to the apparently successful proposer and for rejecting an award for each of the other proposers.  This technical evaluation will be submitted to the Buyer and will be a part of the procurement file.  As there is a wide variation of potential and/or performance specifications, no form is available for technical evaluations.

Policy Title: Federal Pre-Award Certifications
Policy Number: 4.7 (Now 7.2)
Effective: November 1998
Latest Revision: December 2011

Replaced by Policy Number 7.2

Policy Title: Sole Source
Policy Number: 4.8
Effective: February 1996

It may be necessary to procure equipment, supplies or service from a sole vendor source. This means that there is only one source of supply for your purchase requirement. This should be the exception rather than the normal rule. Examples of sole source procurement are:

  • Items which must be compatible with existing equipment or systems and are available only from the original manufacturer.
  • Items that have specific features essential for the completion of the task or project at hand that are available from only one source of supply.

Sole Source Justification form must include features requested which are essential for the intended use that other manufacturers of like products do not have. Exterior size will only be used if space available is critical.

Preference for one vendor, product or service following any market studies, quotation, acquisition or demonstration/testing by a department does not constitute a sole source. These preferences must be determined through a competitive proposal/bid process issued by the Procurement and Contracting Services Department.

Submission of sole source justification, brand name and other essential data, even though accepted by Purchasing, does not negate the requirement to obtain pricing confirmation from the specified vendor which may be in the form of a written proposal/bid.

Information as to why the item is needed pertains to budget justification and is not acceptable for a sole source determination. Remember, if your requirement is available from more than one source, it is not considered a sole source.

Policy Title: Price Analysis
Policy Number: 4.9
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: December 2011

Price analysis is the examination and evaluation of bid or proposal for a specific product or service without consideration of separate cost elements. Examination and evaluation of a price consists of, but is not limited to, one or a combination of the following techniques:

  • Comparison of price quotations from two or more qualified vendors
  • Comparison with established catalog or market prices.
  • Comparison with the price(s) of a recent purchase of a comparable quality of the same functionally similar products.
  • Comparison with target price developed independently of the Procurement and Contracting Services Department staff.
  • Comparison with the G.S.A. price schedule.
  • If none of the above techniques are applicable, the Buyer shall request pricing data from the Vendor. Information submitted by the Vendor shall include, at a minimum, appropriate information on the price(s) at which the same or similar items have been sold previously. Vendor must certify that its prices bid, quoted or charged to any customer do not exceed those billed to any of its favored customers, whether they be governmental agencies, institutions, or the general public for the same items in like or comparable quantity, quality or specifications, within the same time frame.

In the University setting, where competition is secured, the determination of price reasonableness is made predominantly by comparison of quotations from two or more responsible and responsive bidders inasmuch as the majority of actions initiated are for off-the-shelf goods regularly marketed to the general public. Normally, in an action in which competition has been secured, the low offer may be considered reasonable unless the Buyer finds that:

  • The solicitation did not include a sufficient number of qualified vendors commensurate with the size and complexity of the requirement.
  • The vendor/subcontractor offering the lowest price has failed to pass on to the University the advantage it has over other competitors as a result of start-up or other nonrecurring expenses previously absorbed by prior sales.
  • On the basis of price analysis, the lowest price is not reasonable.

Public Law 87-653 mandates that Purchase Orders exceeding an aggregate dollar amount of $650,000 issued under Federal Government Prime Contracts (not Federal Grants) require cost or pricing data analysis. Exceptions and requirements to obtaining cost or pricing data fall under FAR Part 15.403.

Policy Title: Subcontracts
Policy Number: 4.10
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: November 2015

  1. The Requisitioner is responsible for developing a Statement of Work (SOW) which is within the general scope of the prime contract, or grant, and is to be furnished with the requisition.
  2. The Requisitioner is responsible for establishing technical/scientific/financial reporting to be required by the subcontract in consonance with prime contract report requirements. Sponsored Projects Services is responsible for establishing other subcontract report requirements including patents, property and fund expenditures on cost reimbursement subcontracts and billing/payment requirements.
  3. The Requisitioner is responsible for formal acceptance of the subcontract product (i.e.: final report, services, hardware, as applicable).
  4. Sponsored Projects Services is responsible for establishing and incorporating general provision clauses required to be flowed down from the prime contract, or grant, together with other special provisions as required.
  5. The Requisitioner is responsible for cost or price analysis of subcontract proposals and for securing rate verification from federal agency sources.
  6. The Requisitioner and Sponsored Projects Services is responsible for post award subcontract administration.

Policy Title: Insurance
Policy Number: 4.11
Effective: February 1996

LIABILITY INSURANCE: All University employees acting in good faith in the course and scope of their employment with the University have the following liability insurance coverage:

  • Commercial General Liability: Covers harm to others and their property resulting from your acts as an employee.
  • Commercial Auto Liability: Covers harm to others and their property resulting from your use of a University vehicle and some non-University vehicles.
  • Professional Liability: Covers harm to others and their property while employed and acting in a professional capacity on behalf of the University. Specific examples include medical malpractice, architects, engineers, errors and omissions.
  • Workers' Compensation and Employers' Liability: Covers injury to all University workers and supervisors.

PROPERTY INSURANCE: All property owned by the University is covered worldwide on an "all risk" basis subject to certain minimums or deductibles and normal exclusions such as wear and tear. Specific coverage includes:

  • Fire Extended Coverage, Boiler and Machinery, Movable (Personal) Property, Vehicles, Employee Fidelity, and other Money and Security Losses. Real property is covered at replacement cost and all other property is covered at actual cash value.

SPECIAL INSURANCE: The University has specific policies covering nuclear property, nuclear liability, aircraft liability, crop and hail damage, and builder's risk or course of construction. Further special insurance include:

  • Mexican Insurance: A blanket policy covers University vehicles driven into Mexico. Call Risk Management at (520) 621-1790 to get vehicle specific documents needed in Mexico.
  • Group Insurance: A policy covering injury to volunteer workers or other specific groups.

SPECIAL SITUATION: Insurance may be arranged for leased and other non-owned vehicles, loans of art work and non-owned equipment, for rent or use of non-University facilities including rooms, buildings and other structures, and for international shipments. The time necessary to arrange insurance coverage depends on the issues. Allow adequate time to respond to special situation requests.

For further information regarding any insurance coverage questions contact:

Insurance Officer
Dept. of Risk Management and Safety
University Services Annex Building #300A
(520) 621-3391

Policy Title: Lease and Lease Purchase
Policy Number: 4.12
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: March 2011

All forms of Lease, Lease Purchase or Rental Agreements for material or services must be signed on behalf of the University by the Contracting Office, or a Buyer.

Regardless of the time period involved in these agreement types, a formal University Purchase Order will be issued. The using department should define the type of Agreement on the requisition indicating whether it is a new or renewal agreement. A copy of the Agreement shall accompany the requisition if available.

Prior to accepting Agreements as submitted by the requisitioning department, Procurement and Contracting Services will perform an analysis to determine the economic soundness of lease versus purchase for the goods or services required. Some of the factors that will be considered in making this lease versus purchase determination are as follows:

  • Title: Who retains title?
  • Liability: Who is responsible if equipment is stolen or damaged?
  • Insurance: Does the vendor carry sufficient insurance on his/her employees when rendering services and/or is the equipment adequately insured?
  • Maintenance: Are all maintenance costs included in the original cost of the lease, or is the University responsible for maintaining the equipment at its own expense?
  • Payback Period: If the University were to make an outright purchase, what is the payback period, and what credits are accumulated in the event that a Lease Purchase Agreement is executed?
  • Fund Availability: Does the requisitioning department have sufficient budget funds or, in the event of grant or contract funds, does the funding provide for this type of expenditure?

Lease Purchase Procedures:

  • Department contacts Capital Finance or Purchasing regarding capital equipment lease-purchase
  • Capital Finance sends "Financing Request Form" to the requesting Department
  • Department completes "Financing Request Form" and returns to Capital Finance
  • If Grant Funds involved, Capital Finance consults with Rate Studies and Sponsored Projects
  • Capital Finance confirms with Fund Accountant that "Lease Payment" account is valid
  • Capital Finance completes a "Sealed Bid" form and sends it to Purchasing
  • Purchasing will then send the bid to the pool of leasing companies

In addition, the Financial Services Office (FSO) reviews all lease transactions. Operating or closed-end leases are reviewed to confirm that they do not qualify as a capital lease. The University uses the criteria of FASB 13 to make this determination. FSO review and approval, closed-end leases will then follow the normal approval process.

Lease purchase or capital leases are also reviewed by FSO to determine the appropriateness of the transaction, with particular emphasis on the interest rate charged and the effect of creating additional institutional debt. After this review, the transaction must be approved by the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Business Affairs before final approval can be completed.

Lease or Lease Purchase Agreements must have flexible cancelation provisions which will allow the University to discontinue such agreements if further appropriation funding from state, federal, or other legal sources is reduced or terminated. This is especially important for Sponsored Projects and for University service centers that "recharge" costs to federal funds.

For further information, contact Procurement and Contracting Services at 621-1747, or the Contracting Office at 626-3919.

For information concerning lease, purchase, or sale of real estate, contact Planning Design and Construction, Real Estate Services at 621-3775.

Policy Title: Contracts
Policy Number: 4.13
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: August 2006

All contracts, vendor agreements, software license and other documents containing terms and conditions binding The University of Arizona require the approval and signature of the University Contracting Office, or a Buyer. If these documents are signed without proper authority, both legal and financial difficulties can result for you, your department, and the University.

If you have questions regarding this requirement please call the Contracting Office at 626-3919.

Policy Title: University Wide Contracts & Strategic Alliances
Policy Number: 4.14
Effective: March 2005
Latest Revision: January 2008

Regardless of the dollar amount, when a University-Wide Contract exists, first consideration in filling a department’s/unit’s need should be given to products/services covered by the contract. These contracts fulfill all requirements covered under University, Federal and State regulations.

Strategic Alliance suppliers/vendors have made significant and valuable commitments to the University. Departments/units should give their full support in helping to enhance the unique mutually beneficial relationship by: 1) being aware of the purpose of these alliances and related benefits; and 2) assuring that alliance participants are not viewed as simply “suppliers/vendors” because they can provide expertise that can be used to the department’s/unit’s advantage in resolving problems and issues. As part of their role within the Campus Community, it is important that Strategic Alliance company representatives be viewed by University departments/units as consultants and advisors.

No department/unit will be required to utilize a product/service that does not meet its need. However, whenever it is deemed necessary to deviate from a University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance, a valid justification is required. Reasons which constitute a valid justification include but are not limited to: availability, delivery time, quality, continuity and price.

The above validation requirement is predicated on the fact that in order to meet its legal obligations the University must have a rationale for purchases outside these arrangements. That process is outlined below:

  • When a University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance product/service will not satisfy the department's/unit's need, and a purchase is being made in accordance with the Financial Services Manual - Policy 9.18 (Small Dollar/Direct Purchase Procedures), the written documentation providing the justification for deviation from a University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance is the responsibility of the end user. Documentation shall be maintained with the transaction records in the department's/unit's files. For PCard transactions, the written documentation will be maintained in the department's/unit's files, while the transaction documentation is stored as imaged documents in ISW.
  • When a transaction involving a purchase is outside of an existing University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance and is submitted by the unit to Purchasing for processing (regardless of dollar amount) a written explanation and request to the Procurement Officer, or designee, must be submitted with the requisition.

An appeals process for resolving disputes with the Chief Procurement Officer’s, or designee's, decisions is in place. The ultimate adjudicators of such disputes are the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Business Affairs or the Executive VP and Provost, or their designee as appropriate.

As required by Arizona Revised Statute § 41-4401 the University is prohibited, after September 30, 2008, from awarding a contract to any Contractor, or whose Subcontractors fail, to comply with A.R.S. § 23-214, subsection A. Therefore, prior to award of all Contracts with an aggregate cost of $100,000, or more, for Services; Construction or Maintenance of any Structure, Building or Transportation Facility; or improvements to Real Property the Contractor will be required to sign a Legal Workers Certification form verifying they, and their Subcontractors, comply with A.R.S. § 23-214, subsection A.

The certification will normally be obtained from the vendor through the bid or proposal solicitation process. In the event of a Sole Source or Emergency procurement, where a solicitation may not be issued, the vendor must complete the certification before an award may be made by the University.

A list of Suppliers that have registered in the E-Verify program, managed by the US Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, is maintained by the Arizona Attorney General's Office and is updated approximately every 3 months.

Policy Title: Green Purchasing
Policy Number: 4.16
Effective: February 6, 2012

The University of Arizona is committed to the stewardship of the environment and to reducing the University's dependence on non-renewable energy. These "Green Purchasing" policies and procedures support the University's commitment to sustainability.

The goal of this policy is to reduce the adverse environmental impact of our purchasing decisions by buying goods and services from manufacturers and vendors who share our commitment to the environment. Green purchasing is the method whereby environmental and social considerations are given similar weight to the price, availability, and performance criteria that colleges and universities use to make purchasing decisions. Green purchasing is also known as "environmentally preferred purchasing (EPP), green procurement, affirmative procurement, eco-procurement, and environmentally responsible purchasing", particularly within the US Federal Government Agencies. Green purchasing minimizes negative environmental and social effects through the use of environmentally friendly products.

The Chief Procurement Officer has determined that transactions not exceeding $10,000 are impracticable to monitor for compliance with this policy. Departments are encouraged to make every effort to comply with this policy when making purchases.

The aim of this environmental purchasing strategy is to develop policies consistent with these Principles:

  1. Minimize the consumption of non-replaceable natural resources by reviewing current and proposed future usage and evaluating the pros and cons of alternatives.
  2. Seek alternatives to products and processes that are detrimental to the environment by using more "environmentally friendly" products and processes.
  3. Minimize waste, including: any packaging, waste produced by the product (or service) in questions, and waste generated by the eventual disposal of the product.
  4. Maximize the reuse and recycling of materials.
  5. Stimulate demand for "environmentally friendly" products by letting manufacturers and suppliers know environmental performance we expect in products.


  1. Desktop computers, notebooks, and monitors purchased should meet all Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) environmental criteria designated as "gold" as contained in the IEEE 1680 Standard for the Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products.
  2. Copiers and printers purchased should be compatible with the use of recycled content and remanufactured products.
  3. All electrical products purchased by UA shall meet the US EPA Energy Star certification when available and practicable. When products with Energy Star labels are not available, products that are in the upper 25 percent of energy efficiency as designated by the Federal Energy Management Program should be used.
  4. When acquiring vehicles, the University shall purchase/lease less polluting alternatives to diesel, such as compressed natural gas, biobased fuels, hybrids, electric batteries, and fuel cells, as available and suitable for the use intended.
  5. When acquiring or replacing inefficient interior or exterior lighting, energy efficient equipment shall be purchased.


  1. Purchase only the most water efficient appliances available. This includes, but is not limited to, high performance fixtures like toilets, low-flow faucets and aerators, and upgraded irrigation systems.

Toxins and Pollutants

  1. Cleaning solvents should be biodegradable, phosphate free, and citrus-based when their use will not compromise quality of service.
  2. Industrial and institutional cleaning products that meet Green Seal certification standards or environmental prefer ability and performance shall be purchased or required to be used by janitorial contractors.
  3. All surfactants and detergents used shall be readily biodegradable and shall not contain phosphates.
  4. Vacuum cleaners that meet the requirements of the Carpet and Rug Institute's "Green Label Testing Program - Vacuum Cleaner Criteria" (capable of capturing 96 percent of particulates measuring 0.3 microns and operating with a sound level less than 70dba) shall be used by in-house staff and required for janitorial contractors.
  5. Whenever possible, products and equipment should not contain lead or mercury. For products that contain lead or mercury, preference should be given to those products with lower quantities of these metals and to vendors with established lead and mercury recovery programs.
  6. Pest control shall be managed through prevention - physical and mechanical - and through the purchase of environmentally friendly products. As a last resort, use of the least toxic pest control substance is required.

Biobased Products

  1. Vehicle fuels made from non-wood, plant-based contents such as vegetable oils are encouraged.
  2. Paper, paper products, and construction products made from non-wood, plant-based contents such as agricultural crops and residues are encouraged.


  1. Thirty percent post consumer waste recycled paper with a brightness factor of 88 for all applications shall be the standard when the price is comparable, quality of service is not compromised nor the health and safety of employees prejudiced.
  2. When specifying asphalt concrete, aggregate base or Portland Cement concrete for road construction projects, recycled, reusable, or reground materials shall be used when practicable.
  3. The use of reclaimed stone and brick and the use of secondary or recycled aggregates is encouraged.
  4. Transportation products, including signs, cones, parking stops, delineators, channelizers, and barricades shall contain the highest postconsumer content practicable.
  5. Products that are durable, long lasting, reusable, or refillable are preferred whenever feasible.


  1. Packaging that is reusable, recyclable, or compostable is preferred, when suitable uses and programs exist, as is eliminating packaging or using the minimum amount necessary for product protection to the greatest extent practicable.

Green Building

  1. Green purchasing concepts shall be integrated into architectural designs, final construction documents, and the final construction of all University buildings and renovations of property or facilities owned by the University. All buildings and renovations undertaken by the University shall follow green building practices for design, construction, and operations, where appropriate, as described in the LEED Rating System.
  2. When maintaining buildings, products such as paint, carpeting, adhesives, furniture and casework with the lowest amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), highest recycled content, and low or no formaldehyde shall be used when practicable.
  3. All carpet distributors and/or manufacturers of carpet installed at the University shall have a carpet recycling plan that is approved by the University.
  4. The use of chlorofluorocarbon and halon-containing refrigerants, solvents, and other products shall be phased out, and new purchases of heating/ventilating/air conditioning, refrigeration, insulation and fire suppression systems shall ot contain them.


  1. All landscape renovations, construction, and maintenance performed by internal staff members or contractors providing landscaping services shall employ sustainable landscape management techniques for design, construction, and maintenance whenever possible. This includes, but is not limited to, integrated pest management, drip irrigation, composting, and use of mulch and compost that give preference to those produced from regionally generated plant debris and/or food waste programs.
  2. Landscape structures constructed of recycled content materials are encouraged. The amount of impervious surfaces in the landscape shall be limited, whenever practicable. Permeable substitutes, such as permeable asphalt or pavers, are encouraged for walkways, patios, and driveways.
  3. Plants should be selected to minimize waste by choosing species that are appropriate to the microclimate. Native and drought-tolerant plants that require no or minimal watering once established should be purchased.


These policies are designed to do the most good for the resources expended. When the cost of following the policies outweighs their benefits, a variance/waiver may be obtained through Procurement and Contracting Services.

The Chief Procurement Officer, or designee, has the authority to waive any requirements of this policy.

List of University Wide Contracts and Strategic Alliance Vendors.

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