Purchasing Policies Manual


Policy Title: U.S. Customs Procedures
Policy number: 6.1
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: October 2007

When shipping goods into the U.S., Buyers should instruct the Vendor that the Consignee on the shipping document (air waybill or ocean bill of lading) is:

University of Arizona
Ordering Department

*****Shipment for Final Destination; Tucson AZ*****

Customs Clearance by
Suarez International
7075 S. Plumer Ave #5
Tucson AZ 85706
Tel 520 573-8399
Fax 520 573-8394
Please notify upon arrival

It is important that the Buyer give the instruction of “For final destination, Tucson” so shipments don’t end up terminating at the first U.S. port of lading, such as Los Angeles, New York, etc, depending on the routing of the shipment by the shipper at origin. Although it is not a problem clearing Customs at a port other than Tucson, it does incur additional freight cost from that port of entry to Tucson, especially if the terms between the Buyer and the Vendor states freight paid to Tucson.

Prior to placing an order, Suarez can consult the departments on the charges they may incur on the commodity being imported, specifically Customs duties. It may be beneficial for example, to apply for duty free status for scientific instruments which would result in a substantial savings in duties. Duty rates also depend on the country of origin. Again, if Buyers have options as to where they can purchase, this too can result in a savings of duties. Suarez is always available to consult with the Buyers before they place orders to advise them on Customs duties and Customs regulations.

When exporting goods to other countries from the U.S.:

Suarez can act as a freight forwarder for the U of A and has provided this service to the U of A for many years. There are times when departments use courier services such as Federal Express, UPS, or DHL, and arrange their own shipping, which is feasible for them, depending on their requirements, to get their goods shipped. No matter which method works best, all export shipments require the following:

A commercial or Pro-Forma invoice (this can be done on UA letter head) consisting of the following information:

U of A
Shipping Department

the Foreign end user
Telephone # _______________________________________________________________
Quantity; Description of commodity; Value in USD

Policy Title: Disposition of Excess Property
Policy Number: 6.2
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: October 2017

The Surplus Property Office is responsible for the disposal of all surplus or excess property.

The process begins with entering a disposal request in the Surplus Property system via the Surplus Property Management System. A user name and password are required to enter the system. Once approved, Department Heads and Business Managers are able to enter new users and assign passwords, as well as security levels.

Once the disposal request is entered, and authorized, the request is electronically routed to the Surplus Property Office for processing.

Surplus Property will not pick-up, or sell, anything that contains printed material such as (but not limited to): binders, desks, filing cabinets, etc. This restriction also includes items that may contain recorded material such as (but not limited to): disks, flash drives, microfilm, tape recordings, etc. The Department is responsible for removing all such material from any items that are to be picked-up by Surplus Property. This restriction does not pertain to commercially published items such as books, magazines, dvd’s, etc.

All equipment sold to individuals will be by competitive bidding or through the Surplus Property Storefront. Storefront sales will be for those pieces of equipment for which the market price has been determined, normally because of numerous like items being received. Procurement and Contracting Services employees may not purchase items for a period of 7 days after said items have been placed for sale through the Storefront.

For further information, review the FSO Property Management Manual - Policy 3.00 Disposal, or call the Surplus Property Office at 621-1754.

The disposal of any federally acquired excess property must be coordinated with Sponsored Projects. The disposal of surplus federal property must still be cleared through the Surplus Property Office.

For additional information, contact the Surplus Property Office at 621-1754.

Policy Title: Emergency Orders
Policy Number: 6.3
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: October 2007

Notwithstanding any other provisions of the ABOR University Procurement Code, a university President, the Chief Procurement Officer, the President's designee may authorize emergency procurements if there exists a threat to public health, welfare or safety, or if a situation exists which makes compliance with ABOR Policy 3-803B (Bidding and Source Selection Procedures, Competitive Sealed Bidding), ABOR Policy 3-803C (Bidding and Source Selection Procedures, Competitive Sealed Proposals) or ABOR Policy 3-804B (Professional Services, Construction and Construction Services, Procurement of Professional Services and Construction Services) impracticable, unnecessary or contrary to the public interest, except that such emergency procurements shall be made with such competition as is practicable under the circumstances. A written determination of the basis for the emergency and for the selection of the particular contractor shall be included in the contract file.

Emergency orders must be kept to a minimum. Generally, a situation would have to present itself in which the savings realized by normal procurement practices would be offset by a corresponding or greater loss to the department as a result of the delay. Failure to anticipate a need is not of itself considered a bona fide emergency.

To initiate an emergency procurement, the authorized person must submit an approved requisition to the Purchasing Department. State on the requisition the need to phone the order to the vendor. The cost of the phone call may be charged to the account number on the requisition. Purchasing will take action by telephone and mail a confirming order to the vendor.


Emergency repairs or overhaul of office machines may be made by calling the vendor directly. Repairs not exceeding $10,000 should be paid with the P-Card. If the vendor won't accept the P-Card, attach the vendor's copy of the repair ticket/invoice to a Disbursement Voucher for payment processing. All Purchase Requisitions or Stores Order Forms (SOFs) submitted for repair of equipment must include make, model, serial number, property control tag number, and location of equipment.

In accordance with ABOR University Procurement Code Policy 3-803D.3, an emergency request exceeding an aggregate dollar amount of $100,000 must be approved in writing by the University President, the Chief Procurment Officer, or the President's designee. Requesting Department must fill out the “Justification for Emergency Purchase” (pdf) form and submit the form to Purchasing as an attachment to a requisition.

Policy Title: Catering Orders
Policy Number: 6.4
Effective: February, 2000

Procurement and Contracting Services has defined the term catering as a caterer who is responsible for all preparation, delivery, setup, serving, clean up and removal of food at any University event. If you would like to participate as an approved Catering Vendor, please contact Procurement and Contracting Services, the Contracting Office at (520) 626-3919 or Purchasing at (520) 621-1747. If you have any other questions regarding the Catering Policy and its requirements, please call the Contracting Office at (520) 626-3919.


List of Approved Caterers

Please see University Policies and Procedures - Policy Title: Catering & Food Policy

Policy Title: Repealed - Previously “Government Excess and Surplus Property” – now combined with Policy 6.2, October, 2007
Policy Number: 6.5
Repealed October, 2007

Policy Title: Ethyl Alcohol
Policy Number: 6.6

Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: June 1, 2015

In accordance with Federal Law, Rules and Regulations the University is required to keep appropriate records of all purchases, sales and losses of non-taxable, high proof Ethyl Alcohol. Procurement and Contracting Services (PACS) is responsible for the keeping of these records, and make them available for audit by the Federal Government. PACS also retains the Federal Industrial Alcohol User permit for the University.

PACS has entered into, and manages, the Contract for the purchase of Ethyl Alcohol for the University. The Stores Inventory section of PACS maintains a supply of Ethyl Alcohol for research use by the University, and keeps the required records of all sales to Departments. The primary method of ordering Ethyl Alcohol is on-line through UAccess Financials. By placing an order for Ethyl Alcohol, you thereby agree to take reasonable precautions in safeguarding the use and storage of said Ethyl Alcohol.

If you have any questions please contact Stores Inventory at 621-7975.

Policy Title: Narcotics
Policy Number: 6.7
Effective: February 1996

The U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), establishes the regulations for the purchase and use of controlled substances (i.e.: narcotics, barbiturates, tranquilizers, etc.) for research related purposes. The Principal Investigator is required to have obtained a DEA registration certificate and will be accountable for the security and record keeping for the controlled substance while in his/her possession.

If the purchase is for either a Schedule 1 or a Schedule 2 controlled substance, send as a requisition attachment a photocopy of the current DEA registration certificate and a completed DEA Form 222. Both of these supplied documents will be sent, as an attachment to the purchase order, to the specified vendor. If the purchase is for either a Schedule 3, 3N, 4, or 5 (controlled substance), send a photocopy of the current DEA registration certificate as an attachment to the requisition. The photocopy will be sent, as an attachment to the purchase order, to the specified vendor.

The vendor receiving our purchase order with these attachments is required by DEA regulations to ship the product ordered to the end user address stated on the registration certificate and/or the DEA Form 222. DEA certificate holders may need to review their current registration to ensure that the address is proper, in order for the delivery service (e.g.: UPS, Federal Express, etc.) selected by the vendor can make a direct delivery to that individual within their respective departments.

Purchase requisitions for narcotics must contain a statement, signed by the principal investigator, that the items will be used in accordance with established policies governing animal or human subject studies.

Policy Title: Prescription Drugs
Policy Number: 6.8
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: August 2006

Requisitions for prescriptions drugs must contain a statement, by the Principal Investigator, stating that items will be used in accordance with established policies governing animal or human subject studies.

Policy Title: Printing Procurement
Policy Number: 6.9
Effective: June  2007
Latest Revision: March 2016


All departments must order all business stationery items directly from Printing Services or through UAccess Financials Arizona BuyWays (Shop Catalogs). Exceptions to the standards contained on the UA Brand site must be approved by University Relations Marketing & Brand Management. For review of proposed exceptions to the standards, please email brand@email.arizona.edu.

Print Supplier Program

The following procedures should be used when printing, publishing and graphic design services are to be purchased from off-campus vendors. Procurement and Contracting Services has aligned itself with a group of high quality printing companies here in Arizona though our Printing Services department, which is located at The Paul and Alice Baker Distribution Center, 3740 E. 34th Street, Tucson, AZ. For Contracted Printers refer to Print Services Program Guide (pdf).

How the program works. When a department or college has a need for printing, the department should contact one or all of the contracted printers to get a quote or if they require assistance they may contact Printing Services. Competitive bidding requirements for orders over $10,000 is not required if the order is placed with one of the contracted vendors. Departments may select any one of the contracted vendors depending on which vendor best meets individual job requirements. Once the contracted vendor has been selected, a copy of the awarded estimate along with a Printing Services Billing Form should be sent to Printing Services. Printing Services will issue a purchase order to the contracted vendor for billing. The contracted vendor will invoice Printing Services and Printing Services will pay the contracted vendor by means of the University P-card. The department will be billed internally for the printing, publishing and/or graphic services provided by the contracted vendor through UAccess Financials. The total bill that will be charged to your account will include the original price quoted by the contracted vendor, plus any alterations and tax.

***The University of Arizona logo must appear on the front of every printed publication***

For additional guidance on the University of Arizona brand architecture, log on to the  UA Brand site, or email brand@email.arizona.edu.

For complete information visit the Printing Services web page

Policy Title: Radioactive Material
Policy Number: 6.10
Effective: February 1996

Latest Revision: September 2011

Requisitions for radioactive material must contain the following notation:


These requisitions must be approved by Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS) before it may be processed by Purchasing. Requisitions must be coded with object code 5240 which will route that requisition directly to RLSS for the required approval. Also, requisition description should include the isotope, chemical form, protocol number and package size.

Radioactive Materials will be delivered to RLSS - 17171 E. Speedway Blvd Ste 1201. RLSS technical staff will make final delivery to the Researcher.

For further information, contact RLSS at 626-6850.

Policy Title: Office Machine Maintenance and Repair
Policy Number: 6.11
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: October 2007

The repair and preventive maintenance of office machines may be obtained as follows:

  • Through an annual service agreement.
  • Time and material repair.

Policy Title: University of Arizona Purchasing Card
Policy Number: 6.12
Effective: July 2002
Latest Revision: September 2006

The University of Arizona Purchasing Card Program has been designed and implemented to allow for direct small dollar purchases (not exceeding $10,000 including tax and freight) via VISA. The Purchasing Card should be used, as much as possible, in order to eliminate the need for small dollar purchase orders and direct reimbursements.

All transactions made using the UA Purchasing Card must benefit and support the University's mission of education, research, and public service.

Purchasing Card Program Information
An overview of the program, criteria for departmental participation and instructions for getting started.

For additional information contact the Purchasing Card Customer Service at 626-9091.

Purchasing Card Policies Manual

Policy Title: General Stores (Stores Inventory)
Policy Number: 6.13
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: June 1, 2015

Stores Inventory closed June 1, 2015, except for Alcohol sales.

Departments are able to order Alcohol from Stores via UAccess Financials ("Shop Catalogs"). Further information can be obtained by calling 621-7975.

Policy Number: Transaction Privilege Tax
Policy Number: 6.14
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: March 2010

Transaction privilege tax is levied on the sale of goods and services of every person engaged in the business of contracting in Arizona. The tax is calculated as a percentage of the purchase price and collected by the seller.

The University is exempt from paying taxes on items for resale. If items are purchased for resale, this should be stated on the requisition.

In accordance with A.R.S. § 42-1409 (B) (14), the purchase of machinery or equipment that will be used for research and development purposes may be exempt from Arizona and Tucson City sales tax. Departments requesting this special exemption must make a statement of exemption on the requisition. If this exemption request is approved, the Purchase Order will provide the selected vendor with a tax exemption certificate.

In accordance with A.R.S. § 42-5159(A)(34) and A.R.S. § 42-5061(A)(35), the purchase of machinery, equipment, technology or related supplies used to enhance the functionality and independence of a disabled individual is exempt from sales and use tax under certain circumstances. The items purchased must only be used "to assist a person who is physically disabled...to be more independent and functional". Departments requesting this special exemption must make a statement of exemption on the requisition. If this exemption request is approved, the Purchase Order will provide the selected vendor with a tax exemption certificate.

For further information, contact either the Purchasing Office or the Tax Compliance Section of the Financial Services Office.

Related Link: Tax Information

Policy Title: Use Tax
Policy Number: 6.15
Effective: July 2000
Latest Revision: October 2007

Tax is levied on the user of goods. If goods are purchased from a Vendor located outside of Arizona that does not have an Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax ID Number, a use tax is imposed on the purchaser of the goods.

If Use Tax is applicable, it will be indicated on the Purchase Order.

Use Tax is charged (at the most current rate) to the account(s) on the Purchase Order, at the time of payment.

Related Links: Tax Information and Financial Services Office Tax Compliance

Policy Title: Telephones and Cellphones/Wireless Services
Policy Number: 6.16
Effective: July 2000
Latest Revision: January 2008

To install a new telephone, make changes to existing telephone services or disconnect a telephone line, call a Telecommunications consultant at 621-8999. For more information refer to Telephone Services for UA Departments

The purchase of telephone systems from outside Vendors must be approved (prior to purchase) by UITS to ensure the system is compatible with the University’s telephone system.

Cellphones/Wireless services may be purchased in accordance with Financial Policies and Procedures - Policy 9.17, Communication Service Plans. Services should be purchased from one of the Arizona State Contract vendors.

Policy Title: Travel and Charter Service
Policy Number: 6.17
Effective: February 1996

Purchase orders will be issued for all types of charter bus service.

The Department of Risk Management and Safety must approve the charter aircraft vendor for proper insurance coverage before Purchasing will issue a purchase order. A purchase order will be issued for charter aircraft service only when the vendor furnishes the pilot and aircraft. Chartered aircraft travel is allowed providing common carrier is not feasible or in the best interest of the University. The traveler's supervisor, not the traveler, determines if such travel is justified and in the best interest of the University. (AAM-4G.1) Chartered air service may be obtained only by completing a Purchase Requisition, and only from FAA licensed commercial flight operators. (AAM-4 G.2)

Travel Order must be filed when a University employee is piloting the aircraft. Consult the Financial Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 14, for information on the Travel Policy.

Policy Title: Purchase of Office Furniture
Policy Number: 6.18
Effective: January 2002

Latest Revision: April 2008                                                                                                                                               

In the past, Arizona Board of Regents Policy (since repealed) mandated furniture standardization for the three Universities. The Universities have determined that continued furniture standardization allows the Universities the benefits of lowest price, established quality, best delivery and ease of ordering, and therefore established a Tri-University Furniture Contract that features several categories of furniture. The categories are as follows:

  • Metal File Cabinets
  • Classroom Seating
  • Storage Cabinets
  • Systems Furniture
  • Wood Case Goods
  • Guest Seating
  • Desk Systems
  • Conference Room Seating
  • Stools
  • Ergonomic Seating
  • Computer Tables
  • Stacking Chairs
  • Conference Room/Office Tables

Awards have been made per furniture group which will effectively standardize the furniture utilized at the three Universities. The contracts will be used for all furniture purchases where there is not a need to match an existing furniture installation.

The delivery schedules for office furniture varies from 6-8 weeks depending on the selection and type. Please plan your furniture needs well in advance of actual need.

Vendor sales representatives are available as required to assist departments with furniture selection. Design service, if required, will be incorporated as a percentage of cost for the furniture ordered.

Furniture should be selected from the current contracts. Deviations from the current contracts shall be handled in accordance with the procedures outlined in Purchasing Policy 4.14 University-Wide Contracts and Strategic Alliances. 

For additional information, contact the Purchasing office at 621-5449 or 621-1747.

Policy Title: Federal Reporting
Policy Number: 6.19
Effective: February 1996
Latest Revision: October 2007

Public Law 95-507 requires the University of Arizona to comply with reporting requirements for all research grants exceeding $700,000 received from the United States Government. Procedurally, this compliance is accomplished through the submission of a Small Business Subcontracting Plan, specific to the research award, which establishes separate expenditure goals for the procurement of goods and services made by the University from both small and small disadvantaged business concerns.

In order to monitor the efforts made and the success towards achieving the established subcontracting goals, the University is required to complete and submit, on a semi-annual basis, Small Business Subcontract award data. That data is now transmitted through the electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS). The eSRS eliminates the need for paper submissions that were formerly called “SF 294’s – Individual Subcontracting Reports and SF 295’s – Summary Subcontracting Reports.

For further information, contact the Small Business Utilization Manager.

Policy Title: Purchase of Used Vehicles
Policy Number: 6.20
Effective: October 2000
Latest Revision: October 2007

This policy describes the process that a department may choose to use when buying a used vehicle. Purchasing is committed to providing this service to you, but recognizes the unique nature of buying a used vehicle and offers this alternate method. If the estimated cost of a used vehicle does not exceed $100,000, departments may visit car dealers and obtain written quotes on vehicles that meet their needs. The purchase of used vehicles exceeding $100,000 requires a sealed bid process be conducted by Procurement and Contracting Services. Contact one of the PACS Buyers for additional information on the sealed bid process.

Prior to dealer visits, establish specifications such as acceptable age of vehicle, acceptable mileage, and minimum specifications. Quotes are to be obtained only on vehicles that meet these predetermined specifications. Price discussions or negotiations are not to be shared with dealers. Inform the dealers that the University does not pay title transfer fees. (This transaction will be handled by the University since State License Plates will be obtained for the vehicle).

Keep the vehicle model year range within three (3) years of each other and the options similar. The bids do not have to be on the same make of vehicle, they can be a mix, but within the same category or classification, i.e. ½ Ton Pickup Truck Chevrolet, Ford or Dodge.

For help in locating a vehicle that will meet your specifications, visit the TraderOnline website. You may also want to review current average values of the type of vehicle you are considering to insure that the quotes received are reasonable. Two sources for this are Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds.com. After three bids have been obtained and if the selected vehicle needs to be checked out, contact the U of A Garage at 621-3530. There will be a nominal fee for all inspections. Submit a requisition to Purchasing along with the three (3) quotes and we will issue a purchase order. If the lowest priced vehicle is not selected, a memo must accompany the quotes stating why it should not be purchased. Keep in mind, if the vehicle is under 8500 GVW, such as a sedan or ½ ton pickup, it must be alternative fuel; be converted to dedicated or bi-fuel; or a memo will have to be submitted to PACS (with the requisition) as justification as to why the vehicle should not be converted to an Alternative Fuel vehicle.

The purchased vehicle is to be delivered or taken to the U of A Garage for State license plates, University numbering and markings.

Purchasing will perform the written bid process if the department so desires. Furnish us with the same specifications as listed above.

For further information, or clarification contact Purchasing at 621-1747.

Table of Contents