FIN-030: Purchases of Goods and Services

Date: 02/10/2017 Status: Final
Last Revised: 04/14/2015
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Finance
Applies To: Academic Division and the College at Wise.
Table of Contents:

Policy Statement

Reason for Policy:

This policy establishes the University’s standards for purchases of goods and services.  The University is committed to sound fiscal stewardship and compliance with the Code of Virginia’s “Rules Governing Procurement of Goods, Services, Insurance, and Construction by a Public Institution of Higher Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia.” The University’s guiding principles and code of ethics for procurement are established in the Commonwealth of Virginia Purchasing Manual for Institutions of Higher Education and their Vendors.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Contract:

    Any agreement between the University and one or more parties for performing, or refraining from performing, some specified act(s) in exchange for a valuable benefit known legally as “consideration.”

  • Goods:

    Tangible property for sale, lease, or rental (i.e., merchandise, commodity, etc.).

  • Purchase Requisition:

    The procedural method by which University departments may request the purchase of Goods and/or Services that require processing by Procurement and Supplier Diversity Services (PSDS). Purchase requisitions are generally used for situations including, but not limited to: high dollar value purchases; vendor documents requiring University signature; or restricted goods and/or services where a purchase order is not automatically created by the University department.

  • Service:

    An activity in which labor is the major factor and not merely incidental to the production, acquisition, and/or delivery of a good.

  • Vendor:

    Any entity that supplies goods or services.

Policy Statement:

In order to obtain high quality goods and services at a reasonable price, the University’s procurement policy is to seek competition to the maximum feasible degree and conduct all purchases in an open, fair, and impartial manner with administrative efficiency. University resources may be used for official University of Virginia purchases only. All purchases of goods and/or services made with University funds must be necessary, reasonable, and directly related to the goals and mission of the University.

As specified in the Buying and Paying Basics, Guidelines for Competition and the Goods and Services Procurement Guide, most small dollar purchases may be made directly by the department; however, some must be processed by PSDS due to the dollar value (e.g., more than $5,000) or the nature of the purchase (e.g., restricted goods or services). In addition, all contracts for the purchase of goods and/or services requiring institutional signature must be processed by PSDS. Purchases requiring PSDS processing are to be submitted via a Purchase Requisition in the Integrated System.

Execution of Contracts: Only authorized signatories named by the Board of Visitors, and those to whom signatory authority has been delegated in writing by authorized officers, can legally bind the University in a contract (see Signatory Authority Policy, June 16, 2001 and FIN-036: Signatory Authority for Executing University Contracts for details). All contracts for the purchase of goods and services should be directed to PSDS who will determine the appropriate signatory authority.

If an individual University employee signs a contract without appropriate authority, he or she may be held personally liable for its terms and conditions.


Purchase Requisitions

Related Information:

Buying and Paying Basics
Guidelines for Competition

Goods and Services Procurement Guide

Note:  Restricted Goods and Services are those where the only acceptable method of purchase/payment identified in the Guide is that they be handled by PSDS via a Purchase Requisition / Purchase Order (i.e., “yes” only in the far right column).  There is no dollar threshold on restricted goods or services.

FIN-036: Signatory Authority for Executing University Contracts
BOV Signatory Authority Policy (June 16, 2001)

Major Category: Finance and Business Operations
Next Scheduled Review: 02/10/2020
Approved by, Date: Policy Review Committee, 02/10/2017
Supersedes (previous policy):
VII.C.1, Purchases of Goods and Services from Outside Vendors; VII.C.2, Types of Purchases which Require Special Processing