State of Washington and Federal purchasing rules require that purchases over the Direct Buy Limit be competitively solicited in the absence of a contract, funding source mandate, or a sole source justification. Procurement Services contracting professionals are responsible for issuing competitive solicitations.
The direct buy limit does not apply to catalog orders but does apply to non-catalog, BPO, and non-po invoice even when using a contract.
The solicitation process is determined by the dollar amount of the purchase including shipping & handling, and excludes tax, and the commodity type.
For goods and services:
$9,999 and under
Between $10,000 and $99,999
→See the exception items list for guidance on specific goods/services.
Preferred Methods of Purchasing:
- Search the Ariba Catalogs. Ariba has more than 60 catalogs that can be used to place orders directly with suppliers. Benefits of catalog purchases include:
- Not subject to the Direct Buy Limit
- An efficient way to make purchases
- No additional central office approval
- Using master contracts negotiated by the Procurement Services Contracting Team
- Visit the UW Contracts Search for other Contract options.
- Watch the Buying from Contracts eLearning tutorial to learn more about using Contracts and how to use the UW Contracts Search
- Contact a Procurement Services Contracting team member for other contracts that may be used.
Other Purchasing Options:
- Competitive Solicitation: the process of seeking proposals, quotations or information from suppliers that bid competitively.
- Sole Source: Requires justification. Justifications must be approved by Procurement Service when the order is placed in Ariba:
- See the Ariba page for ordering in Ariba.
- Non-Catalog Order
- Blanket Purchase Order
- ProCard: Small dollar purchases, one time purchases
- Grant funded supplier selection: If the purchase is funded by a grant (federal or non-federal) or a federal contract and your supplier is specifically named in that grant.
- Check UW Surplus for previously used items that are available at considerable savings.
Important: If you have questions or need assistance regarding an upcoming purchase, contact the Procurement Services Contracting team and get them involved early. To find a team member, use the link below and search for the “Strategic Sourcing and Contracts” section.
As employees of the state of Washington, faculty and staff of the UW must follow all of the state statutes and regulations regarding ethics and conflicts of interest.
State law is found primarily in RCW 42.52, and sets out a strong statement of ethical principles and values for state officers and employees. In part, that statement provides:
- State officers and employees of government hold a public trust which obligates them, in a special way, to honesty and integrity in fulfilling the responsibilities to which they are elected and appointed.
- Paramount in that trust is the principle that public office--whether elected or appointed--may not be used for personal gain or private advantage. (RCW 42.52.900)
Purchasing Services is committed to ensuring that minority-owned, women-owned, small, disadvantaged, HUB Zone, veteran-owned and service-disabled-veteran owned businesses have the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in purchasing and contracting at the University of Washington. We strive to increase the depth and diversity of our supplier pool by promoting fair and open access to the business community. For more information visit our Supplier Diversity Page.
Procurement Services promotes environmentally preferred purchasing (EPP) as defined by the National Associate of Educational Procurement-meaning that environmental and social considerations are “taken with equal weight to the price, availability and performance criteria that colleges and universities use to make purchasing decisions." The University’s buying staff leverage current supplier relationships to raise awareness of the purchasing considerations necessary to reduce our environmental impact and to maximize resource efficiency.
Please contact the University’s Sustainable Sourcing Team (email@example.com) if you become aware of new environmentally friendly products or have questions about our program.
UW Finance Asset Short Term (FAST) Program
If you are considering a short-term financing option for acquisition of equipment, please go to the UW Treasury Financing Short Term Asset ("FAST") program page for additional details.
To be considered for a FAST loan, please complete the Borrower Information Form ("BIF") and send your completed form to Annette Sommer, Associate Treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Potential borrowers can contact Annette to check on the status of the review by email or at: 1-8982, five business days after the date of submittal.