What is Contract?

Signing a Supplier Contract

When to use a Contract

How to Submit a Contract for Review

Rules and Regulations 

What is a UW Contract?

An agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration and must include specific elements. A contract may be in the form of an agreement, proposal, statement, notice, resolution, letter, memorandum of understanding (MOU), memorandum of agreement (MOA), purchase order, license, indenture, grant, cooperative agreement, etc. In addition, such documents may go by other names as well.

The University has contracts listed in the UW Contracts portal for many goods and services that are managed by a UW Buyer. Contracts contain terms and conditions- such as warranties and insurance- that protect the University. Buying on an already existing contract provides the best value with responsible suppliers and results in lower overall cost. 

Contracts are typically established through the competitive solicitation process.

There are four types of contracts available to campus:

  • UW contract: a contract established by Procurement Services staff
  • State contract: a contract established by state of Washington Enterprise Services staff
  • GPO: a contract established by a group purchasing organization. A GPO is an entity that helps agencies realize savings and efficiencies by aggregating purchasing volume and   using that leverage to negotiate discounts with manufacturers, distributors and other vendors. Examples include E&I Cooperative and U.S. Communities
  • Interlocal: a contract established by other public agencies

Material Transfer Agreements are a special type of contract; an MTA protects your intellectual property when providing or receiving research materials. The UW Center for Commercialization and OSP are the only units of the University authorized to review and sign MTAs. For more information, visit UW CoMotion

Signing Supplier Contracts

It is University procedure NOT to sign supplier contracts as the University's terms and conditions take precedence over the Supplier's terms.  If you have a Supplier asking for a signature on a quote or other contract documents, forward the request to Procurement Services via the Contract Review (RV) form or as an attachment to your Requisition/Contract Request.  The Buying staff will review the document for compliance with the UW terms and conditions and determine whether or not it is appropriate to sign.

Remember that campus departments, regardless of employee title, do NOT have the authority to sign any Supplier contractual documents.  This includes quotes, maintenance/service agreements, reservations, etc.  With limited exceptions only, the Procurement Services Department has delegated signature authority for contracts to purchase goods and services (other than Capital Projects) on behalf of the University of Washington.  Signing a contract for goods or services without delegated signature authority can subject an employee to personal liability for the contract. 




                  Contract Situation



UW PO/Contract Terms & Conditions govern with an unsigned Supplier Agreement



UW PO/Contract Terms & Conditions govern with a redlined and signed Supplier Agreement



UW PO/Contract Terms & Conditions govern with a signed Supplier Agreement



Redlined Supplier Agreement where Supplier Terms & Conditions govern



Supplier Agreement where Supplier Terms & Conditions govern




When to use a Contract

If you are unable to locate the product or service needed when searching UW Contracts, other options available include:

  • State of Washington Contracts – The State of Washington oversees more than 1,500 vendors supplying goods and services through master contracts available to the University.
  • Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) - Leverage the purchasing power of a group of businesses to obtain discounts from vendors based on the collective buying power of the GPO members. 

Procurement Buyers can provide assistance with questions about these and other contracts.

How to Submit a Contract to be Reviewed by Purchasing

How will the order be paid to the Supplier?


What to use


Non-Catalog < $10K


Contract Review option in Requisition or Contract Request


Blanket PO < $10K

Contract Review option in Requisition or Contract Request


Non-Catalog or BPO > $10K


  • Attach contract to either the Requisition or the Contract Request
  • Automatically routes to Purchasing

ProCard < $3,500


Contract Review Form


ProCard > $3,500

Contract Review Form

  • Step 1:  Submit Contract Review Form
  • Step 2:  Submit Card Limit Increase Form and reference RV#
  • Deposit on an event
  • Payment is made by ProCard
  • Total purchase is < $10K

Contract Review Form

If the remaining amount exceeds the card limit, reference the RV# on the Card Limit Increase Form used to initiate final payment

  • Deposit on an event
  • Payment made by Purchase Order
  • Total purchase order is < $10K

Contract Review option in Requisition or Contract Request

Create one line item on the purchase order for the deposit and one line item for the remaining payment

  • Deposit  for an event required
  • Total purchase is > $10K


  • If the total amount of the event is > $10K (including deposit), use a purchase order
  • If UW supplier, create one line item on the purchase order for the deposit and one line item for the remaining payment
  • If not a UW supplier, use ProCard for the entire purchase


If Department Procurement system is not Ariba

Contract Review Form

  • Use “Department” option from the “How are you going to pay for this” drop down menu
  • Departments to use this selection:  Facilities, Libraries, HFS and UW Medical Center


Training Available:

For How to Fill Out a Contract Review Form in Ariba see the Getting Started section of the Tutorials page.

View our Non-Catalog Ordering and Creating a Blanket PO eLearnings on the Tutorials page in the Buying section for how to route a requisition or contract request under the Direct Buy Limit to Purchasing. 

UW contracts are impacted by rules and regulations

  • RCW (Revised Code of Washington)  Grants UW statutory authorities relating to procurement
  • WAC (Washington Administrative Code)  Rules and Regulations regarding state agencies
  • FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations)  Applies to federally funded purchases
  • UCC (Uniform Commercial Code)  Adopted by majority of states – sets standards for business transactions