University of washington purchasing

University of washington purchasing DEFAULT


Delegation of Signature Authority

In order to make purchases on a grant budget, the purchaser must be delegated signature authority by the Principal Investigator. The person to which signature authority has been delegated should have direct knowledge of the needs of the research project. Delegation must be made in writing or email to the Chemistry Purchasing and Accounting Office. The Purchasing and Accounting Office maintains files of these delegations to insure compliance with federal guidelines. Auditors frequently ask for proof of delegation of authority.

Principal Investigators may complete the Delegation of Signature Authority Form (PDF)  to delegate signatory authority to research staff and students, as appropriate. Completed forms should be sent to Maddie Eakman in the Purchasing and Accounting Office. While PIs may also send Maddie Eakman this information via email, it is preferable for PIs to use the form.

Purchasing Process and Procedures

The Department of Chemistry has a central purchasing staff to place orders to outside vendors and help you resolve any problems that may occur. Purchase requests are submitted to the Purchasing staff via PurchasePath, a web-based ordering system that manages all aspects of purchasing including order submission, approval, receiving, and history. Chemistry purchasing staff also use PurchasePath to communicate with you about your order, and you are able to attach any necessary supporting documentation to your order (e.g., quotes, sole source justifications). Please direct any questions to Maddie Eakman (BAG B, email, ).

Paper Requests for Purchase – You may still submit requests for purchase using the paper forms. However, we strongly urge you to submit orders via PurchasePath. We’ve discontinued ordering the multi-copy paper forms. 

If you do submit a paper form, the Purchasing staff will use it to create a PurchasePath order and will give you access to it. This assures that all orders are handled in the same manner, improves our internal tracking, and facilitates documentation.

Please be sure to be as specific as possible about when you need your material. This will help the purchasing staff prioritize work and assure that you get what you need, when you need it. Our goal is to place orders within one business day of receipt. For urgent orders, it would be advisable to contact either Anna Randall (email, ) or Mike Zimmerman (email, ) directly after you’ve submitted the order in PurchasePath.

PurchasePath Login

PurchasePath FAQs: Common questions and answers that may be helpful [updated link forthcoming]

Other Purchasing Information

Gas Orders

Praxair delivers on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Cutoff for Tuesday orders is Monday at pm (or Friday at pm for cryogenic orders).
Cutoff for Thursday orders is Wednesday at pm (or Tuesday at pm for cryogenic orders). 
Liquid helium – 4-day lead time.
Liquid nitrogen – 2-day lead time.
Complex blends and specialty orders may take longer. 
If you have questions please contact Anna or Mike.

Orders over $10,

The “direct buy limit” is $10, Orders over this amount are subject to state law requiring competitive pricing. The UW has established competitive contracts with many supplies. The direct buy limit does not apply to suppliers with which there is a competitive contract. If there is no competitive contract in place, you may be asked to complete a Sole Source justification. The Chemistry Purchasing and Accounting staff will help you with this requirement. Additional information is available here:

M & E Tax Sales Exemption (Machinery & Equipment)

If an equipment purchase meets certain criteria, the purchase may qualify for an M & E tax exemption, which would exempt the purchase from sales tax. These qualifications are:

  • Have a useful life of more than one year.
  • Be used more than 50% annually on qualifying research (equipment used primarily for instruction generally does not qualify)  and
  • Have an acquisition cost of $ or more

Non-equipment costs (such as replacement parts) may also qualify for this exemption; more information is available on the UW Equipment Inventory Office website. You will be asked to submit and M&E tax exemption form (PDF) with your order.


The Chemistry Research Stockroom (36 Bagley Hall) is the central receiving location for the Department. All material must be shipped to 36 Bagley Hall. You will be notified via email when your shipment arrives. To check the status of your shipment, please contact the Purchasing and Accounting Office.

For further information, please see the Shipping and Receiving policy.

Equipment Insurance

Equipment is not automatically insured by the University. The UW Office of Risk Management administers an optional, low cost insurance plan for University-owned equipment. If you’re interested in obtaining this coverage for your equipment, please contact Maddie Eakman.


Fundamental Information

Getting Started

  • Contracts : The University has contracts for many goods and services that are managed by a UW Buyer. This is the preferred way of doing business here at the UW.
  • Direct Buy : The dollar limit set by state law under which purchases may be made without securing competitive solicitation.
  • Solicitation : Informal or formal competition for purchasing.
  • Sole Source : Guidelines for using a Sole Source Justification
  • Subaward : Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) guidance for Subaward management.
  • Supplier Diversity : Focuses on developing internal awareness regarding small, local and diverse suppliers.
  • Planning an Event : Catering, Conferences, Hotels etc.
  • Exception Items: Specialized items that require Central Office involvement.
  • Terms and Conditions : The documents here may relate to some but not all orders placed by the university.

How To Buy

Procurement Services have created strategic sourcing contracts for efficient and cost effective procurement utilizing Ariba, an online marketplace of supplier catalogs. This is the preferred way of purchasing at the UW. In instances when needed goods and services are not available in Ariba, a secondary option is available using a UW issued ProCurement Card, and finally as the least favorable option, submitting a request in Ariba to become a purchase order. If the supplier being used is not in the vendor database, see Supplier Registration section below.

In Ariba:

Outside Ariba:

  • Procard : A Visa purchasing card available for faculty and staff. eLearning training required.

Supplier Registration

If a contract cannot be utilized for the purchase being made, and we do not have the supplier in our vendor file, the supplier will need to register with the UW to do business.

How To Pay

Options for paying for commodities which may not have been ordered through the procurement options above.

In Ariba:

  • Non-PO Invoice : An online tool in ARIBA used to make a payment to a supplier when a PO is not required and the invoice is under the Direct Buy Limit.Tutorial.
  • Payments to Individuals : A form in ARIBA providing users a convenient means of making quickpayments to an individual. Tutorial.
  • eReimbursements : eReimbursement is a form in ARIBA used to reimburse individuals for purchases of goods they have made on behalf of the UW. Tutorial.
  • Travel Expense Report (ER): A form in Ariba used to facilitate reimbursement of travel expenses. 

Outside Ariba:

Invoicing and Receiving

Information on management of invoices and associated tasks in Ariba. 

Order Management

Tools for managing changes or closures of existing orders in Ariba. 

Tools, Reports and Reconciliation

Reconciliation is the process of comparing transactions and activity to supporting documentation. There are a variety of reports available to accomplish fiscal needs. Departments should have a written policy for reconciliation on file. Department should reconcile on a monthly basis. 


  • MyFinancial.desktop and eLearnings : MyFinancial.desktop (MyFD) is a web interface for the University of Washington's Financial Accounting System (FAS) and provides an online reconciliation report campus can use for their reconciliation process. 
  • ProCard Reconciliation: Review of ProCard transaction within JPMorgan Chase system PaymentNet.

Reports and other Tools:

Access and System Roles

Access roles and set up to manage web based procurement, payment and reporting systems.

Other Considerations

  • Food Policy : What food expenditures are allowable. 
  • Ethics :  Identifying and managing potential conflicts of interest and other ethical questions as part of the University community.
  • Grant and Contract Accounting : GCA assists the UW community by facilitating the post award financial aspects of sponsored programs, from budget set-up to close.
  • Moving Expenses : Options for paying for moving expenses for employees and labs. 
  • Tax Office : The tax office works collaboratively with all departments to reduce UW's tax burden and ensure compliance with international, federal, state, and city tax laws. 
  • Administrator Toolkit: Provide easy access to tools and resources necessary for administrators to manage compliance while maintaining and improving operational efficiencies. 
  • Equipment Inventory Office : Is responsible for the proper tagging, reporting, and controls over more than 64, equipment assets. 
  • Commodity Codes: Standard classification codes for products and services used to detail where money is spent within a company. 
  • Managed Print Services: UW program to efficiently manage equipment, service and supplies for multi-functional devices, copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines at cost savings over traditional lease and rental programs.
  • Internal Controls: Concept and framework for effective internal control policies and procedures.


General Resources

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Procuring Accessible IT

The University of Washington strives to ensure that IT products developed at, purchased by, or used at the University are accessible to all faculty, students, and staff, including those with disabilities. To reach this goal, those responsible for making decisions about which products to procure must consider accessibility as one of the criteria for acquisition. This is especially critical for enterprise-level systems and other technologies that affect a large number of students, faculty, and/or staff.

The UW Procurement Services department has published Procedure (Procuring Accessible IT, in PDF) which includes the following Policy:

The University of Washington Procurement Services (Procurement Services) department supports the procurement of accessible information technology under Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Policy #, University of Washington Administrative Policy Statement (APS) #, Section of the Rehabilitation Act of , and the Americans with Disabilities Act of along with its Amendments. Wherever practicable, Procurement Services shall procure information technology that meets accessibility requirements as specified in the University of Washington IT Accessibility Guidelines.

This policy applies to all solicitations, responses thereto, and contracts for websites, web applications, software systems, electronic documents, e-learning, multimedia and programmable user interfaces wherever practicable. It covers the technology&#;s user interface, access and content; but does not cover content that a user may encounter after leaving the covered technology (example: links to other web content). It applies to all technology interfaces that are intended for use by students, employees, and visitors of the University of Washington.

In order to facilitate the procurement of accessible information technology, the following three steps should be implemented for all products and services that fall within the scope of the above policy. UW-IT Accessible Technology Services can assist with any of these steps. See Getting Help with Accessibility for additional information.

Step 1: Solicit accessibility information.

Procedure describes this step as follows:

University of Washington bidders and vendors shall be required to demonstrate that information technology provided to the University of Washington conforms to or addresses each of the World Wide Web Consortium&#;s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) , Level AA success criteria wherever demonstrating such performance is practicable. Vendors may do so by providing a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) using VPAT or higher. The VPAT templates are available from the Information Technology Industry Council. There are four different editions of the VPAT, based on different accessibility standards. Since IT procured by the University of Washington must meet WCAG Level AA, the most appropriate edition for our needs is the WCAG edition (the INT edition is also acceptable since it includes WCAG guidelines). NOTE: It is not sufficient for a bidder or vendor to simply provide a VPAT; they must take care to do so accurately. If they have insufficient expertise in-house, they should receive help from an independent third party accessibility consultant. The VPAT 2.x templates includes detailed instructions. Bidders and vendors should be expected to follow these instructions, and complete all required parts.

Step 2: Validate accessibility information received.

Vendors should provide detailed information about the accessibility of their products or services as explained in the preceding section. Note, however, that VPATs or other sources of accessibility documentation should be independently verified and not accepted at face value. The information they provide can serve as a good starting point for a thorough discussion about accessibility with the vendor.

Procedure provides the following details regarding this step:

Wherever practicable, the University of Washington, in consultation with Procurement Services, UW-IT Accessible Technology Services, or other qualified staff with expertise in IT accessibility, will attempt to validate the information provided by bidders and vendors, by

  • obtaining additional information from the bidder or vendor to develop a complete and thorough understanding of the accessibility of the product or service;
  • consulting with independent third parties who have evaluated the product or service for accessibility; or
  • conducting an internal evaluation of the accessibility of the product or service.

Few IT products are fully accessible. However, vendors should at a minimum be willing to make a commitment to address their accessibility problems. Without this commitment, using the product may place the University at risk for discriminating against some of its students, employees, and/or visitors.

Step 3: Include accessibility assurances in contracts.

If ultimately the best product for meeting a particular need is one that fails to fully meet accessibility requirements, vendors should be asked to make a commitment to improving accessibility over a specified timeline, perhaps working with campus staff.

After a procurer discusses accessibility issues with a vendor, the procurement contract should include language that specifically documents the agreement between vendor and procurer as to how satisfactory progress on accessibility will be measured. For example, the vendor might provide a roadmap as an addendum to the contract with a prioritized list of accessibility issues and a timeline for addressing each issue. Then, contract extensions might be contingent upon satisfactory progress toward resolving the issues identified in the roadmap.

Even if the product is currently accessible, the contract should include language that assures continued accessibility as the product is updated. This is especially important for products that are developed on an ongoing rapid release cycle.

The UW Terms and Conditions website, maintained by Procurement Services, includes an IT Accessibility Rider. Procedure recommends that the Rider be inserted into all agreements and contracts for the procurement of relevant IT, along with the following statement:

Accessibility.  Vendor represents that it is committed to promoting and improving accessibility of all its products as specified in the University of Washington IT Accessibility Guidelines and will remain committed through the term of this Agreement.

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Purchasing and Accounting Contacts

Angie Steuermann Mullen
Director of Finance
C Bagley Hall

[email protected]

Lochlan Hickok
Chemistry Research Stockroom Manager
36 Bagley Hall

[email protected]

Eleanor (Ella) Miltner
Chemistry Research Stockroom Assistant Manager
36 Bagley Hall

[email protected]

Madeleine (Maddie) Eakman
Grant & State Budgets, Recharge Center Management, Reporting
B Bagley Hall

[email protected]

Vacant (Contact Angie Steuermann Mullen)
Grant Proposal and Budget Preparation
D Bagley Hall

Annalyn Randall
Grant & State Budgets
P Bagley Hall

[email protected]

Gretchen (Littell) Shauger
Payroll Coordinator
Q Bagley Hall

[email protected]

Hong Sze
Travel and Reimbursements
P Bagley Hall

[email protected]

Michael Zimmerman
Senior Purchasing Specialist
P Bagley Hall

[email protected]


Purchasing washington university of


General Purchasing Procedure

  1. Department submits purchase request via the "Purchase Items" intake form.
  2. Based on the information provided, CAS Shared Services begins purchasing process using e-Procurement or other methods as appropriate. Best practice note: CASSS will strive to complete all orders in accordance with Procurement Services best practices, meaning that products will be purchased through existing UW contract catalogues when available and competitively priced.
  3. Once the purchase is made, Shared Services will record the Ariba order number or other order information (e.g., Amazon order confirmation, etc.) in the "reference" field of the RT ticket.  When available, Shared Services will also scan and attach order confirmations/receipts to the RT ticket. (Amazon receipts can also be accessed by looking up the Amazon order confirmation number on-line.) Once these updates have been completed, CASSS will resolve the purchase request ticket.
  4. The department is responsible for receipt of all goods and for retaining packing slips. Best practice note: Departments should record the RT and Ariba numbers on the packing slips, as well as the date received.  Departments may scan and upload packing slips to the RT ticket in order to create a complete purchase record, or they may file the packing slips and retain in the department office in accordance with records retention rules. Further receipt confirmations (to PI, Administrator, etc.) are determined by internal department needs and policy.  It is CASSS's responsibility to order products in accordance with unit requests and University policies; CASSS does not take responsibility for confirming receipt of orders or for retaining packing slips or shipping confirmations.
  5. Department reconciles charges in MyFD using information posted in RT, Procurement Desktop Reports, and/or Ariba, as appropriate.

Procard Procedure

  1. When using the Procard to make a purchase on behalf of member departments, CASSS staff will retain the invoices/e-receipts at the Shared Services Center through RT.  CASSS will not retain paper copies of receipts/order confirmations.
  2. Shared Services will use the RT ticket and invoice/order confirmation to reconcile the charges in PaymentNet. Once reconiled, CASSS will add the Procard transaction ID number in the RT notes.  (RT note: Adding notes will re-open the RT ticket.  Once notes have been added, CASSS will return the ticket to "resolved" status.)
  3. Separation of duties in reconciling Procard transactions is afforded by FS staff members, with back-up from Manager. The purchasing staff member will check her/his purchases as cardholder in PaymentNet; a second staff member or the Manager will then act as reviewer in PaymentNet. The Manager will review purchases at the end of the month and print out the “UW Transaction Detail with Notes and Account Codes” report for staff signature.  These signed reports will be filed in Shared Services for the prescribed retention period. Purchases by the Manager will be reviewed by Debbie Olson in the A&S Dean’s Office.  The transaction detail report for these purchases will be retained in Dean’s Office files.
  4. As noted above, the department will retain the packing slip for orders.
  5. The department will use the Procurement Desktop Reports' transaction report for BAR reconciliation.

eProcurment Procedures

  1. When using eProcurement (Ariba) to make a purchase on behalf of member departments, CASSS staff will add the RT ticket number in the "Comments" section of the Ariba requisition.
  2. Likewise, CASSS will add the Ariba requisiton number to the "Reference" field within the RT ticket.  In this way, both the original purchase request and the actual order will be cross-referenced for efficient reconciliation and audit. 
  3. The department will refer to the ARIBA record and, where necessary, RT for BAR reconciliation. 
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University of Washington Policy Directory

(Approved by the Senior Vice President for Finance and Facilities by authority of Administrative Order No. 9)

1.  State Statutes and Delegated Authority for Purchasing

The University of Washington, as an agency of the state of Washington, is required to operate under rules and regulations adopted by the legislature and other governing bodies. Legislation is contained in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW); other regulations are part of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC).

The following requirements from RCW 28B and Chapter  RCW reflect the primary rules which govern purchases by the University for all of its programs.

A.   Competitive Solicitations

Insofar as practicable, all purchases of or contracts for goods and services must be based on a competitive solicitation process. However, formal solicitations are not necessary for:

  • Emergency purchases.

  • Purchases not exceeding $, Quotations from $10, to $, shall be secured from at least three vendors to assure establishment of a competitive price. The buyer shall solicit quotes from at least one certified minority owned and one certified woman owned business in addition to majority owned vendor(s). A record of competition for all such purchases shall be documented for audit purposes and are considered public records subject to disclosure to the extent provided in Chapter  RCW. Bid submissions and bid evaluations are exempt from disclosure until announcement of the apparent successful bidder.

  • Purchases which are clearly and legitimately limited to a single source of supply.

The University must provide public notice for all competitive solicitations and post all contract opportunities on the state's enterprise vendor registration and bid notification system (WEBS). In addition, the University may notify contractors and potential bidders by sending notices by mail, electronic transmission, newspaper advertisements, or other means as may be appropriate. When purchases are made through a competitive solicitation, the contract shall be awarded to the most responsive and responsible bidder, taking into consideration the quality of the articles proposed to be supplied, their conformity with specifications, the purposes for which required, and the times of delivery. In determining the "lowest responsive and responsible bidder," the University will consider, but will not be limited to considering, the following:

 #1The ability, capacity, and skill of the bidder to perform the contract or provide the service required;

 #2The character, integrity, reputation, judgment, experience, and efficiency of the bidder;

 #3Whether the bidder can perform the contract within the time specified;

 #4The quality of performance of previous contracts or services;

 #5The previous and existing compliance by the bidder with laws relating to the contract or services;

 #6Such other information as may be secured having a bearing on the decision to award the contract;

 #7Whether the bid satisfies the needs of the state as specified in the solicitation documents;

 #8Whether the bid encourages diverse contractor participation;

 #9Whether the bid provides competitive pricing, economies, and efficiencies;

 #10Whether the bid considers human health and environmental impacts;

 #11Whether the bid appropriately weighs the cost and non-cost considerations; and;

 #12Whether the bid appropriately considers life-cycle cost;

 After reviewing all bid submissions, the University may enter into negotiations with the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in order to determine if the bid may be improved. The University may not use this negotiation opportunity to permit a bidder to change a nonresponsive bid into a responsive bid.

B.   Service Contracts

When specialized skills, knowledge, resources, and experience are needed which cannot be provided reasonably by existing departmental staff or University service departments, such services may be obtained from firms or individuals outside the University on a fee for service or contract basis. A request must be made and appropriate approval(s) obtained as described in Administrative Policy Statement , "Independent Contractor Policy," with all requests for outside service contracts, regardless of source of funding, submitted to Procurement Services for processing. However, a service contract should not be used to bypass competitive employment procedures or to accomplish a job that:

  • A present employee can do;

  • Could be accomplished by resources available within another University department; or

  • Calls for full-time, continuous employment.

C.   Additional Oversight

As a state agency, the University must also comply with Washington State's requirements regarding the utilization of Minority and Women Businesses (per Chapter RCW).

As a major recipient of federal funds, the University is obligated to follow additional regulations, which may include compliance with federal statutes, agency rule, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) for federal contracts and provisions of Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for federal grants, including disclosure of real or potential conflicts of interest to the federal awarding agency.

Apart from all the regulations which apply to the University as a state agency, the University must conduct its purchases in accordance with the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) as codified in Title 62A RCW. This set of laws has been adopted by each of the states to govern the actions of buyers and sellers in the commercial environment.

2.  Purchasing Ethics

A.   Basics of Ethics Law

As employees of the state of Washington, faculty and staff of the University must follow all of the state statutes and regulations regarding ethics and conflicts of interest. State law is found primarily in Chapter  RCW, and sets out a strong statement of ethical principles and values for state officers and employees. In part, that statement provides:

"State officials 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 )

B.   Ethics in Purchasing

University staff and faculty who are involved at any point in the process to select suppliers, award and administer contracts and approve payments must adhere to high standards of ethical behavior and ensure that they do not show favoritism to any supplier(s) over others who are also interested in doing business with the University.

University guidelines regarding ethical practices may be found in Executive Order No. 32, "Employee Responsibilities and Employee Conflict of Interest."

Employees with questions about whether certain situations pose ethical questions should seek advice from the head of their department. Department heads may consult with Procurement Services, the Internal Audit office, and/or the Attorney General's division as necessary for any specific ethics question.

C.   Ethics in Relation to Sole Source Statements

Individuals writing sole source statements need to understand that the statements carry weight similar to a perjury statement. RCW  discusses public employees making false reports. It states "Every public officer who shall knowingly make any false or misleading statement in any official report or statement, under circumstances not otherwise prohibited by law, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor." RCW  states "Every public officer who, being authorized by law to make or give a certificate or other writing, shall knowingly make and deliver as true such a certificate or writing containing any statement which he or she knows to be false, in a case where the punishment thereof is not expressly prescribed by law, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor."

D.   Departmental Purchasing Controls

Departments are responsible for maintaining accurate and complete records of all orders placed by the department. It is recommended that the person who authorizes a purchase not be the same person who receives the goods and/or approves payment.

3.  Delegation of University Authority for Purchasing

Chapter 28B RCW vests the University's Board of Regents with the authority to handle all aspects of the University's operation. The Board has delegated many responsibilities to the University President, who in turn delegates them to the Vice Presidents and operating units such as Procurement Services.

  • Authority is delegated from the UW Board of Regents in the Board of Regents Governance, Standing Orders, Chapter 1, Section 6, "Execution of Instruments, Business Affairs, and Operations."

  • Authority is delegated from the UW President to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Facilities in Administrative Order No. 1.

  • Authority is delegated from the Senior Vice President for Finance and Facilities to the Associate Vice President and Controller.

  • Authority is delegated from the Associate Vice President and Controller to the Executive Director of Procurement Services.

4.  Purchasing Procedures

Purchasing procedures and online guides to using the University's eProcurement system and PAS—Purchasing and Accounts Payable Online System are available to guide the purchasing process.

May 1, ; February 21, ; RC, January 21,

For related information, see:

  • Board of Regents Governance, Regent Policy No. 60, "Statement of Business Equity for the University of Washington"

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