Oregon State University

202: Authorities

Procurement and Contract Services Policies and Procedures Manual
Section 200: Regulations and Authority
Effective: 01/04/2010
Revised: 3/14/2014

The four authorities relevant to the purchase of goods and services for the University are Budget Authority, Purchase Authority, Institutional Authority and Contract Signature Authority.

 

202-001: Budget Authority

Budget authority is delegated by the Office of the Provost, to the unit/department head or delegated person responsible for a university index and who must approve the expenditure of funds from that index.  Those with budget authority should review and approve that the proposed purchase or Contract has a related business purpose and meets the objectives related to the department’s and OSU’s mission.  They should also insure that there are sufficient funds available to incur the expense for the proposed purchase or Contract.  

 

202-002: Purchase Authority

Purchase authority grants the authority to units identified below to purchase goods and services* within the delegated dollar threshold after approval from the required approver. 

Dollar Threshold Unit Required Approver
Up to $4,999.99 Department Unit Budget Authority

$5000 - $24,999.99

Business Center  Business Center Administrator
$25,000 - $149,999.99 PaCS Unit Budget Authority and Business Center Administrator
$150,000 and above  PaCS

Unit Budget Authority, Business Center Administrator and Dean or Vice Provost

These dollar thresholds are in the aggregate and based on the value of the entire procurement known at the time.  In determining the amount of the procurement, all parts of a single integrated project must be included as well as amounts expended during the initial term and any renewal terms allowed under the Contract.  The amount must not be split in order to avoid using a particular process associated with the dollar thresholds.  If there is a chance that the purchase may exceed the dollar threshold due to additional phases of Work or additional funding, purchase according to the next highest dollar threshold.  Purchases at or above $25,000 must be competitively solicited or advertised as a Sole Source if a Sole Source exists.

* Excludes those purchases that are subject to Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI) Prevailing Wage Rates (PWR).  For those purchases there is no delegation of purchasing authority to departments or Business Centers.  See PaCS 504-05 or contact PaCS to determine if a purchase may fall under this exclusion.

Procedure:

1. Unit/Department Purchases up to $4,999.99

Units or Departments have delegated purchase authority for purchases up to $4999.99. Purchases within this range may be made by direct purchase.  However, it is highly recommended that these purchases be competed whenever feasible by obtaining competitive quotes.  This will help realize savings on your purchases by providing Vendors an opportunity to compete on direct purchases.  This delegation does not include the authority to sign agreements or contracts other than the OSU Purchase Order

2. Business Center Purchases between $5,000 and $24,999.99

Business Centers have delegated purchase authority for purchases between $5000 and $24,999.99.  Purchases within this range may be made by direct purchase.  However, it is highly recommended that these purchases be competed whenever feasible by obtaining competitive quotes.  This will help realize savings on  purchases by providing Vendors an opportunity to compete on direct purchases as well as provide opportunities to Minority, Women-Owned, and Emerging Small Businesses that seek to do business with OSU.  This delegation does not include the authority to sign agreements or contracts other than the OSU Purchase Order.  Additional policies and procedures for purchases and payments apply from section PaCS 300 of this Policy and Procedures Manual.

3. Purchases equal to or above $25,000

PaCS is the only department authorized to make purchases equal to or above $25,000.  Purchases at or above $25,000 must be competitively solicited or advertised as a sole source.  Departments should submit a Purchase Requisition form to their appropriate Business Center.  The Business Center will review, sign and send the Purchase Requisition to PaCS for completion of the purchase.  PaCS Analysts will make purchases according to the appropriate policies and procedures pertaining to the type of purchase requisitioned. 

 

202-003: Institutional Authority

Institutional authority is granted from the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to an Institution to apply for and accept, on behalf of the Board, gifts or Grants and to negotiate Contracts.  Pursuant to OAR 580-042-0010, Institutions are delegated this authority so long as they do not result in:

  • Enrollments in excess of those on which budgets have been based;
  • Commitment of funds beyond those available in budgets approved by the Board, or the normal continuation thereof;
  • Development or support of activities inconsistent with the approved mission of the department and/or Institution;
  • Launching of new curricular programs that have not received prior Board approval;
  • Establishing or significantly expanding a clientele for services of an essentially non-research or non-instructional nature.

 

202-004: Contract Signature Authority

Contract signature authority is delegated to Contracts Officers from the Vice President for Finance and Administration to sign specific Contract types on behalf of OSU.  Contract signature authority may not be sub-delegated unless authorized by the Vice President for Finance and Administration. 

Only Contract Officers are authorized to sign and execute Contracts and other written instruments on behalf of OSU.  Any document required to be signed on behalf of OSU, regardless of dollar value or type of document, must be signed by an individual with Contract signature authority.  Persons who are not authorized and still sign documents or authorize services on behalf of the University, whether it be a procurement agreement, a Contract, an MOU, etc., take on personal liability for the commitments made therein.  A current list of authorized University Contracts Officers and their signature authority is maintained on the PaCS website. 

Exception to this policy:  Employees without designated Contract signature authority may sign Contracts or agreements between their department and another department at OSU (Interdepartmental Agreements).  This does not apply to Contracts or agreements between OSU and other Oregon University System Institutions.

Procedure:

Those with Contract signature authority within PaCS must insure they only sign Contracts that are allowable under Institutional authority and that they review the Contract according to PaCS contract review standards.

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