Purchasing and Contracts for Goods and Services

Policy Number: 
Reason for Policy: 

This policy outlines matters pertaining to purchasing and contracting goods or services including the use of procurement cards and thresholds. The associated Purchasing and Contracting procedures detail how Purchasing and Contracting Services will implement this policy.

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

Finance & Administration, all campus entities or business units engaged in purchasing, contracting or procurement.

Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact Purchasing and Contracting Services at 541-346-2416.

Enactment & Revision History: 

28 June 2023 - Amendments approved by Interim President Moffitt

30 May 2019 - Amendments approved by the university president; policy renumbered to IV.09.05 (from 580.062 et seq)

03 September 2015 - Technical revisions enacted by the university secretary

01 July 2014 - Became a University of Oregon Policy by operation of law

Former Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 580 Division 62.


 A. Definitions

All capitalized terms in Policy IV.09.05 have the meanings set forth in Policy IV.09.06 unless the context requires otherwise or except as stated.

“Construction Contracts” are contracts for goods or services where state law requires the University to pay for labor at published prevailing wage rates established by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, or where the University receives construction related professional services, including services provided by architects, engineers, energy analysts and commissioning agents, planners, land surveyors, construction contractors, and construction managers.  

B. Procurement and Contracting Procedures

In addition to this Policy, the University follows University Policy IV.09.02 and University Policy IV.09.06 when procuring goods or services. Purchasing and Contracting Services creates and maintains purchasing and contracting procedures that detail how this Policy is implemented. This Policy does not cover Construction Contracts, as contemplated in Policy IV.07.10.

C. Procurement Card

The University may maintain procurement card services for the benefit of the University. Purchasing and Contracting Services will publish policies and procedures governing use of the procurement card.

D. Goods and Services Contract Procurement Thresholds

(1) University will, at minimum, procure goods and services based on the anticipated contract price, in accordance with methods enumerated in this Policy.  Multiple contracts, purchase orders, or purchasing requisitions cannot be issued separately with the intent to circumvent this Policy.  Except as otherwise allowed under this Policy, the following anticipated contract price thresholds and processes apply to University purchases of goods and services:

(a) $50,000 or less — Direct Procurement or other method of procurement that the Public University deems beneficial.

(b) $50,000.01 to $250,000 — Informal Procurement, Formal Procurement, or other method of procurement, except the Direct Procurement method, that the University deems beneficial.

(c) Greater than $250,000 — Formal Procurement or other method of procurement, except the Direct Procurement or Informal Procurement methods, that the University deems beneficial.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), if the source of the funding for the procurement requires a different procurement method, the University may be required to comply with the procurement method required by the funding source in addition to this Policy.

(3) For the purpose of determining the appropriate procurement threshold, the anticipated contract price can be calculated one of two ways: 

(a) If the resulting contract is for a one-time purchase or project, the contract price is equal to any fees or expenses payable to the contractor for that one-time purchase or project.

(b) If the resulting contract is for a purchase or project with renewal terms, the contract price is equal to any fees or expenses payable to the contractor in a single  term commitment. 


E. Methods of Procurement

The University will use the following methods of procurement when procuring goods or services.

(1) Direct Procurement. A process where the University negotiates with a single entity to provide goods or services.

(2) Informal Procurement. An informal process conducted in a manner that is likely to solicit at least three (3) responsive offers.

(3) Formal Procurement. A Competitive Process where the University:

(a) Creates a Solicitation Document that contains the procurement procedures, scoring process, and necessary specifications.

(b) Publishes a notice of the procurement on the University business opportunities website and/or other medium for advertising that is accessible to the general public  that specifies when and where the Solicitation Document may be obtained and the closing date/time. Respondents must be afforded a reasonable period to respond to the Solicitation. 

(c) Conducts the procurement in accordance with UO Policy IV.09.02 and UO Policy IV.09.06.

(4) Emergency Procurement. The President or Sr. Vice President for Finance and Administration, or designee, may declare an emergency in accordance with University policy when such a declaration is deemed appropriate. The reasons for the declaration will be documented and include justifications for the procedure used to select the entity for a contract within the scope of the emergency declaration. After the President or Sr. Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee has declared an emergency, the University may negotiate a contract with any qualified entity for services included in the scope of the emergency. The University will maintain appropriate records of negotiations carried out as part of the contracting process.

(5) Retainer. The University may conduct an Informal or Formal Procurement to enter into Retainer Contracts with multiple entities to provide goods or services at contracted rates of compensation or based on an established set of qualifications.

(6) Alternative Processes. Notwithstanding the foregoing procedures, the Chief Procurement Officer, or designee, may authorize alternative procurements when formal or informal procurement methods are unlikely to produce proposals that are responsive to University objectives or otherwise diminish the University’s obligation to secure best value in connection with the purchase of goods and services. The Chief Procurement Officer may approve an alternative process in the following circumstances:

(a) There are a limited number of qualified respondents able to respond to a public procurement; or 

(b) Qualified respondents, including but not limited to certified historically underrepresented businesses, are not able or are unwilling to respond to formal procurement; or   

(c) Due to a broad range of possible functional solutions and pricing, the University is unable to develop an adequate specification or project budget without significant vendor engagement.

(7) Exempt. The University need not follow, regardless of value, a Competitive Process when seeking,  acquiring, or paying for the goods and services listed in this section. An exemption under federal law may also be required in order to forego a Competitive Process.     

(a) Educational services that relate directly to the instruction of University students.

(b) Advertising, ad aggregators, and media services.

(c) Price-regulated goods and services, including utilities, where the rate or price for the goods or services being purchased is established by a federal, state, or local regulatory authority.

(d) Goods or services under federal contracts. When the price of goods and services has been established by a contract with an agency of the federal government pursuant to a federal contract award, the University may purchase the goods and services in accordance with the federal contract. In addition, the University may purchase specific equipment that is only available from one source or use specific entities that are expressly required under the terms of the contract.

(e) Protected intellectual property. Protected intellectual property materials covered by this exemption may include, but are not limited to, copyrighted materials, licenses of patents, textbooks, workbooks, curriculum kits, reference materials, software, periodicals, library books, library materials, and audio, visual, and electronic media.

(f) Investment contracts and retirement plan services, excluding consulting services.

(g) Food and food-related products.

(h) Maintenance services directly from the contractor providing the goods or services or the original equipment manufacturer or creator of the goods or services.

(i) Used or pre-owned personal property.  

(j) Goods or services purchased for resale to outside entities.

(k) Goods or services related to intercollegiate athletic programs.

(L) Cadavers or cadaveric organs.

(m) Hotel reservations at a hotel that is a site for conferences or workshops organized by outside entities.

(n) Dues, registrations, and membership fees.

(o) Gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, lubricants, natural gas, electricity, and similar commodities and products and the transportation thereof.

(p) Supplies, maintenance, and services for ocean-going vessels when they are in other than home port.

(q) Repair and overhaul of goods or equipment.

(r) Goods or services purchased and provided in foreign countries.

(s) Insurance and insurance-related contracts.

(t) Grants, including services related to the development of grant applications and proposals.

(u) Contracts for legal services, including professional or expert witnesses or consultants to provide services or testimony relating to existing or potential litigation or legal matters in which the University is or may become interested.

(v) Contracts executed in connection with:

(A) The incurring of debt by the University, including but not limited to the issuance of bonds, and other debt repayment obligations, and any associated contracts, regardless of whether the obligations that the contracts establish are general, special, or limited;

(B) The making of program loans and similar extensions or advances of funds, aid, or assistance by the University to a public or private body for the purpose of carrying out, promoting, or sustaining activities or programs authorized by law; or

(C) The investment of funds by the University as authorized by law and other financial transactions of the University that by their character cannot practically be established under the Competitive Process.

(D) Grant-funded projects where professional or personal service providers are named in grant or identified in the grant budget, where the granting agency has issued an express waiver to a competitive process, or where the contracted party qualifies as a subaward grantee, unless the University determines it is in its best interest to require a Competitive Process.

(w) Contracts for employee benefit plans as authorized by law.

(x) Services provided by those in the medical community including, but not limited to, doctors, physicians, psychologists, nurses, veterinarians, and those with specific license to administer treatments for the health and well-being of people or animals.

(y) Artists, musicians, performers, photographers, videographers, graphic designers, website designers, and speakers.

(z) Sponsorship agreements for University events or facilities.

(aa) Booth space for exhibits at conventions. recruitment events, trade shows, and similar events.(bb) Third-party student recruitment service providers.

(cc) Group travel in foreign countries.

(8) Sole Source. A process where the Chief Procurement Officer, or designee, has made a written determination that due to special needs or qualifications, only a Single Seller is reasonably available to provide such goods or services. Sole source procurement will be avoided except when no reasonably available alternative source exists.

(a) The University will provide public notice of its determination that the person or professional services or goods or services are only available from a Single Seller

(b) An entity may protest the University's determination that the goods or services are available from a Single Seller in accordance with Policy IV.09.06(CC).

(9) Special Entity.

(a) The University may purchase goods or services, without using a Competitive Process, if purchasing from a federal, state, local governmental agency, a federally recognized tribe, or a corporation owned and operated by a government entity, (including, but not limited to, OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University)), or a state Oregon Forward Entity certified by the Oregon Department of Human Services or the Oregon State Procurement Office.

(b) The University may participate in cooperative procurements with other contracting agencies or entities or utilize other public contracts or cooperatively procured contracts if it is determined, in writing, that the solicitation and award process used to award that contract was reasonably equivalent to the respective processes established in this policy, including notice during solicitation process that the contract resulting from the procurement may be utilized by other entities. Determinations regarding equivalency and adequacy of processes for cooperating procurements will be made by the Chief Procurement Officer.

(10) Special Procurement. A special procurement is an exemption from competitive procedures that the President or Sr. Vice President for Finance and Administration determines is appropriate because it:

(a) Is reasonably expected to result in substantial cost savings to the University or to the public; or

(b) Otherwise substantially promotes the public interest in a manner that could not practically be realized by complying with other processes described in this section.

  • Volume IV: Finance, Administration and Infrastructure
  • Chapter 9: Purchasing and contracting
Original Source: 
Oregon Administrative Rule