Purchasing Policy and Procedure



To define the authority and process for signing contracts and other agreements.


All contracts and or agreements with the exception of contracts for Sponsored Projects, student teaching, internships, externships or where signature authority has been delegated, shall be sent to Contracting and Purchasing for signature.

  1. Definition: A contract is created when there is a mutual exchange of promises upon reasonably understandable terms and conditions. A contract does not have to be reduced to writing in order to be enforceable; however, as used in this Contracting website, the term contract is intended to mean a written form of communication. Many types of documents can constitute a contract, including invoices, memoranda and letters.
  2. Signature Authority: The Board of Regents authorizes the University President to:
    1. Execute contracts and other written instruments on behalf of the Arizona Board of Regents.
    2. Delegate signature authority to other University staff members for limited purposes. All signature authority must be delegated, in writing, by the President with specific limitations delineated. Delegated signature authority can be found on the Comptroller's website.
  3. Contract Responsibility
    1. The end using department is responsible for overall administration of the contract and acts as the liaison between NAU and the contractor. All contracts must be assigned to an individual within the department who is responsible for performing or tracking performance, administration, addressing routine issues that may arise under the contract and alerting Contracting and Purchasing Services timely when a contract requires modification, renewal or cancellation. The department shall assign a new contract administrator and inform Contracting and Purchasing Services of the change in the event of termination or change in responsibilities of assigned contract administrator.
    2. Contracting and Purchasing Services reviews, negotiates required terms, signs, processes any change, renewal, modification, or termination of contracts, provides assistance to departmental representative regarding contractual issues and maintains a file that contains, at minimum, the fully executed copy of the contract along with any signed modifications and related correspondence.


  1. The requesting department shall submit the contract for signature to Contracting and Purchasing Services using a Contract Signature Request (CSR) form, allowing ample time to review, negotiate and sign the contract. A good estimate of the time needed to appropriately process a contract is thirty (30) days, keeping in mind complex contracts can take several months to negotiate. The department representative’s signature on the CSR indicates the department representative has read and can perform the requirements of the contract, has obtained all required approvals, and has followed all applicable policies.
  2. The requesting department shall work out any operational details of the contract with the contractor prior to routing the contract to Contracting and Purchasing Services for signature.
  3. Contracting and Purchasing Services shall review, modify as appropriate, sign the agreement and maintain the executed copy and related file information.