Authorization and Approval

Responsibility: Associate Vice-President, Financial Services 
Authorization: Board of Governors
Approval Date: Dec 15, 2015


To ensure that the operational activities related to procurement are consistent with, and supportive of the university’s strategic directions.

To ensure that all procurement is authorized by appropriate individuals, is undertaken in a manner that provides the best value to the university, is supportive of sustainability practices, is based on recognized procurement principles, and is in compliance with funding agency guidelines and applicable legislation and regulations. 

To set forth the university’s approved procurement framework and to identify the applicable procedures that are to be followed when goods and services are procured. 


Procurement of all goods and services and related activities must be guided by the principles of non-discrimination, fair procurement processes, and transparency of policy and procedures to all stakeholders.

Procurement decisions will seek to achieve best value for the university.  This includes consideration of the total acquisition and life cycle costs.  Total acquisition cost includes taxes, currency exchange, customs, duties, freight, installation, etc.  Life cycle costs include operating, maintenance, inventory and disposal.

Procurement decisions will consider the sustainability implications including social, economic, and environmental impacts of all purchasing strategies and decisions.

The university’s procurement strategy supports the use of competitive bidding as the primary methodology to procure goods and services.  Other established procurement strategies may be used if appropriate to the circumstances of the procurement requirements.

Where practical, goods, services, equipment, furniture, etc. will be standardized throughout the university to maximize cost savings and process efficiencies.

Purchasing activities will be in compliance with funding agency guidelines and applicable legislation and regulations, including trade agreements.


This policy applies to all methods used for procuring goods and services from external suppliers, including construction and capital expenditures, goods for resale, etc., from all sources of funding including operating, research, trust and restricted funds.

Within this policy and related procedures, the use of terminology such as department, department head, dean and college are considered to also refer to director, head of administrative unit and administrative unit/division.


No person shall commit the university to agreements, contracts, licenses, leases, or other legally enforceable obligations related to procuring goods and services unless delegated or authorized to do so by Purchasing Services or the Board of Governors.  

All procurement must be made using established and approved university procurement tools and procedures.  See Procedure Summary below.

Goods and services must be purchased from strategic supplier partnership contracts, unless a change in supplier directly and/or significantly impacts the on-going teaching, research or service activities of the department/unit.  If a supplier contract generates revenue (e.g. rebates or commissions), over and above direct department discounts on goods and services, the allocation of the revenue will be decided by PCIP based on priorities identified in the university’s strategic plan.

Competitive bids, in accordance with thresholds and requirements stated in the Competitive Bid Procedure, are required for the purchase of all goods and services.  Open, fair and transparent competitive bid processes provide evidence of due diligence to funding partners and ensures best value, and compliance with legislative requirements.

Sole source procurement, as an exception to the competitive bid requirement, may be approved if there are institutional strategic priorities, or essential and/or material reasons for awarding an order or contract without soliciting competitive bids.  See Single Source Procedure.

Acquisition of donated goods and services from purely philanthropic sources, are not subject to this policy.  In this case, the university’s Gift Acceptance policy applies, and the donation must be processed through the university advancement office.


All parties involved in the selection, negotiation, approval, performance, or administration of university procurement and contracts are bound to act in good faith.  Any person employed by the university who purchases goods and services, or is involved in the procurement process for the university, shall be held to the highest degree of trust and shall be bound by the university’s Conflict of Interest policy.  All information, documents and files held by an individual in the course of their involvement in procurement activities are to be treated as confidential information, and cannot be disclosed to or discussed with any supplier or any other person, including employees who are not authorized to have access to that information.

Professional staff in Purchasing Services, are bound by the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) Code of Ethics.   They have been delegated authority by the Board of Governors to commit the university to binding agreements for the procurement of goods and services, in accordance with the university’s signing authority policy, and to ensure due diligence in related university processes.

Purchasing Services may grant delegated authority, including to other units for the procurement of goods and services specifically related and limited to their operations.  Such delegated procurement authority shall be approved in writing by the head of Purchasing Services.

Units and individuals with delegated procurement authority are required to be in compliance with this policy, and shall follow all applicable purchasing procedures specific to the delegated authority that have been reviewed and approved by Purchasing Services.

Deans, department heads, grantees and their delegates shall not procure goods or services of any kind, other than via transactions made using approved university procurement procedures and guidelines, within the limits of their financial and organizational responsibilities. Deans and department heads are also responsible for the oversight of the policy, procedures and guidelines within their organization (college, department, unit, etc.) as part of their stewardship responsibilities.

Where funding has been provided by an external agency, the financial manager of the fund or their delegate must authorize the expenditure (any delegates must receive written authorization from the financial manager.)

All university departments and units must:

  • Ensure that individuals making purchasing decisions are authorized, have adequate training and are accountable for compliance with the university’s purchasing and related policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that all purchases made with university funds are appropriate.  Under no circumstances may university financial resources be used for personal expenditures.

It is the responsibility of Purchasing Services (Financial Services) to develop and maintain the related procedures, guidelines and forms.


If, during a subsequent review, it was determined that a procurement, or a portion of a procurement, was not an acceptable charge against a particular fund, e.g. a research fund, then the declined amount would become the responsibility of the college to resolve.

The University expects that its members will comply fully with this policy. Failure to do so may constitute grounds for disciplinary action in accordance with any applicable agreements, contracts, regulations and/or legislation. 

Inappropriate or fraudulent activity will be referred to Audit Services.

Related Procedures


If you have questions about this policy please contact:

Contact Person: Associate Director, Purchasing Services, Financial Services
Phone: 306-966-6714
Website: Enterprise Procurement