Financial Administration

Purchasing Responsibility and Authority (G8)

Revised: June 5, 1998



  1. Background

    There are two levels of purchasing authority granted by the Department of Administration (DOA) to State agencies, basic delegation and major delegation (see definitions below). All agencies are automatically eligible for basic delegation. DOA has established criteria for granting, maintaining and requesting reinstatement of major delegation. A combination of the following criteria will be the basis of the State Bureau of Procurement’s determination of delegation authority to an agency:

    1. The agency management and staff support the receipt of delegated authority and all related responsibilities thereof.

    2. Delegated authority will be granted to a person meeting knowledge, experience and performance requirements who will be responsible and accountable for the agency’s purchasing activities.

    3. The individual with the delegated purchasing authority will provide information on the training and experience of the agency’s entire purchasing staff and will be responsible for providing continuing education for the staff.

    4. The agency will demonstrate internal policies and procedures which adhere to State procurement standards.

    5. The agency’s purchasing history will be a consideration [Requests for Purchasing Approval/Authority (RPAs)], stipulations documented on approved RPAs, audits, and complexity of agencies procurements).


  2. Constraints

    State Statutes

    Administrative Code

    State Procurement Manual

    A110 Federal Acquisitions Rules (when applicable)

    UWSA Procurement Policies and Procedures

    Uniform Commercial Code

    EXCLUSIONS: Temporary help (other than purchases for office and labor job categories made through the temporary help bulletin), legal services and vehicles. Under this policy, printing is delegated in accordance with an agency’s level of delegation, but ALL printing must be bid, no best judgment procurements are allowed.


  3. Definition of Terms

    Agency: For purposes of this document, the term "agency" refers to UWSA.

    Major Delegation: Authority to bid goods to any dollar amount and authority to acquire services through bidding, request for proposal or sole source procurement through $25,000.

    Basic Delegation: Authority to bid goods through $25,000 and authority to acquire services through bidding, request for proposal and sole source procurements through $10,000.


  4. Policy

    The UWSA Procurement Director submits a letter of application to the State Bureau of Procurement requesting major delegation, including the information required by Section, IIA, PRO-A-3, State Procurement Manual.


  5. Responsibilities

    UWSA Procurement Director will be responsible for the following:

    1. Bidding for all commodities at any dollar amount and bidding for contractual services through $25,000, except those items, services and types of printing listed in series 1000, 1400, 1500, and 1800 bulletins (state contracts).

    2. Waiving the bidding process for all commodities and contractual services, except printing, through $25,000.

    3. Bidding and administering any State contract in series 1000, 1100, 1400 and 1500 bulletins that DOA elect to assign to UWSA.

    4. Developing and conducting training sessions for UWS purchasing and printing officers, contract administrators and program personnel, including all regional campuses, under the general direction of DOA, and using DOA policies and procedures.

    5. Conducting management reviews and audits to assure compliance with State Statutes, Administrative Code, and DOA purchasing and printing policies and procedures.

    6. UWSA shall maintain proper and sufficient records, as defined in DOA policies and procedures, and shall make these available to DOA for review.

    7. UWSA Procurement Director may further delegate to campuses the authorities and responsibilities established between DOA and UWSA. UWSA may also reverse campus delegation and reassume the authorities and responsibilities.

    8. UWSA must detail its audit and training efforts on a fiscal year basis.

    9. UWSA must aggressively cooperate with State Bureau of Procurement VendorNet activities and efforts to obtain statewide shared access to procurement data. Support of VendorNet will include ensuring information about UWSA’s upcoming procurements is accurate and up-to-date.

    10. UWSA must aggressively target small, veteran and minority-owned businesses in its low dollar purchases.


  6. Delegation to Campuses

    Campus purchasing offices may apply to UWSA for major delegation by submitting information outlined in Section IIA, PRO-A-3, to the UWSA Procurement Director. The individual identified to receive delegated purchasing authority receives a formal delegation agreement signed by the UWSA Procurement Director detailing the individual’s responsibilities under their delegation agreement as outlined in V., above. The individual receiving delegated authority from UWSA may further delegate the acquisition of printing to individual(s) in the campus printing office. This delegation must be in writing, with a copy forwarded to UWSA Division of Procurement. If a campus requires assistance in writing printing specifications, consultation is available from the Director of Production Services, UW Madison DoIT Printing Services.


  7. Institution Delegation

    Institutions have the flexibility and are encouraged to identify and establish appropriate internal delegation levels. This delegation must be in writing by the individual with UWSA delegated authority and that individual will, on July 1 of each year, furnish a listing of delegated division/departments to the UWSA Division of Procurement (or alternatively provide the WWW site address of the listing). The individual granting internal delegation is responsible for ensuring the training and auditing of others in the institution who are granted purchasing authority.


  8. Process for Terminating/Reducing Delegation

    The following are situations that could cause the State Bureau of Procurement to review an agency’s delegation or UWSA Division of Procurement to review a campus’ delegation for possible reduction or termination of delegation:

    1. An audit with significant findings that call into question the agency/institution’s internal controls for purchasing

    2. Significant staff turnover

    3. A pattern of bad procurements or procurement practices indicating a problem

    4. Failure to comply with delegation agreement terms

    The State Bureau of Procurement may take toward an agency or UWSA Division of Procurement may take toward an agency series of actions, including:

    1. Placing an institution on probation, meaning a postaudit review would be conducted of procurements; other reviews may be requested.

    2. Reducing the delegation to basic delegation.

    3. Terminating delegation and conducting all institution procurements either at the State Bureau of Procurement or at UWSA.


Financial and Administrative Policy Index | Financial Administration


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To suggest possible additions or improvements, please contact Financial Administration  (608) 262-1313


Last Edited: 08/24/2001