4.13 University Wide Contracts & Strategic Alliances

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Policy Information

Policy Number: 4.13 Effective Date: March 2005
Responsible Unit: Financial Services - Purchasing Last Revised Date: January 2008
Phone: 520-621-1747 Email: FNSV-Purchasing@arizona.edu

Purpose and Summary

The purpose of the policy is to explain what defines a University wide contract or Strategic Alliance and the requirements associated with using them.


This policy applies to all University locations and units, including all University extensions, satellite locations, and off-site campus units, both domestic and international.


  1. University Wide Contacts: Agreements for commodities and services established to benefit the University of Arizona. These contracts fulfill all requirements covered under University, Federal and State regulations.
  2. Strategic Alliance: University Wide Contracts where Suppliers/vendors have made significant and valuable commitments to the University.


  1. No department/unit will be required to utilize a product/service that does not meet its need. However, whenever it is deemed necessary to deviate from a University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance, a valid justification is required. Reasons which constitute a valid justification include but are not limited to: availability, delivery time, quality, continuity and price.
  2. When a University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance product/service will not satisfy the department's/unit's need, and a purchase is being made in accordance with the FSM Policy 9.18 Small Dollar/Direct Purchase Procedures, the written documentation providing the justification for deviation from a University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance is the responsibility of the end user. Documentation shall be maintained with the transaction records in the department's/unit's files. For PCard transactions, the written documentation will be maintained in the department's/unit's files, while the transaction documentation is stored as imaged documents in UAccess Financials.
  3. When a transaction involving a purchase is outside of an existing University-wide contract or Strategic Alliance and is submitted by the unit to Purchasing for processing (regardless of dollar amount), a written explanation and request to the Procurement Officer, or designee, must be submitted with the requisition.
  4. An appeals process for resolving disputes with the Procurement Officer’s, or designee's, decisions is in place. The ultimate adjudicators of such disputes are the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Business Affairs or the Executive VP and Provost, or their designee as appropriate.


  1. Regardless of the dollar amount, when a University-Wide Contract or Strategic Alliance exists, first consideration in filling a department’s/unit’s need should be given to products/services covered by the contract.
  2. Departments/units should give their full support in helping to enhance the unique mutually beneficial relationship by: 1) being aware of the purpose of these alliances and related benefits; and 2) assuring that alliance participants are not viewed as simply “suppliers/vendors” because they can provide expertise that can be used to the department’s/unit’s advantage in resolving problems and issues. As part of their role within the Campus Community, it is important that Strategic Alliance company representatives be viewed by University departments/units as consultants and advisors.

Financial Services Manual Policy 9.18
University-Wide Contract or Strategic Alliances

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions and Related Information are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.