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Office of the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I sign contracts on behalf of the University?
Only an individual with a written delegation of authority from the president of UT Austin may sign contracts on behalf of the University. A University contract without an authorized signature may be invalid and unenforceable and may create individual liability for the unauthorized signer.


Are contracts exempt from Purchasing procedures?
No. Contracts are not exempt from purchasing procedures. Please follow Purchasing Procedures whether you are using a purchase order or a contract to procure a service.


When should I use a contract vs. a purchase order?
Contract: Use a contract for the procurement of services or deliverable goods when it is prudent to detail specific negotiated terms and conditions, including a Statement of Work within a legally binding document.
Purchase Order: Use a Purchase Order (P.O.) for purchases of deliverable goods, continuing services (e.g., copy machine maintenance) and software licenses, wherein the P.O. Terms and Conditions of Orders will govern the procurement.
Do not prepare a P.O. and a contract for the same procurement.


When should I use an AIS/APS/PBS vs. a contract?
Please see the Handbook of Business Procedures.


How long will my contract review take?
Agreements are processed on a first-in first-out basis and average one to two weeks turnaround depending on complexity and volume of agreements already in the queue. Agreements that require Special Handling could take up to a month or longer.
Requests for priority review: Rush requests noted on or attached to the Business Contract Review Form will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis, depending on workload.


What does “Fully Executed” mean?
Fully Executed means that all parties have agreed to the terms and conditions of the contract and any revisions thereto, and they have signed and initialed the written contract.


Does the University have to sign first?
The agreement does not have to be signed by University first. However, Business Contracts should review the agreement before you submit to the vendor for signature.


Who signs agreements between two University Departments?
Agreements between two University departments may be negotiated and executed at the departmental level. Examples include but are not limited to agreements with the AT&T Executive Education Conference Center, Frank Erwin Center, Texas Performing Arts, University Unions, and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.


Contracts between University departments and AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center
The AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center is a University department. The agreement may be negotiated and signed at the departmental level under rules established by the department/college/school, regardless of dollar amount.


Does the University fill out credit applications?
The University does not provide account numbers or business references to vendors. As a state agency, our Annual Financial Report is audited by The State Auditor's Office, published online, and is available at any time. If a vendor requests a credit reference, departments should contact the Office of Accounting - Administration Services for assistance via the Request for W-9 & Credit Letters. Administration Services will then send a credit letter to the vendor notifying them of this policy.


Should I submit my contract to Business Contracts or Office of Sponsored Projects for review?
For services that are payable from an award processed by the Office of Sponsored Projects, please confer with your OSP contact to determine whether the agreement can be processed by Business Contracts as a “business services agreement” or whether the agreement will need to be processed by OSP as a “subcontract.”  This should be done before the agreement is submitted to Business Contracts in order to avoid unnecessary delays.