Subject: Adjustments to Purchasing Operations

During this period of telecommuting, Purchasing operations continue for areas that have been identified as critical for University operations and research. Other purchasing needs for non-critical and/or remote operations should be carefully considered during this period of limited on-campus operations in light of COVID-19. Non-essential purchases should be discontinued or deferred until the University resumes normal on-campus operations. Examples of non-essential purchases include coffee/tea, furniture (un-related to ongoing projects), paper supplies, etc.

Please review the Purchasing Controls and Discretionary Spending slideshow for more information. 

Ordering Goods / Receiving Deliveries

  • Any non-essential orders that have been placed but not yet received should be cancelled when possible.
  • Cancel orders or notify vendors to hold deliveries if there will be no one to receive delivery of the orders. 
  • Engage Purchasing staff if you are expecting deliveries and need assistance with vendor outreach (contact information below).
  • Inform Purchasing if you have vendors who need to make critical deliveries or provide continual services to campus.
  • FM COVID Supplies RTC Questionnaire for non-lab departments with on campus personnel.
  • SPCI COVID-19 Essential Health & Safety Supply Request Form for labs/research departments and stockrooms serving on campus personnel.

Alternative Delivery locations 
Having orders delivered to non-Brown addresses should be limited to critical operational needs and will require the approval of the applicable Senior Officer/Division Head/Dean. This applies to all methods of ordering.

Equipment & Technology Needs
Under the Telecommuting guidelines announced by the University, faculty and staff should have been instructed to work with their managers or department heads to ensure they have what they need to perform their work away from campus. If new equipment is necessary, please follow University policies and processes that are in place, and consult with your IT support staff for technology needs, but note that supply chain problems make it difficult to order technology at this time. We are working with CIS to find as many available sources for equipment as possible.

For More Information
Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing staff are available to assist with your purchasing needs and questions. Please email [email protected] or contact a staff member if you need assistance. 

COVID-19 Brown University Expectations for Vendors, Contractors and Suppliers

Fraudulent Purchase Order Alert - Please read

Strategic Purchasing, Contracts & Insurace (SPCI) provides assistance to faculty, staff and students in making informed purchasing decisions.  Our department works to leverage the University’s buying power to get high quality products and services for the lowest possible price.  

The University has several policies that address Purchasing Standards that provide important guidance in the way that procurement activities are conducted.  These policies include:

Brown University Licensee Code of Conduct

Business Ethics

Compliance With Laws, Codes, and Regulations

Supplier Diversity Policy

Environmental Awareness

The University’s procurement policies  are  intended to be consistent with the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards Found at 2 CFR 200, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).  University departments will ensure that each transaction is classified or defined as an allowable expenditure using the appropriate spend category in the Workday Financials System.  For sponsored programs, certain purchases may be unallowable.

Brown University implemented the Uniform Guidance Procurement Rules detailed in 2 CFR 200.317 - 200.326 as of  July 1, 2018.