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Contract Review at Strategic Purchasing, Contracts and Insurance

Strategic Purchasing, Contracts and Insurance (SPCI) has reviewing and approving authority of contracts for purchases of goods and services.  Contract review requests are initiated through the completed contract review request form and  by attaching all supporting documentation. 

When the University accepts an obligation to another party, a written document records the terms of the agreement and can prevent misunderstandings. These written contracts clarify each party's obligations and need to include provisions that protect the University. 

Any contract (i.e. quotes with terms and conditions) for goods and services must be approved by SPCI.  The SPCI Department handles more than reviewing and processing purchase orders.  SPCI also has responsibility for reviewing and approving contracts for the purchase or sale of goods and services (except for those handled by OGC, CIS, or OSP).  

SPCI has a dedicated Contract Manager for review and approval of contract terms and conditions. Please contact Contract Manager, Veronica Dure at [email protected]. Contracts submitted to purchasing not under SPCI's purview will be routed to the correct office. More often than not, SPCI is likely to be your primary resource.  

The Contract Manager in Strategic Purchasing, Contracts and Insurance can help navigate the University's contracting requirements and assist in negotiating specific contract terms. SPCI can also advise when a contract or certain provisions require further review or approval by other University departments, such as Export Control, Computing and Information Services or the Office of the General Counsel. 

Be sure to confirm who in your department is authorized to sign a contract and that it is reviewed by one of the Reviewing Authorities.  It is against Brown University's Code of Conduct to sign unauthorized contracts.  

The Reviewing Authorities "Authorized Approvers" each have a different CONTRACT review category and are as follows: 
  • SPCI (contracts for goods and services at any amount, unless it belongs under the purview of the other reviewing authorities)
  • OGC (contract templates and contracts over $100k, CIS Level 3 off-premisis contracts, unless it belongs under the purview of the other reviewing authorities) 
  • CIS (IT related contracts at any amount including computer hardware, software and cloud, excluding level 3 off-premisis contracts, unless it belongs under the purview of the other reviewing authorities) 
  • OVPR/OSP( NDA’s and grant funded contracts)  

The following steps MUST be taken prior to formally entering into commitments:  

Contract Review Standard Operating Procedures 

1) Route contracts to the Authorized Approver for review prior to commitment and execution;
2) “Authorized Approvers” are delineated based on the contract category  (For more information, please refer to OGC's  Schedule   ) ;
3) Should the Authorized Approver’s initial review indicate terms or other  language within the agreement that warrants the additional review by content area experts, such as HR (e.g., employment consulting contracts), OSP (e.g., agreements involving procuring research data), OVPR (e.g., export controls), and others, the Authorized Approver in consultation with SPCI, will consult with the applicable parties and maintain documentation of discussions and correspondence as part of the overall contract review package; 
4) Upon completion of review, Authorized Approver will indicate their approval;
5) The  Authorized Approvers must identify their approval of the final version of the contract, before it's signed by any authorized signers.  The Requester/Responsible Unit is required to confirm all University Policies are followed under the contract and identify who is authorized to execute the contract.  Once the contract is fully executed, please provide a signed copy to the Approving Authority. This will ensure all contracts executed throughout the University are retained and cataloged. The contracts will ultimately be stored in a contract database.  

 Note: If assistance is requested with the pre-commitment review of any contract for purchasing of goods and services, reach out to Veronica Dure, Contracts Manager at [email protected]

Tips for contracting for goods and services:

  • Check the Preferred Supplier webpage - a University wide contract may already exist
  • Be familiar with the University's competitive bid process requirements
  • Support the University's initiatives such as utilizing local and diversity suppliers, and making selections that support sustainability
  • Be familiar with the University's signature authority policy
  • Plan for sufficient time for contract reviews to be conducted
  • Be sure to submit all required information for contract review requests