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New Procurement Standards being Implemented to Comply with Uniform Guidance

Update September 1, 2018

New procedures to ensure Northwestern is in compliance with updated Uniform Guidance procurement standards for purchases on sponsored programs are now in place. To review all information related to these new procedures, visit the new Uniform Guidance Procurement Standards webpage.

August 8, 2018

Procurement and Payment Services has been working with Research Financial Operations and ASRSP to implement new procedures to ensure Northwestern is in compliance with Uniform Guidance purchasing requirements, which applies to grants and cooperative agreements.  These new procedures for purchases on sponsored programs will begin September 1, 2018.  The primary goals of these procurement standards are to:

  • Increase reuse of existing equipment and supplies
  • Increase competition when purchasing equipment and supplies
  • Minimize sole sources

Our team is in the process of updating all related procedures, websites, and forms, as well as developing checklists to guide departments/schools on the new review process.  Below are a few highlights of these changes:

  • Multiple bids must be solicited by departments and schools for purchases of $10,000 or more when sponsored funds are being used, unless the product/service is purchased from a Northwestern Preferred Vendor.
  • Accounting Services for Research and Sponsored Programs (ASRSP) will review transactions of $5,000 or more for sponsored programs.
  • Procurement and Payment Services will continue to be the final approver for all requisitions of  $25,000 or more.
  • Bids for purchases of $250,000 or more on sponsored programs will be formally conducted by Procurement and Payment Services
  • The PPS web page for the bid process will be updated.
    • An Email address will be established for departments to use to send bid requests to PPS.
    • Instructions will be provided.
  • Bid opportunities will be posted on the PPS website with a bid due date and time (meets advertise requirement).
  • Email address will be established for vendors to submit their bids.
    • Bids will kept in a central folder until after the formal bid due date (meets sealed bid requirement).
  • Bid results will be summarized, PPS and department will make award decision.
  • Department will initiate requisition with Bid Documentation Form and quote attached so an official Purchase Order can be sent to the vendor.
  • Purchases must be reasonable, allocable, and allowable.

A powerpoint presentation (PDF) is also available with additional information on how Northwestern is planning to make sure we are in compliance with Uniform Guidance.

For questions, contact Procurement at 1.8120 or

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