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Purchasing Policy

Before making purchases on behalf of the university, please review the following documents: 

Both of the above documents were updated/implemented effective September 1, 2023.  The revisions aim to streamline and clarify the document, with no major substantive changes.  Below is a summary of some of the changes reflected in both documents:

  • Updated terminology, such as:
    • Changed Bid Documentation and Sole Source Justification (previously 2 separate forms) to Purchasing Decision Documentation (1 form)
    • Changed Procurement Card to Corporate Card
    • Changed ‘On Line Voucher’ to ‘Payment Request’ to reflect current practices
  • Updated how changes to Purchase Orders need to be done
  • Added additional important information regarding Corporate Card Reconciliation (MyWallet and expense reports)
  • Added information about how to use Amazon when necessary (process had to change once they started charging sales tax)
  • Changed signature authority to align with changes implemented by OGC
  • In an effort to improve the flow of the document, some content from the policy section and the procedure section were merged in order to reduce redundancy and improve the overall flow of the document.
  • While less policy-specific content has been moved to a separate regularly updated procedure document, understanding both the Purchasing and Payment Policy and Policy Related Procedures is essential for making purchasing and payment decisions at Northwestern.
Faculty and staff are expected to know and comply with the policies and procedures the University has established for managing its activities and operations. More information can be found in the Standards for Business Conduct.