PPP14 Signatory Authority (agreements/contracts)

Effective 05/06/14
Replaces 9/24/04


The Director of Purchasing Services has signature authority for procurement contracts and agreements for the UW Madison as delegated by the State Department of Administration. The Director of Purchasing Services can designate agents on the UW-Madison campus to apply the Director’s signature to contracts and agreements. (04/15/2014).


The intent of this policy is to protect UW-Madison staff from unknowingly entering into a contract or agreement containing provisions that by state law cannot be honored. There are some agreement/contract/lease terms and conditions with which the UW-Madison cannot agree (e.g., indemnification, hold harmless, etc

2.1 When you are renting/leasing residential or office space that the University will be paying directly, it is mandatory that you have a formal agreement or lease which clearly defines the cost, what is included in that cost, security/advance deposits, and the lease responsibilities of each party. All leases must be forwarded to Purchasing Services for editing and signature. This policy applies to any long-term travel plans where it is more economical to rent/lease residential space than to stay in a hotel.


If department staff receives a contract, agreement, or lease requiring signatures, the staff person must attach the related document to the requisition and route the requisition through normal approval channels. A purchasing agent will review, edit as necessary and have the appropriate signatures applied.

3.1 Under certain circumstances, some contracts/agreements/leases require special approvals and may need a formal special approval form or justification for purchase (see PPP #4, Special Approvals).

3.2 State law prohibits the acceptance of some terms and/or conditions. If the agreement is edited and returned to the vendor for approval and signature and an agreement with the vendor cannot be reached, UW-Madison Legal Counsel is consulted by the Purchasing Services.

4. Staff should be aware that employees signing contracts or agreements beyond the scope of their employment are not able to contractually obligate UW-Madison. Departmental staff who sign contracts/agreements/leases while acting outside of their employment, can be held personally responsible for any costs or damages. A contract is not enforceable against either party until authorized signatures by both parties are applied.

5. CONTACT. Departments should contact Purchasing Services (262-1526) for assistance.