Before Starting a Contract
What is a contract?
A contract is any written agreement between the University of Washington Bothell (UW Bothell) and one or more parties that is enforceable by law.
When to create a contract?
Any campus personnel or unit (e.g., department, school, research lab, administrative office, etc.) who engages in a transaction with an outside party (e.g., individual, agency, company, organization, etc.) on behalf of UW Bothell needs to have a
A campus unit that enters into a contract with an external party generally does so with one or more goals in mind, for example:
• Purchase, exchange, or receive funding for a good or service
• Train students, faculty, or staff
• Perform research activities
• Generate revenue
• Exchange ideas
• Provide a public service to the larger community
• Pave the way for future projects
• Fulfill a bid process requirement
Who is authorized to create, amend, or terminate a contract at UW Bothell?
Only campus contracting officers with specific delegated authority to negotiate and execute contracts on behalf of UW Bothell are authorized to create, amend, or terminate a contract. The Contracts and Risk Management staff are knowledgeable of the university’s policies and the state and federal regulations that govern each agreement. Campus faculty, researchers, and staff are responsible for contacting this office and providing the scope of work, payment terms, and other important information related to the terms of the desired contract.
It is important to note that, only contracting officers are authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the university, or to bind the university in any manner. If an unauthorized individual enters into an agreement, such individual may face personal adverse consequences for signing the agreement. Therefore, the first step in the contracting process is always to consult Contracts and Risk Management.
Reviewing and approving a contract
In some cases, before the Contracts and Risk Management office finishes drafting the contract and in order for it to be executed, on-and off-campus Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) may need to review and approve the draft, based on the specifications of the contract.
Although SMEs from these offices do not have delegated signature authority to enter into a contract on behalf of UW Bothell, they do play an important role in reviewing contracts and mitigating risk. The following offices are contacted:
• UW Seattle Attorney General
• UW Seattle Risk Services
• UW Bothell Fiscal & Audit Services