The UMass Procurement Policy and Administrative Standards were approved by the UMass Board of Trustees on December 16, 2021. Our focus here is to discuss the major changes and any impact they will have on your daily purchasing activities.

Procurement Policy Change Overview

The major changes to the Procurement Policy are: 

  • Shared Service Procurement: Establishes the Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST) as a shared service providing procurement as a service to all campuses and the UMass President’s Office.
  • Competitive Procurement: Broadens the definition of “best value” procurement to include supplier diversity and prior performance.
  • Delegation of Authority: Enables UPST to efficiently execute agreements on behalf of the campuses and the UMass President’s Office with documented campus approval.

Procurement Administrative Standards Changes & Impact

The Administrative Standards operationalize the policy approved by the BOT and create a centralized document for all procurement processes and requirements. We will analyze the changes by the main sections in the Administrative Standards.

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Procurement Administration (Ways to Purchase)

UMass offers several ways to purchase goods and services: Bank Card, Direct Payment, Requisitions and Purchase Orders, and Contracts (Purchase Agreements). We will cover each purchasing method and its requirements.

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Competitive Procurement

Provides guidelines for the Competitive Procurement process, requirements, spend thresholds, and partnerships.

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Legal Review and Standard University Purchase Agreements

Some purchase agreements (contracts) require a mandatory review by the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) to ensure that risks are proactively mitigated before a purchase can be made. OGC can review any purchase agreement at their discretion, request of a purchaser, or UPST.

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Terms & Definitions

The procurement process involves many terms used on a daily basis that may not be easily understandable by end-users. Major terms used in the policy and standards are defined here for all UMass Campuses and President’s Office personnel.

Interpretation of Procurement Standards

The Chief Procurement Officer shall be consulted regarding any interpretation or application of the Policy or these Standards.  The Chief Procurement Office shall consult with the Office of the General Counsel for further guidance if necessary or appropriate. Subjects of consultation may include, without limitation, review, and advice for any aspect of procurement, including development of RFXs, responses from bidders, post-award de-briefs and protests, proposed contract terms, and negotiations.

Contact UPST for any additional information on the Procurement Administrative Standards.