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Contracting Guidelines

Ohio University often works with suppliers under a contract because it allows both parties to negotiate specifications regarding a product or service. While the University has some contract templates for suppliers to utilize, some will provide their own contract. This can happen with software agreements, group travel, events, leases of equipment, and maintenance agreements. In these cases, Procurement and Contract Services will work closely with the supplier or payee to negotiate the legal and business terms of the contract. Supplier provided contracts must have a Contract Routing and Approval form [PDF] attached when submitted.

Types of Contracts

In addition to suppliers using their own contracts, the University has created contract templates. These have been developed to cover a wide range of services provided by suppliers to the University and each is to be used in specific situations. 

Services Agreements

The Services Agreement Form is used to process purchases for services.  It is crucial to define the need, estimate the cost to ensure that it is below the university’s competitive bidding requirements, and whether the resource should be hired as an employee or independent contractor. Please review the Independent Contracting guidelines. There are two new agreements for services: the Short Form Services Agreement (formerly IC EZ) and the Services Agreement (formerly Comp IC).

  • Short Form Services Agreement (formerly IC EZ) – used for common, specifically defined services where there is no ambiguity regarding the nature of the service. The Short Form Services Agreement should be used rather than the Honorarium Agreement when there is a need to have a formal contract that legally obligates the supplier to perform the agreement. You will need to attach the fully executed agreement including the terms and conditions pages, signed by both the supplier and the department CFAO as the requisition will bypass the Purchasing Department and create a PO. If a supplier objects to any of the standard terms and conditions on the agreement, the form must be routed to the Purchasing team for resolution.

NOTE: For the Short Form Services Agreement, the amount of anticipated spend must be less than $50,000 and be for the current fiscal year only. In addition, the Short Form Services Agreement will no longer act as the invoice. The supplier must provide an invoice with the following information: supplier name and address, invoice date, invoice number, amount invoiced, date of service and description of service.

  • Services Agreement (formerly Comprehensive IC) – is used for more complex services in which exhibits are attached to the University’s standard terms and conditions to define the scope of work the supplier will be performing for the University. You will need to attach an Exhibit A form and any supporting documentation to ensure the Purchasing team can create the contract

In addition to the new forms you may continue to purchase services using the following methods.

  • Supplier Provided Agreement – Although our preference is to have services covered by Ohio University (OU) contracts, we do in certain situations and industries accept the supplier’s contract. Because it is not OU’s standard terms and conditions, additional review time may be required to negotiate acceptable terms. You will need to attach the supplier’s agreement and any supporting documentation.
  • PO Terms Only – used for simple services where the University’s standard terms and conditions will suffice as the contract. Typical uses are repairs, maintenance, or delivery services. You will need to attach documentation to support the PO amount


Services agreements were created to expedite the contracting process. The Short Form Services Agreement will bypass the Purchasing review step so as soon as the agreement is fully executed and the requisition approved, the Purchase Order (PO) will be created. 

If the Exhibit A is completed correctly for the Services Agreement, the compilation of the agreement and presentation to the supplier should happen within five (5) business days after department approval. The amount of time it takes for a supplier to agree to our terms & conditions and sign the agreement can impact the time it takes to complete.

In order to keep track of the progress of a contract, Procurement and Contract Services encourages the use of the P2P Document Review form within BobcatBUY. This will allow planning units to monitor the workflow of the contract.

Departments should plan ahead and allow time for the supplier and the University to review and negotiate the contract. Planning units can help speed up the contracting process by:

  • Using a Preferred Supplier as these suppliers already have agreements and insurance in place with the University
  • Obtaining a complete W-9 and Supplier/Payee Information form if a new supplier must be added
  • Checking the Contract and Insurance Matrix to see the insurance and contracting form needs for your type of service
  • If insurance is needed for your service, checking the Supplier Insurance Status [PDF] to see if your chosen supplier has insurance established with the University
  • Ensuring that all documentation provided during the process is complete. This streamlines the review process as the supplier will not need to be contacted to redo a document.

Paying Services Suppliers

As with other goods and services purchased, the invoice to be paid must be sent to along with the associated Purchase Order number in order for the supplier to be paid. If the planning unit is sent the invoice, they should forward it to Accounts Payable. If the payment is for services, it must have a Purchase Order established prior to the services being performed. Payment Requests and PCards may not be used for the payment of services.


The University must adhere to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) when working with contractors. Relevant sections include: