Contract Signature Authority

Last Updated

University Policy 513
Original Issuance Date: February 21, 2024

1. Policy Purpose

To ensure compliance with state statutes, system policies and campus procedures that require delegation of authority, and to further clarify the position title given authority and their monetary or other restrictions.

2. Responsible University Officer

Director of Procurement & Strategic Sourcing

3. Scope and Responsibilities

This policy applies to all employees, and specifically those who have or may have contract signature authority delegated to them.

4. Background

Clear processes for and an understanding of contract signature authority help safeguard State of Wisconsin and UW-Eau Claire assets and reputation by clearly defining who has the authority to commit the university to contractual agreements, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized commitments or potential legal liabilities. Additionally, it provides a structured framework for decision-making, promotes efficient use of resources, and ensures accountability and transparency in financial dealings, ultimately benefiting both the State of Wisconsin, UW-Eau Claire, and stakeholders.

Regents Policy Document (RPD) 13-1, General Contract Approval, Signature Authority, and Reporting authorizes the President of the University of Wisconsin System to delegate to the chancellors of UW System institutions the authority to sign contracts related to programs or operations of their institutions. Pursuant to this policy, the President has delegated signature authority to the Chancellor of UW-Eau Claire.

RPD 13-1 additionally provides that, “Chancellors may further delegate contract signature authority to other UW System institution employees deemed to have the requisite knowledge, judgment, and operational need to exercise such authority.”

5. Definitions

Contract: Any document with terms and conditions, including but not limited to: grants, memorandums of understanding, certifications, releases, purchase orders, leases of personal property (not real property) and royalty agreements. Any contract that requires adherence to terms or conditions that one or more parties must fulfill - regardless of whether the contract is monetary in nature - requires approval from an individual with the appropriate delegated authority to execute.

Signature Authority: The authority delegated to an individual by the Chancellor to sign a contract on behalf of the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

6. Policy Statement

A. Guidelines

Signature authority may only be delegated directly from the Chancellor.

The Delegation of Contract Signature Authority form and Contract Signature Authority Delegations chart serve as written documentation of the individuals that can sign for contracts and provides a transparent framework for compliance-related monitoring and tracking. Only individuals listed on the chart have signature authority delegated to them. Delegations are reviewed annually to ensure they are current and appropriate. Individuals granted this delegation are considered “contracting personnel” and subject to the conflict-of-interest reporting requirements of Ch. UWS 8, Wis. Admin. Code.

It is important to note that this authority does not extend to real property and/or construction-related contracts. These contracts are addressed in RPD 13-2, Real Property Contracts: Signature Authority and Approval and RPD 13-5, Capital Projects Managed by the UW System: Approval and Signature Authority.

B. Requesting Contract Signature Authority

Individuals may be delegated signature authority solely by submitting an email request to the Department of Procurement & Strategic Sourcing ( Training is required prior to receiving contract signature authority. The request will be reviewed by the Division of Finance & Administration and the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, and decisioned by the Chancellor. Individuals are delegated signature authority only for dollar amounts and those types of documents necessary to perform the responsibilities of their positions. Approvals will clearly state the position being granted authority and the subject matter of the authority being given.

C. Delegating or Transferring Signature Authority Prohibited

An employee granted signature authority by the Chancellor may not further delegate or transfer their authority to another individual; the authority remains solely with the Chancellor. Follow the Requesting Contract Signature Authority process above to request new authority for an individual.

D. Terminating Signature Authority

Signature authority is terminated when any of the following occurs:
  • The individual is no longer employed in the position stated on the approved Delegation of Contract Signature Authority form
  • The authority has expired based on the expiration date on the approved Delegation of Contract Signature Authority form
  • The Chancellor has stated in writing that the authority is terminated

E. Administration

Delegations by the Chancellor are filed in the Office of the Chancellor. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration is responsible for:
  • Administering and communicating the requirements of this procedure,
  • Maintaining the Contract Signature Authority Delegations chart, and
  • Ensuring delegations are reviewed periodically to ensure that delegations are current, and employees are exercising their signature authority appropriately.

7. Related Documents

Contract Signature Authority Delegations chart
Wis. Stat. 946.13, Private interest in public contract prohibited
Wis. Stat. 16.71, Purchasing, powers
Wis. Stat. 36.11(1)(b), Powers and duties of the board of regents
RPD 13-1, General Contract Approval, Signature Authority, and Reporting
RPD 13-2, Real Property Contracts: Signature Authority and Approval
RPD 13-5, Capital Projects Solely Managed by the UW System: Approval and Signature Authority
RPD 20-21, University Personnel Systems
RPD 25-4, Strategic Planning and Large or High-Risk Projects
SYS 342, Extramural Support Administration
SYS 520, Board of Regents Procurement Authority
SYS 521, Authority to Sign Procurement Contracts in the UW System
Delegation of Contract Signature Authority under RPD 13-1 memo dated January 11, 2023

8. Policy History

First approved: February 21, 2024

9. Scheduled Review

February 2029