Skip to content

Special Approvals

Acquisitions that require special approvals

Alcoholic Beverages The purchase of such beverages with University-controlled funds is not permitted except (a) when purchased for resale (paid for from an individual or group's private funds, NOT from a University or State assigned account number), (b) when funds have been paid into a University or State assigned account for the express purpose of purchasing alcoholic beverages such as a non-credit short course in wine and cheese tasting. Such exceptions must be formally approved, in advance and in writing, by the Office of the Vice President for Administrative Affairs or designee (Ref. Administrative Policy B 1. 8).

Academic Awards for Students  Must have the prior approval of the Dean.  Complete the Student Academic Award Payment form, have it signed, write the PS Requisition number on the form, and send it to Procurement.

Computers or Computer Components and special software Purchase of computers or computer components and special (not off-the-shelf) software must be approved by OTS.

Food and Beverages Purchases of food and beverages, including catering, must comply with the UB Food Policy, must be approved by the Dean, Director of Department Head. 

Gift Cards  Occasionally gift cards are purchased as an incentive for academic research test subjects.  The Purchasing Card SHALL NOT be used for the purchase of gift cards.  See the gift card acquisition and distribution report, and the gift card procedure.

Independent Contractors  IRS regulations prohibit contracting with individuals unless they are truly independent contractors and do not receive the benefits of employees.  If a contractor is a sole proprietor or will be doing the work personally, the requesting Department will be required to complete the Independent Contractor Verification Questionnaire before the contractor begins work. The normal source selection procedures apply to contracts for independent contractors or consultants.

Insurance   Generally speaking, the University is prohibited from purchasing insurance. If you have an exceptional need that requires the purchase of insurance, please contact Blair Blankinship (410-837-5714) as early in the process as possible.

Legal Representation  Hiring of Attorneys with University funds must be coordinated with the State Attorney General's Office. Contact Procurement for assistance and coordination 410-837-5714.

Locks for Doors  UB Police will review requests for new locks to be installed on doors, etc.  Please attach the completed and approved Physical Security form to the PeopleSoft Requisition.

Live Vertebrate Animals.   Buyers of living animals with backbones must first have their Animal Care Protocol approved by the campus Animal Care and Use Committee. Contact Blair Blankinship, Procurement.  

Motor Vehicles.  Purchasing and leasing (more than 28 days) of motor vehicles requires prior review and approval by the Fleet Administrator. Contact Blair Blankinship 410-837-5714 Bblankinship@ubalt.edu.

Purchases Affecting Building Structures and Utilities.  Items which are very heavy, too large to fit into buildings, require utilities hook-up, modification to an existing structure, or may in any way pose hazardous or safety concerns, must be reviewed and approved by Facilities Management; contact Neb Sertsu at 410-837-4666.  As a rule of thumb, if the item is larger than a standard refrigerator, consult with Facilities Management.

Purchases Using Sponsored Programs Funds.  Purchases using sponsored programs funds for equipment with a unit value greater than $5,000, or services with a total value greater than $5,000 must first be approved by the Director of Sponsored Research to be sure the items are allowable and allocable to the sponsoring contract or grant.

Certain Printed Materials.  The printing of items such as business cards, letterhead and envelopes, and pre-numbered forms and tickets require approval of University Relations (University Editor System). Contact University Relations at 410-837-6190 for assistance and information.

Radioactive And Hazardous Materials. Needs for such materials must be coordinated through and approved by Facilities Management; contact Neb Sertsu at 410-837-4666.

Real Property. Purchases, leases and rentals  of land and structures usually require special processing and approval. Such needs are to be referred to the Director of Procurement for handling.

Stipends for Students  Payment of stipends to students for participation in Student Governement of other purposes must be approved in advance by Human Resources.  Please complete the Stipend Payment Worksheet.

Vendor Agreements, Licenses, Waivers, Understandings, Contracts, Contract Modifications.  All such documents require Procurement's review for legal form and sufficiency before acceptance. Other University personnel are not authorized to sign any such documents and may be personally liable for the obligations in the agreement.

Contracts for Construction or Services in Excess of $1 million. All Contracts for Construction or Services in Excess of $1,000,000 require the prior approval of the Maryland State Board of Public Works (BPW).

Contracts in excess of $5 million  All contracts in excess of $5 million require the prior approval of the USM Board of Regents.

Consulting Agreements
Consulting Agreements over $5,000 must be coordinated through Procurement. The normal source selection procedures apply to contracts for consulting. Proposals or quotations for services and prices will normally be solicited from three competitive sources (consultants). Departments are cautioned that if a consultant participates in the drafting of the requirements or specifications of the procurement they are disqualified from competing for the contract, based on State ethics law conflict of interest.*  IRS regulations prohibit contracting with individuals unless they are truly independent contractors. We must be careful not to give the appearance of circumventing IRS regulations by contracting with individuals who perform the duties of an employee. When in doubt, contact Procurement and Supply for clarification. If the consultant is a sole proprietor or will be doing the work personally, the requesting Department will be required to complete the Independent Contractor Verification Questionnaire before the consultant is engaged or begins work. 

*see decision of the State Ethics Commission, August 30, 1994

Furniture Purchases
In support of the State's affirmative action programs, the University is required to give first consideration to Maryland Correctional Enterprises (formerly State Use Industries ) for the purchase of items available from Maryland Correctional Enterprises (MCE). The University supports this law but realizes that MCE cannot always meet our furniture needs. Five exceptions are recognized by law for not purchasing from MCE, these are:

MCE cannot provide the items within a reasonable time
MCE cannot meet reasonable specifications
The cost of purchasing from MCE exceeds the budgetary allowance
The procurement is an emergency procurement as defined by law (note that the law defines an emergency procurement as those items necessary to avoid or to mitigate serious damage to public health, safety and welfare)
The item is not included in the master list of items available from MCE.
The justification for each such purchase must be documented. As with all other delegated purchases, stringing or splitting orders to avoid the single purchase limit is prohibited. The UB purchasing card can be used to make furniture purchases less than $5,000 in value from MCE as well as vendors other than MCE provided that the following steps are completed.

Unlike most commodities we buy, furniture requires a very long lead-time.  Planning is essential, and should begin with a discussion with Facilities Management.  They will work with you to refine your requirement, plan a lay-out or recommend working with an interior designer, selecting fabrics and finishes, planning for measurement of the space, ordering of the furniture, delivery, and inspection after delivery.  The delivery process typically takes 12 to 14 weeks, so it is essential to start planning early.  Since funds must be spent by June 30 each year, it is imperative that you start the process no later than April first.  Every day of delay after April 1 puts your project in jeopardy.

Furniture that is available from Maryland Correctional Enterprises (MCE) must be purchased from MCE.  You may review the furniture available on their web-site, which includes their "quick ship" program.  Determine if the furniture item needed is listed in the MCE catalog. If you don't have a MCE catalog, contact Dee McGhin at 410-837-5717 to request one.  Contact the University's MCE representative, Holly Adams, 410-540-5461 or haadams@dpscs.state.md.us 
FAX 410-540-5569, for a price and delivery quote. Place the order with MCE unless one of the above exceptions apply.

Should one of the exceptions apply, please contact the Procurement Department, 410-837-5717, for guidance on how to proceed.