Contract Process Guide

Revised September, 2023

This Contract Process Guide is intended as a reference to assist university employees in better understanding the processes and procedures associated with contracts and business transactions at the George Washington University (“GW” or “university”).  University employees are encouraged to become familiar with the procedures in this Guide.

This Guide provides information to answer three key questions often related to contracts and business transactions:

  • Which university offices assist with a proposed purchase transaction and review or approve a contract before execution?
  • Who is authorized to sign a contract?
  • Where can additional information related to contracts or transactions be found?

For purposes of this Guide, the following terms are used throughout:

  • The term “contract” means any agreement or other negotiable document covering a relationship, a transaction and/or the mutual exchange of promises. A more detailed definition of the term is included under the FAQs (see Section VIII of this Guide).
  • The term “procurement transaction” means all activities related to the obtaining of any goods or services, including description of requirements, selection and solicitation of contractors, requisition, preparation and award of contract, and all phases of contract administration that are related to purchasing.
  • The term “contractor” or “other party” means the outside (non-university) party to a contract, including but not limited to suppliers, vendors, sellers, affiliates, collaborators, and similar parties.
  • The term “end user office” means the school, division, department or office from which a desired transaction or contract originates. This office typically is responsible for the business terms of the contract, communicates with the contractor, and has the ongoing obligation to monitor the terms of the contract after it has been executed.
  • P2P” is an abbreviation for Procure-To-Pay, the department that is responsible for the university’s procurement of goods and services at GW.
  • OGC” is an abbreviation for the Office of General Counsel.

This Contract Process Guide is available on the university’s Procurement website. This Guide is subject to periodic updates. Please send questions, comments, and suggestions for improvements
to [email protected] and include in the header of the email “Contract Process Guide.”

This Guide is not intended to provide legal advice for any particular situation. Legal advice can be provided only in the course of communication with an attorney in the university’s Office of General Counsel with reference to the facts of a specific situation. Accordingly, this information should not be relied on as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from OGC.

Contract Process Guide (PDF) 9-13-23