Contract Process Guide

Contract Process Guide (PDF)

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 need to review or approve a contract or a proposed transaction?
  • 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 and/or the mutual exchange of promises.  A more detailed definition of the term is included under the FAQs.
  • 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 “responsible university 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.
  • OGC” is an acronym for the Office of General Counsel at GW.

This Guide is intended to be updated periodically.   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 Office of General Counsel (“OGC”) 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.

Links to Specific Chapters in the Contract Process Guide

I. Introduction

II. University Contracts and Transactions - Where to Start

III. The Purchasing of Goods and Services through the Procurement and Travel Services Department

IV. Contracts Originating through Other Offices (Where Procurement Is Not Originally Involved)

V. Contract Review and Approval Process with the Office of General Counsel

VI. Step-by-Step Instructions: Contract Review and Approval Process with the Office of General Counsel

VII. Signature Authority

VIII. Contract Basics: FAQs

IX. Common Types of Contract Documents

X. Contact Information

Appendix A: Procurement's Competitive Exemptions List

Appendix B: Signature Authority Table

Appendix C: Form Routing/Tracking Sheet