Policy Revised - 01/01/2021

Policy Statement

Harvard University requires that faculty, staff, researchers, students, or other individuals who plan for or purchase products, equipment, supplies, and services with University funds, base purchases on sound business practice, best value, accountability, and compliance with donor, sponsor and regulatory requirements. Individuals planning for or making purchases must follow this and other established Harvard University policies and procedures.

Harvard University personnel must purchase goods and services using practices that are compliant with applicable laws, regulations and obligations and that are aligned with Harvard’s policies and objectives. The Federal Uniform Guidance mandates that purchases made with federal funds follow specific procedures and the University requires all purchases made with federal funds to follow these procedures. In addition, all purchases must comply with all terms and conditions of the funding source. The University strongly encourages best practices for purchases made with non-federal funds.

Whenever possible, all individuals purchasing on behalf of Harvard University should purchase goods and services from Harvard Preferred Vendors / Suppliers to reduce administrative burden and maximize the University’s buying power.

If direction differs between this policy and external regulations, sponsor or donor terms, or other internal policy or procedures, the more restrictive instruction will apply.

Reason for Policy

This policy is intended to ensure that Harvard University resources are used properly in purchasing activities. Consistent adherence to the policy provides the reliability and assurance that purchasing activities meet regulatory requirements and sound business practice for acquisitions, contracts and third-party arrangements.

The University expects individuals to make sound and ethical purchasing and contracting decisions that will ensure the continued and efficient operation of the University.

Who Must Comply

All Harvard University personnel at all schools, tubs, local units, Affiliate Institutions, Allied Institutions and University-wide initiatives must comply with this policy, as well as any non-employees making purchases on behalf of the University. This includes purchases made with a Purchasing Card (PCard), Corporate Card, purchase orders and payment requests generated using Buy-to-Pay (B2P), petty cash or electronic commerce, other systems used by Harvard (e.g., Sutherland Global, PRESTO, etc.) as well as legitimate purchases of goods and services purchased with personal funds and later reimbursed.

Harvard University schools, tubs and local units may have related Local Policies as long as they are consistent with and meet the minimum standards set by University Policies.

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