UConn Health contracts generally proceed through the following steps:
1. Contract Negotiation
Contract preparation and negotiation are handled primarily by contract professionals in the Contracts Department. UConn Health employee who initiates the request for the contract on behalf of his/her department is referred to as the internal “Business Owner” for the contract. The Business Owner will be consulted with respect to issues that are “business decisions”; generally those that pertain specifically to the facilities, goods or services being procured or provided by UConn Health, as opposed to statutory or other legal contract requirements.
2. Contract Review, Approval and Signature
The individual UConn Health employees responsible for reviewing, approving and signing each contract will vary depending on what the contract is for, the department that requested the contract, and the contract value.
The words “review,” “approval” and “signature” each refer to a different – and equally important – aspect of this step.
- The UConn Health employee identified as the internal customer for the contract and/or that employee’s department head, as well as other subject matter experts (such as a representative of the IT Department for contracts involving computer software, or Campus Planning for contracts involving building renovation) will be asked to review all or part of the draft contract to provide input and help to ensure that all of UConn Health’s needs are accurately described.
- The contract cannot be finalized until those same individuals and other stakeholders (such as IT Security for contracts involving the electronic sharing of confidential information, Clinical Engineering for contracts for the purchase of clinical equipment, or UConn Health’s Board of Directors for higher value contracts and all space leases) have given their approval to move forward.
- Contract signature is the physical act of signing the finalized contract, which takes place only after review and approval have been completed. The authority to sign contracts is delegated by the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees to the President of the University, who can then further delegate that responsibility to others in writing. The most up-to-date document naming the authorized contract signatories for UConn Health is the memo signed by former President Herbst in June 2013. When you review the President’s signature authority delegation memo, you will see that very few people are authorized to sign contracts on behalf of UConn Health. The majority of UConn Health employees – even those with significant institutional responsibilities – do not have the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the institution, regardless of the type of contract or its value.
In order for a contract to be considered valid, it must first go through the review and approval process appropriate for the type and value of the contract, and then be signed by an authorized representative of UConn Health and the other party/ies to the contract.
How long will this step take? Review and approval usually takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the time that the contract is completely finalized and ready to be executed. This step may take longer or shorter, depending on the complexity and value of the specific contract.
3. Contract Monitoring
UConn Health monitors contractor performance to ensure compliance with contract terms and conditions.