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Functional Roles and Responsibilities

Regardless of who conducts procurement activity, all involved in the process are bound by the governance principles of the U of T Procurement Policy and the financial management obligations described in the Guide to Financial Management (GTFM).

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Central Procurement Services

As the steward of the University of Toronto Procurement Policy, central Procurement Services sets standards through the issuance of institutional procurement policies, procedures, broad-based programs and initiatives within ethical, legal and professional frameworks.

In addition, central Procurement Services is responsible for the following:

  • Publishing, disseminating, and administering the Procurement Policy, administrative regulations, and procedures for the management of University procurement activities;
  • Directing strategic purchasing activities of the University by providing leadership in all functions including negotiating arrangements with Approved Suppliers so that all departments benefit from the full purchasing power of the University;
  • Providing tools to enable self-sufficiency and operational efficiency (e.g. uSOURCE, the University’s on-line marketplace);
  • Delivering training and providing support to the University community for purchasing transactions over which Faculties and Divisions have delegated authority;
  • Sponsoring and co-ordinating University-wide initiatives to achieve improvements in the planning, acquisition and management of goods and services
  • Conducting open competitive procurement (open tender calls) on behalf of the St. George campus, from issuing the open tender call, through to contract award and supplier debriefing and/or bid disputes;
  • Participating in collaborate procurement arrangements on behalf of the University;
  • Reviewing and approving the fair market value of surplus capital assets;
  • Reporting on procurement activities on behalf of the University to external stakeholders as required.

Faculties and Departments

There are a number of stakeholders involved in the procurement process and each role carries responsibilities. At a high level, procurement-related roles and responsibilities apply to both academic and administrative departments.  These are required to ensure the required financial management of University assets and resources:

Head of Faculty / Division; Head of Department

  • Obtains assurance that faculty and staff are compliant with the University Procurement Policy and Administrative Regulations;
  • Ensures that contracts are referred to the appropriate University officer for execution (signing) in accordance with the Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Documents;
  • Require that the person who originates the request discloses any potential conflict of interest with respect to the supplier; and
  • Ensures that employees are not purchasing goods/services or using University facilities for personal reasons.

Faculty Finance Officer

  • Has detailed knowledge of University’s Procurement Policy, Administrative Regulations and related GTFM guidelines;
  • Develops the reporting procedures necessary to provide the head of the faculty/division with the required assurances that University policies are being followed; and
  • Informs the head of the faculty of significant instances of non-compliance.

Departmental Finance Administrator/Business Officer

  • Ensures adherence to the University Procurement Policy, Administrative Regulations and related GTFM guidelines, and, accordingly, allows exceptions only after consulting with Procurement Services and obtaining approval from the head of the department. In this regard the department head is to be advised if any member of the department holds a financial interest in the supplier;
  • When dealing directly with suppliers, ensures the reliability of the supplier has been investigated and that terms of payment do not put the University at risk. Advance payments are made only on the recommendation of Procurement Services Department and, in the case of little-known suppliers substantial advances are made only after an investigation into the financial strength of the supplier;
  • Ensures payment terms are not changed from the University standard without consulting Procurement Services
  • Ensures adherence to the Policy on Approval and Execution of Contracts and Documents, where it is necessary to enter into a more substantive contract with the supplier;
  • Ensures that purchases are made only for University business and not for personal use;
  • Ensures restricted access to on-line requisition function.
  • Ensures the following conditions/restrictions are considered prior to placing an order:
    • Need:
      • Is the purchase necessary for the stated purpose?
      • If supplies or equipment, can requirements be met by currently available equipment and supplies?
    • Funding:
      • Are there sufficient funds to cover the purchase?
      • If the purchase is funded from a grant, is it allowed under the terms of the grant?
    • Related Costs:
      • Are there related costs i.e. once-only costs, such as renovations for accommodation of equipment, and ongoing costs of operation, and has there been adequate consideration of these costs and the funding of these costs i.e. particularly if purchase is funded from a research grant?
      • Service contracts are maintained in central records so that major repairs can be authorized in the context of such contracts or warranties.
  • Confirms orders immediately by purchase requisition.
  • Approves all purchases within the parameters of delegated authority.
  • Ensures the Department Card Coordinator regularly reviews cardholder statements in accordance with the University’s PCard Administrative Regulations by for propriety of use.

Individual employees

  • Faculty and staff engaged in procurement activities should also be familiar with the University Procurement Policy and related GTFM guidelines.