Procurement FAQs

What Form do I Use?

  1. Check the Marketplace to look for your needed good or service. If the vendor you would like to work with is not on the Marketplace, please contact Procurement at 360-650-3340 for directions on how to get them set-up.
  2. If not on the Marketplace and the vendor accepts credit card payments, use a PCard (non-Restricted Items less than $3000).
  3. If you already have an invoice that just needs to be paid, please use the Payment Request for Vendors and Non-Employee Stipends eSign Form. This is for Check Requests and non-employee stipends.
  4. Use a Purchase eSign Form for buying things only if you are unable to use the Marketplace or your P-Card. (A new Esign For New/Renewing Field/Blanket/Open Orders will be available soon).
  5. Use a Services / Reimbursement form to pay for services or get reimbursed for purchases. If an employee is being reimbursed, please use the Reimbursement Request - Employees instead.

Also note that the Purchase Form is NOT a Purchase Order. Do not give or fax a copy of the Purchase Form to a Vendor. This document is meant only for use within Western's Purchasing System. If the Vendor says they need a Purchase Order, make a note on the Purchase Form and Procurement will create a Purchase Order and send it to the Vendor.

Types of Purchases

To claim sole source we must be able to document in detail that we have searched for alternative sources, and there must be a written description of what the special conditions or requirements are which make the purchase justifiable to only one source. The Request for Sole Source Approval Form has been developed to aid in documenting. If you have trouble with the form, contact Procurement for help with determining the extent of support necessary to support the request.

Brand or model name is not usually sufficient to justify sole source. Often, these brands are available from several different distributors or retailers. In this case, instead of doing a sole source form, indicate on the Purchase Form why an equivalent brand or model will not serve your purpose.

Any purchase for goods or services with a total value (less tax and freight) equal to or exceeding $10,000.00 requires a competitive quote from three sources.

Any solution that is projected to exceed $10,000 shall at a minimum be posted on Washington's Electronic Business Solution (WEBS).

To get the best price! Competitive quoting fulfills our obligation to the business community who, as taxpayers, expect to be given a fair and equal chance at participating in the business the University has to award.

It's also the law! The dollar amounts for competitive quote requirements are specified in the Revised Code of Washington (specifically RCW 43.19.1906).


If you believe your purchase should be tax exempt, please read through the process on our Tax Exempt Purchases Page Here.

Western is not a tax exempt entity and must comply with state rules and regulations concerning tax exempt items. 

Please contact the Procurement Department well in advance of any purchases you believe should be tax exempt, as a review, form, and approval must be obtained prior to the purchase.

Event Questions

Then please provide an estimate.

We can keep documents private in CMM Contracts Management System.
* - Food purchases made with grant funds may have different requirements in regards to providing.

Then please provide an estimate.

If we are renting space at a Bellingham venue that requires us to use their catering services, do we have to request an exemption from Aramark?

No, However the following are Bellingham Venues that allow Aramark to cater:

  • Squalicum Boathouse
  • Lairmont Manor
  • Fairhaven Ferry Terminal

The policy does not require a department to seek pre-approval for food if the cost of the food is to be covered by an “attendee fee.” What constitutes an “attendee fee?”

Examples of attendee fees are:

  • A Conference Registration fee
  • A Vendor Fee to participate in a campus fair
  • Field trip course fee

Payment Processing

Contact Accounts Payable at:

The University is required to pay tax on all purchases just as any other business or consumer must do. Western is not tax exempt. We pay either a sales tax (as specified by RCW 82.08) or a use tax (RCW 82.12) on almost all purchases. The only exceptions are exemptions for certain categories such as food, advertising, research equipment or professional services.

Sales Tax should be represented on price quotes and invoices from vendors who are registered with the Washington State Department of Revenue.

Use Tax is a compensating tax that we pay to the State of Washington. It will always be our current local tax rate and Accounts Payable will add it to invoices from vendors who are not registered with the Washington State Department of Revenue.

A PCD prefix on the document number in Banner or Millenium means this was a purchase placed with a WWU PCard. If you used your own PCard to place the order, you probably recognize the information you see. You may see a PCD document even if you don't have a PCard. Purchasing and Accounts Payable sometimes use their PCards to place order or process Check Requests per a Purchase Form you have sent them.