General Counsel and Procurement Services to launch new online submission form for contracts

A major project has been in the works that will positively impact the way NIU manages contracts.

As part of the university’s ongoing efforts to ensure that contracts are properly vetted and comply with university requirements, NIU is launching a new online form for the submission of contract review requests that takes effect this month.

“The new online submission form process provides significant benefits to the university,” Tiffany Miller, Senior Associate General Counsel and project leader, said. “Along with providing a clear and consistent contract submission and routing process, it improves efficiency by helping ensure that the appropriate steps have been completed and contracts are ready for review or drafting at the time of submission of a review request.”

Acting Vice President and General Counsel, Greg Brady, shared the sentiment.

“The online submission form will streamline the current process and help the university ensure that contracts are properly vetted and comply with legal and university requirements,” Brady said.

The new online form will be implemented in two phases beginning with non-procurement contracts on Jan. 28 followed by procurement contracts at a future date.  To help keep requesting departments informed and contracts on track, the system will send automated confirmations and reminders (for saved forms) to requesting departments. The new online process also helps affirm each department’s role and responsibilities in the contracting process, and will help increase the thoroughness and accuracy of information provided in review requests. 

“The new online process standardizes the way review requests are submitted and captures the key information needed to complete a contract,” Miller said. “It will allow us to better serve the campus community.”

Testing of the new form took place in the fall, with representatives from various campus departments who tested the online submission form giving it high marks.

“The online submission form is a good way to standardize the process,” said Tim Condon, Business Administrative Associate in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and member of the campus user testing group. “It’s a simple form that helps pull the information together up-front to potentially reduce processing time.”

The Office of General Counsel created a Contracting at NIU webpage which includes a number of new resources including a university contracting overview, step-by-step form submission instructions, procurement and non-procurement contract definitions, and new contracting process and frequently asked questions sections.  Employees who enter into contracts on behalf of the university or assist with the contracting process should find the tools they need to help facilitate the transition.

More information on the new online form for the submission of contract review requests can be found online on the OGC Contracting at NIU webpage.

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