The purpose of the Business Contracts Office is to minimize risk. Every software acquisition involves a certain level of legal and financial risk. The most effective way to minimize this risk is to ensure that every software acquisition made by The University of Texas at Austin is in accordance with the following entities’ applicable laws, policies, and regulations: (1) the federal government, (2) the State of Texas, (3) The University of Texas System, and (4) the university itself.
The university ensures compliance with these laws, policies, and regulations by incorporating the university’s standard terms and conditions into every acquisition. University standard terms and conditions are incorporated into an acquisition using one of two methods: (1) purchase order, or (2) business contract.
Purchase Order: When the university makes a purchase by issuing a purchase order, the university standard terms and conditions are incorporated into the purchase by reference. Every purchase order has a clause that states “Order Terms and Conditions are online at: [LINK]” This clause means that the linked university standard terms and conditions are incorporated and made a part of the purchase. When a vendor ships goods, or provides services, in response to a purchase order, they are legally agreeing to the university standard terms and conditions.
Business Contract (VP2): A business contract is any written agreement or contract that includes the university’ standard terms and conditions and is signed by the university and the vendor. When the university acquires software using a business contract, the university standard terms and conditions are included either by: (1) inserting them directly into the body of the business contract, or (2) by attaching them to the business contract as an addendum.
In the scheme of university purchasing policies, software acquisitions are unique because software can be purchased on either a purchase order or business contract. The chosen purchase method depends on whether the vendor requires university signature. If a vendor provides a license, contract, or other agreement that requires signature, the university will create a business contract and issue payment on a *DEFINE VP2 payment voucher. If a vendor does not require signature on an agreement or other document, the university will issue a purchase order.