Primary Contact for Purchasing: John Burmaster

The Center for Limnology must comply with all applicable UW-Madison and State of Wisconsin purchasing policy.

Before you purchase ANY items, talk to John Burmaster (Hasler Lab) or Amber Mrnak (Trout Lake Station) or one of the other administrative staff (Kelly O’Ferrell or Alyssa Luckey Winters).  For a summary of the purchasing processes, you may visit the Division of Business Services for information: https://businessservices.wisc.edu/purchasing/

Basic office and research supplies should be purchased through ShopUW+.  Please check with John, Kelly, Alyssa or Aaron at Hasler Lab and Amber at TLS for supplies before purchasing items. If items are not available in ShopUW+ we can use an external vendor.  Please see Purchasing Summary below for more information.

Invoices under $5,000 can be forwarded to John for payment.  Depending on the vendor these will either be paid by credit card or check.

Please contact John if you need to pay for conference registration, publication fee, organizational membership, etc.  Please do not use personal funds for these types of expenses as they may not be reimbursable.  You can work with John to have these fees paid with departmental funds.

Purchases over $5,000 will require a Purchase Order.  A purchase order requires completion of the Simplified Bid form or Non Competitive Purchase Request (Sole Source) form.  UW has recently revised the Sole Source form making it more difficult to justify not using the Simplified Bid form.  Please plan ahead appropriately as bids can take time to receive.  Please see Purchasing Summary below for more information.

The UW-Madison is tax exempt.  Be sure that any purchases are made using the tax exempt status.  The tax exempt certificate and related information can be found on the UW-Madison Business Services page:  https://businessservices.wisc.edu/documents/sales-tax-exempt-certificate/

Purchasing Summary

Summary: The information below is a summary of the purchasing process.  You can always reach out to John with any questions.  Please don’t make any purchases with personal funds before checking with John as they may not be reimbursable.  Lastly, ShopUW+ is relatively new and processing times have been longer than what you may be used to, sometimes taking up to a month.  Please plan ahead accordingly with your larger purchases requiring a Project Order.

Goods and Services Under $5,000

  • Is the item available on ShopUW+? If so, please add items to your cart and assign the cart to John Burmaster.  It is helpful to include the Business Purpose for the purchase (either in description or comments).  Even if the item is available through an external vendor at a lower price, we must purchase through ShopUW+.  If the item is not available on ShopUW+, proceed to #2.
  • Email John with a link to the item to be purchased. Please note in the email that:
    • The product is not available in ShopUW+
    • Business Purpose for the purchase
    • Funding to be used
    • Shipping location
    • Any other relevant notes

Exception: UW has strict rules regarding Printing, Furniture and a list of items found HERE.  Regardless of price, we must use a UW contracted vendor for these purchases.  Please contact John before moving forward with any purchases for these types of products.

Note 1: IT Purchases (computers, printers, monitors, etc) require pre-approval from L&S through the Electronic Device Approval Form found HERE.  Please work with John to complete the form and have routed to L&S for approval.

Note 2: Some vendors are ineligible for UW purchases for various reasons.  The lists can be found HERE.

Note 3: If CFL does not have a tax exempt account set up with an outside vendor, John will set one up.  This can take some time so please plan accordingly.

Goods and Services Between $5,000 and $25,000

  • A Project Order (PO) is always required for purchases over $5,000. If the vendor is on contract with UW then we can skip the bidding/sole source process.  Purchasing Contract Inquiry Menu can be found HERE.  For the types of purchases generally made at CFL, there is not a vendor on contract.  However, please contact John if you have questions.
  • When the vendor is not on contract, there are 2 options:
  1. Simplified Bid – Form can be found HERE and overall process can be found HERE. In general, 3 bids are required.  If the vendor does not respond to a quote request within 3 business days we can count that as a bid and note that the vendor did not meet the request deadline.  Once 3 bids are received we write a justification as to why we chose the specific vendor.  John will complete the form with assistance from the purchaser.
  2. Non-Competitive Purchasing Form (Sole Source) – Form can be found HERE and overall process can be found HERE. Sole Source justification has been more difficult to obtain recently.  The most common acceptable reasons are when a vendor is truly the only provider of a good or service, when a good or service from a specific vendor is written into a grant, or when going through a vendor is required for data continuity.  If the purchase does not meet one of these requirements, please be prepared to go through the bidding process.

Note: Please plan on the PO process to take 3-4 weeks.  There are several steps “behind the scenes” not noted above to get a PO fully approved.  This includes vendor set up in ShopUW, submitting a requisition which requires several levels or approval, and then completion of the PO.  Please contact John immediately when you have a purchase that requires a PO.

Goods and Services Over $25,000

  • The process is similar to purchases between $5,000 and $25,000 with the exception that Sole Source is not an option unless the vendor is on contract.

For comments or suggestions regarding this page, contact John Burmaster.