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Contract Services Office

Contract Review Process

Where a contract is routed and how it is processed depends on many different factors, including the type of contract, the value, the source of funds, whether it is payable or receivable, who initiated it, and several other possible determinations. The information on this page is meant to help you determine the correct way to process and execute contracts; however, there will always be exceptions or unique situations that may not be addressed below. You should also reference the Contract Types page for information on which offices can assist you with various contract types. 

Submitting Contracts to CSO

Contracts can be submitted to CSO in one of two ways: (1) via the Illinois Contract System (iCS), or (2) via email. 

Illinois Contract System (iCS)

If a department is an Illinois Contract System (iCS) user, the department should upload the contract into iCS and route it to the appropriate contract processing office. Job Aids for processing contracts via iCS are available on the iCS Resource Page.  


If a department is not an iCS user, contracts (or contract requests) should be emailed to CSO. 

Chicago customers should email the contract, completed and signed Contract Approval/Routing Form (CARF), and the Revenue Generating Information Worksheet (RGIW) for new and non-template contract to

Springfield customers should email the contract to

Urbana-Champaign and System Office customers should email the contract to

Springfield, Urbana-Champaign, and System Office customers will fill out the CARF at the end of the contract process and do not need to fill out the RGIW. 

Review Process

Once CSO, receives the contract, it will be assigned to a contract coordinator who will review the contract, identify any needed changes, and work with the campus department to negotiate those changes with the other party until all parties agree on contract language. When necessary, CSO staff will consult with colleagues in the Office of University Counsel, the Office of Risk Management, or other offices to review language contained in the contract. 

Signature Process

Once all the parties agree on the contract language, CSO will ask the department to send the contract to the other party for their signature. When the other party returns the signed contract, the unit should either route the contract via iCS, if the department is an iCS user, or via email to CSO using the email addresses above.

Springfield/Urbana-Champaign System Office customers should complete a CARF and obtain Unit Head signature on the CARF. If the contract is for $50,000 or more ($25,000 or more for Springfield customers), obtain signature from the department's Dean/Director. If the contract is for $150,000 or more ($50,000 for Springfield customers), obtain signature from the relevant Chancellor/Provost/VP. Send a scanned copy of the CARF containing the signatures to (for Springfield customers) or to (for Urbana-Champaign and University System Office customers). 

CSO will obtain the Comptroller delegate signature and return the agreement to the department. iCS will automatically send an email to the unit contact once the agreement is signed and is available for the unit to download and send to the other party for their records. Non-iCS customers will receive an email from CSO with a copy of the signed contract. 

The department should send a copy of the fully executed contract to the other party for their records. 

Who Signs Contracts?

The University Comptroller is the general fiscal officer of the board and is the only party authorized to execute contracts on behalf of the Board of Trustees. The Comptroller may delegate contract execution authority. Delegates who sign contracts on behalf of the Comptroller may delegate contract execution authority. Delegates who sign contracts on behalf of the Comptroller must have express written authorization to do from the Comptroller him/herself, unless otherwise provided for in OBFS Policy and Procedure Manual, 1.3.2 Initiation, Review, and Approval of University Contracts and Leases. Each contract processing office has Comptroller delegates. 

Unit Heads, Deans, and Directors can sign unaltered, pre-approved contract templates in only two cases, described below. The appropriate contract processing office must sign all other contracts. 

1.      Unit Heads, Deans, and Directors can sign the University pre-approved template less than $10,000 available on the OBFS Forms page: Revenue Generating Services Agreement (less than $10,000, other than healthcare related services). NOTE that this can only be signed by the Unit Head, Dean, or Director if the following statements are true:

A. There are no changes to the template (for example, adding exhibits, scopes of work, etc.). 

B. The full amount of the contract, for the life of the contract, will be $9,999,99 or less. 

If either A or B above cannot be met, the template must be routed to the appropriate contract processing office for Comptroller signature. 

2.      Unit Heads, Deans, or Directors can sign customized unit-specific, pre-approved templates less than $10,000 if given specific approval by the Assistant Vice President for Business Services. The same two qualifications listed in 1A and 1B above apply. To learn more about how to request signature authority, please contact the Contract Services Office

Last Updated: August 07, 2020

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