Back to Top
Contract Services Office - UIUC

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 on the Urbana-Champaign campus; 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.

If your unit has access to the Illinois Contract System (iCS), then refer to the job aids on the iCS Resource Page for contract development and routing.

How to Complete the Contract Approval/Routing Form (CARF)

Attached is a job aid that will help you fill out the CARF - How to Complete the Contract Approval/Routing Form (CARF)

If you have a question that is not addressed in this job aid, or require additional assistance with the CARF, please contact the Contract Services Office.

Step-by-step instructions for routing contracts on the Contract Approval/Routing Form (CARF)

NOTE: Not all contracts should be routed on the CARF, for example, agreements processed in the Office of Technology Management (OTM), the Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA), or routed via the Illinois Contract System (iCS). For more information, see the Contract Types page.

  1. Download the CARF from the OBFS Forms page. There are different CARFs for each System Campus, so be sure to select the link for the Urbana System Campus form.
  2. Complete Sections 1 through 3.
  3. Print the completed CARF and obtain the necessary unit/college signatures.
    • Unit Head (required)*
    • Dean/Director (if contract value is $50,000 or more)**
    • VP/Chancellor/Vice Chancellor (if contract value is $150,000 or more)***
  4. Scan the completed and signed CARF and the contract into a single PDF file and email to (Preferred).
    Or, print and attach one copy of your contract behind the completed and signed CARF and send via campus mail to the Contract Services Office (3rd Floor Coble Hall, MC-335, 801 S. Wright Street).

*Unit Head approval may NOT be delegated. However, the signature of the next higher level administrator negates the need for approval(s) at a lower level. For University Administration (UA) units, this is the director responsible for the performance of the contract.

**Dean/Director approval may be delegated. The unit must maintain documentation of such delegation. The signature of the next higher level administrator negates the need for approval(s) at a lower level. For UA units, this is the executive director or next higher level of approval. Dean/Directors in iCS may delegate approval by assigning a proxy. See Assigning a Proxy.

***For UA units, this is the Assistant Vice President or next higher level of approval.

Information on delegating signature within iCS can be found on the iCS Resource Page.

More information on approvals can be found in OBFS Policies and Procedures Manual, 1.3.2 Initiation, Review, and Approval of University Contracts and Leases.

Who Signs Contracts?

The University Comptroller is the general fiscal officer of the board and is the only party authorized to approve and execute contracts, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, not expressly requiring prior, specific Board authorization. The Comptroller may delegate contract execution authority. Delegates who sign contracts on behalf of the Comptroller must have express written authority to do so from the Comptroller him/herself. All four contract processing offices, Contract Services Office, Purchasing Division, Sponsored Programs Administration, and Office of Technology Management, have authorized Comptroller delegates.

Unit Heads, Deans, and Directors can sign agreements in only one of two cases, described below. All other contracts must be signed by the appropriate contract processing office.

  1. Unit Heads, Deans, and Directors can sign the two pre-approved templates less than $10,000 available on the OBFS Forms page: Revenue Generating Services Agreement (less than $10,000, other than healthcare related services) and the Contract For Services under $10,000 (CFS Under $10,000). NOTE: These can only be signed by the Unit Head, Dean, or Director if the following two 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 unit-specific, pre-approved templates less than $10,000 if given specific approval by the Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance. The same to qualifications listed in 1A and 1B above apply. To learn more about how to request signature authority, please contact the Contract Services Office.


For assistance processing more complex contract types, please refer to the Who to Ask section. If you are still unsure about where to go for help, contact the Contract Services Office at

Last Updated: March 27, 2020

Give us feedback about this page Submit Feedback