LAST UPDATED: November 26, 2014

What You Should Know

Services include a range of activities as varied as shipping, moving you from one office to another on campus, catering a lunch meeting, filling a temporary staff vacancy, advertising for a faculty position, and retaining consultants to map departmental processes.

Most services are purchased using a standard requisition/PO. However, purchase of services rendered over a long duration or of high cost (greater than $5,000), such as graphic designers or consultants, requires competitive bidding and a University-approved contract.

Shipping & Moving

Purchase domestic and international shipping services online through the MarketPlace. For on-campus moving, create a requisition using PeopleSoft for our preferred contract supplier, Bohren's Moving & Storage.

Purchase and payment of moving services related to hiring and relocation are handled by the Office of Human Resources.

Document Destruction Services

There are two methods for managing document destruction: departmental shredding (the purchase of a shredder) and commercial shredding (on-site or off-site). Departmental shredding is recommended when certification of destruction is not required and there is a low volume over an extended period of time. Shredders may be purchased from OfficeMax through the MarketPlace. Commercial shredding is recommended when certification of destruction is required and the volume is not practical to handle with a standard office shredding machine. The University has a contract with Cintas for commercial shredding services. For more information, contact Lisa Leisinger, Purchasing Department at 8-1920.

For more information on document retention guidelines, please see the University’s Records and Retention Guidelines & Schedule.

Caterers & Event Services

You’ll find an extensive list of caterers and event service providers on our contract supplier list. When you purchase catering services from on-campus dining services, your department will be directly billed. You can place the order without a purchase order. For large gatherings and meetings, create a standard requisition/PO. For lower-cost catering services, purchase from one of our contract suppliers using your Departmental Credit Card.

Independent Contractors

Hiring service providers and independent contractors involves insurance requirements, government regulations, and University policies. Buying high-cost or long-duration services normally involves developing a statement of work, competitive bidding, and a University-approved contract. Please see Paying Independent Contractors & Guests for more information about independent contractors, including limited engagements and honoraria.

Statement of Work

The first step is to clarify your specific need and outline the parameters of a potential service relationship by creating a Statement of Work (SOW). The SOW is a document that describes the specific responsibilities of each contracting party, the tasks and activities involved, the deliverable milestones that must be reached, and the deadlines to be met. The SOW will become the basis for the most essential business terms in your contract with a consultant or service provider.

Competitive Bidding

Next, initiate the bidding process by creating a draft requisition in PeopleSoft. In addition to this requisition, send to purchasing the Statement of Work you developed and a list of potential suppliers to initiate the bid. If only a single supplier is capable of providing the good or service you need, a Sole Source Justification Form.

During the bidding and selection process, price does not solely determine the chosen supplier. Other factors include timeliness, product or service quality, and past performance. It is extremely important that no commitments, expressed or implied, be made to a prospective supplier before the selection has been approved by purchasing.


Once the supplier or service provider has been selected, the next step is to formalize the agreement with the other party in a written contract that clarifies each party’s obligations and includes provisions that protect the University against risk. The Independent Contractor Agreement can be adapted to your purposes and will assist you in negotiating specific terms. For additional information and guidance on written contracts, please refer to the University’s contracting website.


Under a variety of circumstances, outside organizations are required to provide evidence of commercial general liability insurance and to name the University as an additional insured on the organization's insurance policy in order to be permitted to conduct business on University property. As part of formalizing the contract, risk management ensures that insurance requirements are met and proper Certificates of Insurance (COI) are in place before any on-site work begins.

Staffing & Recruiting

The Office of Human Resources maintains an updated list of University-approved temporary staffing agencies. Individuals hired through a temporary agency are paid by the agency and the agency directly bills the hiring department.

Before recruiting regular staff or faculty, get information about the University’s recruiting and hiring policies and practices from the Office of Human Resources. If you decide to hire through a temporary agency, the hiring manager should first contact the agency to confirm the specifications and/or requirements of the position, including skills, work hours, and length of assignment. Once the details of the staffing assignment are confirmed, the department shouldcreate a standard requisition/PO for the full expected amount of the temporary staffing service assignment. As services are delivered and invoiced, the department should receive the amounts for service provided to-date against the PO. 

Speakers & Entertainers

University policy requires that agreements be prepared when hiring individuals to give a one-time or short-term educational seminar or lecture and when engaging a person or business to provide entertainment services. On the contracting website, you’ll find University-approved standard templates that can be used or adapted and attached to the Princeton University Terms & Conditions statement.

For guest speakers, use the Speaker/Instructor Agreement; for hiring DJs, musicians, and other entertainers, use the Entertainment Agreement. You’ll find both of these standard contracts on the contracting website.

Before you sign or commit to the agreement, use PeopleSoft to create a standard requisition/PO and forward the agreement to purchasing for approval.


If you are participating in the Travel & Expense Program pilot, book travel online using Concur or over the phone with Carlson Wagonlit Travel. If you are not in the pilot program, use the Princeton preferred suppliers as often as possible.


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