UCR Policies and Procedures

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Campus Policy Number: 750-69

Campus Purchasing (Policies and Requirements)
Policy Owner: Campus Purchasing
Effective Date: 04/22/2011


1.        Common Goods and Services - Standard commercial equipment, materials, supplies and services readily obtainable through conventional commercial marketing channels.
2.       Unique Products and Services - A product or service having characteristics, functions or features such that only that single product with those particular functions or features, or such unique services will properly satisfy the University's needs. Classifying a product or service in this manner implies that all other products or services are unacceptable for the specified need.   NOTE: A unique product or service may be available from multiple suppliers. In view of the fact that advantage could be obtained by seeking quotations from or negotiating with multiple suppliers, such action shall be taken.
3.       Sole Source -- The only supplier capable of meeting University requirements. Sole source procurements may be predicated on the basis of unique products, proprietary services, critical delivery time requirements, budgetary considerations (i.e. only item within a price class), etc. This includes emergency and other situations which preclude conventional planning and processing.
4.       Responsive Quotation/Bid -- A quotation/bid determined by the Director of Materiel Management, or designee, to be in substantial conformance with the specifications, delivery requirements, and conditions prescribed in the request for quotation or request for bid (RFQ/RFB), free of material mistakes or errors.
5.       Responsible Quoter/Bidder -- A quoter/bidder who has the capability in all respects to perform the contract requirements fully, and whose integrity and reliability will assure good-faith performance.
6.       Federal Contract and Grants -- Extramural agreements which fund selected campus activities.
7.       Purchase Contract - A written agreement, between the University and a supplier, which contains the essential terms and conditions under which goods or services are to be furnished to the University.
8.       Purchase Order - A purchase contract written on a University purchase order form which becomes effective either through execution of both parties, or upon execution by the University and performance by the supplier.
9.       Subcontract - A contract issued under a prime contract, which contains special flow-down provisions and is generally utilized to procure research and development work.
10.    $100,000 Annually -- Any single purchase contract or purchase order involving an estimated campus expenditure of $100,000 or more annually for materials, goods, or services; pertains to supply agreements, pool purchases and individual purchase transactions.
11.    Negotiation -- Negotiation is the act or technique in which the buyer and seller resolve the precise terms of the purchase contract. The basic objective of negotiation is to achieve agreement. Buyers promote the University’s interests while the vendor promotes their firm’s interests, with a common goal of reaching agreement. In other words both parties want to come to agreement, but each wishes to obtain the most favorable position in terms of period of performance, quality of the items or services being purchased, and price. Ideally, both are satisfied with the final agreement and a reasonable price is found.
The purchasing policies of the University are based upon the Bylaws and Standing Orders of The Regents of the University of California, and the State of California Public Contract Code (Chapter 2.1, Part 2, Division 2; Public Contract Code Section 10507, et seq.). In addition, Federal contracts and grants, and other extramural arrangements are major sources of funds for University purchases. Therefore, policies and requirements of the many funding agencies have been appropriately integrated into the basic Materiel Management policy, and the Standing Orders of The Regents to formulate the operating policies of the Campus Purchasing Department.  The resultant policy as it pertains to University purchasing activities includes the following:
1.       Recognition that the interests of the People of the State of California are paramount and that University Materiel Management policies and practices should be developed to best serve those interests.
2.       Recognition that the basic purpose of Materiel Management is to support the teaching, research, and public service missions of the University in a cost-effective manner.
3.       Continued development and refinement of University purchasing policies in accordance with good business judgment and professional business practice, as applicable to the University's total operation.
4.       The firm belief that it is in the overall best interest of extramural sponsors and the University to limit, as much as possible, the impact of sponsor regulations on University policy and administration.
5.       Full compliance with obligations undertaken by the University as set forth in the terms, conditions, and provisions of Federal contracts and grants, and other extramural sponsor agreements. The University is committed to maintaining high standards of performance based upon fair, ethical, and professional business practices. To further this end in the implementation of these purchasing policies, the University expects all individuals authorized to make purchases to abide by the Principles and Standards of Purchasing Practice of the Institute for Supply Management (formerly known as National Association of Purchasing Management) and the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Educational Procurement (formerly known as National Association of Educational Buyers).
1.       General
All policies and requirements apply to every campus purchase activity, unless otherwise indicated.
2.       Federal Contracts and Grants
All policies and requirements apply to purchases funded exclusively by Federal agencies, but only to the extent that such policies and requirements are not in conflict with mandatory requirements of the agencies.
Purchase contracts shall only be awarded to "responsible" suppliers who submit "responsive" offers. Determinations as to responsibility shall be made based on relevant factors, such as financial resources, past performance, delivery capability, experience, organization, personnel, technical skills, operations controls, equipment, facilities and similar.
1.       Transactions of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) or more:
 Competition must be sought for any transaction expected to involve an expenditure of $100,000 or more by as broad a solicitation as the situation indicates from sources believed most likely to be able to provide the required goods or services in the required time. Such solicitation shall be from at least three sources when possible and may, in a limited market, include written inquiries to determine supplier interest and capability, with the following exceptions:
·         Personal or professional services (i.e., attorneys, doctors, licensed engineers, etc.).
·         A unique item which is available only from a sole source.
·         An item which is not unique, but which must match existing equipment located in the same installation or facility and such item is available only from a sole source.
·         Purchases from a primary Strategic Sourcing agreement. (These transactions are exempt since they have already been competitively bid.)
Requirements are not to be divided into separate transactions to avoid such competition.
2.       Transactions of Less than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000) :
Competition is sought by as broad a solicitation as the situation indicates from sources believed most likely to be able to provide the required goods or services in the required time. Generally, such solicitation shall be from at least three sources when available. Negotiation is allowed for transactions less than $100,000 and may be used in conjunction with competitive quotes/bids.
The prices and terms of purchase shall normally be established through the competitive process, however, they may be established through negotiation when the transaction involves products or services which have been identified as exceptions to the competitive bid process, or for transactions under $100,000 when the Director of Materiel Management, or designee, determines the use of the negotiation technique will result in added value for the University. Negotiations may be conducted orally or in writing with one or more vendors. Before making a commitment, the prices to be paid must be determined to be reasonable.
Campus Purchasing’s Buyers and other individuals specifically delegated contractual authority are the only University personnel authorized to conduct binding negotiations.
All negotiating firms are treated on a fair and equal basis without any indication of a price which must be met (a budgeted amount or estimate may be disclosed, as appropriate), their relative standing among other negotiating firms, identity of competitors, or the content of other quotations or proposals.
Purchase contracts shall be entered into only after it has been determined by the Director of Materiel Management, or designee, that prices to be paid are reasonable considering all of the circumstances pertaining to the particular purchase under consideration. See policy 750-72, "Reasonable Price Determination".
Pricing techniques prescribed in Federal regulations are utilized selectively in price or cost analysis, recognizing their fundamental soundness but taking into consideration the different character and scale of purchases for which these regulations have been developed. Literal compliance is necessary only for purchases under specific Federal contracts and grants which require such action.
For questions regarding this policy or procedure, please contact the Director of Materiel Management.
·         BUS-43 Materiel Management
J.     FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) – to be added in a future update