UCR Policies and Procedures

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Policy Title:                 Purchasing Authority


Policy Number:           750-63


Responsible Officer:

Associate Vice Chancellor of Business & Financial Services and Controller

Responsible Office:

Business and Financial Services – Procurement Services

Origination Date:


Date of Revision:


Date of Last Review:



Guidance Concerning Purchasing Authority


I.            Delegation of Purchasing Authority

The authority to contract, and thereby commit funds, on behalf of the University is initially delegated from The Regents to the Chancellor. The Chancellor has subsequently delegated total procurement authority to Procurement Services through the Director of Procurement Services. Procurement Services, therefore, is the only entity authorized to commit funds through the execution of procurement contracts or purchase orders. The Director of Procurement Services may, however, re-delegate limited authority to departments to allow utilization of authorized procurement methods as delineated below.


II.          Authorized Procurement Methods

The following procurement methods are the only acceptable means by which to purchase goods and services. A specific policy and procedure number is provided in parentheses, to assist departments in locating information and requirements associated with each method.

·       Purchase Requisitions (750-60)

·       Blanket Orders and Sub Purchase Orders (750-03)

·       Low-Value Purchase Authorization Program (750-39)

·       Petty Cash (200-72)

·       State Surplus Letters of Authorization (750-81)

·       Consultant Agreements (750-27)


III.        Things Procurement Services Does Not Purchase

·       Buildings or remodeling of buildings (contact Architects & Engineers)

·       Contracts for entertainment, i.e., bands, theater groups, etc. (contact the Manager for Performing Arts Presentations or the Business Contracts Administrator)

·       Insurance (contact the campus office of Insurance and Business Agreements)

·       Airline tickets and hotel accommodations (visit the UCR iTravel website or contact the travel program coordinator in Accounts Payable)

·       Subcontracts/sub-agreements for scholarly research (contact the Office of Research Affairs)

·       Miscellaneous payments, including awards, fellowships, casual labor, freight, honorariums, memberships, postage, petty cash items, student stipends, telephone, and travel expenses, and tuition (contact the Accounting Office, Vouchers Payable Section)

·       Temporary personnel services (contact Personnel)

·       Real property rentals, leases and purchases (contact the Office of Real Estate Development)

·       Transportation/freight services (contact Receiving)

·       Household moves (contact Receiving Manager)

·       Training, i.e., seminars, classes, etc. (contact Accounting, Vouchers Payable Section)

·       Respirators, dust masks and related supplies (contact Environmental Health & Safety)


IV.        Unauthorized Purchases

Unauthorized purchases are purchase transactions that are either entered into by an individual that is not authorized to contract on behalf of the University, or entered into by an individual normally authorized to contract, but who uses an unauthorized procurement method, or exceeds their delegated authority.

An individual may be personally responsible for payment of charges incurred by an unauthorized purchase of goods or services. At the discretion of the Chancellor, the unauthorized individual may be required to pay:

·       The full amount, whenever the purchase is found to cover unneeded items or unauthorized items that cannot be canceled/returned.

·       The amount of any cancellation charges incurred, whenever the unauthorized purchase can be canceled/returned.

·       The difference between the charges incurred and those the University would have incurred if proper methods were used, provided the purchase is found to be otherwise proper.

If a department accepts responsibility for payment of incurred charges from an unauthorized purchase, the department must submit the following:

·       A purchase requisition containing all required information. (See Policy 750-60)

·       Evidence of the purchase and receipt of the item(s), i.e., invoices, packing slips, etc.

·       A written statement explaining the circumstances that led to the unauthorized purchase, and the steps taken to prevent its reoccurrence.

In the event the responsible department does not wish to approve payment, the Procurement Services Manager should be contacted for advice.


V.          Purchases Requiring Special Approvals

Regardless of the procurement method utilized, the required approvals indicated must be obtained prior to purchasing the following items:



Required Approval


Health & Safety

Bottled Water

College/Org. Unit Financial Officer or Designee

(Considerations for approval may include proximity to

existing potable water sources and use of area served,

 e.g. meeting room, etc.)

Cash Registers

Campus Cashier Coordinator

Controlled Substances/Narcotics or Dangerous Drugs (See 850-35)

Authorized Department Representative and Health & Safety

Consultants (See 750-27)

Department Chair, Dean or Vice Chancellor, Director of Procurement and Research Office (when charged to C&G funds)

Decorative Items

Department Chair or Department Fin. & Admin. Officer

Draperies, Floor & Wall Coverings

Health & Safety, Architects & Engineers, and Physical Plant

Fire Fighting Equipment

Health & Safety

Foodstuffs, Beverages, and Catering

Department Chair <$250 Vice Chancellor/Dean >$250

Food Preparation Equipment (other than for labs or Food Service areas)

Department Chair or Department Fin. & Admin. Officer

Heaters and Air Conditioners (other than for research application)

Physical Plant

Household Moves

Vice Chancellor/Dean

Protective Clothing

Health & Safety

Prepaid Orders (over $500)

Procurement Services Manager

Printing and Typesetting

Printing & Reprographics

Purchases from University Employees or Near Relative of UC Employee

Procurement Director and Department Chair

Personal Use Items

Department Chair & Vice Chancellor/Dean

Radioactive Items

Health & Safety


Health & Safety

Repairs to Personal Property

Department Chair for <$500

Vice Chancellor/Dean for >$500

Repairs to the Plant

Physical Plant and/or Architects & Engineers

Safety Glasses

Health & Safety

Telephone Attachments

Computing & Data Communications


Vice Chancellor/Dean & Manager of Auxiliary Services

Vending Machines

Procurement Services Manager

Wooden Office Furniture

Department Chair and Vice Chancellor/Dean



VI.        Personal Purchases

University credit, purchasing power, and facilities shall not be used to purchase goods or services for individuals or non-university activities. Organizations and activities closely allied or officially associated with the University (i.e., University Club, ASUCR, and Credit Union) may be permitted to purchase materials through Procurement Services, with the approval of the Chancellor.


VII.      Purchases from Employee/Near Relative

Conflict of Interest form must be completed by an employee in coordination with the department requesting the procurement of goods or services when that employee, or a firm in which that employee, or a near relative of that employee, has more than a 10% ownership interest in the business enterprise from which the department is requesting the procurement of the goods or services. The completed COI form must accompany the departmental requisition.

A University employee is defined as an individual who is presently employed by the University.  Near relative is defined as a spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and step-relatives in the same relationship.

Conflict of Interest forms may be obtained from Procurement Services. Additional information, definitions, and restrictions are detailed on the reverse side of the Conflict of Interest form.


VIII.       Other References

Business and Finance Bulletins: BUS-43 - Purchases of Goods and Services; Supply Chain Management