Starting Your Purchase

Low-Value Purchase Authorization & Transactions 

The authority to purchase common goods and services from Suppliers up to $10,000.00 per transaction has been granted by UC Berkeley's Chief Procurement Officer to departments. 

Employees are able to create purchase requests (requisitions) for goods or services in BearBUY or by using a departmental/regional Procurement Card. Support for low-value transactions is provided by Berkeley Regional ServicesPurchases or contracts that have Special Considerations need to be reviewed and approved by an SCM Buyer at all dollar thresholds.

Common goods and services are goods, materials, supplies, and services that are readily obtainable through conventional commercial retail channels are considered common goods and services. Examples include: consumer electronics, consumable goods, photocopying, printing or other services that are available to the general public that do not require a contract.

Low-value transactions shall not be artificially divided to falsely create multiple small Purchase Orders (PO) under the low-value authorization limit. Improper use of "splitting" POs or procurement card transactions by an employee may be grounds for disciplinary action and may result in cancellation of the individual's Procurement Card. 

Purchases Requiring a Signed Contract, High-Value Purchases and Special Consideration Purchases

BearBuy requisitions over $10,000.00 will route to an SCM Buyer with delegated authority to execute a UC Purchase Agreement and/or PO with the Supplier.   Contact your SCM Buyer or use the "Buyer Intervention" button in BearBuy when submitting your shopping cart if your purchase involves: 

  • Contracts of any value with legal language (e.g. insurance, limitation of liability, indemnification clauses, liquidated damages, etc.)  or requires an authorized university signature
  • Highly specialized goods/services or capitalized equipment (i.e. equipment valued at $5,000.00 or more) 
  • Regulated goods (e.g. explosives, controlled substances, ammunition) 
  • Intellectual Property rights transactions  
  • University of California or "Cal" brand protection concerns
  • Services performed on campus by the Supplier
  • Services that may displace UC employees
  • Data security &/or protected information (e.g. PHI, PII, FERPA, PCI, GDPR) 
  • Cloud/Website/On-line Services (Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • A potential conflict of interest 
  • Independent Contractors, Consultants & Professional Service providers
  • Export Controls

Depending on the funding source of the purchase, there may be competitive bid requirements. Typically, competitive bids are required when a federally-funded purchase exceeds $10,000 or when non-federally funded purchases exceed $100,000 per transaction.   

See RFx - Competitive Bidding for more information.

If you are unsure of where to start with your purchasing transaction, contact your Berkeley Regional Services (BRS)  Lead or your SCM Buyer for assistance.