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Procurement and Supply Chain Services: CruzBuy Supplier Quote and Price Reasonableness Requirements

CruzBuy Supplier Quote and Bidding Requirements

As a public university, all procurement activities must be conducted in an open and fair environment that promotes competition among prospective Suppliers.

When a department is not using a CruzBuy hosted/punch-out catalog or a pre-negotiated existing agreement with a Supplier, competitive solicitations may be required. Competitive solicitations can be characterized as either "informal" or "formal."

An informal solicitation may be conducted by UC employees, principal investigators, a Procurement and Supply Chain Services (PSCS) Buyer, etc. often via phone call or by e-mail to multiple suppliers. Suppliers should be provided the same request for requirements by UC so that each bidder is informed equally and so UC can evaluate the responsive quotes fairly.

A formal solicitation is conducted by PSCS in coordination with the requesting department's Subject Matter Expert(s) (SMEs). The SME provides expertise in some aspects related to the document drafting process and often writes the majority of Statement of Work (SOW). SMEs are often UC employees or an independent contractor can be hired to provide expert advice related to a complex project. The finalized document is then posted to UC's public bid site, CalUSource.net, for qualified Suppliers to respond to the solicitation. PSCS administers the formal bidding process to ensure impartiality and to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The following table provides dollar thresholds for when an informal or formal solicitation is required.

​Funding Source ​$0 - $10,000.00 ​$10,000.01 - $99,999.99 ​More than $100,000.00 in one-time or cumulative annual spend
​Federal ​No competition required if the price is reasonable (informal competition encouraged) ​Informal competitive proposals required from three or more sources* ​Formal RFP solicitation conducted by PSCS required**
Non-Federal No competition required if the price is reasonable (informal competition encouraged) ​Informal competitive proposals required from two or more sources Formal RFP solicitation conducted by PSCS required**

Reasonable Price

Reasonable price can be established by market test, price or cost analysis, or the experience and judgment of the Buyer. Such judgment considers total value to the University. There is value to the University in purchases which meet the University's needs, such as those involving quality, quantity, delivery and service. A reasonable price need not be the lowest price available, but offers the highest total value to the University.

Exemptions to Competitive Bidding

UC Santa Cruz is committed to a policy of competitive procurement when competition is known to exist. However, there are certain cases where departments may be granted a bid exemption. Work with the PSCS Strategic Sourcing Team to determine if the goods and/or services may be exempt from bidding requirements. A UCOP Source Selection & Price Reasonableness (SSPR) Justification Form must be completed by the requesting department to substantiate the appropriateness of a bid exemption request for all federally-funded purchases more than $10,000 and non-federally funded purchases more than $100,000 for federal and state audits.

Split Orders

Requirements for purchases shall not be artificially divided into separate transactions to avoid competition as defined in University of California BFB-BUS-43 Purchases of Goods and Services;

*As required by 2 CFR § 200.320, departments must obtain three (3) competitive quotes, bids or proposals for a purchase transaction more than $10,000.00.

**California Public Contract Code (PCC), sections 10507.7 et seq., requires the University of California to formally competitively bid the purchase of goods and/or services that exceed $100,000 per annual year unless an exception applies and the basis for the award is documented in writing. Requirements for goods and services should be publicly advertised.
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​Policy and Help

To review the full policy, see BFB-BUS-43 Purchases of Goods and Services; Supply Chain Management

Procurement Services Helpdesk:
E-mail: buy4me@ucsc.edu
Phone: 831-459-2311, Option 4
University of California
UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, Ca 95064
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