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Procurement and Supply Chain Services

CruzBuy Supplier Quote and Price Reasonableness Requirements

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

There are many UC System-Wide agreements with suppliers that can and should be used when procuring goods or services. UC Procurement awards these contracts based on a rigorous competitive bidding process focused on pricing, quality and sustainability. In addition, UC has partnered with OMNIA Partners for public sector sourcing. When leveraging these agreements, the competitive bidding requirements are already satisfied. The agreements offer the highest benefit to UC in terms of advantageous pricing, favorable terms and conditions, compliance with Certificate of Liability Insurance (COI) requirements, etc.


​Systemwide Contract Listings

Category Listing of Currently Contracted Supplier Agreements

The web pages below contain a list of current supplier agreements for use by all University of California locations systemwide. These contracts are organized by commodity categories and are updated monthly.

Contract access is available to all UC staff via CalUSource and the OMNIA Partners public sector website - UC's partner in public sector sourcing. (For contract access issues, please contact UC Procurement at

Facilities, Maintenance & Capital Programs

Information Technology

Life Sciences

Professional Services

UC/OMNIA Partners competitively-bid contracts

UC/OMNIA Partners Contract Portfolio

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,, 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.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If the purchase leverages a UC System-Wide agreement as described above, the solicitation requirement is already satisfied. No further competition 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) SSPR Required* - Section I - Source Selection
Select one of the following options:
  • New or Existing Formal Competitive Bid#
  •     - Reference UCOP or agreement# including GPO#

  • Informal Quotes - < $100K - must provide copies
  •     of three informal quotes

  • Sole Source

  • Certified Small Business
​Formal RFP solicitation conducted by PSCS or completion of SSPR as appropriate

(See the exemption criteria below )
Non-Federal No competition required if the price is reasonable (informal competition encouraged) ​Price Reasonableness must be established/documented in accordance with the section below on Reasonable Price Formal RFP solicitation conducted by PSCS or completion of SSPR as appropriate

(See the exemption criteria below)

*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.

Reasonable Price: What a prudent person would pay for the same or similar goods or services. All statements must be backed up with documentation.

  • Need not be the lowest price available but is one which offers the highest total value to the University.
  • A price that does not exceed what would be incurred by a prudent person in the conduct of a competitive business.
  • Can be established by market test, price or cost analysis, or the experience and judgment of the Procurement/Supply Chain Manager. Such judgment considers total value to the University.
  • A reasonable price is established via an adequate market test, set by applicable law or regulation, or supported by an appropriate price or cost analysis.
  • The following are examples of how to substantiate Price Reasonableness, together with a discount (discount alone is not justifiable), in order of preference:
    1. Price competition ‐ comparison of quotes
    2. UCOP, State, GPO or GSA contract pricing, or comparison with prices under existing contracts
    3. Prior price history with same vendor, same items (include the prior PO number and $ amount)
    4. Comparison with current, or recent prices for a similar item(s) with another vendor
    5. Market research, catalog or established price list (sales to general public ‐ screen shot ok)

Exemptions to Formal Solicitation

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.

​Policy and Help