Department of Geography Purchasing Procedures (Strategic Sourcing & Procurement)

The Department of Geography’s Administrative Staff would like to make your purchases of supplies and equipment as quick and easy as possible. The Department Administrative Offices are open Monday through Friday 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm. When you plan to purchase supplies, equipment, or services using departmental or grant funds administered through Geography, please contact us.

The Department of Geography is always mindful of obtaining the best product for the best price for its customers. Therefore, our Purchasing Assistant always checks to see if the product you have requested is included in the UC-wide commodity agreements. These agreements are negotiated via the Office of the President for all ten campuses and help us take advantage of specifically negotiated prices for products. An additional component of these contracts is the concept of “Green Procurement” – a new program that looks at the production cycle, product content, energy efficiency, packaging, and delivery methods of products and includes items that have an improved or reduced environmental impact – so the items you buy are not only the best product for the price, but they are environmentally friendly (e.g., energy star rated) as well.
The departmental purchasing function is a privilege granted by the Chancellor’s Office and the Material Manager so all purchasing of supplies and equipment must be processed through the Department of Geography Administrative Offices. Repeated occurrence of procurements not meeting the standards set forth by UC may result in certain consequences, up to and including revocation of all or part of the department’s purchasing activities.

Purchasing Procedures:

  1. To initiate a purchase, please complete a preliminary requisition form, either electronically (download purchase request form) or hand written on a hard copy. We strive to place orders within 24 hours of the receipt of requests that contain all of the required information, as well as all of the correct authorizations, but we request that you provide ample time for processing orders, except under emergency circumstances. This will allow us time to work with other campus departments (e.g., Purchasing, EH&S), if necessary, and will decrease the need to expend additional funds for overnight shipping. Please provide the following on the requisition form:
  • The date the request is made and the date needed (not “ASAP” when a required delivery date is important)
  • The vendor name and contact person, if known
  • The vendor phone and FAX numbers
  • The vendor mailing address and/or email or web addresses
  • The quantity you require, part number, description, and pricing (and/or a written quote from the vendor)
  • A brief description of the purpose of the purchase, i.e., why the item/s are needed
  • The Project Code or Project Name or Account/Fund/Sub the cost is to be charged to
  1. Obtain the appropriate approval signatures and return the completed form to the Departmental Purchasing Assistant. All purchases must be placed by admin staff.
  1. The Department Purchasing Assistant will contact you when your order arrives.
    1. Please note that all orders placed by the department must be shipped to the Geography Administrative Offices. We are not able to ship orders to other departments or off-campus locations.

Please note: The issuance of repeat orders on consecutive days to a vendor for the same materials or the issuance of multiple invoices by a vendor using two or more dates in order to circumvent the established limit is prohibited by UC policy and shall be considered cause for the withdrawal of purchasing authority.

Restricted Items/Commodities: There are certain items that require additional review and approval from other campus departments. The full list of Restricted Commodities can be found here.

Equipment Purchases:

  1. For inventorial equipment orders (i.e., items that cost $5K or more per unit), please complete the preliminary requisition form as detailed above and provide the following, additional information:
    1. Screening certification that no same or similar equipment is available for loan, sharing, or transfer from within the Department;
    2. User name and initials and building and room number where the equipment will be installed;
    3. If the equipment is not a line item in the award budget for a Federal Demonstration Project (FDP) project, the PI must sign the FDP Equipment Usage Assurance on the form, indicating that the equipment will be used exclusively or primarily in the conduct of research.
    4. Note: some grants/contracts require prior approval for the purchase of equipment. If you are uncertain, please contact the Geography Contracts & Grants Manager before proceeding with your purchase request.

Federally-funded Purchases:

The Federal Source Selection and Price Reasonableness Form (Form A) must be completed for federally-funded purchases exceeding $10,000.00.

Purchases exceeding $99,999.99:

For any order over $99,999.99, a public, competitive bid must be conducted, which can take several weeks. The Non-Federal Source Selection and Price Reasonableness Form (Form A) must be completed for these purchases. If you feel your item/commodity is unique and only one supplier in the world can provide it, a Sole Source may be acceptable. Please contact the Department Purchasing Assistant if you have a purchase exceeding this amount.

Vendor Blankets:

Repetitive items of supply, services, and repairs, which are needed over a stated period of time, require the initiation of a vendor blanket. Examples include airgas, cylinders, etc. Please contact the Department Purchasing Assistant if you need to acquire a vendor blanket.


All purchases should be processed using a purchase order or it may be considered an unauthorized purchase. If you have a research emergency that requires you to purchase items outside of normal business hours or make a pre-authorized purchase with your personal funds, you may submit a Miscellaneous Reimbursement Form to the Department Purchasing Assistant. Reimbursements to individuals for expenditures on behalf of the University must be supported by original receipts.

An AUTHORIZED PURCHASE is a purchase transaction in accordance with UC purchasing regulations. Generally, such a transaction is based on a purchase requisition for a specific item (or items) submitted to the Department for authority to acquire items from a specific vendor or a variety of vendors.

An UNAUTHORIZED PURCHASE is a purchase transaction made without proper clearance/authorization which is intended to be charged to University-controlled funds. An unauthorized purchase generally becomes evident after the fact through an invoice from the vendor. At that point, a confirming order must be submitted, accompanied by a statement explaining the circumstances of the purchase, together with an account of steps taken to avoid a repetition in the future.


University insurance only covers UC equipment (value of over $5,000 as of 7/1/05). If there are signs of forced entry, there is a $1,000 per occurrence deductible; otherwise the deductible is raised to $5,000 (non-forced entry). If you would like to purchase additional coverage, the forced entry deductible can be lowered to $250 while the non-forced entry can be lowered to $1,000. Please contact the Geography purchasing assistant at x8207 to purchase the additional insurance. The request for additional insurance necessary for reducing the deductible for equipment leaving campus must be submitted at least five working days prior to the exit date for domestic shipping and at least three weeks in advance for foreign shipping.

Please inform us of ANY UC Equipment being shipped OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY. It is not necessary to purchase additional insurance for items going to foreign locations. The equipment, however, will not be covered during transit by UC insurance if it is not listed on the quarterly report provided to Office of the President. Please provide us with the UC tag number, destination, and dates the equipment will be in the foreign location(s). This same requirement applies to domestic shipments with an aggregate value of $100,000 or more. For more information regarding property self-insurance program please see http://www.ucop.edu/ucophome/policies/bfb/bus28.pdf


Disposal of any equipment must be coordinated through Geography. If a piece of UC-owned equipment is old, surplus, or lost, please contact the Geography Purchasing Assistant and provide the nine-digit UC Tag# as well as an explanation for the disposal. We can then officially remove the item from the departmental inventory. DO NOT simply throw something away without notifying us first. It is equally important to notify us if you are planning to loan or transfer a piece of equipment to another institution or house the piece off-campus.