Purchasing Goods & Services

Departmental Response Times:

Your dedicated staff will respond within 48 hours from the time they receive your request.

UCLA Purchasing Response Times (Orders & Non-Travel Reimbursements):

It generally takes UCLA Purchasing 6-8 weeks to process payments on all orders and reimbursements.  Please plan events and notify your vendors well in advance to avoid penalties or disallowances. 


For all orders, please fill out the Order form and submit the completed form to your assigned fund manager.

  • All sections of the form should be filled out entirely
  • Quote/invoice (if applicable)
  • Business Justification
  • Details of the good to be purchased
  • Verify the FAU (account number) is accurate
  • PI approval signature or PI email authorization

For orders over $5,000, the purchase may need to be processed as a Purchasing Requisition through the Campus Purchasing Department. Please contact your assigned fund manager to discuss the process.

Approved Methods of Purchasing Goods & Services

  • Low-Value Orders (LVO’s)
    • For orders not exceeding $5,000 AND not requiring a signed contract or terms & conditions
  • BruinBuy Catalog purchases
    • For UCLA’s recommended suppliers. Vendors include: OfficeMax, Castle Press, Tangram, etc.)
  • Purchasing Requisition
    • For orders exceeding $5,000 OR require a signed contract or terms & conditions
    • Your assigned fund manager will provide more information for the process.
  • Procurement Card
    • For vendors that will not accept a low-value order.
    • Transactions are limited to a maximum $2,500 (including tax, freight and handling charges)
    • NOT to be used for: personal items, travel, entertainment, subscriptions, registrations, inventorial equipment ($5,000 or >), cash advances, consulting or contract employee services.

All purchases must be in accordance with policies and procedures set forth by the University.

Certain products and services require special handling and must be ordered by requisition regardless of value and commodity type. Please submit all requests to your assigned fund manager in a timely and complete manner.

The UCLA Purchasing Department website at http://www.purchasing.ucla.edu provides access to the latest policies and procedures regarding vendor agreements, purchasing protocols, and all other information related to purchasing at the University.

Vendor Invoices

Please fill out the Order form and submit the completed form to your assigned fund manager.

  • Submit vendor’s original invoice, review the invoice details for accuracy
  • Itemization of how the total amount was computed
  • Period of performance
  • Detailed description of goods or services provided
  • Invoice number on invoice
  • All sections of the order form should be filled out entirely
  • Business Justification
  • Verify the FAU (account number) is accurate
  • PI approval signature or PI email authorization

Forward the invoice to your assigned fund manager immediately to initiate the payment process. The invoice will be sent to the UCLA Accounts Payable Department. A/P generally processes these payments within 2-3 weeks after receipt of the invoice.

Non-Travel Reimbursements

For non-travel reimbursements, please fill out the Non Travel Reimbursement Form and submit the completed form to your assigned fund manager.

  • All sections of the form should be filled out entirely
  • Business Justification
  • Verify the FAU (account number) is accurate
  • PI approval signature or PI email authorization
  • Original receipts should be taped to an 8½ x 11 sheet of white paper and submitted to assigned fund manager
  • Proof of payment, if not reflected on the receipts


It is important to distinguish between a subaward and an independent consultant/contractor. Non-University persons or organizations can be paid as a consultant for a specific service provided.

Subaward vs Contractor/Consultant Determination:

Subaward subrecipients are entities that will contribute to the programmatic portion of the project. Their performance will be measured against whether the objectives of the project are being met. Subrecipients ARE subject to project compliance.  Therefore, subrecipients must adhere to the University’s awarded terms and conditions. Subrecipients should provide a detailed budget similar to UCLA’s budgeted categories (i.e. salary, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, materials & supplies, consultants, indirect costs, etc.).

An organization is considered a Subaward subrecipient when:

  • Given to colleges and universities, other institutions and organization;
  • A defined portion of the UCLA statement’s intellectually significant activity is assigned to another entity (the subrecipient) to fulfill;
  • There is an identified principal investigator for the subreceipient who has responsibility for making programmatic decisions;
  • Work is generally performed by the subrecipient’s personnel using their resources, usually at their site;
  • The subrecipient takes full responsibility, including intellectual leadership, for the portion of UCLA’s work statement that they will undertake;
  • The award terms and conditions UCLA has accepted from our funding agency are “flowed down” to the subrecipient, who must also agree to comply with them (e.g., audit requirements, restrictions on rebudgeting, human and animal subjects approvals, conflict of interest, clean air and water, etc.).
  • Has its performance measured against whether the objectives of the program are met;
  • The organization is contributing to the scholarly/scientific conduct of the project as described in a statement of work for the organization (programmatic involvement);
  • The conduct of the organization’s portion of the project requires use of the discretion and unique expertise of the organization;
  • The subrecipient’s principal investigator is expected to author or co-author on publications or may seek patent protection for inventions; and
  • Title to intellectual property created by subrecipient is normally retained by the subrecipient.
  • Will need animal and/or human subject approval for its work;
  • Provides cost sharing or matching funds;
  • Will use the funds to carry out a program for a public purpose, as opposed to providing goods or services for the benefit of the pass-through entity (i.e. UCLA).

Entities that include these characteristics are responsible for adherence to applicable program requirements specified in the Award.

Consultants on a sponsored project are individuals or entities that provide services within normal business operations to many different customers. These services are secondary to the operation of the project. For example, a project may need to hire an evaluator, in order to receive an unbiased analysis of the project’s results.

An organization is considered a consultant when:

  • Given to independent contractors (individuals) or consulting organization for professional services;
  • Provides similar goods or services to many different purchasers;
  • Tasks are specific, well-defined and of limited scope;
  • Is to perform a series of repetitive tests or activities requiring little or no discretionary judgment (e.g. entity performs a test on data we provide to them and gives us the results to analyze.)
  • provides goods and services within normal business operations (e.g. entity regularly sells the goods or services as part of their routine business operations, usually at a fixed price rate);
  • operates in a competitive environment;
  • services are primarily advisory in nature and address a clearly delineated problem;
  • services are short-term;
  • the University does not control either the manner or performance of the result of the service.
  • Has to show proof of $1 million general liability insurance coverage, business automotive, general aggregate, etc. The Insurance certificate will need to list “UC Regents” as an additional insured under the GL coverage and Business Auto.

Entities that include these characteristics are NOT subject to compliance requirements of the program as a result of the agreement, though similar requirements may apply for other reasons.

*All of the characteristics listed above may not be present in all cases. Therefore, judgment must be used in classifying the agreement as either a subaward or a procurement contract. In determining whether an agreement constitutes a subaward or procurement contract, the substance of the relationship is more important than the form of the agreement.

How to Initiate the Procurement of an Independent Contractor/Consultant:

Please submit all required documents to your assigned fund manager. The fund manager will create an R class purchase order requisition that will be reviewed by the Purchasing Dept. Once the Purchasing Dept finalizes an agreement with the independent contractor/consultant, a P class purchase order will be issued.  The contractor/consultant cannot begin work until the P class order has been issued.

Required Documentation:

  • Setting up the vendor
  • Complete the Subrecipient vs Contractor Determination Checklist (Attachment A): http://www.research.ucla.edu/ocga/Forms/Subrecipient_vs_Contractor.pdf
  • Complete the Independent Contractor Pre-Hire Worksheet: https://ucla.app.box.com/pur-pdf-indie-cont-prehire
  • Have the vendor complete the Independent Contractor/Consultant Form: https://ucla.app.box.com/pur-pdf-ind-cont-consult-form
  • Complete the Sole Source Request Form (needed if total payment exceeds $2,500 on federal funds, $100K on non-federal funds. https://ucla.app.box.com/pur-doc-sole-source-req-form
  • Vendor Detailed scope of work
    •   Name and address
    •   Description of work to be performed/provided
    •   Period of performance (start and end date) should technically be a future period
    •   Work Location
    •   Daily rate for consultant
    •   Price reasonableness that includes hourly rate & number of hours for each task/requirement
  • Contractor/Consultant Budget
  • Contractor/Consultant Budget Justification
  • Indicate if a signed agreement has been created between faculty and consultant
  • Resume or CV
  • Proof of adequate insurance is required. (Copy of Comprehensive or Commercial General Liability Insurance)
    • General Liability Insurance $1,000,000 Each Occurrence Limit $2,000,000 Products/Completed Operations Limit $1,000,000 Personal & Advertising Injury Limit $2,000,000 General Aggregate
    •   The University offers an insurance program in case the consultant does not have general liability insurance.
  • Liability Insurance Waiver Request http://ora.med.ucla.edu/workfiles/postawardforms/Liability-Insurance-Waiver-Request.pdf (can be requested in the event the consultant cannot obtain coverage. Subject to approval by Dept Chair and Assistant Dean of Administration.)

Consultants invoice after work has been completed, whether it be monthly or quarterly, depending on terms between consultant and PI.

The invoice must contain the following information:

  1. It must state “Invoice”
  2. Date of invoice, as well as dates of service requesting payment for
  3. Brief description of service
  4. Name and address of consultant.