Buying Goods & Services

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Buying Methods

Our online e-procurement system allows you to order from a variety of contracted suppliers, non-catalog suppliers, and provides walk-in PO’s. You also have the ability to set up vendor blanket orders within Gateway.

Thresholds - All orders with UCOP Agreement vendors (indicated with this iconStrategically Sourced icon- Strategically Sourced) have been competitively bid. Most requisitions can be processed without Central Purchasing's involvement, up to $10,000.00. All vendor blankets and restricted items, however, will be routed to Central Purchasing for review....

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Restricted Commodities

International Purchases - Shipments from outside the US

We now offer a class for Restricted Commodities & International Purchases/Customs - register in the LMS!

Any acquisition shipped from another country (including Mexico and Canada) is considered Restricted and needs to be routed to Procurement. Please select the Restricted Items drop down for “International Purchases” on your Gateway Requisition...

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Unauthorized Purchases (confirming orders) & Personal Purchases

Unauthorized Purchases: As outlined in Bus 43, Section III, Part 1. H, if a purchase is identified as non-conforming to procedures, known as a confirming order, the end user will be required to submit to the Purchasing Department a written explanation of the circumstances leading to the purchase and an explanation for the lack of prior approval. This statement must be signed by his/her supervisor or department MSO, and include a statement of action to be taken to prevent future unauthorized purchases. It is possible, under the policy, that the person who authorized the purchase outside...

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Federally Funded Purchases

For information on purchases related to federal funds, please visit:

Purchases Using the UC/UCSB Name or Logo

If your purchase uses the UCSB or University of California (UC) name and/or logo, or any derivation thereof, we must ensure compliance with the UC Code of Conduct. All acquisitions using the UC name and/or logo are considered Restricted. A license with our UC contracted vendor, CLC, must be current for vendors to sell us apparel and non-disposable goods (mugs, scarves, furniture, sportsgear, etc.). Download a fact sheet.

For a list of current vendors...

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Hotels - Group Reservations

Hotels traditionally require a signed contract to reserve blocks of rooms for conferences, large meetings, etc. hosted by UCSB. These are "Room Block" or "Group Sales Agreements". The UCSB Procurement department has the campus Delegation of Authority for these contracts - please do NOT have your department sign. All these contracts need to be entered as a Contract Request Form in Gateway. NOTE: all "transient" (individual) rooms are *not* handled on a signed contract. Please work with your travel coordinator, Annette Gonzales' team in AP, and/or use your Corporate Card for those hotel rooms. UCSB has negotiated terms with the following Hotels; signature on these contracts are processed much faster than other hotels...

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Prevailing Wage and Fair Work/Fair Wage

The California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), governing body for Prevailing Wage, added maintenance, installation, and repair work over $15,000.00 into their definition of “public works” earlier this year. That means that Procurement departments across the State are now required to report public work projects to the DIR for every purchase order in which prevailing wage applies. For UCSB, this means any requisition exceeding $15,000.00 with a supplier that provides “Routine, recurring, and usual work for the preservation, protection, and keeping of any publicly owned or operated facility” (CA Code of Regulations 16000) will need to be routed to Procurement for DIR project submission (Labor Code sec. 1773.3). The good news is that the process should only take a few hours longer than usual. However, if the Supplier is not already registered with the DIR, the Supplier will need to register, or the campus will need to find a new supplier for the service...

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Broadline Furniture Contracts: Our UC contracted suppliers for broadline office furniture are:  Steelcase, Herman Miller also now known as MillerKnoll and Kimball International. Campus dealer representatives are listed below with their contact information to assist you with furniture selection.  Furniture can be procured from our contracted partners that can assist with the planning and acquiring furniture to fit your needs.

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Removals & Moving Services

Lab and Office moves can be paid through a UCSB Purchase Order. The property in a lab or office move belong to the University; therefore UCSB is liable for the items. The following vendors were awarded a master campus RFP (bid) for UC-owned property in 2021...

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Bus Transportation

The UCSB campus currently has bus contracts with the following suppliers:

  • Bus services (21+ passengers):
    Santa Barbara Airbus (805) 964-7759
  • Shuttle Services (9-20 passengers):
    Santa Barbara Airbus (805) 964-7759
  • Private Car Services (1-8 passengers)
    Rockstar Transportation 805.882.9191

Charters for buses which will be used...

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Independent Contractors: Individuals and Sole Proprietors (AB5/AB2257)

California recently signed into law the Dynamex Decision (AB5 - subsequently amended in 9/2020 as AB2257), codifying how workers should be classified as employees. Essentially the law now stipulates that individuals (including sole proprietors) who provide services in California are presumed to be employees unless proven to be an independent contractor. The goal of this law is to expand coverage of unemployment insurance, workers comp, overtime pay, expense reimbursements and wage and hour laws to workers. The hiring entity (UC) has the burden of proving how a worker is be considered an independent contractor.

There are two different tests the UC must apply...

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Design & Construction vs. Maintenance (Purchasing)

Maintenance orders need to be processed through Facilities Management WebTMA system*: Maintenance services are the ongoing upkeep of buildings, equipment, roads, grounds, and utilities required to keep a Facility in a condition adequate to support the University's academic, scientific, and public service functions. It consists of the preservation, but not the improvement of buildings and grounds. Maintenance is generally on a routine or recurring basis, and may be to bring equipment back to a fully functional state. However, if a replacement is needed for the purpose of upgrading a system, it is not considered maintenance.

Construction is the act, art, or business...

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Contracting Out for Covered Services

The UC Regents implemented a policy in late 2019, titled Contracting Out for Covered Services, that supports and augments the UC's contract with AFSCME. This policy is essentially synonymous with the term "Article 5".

The intent is to insource, to the maximum extent possible, the following services...

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Alarm and Security/Surveillance Camera Systems

Security systems, including door alarm and surveillance cameras are restricted, and cannot be procured solely on the Flexcard.

Security or Surveillance Cameras

Cameras installed on UC property create significant risk exposure to the campus, and do require multiple campus approvals before an order can be released. Below are some of the examples of the process we go through after having received a requisition in Gateway...

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For information on products, contacts, and news on available software, please visit:

Buying at Costco

As of 5/2024, Costco is no longer accepting new accounts for UCSB departments. However, you can use the FlexCard for your membership fee and non-food/beverage purchases (food purchases can only be paid for with the Corp Card).

Costco does not allow accounts in the UCSB or UCSB department name; rather they must be in the individual’s name.  

For those departments “grandfathered” in with existing accounts, they are still accepting Walk In Purchase Orders as follows:

  • Costco has agreed to honor the 2014 UCSB Master Contract with Costco for any department that currently has an account.
  • UCSB limits the membership to the Business card priced at $60. Executive Memberships are NOT allowed.

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Printing/Photocopy Services

FedEx Office Print Services (located on Calle Real) and the UC have entered into Pricing Agreement #088-OP-237. The competitive pricing is available to all UC employees at all campuses, medical center and labs. Pricing for black and white copies is $.025, color is $.29 and all other services are discounted 30%. They offer free pickup and delivery. FedEx Office now offers a suite of commercial printing services including...

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Shipping Vendors: UPS and FedEx

UCOP has master contracts with both UPS and FedEx. UPS has a dedicated UC support line: 800-877-1497 (be sure to have your account number ready), and FedEx’s dedicated campus rep is Elaine Heath ( or 858-450-9869).

For international shipping, neither company has been granted Power of Attorney for the UC system. Packages valued over $2,500 (and some heavier/bulkier items) must go through our UC-contracted Customs broker (AmericanCargo –

Jim Hernandez in Distribution and Logistics can assist departments with setting up their UPS accounts, and other shipping questions. Reach Jim at x2093, or

What is Taxable?

The tax rate for deliveries to the UCSB campus is 7.75%. Deliveries to addresses in the City of Santa Barbara are taxed at 8.75%.

Below is a table of taxable and non-taxable commodities...

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Processing Times

Service level agreement for goods and services:

Processing days below are defined as the approximate number of business days from department approval of the requisition to Purchasing, to when the Buyer issues the Purchase Order/Contract.

  • Standard, Non-Catalog orders, including federal: 5 days
  • Contracts: 2-4 weeks, depending on contract term negotiation
  • Leased equipment: 30 days
  • Sole Sources over $100k: 10 days
  • Conflict of Interest review: 2 weeks
  • Formal bids: 2-4 weeks
  • Boat and Air Charters: 3-6 weeks
  • Vendor additions with completed forms: 1-2 business days
  • Vendor additions without forms: 1-2 weeks
  • Vendor updates: 1 week

Exceptions that might take longer to process can include, but aren’t limited to the following:

  • HIPAA / Data Security / PCI / GDPR related orders (SaaS, Cloud Services)
  • Prevailing Wage related orders
  • Using the supplier's contract format
  • Contracts addressing a Limitation of Liability

Audio Visual Services

Classroom audio visual equipment & installation services can be paid through a UCSB Purchase Order. The following vendors were awarded a master campus RFP (bid) in 2022:

EKC Enterprises - (510) 299-9337, (contract #23036)
Key Code Media - (818) 303-3900, (contract #23041)
One Diversified - (858) 391-5651, (contract #23039)
AVI SPL - (657) 413-4244, (contract #23037)
Avidex - (949) 428-6333, (contract #23038)
EIDIM - (562) 777-1009, (contract #23040)

When contacting the vendors, please make sure you reference their contract # (above), and the special pricing UCSB has through our bid #HB06302022Q. The award and contracts are valid through 8/2027, with the potential for extension through 2032.
Public funds and University resources cannot be used for personal purchases per UC Policy BUS-43 (