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University of California Competitive Bid Policy and Exceptions

Purchases above $100,000 require a competitive bid

University policy* and the state of California's Public Contract Code (PCC)** require that competitive bids be obtained for purchases above $100,000.

*Detailed information regarding this policy can be found in the University of California Business and Finance Bulletins under BUS 43 Part 3
**Detailed information on code PCC is available on the California Legislative Information website.

Exceptions to the competitive bid requirement include:

  • Sole source: If Strategic Procurement determines that goods or services are only available from a sole source, a competitive bid may not be required. A sole source might include:
    • Patented software products
    • Drugs
    • Manufactured items are only available from 1 supplier or manufacturer.
    • The need to match existing furniture
    • Part replacement on a custom piece of equipment
  • Strategically sourced contracts: Competitive bids are not needed for contracts previously established through the strategic sourcing process since the competitive bid requirement has already been satisfied. UCSD encourages its community to take advantage of strategic sourcing contracts. Departments may make purchases under these contracts even if the value of the purchase exceeds $100,000.
  • Professional or personal services: Certain exemptions apply to contracts for these types of services. Please contact Strategic Procurement for information specific to your situation.
  • Oracle suppliers: Most of the products and services available through Oracle are sourced from a formal competitive bid process, thereby satisfying the university's policy.
  • Emergency or public safety: Under some emergency situations where the loss of life or major loss of property may occur, university policy permits Strategic Procurement to forgo competitive bids.
  •  UCSD Strategic Procurement is solely responsible for managing all competitive bid solicitations in accordance with university policy.