Procurement & Contracting Services

Selecting a Supplier

If you are not using AggieBuy or an existing agreement for your purchase, you should consider the points on this page when selecting a supplier. In addition, if funding is coming from an outside agency, you should always check to see if there are any restrictions on the type(s) of suppliers that can be chosen.

Conflict of Interest

Per university policy, it is important to avoid any and all conflicts of interest. Employees must disqualify themselves from participating in university decisions in which they have a personal financial interest. This includes purchasing from:

  • spouses/relatives/near-relatives
  • companies for which the purchaser/decision-maker has stock ownership
  • current/former UCD employees. See policy.

California Public Contract Code (section 10515 through 10524) restricts the way UC does business with consultants, employees, former employees and independent contractors. The code primarily impacts the following three business practices:

  • Successor Contracts: A person or business entity awarded a consulting services agreement by UC shall not bid on or be awarded a successor contract to provide goods or services required, suggested, or otherwise deemed appropriate in the end product of the original consulting services agreement. In other words, consultants who have performed work for the university cannot participate in subsequent projects relating to the consultant's findings.

    If a multi-phase project is contemplated, such as a pilot or prototype to be followed by full implementation, any agreement should cover all potential phases of the project with appropriate language reserving final cost figures and the university's discretion to proceed or not with full implementation.

  • Employee Suppliers: The statute prohibits university employees from contracting as individuals (independent contractors) with any university department to provide goods or services as an independent contractor.  This statute applies to contracts with ANY UC employees, including, but not limited to, UC Davis employees.

    In addition, the statute prohibits employees from engaging in any employment, activity or enterprise from which the employee receives compensation, or in which he or she has a financial interest that is sponsored or funded, in whole or in part, through a contract with the university.

    UC employees with teaching or research responsibilities are exempted from this provision of the statute but are still subject to university guidelines for employee-suppliers. See UCD Policy & Procedure Manual, Section 350-90.

  • Contractors who are Former UC Employees: The statute contains two restrictions on contracting with former employees:
    • A former university employee cannot enter into a contract for two years from the date of separation to perform work related to contracts that were planned, negotiated, or executed by that employee.
    • A former university employee cannot enter into a contract for one year from the date of separation to perform work on a contract if he or she was employed by that department in a policymaking position in the same general subject area as that contract.

If you are not sure if the person selected as a supplier is a UC Davis employee, there are several things you can do:

  • Check the Person lookup in KFS.  The Person lookup includes all active UC Davis employees.
  • Use the Payroll & Personnel System (PPS) to see if the person is a current or separated UC Davis employee. 

In addition to the conflict of interest situations described above, employees who work for the UC Davis Health System and health professional schools (e.g., medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, optometry, veterinary medicine) should be aware of the Health Care Vendor Relations Policy. This policy has additional restrictions on supplier compensation and gifts to departments and also discusses suppliers entering and/or working in patient care areas. See the FAQ for more information.

A Report of Proposed Transaction Involving Potential Conflict of Interest should be completed and electronically attached to the Requisition document in KFS if there is any concern of a possible conflict of interest.

Ethical Considerations

Choose suppliers for the quality and prices of the goods and services they provide. Avoid gifts or gratuities from suppliers.

Location Related Costs

If considering an international supplier, consider the added costs for customs and import fees. Buying locally is typically more economical and more sustainable.

Price Justification

When conducting a purchase that does not require review/approval by Procurement & Contracting Services you should price compare at least three different suppliers. Although departments may have a preferred supplier, it's important to comparison shop and to allow equal opportunity to suppliers that may not have been used previously. The supplier chosen should be the one that offers high quality items or services at the lowest overall cost. Click here for more information on the price justification process.

When conducting a purchase that will route to Procurement & Contracting Services, you may suggest one or more suppliers on your Requisition, but this is optional. Any bids or price comparisons will be done by the buyer assigned to your order.

Sole Source

There may be some situations where a highly-specialized item is only available from one supplier. In other words, no other supplier has the item, or research dictates that only the requested supplier can provide the item for research continuity. Sole Source requests must be processed through Procurement and Contracting Services on a Requisition in KFS. Visit the Sole Source Justifications page for more information.

Small and Disadvantaged Businesses

In addition to the concerns listed above, the following programs should be considered when selecting a supplier:

  • Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises
    The Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Participation Program was established to acknowledge disabled veterans for their service and to further their participation in California state contracting, promote competition and encourage greater economic opportunity. Some state contracts may require the formal consideration of DVBE vendors. Click here for a current list.
  • Small Business Program
    The university is subject to the rules and regulations of the Small Business Administration which facilitates equal opportunity in business contracting. Some federally-funded accounts (contracts) require the university to purchase from small disadvantaged and women-owned businesses. Click here for a current list of certified California small businesses.

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