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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach


Delegation of Purchasing Authority Guideline

Guideline Contents

  • Responsible University Officer:
    Associate Vice President, Financial Management
  • Guideline Contact: Director, Procurement & Contractual Services, Malia Kinimaka



This document is applicable to all three business units which include CSULB University (LBCMP), CSULB Research Foundation (LBFDN), and CSULB 49R Foundation (LB49R), hereafter, referred to as CSULB Business Units.


In accordance with Executive Order 775, purchasing authority is delegated to the University President and by administrative appointment, their designee, the Director, Procurement & Contractual Services.  Procurement & Contractual Services is responsible for ensuring all purchases of goods and services are made within the guidelines set forth by the CSU Administrative Manual (ICSUAM) Section 5000 for Contracting and Procurement, CSU Administrative Guidelines, and the laws of the state of California.


To improve the efficiency of executing low dollar value purchases this policy specifies the parameters and method(s) of purchasing transactions permitted under this delegation. Transactions made under this delegation are subject to all laws, regulations, CSULB Business Units policies governing the procurement of goods and services.


An authorization given for a purchase transaction; all purchase transactions are subject to approval at the appropriate level (reference the Signature Authority Guidelines matrix).
Any employee who initiates the request for purchase.

Employee granted fiscal responsibility in Delegation of Authority to sign for the chartfields utilized (see Signature Authority Guidelines matrix).

Low Dollar Value Purchase:
CSULB Business Units define a low-dollar value purchase as a procurement that is within the delegation of up to $10,000, including sales tax and freight and is not prohibited by CSU and/or any CSULB Business Units’ Policy. Generally low-dollar value purchases are for non-restricted, repetitive, off-the-shelf goods. Low dollar purchases do not include contracted services where the vendor is performing a service on the campus.
Unauthorized Purchase:

An unauthorized purchase is a purchase transaction by an individual who has not been granted delegation to purchase or an individual who has delegation but does not follow the policies and/or procedures. The most common unauthorized purchases include:

  • using an unauthorized procurement method
  • contracting for services on campus without prior approval
  • exceeding their delegated authority
Any disciplinary action resulting from violations of this policy/procedures shall be administered in a manner consistent with the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement, the applicable provisions of the California Education Code and the campus administrative guideline on progressive discipline. Auxiliary HR Policies and/or procedures will apply for Auxiliary employees.

General Scope of Delegation


Individuals to whom low-dollar value purchasing authority has been granted assume the role of a University Purchasing Agent and as such are responsible for tracking orders, processing returns and ensuring that all purchases are compliant with governing laws regulations and policies.

Approvers must ensure that all items (cameras, laptops, etc.) containing sensitive data are reported to the Property Office for tagging in accordance with CSULB Business Unit Guidelines.

Purchase and Payment Methods

Individuals granted purchasing authority have the following options for making purchases and payments in accordance with this guideline.

  1. Retail/Internet/Phone Purchases (Non-PO)
    1. Procurement Card (P-Card)
      The P-Card is an authorized credit card issued by the CSULB Business Unit to designated employees for the purchase of low-dollar value GOODS in person, by telephone, facsimile, internet or mail order in accordance with the Procurement Card guidelines. Departments can set lower single and monthly limits for each cardholder. The P-Card is the preferred method of payment for low-dollar value transactions. P-Card is available to any person who completes the form and obtains appropriate administrator approval for their department.
    2. Procurement Card (One Card)
      Follows the same guidelines as Procurement Card but, in addition, users must also follow Hospitality/Travel Guidelines - Gifts to Non-Employees/Gifts to Employees.
    3. Direct Payment (Check/ACH)
      Direct expense payments are made to a vendor for GOODS purchased by the CSULB Business Unit without prior purchase order or encumbrance. Reimbursements may be processed through direct expense payment, subject to the Direct Payment Request Guideline, when there is no added value to obtaining a purchase order.
  2. Requisition Entry/Purchase Order (Req/PO)

    Requisition Entry is the method used for all transactions for which P-Card is not an option including all SERVICES, goods exceeding the low-dollar value, contracts, and prohibited items. Requisition Entry is available to any person who obtains appropriate administrator approval for their department.

    1. Check/ACH
    2. Procurement Card - ONLY Procurement & Contract Services and Accounts Payable departments may purchase goods and/or services once supporting documentation has been acquired.

Prohibited Practices and Items

The following practices are specifically prohibited:

  • Receiving personal compensation including direct or indirect gratuities, commissions, gifts or other type of compensation for placing a CSULB business unit purchase with a vendor or contractor.
  • Splitting purchase transactions by preparing two or more purchase transactions to the same vendor or preparing two or more purchase transactions to different vendors for the same items to avoid the bid process or dollar limitations.
  • Engaging in any purchase transactions that would represent a conflict of interest.
  • Utilizing P-Card for any service purchases (for emergency situations, contact purchasing).

Goods Requiring Req/PO

  • All Services
  • Anything requiring a signature (electronic or manual), for example end user licensing agreements or click-throughs
  • All purchases of foreign goods and/or services
  • Ammunition, fire arms and explosives
  • Copier equipment and supplies
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Hazardous materials: laboratory chemicals, photographic chemicals, paint & solvents
  • Heating, ventilation and refrigeration equipment: heaters, air conditioning equipment, fans, etc.
  • Live vertebrate animals subject to approval by office of University Research
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Outside storage containers/sheds
  • Radioactive materials, X-ray machines, electron microscopes
  • Respiratory and hearing protection
  • Security systems
  • State surplus property
  • Vehicles – all types
  • All other transaction types not addressed in the transaction type table below

Items Requiring Additional Processing

The following will provide a general outline of the types of goods and services which may be procured under the Delegation of Purchasing Authority. These transactions require additional processing or must meet specific requirements. Special consideration for increased delegation limits or exceptions must be pre-approved in writing by the Director, Procurement & Contractual Services. All procurements must comply with state, CSU and all CSULB Business Unit policies and procedures.

All contracts requiring a signature, regardless of the amount, need to be processed by Purchasing.

Transaction Type Non-PO (i.e. PCard / Direct Pay) Req / PO Restrictions Dollar Amounts including Tax and Shipping Additional Requirement Notes
Contracts (any amount and type) No Yes   Risk All contracts requiring a signature, regardless of the amount, need to be processed by Purchasing. All subsequent categories might have contracts. This supersedes purchase methods for all other categories.
Computers, software and telecommunications products Yes Yes PO Required
ATI Property Must submit and E&IT Checklist prior to purchase and receive approval in accordance with accessible technology initiative (ATI) guidelines. Contact the Purchasing Department at 562-985-4296 with any questions. All computers are subject to processing by Property Management. No employee reimbursements.
Equipment and sensitive items Yes Yes PO Required
Property Purchaser must comply with Property Management Inventory Certification requirements.
Independent Contractor (services include, but are not limited to, guest lecturers, guest artists, distinguished visitors) No Yes PO Required > $5,000/single occurrence or > $10,000 annually HR Risk Must comply with Independent Contractor Guideline. If HR deems that a requisition or contract is required, you must submit a requisition to Purchasing, along with a copy of the Independent Contractor Pre-Hire Worksheet Authorization from. Reference Guidelines for Independent Contractor Review
by Procurement Department
for a quick reference on high risk independent contractors.
Memberships, Subscriptions & dues Yes Yes PO Required >$25,000   Must be in the name of the University with individual as designee and not a component of another fee. Documentation must be provided where membership is a job requirement. (i.e. membership and service – WACUBO, WASC).
Registration fee for conferences, classes and workshops Yes Yes PO Required
Non-Travel Does not include travel associated with the conference, class or workshop.
Gifts and Hospitality (Food) Yes Yes AP/Purchasing Signing of contracts and purchase of Gift Cards not authorized. If a contract is required, must submit a PO. On campus caterers must be approved by 49er Shops. Refer to Hospitality Guidelines – Hospitality Expenses, Gifts to Non-Employees and Gifts to Employees and complete applicable hospitality forms.
Utilities including tele-communications Yes Yes   ATI Must submit and E&IT Checklist prior to purchase and receive approval in accordance with accessible technology initiative (ATI) guidelines. Contact the Purchasing Department at 562-985-4296 with any questions.
Services No Yes Risk All services are purchased via the REQ/PO.
Student Travel No Yes Risk All Student travel must be submitted via the Req/PO process. See Risk Management. For all other travel please reference the CSULB Travel Guideline.

Monitoring and Review

The University office (i.e. Accounts Payable, Procurement & Contractual Services) providing oversight of the transaction will conduct post purchase transaction reviews to ensure compliance with CSU and CSULB procurement policies and to provide a basis for adjusting or discontinuing delegation authority to individuals.


Employees who make unauthorized or prohibited purchases or procure goods or services outside of their delegated authority assume the risk of personal liability for payment of the goods or services including transaction fees. Failure to adhere to the conditions of the delegated authority may result in the revocation of delegation.


Subject Contact Phone Email
Policy Contact Malia Kinimaka (562) 985-4890 malia.kinimaka@csulb.edu
Subject Matter Expert Cathy Bishop (562) 985-5796 cathy.bishop@csulb.edu
Subject Matter Expert Carol Monson (562) 985-8301 carol.monson@csulb.edu
Subject Matter Expert Tammy Connors (562) 985-2697 tammy.connors@csulb.edu


Related Chancellor’s Office Policies:

Executive Order No. 775 Acquisition of Personal Property and Services




Issue Date: October 1, 2010

Last Review Date: August 31, 2015

Amended Date: August 30, 2016

Amended Description: 08/30/2016 - Updated dollar thresholds