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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 of Purchasing and Financial Services, Laurinda Fuller


In accordance with Executive Order 775, purchasing authority is delegated to the University President and by administrative appointment, his designee, the Director of Purchasing. The purchasing office is responsible for ensuring all purchases of goods and services are made within the guidelines set forth by the CSU Policy Manual for Contracting and Procurement, the California State University, Long Beach Procurement Manual, the CSULB Procurement Card Manual, 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, CSU and CSULB policies governing the procurement of goods and services by the University.


An authorization given for a purchase transaction; all purchase transactions are subject to approval at the appropriate level.
MPP and Non MPP employee who initiates the request for purchase.
Employee granted fiscal responsibility to sign for the chartfields utilized for internal campus transactions.
Appropriate Administrator:
MPP employee designated by the department; must be higher level than requestor.
Low Dollar Value Purchase:
CSU Long Beach defines a low-dollar value purchase as a procurement that is within the University delegation of up to $5,000, including sales tax and freight and is not prohibited by CSU and/or University Policy. Generally low-dollar value purchases are for non-restricted, repetitive, off-the-shelf items. 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 that is either entered into by an individual that is not authorized to contract on behalf of the University, or entered into by an individual authorized to contract, but who uses an unauthorized procurement method, or exceeds their delegated authority. An individual may be personally responsible for payment of charges incurred by an unauthorized purchase of goods or services.

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.

Methods of Purchase Purchasing authority may be delegated via the following methods:
  1. Procurement Card (Pro Card)
    The ProCard is an authorized credit card issued by the University 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 Manual guidelines. Departments can set lower single and monthly limits for each cardholder. The ProCard is the preferred method of payment for low-dollar value transactions.
  2. Direct Pay
    Direct expense payments are made to a vendor for goods purchased by the University without prior purchase order or encumbrance. Reimbursements may be processed through direct expense payment, subject to the direct payment policy, when there is no added value to obtaining a purchase order.
  3. Department Purchase Order (Departmental Buyer)
    The Department Purchase Order program authorizes end-users who have completed the FIS 4 Department Buyer class to create purchase orders in CMS up to their delegated authority. The Purchasing department will review and dispatch all department purchase orders. The Departmental Purchase Order will be issued in accordance with dollar delegations approved for the specific end-user.

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 University 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 the ProCard or Direct Payment process to pay campus entities (unless required for state chargeback). This prohibition does not apply to payment made to auxiliary organizations.
  • Refer to Appendix B for a list of Prohibited Items. Authority to purchase prohibited items is restricted to the Purchasing Office.

Monitoring and Review

The University office (i.e. Accounts Payable, Procurement, or Financial and Tax 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 (originator) Laurinda Fuller 562-985-4890
Subject Matter Expert Cathy Bishop 562-985-5796
Subject Matter Expert Carol Monson 562-985-8301
Subject Matter Expert Brenda Penrod 562-985-2697


Appendix A

Purchases 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 may be approved in writing by the Director of Purchasing. All procurements must comply with State, CSU and CSULB policies and procedures.

Transaction Type ProCard Direct Pay DEPT PO Process by the Purchasing Office NOTES
Accreditation Expenses YES YES YES Required > $25,000 Does not apply to printing and other such expenses associated with the visit.
Advertisements YES YES YES Required > $5,000 Copies of tear sheets required. Position announcements/advertisements for recruitments must be approved by Staff Human Resources or Faculty Affairs.
Computers, Software and Telecommunications products YES YES YES Required > $2,500 Unless restricted by accessible technology initiative (ATI) guidelines. Contact the Purchasing Department at 562-985-4296.
All computers are subject to processing by Property Management. No employee reimbursements.
Equipment and Sensitive Items YES YES YES > $5,000 Purchaser must comply with Property Management Inventory Certification requirements.
Guest Lecturers, Guest Artist Distinguished Visitors NO YES YES > $5,000 Example: life model or speaking in a classroom where no insurance is required. This is a payment for services; an invoice is acceptable to process payment. If a contract is required then Purchasing must process.
Honorariums NO YES NO N/A Payment to an individual in recognition of a special service.
Memberships & Dues YES YES YES >$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).
Check Payments to Campus Entity NO YES NO NO Requests for Payment to Auxiliaries as needed to reallocate funds.
Registration fee for conferences, classes and workshops YES YES NO NO Does not include travel associated with the conference, class or workshop
Subscriptions – newspapers & magazines YES YES YES >$25,000 Must be in the name of the University.
Utilities including Telecommunications YES YES YES NO Telecommunications restricted by ATI guidelines must be processed by purchasing.
Contracts (any amount and kind) NO NO NO YES All contracts requiring a signature, regardless of the amount, need to be processed by purchasing.

Appendix B

Prohibited Items

  • Ammunition, fire arms and explosives
  • Carpet/acoustical treatment installation
  • Copier Equipment and Supplies
  • Contracts for Outsourcing of Services
  • Fire Extinguishers
  • Hazardous Materials and; Laboratory chemicals, Photographic chemicals, Paint & Solvents
  • Hazardous materials disposal (chemicals, asbestos, PCB’s)
  • Heating, ventilation and refrigeration equipment: Heaters, Air conditioning equipment, Fans, etc.
  • Items requiring a waiver of liability and/or insurance
  • Lease/Rental of Off-Campus Space
  • Lease/Purchase of Equipment
  • Live Vertebrate Animals subject to approval by Office of University Research
  • Personnel services/consulting services
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Staff Position Announcements/Advertisements (Only Staff Personnel may approve)
  • Faculty Position Announcements/Advertisements (Only Faculty Affairs may approve)
  • Professional consulting services related to building and design modifications
  • Public Works projects/building modifications
  • Outside storage containers/sheds
  • Radioactive materials, X-ray machines, electron microscopes
  • Respiratory and Hearing Protection
  • Security systems
  • State Surplus Property
  • Temporary Service Appointments
  • Vehicles all types

Related Chancellor’s Office Policies:

Executive Order No. 775 Acquisition of Personal Property and Services




Issue Date: October 1, 2010

Last Review Date: N/A

Amended Date: N/A