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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

General Purchasing Information


It is the University's practice to advertise on for goods, services and public works projects whenever possible.

Best Value (Reasonable Price) Acquisitions

Best Value is an option which may be used on commodity and service purchases that do not exceed $50,000. It may also be used as supplement or guideline to preparing a Sole Source. Public Works excluded.

Best Value Definition

The most value-effective solution to the University's requirements based on life-cycle cost. There is no specific formula or methodology for conducting a best value determination, but it is important that the award is consistent with the terms of the solicitation.

Blanket Orders

The Purchasing Department encourages consolidation of annual requirements for certain commodities and services. Blanket Orders can be competitively bid, so that supplies or services can be requested by authorized personnel on an as needed basis. Such orders achieve economies of scale, cut expenditures, and reduce administrative handling costs.

Contact with Departments

Direct discussions between the supplier's representative and potential users in the departments are encouraged. Product demonstrations can be arranged through coordination with Purchasing and the departments. While Purchasing does not expect the supplier's representative to coordinate visits through the office, we do ask to be kept informed of potential sales that appear imminent. This enables us to approach the purchase as a team so that the user's needs are met, competitive bids are obtained, supplier requirements are considered, and purchasing guidelines are followed. Vendors are cautioned that only Purchasing staff is authorized to issue written or confirming purchase orders. Failure to follow these procedures will result in delayed payments or the return of material to the vendors.

Contractor Evaluation

Contractors performance may be evaluated. If performance problems occur during the term of the contract, Contractors will be notified of the deficiency in writing and afforded an opportunity to "cure the breach" within a prescribed reasonable time frame.

A contractor whose performance has been determined unsatisfactory may be temporarily disqualified from bidding on further contracts for a period of up to one year. No bidder, however, may be disqualified without written documentation from the end-user and formal notification by the Purchasing Department.

CSU System-wide Agreements

The California State University System has entered into and is expanding a series of contracts for commonly required commodities and services. These contracts are issued by the Chancellor's Office, or by individual campuses acting on behalf of the Trustees of the CSU, for use by all CSU entities.

See Current Bulletins of Systemwide Agreements

Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises

Current goal for all contracts (3) percent Disabled Veteran Business (DVBE) participation. For a complete set of the DVBE requirements see the section Disabled Veteran Business (DVBE) Enterprise under Forms at:

Emergency Transactions

"Emergency"as used in the Public Contract Code, means a sudden, unexpected occurrence that poses a clear and imminent danger, requiring immediate action to prevent or mitigate the loss or impairment of life, health, property, or essential services.

When an emergency requires the immediate issuance of a purchase order, standard agreement, or service for commodities and services, an Emergency Purchase Authorization form must be attached to the requisition, and be signed by both the requestor and the Director of Procurement & Support Services.

When an emergency requires the immediate issuance of a purchase order, standard agreement, or service order which exceeds $5,000 for commodities and any dollar amount for services, an Emergency Purchase Authorization form must be attached to the requisition, and be signed by both the requestor and the Director of Procurement & Support Services.

General Provisions

All contracts and procurements are issued in accordance with the CSU's General Provisions.

Governing State Law

By law, all purchases of goods and services shall be governed by the laws of the state of California.

Important Addresses

ALL deliveries must be made to the Receiving Department unless otherwise designated on the purchase order. See building code REC on the campus map.

Purchasing Address

Purchasing Department
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd. MS-0123
Long Beach, CA 90840-0123 USA
Work: (562) 985-4296

Invoicing Address

Accounts Payable / Business Office
California State University, Long Beach
Attn: Accounts Payable
Foundation Building (FND-280)
6300 State University Drive #280 MS 9901
Long Beach, CA 90815-4680 USA

Receiving Address

Physical Address

Receiving and Mail Services
1331 Palo Verde Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-5801

Mailing Address

1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840-5801
Phone:work (562) 985-4828


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Online Resources

Links to California State, CSU and other Web sites such as the CSU Chancellor's Office, Contracts and Procurement, Physical Planning & Development, The Thomas Register, State Contracts Listing, and Public Ethic Code.

Or Equal Products

An "or equal" product may be offered as an alternative but the bidder must establish that the offered product is truly equal to that requested (e.g., by full comparison of product specification). Failure to provide such information may be grounds for rejection of the bid/offer without further review. No substitutions will be accepted without information and/or documentation. Failure to provide documentation is grounds to reject the bid/offer or terminate the contract/purchase order. The evaluation of the "or equal" alternative item will be made by the University whose decision is final.


All payments of undisputed invoices are made in accordance with the California State Prompt Payment Act, in arrears upon receipt of materials or satisfactory completion of services and receipt of an approved invoice. Unless otherwise directed, invoices shall be sent in triplicate to the CSULB Accounts Payable Department.

Failure to reference the correct purchase order/contract number may result in the return of invoice and the Prompt Payment Act may not apply in such cases.

Procurement Cards

A purchase order is probably the least cost effective method for procuring low dollar value goods. Therefore, CSULB, in conjunction with the Chancellor's Office and the Department of General Services has elected to participate in a Procurement Credit Card program designed to achieve cost savings and improve processing time for low dollar value supplies and services. Some restrictions apply.

Prompt Payment Act

All payments are made in accordance with the California State Prompt Payment Act.

Small Business Payments pursuant to Government Code Section 926.15, State Agencies are required to process payments to certified small businesses within thirty (30) days of the required payment date, or pay a penalty of one quarter of one percent (1/4%) of the amount due, per day, from the 31st day after the required payment date. Small businesses may procure from the Office of Small And Minority Business a stamp to be used on their invoices, identifying their firm as "small business certified".

All Other Payments are made Pursuant to Government Code, Section 926.17, which requires State agencies which acquire property or services pursuant to a contract with a business to pay that business for each complete delivered item of property or services by the date set forth in the contract or, if no payment date is specified in the contract, within 50 calendar days after the postmark date of the invoice.

An interest penalty fee (penalty) at a rate of one percent above the Pooled Money Investment Account earning rate for the previous year will be paid.

Request for Copies of Public Records

Requests for copies of public records should be directed in writing to the Information Security Management and Compliance Department.

Purchases for More Than $100,000

Purchase orders for $100,000 or more normally require formal bidding. Additionally, certain bids are required by law to be placed as a legal advertisement in a local newspaper before the bid opening. The bid states an opening date and time and are solicited from at least three suppliers, including the department's suggested suppliers. All bid openings are open to the public and may be attended by any interested party.

After the bids are opened, they are evaluated by a buyer and, if necessary, by the issuing department. After the lowest responsive bid is determined, the award is made. The supplier receiving the award is notified of the award by receipt of an approved, signed purchase order.

The Purchasing Process

Requisitions for purchases are submitted through CFS, approved by the appropriate administrator and then electronically delivered to Purchasing. All requisitions received by Purchasing follow a similar process. Each is reviewed for accuracy and completeness and erroneous or incomplete orders are returned to the department for correction.

Any procurement requiring public advertising will still need to be submitted via a requisition. The Purchasing office requires a minimum of 4 days to process the advertisement once the requisition has been received in to the purchasing office and assigned to a buyer.

If a contract or terms and conditions are involved that require review or negotiation with the prospective supplier or service provider, the requisition must be submitted a minimum of 10 business days prior to the activity due date. All documentation requiring review (contracts, terms and conditions, ATI, etc.) must be submitted with the requisition, otherwise additional time will be required for Purchasing to obtain these items from the prospective supplier or service provider.

If additional insured endorsements are needed due to the type of service or activity, the requisition must be submitted a minimum of 10 days prior to the activity or service date. The remainder of the requisitions are assigned to a buyer and dispatched to the supplier. If there is neither contract review nor insurance required, the complete process requires a minimum of four days without bids, and 16 days average if bids are required. Complex formal bids with specifications and/or plans require substantially longer process times once the scope of work is received and finalized in Purchasing. These times range from five weeks to eight weeks on average. The current CSU goal for all contracts is 3 percent Disabled Veteran Business participation.

Competition Required

Competitive quotes are required for purchases over $10,000 unless referencing an existing contract. A minimum of three competitive quotes are required and must be dated within the past 30 days. The requestor is encouraged to provide these competitive quotes in the requisition in order to expedite the process. However, the Purchasing Department will secure the necessary quotes if not provided. All purchases require the establishment of fair and reasonable pricing. Final discretionary authority rests with the Purchasing Department regarding the level of competition required.

Reasonable Price

Is a price that does not exceed that which would be paid in the conduct of a competitive process. This may be established by market quotes, price or cost analysis, or by experience and judgment. Recognition is being made for the total value to the campus and meeting campus needs for quality, quantity, delivery and service, and specific technical or value-added enhancements.

Required Justifications

Some items requiring approval are listed below along with the office that has authority to approve the items.

  • Printing (University Print Shop)
  • Copiers (Departmental Copier Program)
  • Vehicles (Physical Planning)
  • Furniture (Purchasing Office)

Requisition Documentation

Every purchase applying Best Value in making an award shall have documentation for audit purposes. The requisition documentation must include a statement of justification giving the reasons for a non-competitive award and include any price or cost analysis prepared.

Requisition for Services

  • Complete description of the service being requested.
  • Type of equipment, including model and serial number.
  • Vendor's quote(s) if available.
  • Term of service.
  • Contact person and phone number.
  • Insurance requirements will be reviewed and/or secured by Procurement if applicable.
  • All services are prohibited on P-Card, unless prior approval from Purchasing.

Small Business Preference

Venders who qualify for a small business preference and provide proof of certification by the OSMB may receive an award in preference to a large business provided that:

  • The purchase order is based on competitive bids.
  • The bid of the small business does not exceed that of a large business by more than the percentage currently allowed by State law.
  • Claim for such preference must be made in writing by the supplier at the time the bid is submitted and the supplier must be certified by the Office of Small and Minority Business (OSMB).

Questions regarding small and minority business certification should be addressed to:

The Office of Small Business Certification and Resources
1531 "I" Street, 2nd Floor, C-17
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 323-5478


Sole Source/Sole Brand

Sole Source or Sole Brand procurements must be justified and approved in writing if the specified procurement exceeds $10,000 for supplies and equipment, and $50,000 for services, excluding Public Works.

A sole source acquisition is justified when it has been determined that only one source exists for the required product or service, and bidding is not possible. Justification for a sole source acquisition must accompany the requisition. This justification should include: the unique performance features of the product, why these specific features are required, and why other products that could be considered will not meet requirements.

A sole brand acquisition exists when only one brand-name product will satisfy the requirements of the requester, and a written justification has been authorized to limit the bidding only to dealers of that specified name-brand. Unless exempted, standard bid specifications call for "brand-name or equal."

State/CMAS/GSA Contracts

State contracts are available for commonly required commodities and services. State contracts are issued by the Department of General Services. Prices, terms, and conditions have been determined. Competitive bidding is not required for orders covered by state contracts. Requesting departments are charged a nominal fee for orders placed with state contract vendors. Vendors should be asked if a state contract is available for the commodity/service required. The state contract numbers should be noted on the departmental requisition.



The Department of General Services provides quarterly listings of current state contracts. Departments may contact the Purchasing department to find out if a state contract is available for the commodity/service required.

California Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS) is a contract that has been set up in order to purchase specific commodities without the need to obtain additional quotations or justifications. When obtaining a quote for a specific item, the supplier should be asked if they have a current CMAS contract. If they do, the requisition should reference the CMAS contract number. A nominal fee, based on the order price, will be added to the requisition to pay Department of General Services for use of the contract.

A GSA (General Services Award) contract is a contract awarded by the Federal Government. Prices, terms and conditions have been determined. Orders, which have been awarded based upon a GSA contract, are not subject to competitive bidding. No fees are charged.

Trade-In of Equipment (CSULB Owned Property)

When trading in CSULB owned equipment against another purchase, it is necessary to attach the completed Property Survey/Transfer Request Form with the requisition.