FAQ

What class order should be used for reimbursements for relocations?

The “T” class order should be used.

What does F.O.B. mean?

“Free on board” is a term that refers to where the title of goods transfers. More information is available online

What class order should be used for conference registration fees that also include billing for membership fees?

The “T” class order should be used.

What are object codes?

Object codes are used to identify specific commodity categories. For a list of object codes, please go here.

What is my role (responsibility/ies) as a “department buyer?”

Your role is to facilitate your department’s purchases following UC policies and responsible purchasing practices, whether handled internally (e.g., LVO, Release Order, etc.) or through Procurement Services via requisition (“R” or “J” class orders).

What is the difference between an independent contractor and an independent consultant?

An independent contractor is an individual who is not an employee of the university, but is hired by the university to provide a service independently. The university has the right to control only the result of the service, not the manner of performance.

An independent consultant is a type of independent contractor and, for university purposes, is treated somewhat differently than a non-consultant independent contractor. An independent consultant is an individual of proven professional or technical competence who is not an employee of the university, but who provides primarily professional or technical advice to the university. The university does not control either the manner or performance, or the result of the service.

Reference BUS 77 or BUS 34, UC independent contractor or independent consultant policies for further information.

Note: If neither of the above applies, an individual may fall under the category of contract or temporary employee and would be coordinated through Human Resources. See definition below.

A contract/temp/other employee is an individual whom the university has the right to direct and control the work of, not only as to the results to be accomplished but also as to the methods and means by which the results are accomplished. Note that even if the university does not exercise its right to direct the work but has the right to, the individual falls under this category.

How can I gain access to CatBuy?

You must take the FAU, Procurement, and CatBuy training classes. In order to take the CatBuy class, you must have a login ID two weeks prior to class date. You can request the Login ID by completing the “Request for Login ID” form at BFS Forms Request. At the end of the CatBuy class with successful test results you may be eligible to have access to the live CatBuy system. Request access by completing the “Request for AIS Access” form at BFS Forms Request.

What is the difference between “P” and “B” class orders?

“P” class orders are issued by Procurement Services for goods or services with established, firm, fixed pricing. Funds are immediately encumbered on “P” class orders.

“B” class orders are blanket agreements issued by Procurement Services for goods or services. These agreements allow departments to place release orders on an as-needed basis with fixed pricing, terms and conditions. Each department wishing to initiate a purchase must issue a release order (“A” class order) against a blanket agreement to do so.

Funds are only encumbered at the time the release order is issued.

Should I fill out a credit application form from a vendor?

No, the University of California does not complete vendor credit applications. Please send the current Information letter to the vendor. Contact Procurement regarding any questions.

Is there a listing of local vendors I can use for small-order print jobs?
  • Carpenter Printing
  • Seeger’s Printing
  • Village Instant Printing DBA: Parks Printing
  • Dumont Printing
  • Gowan’s Printing
  • Pacific Printing
  • ABS Pre-sort
What is indemnification, and why does it matter?

Indemnification means that one party agrees to protect the other from financial loss that might arise out of the agreement, based on a claim or demand by someone who is not part of the agreement (a third party). Indemnification terms should always be reviewed carefully by Procurement Services.

Can I issue a low-value order (LVO) to vendors providing services on UC Merced campus property?

No, all requirements for on-site services must be contracted for/by Procurement Services.

Why do we need to require insurance if we have indemnification?

Indemnification is just a promise. If the second party doesn’t have the funds to pay for keeping the promise, the promise is of no value. Insurance is proof that there are funds to cover the liability.

I have a supplier’s agreement that needs to be signed. What should I do?

You should contact the appropriate buyer any time you have a supplier agreement or contract that requires a signature. UC Merced employees are not authorized to sign supplier agreements on behalf of the university. All contractual documents must be signed by a professional buyer in Procurement Services.

How do I enroll in the FAU, Procurement, and CatBuy training classes?

You may enroll in these classes at UC Merced Training.

What is Connexxus?

Connexxus is the university’s travel portal that must be used for making any travel reservations.

Where can I get information on the Procurement Card program?

Information on the Procurement Card Program is available on our website.

What do I need to do to ask for an amendment or revision to an existing PO/Agreement?

Submit a purchase order change request in CatBuy. Find instructions here.

Our department would like to apply for and use a merchant credit card. Is this acceptable?

No. Merchant credit cards are not appropriate to make purchases. Departments are not authorized to apply for a line of credit on behalf of the UC Regents (see UC Regents Standing Order 100.4, section pp). Departments are encouraged to use the Procurement Card to make supply purchases that do not exceed the departmental delegation.

Is there a way for me to familiarize myself with and practice using CatBuy?

Yes there is a training website located at Bruinbuy lab

If I change departments, do I need to apply for a new PCard or can I keep my existing PCard?

If you change departments you must turn in your PCard and apply for a new PCard.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the purchasing process?

Anyone in the Procurement Services Department can help. General Procurement questions should be addressed to procurement@ucmerced.edu. CatBuy questions should be addressed to the CatBuy Help Desk at catbuy@ucmerced.edu. PCard questions should be addressed to the pcard@ucmerced.edu

How do I use the Costco account?

*If your department does not have a Costco card, you must contact Procurement Services to reserve one.

  • Enter a release order with estimated amount against the Costco blanket order.
  • Take a printed copy of the release order along with the card to Costco.
  • When checking out, show the order and card to the cashier.
  • Bring the receipt back and create a change order to the release order to make the amount match the receipt.
  • Write the release number on the receipt and send it to AP for payment. (See here for more detail).
How do I know which buyer is working on my pending requisition?

You can find this information on the CatBuy system.

What are order classes?

Order classes designate what kind of order is being issued and by whom. You may find a list with descriptions of order classes here.

I have a supplier’s agreement that needs to be signed. What should I do?

You should contact the appropriate buyer any time you have a supplier’s agreement or contract that requires a signature. UC Merced employees are not authorized to sign supplier agreements on behalf of the university. All contractual documents must be signed by a professional buyer in Procurement Services.