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Federally Funded Purchases (UG and FAR)

UG and FAR refer to specific sections of the Code of Federal Regulations that include requirements for procuring goods and services with federal funding. Uniform Guidance (UG) sets forth requirements for purchases on federal grants, and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) set forth requirements for purchases on federal contracts.

The purpose of UG and FAR regulations is to reduce administrative burden for grant applicants and recipients through standardization, as well as to reduce the risk of waste, fraud and abuse while increasing competition and transparency throughout the procurement process. Compliance to these regulations is critical to sustaining the University’s prestige and ensuring continued access to sources of federal funding.

Requirements under these regulations are imbedded into many aspects of the procurement process and are standardized to streamline procurement and automate compliance to the greatest extent possible. Requirements for competition in the procurement of goods and services is the area that most frequently impacts the procurement process for federal grants and contracts.

Departments and Principal Investigators should seek to use existing strategic contracts that have already been competitively bid in order to expedite their procurement of required goods and services. When not using existing competitively bid contracts, the following dollar thresholds for competition apply.


  • Definition: Purchases where the aggregate dollar amount does not exceed $10,000 (or $2,000 if the procurement is construction and subject to Davis-Bacon).
  • Requirement for Competition: Multiple quotes or bid is not required. Existing strategic contracts should be utilized when available. If no strategic contract exists, when practical, the requesting department should distribute micro-purchases equitably among qualified suppliers. No competitive quotes are required if price is reasonable.

Small Purchase

  • Definition: Purchases where the aggregate dollar amount is between $10,000 and $99,999.
  • Requirement for Competition: Rate quotes must be obtained from an “adequate” number of qualified sources. Three sources will be considered to have met this requirement.

Competitive Proposals

  • Definition: Purchases where the aggregate dollar amount is greater than $100,000.
  • Requirement for Competition: Under this purchase method, formal solicitation (RFx/Bid) is required, which is managed by Procurement Services, unless an existing competitively bid strategic contract already exists.

Non-competitive Proposals

  • Definition: Also known as sole-source procurement, this may be appropriate only when specific criteria are met. Examples include when an item is available only from one source, when a public emergency does not allow for the time of the competitive proposal process, when the federal awarding agency authorizes, or after a number of attempts at a competitive process.
  • Requirement for Competition: For any procurement where the aggregate dollar amount is $10,000 or greater and multiple quotes or formal RFx is not possible due to a circumstance listed above than the Source Selection (SSPR) & Price Reasonableness Justification Form must be completed by the requesting Department, and be attached to the purchase request for all federally funded purchases greater than or equal to $10,000. Any sole source purchase over $250,000 must also include a Cost and Profit Analysis that requires specific information from the potential vendor and an analysis by the University.

Additional Resources

UCOP also has extensive information on FAR and UG purchases located on the Procurement website located at Federal Funds Resources | UCOP