ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

Purchasing FAQ

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Confirming Orders

What is a confirming order (AKA an unauthorized purchase)?
Unauthorized purchases are those purchases that take place without prior departmental approval and a university-approved purchase order in place. The purchased item or service may not be inappropriate, but the selected purchasing method was inappropriate, against university policy, and unauthorized.

What is the purpose of a confirming order?
In order to protect the University's resources, the University has policies and procedures to ensure appropriate use of University funding, including approvals by those in charge of accounts and budgets. 

How can I avoid needing a confirming order?
Acquisition of products or services on behalf of the university requires appropriate review and approval(s) BEFORE the purchase is made. The appropriate approvals are generally required, at a minimum, from the fiscal officer(s) assigned to the account(s) that are to be charged for the purchase.

  • First, check the Aggie Enterprise Punchout Catalog for all office supply purchases.
  • If the item you need is not available through Aggie Enterprise and it costs $4999 or less, use your Procurement Card (P-Card).
  • Email your BOC Business Partner Team for advice on or assistance with your purchase. 

What are some examples of unauthorized purchases?

  • Employee purchasing a new computer for their office on a personal credit card
  • Supplier doing repair work for a department without having an official Purchase Order established first
  • Employee using their Procurement Card without securing the appropriate departmental approvals first

Where can I go for more information?

Please review Business Operations Center (BOC) Director Su-Lin Shum's presentation slides on confirming orders

Additionally, please visit the UC Davis Supply Chain Management Website's section on Confirming Orders here: https://supplychain.ucdavis.edu/procure-contract/guidelines/unauthorized-purchase

Gift Card Policies

Gift Cards Provided to Employees

What amounts are allowed for gift cards?
All gift cards must contain a value of $10.01 or higher. Value must not exceed $75 per person. 

How often can one employee receive an award (e.g., SPOT Award, STAR Award) within a calendar year?
No more than 3 times. 

Can gift cards be given as part of a Length of Service recognition? 
No

What kinds of gift cards qualify for non-cash awards?
Non-negotiable gift certificates (e.g., gift certificate or gift card for retail establishment or online store). Gift cards for services (e.g, improv classes, blacksmith lessons, or spa treatments) are not allowed. 

Can a unit or program purchase multiple gift cards to use as Spot Awards throughout the calendar year?
Yes. Ensure that the cards or certificates are stored in a secure location. Maintain a record of gift card/certificate distribution. Only purchase the number of gift certificates and cards expected to be awarded that calendar year. 

Can gift cards be provided as incentives to complete surveys or questionnaires?
Yes, as long as the gift cards amount to less than $75 per person and contain over $10.01.

Can extramural funding be used to purchase gift cards?
If the awarded grant has established terms that include gift card purchases (for awards or survey incentives), then yes. If not, then appropriate addenda with proper approvals must be secured prior to purchase of gift cards for this purpose. 

What are the rules on using State funds to purchase gift cards?
Expenditures for gifts may not be charged to State Funds except for a gift awarded to a student for an academic achievement. State funds have been identified by the system-wide budget office as encompassing all State General Funds and State Special Fund appropriations to a campus. This includes all of the 199XX funds except those that are classified as UC General Funds (i.e.; 199331, 19933, 19934, 19940, 19941, and 19942). 

In which cases are gift cards not allowed?
Gift cards are not allowed in the following situations:

  • Gift cards for services
  • Recreation memberships
  • Negotiable gift certificates (i.e., can be redeemed for cash)
  • Season tickets for theatre, cultural events, or sports
  • Gifts for relatives, friends, or romantic partners (i.e., where conflicts of interest exist)
  • Personal gifts for birthdays, weddings, relationship anniversaries, graduations, and any other personal event for which a business purpose cannot be reasonably written 
  • Gifts to any elected official, candidate for public office, organization, or committee, when the gift is a contribution to a political campaign or referendum.
  • Length of Service Awards

Which UCOP Policy governs gift card purchases?
University of California - Policy G-41: Employee Non-Cash Awards and Other Gifts 

Which card should I use while purchasing gift cards to give away during an event raffle?
P-Card or T-Card. Because events qualify as an allowable expense for the Travel & Entertainment Card (T-Card), you can use your T-Card for this purchase. 

Gift card purchases must be made as described in Section 350-23. A Travel Visa card may be used for host gifts (see BFB G-28) and for prizes or gifts associated with an entertainment event (see BFB BUS-79).

What do I need to include in the expense report for the gift cards?

  • Recipient name(s)
  • Paid receipt (or invoice if not yet paid)
  • Business purpose for the gift
Gift Cards Provided to Non-Employees

See UCOP Policy G-42: Gifts Presented to Non-Employees on
Behalf of the University. This policy's scope extends beyond but includes gift cards. 

What are the limits for providing gifts (including gift cards) to non-employees?
If the value of gifts provided to a non-employee throughout the calendar year exceed $600 in value, the department must report to the Tax Reporting and Compliance office using the appropriate tax form.

Can I provide an honorarium using a gift card?
No

Can I compensate an invited guest (e.g., third party lecturer or workshop host) using a gift card?
No

Can I use Community Education General Support (CEGS) accounts to pay for gift cards?
No

When can I provide a gift to a non-employee? 
Only when the business purpose for the gift furthers a University business purpose (e.g., public service or research). In this case, gift cards could be provided to students or volunteers involved in a study or University-sponsored activity. 

Webmaster Email: lforbes@ucanr.edu