Know Before You Buy

Before making a purchase, please take the time to choose the proper procurement channel (eBuy, ePro, or PCard). Not only will this expedite your order and prevent any delays, but not doing so creates a danger of an unauthorized commitment. If you have any questions about which procurement channel is best, contact the Procurement Help Desk.

Purchasing Limit Requirements

The price of the items you wish to order will partially determine whether you use eBuy, ePro or PCard. Please use the chart below as a reference point.

Purchase Order Amount Purchasing Limits Estimated Processing Time
Up to $25,000
  • eBuy and PCard are the recommended methods.
  • Use ePro only if the transaction requires a Purchase Order or special approval.
  • Competitive sourcing generally not required.
  • In cases where competitive sourcing is necessary, a Procurement Specialist will work with you to obtain the best possible price for your order. Competitive sourcing may result in a longer lead time.
Little to no lead time when using eBuy.

3-day lead time with PCard.

13-day lead time with ePro once requisition has been approved and submitted to Procurement

Between $25,000 and $150,000
  • Competitive sourcing not necessarily required if the prices, delivery terms and item quality are fair and reasonable.
  • We give supplier preference to small businesses and can assist you in identifying qualified small businesses.
  • A sole source justification is required for certain types of procurements.  See the Sole Source page.
  • We will accept a written supplier quote from a department, as long as the quote provides complete and clear information for verification so that Procurement can review the quote.
23-day lead time once requisition has been approved and submitted to Procurement
Over $150,000
  • Competitive sourcing mandatory.
  • Exceptions must adhere to the Sole Source Justification process.
  • Bids may be solicited from only small businesses when there is an expectation that the bids are competitive in price, quality and delivery.
3 to 6 months lead time or more depending on the complexity and the estimated value of the contract
Over $500,000
  • The Advance Acquisition Alert form must be submitted at least 30 days before submission of your requisition.
  • Additional approvals from DOE and Contract Review Boards (CRBs) may lengthen the lead time.
  • Please contact the appropriate Purchasing Team to discuss.

Unauthorized Commitments

Individuals are not permitted to purchase directly from suppliers unless a contract has been established with that supplier or they have been approved to use a Laboratory PCard. The authority to make contractual commitments through procurement transactions has been specifically delegated to individuals primarily assigned to Procurement. Only those who have delegated Procurement authority may commit funds on behalf of the Laboratory. This includes entering into contracts, modifying contracts, or terminating contracts. Purchases or commitments made by individuals without delegated procurement authority are considered unauthorized, and must undergo a ratification process to determine whether the unauthorized commitment would otherwise have been proper and in the best interest of the Laboratory.

Examples of unauthorized commitments include, but are not limited to:

  • Committing the expenditure of Laboratory funds by an individual with no delegated procurement authority (For example, calling a supplier directly to request a repair)
  • Requesting or accepting goods or services from a supplier when a contract has not yet been awarded (Note: requisitions are not contracts)
  • Authorizing work that exceeds the total allowable expenditures or extends beyond the current term of a contract or agreement
  • Authorizing a supplier/subcontractor to perform work or deliver goods without written, delegated procurement authority
  • Ordering goods or services that are outside the scope of the contract or agreement
  • Authorizing an order under a blanket contract or master agreement without formal designation in the contract as having authority to issue orders
  • Improper use of the Laboratory procurement credit card
  • Making a contractual commitment exceeding the level of an individuals delegated procurement authority
  • Directing another person to do any of the above, whether intentionally or unintentionally

If you suspect an unauthorized commitment has been made, contact the Procurement Help Desk so that Procurement can inform the supplier, notify the responsible individual, and initiate a ratification process. If the commitment is ratified, the Procurement Specialist will issue a purchase order or contract to the supplier so that work or shipments can commence or continue, and the supplier can be paid.

Unauthorized commitments are a violation of Laboratory policy and individuals making commitments without proper authority are subject to corrective and/or disciplinary action and may be responsible for payment of charges incurred. To avoid making unauthorized commitments, individuals should always use the established purchasing channels to initiate a purchase request or make a purchase.

Excess Property

You never know what you might find posted on the Property Management & Excess Internal Screening web page! Often, they have just the thing you are looking for, from stationery products to printers to cables to machinery to wire…. and more.  The Laboratory’s Property Management & Excess Group gathers all excess property and material, and makes it available for reutilization to Berkeley Lab employees, Department of Energy agencies and other Federal government contractors, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations, in order to waste less and be more efficient. To get more information about the Excess process, visit Property Management’s Excess Services web page.

You can also visit GSAXcess.gov, the entry site for the Federal Excess Personal Property Utilization Program and the Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program operated by the General Services Administration. Assets listed on GSAXcess (FEDS) are available for redeployment throughout the US Federal government system. It is also the entry site for DOE’s Energy Asset Disposal System (EADS). Assets listed in EADS are available for redeployment throughout the DOE system. Berkeley Lab employees can obtain a “view” access account to EADS. To request any assets listed in EADS or FEDS, contact the Laboratory’s Excess Lead at x4938.