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.

Complexity Drives Cycle Times
$ Value Designation Average Cycle Time * to Get Award
eBuy (>$0-$25K) Simple 4 days*
>$0K-$2K Simple can be on a PCard or PO 4 days*
>$2K-$25K Simple 13 days*

Moderate 23 days*

Significant 3 – 6 months* depending on complexity

Major 3-6 months* or more

Send us Advance Acquisition Alert as soon as the need for a contract is known/ Contract Review Board (CRB) may be required

Please see this document for the key components of the Acquisition Lifecycle

Over $10M Highly Complex

Requires DOE Approval

9 – 12 months* or more

Send us Advance Acquisition Alert as soon as the need for a contract is known/ Contract Review Board (CRB) may be required

Please see this document for the key components of the Acquisition Lifecycle

*Average Calendar Days
Procurement time begins when complete documents are received from the division
Cycle Times are based on total contract value, not the requisition value


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 individual’s 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 can visit, 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.