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Uniform Guidance Update

Major Changes in the Uniform Guidance (UG) Affecting Purchases Using Federal Funds

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has combined many federal circulars into a single guidance document that may be used by all federal agencies. These new regulations became effective December 26, 2014 for all guidance except for purchasing.  The purchasing changes became effective on July 1, 2018.  Funding agency policy may have its own OMB approved deviations and should still be reviewed for their specific requirements.

Procurement guidance under 2 CFR 200 is specifically located in sections 200.317-200.326. This guidance focuses on increased competition and transparency in the procurement process. Since UCLA already follows a stricter state competitive bid threshold, changes should be minimal. The three major areas of change affecting Purchasing are:

The Micro Purchase Threshold (MPT)

The OMB has approved increasing the MPT up to $10,000, this increase is at the option of the University. The MPT we’ve used at UCLA has been $3,500 for several years. As of July 1, 2018 the MPT at UCLA will increase to $5,000, this increase will match the current thresholds for LVO’s and Inventorial Equipment.

Sole Source Procurement

To increase competition UG has limited the use of sole sources to four distinct justifications:

  • Product/service is only available from a single source
  • Public Emergency Procurement; (The emergency must be an imminent threat to property or human life)
  • Federal Awarding Agency Authorization: the awarding agency specifically authorizes a non-competitive procurement after a written request from the University
  • Inadequate competition after conducting a public solicitation (i.e. RFP/RFQ)

These changes will result in increased scrutiny for ALL sole source justifications. The most significant change to the sole source section of UG is that “match existing” and “personal or professional services,” both available for state funded purchases are no longer acceptable justification when using federal funds. These changes will make it harder to justify a sole-source and require that you allow sufficient time for the RFP sourcing process, with qualitative evaluation criteria, which can take 12 weeks or more.

Additionally, every sole source will require a price analysis, and if over $150,000 will also require us to perform a cost analysis and negotiate profit as a separate element of the price for each contract in which there is no price competition and in all cases where cost analysis is performed.  

Conflict of Interest

The UG prohibits conflicts of interest, even a managed conflict is not allowed.

For further details, please contact Campus Purchasing at (310) 794-6035.