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Professional Buyer: Roles and Responsibilities

These guidelines clarify the roles and responsibilities of professional buyers.

Professional buyers receive purchasing authority by delegation from the UC San Diego Chief Procurement Officer, who receives authority from the Regents and president of the university. With this authority, professional buyers must comply with all applicable federal, state, and university policies and procedures.

Professional buyer's role

On behalf of the university, a professional buyer can purchase goods and services that:

  • Exceed department buyers' authority
  • Require specialized expertise
  • Are restricted commodities, including those defined as equipment, and professional or personal services (independent contractors/ consultants)
  • Total less than $4,999 and require unique administrative and financial processing 
  • Total less than $4,999 and generate more than a single invoice over the term of the agreement
  • Signature Authority for ALL Contracts and Agreement on behalf of the Regents of the University of California


  • Reviewing requisitions in Oracle
  • Applying UC systemwide and UCSD-specific strategic sourcing contracts to purchases
  • Establishing and managing contracts with suppliers
  • Consulting with and supporting campus departments about their purchasing needs
  • Soliciting competitive bids through requests for proposals (RFPs), requests for quotations (RFQs) and requests for information (RFIs)
  • Maintaining a suitable and diverse pool of suppliers
  • Providing effective business advice to the campus
  • Signing contracts and agreements

Who can sign

Only Procurement & Contracts specialists (professional buyers) can sign contracts and agreements. Contracts and agreements often contain terms and conditions that are in conflict with the business rules and policies of the university. Professional buyers understand these possible areas of disagreement and can negotiate with the supplier to come to a mutual agreement.

If a supplier asks you to sign a document, contact one of the Integrated Procure-to-Pay Solutions, Procurement & Contract Specialists for your area. The professional buyer can review the document. If it is a contract or agreement, the professional buyer can assist in the negotiation, as well as sign the contract for you. 

Delegation of authority

UCSD Procurement & Contracts has the delegated authority for signing all contracts or agreements that commit UCSD to purchase, rent, lease, license, subscribe to, or use goods or services. This delegation comes from the president of the university through the UCSD chancellor. Unless specifically granted by the chancellor or a designee, no other UCSD entity, faculty, or staff has this authority.

Warning: If you sign a contract or agreement, you may be held liable for the purchase.

Proof of insurance

Proof of insurance may be requested by a vendor or supplier when the university contracts for services or facilities. Read Proof of Insurance for information on obtaining a Certificate of Insurance from Risk Management.

Need help? Contact our team via the UC San Diego Services & Support portal.
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