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COVID19 Critical Expense Purchasing Guidelines

Due to the current COVID19 pandemic, some purchases that would not have been required before the pandemic are now necessary.  These are referred to as COVID19 critical expenses.

What is and isn’t a COVID19 Critical Expense?

Examples of COVID19 critical expenses include:

  • online software to transition an in-person class to an online class,
  • shipping costs to deliver supplies or books to students taking classes remotely,
  • physical barriers to separate employees from each other or visitors,
  • digital thermometers for screening employees or students, or
  • computer or other equipment necessary for working remotely (these purchases are at the discretion of the department and are the property of the university).

Additional examples are available on the Finance and Business website.

As with all university purchases, COVID19 critical expenses must support the university’s mission of teaching, research, public service or patient care.

A purchase that would have normally occurred, even if the pandemic had not taken place, does not constitute a COVID19 critical expense.  For example, routine equipment maintenance or purchase of academic supplies would not constitute COVID19 critical expenses. 

Just because a purchase is taking place during the COVID19 pandemic does not make it a COVID19 critical expense.  It must be a purchase that is required due to the ongoing pandemic.  Transactions are regularly audited.  Incorrectly identifying an expense as COVID19 critical can lead to possible future funding issues for the university.

Questions on how to determine if an expense is a COVID19 critical expense should be directed to the FIS Help Desk at fishelp@ucdavis.edu.


Documenting COVID19 Critical Expenses

AggieBuy or Kuali Financial System (KFS)

When purchasing supplies or equipment necessitated by the COVID19 pandemic, the following must be documented on your AggieBuy or KFS Requisition:

  • An explanation as to how the purchase is COVID19 critical must be entered in the Business Purpose field of the AggieBuy Requisition or in the Explanation field of the KFS Requisition. 
  • The Project Code of COVID19 must be included In the Payment: Chart of Accounts section of AggieBuy when checking out a cart, or in the Add Items section of the KFS Requisition.

Procurement Card

If the university Procurement Card is used for a COVID19 critical expense, the following must be entered on the resulting KFS Procurement Card document:

  • In the Explanation field, a note indicating how the purchase is COVID19 critical must be entered.
  • In the Project Code field, COVID19 must be entered.

Back to the main Supply Chain Management COVID19 page.