Integrated CSU Administrative Manual




Section 5000 Policies

Policy Number:  5202.0

Policy Title: Classification of Contracts

Policy Effective Date:  November XX, 2013

Last Revision Date:  
(see revision history)


To establish system wide contracting and procurement policy related to contract classifications as required by Education Code 89036.


Proper Classification of Contracts is necessary as a first step in determining which solicitation process is appropriate for the contract, and what which elements (such as general provisions) are required to be in the contract.  The classification of a contract is determined by its predominate purpose or value of the activity.

100  Contract for Goods

This is a purchase that has as its sole or main purpose the buying of tangible items, such as equipment, parts, supplies, or other merchandise.  If any services are to be provided as well, the dollar value associated with the purchase of the Goods must be greater than the dollar value of the services that will be provided.  This classification of contracts does not include contracts for the acquisition of Information Technology Resources (ITR) gGoods and Services or facility maintenance services.

200  Information Technology Resources (ITR) Goods and Services Contract

Information Technology Resources (ITR): Equipment, material and/or services used for electronic storage, processing or transmitting of any data or information, as well as the data or information itself. This definition includes but is not limited to electronic mail, voice mail, local databases, externally accessed databases, CD-ROM, recorded magnetic media, photographs, digitized information, or micro-imaging. This also includes any wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo optical, photo electronic or other facility used in transmitting electronic communications, and any computer facilities or related electronic equipment that electronically stores such communications. This classification of contracts includes acquisition of goods and/or services for all electronic technology systems and services, automated information handling, system design and analysis, conversion of data, computer programming, information storage and retrieval, telecommunications which include voice, video, and data communications, requisite system controls, simulation, electronic commerce, and all related interactions between people and machines.

When determining whether a contract is for ITR one must consider the main predominant purpose or value of the activity, and whether information technology skills and knowledge are involved as the primary purpose of the contract or whether such knowledge or skills are used to further an overarching purpose.

Example: A contract for installing cable for a local area network that also includes installation of network electronics. If the primary value is getting the cable installed, this would most likely be a non-ITR service; or if it is being done in a public structure, this would be a Public Works contract. If the main emphasis of this contract is the installation of the network electronics, it would be an ITR contract.


300  Contract for Services

Service means any work performed by an independent contractor wherein the service rendered does not consist primarily of the acquisition of goods.  This classification of contracts does not include contracts for the acquisition of information technology ITR services (see Section 200) and public works project agreements, or professional service agreements in connection with a public works project. but does include contracts for maintenance tasks for the routine, recurring and usual work for the preservation, protection and keeping of any publicly owned or publicly operated facility.

Example: A contract for carpeting may involve purchase of carpet (commodity) as well as removal of old carpet and pad (service), and installation of new carpet and pad (service). The determining factor is what would be the primary focus of the contract and expertise of the contractor.  If the prime contractor is with an installer, or if the main emphasis is the installation with the majority of the contract cost for labor, then it would be a service contract.

George V. Ashkar
Assistant Vice-Chancellor/Controller

Approved: October XX, 2013







Useful Guidelines:

CSU Capital Planning, Design & Construction Contracting Methods for Maintenance Tasks

Related Principles:


Sound Business Practices:


Laws, State Codes, Regulations and Mandates:


CO Manager:

Tom Roberts
Director, Contract Services & Procurement
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Subject Expert:

Tom Roberts
Director, Contract Services & Procurement
CSU Office of the Chancellor

Affinity Group:

Procurement and Support Services Officers