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Computer Equipment, Software and Services (CESS)

Computer Equipment, Software & Services

The purpose of Computer Equipment, Software and Services (CESS) approval is to review qualifying IT projects for risk assessment and compliance with Board of Regents policy. Items that are considered qualifying IT projects include hardware purchases, software licensing, third-party hosting, IT consulting services and more.

CESS Process and Approval Definitions

  • Hardware
    • Desktop/Laptop/Tablet computers
    • External hard drives
    • AV Equipment that is connected to the Internet 
    • Scanners
    • Network routers and equipment
    • Servers
    • "Smart" (IoT) devices - i.e. smart phones, smart TVs, smart refrigerators, AI Devices such as Alexa/Echo, etc.
  • Software licensing, maintenance and subscriptions
  • All third-party hosting or cloud vendor hosting 
  • IT consulting contracts or services
  • Third-party hosting or cloud services involve processing, storing or transmitting any University data on a physical (University-owned or personal) or virtual device outside direct control or possession of UGA.
  • All cloud services and third-party hosting must receive CESS approval, regardless of the cost.
  • The type of data being processed, stored or transmitted determines if a CESS Security Evaluation Form is needed. If you are unsure what type of data you will be working with, please review our Data Classification and Protection Standard.
  • Exception = "Private On-Site Cloud" - This means data will be stored on a physical or virtual device in direct control or possession of UGA (i.e. in the Data Center or another campus building).
  • If your cloud services provider is Amazon Web Services, you will need to fill out the Amazon Cloud Financial Stewardship Form and attach it to each UGAmart Purchase Requisition you submit for AWS. It must be signed by your Dean or Vice President.

How to Submit Requests and Check Request Status

Entering a CESS Request in UGAmart

  1. Log into UGAmart using your MyID and Password
  2. UGAmart Home Page - under the UGA Internal Stores & Forms section to the left, click CESS Approval Form.

Completing the CESS Form

  1. Fill in the "Individual Responsible for CESS Resource and Location" section, and then select the appropriate "Approving Unit Coordinator Group."
  2. Fill out all sections of the CESS form and provide as much detail as possible.
  3. If you answered "Yes" to any of the Security Questions, fill out and attach the CESS Security and Evaluation Form.
  4. Attach any project documents or quotes available.
  5. When all fields are completed and all documents have been attached, click the drop-down menu beside "Available Actions" at the top right of the CESS Approval Form, select Add to New Cart and click Go.

Finalizing the CESS Requisition for Submission and Approval

  1. When the new Requisition cart opens, enter a Cart Name and a Cart Description.
  2. Next, click Proceed to Final Review located near the top right.
  3. If the Requisition doesn't auto-fill, enter the "Shipping" and "Billing" information.
  4. Click Edit in the Accounting Codes section, enter the Account Number and Detail Object code, and then click "Save."
  5. At the top middle of the page within the yellow text box, click the blue Final Review link.
  6. At the top right of the page, click Submit for Approval (routes to the department unit CESS coordinator for approval) - Do NOT click "Assign Cart."
  • The CESS Approval Number must be specified on every purchase requisition against a CESS project before the cart is approved by a department.
  • If no CESS Approval Number is cited in the CESS Approval # field of a purchase requisition, the cart will not route for CESS review.
  • If the CESS Approval Number is not cited on a purchase requisition covered under a CESS project, Procurement will return the cart to the requisitioner so they can add the CESS Approval Number and the cart can be routed for CESS review.
  • The CESS Approval Number must be specified on every purchase requisition against the CESS project (example below).

    • If the CESS Approval Number is not cited on a purchase requisition covered under a CESS project, Procurement will return the cart to the requisitioner so they can add the CESS Approval Number and the cart can be routed for CESS review.
  • If your CESS Request is under $500K and all the required documentation or forms are attached, the standard CESS approval processing time is 7-10 business days. A failure to attach all the required documentation could result in additional processing time.
  • If your CESS Request is over $500K and all the required documentation or forms are attached, the standard CESS approval processing time is 17-25 business days. A failure to attach all the required documentation could result in additional processing time.
  • If you are unsure of the required forms for your CESS Request, visit our CESS Flowchart to help you determine the forms necessary for your IT project.
  • To check the approval status of a CESS request, click on the PR Approvals tab at the top left of the CESS Requisition. You will be able to view what stage of CESS Approval the PR cart is currently in, as well as the CESS approvers to contact for any status update questions.
  • When the CESS request has been approved by all review levels, an email notification will be sent to the Shopper who created the cart with the approval number (if the Shopper's profile email notification is set up for email notifications).
  • The CESS Approval Number must be specified on EVERY purchase requisition against the CESS project. If the CESS Approval Number is not cited on a purchase requisition covered under a CESS project, Procurement will return the cart to the requisitioner so they can add the CESS Approval Number and the cart can be routed for CESS Review.
  • In UGAmart, click on Documents in the blue column on the right. Under Document Search, click Search Documents.
  • At the top of the search page, make sure "Requisitions" is chosen as your search criteria.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the search page and under CESS Approval #, type in your full CESS Number.

CESS Additional Steps & Forms

NOTE: Approval from the Board of Regents generally takes an additional 10-15 business days, so please plan accordingly.

  • If the CESS number for the original maintenance or subscription is FY16 or after, you will need to enter the CESS number in the CESS # field when you submit your UGAmart cart for the maintenance or subscription renewal.
  • If the CESS number for the original maintenance or subscription is FY15 or before, you will need to submit a new CESS request for approval before you can submit the renewal cart. This is due to the increased focus on IT security and risk management. When the CESS request is approved, you will need to enter the CESS number in the CESS # field when you submit your UGAmart cart for the maintenance or subscription renewal.
  • Click the blue Search button at the bottom of the page. This will give you a list of requisitions where the CESS number was cited in the PR cart.

Standards & Policies

Additional Forms 

CESS Guidelines and Resource Links

Contact Us

 Revised April 26, 2019