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Procurement Services

Sole Source Guidelines

The "sole source" designation applied to purchases over $150,000 that can only be supplied by one source, to the best of the requestor's knowledge. A sole source cannot be based on price or quality, as that would be a subjective evaluation.

Sole Source Notices

A sole source justification letter must be completed and signed by the requesting faculty member, principal investigator, or researcher. Procurement Services is vested with the authority to approve a sole source letter and associated purchase.

A short paragraph from the manufacturer on their company letterhead stating that they are the sole manufacturer and distributor of this equipment is also required.

Purchase orders issued as sole source may not be subsequently increased by change orders in amounts exceeding the bid limit without appropriate approval and signature.

Justification Letter:

  • Must be sufficient in detail so that a person not familiar with the situation is able to understand the need to forego the normal purchasing procedures.
  • Should be typed on University letterhead signed and dated by the principal investigator.
  • Is only valid for one calendar year.
  • Must state that there are no other companies or distributors that can provide the product or service.

Preparing the justification for a sole source purchase:

  • What is the product and what does the product do?
  • Where will the product be located on campus? Building / room number
  • Will installation and/or on-site training by the vendor be required?
  • Do other manufacturers make similar products that will do the same job or meet the same goals?
  • How is this product unique from all others?
  • What existing equipment or supplies are, or must be, compatible with the product?
  • Why are the unique characteristics of this product critical for your mission?
  • How will this purchase or failure to purchase the specifically proposed equipment impact the associated research? (if applicable)
  • Will the failure to purchase the specifically proposed equipment affect the continuity or validity of the associated research? (if applicable)