Sole Source/Price Justification

Effective July 1, 2013


  • Sole Source Purchase: A purchase that can only be obtained from a single source (i.e., a single supplier). 
  • Price Justification: Substantiation by the university to accept a higher price for a purchased item.


A sole-source purchase is one where an item can only be purchased from a single source. This situation makes it impossible to obtain competitive bids.

The requisitioning department shall furnish documentation to justify why the technical characteristics inherent in the item make it essential to purchase the particular item in preference to another brand of lower cost but similar capabilities.

Written documentation of some form of price or cost analysis is required on all sole-source purchases with an aggregate expenditure in excess of $5,000. Appropriate documentation may include copies of published price lists, advertised pricing in established magazines, journals and newspapers, and similar indices.

The Sole Source / Price Justification Form (pdf) must be completed for goods or services purchased from a single source or when the supplier offering the lowest bid is not accepted.

Final responsibility in determining whether an item is a proprietary item and may be purchased from a sole source rests with the director of procurement.