Sole Source/Price Justification
- 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.
There are a few circumstances and items excluded in all or part from the competitive bid policy. Failing to anticipate needs resulting from poor planning is not an exception to this policy.
Certain situations which may justify purchases without following the competitive bid procedures are as follows:
- Items purchased from current university, state, federal or other cooperative contract or pricing agreements.
- Emergency purchases when:
- Human life, health or university property is in jeopardy.
- Repairs of equipment involve hidden dangers.
- Repairs are immediately needed for equipment where delay would lead to higher expense.
- Library acquisitions (books, periodicals and films).
- Items which are proprietary.
- Original Equipment Manufacturer requirements for equipment under lease, rental, warranty or maintenance.
- Design compatibility with existing equipment.
The cognizant department manager or principal investigator should submit a written, clear and concise statement that justifies waiving the competitive bidding process. 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.
Ramifications if Policy Is Breached
If this policy is breached, the university is at risk for not passing its audits from various auditing agencies. This could affect the amount of grant money awarded to the institution.
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