» Procurement (Goods & Services)

Toggle Section

Sole Source and Price Justification

In cases where competition cannot be obtained, purchase requisitions should be accompanied by a Sole Source Justification form signed by the principal investigator, department chair, or director.  The form should be used when you need to:

  • Obtain replacement parts for existing equipment
  • Get auxiliary components to match existing equipment
  • Meet unique physical design or quality requirements
  • Maintain research continuity
  • Buy items that have characteristics unique to a single manufacturer, and essential to the proposed use.
  • Obtain goods and services that are proprietary to a certain manufacturer

When you request a sole source justification, consider the following:

  • Reasonable price: Even though there may be good reason for a sole source, we enter into a purchase contract only after determining that we will be paying reasonable prices. Documented price comparisons, discounts off published price lists, buyer’s knowledge of market, Fair Trade laws and other cost-price analyses determine if the price is reasonable.
  • Brand or trade names: When you believe that only a specific brand, trade name, item, or proprietary service will properly satisfy your requirements, include a description of the technical features that make that product or service the only one that fulfills your needs.
  • Extenuating circumstances: When the prime-sponsoring agency or governing law directs the purchase, or when unusual or compelling urgency for acquiring the goods or services precludes obtaining formal competition, the purchase may qualify for sole source justification

Price Certification:

If there is no competitive or comparative evidence to demonstrate that a price is reasonable, ask the vendor to certify in writing that the quoted price is the best price offered to any educational or non-profit customer of a similar business volume. If the vendor is willing to provide this certification, it creates a legal liability for the vendor and is sufficient price justification.