Sole Source Purchases
A department or school may determine that a Sole Source purchase is justified.
Sole source means that a single vendor is uniquely qualified to meet the department/school's procurement objective. To be considered a sole source and therefore exempt from the bid process, one of the following conditions must be met:
- Only 1 firm has the product that will meet the project's needs or only 1 firm can do the work.
- Supplier is uniquely qualified to provide this product or service.
- The product or service must match or be compatible with current equipment or services.
- Product needed is specifically required for use in conjunction with grant or contract.
- Service needed is controlled or mandated by the local utility or government.
- Contract is for unique artistic services (i.e. music performers, art awards).
- Order is being placed against an existing contract or agreement.
- Re-order based on previous bids or analysis within one year.
- An unusual or compelling sense of urgency exists.
If the need meets one of the above criteria, the department/school should solicit a formal quote and negotiate with the vendor directly, or request that Purchasing Strategic Sourcing negotiate with the vendor on their behalf.
Please note that if the vendor selected is requesting that the department or school sign something, it MUST be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel (OGC). Once it is reviewed and approved, it will be forwarded to the appropriate officer of the University for signature. Learn more about Signature Authority.
The Purchasing Decision Documentation form (URL) must be completed for purchases of $25,000 or more, and the completed Sole Source Justification Form must be attached to the Requisition in NU Financial's. See 'Quick Tips' for a job-aid and other helpful information before completing the Purchasing Decision Documentation form.
In order to successfully complete and submit the Purchasing Decision Documentation, make sure to have knowledge of the following information:
- Name of supplier awarded the bid and the amount
- Names of all other suppliers and quotes received (quotes should be requested from multiple vendors)
- Service and product description with reason of selecting supplier
- For conflict of interest, name of the individual who selected the vendor and knowledge if the individual:
- Has a personal or financial interest in the vendor.
- Received any gifts or hospitality from the vendor within the last 12 months.
- Given a gift or provided more than incidental hospitality to the vendor within the last 12 months.
- If the form format or color looks unusual (i.e., an all white background), clear your web browsers cache, or try using a different browser
For further assistance in completing this process, view the Purchasing Decision Documentation job-aid.
Access the Purchasing Decision Documentation form (URL).