Sole-Source or Noncompetitive Purchase

  • Who Completes This Task: Administrator



    A sole-source purchase involves buying something with noncompetitive proposals, or solicitation of a proposal from only one source. Artificially restricting competition through unreasonably specific or unnecessary requirements is not permitted. User preference is also not an acceptable reason for making a sole-source purchase. A sole-source purchase/contract is rare. The preferred method to confirm a purchase/contract is being made with a sole source is a formal solicitation process (Request for Bid or Request for Proposal) to remove all doubt.



    • A sole-source proposal is acceptable if any of the following are met:
    • The item is available only from a single source
    • There is a public emergency or need that will not permit a delay
      • Burst pipes
      • Electrical outages
      • Building collapse or imminent collapse
      • Issues that threaten public safety
    • The awarding agency authorizes noncompetitive proposals in response to request
    • After solicitation of a number of sources, competition is determined to be inadequate



    1. Complete the Sole-Source Justification Form and the Sole-Source Posting Form
      • Attach to requisition in PS or contract in eRFP
    2. The Purchasing Manager will review submitted documents to determine allowability
    3. Purchasing will post notice of sole source for a minimum of two consecutive weeks
      • If concern is raised by vendors, the formal solicitation process will be required 
      • If no concern is raised, the sole source will be considered valid and proceed with approval process.


    Documentation Required

    • Sole-source purchases require:
    • Completed sole-source justification form
    • The reason for using a noncompetitive proposal including:
      • Uniqueness of services sought
      • Lack of available providers
      • Experience of the selected vendor
      • Screen captures and search terms from online searches


Why This Is Important

Last Modified on November 16, 2022