Sole Source Purchases

Sole source is defined as entering into an agreement for goods/services over the University bid threshold of $10,000 without a competitive bid process. In few instances, a sole source justification request may be granted.

The following are examples for which a sole source justification may be granted:

  • There is only a single supplier for the needed good or service and no comparable item is available from other manufacturers, or the vendor has unique prior experience or capabilities
  • The compatibility of equipment or accessories is required
  • Continuity in research
  • The sole supplier's item is needed for trial use or testing
  • The sole supplier's item is to be procured for resale
  • Public utility services are to be procured
  • Specific items, services, and vendors are called for on a grant or contract

The following are examples of justification for which a sole source justification will not be granted:

  • Urgency of the good/service resulting from the requesting department's failure to properly plan or for which the requesting department should have reasonably known the good or service would have been needed
  • Preference for vendor
  • A good or service that is available from more than one source
  • Length of business relationship with the University

Sole source requests are submitted via the purchasing pre-approval request process. A completed and signed Sole Source Justification Request form must be attached to the purchasing pre-approval request. The form can be found in TUportal on the Staff Tools tab, under University forms, by searching for "Purchasing" in the search field.

All sole source requests are vetted by Purchasing Services, and a final determination is made at the discretion of the Senior Director. This review and approval must take place prior to ordering the items/services in question. Failure to do so is in direct violation of University policy.