Sole Source FAQ
What is a sole source procurement?
A sole source procurement can be defined as any contract entered into without a competitive process, based on a justification that only one known source exists or that only one single supplier can fulfill the requirements. Examples of acceptable exceptions from the competitive procurement process may include:
- only one known source exists for supplies or services as determined by documented research;
- no other reasonable alternative source exists that meets the agency requirements;
- only one source meets the business needs of the agency/state (e.g., compatibility, unique feature to meet state’s business need, etc.); and procurement of public utility services.
What is NOT a sole source procurement?
- An agency requirement for a particular proprietary product or service does not automatically justify a sole source procurement if there is more than one potential bidder for that item.
- An agency preference for a brand name product does not justify a sole source procurement.
- A good's or service's "uniqueness" alone may not qualify the producer or supplier of the good or service as a sole provider of a good or service. There may be other goods or services that may provide the desired result or benefit, in a different context.
See NASPO Non-Competitive / Sole Source Procurement: Seven Questions for more information.
How do I designate a sole source vendor with the BPS?
The Director of Purchase must approve all sole source designations prior to:
- submitting a Board Recommendation for approval
- submitting a Professional Services Contract for approval
At no time, unless under an emergency designation by the Superintendent or his/her designee, shall District staff engage a vendor for goods, or a provider of services unless authorized by the Director of Purchase or his/her designee, irrespective of perceived or real sole source status.
INSTRUCTIONS: Download the Sole Source Designation Process with Affidavit document here.
- Review the guidance section concerning sole source status
- Complete the questionnaire titled “Sole Source Rationale”
- Obtain and submit to Director of Purchase the notarized affidavit AND the most recent sole source letter from manufacturer/vendor on that company’s stationary. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org along with completed rationale.
NOTE: DESIGNATION OF SOLE SOURCE IS ON A "SINGLE ORDER BASIS" AND CANNOT BE USED FOR SUBSEQUENT ORDERS; A NEW REQUEST MUST BE SUBMITTED.