Sole Source Guide

The following is a guide to submitting Sole Source justifications.

What Constitutes a Valid Sole Source Justification?

The simple answer is: It must contain the facts that show there is only one source of supply for your purchase requirement. If your requirement is available from more than one source, it is not considered a sole source.

The principal investigator (PI) or the end user must furnish the following information:

  1. State the specific features or performance specifications that are essential or required. Exterior / interior size or dimensions are only acceptable as justification if the space available is critical. Please note: sole source justifications, written by the vendor / manufacturer, are not acceptable. The PI or end user must write and sign the justification.
  2. The PI or end user must specify the name of vendors who can furnish similar products and which of these vendors were contacted, along with a description of the essential requirement(s) that other vendors can’t furnish.
  3. If your requirements involve purchasing a commodity that must be compatible with existing equipment and is available from only one source of supply, the end user must specifically explain this in the memo and furnish the previous purchase order number(s) for the existing equipment.
  4. A written quote must be furnished, which indicates what discount(s) the University is receiving. A quote indicating a discount does not negate the Buyer from performing a price analysis. If the discount amount or percentage is not given on the quote, the Buyer may need to contact the vendor for that information in order to complete a price analysis. All purchases over $25,000 require a price analysis, and if Federal Grant or Contract money is involved, vendors must also complete one or more certification forms, which are supplied by the Buyer. These requirements must be satisfied prior to a purchase order being issued.

Please remember that what the PI or end user would like to have doesn’t constitute adequate justification for a sole source. A PI’s or end user’s preference for one vendor or product following market studies, quotations, demonstrations / testing, does not constitute a sole source.

Bidding and Proposals

Purchases over $25,000 are subject to competitive bidding. If the purchase is over $100,000, Purchasing must send out a formal sealed RFP (Request for Proposals) or an RFB (Request for Bids) if the commodity can be supplied by more than one source. This is an Arizona Board of Regents requirement with which we must comply, regardless if the end user has already obtained quotes on his/her own.

Please contact your Buyer if you have further questions concerning sole sourcing.