Sole Source Specification

On this page:

UB requires open and free competition for all procurement transactions. In cases where the purchase is limited to a single or sole manufacturer or supplier, UB’s Purchasing Department must have a written explanation or justification on file.

Sole Source Documentation Requirements

Your written explanation for purchasing this item from this supplier must:

  • Indicate why the requested item(s) is the only one acceptable
  • Be on department letterhead
  • Be attached to your requisition and forwarded to the Purchasing Department with the purchase requisition
  • Be specific to this purchase request

Descriptions That Substantiate Your Sole Source Purchase

Characteristic Explanation
Compatibility Need for compatibility with an existing item with enough detail to demonstrate that compatibility is indeed necessary
Existing Contract
Vendor holds a service contract and therefore must supply the parts as a part of this contract. Mention warranty invalidation, if appropriate

The feature or features which would make an item unique:


-   A detailed explanation of how and why these unique features affect the function of the item

-   An explanation of why these unique functions and/or features are necessary to the use intended by the unit

-   Why an item could not be used without these functions and/or features

Additional Requirements

  • A definitive statement that no competition by manufacturers or dealers exist with an explanation of how the information was arrived.  Please include any information received by the manufacturer or supplier that supports this.
  • Any other data you feel would support a sole source purchase.

Preparing the Sole Source Purchase Justification

Be Thorough With Your Justification

An incomplete or missing justification will delay your purchase request.

The written departmental justification should:

  • Be prepared by someone familiar enough with the requirements to provide the necessary information.
  • Be on departmental letterhead paper, with signature and title of the preparer. The author should be prepared to substantiate any facts if an audit occurs.
  • Be submitted as an original, signed document attached to the purchasing requisition to the Purchasing Document.

Tips for a Successful Justification

  • Avoid using vague statements that do not meet the justification criteria described.
  • Do not include personal opinions on the company or product.
  • Lower price or quicker delivery is not a justifiable reason to declare a supplier as a sole source.
  • Having a large supply of spare parts or familiarity with using the product is not a justification.

Webpage Feedback

Notice a Technical Problem With This Webpage?

(We'd like to respond to you.)