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Sole Source Instructions

Sole Source

A sole source justification is an explanation and an attestation by the person signing the justification that it has been established that only the chosen item (product, equipment, service), because it has certain specifications that all other items lack, and these specifications are required to meet a stated need. This conclusion must be supported in the justification with evidence that all other potentially competitive items have been investigated with due diligence; i.e. that the person who has specified the item has thoroughly investigated all the available, comparable items (products, equipment, services) and come to the conclusion, based upon known specifications of all the items investigated, that only the chosen item has the specifications which meet the need. A sole source item, in the case of a brand name justification, may be biddable if the item is available from more than one supplier.

Please note: The Purchasing Agent, at his/her discretion, may electronically post any sole source justification on the State of Colorado “BIDS” System Intent to Sole Source web page, per rules.

Sole Source Justification Guidelines

A sole source justification represents a request from the end user for the Department of Purchasing to waive the Bid Process DUE TO THE FACT(S) that a particular item possesses features that:

  1. Are critical to the project...these features (specifications) must be described and defended as to why they are critical and needed for the intended application. Vendors names need not be mentioned here,
  2. No other manufacturer's product possesses these features (manufacturers must be mentioned by name), therefore, since these features are needed and can be documented as needed, it would be futile to Bid (Potential competition has been thoroughly surveyed, documented, and found deficient). Competition must be mentioned by name with deficiencies.
  3. It must be stated, with explanation of how, that the brand and model of choice (state vendors name here) meets all of the specification requirements as described in #1.
  4. Price cannot be used to justify a sole source since a Bid would provide information on price. A sole source is a request to waive the Bid process due to unique specifications needed for the intended application. However, a price comparison can be included and strengthen a sole source AFTER the requirements in #’s 1, 2, and 3 have been fulfilled.

The above points must be elaborated on with a description of the need, how the features of a particular instrument (item) fit these needs (documentation) and a listing of possible competitors (State of Colorado requires three which includes the vendor of choice. If less than three an explanation is needed) and HOW THEIR SPECIFICATIONS ARE DEFICIENT FOR THE INTENDED APPLICATION. Thus, the salient points of a Sole Source Justification involve a LETTER discussing in detail the points outlined above. The justification must also contain a conflict of interest statement stating that the end user has no conflict of interest in this purchase.

Unauthorized Purchase/Late Contracts

The following documents assist employees on purchases, and information on current state policies.

Controller's Policy
Unauthorized Purchase Letter
Late Contract Letter

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