UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH POLICY 05-02-17
CATEGORY: FINANCIAL AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: Directed or Sole Source Purchase Justification
EFFECTIVE DATE: August 4, 2004
This policy permits, under certain conditions, purchases of goods or services from a
directed or sole source without soliciting bids from multiple sources.
The University recognizes that special circumstances may not support the use of
competitive bidding. In these situations, directed or sole source purchases may be an
Directed or sole source purchases are an exception to the University of Pittsburgh
Competitive Bidding Policy, and must always be in writing. The Purchasing Department
will approve a directed or sole source purchase on a case-by-case basis.
Directed source is a term used to designate that a product or service, for specific and
justifiable reasons, will be purchased from one specified supplier. Following are examples
of acceptable directed source purchases.
- The requested product is an integral part or accessory to existing equipment.
- The service requested is for existing equipment which can only be completed by the
original manufacturer or manufacturer’s designated service provider.
- The requested product or service has unique design, performance, and/or quality
specifications that are essential to a particular research protocol or teaching needs
and are not available in comparable products.
- The requested product or service is essential in maintaining research continuity.
- The requested service or system requires a supplier with unique skills or experience.
Sole source is a term used to designate that only one supplier exists that is capable of
providing a particular product or service.
For directed and sole source purchases, University departments are responsible for
evaluating alternative sources of supply and documenting the reasons that the purchase
will be directed to a particular supplier or service provider when alternative sources are
available. University departments also are responsible for verifying that prices paid for
directed and sole source purchases are fair and reasonable.
Under no circumstances shall a supplier be advised that a contract will be awarded on a
directed or sole source basis before approval by the Purchasing Department.
Guest speakers, honoraria, subscriptions, dues, memberships and other similar items will
be treated as sole source, and do not require sole source justification documentation.
IV. REQUIREMENTS FOR RESEARCH GRANTS AND CONTRACTS
University purchasing policies and procedures cover the purchasing requirements under
OMB Circular A-110 for grants and cooperative agreements. For research contracts,
may be additional contractual requirements related to purchasing.
Research Administrators and Principle Investigators are responsible for identifying and
complying with any additional purchasing provisions, such as the Federal Acquisition
Regulations (FARs), that may be included in the terms of their research contracts. The
Purchasing Department is available to provide assistance in complying with any additional
research contract purchasing provisions.
Policy 05-02-02, Conflict of Interest and Procurement Relationships
Policy 05-02-03, Code of Ethics
Policy 05-02-14, Authority for Management of Procurement
Policy 05-02-15, Required Use of Contracted Suppliers
Policy 05-02-16, Competitive Bidding
Directed or Sole Source Justification Form