Sole Source / Proprietary Procedure
Competitive procurement is prescribed by the Code
of Virginia, § 2.2-4303 as the preferred method to
obtain goods and services. If competition is to be restricted, or
not utilized, the facts and justification supporting this must be
documented in detail. Justification must be based upon unique
technical or performance characteristics. Personal preference for
certain brands or products does not adequately justify limiting
- If the procurement is $5,000 or below, neither competition nor
Sole Source or Proprietary justification is required. Simply
complete your purchase on the DPO form (Instructions for using the DPO).
- If a procurement is considered to be Sole Source or Proprietary
and is estimated to be above $5,000, Sole Source/Proprietary
Procurement justification must be submitted to Procurement Services
along with the corresponding requisition.
- Sole Source: A sole source procurement is a
procurement where only one source is practicably available for the
goods or services required. The purpose of the written sole source
determination is to show that competition is not practical because
only one source is practicably available to meet a specific need.
Competition is not available in a sole source procurement thus
distinguishing it from a proprietary procurement where the product
is restricted to that of one manufacturer, but is sold through
distributors and competition between them can be obtained. In
addition, in sole source procurements, written documentation must
be provided to demonstrate that the proposed price is deemed to be
fair and reasonable.
The sole source determination and written documentation
demonstrating that the proposed price is fair and reasonable must
be submitted to Procurement Services with the purchase requisition.
Upon receipt of such documentation, a sole source request may be
- Proprietary Specification: A proprietary
procurement is a procurement where the desired good/service must be
restricted to one manufacturer because the good/service is
compatible with or is an integral component of existing equipment
or products; is necessary to support a specific need of a program;
is covered by patent or copyright; must yield absolute continuity
of results, or is one with which a user has extensive experience,
and the use of any other similar piece of equipment would require
considerable reorientation and training. In such cases, an
equitable evaluation of comparable products and/or services must be
made and documented by the requester which shows that rejection of
other products is based solely on their failure to meet that need.
In cases where no other comparable source can be identified, a
technical description of the product or service requested and a
listing of those sources which were considered as alternates must
be provided. Upon receipt of such documentation, a proprietary
request may be granted and competition will be obtained among the
distributors which carry the manufacturer's product.
Although all sole source specifications are proprietary, all
proprietary specifications are not sole source. Proprietary items
may be available from several distributors through competitive
bidding; however, competition has been restricted to this group of
- Select the proper form below. The forms are in MSWord format.
- Complete the form and print it.
- Provide complete information. Forms lacking sufficient detail
cannot be approved.
- Sign and date the form and attach it to the purchase