Single Source / Sole Source

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It is a mandatory requirement of the University's Purchasing Policy that the University is to acquire goods or services through a competitive procurement process.  However, it is recognized that in exceptional circumstances, only one supplier is able or capable of providing the goods or services.  In these circumsstances, an appropriately signed Single Source/Sole Source Certification must be forwarded to Purchasing Services with online requisition prior to the commencement of procurement and receipt of goods or services.

For the Sole Source Certification, please click here.  Please note this form must be signed by appropriate approval authority in your department or division to be acceptable.

Under the Directive, below are the only circumstances where non-competitive procurement exists. 

Please note failure to plan and allow sufficient time for a competitive procurement process does not constitute a situation of non-competitive procurement.  

  1. where non-application clauses of the AIT exist:
    • Procurement of goods intended for resale to the public;
    • Contracts with a public body or a non-profit organization;
    • Procurement of goods and services purchased on behalf of an entity that is out of scope of the Directive;
    • Procurement from philanthropic institutions, prison labour or persons with disabilities;
    • Procurement of any goods the inter-provincial movement of which is restricted by laws not inconsistent with the trade agreements;
    • Procurement of goods and services that is financed primarily from donations that are subject to conditions that are inconsistent with the Directive;
    • Procurement of goods and services related to cultural or artistic fields and computer software for educational purposes;
    • Procurement of services that in Ontario may, by legislation or regulation, be provided only by any of the following licensed professionals: medical doctors, dentists, nurses,pharmacists, veterinarians, engineers, land surveyors, architects, accountants, lawyers and notaries;
    • Procurement of services of financial analysts or the management of investments by organizations who have such functions as a primary purpose;
    • Procurement of financial services respecting the management of financial assets and liabilities (i.e., treasury operations), including ancillary advisory and information services, whether or not delivered by a financial institution;
    • Procurement of goods and services for use outside Canada as well as construction work done outside Canada;
    • Health services and social services.
  2. Situations for single sourcing (multiple supplier exist, but only one can meet the requirements):
    • Where an unforeseeable situation of urgency exists and the goods or services cannot be obtained in time by means of open procurement procedures. Failure to plan and allow sufficient time for a competitive procurement process does not constitute an unforeseeable situation of urgency;
    • Where goods or services regarding matters of a confidential or privileged nature are to be purchased and the disclosure of those matters through an open tendering process could reasonably be expected to compromise government confidentiality, cause economic disruption or otherwise be contrary to the public interest;
    • Where a contract is to be awarded under a cooperation agreement that is financed, in whole or in part, by an international cooperation organization, only to the extent that the agreement between the entity and the organization includes rules for awarding contracts that differ from the obligations set out in the Directive;
    • Where construction materials are to be purchased and it can be demonstrated that transportation costs or technical considerations impose geographic limits on the available supply base, specifically in the case of sand, stone, gravel, asphalt, compound and pre-mixed concrete for use in the construction or repair of roads;
    • Where compliance with the open tendering provisions set out in the Directive would interfere with the entities' ability to maintain security or order or to protect human, animal or plant life or health;
    • In the absence of a receipt of any bids in response to a call for proposals or tenders made in accordance with the Directive.
  3. Situations for sole source (only one supplier exists that meets the requirements):
    • To ensure compatibility with existing products, to recognize exclusive rights, such as exclusive licenses, copyright and patent rights, or to maintain specialized products that must be maintained by the manufacturer or its representative;
    • Where there is an absence of competition for technical reasons and the goods or services can be supplied only by a particular supplier and no alternative or substitute exists;
    • For the procurement of goods or services the supply of which is controlled by a supplier that is a statutory monopoly;
    • For the purchase of goods on a commodity market;
    • For work to be performed on or about a leased building or portions thereof that may be performed only by the lesser;
    • For work to be performed on property by a contractor according to provisions of a warranty or guarantee held in respect of the property or the original work;
    • For a contract to be awarded to the winner of a design contest;
    • For the procurement of a prototype of a first good or service to be developed in the course of and for a particular contract for research, experiment, study or original development, but not for any subsequent purchases;
    • For the purchase of goods under exceptionally advantageous circumstances such as bankruptcy or receivership, but not for routine purchases;
    • For the procurement of original works of art;
    • For the procurement of subscriptions to newspapers, magazines or other periodicals;
    • For the procurement of real property.