Acquiring goods, services and construction works from only one source is referred to as: sole source procurement, single-source procurement, sole-source selection, direct procurement, among others. This is clearly a non-competitive procurement method, and it should be used only under exceptional circumstances, namely:
- for emergency situations;
- when only one firm or individual is qualified to fulfill the requirement;
- for the continuation of previous work, or additional work, that cannot be acquired from another firm or individual due to patent, compatibility issues, or exclusive rights;
- the use of this method represents a clear advantage over the use of a competitive method;
- the total cost is within the threshold set for this method of procurement;
- for the procurement of related items that are available only from one source;
- for other situations contemplated in the procurement legal and regulatory framework.
The use of this method should be preceded by a rigorous approval process. A checklist should preferably be developed for requesting entities to complete in sufficient detail to justify the need for fulfilling a procurement requirement from a single source. Such
justification should identify the requesting entity, describe the requirement, address why the requirement can only be fulfilled from the identified source, including action taken to identify additional sources, in addition to the total cost and planned future actions to preclude the need for using this method.