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Purchasing - Division of Business and Finance

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Waiver of Competitive Purchasing

As prescribed in these policies, it is North Carolina statutory preference that competition be sought in all purchases. The university in its purchasing program with few exceptions applies this principle.

Where conditions, circumstances, and the public interest do demonstrably warrant, the North Carolina Administrative Code (T01:05B.1401) provides that competition may be waived under explicit circumstances. The Purchasing Department's concurrence in waiving the requirement for competition must be obtained and documented in the purchase order file. Such a determination will rest on the actual nature of the campus department's requirement and the validity of the need to extend the waiver.

General conditions for such a waiver include small purchases, emergency procurements, and single and sole source procurements. The waiver of competition process, like single and sole source purchases, is infrequently used and may be subject to the requirement for substantial justification by the campus department.

Among the instances addressed by Administrative Code explicit circumstances that may permit the Purchasing Department to exempt competition include the following:

  • Where a needed commodity or service is documented as available from only one source of supply;
  • Where standardization or compatibility is the overriding consideration and its absence will adversely impact the mission or function;
  • Where a grantor or donation predicates the source of supply and such a condition is specifically defined in the awarding document (i.e., research grant or contract) but the grantor or donor is not the source;
  • Where a valid emergency exists such that any further delay in procuring the goods or services is detrimental to the university;
  • Where additional commodities or services are essential to the completion of an ongoing job or task under which any substitution will negatively affect the desired outcome;
  • Where a particular commodity or service is required for recognized experimental, developmental, or research work;
  • Where the requirement is for an authorized cooperative project with other governmental unit(s) or charitable non-profit organization(s);
  • Where equipment is already installed, connected and in service and it is determined advantageous to purchase such equipment;
  • Where there is evidence of resale price maintenance or other control of prices, lawful or unlawful, that thwarts normal bidding procedures;
  • personal or certain professional services are required that are unique to its provider;
  • Where a recent competitively placed purchase provides a satisfactory price and can be reasonably extended to the instant requirement. Note that "recent" is generally defined as within the past sixty days; and
  • Where a purchase is made directly from a nonprofit work center for the blind and severely disabled and the requirement is not otherwise available from a State Term Contract.


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