A waiver of a bid is required when a sealed bid or an RFP is not practical, e.g., uniqueness of product or service, patent or proprietary features of product, the product has intrinsic value, or an emergency exists. Purchasing Services has authority to waive bidding up to $25,000 with appropriate justification and documentation from your department business manager. Waivers of $25,000 or more require Purchasing Services to submit a request to the State Department of Administration, Bureau of Procurement. The Bureau of Procurement must obtain the Governor's approval.

UW System Purchasing, on behalf of all UW Campuses, request waiver of competitive process for miscellaneous, frequently purchased items/services. See the Directory of System Waivers for more information.

Sole Source

When there is only one known vendor that can provide the required product or service, the purchase may be made by noncompetitive negotiation (sole source). Your department must demonstrate to Purchasing Services that there is only one source, that the price is equitable, and that non-competitive negotiation is in the best interests of the state. A waiver of bidding is required before this method may be used. Your department must provide the following information along with the requisition:

  • A written price quotation from the vendor
  • A statement justifying how the procurement is in the best interests of the state and that the price is reasonable either on a fair market value or on a cost basis
  • A statement documenting attempts at locating additional vendors (including vendor names, first/last name of contact, phone number and address)

Purchasing Services may find it in the best interests of the University to issue a request for bid to seek any additional sources and/or to encourage future competition. Purchasing Services and your department will work together in determining the appropriate method.