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1.7 Exclusive Acquisition

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A. Introduction

Most purchases at The University of Texas System Administration are made on a competitive basis. However, there may be times when competition does not exist or it in the University's best interest to use a particular product or services. Since these purchases eliminate competition, UT System requires that a justification be submitted with any purchase where only one (1) supplier is being considered for requests that exceed $15,000. The justification does not require departments to defend the need for the product or service, but it is necessary to:

  1. Identify the unique features of the particular product of service
  2. Explain the need for the unique features of the product of service
  3. Explain why other products or services are not acceptable

B. Types of Exclusive Acquisitions

There are four (4) categories of purchases that require exclusive acquisition justification.

  1. Proprietary (as defined in Texas Education Code 51.9335(b) - Justification for a proprietary purchase is used when the goods or services are only available through a single source.
  2. Best Value (as defined in Texas Education Code 51.9335(b) - Justification for a best value purchase is used when it in the best interest of UT System to use the particular good or service, but there is more than one (1) source available.  
  3. Emergency Purchases - Justification for an emergency purchase occurs as the result of an unforeseen circumstance that requires immediate response to prevent financial or operational damage to UT System. An emergency purchase may be warranted to prevent a hazard to life, health, safety, welfare, or property, or to avoid undue additional cost to UT System.
  4. Professional Services (as defined in Texas Government Code 2254.002) - Professional service providers are generally pre-qualified based upon a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The contract award is based upon negotiations with the most qualified provider. When a professional service is required and no pre-qualification has been established, a contract award must be justified as an exclusive acquisition to establish that the selection meets best value criteria.

Professional service providers are normally licensed or certified and the scope of their services include:

  • accounting
  • architecture
  • landscape architecture
  • land surveying
  • medicine
  • optometry
  • professional engineering
  • real estate appraising
  • professional nursing

A provider of professional services may not be selected on the basis of competitive bids, but rather on the basis of demonstrated competence and qualifications to perform the service and for a fair and reasonable price.