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Sole Source Purchases

All Campuses

Effective July 1, 2010, the Illinois Procurement Code includes new requirements regarding use of the sole source exception to competitive sealed bidding. These new requirements are referenced in PA 96-795 (SB 51) and PA 96-793 (SB 3576) and are outlined in the information below.

A sole source procurement for an estimated purchase equal to or greater than the Bid Limits is permissible when a requirement is available from only a single supplier/contractor or when only one supplier/contractor is deemed economically feasible. A requirement for a particular proprietary item does not justify a sole source procurement if there is more than one potential bidder or offeror authorized to provide that item.

How to Request a Sole Source Purchase

If the requisitioning department believes that they have a sole source procurement, they should complete the Sole Source Justification Form and submit it to the following:




System-Level Offices (Chart 9)

Purchasing Division
809 South Marshfield Avenue
3rd Floor, M/C 560
Chicago IL 60612-7203
Phone:  312-996-2850
Fax:  312-996-3135


Purchasing Division
BSB 106
One University Plaza
Springfield, IL  62703
Phone: 217-206-6651 or
Fax:  217-206-6607


Along with the Banner Requisition Attachment Form

Purchasing Division
212 Illini Plaza
1817 South Neil Street
M/C 602
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217-333-3505
Fax: 217-239-6877 or


System Purchasing and Support Services

507 East Greet Street
Suite 501, MC 407
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-9BUY (9289)

Purchasing will review the information to determine if the procurement meets the requirements of a sole source purchase. If it is determined that the procurement does not meet the requirements of a sole source purchase, the Sealed Bid/RFP process must be used to select a supplier/contractor. Refer to the Business and Financial Services Policies and Procedures Manual, Section 7 for Commodities and General Services or Section 17 for Professional and Artistic Services, for guidelines and approximate timeframes or contact the Purchasing Division, Office of Business and Financial Services.

Advertisement of Sole Source Procurements

Sole source procurements for which the total cost equals or exceeds the dollar level requiring a state mandated competitive selection process Bid Limits must be advertised on the Illinois Higher Education Procurement Bulletin for a minimum of 14 days, after which a public hearing must be held before the award can be processed, or before proceeding with a competitive process. Refer to the Sole Source Public Hearings Calendar to view dates for upcoming hearings. The requirement for a public hearing will add a minimum of three weeks to the sole source approval process.

Due diligence and careful review of the sole source is necessary prior to posting to the Bulletin. The Purchasing Department will complete such processes expeditiously.

The public hearing is for the purpose of receiving relevant information from interested person(s). At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Officer shall review the University's determination, any information obtained from the public (written or oral), the applicable sections of the Illinois Procurement Code and Rules and any other information deemed relevant. The Hearing Officer shall make a written finding and recommendation to the Chief Procurement Officer. The Chief Procurement Officer shall, after considering the Hearing Officer's recommendation, make a decision in writing to uphold or overturn, in whole or in part, the University's decision. The public hearing results will be posted to the Bulletin.

If it is determined that the purchase is a sole source, the sole source will be posted as an award to the Bulletin. If the public hearing results in the determination that the purchase is not a sole source, the sole source intent will be canceled on the Bulletin and Purchasing will commence a competitive selection process.

In addition to the requirements outlined above, sole source purchases in excess of the Board of Trustees (BOT) authorization level require additional time for processing. At these dollar levels, departments should allow an additional eight to twelve weeks for completion of the BOT approval process. [See the Board of Trustees Schedule and Approval Thresholds for meeting dates, Board approval thresholds, and deadlines for submission of documents to Purchasing].

Last Updated: August 21, 2019

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