A Sole Source contract may be issued if the agency believes that only one company is qualified to supply a certain product or service.
The Contracting Officer must conduct market research to justify the Sole Source, obtain formal approval, and issue a written document known as a ‘Justification & Approval’ (J&A)
The justification must describe the proposed product or service; the contractor’s specific qualifications; the market research that was conducted; the efforts made to solicit offers from as many potential sources as possible; and a determination that the anticipated price will be fair and reasonable.
FAR 6.302 describes the circumstances that allow for ‘other than full and open’ competition:
- Only One Responsible Source and No Other Supplies or Services Will Satisfy Agency Requirements
- Unusual and Compelling Urgency
- Industrial Mobilization; Engineering, Developmental, or Research Capability; or Expert Services
- International Agreement
- Authorized or Required by Statute (certain purchases must be made from the Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR) or National Institute for the Blind & Mentally Handicapped (AbilityOne)
- National Security
- Public Interest