Justification and Approval (J&A) documents are required whenever an agency plans to award a contract on a Sole Source basis – when the agency is only aware of a single company qualified to supply that product or service.
There are specific criteria that allow the agency to justify the sole source contract, including:
- Unusual and Compelling Urgency: the agency’s need for a product or service is urgent.
- Specialized Knowledge or Expertise: only one contractor has extensive knowledge in a particular area.
- International Agreement or Treaty: competition is precluded by the terms of an International Agreement or Treaty.
- Required by Statute: agencies are sometimes required to purchase products or services from a particular source, such as the Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR) or the Association for Blind or Severely Disabled (JWOD).
- National Security: disclosing the agency’s needs would compromise national security.
- Public Interest: the agency head determines that it is not in the public interest.