Sole Source Justification
and Approval (J&A)

Also known as: sole source justification, J&A, sole source J&A, sole supplier justification, sole provider justification, sole distributor justification, sole reseller justification and approval, sole sourcing justification and approval, sole source approval, sole sourcing justification, justification and approval, sole supplier justification and approval, sole supplier J&A, federal government sole provider justification and approval, sole provider justification and approval, sole provider J&A, federal government sole source J&A, limited source justification and approval, sole distributor justification and approval, sole distributor J&A, other than full and open competition J&A form, justification of other than full and open competition form, JOFOC, justification for other than full and open competition form, other than full and open competition justification and approval form, JOFOC form, other than full and open competition J&A form, limited source J&A, sole source justification letter.

FREE Sole Source Justification and Approval (J&A) Form Template

Use the templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own Sole Source Justification and Approval (J&A) form, and any other letter or document related to a solicitation and selection process based on a:

  • Request for Proposals (RFP),
  • Invitation for Bids (IFB),
  • Invitation to Bid (ITB), or
  • Invitation to Tender (ITT).

What is Sole Source?

Sole Source Definition

Read the discussion What is Sole Source? for a sole source definition and further information about:

  • the difference between sole source, single source, and sole brand;
  • the benefits of sole sourcing;
  • how and when to use sole source as a contracting method;
  • learn tips on how to write a protest letter against a contract awarded as a sole source;
  • a FREE sole source solicitation protest letter template.

How to Justify Sole Source?

When to use Sole Source?

Usually, sole source purchases are not permitted except under specifically defined, restricted circumstances. Indeed, sole source solicitation is only used when all other procurement methods, namely micro-purchases, small purchases, and competitive solicitation procedures like sealed bids or competitive proposals, lead to an unrealistic process or are not applicable at all.

Sole Source Justification

Sole source justification is also called justification for other than full and open competition (JOFOC) because the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) classifies all acquisition methods in only two categories:

  1. Full and Open Competition (FOC), and
  2. Other than Full and Open Competition (OFOC).

The rationale of the decision to use sole source solicitation as a procurement process should be carefully and thoroughly documented. Because it restricts, even annihilates competition, sole source belongs to the second category of acquisitions: Other than Full and Open Competition, also called OFOC

The burden of proof to justify sole source procurement falls to the requester who should prepare a document called Sole Source Justification and Approval (J&A). The main justification for adopting a sole source procurement process is when there is, by definition, only one supplier capable of satisfying the requirements set forth by the statement of work (SOW) in the solicitation document.

Circumstances that could be considered as sole source justifications are:

  • unicity, i.e. the item is only available from one single supplier, like for parts maintenance; or
  • immediacy, i.e. delays resulting from competitive solicitation are not acceptable; or
  • emergency, i.e. delays resulting from other methods of solicitation are not bearable; or
  • legitimacy, i.e. specific contexts (geographic, contractual, political, legal, military, security, etc.) may allow such a non-competition of sources; or
  • inadequacy, all sources are qualified as inadequate (compatibility, compliance, price, quality, service, support, etc.); or
  • exigency, i.e. any other specific reason dictating the choice of a given provider.

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Inappropriate Sole Source Justification

Sole sourcing is not appropriately justified and justifiable when used as a method of selecting a preferred vendor or when invoking price. Notwithstanding the fact that they could be voided by potential sole source solicitation protests, purchases of this kind, when put under scrutiny, will surely attract auditors' interest in their quest for details suggesting a bit of favoritism, partiality, and other bias.

Sole Source Justification and Approval (J&A)

In order for your Purchasing/Procurement department to validate the purchase of sole-sourced goods or services, you should:

  1. provide a recent (less than 30 days) quotation (RFQ) from the sole source provider;
  2. fill out a sole source Justification and Approval form (J&A form);
  3. get the approval and signature on the form of an appropriate authority for the acquisition; and
  4. request your Procurement/Purchasing service for a Purchase Order (PO) by joining your Sole Source Justification and Approval form.

How to write a Sole Source Justification and Approval Form (J&A Form)

Use the sole source Justification and Approval (J&A) form template provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own sole source Justification and Approval (J&A) form.

Sole Source Justification and Approval (J&A) Letter

Should you need your sole source justification and approval in a less bureaucratic format, use the J&A form as a template in order to find out which information is relevant to your case, then write a sole source justification letter with sentences providing only this information.

  1. Use a formal letterhead and do not handwrite the sole source justification letter. Use templates and samples provided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit as a starting point to create your own sole source justification letter.
     
  2. First, describe the products, goods, or services that are to be acquired and the estimated or exact amount of the contract to be awarded.
     
  3. Next, specify the supplier, provider, reseller, distributor, or manufacturer you recommend. Provide complete company name, address, and contact information.
     
  4. Then justify the use of sole source by presenting the exact keys reasons why this particular product or service is unique and unavailable from other sources.
    Reasons could be one or several of the reasons presented in the sole source justification and approval (J&A) form template.
     
  5. Demonstrate how you determined that there was only one source for the product or service, providing a market research for instance.
     
  6. Explicitly request that a sole source be approved for the procurement of the requested items or services.
     
  7. Finally, close the letter formally with "sincerely" or a similar polite expression. Sign your name and title. Be sure to provide correct, complete contact and reference information for future correspondence. 
     
  8. Since things sometimes get a little more complicated than usual, remember to consult a lawyer for further information before doing anything.

Use templates and samplesprovided in your FREE RFP Letters Toolkit to create your own sole source justification letter.

Sole Source Justification and Approval, Web Resources

Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition (JOFOC)
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), FAR 6.303

Sole Source Justification and Approval Form Template, Samples, and Tips

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