1,508: Exceptions

Revised: December 2021

Purchases in excess of solicitation thresholds, in accordance with UAM 1,507, must be made based on competition with certain exceptions. Competitive exceptions should be avoided, except when no reasonable alternative exists. Exceptions will not be granted due to cost or limited time to issue a solicitation. Departments or units are expected to plan activities in advance, and should not wait until equipment or service will be needed or used to contact Purchasing to being and complete the solicitation process. The earlier Purchasing is notified of a requirement, the sooner they can assist in specification writing and begin and complete the bid process.

Purchases that may be approved as not requiring second quotes or formal solicitations include:

  1. Cooperative Agreements: Purchases from contracts and price agreements established by the Federal Government, the State, other states, political subdivisions or entities, colleges, universities, educational cooperatives, or educational consortia satisfy the need for further competitive solicitation.
    Note: Cooperative agreements are aimed to satisfy competitive solicitation requirements for items that are purchased sporadically and would not benefit from soliciting each purchase. But where the individual cost or the total size of a single purchase warrants it, a bid or RFP should be used rather than the cooperative agreement.
  2. Non-Competitive: The following commodities and contractual services, by their nature, do not lend themselves to the competitive solicitation process, and are pre-approved as exempt from competitive solicitation; however bids should be solicited, at least informally, if beneficial to NSHE.
    • Art;
    • Artistic services;
    • Academic reviews;
    • Lectures;
    • Account services;
    • Legal services, including attorney, paralegal, expert witness, appraisal, arbitrator, or mediator services; (Approval by the NSHE System Counsel is required for any private attorney services acquired by the NSHE)
    • Health services involving examination, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, medical consultation or administration;
    • Prescriptive assistive devices for medical, developmental, or vocational rehabilitation including, but not limited to prosthetics, orthotics, and wheelchairs; provided the devices are purchased based on an established fee schedule or by a method that ensures the best price, taking into consideration the needs of the client;
    • Training and educations services;
    • Advertising;
    • Continuing education events or programs that are offered to the general public for which fees have been collected to pay all expenses associated with the event or program;
    • Purchases from suppliers that are prescribed by state or federal rule or specified by a granting agency;
    • Regulated utilities and government-franchised services;
    • Regulated public communications;
    • Purchases for resale;
    • Contracts or services provided by not-for-profit, direct support, health support and NSHE affiliated organizations and faculty practice plans;
    • Implementation, programming, or training services available from the owner or agent of copyrighted software;
    • Prototype (for test purposes);
    • Compatibility with installed equipment; and
    • Follow-up work. 
  3. Research or Compatibility: Purchasing of products from a previous supplier to ensure consistency of research results, or for clinical trials. Purchasing of equipment that required brand compatibility with existing equipment or supplies and is available only from manufacturer or sole authorized distributor.
  4. Grant Requirement: The award to a specific supplier, service provider, or contractor is a condition of a grant or donation that will fund the full cost of the supply, service, or construction item.
  5. Used Equipment: With the approval of the Chief Business Officer, used equipment, or products from an auction, closeout, bankruptcy, or similar sale may be purchased without competitive solicitation. Such purchases should provide a 30% or better savings over comparable new products.
  6. Emergency Purchases: When the President, Chief Business Officer or designee determines, in writing, that the delay due to the competitive solicitation process would cause an immediate danger to the public health, safety or the welfare of person(s), animal(s), the preservation or protection of property, or the continuance of a vital NSHE function, the Purchasing Department is permitted to proceed with the procurement of commodities or contractual services without a competitive solicitation. The emergency purchases shall be limited to the purchase of the type of items and quantities needed, or for a time period sufficient to meet the immediate threat and shall not be used to meet long-term requirements.

Even if these commodities and contractual services are not solicited-bid, they should follow all other purchasing procedures, i.e.: ensure that the pricing is reasonable, ensure advantageous terms and conditions, and use a purchase order, contract, or P-Card as appropriate.