If the estimated value of your requirement is below €25,000 (ex VAT) over the life of the contract then you should consider how many known suppliers there are in the market.
Yes Below 25K
Yes there are several suppliers available
The value of your annual requirement determines which procurement process applies in terms of the following spend thresholds:
- If less than €5k (Ex Vat): seek one written quotation
- If between €5k - €25K (Ex Vat): seek three written quotations by following the Quotation Process
No there is only one supplier available
If there is only one known supplier in the market then a "Sole Supplier" process should be followed..
Sole Supplier Definition
On certain occassions there may be only be a single supplier of a particular product or service with no alternative supplier available. Sometimes these products or services are required from a specific supplier to ensure compatibility with existing goods or servicing arrangements. In such rare and exceptional circumstances, the Sole Supplier process should be followed. This allows for a purchase to be made without running an open competitive quotation or tender process. Justification must be based on a technical/risk assessment of not awarding the contract to the sole supplier. A Sole Supplier justification form should be completed, signed by the budget holder and forwarded to the Procurement Office. Where it is necessary to deal with an approved sole supplier, arrangements which provide best value for money should be negotiated. It should be noted that open-ended arrangements with exclusive distributors should be avoided where possible.
Sole Supplier Process
In advance of the purchase for requirements of €5,000 to €25,000 (ex VAT) you must follow the below process.
- The requestor must complete a Sole Supplier Form providing full details of what he/she is proposing to purchase and indicating the reasons to justify why a competitive procurement process is not being followed.
- The cost centre reference must be included on the form. Please ensure that ther eis sufficient budget in the cost centre to cover the value of the purchase.
- The requestor must support their claim by providing proof of market research and when possible obtaining independent documentary evidence to confirm sole source e.g. statement from the manufacturer confirming that the item is sole source and not manufactured by any other supplier worldwide.
- If the requirement is recurring, approval may be sought for up to a max of 3 years. Budget holders must ensure approval is renewed as required.
- Systems maintenance and support (software or hardware) may fall under this category where it is required to be purchased from the original vendor for technical reasons. These should initially be considered as a multi-year application up to a max of 3 years. After this time, the Budget Holder must run an EOI (Expression of Interest) process on the eTenders system to establish that there is still only one supplier in the market.
- The requestor must seek appropriate approval depending on the value of spend. In all cases, a relevant Budget Holder must sign the Sole Supplier Form. The completed form, together with supporting documentation, should be submitted to the Procurement Office.
- The application is reviewed by the Procurement Office.
- If deemed necessary, the Procurement Office may publish an Expression of Interest for approximately 2 weeks on www.etenders.gov.ie to ascertain the extent of the market for the required goods/service.
- If the application/Expression of Interest has deemed to have sufficiently demonstrated that sole source is applicable, the Procurement office approves the application. A signed copy of the approved form is returned by email to the requestor to be retained on file for audit purposes.
- The Budget Holder must ensure that he/she complies with LIT Procurement & Tendering Guidelines in completing the purchase from the single supplier.
- If the application/Expression of Interest has determined that there is more than one provider of the goods/service, then the application for Sole Source is rejected, the reasons of the rejection will be included on the form together with other actions required (if relevant) and returned to the requestor.