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University of Houston - Victoria

Purchasing Department

Proprietary Procurements

A proprietary purchase is justified only when equivalent product or service competition is not available. When the specification requirement limits consideration to one manufacturer, one product, or one service provider, a written justification must be provided and is subject to review by the Purchasing department. The Purchasing Manager or authorized purchasing representative has final authority in determining whether the requested purchase meets the definition of proprietary or sole source procurement. The proprietary specification must be stated in the Invitation for Bid (IFB).

The written justification must include the following:

  • An explanation of the need for specification, e.g. which part or parts of the stated specification restricts the requisition to one manufacturer or provider;
  • The reason competing products are not satisfactory, e.g. a justification for the proprietary purchase; and
  • Other information if requested by the University for evaluation of the purchase.

It should be included as an attachment to the requisition and must remain with the purchasing file for post-audit review.


The justification must be signed by the authorized cabinet-level supervisor and authorized by the Purchasing Manager or designee.


When making a purchase of proprietary goods or services, the Purchasing Manager is responsible for reviewing the justification and final authorization.