Guidelines for Competition

When Competition is Required

Please note: No additional competition is required for purchase of goods and services on an existing contract, as vendor selection was based on appropriate competition at the time the contract was awarded. 

Guidelines for Competition Flow Chart

Dollar Amounts $0-$10,000.00
  • Goods and services totaling $10,000.00 or less per vendor within a single 12-month period may generally be purchased directly by departments with a minimum of competition.
  • Check the Goods and Services Procurement Guide to see if the item is prohibited from department purchase.
  • The purchase must be awarded to the lowest quoting vendor capable of meeting all requirements.
Dollar Amounts $10,000.01-$200,000.00
  • Unless purchased from a contract vendor, goods and services totaling $10,000.01 or more (up to $200,000.00) within a single 12-month period and not exempt from competition (see exemptions below) must be purchased competitively through Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services.
  • End user submits a non-catalog Workday Requisition to initiate the purchase.
  • End user may solicit quotes and attach to the Workday Requisition, or Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services will solicit quotes.
  • Soliciting a minimum of three quotes in writing meets the competition requirement. At least two quotes should be from Minority- or Woman-owned firms certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia. 
Dollar Amounts $200,000.01 or more
  • Please review Start a Request for Proposals or Information to begin process.
  • Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services solicits a minimum of six potential sources in writing through RFP (Requests for Proposal).
  • At least four of the solicitations should be to Minority- or Woman-owned firms certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  
  • Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services posts RFP solicitations on their website, the eVA website, and in a newspaper of general circulation. The minimum solicitation posting periods are 10 days.
  • Completion time for RFPs varies based on the complexity of the goods or services. Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services' buyers generally consult with representatives from the requesting department and selected experts in the formulation of the RFP and in the evaluation of vendor proposals. 


Emergency Procurements

Purchases that are intended to be processed as exceptions to competition must be made through Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services via end-user submission of a non-catalog UVa Marketplace Order, but the requirement for competition may be waived if circumstances warrant. Supporting documentation, when required, may be attached to the non-catalog UVA Marketplace Order. 

Emergency $10,000.00 or more
  • Emergency purchases are required to protect life and/or property, prevent substantial economic loss, or prevent interruption of service.
  • End-user submits written justification describing the nature of the emergency to Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services.
  • Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services waives formal procedures but uses competition where possible.


Sole Source Procurements

Sole Source $10,000.01-$200,000.00
  • Sole Source procurements can be made when only one firm can satisfy the requirement.
  • Price is not a factor in sole source vendor selection. End-user should attach Sole Source Justification Form to the non-catalog UVA Marketplace Order.
  • Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services engages requested vendor in non-competitive negotiation.
Sole Source $200,000.01 or more

Please note: A purchase restricted to a stated brand available from more than one vendor is NOT a Sole Source procurement.

  • Sole Source procurements can be made when only one firm can satisfy the requirement. Price is not a factor in sole source vendor selection.  End-user should attach Sole Source Justification Form to the non-catalog UVA Marketplace Order or provide written justification.
  • Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services must conduct a market survey and reference checks.
  • Procurement & Supplier Diversity Services engages requested vendor in non-competitive negotiation.


Special Case Exemptions

Exemptions for Purchases $200,000.00 or less

The following purchases are generally exempt from competition, as competition is normally not practicable and/or available for such goods and services:

  1. Fees associated with participation in athletic games, tournaments, and events including team travel, lodging, registration fees, and game guarantees
  2. Referees, officials, and umpires for athletic events
  3. Televised or radio programs (e.g., athletic events, televised conferences, etc.) whereby specific stations are selected because of market demographics
  4. Artists, performing artists, speakers, lecturers, writers, musicians, designers (e.g. set designers, musical design/composition, sound design artists), choreographers, photographers, and videographers
  5. Fees associated with the rental or purchase of historical artifacts or original works of art. (Fees may include transportation and/or storage costs)
  6. Print or electronic books and subscriptions, printed materials, reprints, film rentals, videocassettes, DVD, slide presentations, online streaming, etc., when only available from the producer or protected distributors
  7. Meeting and conference hosting services, to include: space/facility rental, associated lodging, catering, audiovisual support, and other meeting and conference-related expenses.
  8. Conference attendance, to include: conference registration, course fee, seminars fee, training fee, and tuition
  9. Academic, Enrollment, and Research consulting, and related services
  10. Contributions / donations / sponsorship made by a university
  11. Honoraria
  12. Maintenance contracts for high-cost, sophisticated equipment where there is no known competitor and service must be purchased from the manufacturer of the equipment (i.e., void warranty)
  13. Transplants, related transplant services, implants, and human body parts for academic research and medical education.
  14. Services provided by public and private hospitals, medical practices, medical clinics, and individuals that are licensed and authorized by law to engage in the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of human illness, injury, physical disability, mental health, special needs, substance abuse, or emotional condition
  15. Pass through procurements (examples include contracting for alumni functions for which the institution is reimbursed by the alumni and materials purchases for students by a faculty member using state funds and for which the students fully reimburse the institution)
  16. Purchases from the Federal government, states and their agencies, academic institutions (public and private), public bodies, and non-profit organizations.
  17. Specialized software licenses and applications, websites, browser plugins, subscriptions, electronic databases, software-as-a-service (SAAS), and maintenance or upgrades of existing software already purchased
  18. Academic testing and evaluation services
  19. Accreditation fees
  20. Equipment testing or evaluation (limited to purchases of quantities considered necessary for complete and adequate testing)
  21. Training sessions, instructional services, and workshops
  22. All travel, domestic and foreign, for individuals or groups to include: air, lodging, ground transportation, meals, and special services (e.g., currency exchange services)
  23. Purchases made by a university employee or agent while located in another country and the required goods/services are purchased from a vendor located in that country and the purchased goods/services will be used in the country where they are purchased
  24. Advertisements in newspapers, magazines, journals, radio, television, social media, digital platforms, etc.
  25. Facilitators and Mediators
  26. Real estate leases
  27. Utilities – electricity, natural gas, water, etc.
Exemptions with No Dollar Amount Limit

The following purchases are exempt from competition:

28. Purchases of used equipment

29. Purchases from governmental sources

30. The purchase of goods or services that are produced or performed by or related to:

Persons, or in schools or workshops, under the supervision of the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired; Nonprofit sheltered workshops or other nonprofit organizations that offer transitional or supported employment services serving the handicapped; Private educational institutions; or Other public educational institutions.

31. Speakers and performing artists

32. Memberships and Association dues

33. Sponsored research grant sub-awards and contract sub-awards, not to include the purchase of goods or services by the Institution

34. Grant-funded research purchases where the supplier, product, and/or service is directly named in the approved grant submission (documentation required)

35. Group travel in foreign countries

36. Conference facilities and services

37. Participation in intercollegiate athletic tournaments and events including team travel and lodging, registration and tournament fees

38. Royalties

39. The purchase of legal services, provided that the Office of the Attorney General has been consulted, or expert witnesses, or other services associated with litigation or regulatory proceedings