Purchasing Exemptions

Procurement is responsible for ensuring competitive solicitation requirements are met and overseeing contract administration with the goal of acquiring quality commodities and services that are free from favoritism, and promote fair and open competition, and preserve the integrity of public purchasing and contracting.

If any of the following purchase actions or commodity areas apply to your purchase, you are not required to seek competitive quotes, however quotes are always encouraged to achieve the greatest value.

The exemptions listed below are governed by policies USF4.02000USF4.02010USF12.002, and the Annual Certification List. If ever there is a discrepancy between the information listed on this page and the policies, the policies will govern. 

Purchasing Actions not subject to competition include: 

1. Emergency Purchases

When the USF President or designee determines, in writing, that a delay due to the competitive solicitation process would pose an immediate danger to public health or safety or the welfare of USF, including USF tangible and/or intangible assets, or would otherwise cause significant injury or harm, USF may proceed with an emergency purchase. The emergency purchase is limited to the purchase of only the type of items and quantities of items necessary and for only the time period necessary to meet the immediate need.

Note on Emergency Purchases: In a true emergency situation, appropriate action, including procurement, should take place promptly on the judgment of leadership with an expectation that required documentation will be supplied to support the emergency. Purchases cannot be considered an emergency on the basis of poor planning.

Examples of Emergency Purchases include:
• A roof is leaking and causing damage to USF property so an immediate roofing contractor is needed;
• IT systems have been compromised and immediate consultancy is needed to fix the situation;
• Research was put at risk by equipment failure and replacement was available next day.

Examples of non-emergency purchases include:
• Preventive maintenance service by a contractor;
• Project implementation services;
• New research equipment for a planned project.

2. Sole Source Purchases

Commodities or contractual services available from a single source are exempt from the competitive solicitation process. Sole Source documents shall be publicly posted by Purchasing Services at the Tampa campus for 72 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Florida State University System holidays, when such purchases exceed $75,000. Sole Source Form must be included with the requisition request.

3. Purchases from Contracts

Contracts, that are entered into after public and open competitive solicitation and Negotiated Annual Price Agreements established by the State of Florida, other governmental entities, other universities in the State University System, or other independent colleges and universities. See Other Available Contracts.

 Commodities and actions not subject to competition include:

Commodities and Actions

  1. Artistic services.
  2. Academic reviews. (Not to exceed $50,000)
  3. Lectures.
  4. Auditing services, including those services needed to address audit, financial, and fraud related compliance, controls, and investigative matters, or such other related services.
  5. Legal services, including attorney, paralegal, expert witness, appraisal, arbitrator or mediator services.
  6. 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, wheelchairs and other related equipment and supplies, and provided such devices are purchased on the basis of an established fee schedule or by a method that ensures the best price, taking into consideration the needs of the client.
  7. Services provided to persons with mental or physical disabilities by not-for-profit corporations organized under the provisions of s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or services governed by the provisions of the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-122.
  8. Medicaid services delivered to an eligible Medicaid recipient by a health care provider who has not previously applied for and received a Medicaid provider number from the Department of Children and Family Services. This exception will be valid for a period not to exceed 90 days after the date of delivery to the Medicaid recipient and shall not be 4 renewed.
  9. Family placement services.
  10. Training and education services.
  11. Advertising, except for media placement services.
  12. Commodities or contractual services provided by governmental agencies, another university in the State University System, direct support and affiliate organizations of USF, political subdivisions, or other independent colleges or universities and health support organizations and faculty practice plans.
  13. Programs, Conferences, Workshops, or Continuing Education events or other USF programs that are offered to the general public, for which fees have been collected to pay all expenses associated with the program or event.
  14. Programs, conferences or events that have been specified by a grant, can include, but are not limited to items such as lodging, meeting rooms, services and food.
  15. Purchases from firms or individuals that are prescribed by state or federal law or specified by granting agency.
  16. Regulated utilities and governmental franchised services.
  17. Purchases from the Annual Certification List. (See below)
  18. Purchases for resale.
  19. Accountant Services.
  20. Implementation/programming/training services available from owner of copyrighted software or its contracted vendor.
  21. Purchases of materials, supplies, equipment, or services for instructional or sponsored research purposes when a director of sponsored research or designee certifies that, in a particular instance, it is necessary for the efficient or expeditious prosecution of a research project in accordance with sponsored research procedures or to attain the instructional objective.  Must have signed approval from Division of Sponsored Research on Purchasing Exemption Certificate
  22. Direct owner Purchase Order per BOG regulation 14.007(4).

 Annual Certification Exemptions:


Purchasing Actions not subject to competition additionally include Categories 1-6 of the Annual Certification List. Use of these exemptions must be accompanied by a justification of its use.

  1. Acquisition of copyrighted computer software and software licenses when price competition is not possible, and the purchase is made from the vendor holding the copyrights or sole franchise distributor.
  2. Acquisition of copyrighted and single source instruction materials, tapes, publications, manuscripts, films and related materials when price competition is not possible ad purchase is made from vendor holding copyrights or the sole franchise distributor.
  3. Acquisition of live animals, animal feed, and environmental supplies/equipment for instructional and research efforts wherein the selection must be determined by the expert opinion of the buyer, in consideration of genetic background quality, body weight, and special diet condition, to attain the research or instructional objective.
  4. Acquisition of maintenance service and/or repair or replacement parts for existing equipment and systems when no other vendor’s services or parts can be utilized.
  5. Acquisition of technical instruments and supplies for medical instructions, medical research and patient care wherein the selection is determined by the expert opinion of the user directly responsible for the establishment of the objective serviced by the acquisition. The file of each such purchase will be adequately documented to support the determination.
  6. The acquisition of a membership in a professional organization or consortium.