Purchasing Exemptions

The goal of Procurement is to acquire best value commodities and services by ensuring fair and open competition that is free from favoritism and that which preserves the integrity of public purchasing and contracting. There are some specific procurement actions and commodities, which under Florida Law, have been granted exemption from competition.

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. Single Source Purchases

Commodities or contractual services available from a single source are exempt from the competitive solicitation process. Sole/Single source written by the supplier will not be accepted. If the cost is $150,000 or greater, the Sole/Single Source Certification must be approved, signed by a Procurement Director, and  publicly posted for 72 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Florida State University System holidays. Single Source Certificate must be included with the requisition request.

The Justification should be written by the department and describe in lay language:  

  • The service/commodity and its intended use, 
  • The reasons the item is not subject to competition from other sources,  
  • The necessity for purchase, and,  
  • Why only this service/commodity has unique features or qualities that will accomplish the required needs of the requestor.
  • Why this provider is the only one who can provide a service or commodity in a needed time frame.* (departments are responsible to plan accordingly)  

Cost is NOT an acceptable justification for sole source.

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 Available Contracts/Sourcing for links to cooperatively sourced and publicaly awarded contracts.

 Commodities and actions not subject to competition include:

Lease of Space

Competition exemptions may exist for space lease.  Please see Regulation 4.012 or vist procurement's information of Lease of Space for more information.

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

    Direct owner Purchase Order per BOG regulation 14.007(4).
    Purchase of Insurance per BOG Regulation No. 18.001
    Leasing of Space Under 5000 Square Feed per USF Regulation No. USF4.012

 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.
  7. The acquisition of services provided by foreign vendors for services taking place outside of the United States.
  8. The acquisition of student recruitment services.