By Molly Mulebriar
It’s rare we see a public political subdivision in Texas award a contract without going through a competitive bidding process. That’s accomplished by designating a vendor as a sole source vendor. In other words no one else can do what the sole source vendor does.
We have recently been made aware of a sole source vendor award worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The contract award was to a direct primary care provider.
We found this curious so we reached out to other vendors in the area to determine if they too can provide the same services. They can.
A sole source procurement (called an Other than Full & Open Competition) is when the government enters into a contract with a contractor without going through the typical competitive process as required by law because it deems that the contractor is the only source available that can meet the government requirements. (Sole Source – Justification and Approval – AcqNotes)
Unjustified Sole–Source– Occurs when a procurement official in collusion with a vendor improperly awards a contract that has not been competed nor supported with an adequate explanation. Red Flags May Include: Vague justification or documentation supporting a non-competitive award. (Fraud Indicators (stateoig.gov)