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Brand Name Announcement

The University can no longer use brand names or equal specifications unless prior approval is given by the State Purchasing Officer. Each purchase using brand name or equal requires a written determination by the State Purchasing Officer. Departments wishing to use brand name specifications must submit a request to the Purchasing Office and we will request the approval.

Following are the requirements as detailed in the purchasing rules for higher education:

Section 526.2050 Specifications and Samples

  1. Responsibilities Regarding Specifications
    The SPO shall write the necessary specifications except as noted below.
  2. Procedures for the Development of Specifications
    1. All procurements shall be based on specifications that accurately reflect the University's needs. Specifications shall clearly and precisely describe the salient technical or performance requirements.
    2. Specifications shall not include restrictions that do not significantly affect the technical requirements or performance requirements, or other legitimate University needs. All specifications shall be written in such a manner as to describe the requirements to be met, without having the effect of exclusively requiring a proprietary supply or service, or procurement from a sole source, unless no other manner of description will suffice.
    3. Any specifications or standards adopted by business, industry, not-for-profit organization, or governmental unit may be adopted by reference.
    4. A specification may provide alternate descriptions where two or more design, functional, or performance criteria will satisfactorily meet the University's requirements.
  3. Brand Name or Equal Specification
    1. Brand name or equal specifications may be used when the SPO determines in writing that:
      1. no specification for a common or general use specification or qualified products list is available;
      2. time does not permit the preparation of another form of specification, not including a brand name specification;
      3. the nature of the product or the nature of the University's requirement makes use of a brand name or equal specification suitable for the procurement; or
      4. use of a brand name or equal specification is in the University's best interest.
    2. Brand name or equal specifications shall seek to designate more than one brand as "or equal", and shall further state that substantially equivalent products to those designated will be considered for award.
    3. Unless the SPO determines that the essential characteristics of the brand names included in the specifications are commonly known in the industry or trade, brand name or equal specifications shall include a description of the particular design, functional, or performance characteristics that are required.
    4. Where a brand name or equal specification is used in a solicitation, the solicitation shall contain explanatory language that the use of a brand name is for the purpose of describing the standard of quality, performance and characteristics desired and is not intended to limit or restrict competition. "Or equal" submissions will not be rejected because of minor differences in design, construction or features that do not affect the suitability of the product for its intended use. Burden of proof that the product is equal is on the vendor.
  4. Brand Name Only Specification
    1. Determination. A brand name only specification may be used only when the SPO makes a written determination that only the identified brand name item or items will satisfy the University's needs.
    2. Use. Brand name alone may be specified in order to fill medical prescription needs, to stock University retail-type operations, to ensure compatibility in existing systems, to preserve warranty, to ensure maintenance, or as authorized in writing by the CPO. A University may, pursuant to an authorized competitive procedure, select a particular vendor to provide supplies or services for a specified period of time, and for that period the supplier of additional, related and updated supplies and services may be limited to the selected vendor or the brand initially selected.
    3. Competition. The SPO shall seek to identify sources from which the designated brand name item or items can be obtained and shall solicit such sources to achieve whatever degree of competition is practicable. If only one source can supply the requirement, the procurement shall be made under Section 526.2025 (Sole Economically Feasible Source Procurement) of this Part.