Exception to Sealed Bids | KCTCS

Administrative Procedures

Exception to Sealed Bids

Procedure Number: 5.4.7-P

Current Effective Date: 08/01/2017

Original Effective Date: 03/01/2014

Revision Dates: 03/01/2014, 01/01/2015, 06/30/2017

Revision Number: 3

Revision Summary:

Responsible Official: Director of Procurement to Payment


1. Purpose

To address exceptions to the sealed bidding process.

2. Scope

This procedure applies to all KCTCS employees.

3. Examples of Documented Exceptions


Exception to sealed bidding is available when there are no other options to purchase specific goods and/or services needed costing over $40,000.


Single/Sole Source – When only one supplier can provide the goods and/or services.

  1. Instructional Materials.
  2. Training Aids: films, special books, maps. 
  3. Testing Services.
  4. Patented Equipment.
  5. Proprietary equipment and supplies that shall be compatible with existing equipment or systems and available from one source only. 
  6. Equipment lease or rental (excludes passenger vehicles). 
  7. Proprietary service and maintenance agreements. 
  8. Advertisements and public media: newspaper, advertising, public transit.
  9. Dues and organizational fees. 
  10. Computer software that is copyrighted and only available from one supplier. 
  11. Any commodity that is proven to be available only from one supplier.


Specific Law or Regulation allowing exception to sealed bidding – per Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) and/or Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR): 

  1. Contractual services where no competition exists; i.e., public utilities. KRS 45A.095(1)(a); 200 KAR 5:309(1). 
  2. Works of art for museum and public display. KRS 45A.050(2)(a).
  3. Services of visiting speakers, professors, expert witnesses and performing artists. KRS 45A.095(1)(f). A Personal Service Contract (PSC) may be required in accordance with KRS 45A.690-725.
  4. Where rates are fixed by law or ordinance. KRS 45A.095(1)(b).
  5. Commercial items purchased for resale to the general public through a resale outlet maintained by a state agency. These items shall be purchased only from a wholesaler, manufacturer or producer and should not require modification or alteration of the item before sale. KRS 45A.095(1)(d); 200 KAR 5:309(6)
  6. Subscriptions for the purchase of periodicals. Such items may include professional journals, newspapers, or other required publications. KRS 45A.050(2)(b); 200 KAR 5:309(5)
  7. Copyrighted material for which only one source of supply is available. Items commonly covered under this section include: Library books KRS 45A.095(1)(c); published books, maps, periodicals, technical pamphlets KRS 45A.050(2)(b); and the Kentucky Department of Education, Free Textbook Program.
  8. Purchases made between state agencies, political subdivisions, state universities, agencies of other states or agencies of the federal government do not require formal bidding.KRS 45A.300; KRS 45.660; 200KAR 5:309(9).
    1. KCTCS may participate in, sponsor, conduct, or administer a cooperative purchasing agreement for the purchase of any supplies, services, or construction with any other public unit or foreign purchasing activity. A PSC or memorandum of agreement (MOA) may be required in certain cases.
  9. The business unit shall cite the specific statute or regulation on the payment document for purchases that are exempt from competitive bidding by a specific statute or regulation.


Non-Practical exceptions to sealed bidding:

  1. Fresh produce, seafood or eggs. KRS 45A.035(2)(d). 
  2. Hearing aids.
  3. Recording transcripts – legal proceedings, meetings and public forums.
  4. Public displays less than $10,000 for scheduled events (billboards, booths, etc.). 
  5. Insurance and bonds covered by price contracts. KRS 45A.022; KRS 42.192.
  6. Equipment repair service and parts.
  7. Food, clothing, equipment, supplies, or any materials used in laboratory and experimental studies. 200 KAR 5:309(4). 
  8. Deaf interpreters per the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

4. Requirements


All requests for exception shall be documented and submitted to the KCTCS System Office of Procurement to Payment Services, prior to purchase.

  1. The documentation submitted shall include a reference to the established exceptions listed in KCTCS’ business procedures.
  2. All requests will be reviewed for approval by KCTCS System Office, Office of Procurement to Payment Services to determine if a sealed bid is required.