Purchasing Procedure

Goods / Services / Construction / Professional Services

Service Amount Description
Less than $300
Individual county departments have the authority to make direct purchases from vendors of choice with credit card. These purchases are limited to items that are not on bid or in stock.
$10,000 to $18,500
Central Purchasing is required to obtain three written price quotations to obtain the best price.
Over $18,500 Central purchasing will solicit competitive bidding (formal sealed bids) or competitive negotiating RFP (request for proposal) using the following:
  • Invitations to bid will be available at this website
  • A notice will be published in the newspaper of general circulation at least twice within a ten day period
    • These notices will be published no less than three days before the last day to submit a Bid or RFP.

Other Purchasing Information

  • In certain cases, to clarify specifications, purchasing will conduct pre-bid conferences with prospective bidders; this will be noted in the paperwork.
  • Sealed bids are opened and read publicly in a meeting at a time and place designated in the advertisement for bids. Contracts are awarded to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder meeting the specifications.
  • In cases where competitive negotiation (professional services) is required, purchasing conducts individual, confidential interviews with the most qualified and competent offerors in which nonbinding estimates of total project costs including design, construction, and life cycle costs are discussed.
  • Once the interviews / discussions are completed, negotiations may then be conducted with the offeror ranked first among those considered. If a satisfactory contract is negotiated and accepted, then the award will be made to the first offeror. If agreement is not reached with the offeror ranked first, negotiations will be suspended with that offeror and will begin with the offeror ranked second and so on until agreement on an acceptable contract is reached.
  • If purchasing determines that only one offeror is fully qualified or that one offeror is more highly qualified an suitable than the others, a contract may be negotiated and awarded to that offeror.
  • Until an award is made, the names of the offerors and the prices quoted are confidential. Once an award is made, the information becomes a public record.