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The County does not maintain a Bidders List. Opportunities to do business with the County are offered through eVA, the state’s procurement portal. You can get to eVA through our the "Solicitations" link in the left panel of the County’s Purchasing web page.
For most procurements above $25,000 the County posts "Request For Quotes" (RFQ), "Invitation For Bids" (IFB), and "Request For Proposals" (RFP) on eVA, the states procurement portal. You can get to eVA through our the "Solicitations" link in the left panel of the County’s Purchasing web page. The solicitation documents can be downloaded for free, and include instructions on how to submit a quote, bid or proposal to County Purchasing.
A "Request For Quote" (RFQ) is generally used for soliciting quotes of an item or items, or services, valued between $25,000 and less than $50,000. They are usually posted to eVA, with instructions on how to respond (An email response is typical). There is no public bid opening. All other things being equal, award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
An "Invitation For Bids" (IFB) is generally used for soliciting bids of goods or services (other than "Professional Services") when the cost is expected to be $50,000 or more. They are posted on eVA, with instructions on how to submit the required sealed bid. There is a public opening of the bids. Award is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
A "Request For Proposal" (RFP) is generally used for soliciting proposals, usually for services (and always for "Professional Services") and sometimes for goods, when the cost is expected to be $50,000 or more. They are posted on eVA, with instructions on how to respond. Factors in addition to price are considered in making the award. There is no public opening of the proposals. Award is made to the most qualified/suited firm.
When competitive negotiation is the method of procurement, price is not the sole determining factor. The RFP document identifies the criteria that will be used in making the award decision. An evaluation panel of County staff review and evaluate each proposal against the evaluation criteria. Vendor presentations and discussions may be conducted, along with negotiations. The RFP describes the details of the evaluation process.
There is a special process when the solicitation is for "Professional Services". The state procurement code says: "Professional services" means work performed by an independent contractor within the scope of the practice of accounting, actuarial services, architecture, land surveying, landscape architecture, law, dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy or professional engineering. Per a mandatory provision in the state procurement code, the price of the professional services is not part of the initial evaluation, and is only addressed during negotiations.
For purchases up to $2,500, Departments within the County may make purchases directly using a "P-Card", which is a VISA credit card.
For purchases up to $5,000, Departments may make a purchase without a Purchase Order. The vendor must direct invoice the purchaser, and the County will issue the vendor a check. This method is discouraged.
Purchase Orders may be used for making purchases of any amount. Only one quote is required when the purchase amount is less than $5,000. If the purchase amount is between $5,000 and $25,000, then three quotes are obtained by the County (may be requested by phone, fax, or email). For purchases over $25,000, the Central Purchasing Office must obtain the quotes. Purchase Orders are issued by the Purchasing office.
It is an important business objective of Central Purchasing to promote the economic enhancement of small businesses (SBE), women-owned businesses (WBE), minority businesses (MBE), and service disabled veteran-owned small business (SDV), collectively known as SWAM. We encourage all firm to participate in our procurement activities.