Purchasing

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PURPOSE

The primary purpose of the Purchasing Division is to support the other City departments by procuring the goods, materials and services required to provide the many services and programs offered by the City.

  AUTHORITY

Section 2600 of the Carson Municipal Code provides for the establishment of the position of Purchasing Manager and further describes the rules under which the purchasing function for the City is to be conducted.  Pursuant to the Carson Municipal Code all City purchases are made by purchase order.  Businesses are advised that the delivery of any product or service should not be made without first obtaining a City of Carson purchase order or at the very least a City of Carson purchase order number issued by the City's Purchasing Division.

City of Carson Vendor's Guide

Table of Contents:

Policies and Practices
Other Requirements
Term Purchase Orders
Payments
Minority and Local Businesses
Office Visits
Gifts and Gratuities

 

  The City of Carson has prepared this guide to help those businesses interested in selling goods or services to the City of Carson.  The guide is intended to briefly explain how the City of Carson buys goods, materials and services. 

If you have questions which are not answered by this guide, please contact the City of Carson Purchasing Office at (310) 952-1758.

  POLICIES AND PRACTICES

The Purchasing Division will attempt to obtain at least three quotes for the majority of purchases made on behalf of the City.  Our customary practice is to issue a purchase order to the vendor offering the product or service to the City at the lowest price.  However, in some instances the City may elect to award a purchase order to a vendor offering a product or service at a higher price when it becomes evident that the combination of price, quality, and utility of the item is such that an award of purchase order to other than the low bid is in the best interest of the City. 

Vendors may from time to time expend significant time and money in presenting their products to City departments.  This does not mean that in such instances a vendor is guaranteed an award of purchase order since the City customarily seeks the best available price.  We welcome the opportunity to view new products and processes and are always delighted to add vendors to our vendor lists.          

Vendors wanting to be placed on a vendor list should send a written request or email to the Purchasing Division indicating the products or services available.  Our mailing and email address is: 

City of Carson
701 East Carson Street, Carson, CA  90745

Attn:  Purchasing
vendorlists@carson.ca.us

Bids:   The Purchasing Manager releases a Notice of Bid whenever it is expected that the item being purchased will cost $10,000 or more and that the City Council will be asked to make an award of purchase contract.  A bid also may be released by the Purchasing Manager when in her judgment the complexity of the item being purchased is of such magnitude that the best way of describing it is by a formal bid.  The City Council must approve the award of purchase contracts in excess of $25,000.

Bid specifications are developed in order to encourage competitive bidding.  Whenever possible every effort is made to avoid requiring specific brands or models.  If a brand name or model is referenced it is intended to define the quality or utility of the item being bought and an item offered of equal quality and utility will be considered.  Bids must circulate for a minimum of ten (10) calendar days and must be good for ninety (90) days unless otherwise noted.  Bids are opened in the City Clerk's Office and bid notices are posted by the City Clerk in public places located throughout the City of Carson.

 Prospective bidders are cautioned that a bid may be declared unresponsive if all of the required forms and submittals are not completed and provided.  Applicable sales tax must be calculated and included in the total price bid.  However, the City of Carson is exempt from federal excise taxes.  Bids must be submitted in triplicate in the envelope provided or in a similarly marked envelope.  Discounts offered should be clearly indicated.    All items purchased by the City are delivered FOB Destination unless noted otherwise on the purchase order.

Late Bids:   Bids received after the date and time for the opening of bids are returned unopened to the sender.  The City accepts no bid submitted by FAX.  A formal bid constitutes an offer to enter into a contract with the City which, if accepted, is binding upon you.  Do not promise deliveries you cannot fulfill.  If your bid is accepted, your contract will hold you to all of the terms & conditions contained in the Notice of Bid.

Bid Results:   As bids are opened they are recorded by the City Clerk on a bid register.  Persons wanting to inspect a bid register may do so by contacting the Purchasing Division.  The Purchasing Division will schedule a date and time on which you may visit our offices and inspect the bid register.

Protests and Appeals:   Bidders wanting to protest an award of bid may do so in accordance with the Carson Municipal Code.  The Purchasing Division can provide you with information on how to file an appeal or protest.

RFQs And Other Pricing Procedures:   The City may also obtain pricing for goods and services through RFQ's (Request for Quotations) or through telephone quotes.  If an RFQ is issued it must circulate for ten (10) days and is opened in the office of the Purchasing Manager.  RFQ's are issued when the purchase will amount to less than $10,000 and when the purchase may be authorized administratively.  Telephone quotes are obtained for all other procurements as necessary.

  OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Insurance:   The City of Carson requires vendors working on City property to provide proof of insurance in the form of insurance endorsements.  General liability insurance and automobile liability insurance of $1,000,000 each is usually required for most work.  All insurance must be written by a surety licensed to do business in California and rated A or better in Best's rating guide.  The City is to be shown as an additional insured on the endorsement form.  The City's purchase order specifies the type of insurance required and usually indicates that the insurance endorsements are to be filed with the Office of Risk Management five (5) days prior to the start of work.  Workers compensation insurance is also required.  No work can begin before the required insurance endorsements are filed with the City.

Bonds:   Periodically the City may include bonding requirements in bid specifications.  Bid and performance bonds are required only when it is absolutely necessary to protect the interests of the City, and they may be required on certain purchases, depending on the complexity of the goods or equipment and their dollar value.  Bonds like insurance endorsements must be issued by companies licensed to do business in California and rated A or better in the latest rating guide by Best.

  TERM PURCHASE ORDERS

These are issued by the city for the purchase of specific products at specified pricing or spending limits.  Products or services purchased under a term purchase order are used on a recurring basis.  The vendor only delivers goods and services after receiving verbal or written authorization by a City representative designated by the term purchase order.  No goods or services other than those listed on a term purchase order may be purchased using this type of purchase order.  Term purchase orders generally are in effect for twelve (12) months and run from 1 July to 30 June of the subsequent year.  All term purchase orders are issued by the Purchasing Manager in response to requests from City departments.

  PAYMENTS

The City of Carson generally pays vendors within thirty (30) days of receipt of invoice.  Invoices should be sent to the City's Accounts Payable section and must reference the purchase order number that they are written against.  If you have a question concerning an invoice or payments, contact the Accounts Payable section of the Accounting Division.

  MINORITY AND LOCAL BUSINESSES

Whenever possible, we attempt to support minority businesses and local businesses.  We define a local business as a business located within the geographical boundaries of the City of Carson.  Local businesses will be given consideration when the quality of their product is equal and their price is within 1% of the lowest responsible bidder.  We also welcome the opportunity to work with minority businesses.  Our staff will meet with you to discuss products and will happy to review current bids and RFQ's with you.  We are always looking to add businesses to our vendor list and do not require prequalification of any vendor as a condition for placement on our vendor lists.

  OFFICE VISITS

The Purchasing Division is open for business Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.  We will make every effort to meet with you.  However, we encourage appointments as our staff is very busy and may not be available to meet with you if your visit is not scheduled in advance.  Please note that employees outside the Purchasing Division are not authorized to commit the City to a purchase.  Do not make any unauthorized deliveries to the City as the City may not pay for the merchandise and will not take any responsibility for the merchandise.  Note also however, that emergency purchases considered necessary to the preservation of life or property or the continuation of a City program or project will be approved.

 GIFTS AND GRATUITIES

Existing City of Carson rules and regulations prohibit City employees from accepting any gift or gratuity from any supplier or potential supplier.

 
   

 

City Hall Contact

701 E Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745
(310) 830-7600, 7 AM - 6 PM
Monday - Thursday
24-hour automated: (310) 952-1700

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