Frequently Asked Questions
- What Does The Purchasing Division Purchase?
The Purchasing Division facilitates the procurement of goods and services for all City departments.
- Can City Departments Buy Goods Or Services On Their Own, Without Going Through The Purchasing Division?
Yes, City departments are authorized to procure goods or services costing less than $5,000 ($3,000 for purchases utilizing federal funding or $2,000 for construction with federal funding) without going through the Purchasing Division. However, this does not apply to the procurement of goods or services for which the City has on-call agreements in place.
- What Is The Process For Procuring Goods Or Services?
The City of Fort Collins requires a formal competitive process for all purchases above $60,000. For most competitive solicitations the City will use either the bid or Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Bids are awarded based on the lowest price from a responsive and responsible vendor. RFP awards use additional criteria leading to an award based on "best value". Most bid and RFP solicitations are posted on the web and if not available electronically the notice will state where the bid or RFP package may be obtained.
- How Do I Find Out What Goods Or Services Are Being Bid By The City?
The City of Fort Collins utilizes the Rocky Mountain E-Purchasing System (RMEPS) to post Request for Proposal (RFP) and bid opportunities. This system will provide you with convenient online access to RFP and bid information for the City of Fort Collins and more than 100 other local agencies throughout Colorado.
It's easy to participate in solicitations from both the City of Fort Collins and other participating agencies -- simply register online. To register, visit http://www.bidnetdirect.com/city-of-fort-collins, use the "Register" link and complete your registration. If you are currently registered as a vendor on this system with another participating local agency, there is no need to register again.
- What Is The Difference Between A Bid And RFP?
Bids are solicitations for goods or services which are awarded based solely on price, with the award going to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Bids are publicly opened at the time and date specified in the solicitation document. Openings are generally held at the Office of the Division of Purchasing, 215 N. Mason St, Fort Collins, Colorado. After the bids are opened, the tabulation and analysis is made by the Purchasing Division. After consultation with and concurrence from the department involved, an award is made via purchase order.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) process is more extensive than the bid process. Proposals are received at the Purchasing office, but are not publicly opened. The proposals are then evaluated by a selection committee and rated using the criteria listed in the proposal package. Selection may be made from the written proposals submitted and/or interviews may be held. Award is made after contract negotiations with the highest ranked firm.
- How Do I Respond To A Bid Or RFP Solicitation?
Each bid or RFP contains complete instructions for submission for the bid or RFP. Vendors are asked to complete all forms in their entirety and provide all requested information. All bids or RFPs should be clearly identified by bid number and bid title on the face of the envelope containing the bid. Vendors must acknowledge any bid or RFP addenda that have been issued in their submission. Failure to provide all of the requested information may result in Purchasing considering the bid or proposal non-responsive and non-responsible, and possibly result in the rejection of the bid or proposal.
- What Are Prebid Meetings For?
Prebid meetings are a valuable opportunity for vendors to review with City personnel the requirements and specifications of a solicitation prior to the opening date. Site inspections of the work location may also be held during pre-bid meetings.
- Do I Have To Attend Prebid Meetings To Be Eligible To Bid?
Attendance at prebid meetings is typically optional, but strongly encouraged. Occasionally, a solicitation will have a mandatory prebid meeting. In these instances, you must attend the mandatory prebid in order to be eligible to bid.
- Are Bid/RFP Opening Dates And Times Firm?
Yes. All bids/proposals must be received by the Purchasing office prior to the opening date and time listed in the solicitation document. Bids/proposals received after the opening date and time will be refused and returned unopened to the vendor.
- Does The City Have An Approved Vendor List?
Purchasing does not maintain an approved vendor list for bid/RFP solicitations. The City of Fort Collins welcomes bids and proposals from all vendors and strives to facilitate an open, competitive solicitation process. Please register in the Rocky Mountain E-Purchasing System at www.rockymountainbidsystem.com to receive notifications regarding City of Fort Collins solicitations.
- How Quickly Does The City Pay Vendors?
Upon receipt of a correctly initiated order and invoice, the department receiving the product shall authorize payment. The project manager authorizes progress payments for construction projects. Generally, for goods or non-construction services, the City's payment terms are Net 30. However, payment terms may differ from this standard depending on the terms of the City's agreement with a vendor for a particular project or prior payment arrangements made with the vendor.
Vendors selected and awarded a contract by the City will be required to submit a W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification prior to contract award. Vendors are also encouraged to participate in the direct pay program by completing a Vendor Direct Deposit Authorization Form. Participating in the direct pay program will ensure the timeliest payment by the City while supporting the City's sustainability objectives. Both forms can be downloaded from the Purchasing Division website.
The City of Fort Collins is exempt from paying sales or use tax.
- Should Invoices Be Sent To The Purchasing Division For Payment?
No. All invoices should be sent to the Accounts Payable department, listed as the "Remit To" address indicated on the Purchase Order. Please also reference your Purchase Order number on the invoice, as this facilitates a quicker payment process.
- What Is The City's Policy On Gratuities?
It is the policy of the City of Fort Collins that employees, officers or agents are prohibited from being financially interested in the purchase from or the sale to the City of any land, materials or supplies. Soliciting or accepting any gift, favor, kick-back or any items of monetary value from any person who has or is seeking to do business with the City is prohibited. Any vendor knowing of this type of activity is encouraged to report in confidence to the Purchasing Agent, Director of Purchasing & Risk Management, Director of Finance, City Attorney or City Manager so the matter can be dealt with.