Doing Business with the City of Grand Rapids
The Purchasing Department solicits competitive bids for goods and services for City departments. We invite you to do business with us.
We are pleased to present Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS). Our online business opportunity tool, which you may access to register as a vendor, review current solicitations, respond to solicitations, and manage contracts and invoices.
Important: Registering and navigating in VSS works best using Internet Explorer as the web browser. Using other web browsers (such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox) may result in error messages while registering. We recommend that you complete the registration process using Internet Explorer.
All vendors doing business with the City of Grand Rapids are required to be registered in the Vendor Self Service (VSS).
The City of Grand Rapids personnel subscribe to and support a high level of ethical and moral conduct. Employees of the Purchasing Department, as well as all other City of Grand Rapids employees, are required to decline the offer of gifts or favors that might influence, or be construed to influence, any purchase of goods or services. Acceptance of gifts or gratuities of any kind is prohibited by governmental purchasing ethics.
Specific Bidding procedures have been established by the City to conform with the requirements established by law and to provide for fair, equal, and open opportunities for all bidders.
General Purchasing Policies
All purchases of goods and services over $500 require competition.
Purchases for goods and services valued under $10,000 may be solicited by a Request for Quote or an Informal Solicitation.
Purchases for goods and services valued over $10,000 will be solicited through a Formal Solicitation.
Suppliers shall not make purchase order sales to City employees without first obtaining a purchase order number.
Request for Quote
Written quotes may be requested by department personnel for purchases of goods only valued under $10,000. After quotes are received they are evaluated and a purchase order is issued to the best bidder meeting specifications at the lowest cost. A quote is a legal offering that includes a detailed and itemized listing of description, quantity, unit price and extensions complete with F.O.B. and freight terms, signed by an authorized representative.
Informal Solicitations for goods and services valued under $10,000 may be issued by the Purchasing Department through the Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS). After the bids are received, they are evaluated, and a purchase order is issued to the best bidder meeting specifications.
Formal Solicitations for goods and services valued over $10,000 may be issued by the Purchasing Department through the Vendor Self Service Portal (VSS). Formal Solicitations are conducted through a competitive sealed process and require a minimum of a two week bid opening. After the bids are received, they are evaluated, and a recommendation is made to the City Commission for award to the best bidder meeting specifications. Upon approval of the City Commission a purchase order is issued to awarded vendor.
Bid Evaluation and Award
The City seeks the best value in the procurement of the goods and services it uses. Various criteria may be used in the evaluation of quotes and offers received, including costs, experience, quality, service reliability and availability. A composite of these factors will be used to determine the best value for the City.
Emergency Purchase Order
In case of emergency, and with the consent of the Purchasing Director, City Department Directors may purchase necessary supplies, materials or equipment. This may be done only when it is essential that such purchases are made in order to safeguard City property or to provide services that affect the health, welfare and/or safety of the citizens of Grand Rapids. Bids may be solicited if the nature of the emergency permits. However, in severe emergencies, affecting the health and welfare of the City these requirements are waived where necessary. Emergency purchase orders are issued by the Purchasing Department.
Are a type of contract established through a competitive bid process to purchase goods or services. Master Agreements also referred to as blanket or term agreements may be established as an indefinite order/indefinite quantity, as a fixed price over a specified period, etc. Orders for items or services under a Master Agreement are placed by the department at the terms and conditions of the Master Agreement.
Selected City personnel have authority to pay for goods using a City issued credit card. All general purchasing policies and procedures must still be adhered to including receipt of written quotations.
In effort to protect the interests of Grand Rapids taxpayers, the City may require bonding security on bids and contracts in connection with the following contract types:
- Alteration or repair of any public building
- Completion of any public work
Bid security in the form of a bid bond, when required, is normally for an amount not less than five percent (5%) of the bid value. Bid bond requirements will be detailed in the solicitation documents.
The City may require the contractor, before beginning the work, to provide a performance bond to the City. The performance bond is for the protection of the City. Performance bonds are in the amount of the contract and conditioned on the faithful performance of the work in accordance with the plans, specifications, and contract documents. The City may elect to require performance bonds for any contract.
Depending on the services provided, the City may require the vendor to provide and maintain an insurance policy of at least $1 million for general liability coverage; the City of Grand Rapids shall also be listed as an additionally insured party. Any additional insurance coverages required by the City will be stated in each solicitation document. Coverages should be provided and maintained by the contractor or lessee. The coverage requirements are reviewed and approved by the City prior to the award of contract. Contractors who engage sub-contractors shall be responsible to ensure that subcontractors procure and maintain the same insurance's required by the contractor.
Policies shall be written by companies licensed in the State of Michigan and rates B+ or better by A.M. Best. Specific insurance requirements are incorporated into the bid documents and specifications of each bid. The dollar values and coverage's vary according to the type of contract. Insurance requirements for the City are constantly under review to determine the appropriateness of coverage's and values.
Suppliers should always examine the Invitation to Bid to determine whether they are required to submit samples with a bid. When samples are requested, they will be held until after the award is made unless otherwise specified. If a supplier wishes to submit a sample of his product for trial and use, the product shall be presented at no cost or obligation to the City. Samples should not be given to any specific City employee unless it has been authorized in advance by the Purchasing Director.
Recycled and Environmental Friendly Products
We encourage businesses to offer products to the City that do not cause environmental harm, while still providing the best value for the City.
The City also considers products that contain post-consumer waste materials. Post-consumer materials are defined as materials that come from products generated by a consumer which have served their intended end-users and have been diverted from solid waste for the purpose of collection, recycling, and disposition.
Products offered shall perform in accordance with applicable specifications, shall be available within a reasonable length of time, and shall be suitable for the City's intended purpose. The City will be the sole judge of the suitability of any recycled product offered.
We reserve the right to reject any or all bids and to waive any informality in any bid. Any provision which if changed or waived would materially change the bid cannot be waived. The City reserves the right to accept or reject any specific item or group of items on a bid unless the supplier states that the entire bid or any subgroup shall be accepted in total. If a supplier finds that he has made a mistake in his bid, he may correct the error before the date and the time set for opening the bids. After the bids are opened, all bids shall stand as submitted for a minimum period or ninety (90) calendar days.
Additionally, the City expressly reserves the right to:
- Waive any formality, including minor deviations from specifications.
- Waive any defect, irregularity, or informality in any offer of solicitation procedures.
- Reject any or all bids, or portions of a bid.
- Reissue a bid request.
- Extend the bid opening time and date.
- Procure any item by other means.
- Increase or decrease the quantity specified in the bid invitation, unless the bid specifies otherwise.
The City is exempt from payment of federal excise and transportation taxes, as well as Michigan State or local sales and use taxes. If it is determined that the prices quoted and recorded on any order or invoice rendered include any such taxes, the amount of the taxes will be deducted from the total of the invoice. Upon request, the Purchasing Director will provide the Michigan Sales and Use Tax Certificate of Exemption in connection with all orders when Federal Excise Tax would otherwise be due.
Purchasing may establish a vendor performance file for any supplier as a measure to evaluate vendor performance. Evaluations may include delivery performance, service performance, value adds, etc. The City reserves the right to use any vendor performance file as part of any review or evaluation for solicitation awards.
Surplus and Obsolete Goods
The process for the sale of City surplus goods has been established through a third party auctioneer. Please contact our office for additional information.