Thank you for your interest in doing business with the City of San Antonio. Your involvement as a provider of goods and services for the City is critical in meeting its operational, mission and service delivery requirements and is greatly appreciated.
The Purchasing Division serves as your key and primary point of contact when the purchase of goods and services are required for the City. It is the division’s goal to develop this guide as a rewarding reference tool to help you navigate and understand the City’s procurement process including how to pursue City contracts. It will also highlight the most relevant and beneficial rules, regulations, and laws that govern the City’s procurement process to ensure you successfully compete and succeed as a vendor for the City.
In an effort to be responsive to future changes in rules, regulations, and laws, this guide is updated periodically and is available on the City of San Antonio’s website at www.sanantonio.gov under the "Business -City Bidding and Contracting Opportunities" tab.
We encourage you to review the guide, keep it handy for future reference and feel free to contact us should you have any further questions. We hope it encourages you to seriously consider participating in City bids and becoming a vendor with the City of San Antonio. We thank you in advance for your participation.
The City’s Purchasing Division is charged with providing strategic and material management services to all City departments. The Purchasing Division is responsible for the procurement of all supplies, materials and equipment necessary for the delivery of municipal services, as well as professional or personal services.
It is important for vendors to know that Purchasing is the only entity within the City of San Antonio that is authorized to contract for goods and non-professional services which cost more than $3,000 up to an including $50,000 without City Council approval. It is also the only entity within the City government authorized to issue solicitations for goods and non-professional services valued more than $50,000. Purchasing conducts its procurement and contract service activities through the Procurement Division.
The Procurement Division is comprised of three (3) teams, each headed by a Purchasing & Contract Administrator (PA). Each team is responsible for handling assigned commodity and services categories. The Administrators are the key contacts for vendor inquiries regarding any procurement related issues for products and services assigned to their respective teams. Staff is available to assist vendors and answer any questions regarding all aspects of the procurement process.
The Procurement staff purchases goods and services on a daily basis, however, a major focus throughout the year is the management of over 1,000 annual contracts. These contracts are established to provide an efficient method for the City to purchase goods and services that are needed on a repetitive basis or that may realize substantial savings by aggregating City-wide requirements. Most of these annual contracts are typically for goods and non-professional services where providers are widespread thus giving vendors a number of opportunities to submit bids and obtain contracts with the City. Most of the annual contracts carry a three (3) year initial contract period and are posted on the City’s webpage, DemandStar by Onvia, TVSA Cable Channel 21, and published in a local newspaper whenever new solicitation is required.
Vendors are encouraged to monitor the City’s website on a regular basis for access to City solicitations, valuable procurement related information and names of staff members assigned to the various commodities and services purchased by the departments.
The Purchasing Division is located at:
111 Soledad, 11th Floor
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Telephone Number: (210) 207-7260
Fax Number: (210) 207-7270
Hours of Business: 7:45 – 4:30 Monday through Friday
Internet URL: http://www.sanantonio.gov/Purchasing
The Purchasing Division understands and supports the important value of the relationship that co-exists between the City government and the vendor business community and attempts to maintain mutual goodwill at all times. Toward this end, Purchasing strives to:
Vendor Master Creation Request Form
Suppliers and contractors interested in bidding on goods and services required by the City must be a registered vendor. Issuance of a purchase order is only permissible to registered vendors. Registration will identify your business as a potential bidder and categorize your business to the appropriate commodity group(s) provided. Suppliers and contractors may complete and submit the Vendor Master Creation Request Form located on the City’s web page. In an effort to maintain business information accuracy, it is very important that suppliers and contractors submit updates as necessary. Assistance or additional questions pertaining to completing the registration form may be directed to any staff member of the Purchasing Division.
Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) Program
To make it easy and convenient for entrepreneurs and existing businesses to learn more about conducting business with various branches of the government, the City’s International and Economic Development Department provides a full range of business services. Vendors are encouraged to contact the Small Business Division at (210) 207-3900 or visit their office at 100 West Houston, Suite 1900 for more information. In addition, the Small Business Liaison Office, housed in the Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center at 1901 S. Alamo, offers valuable assistance to entrepreneurs and existing businesses.
For assistance with certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), the South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (SCTRCA) can be contacted at (210)227-4722. SCTRCA is a non-profit corporation that represents several public entities in the South Texas area. These entities are committed to enhancing participation for disadvantaged, minority and woman owned businesses in public/government contracting and purchasing activities.
Presenting Your Products
Purchasing staff is available to review new product or service introductions for various markets. Meetings to present new products or services may be scheduled with staff assigned to those particular products or services. Our visiting hours are by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by calling (210)207-7260 or by directly contacting the purchasing member assigned the product or service in question.
|Bidding & Contracting Opportunities|
Public Advertising/Announcement of Bid Opportunities
Public notices of formal solicitations are available from the following sources:
NOTE: Vendors will not receive bid notices in the mail from the City of San Antonio. It is the responsibility of the vendor to monitor the City’s web page for bidding and contract opportunities.
Bid Document Downloads
Purchasing makes available a complete list of formal bid documents and proposals at the City‘ s website under the bidding and contract opportunities tab. All documents are available as downloadable Adobe pdf files, free of charge. Many of the files are over 500k in size. To avoid problems, you may download the file to your computer without viewing it online. Simply right click your mouse over the document name and select "Save Link As". Addendums will be added to this page as they become available.
In addition, the City utilizes the services of DemandStar by Onvia for notification and distribution of bid packages. Vendors may utilize the services of Onvia DemandStar if notification of City bids is desired. For more information, you may contact them by phone at (800) 711-1712.
The City’s Purchasing Division uses the following methods to procure goods and services:
|Submission of Bids|
Sealed bids and proposals must be received at the location specified in the solicitation document prior to the due date and time or they will be considered non-responsive. Bids and proposals received after the due date/time will not be accepted.
Sealed bids are opened as specified in the bid request. Bid opening dates for formal bids are typically scheduled at the Office of the City Clerk for 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday or Friday. Bid openings are public except for procurements where competitive sealed proposals are solicited. Proposals received pursuant to RFPs and RFQs are not opened publicly. Members of the public are welcome to attend, whether or not engaged in bidding. The Office of the City Clerk is located at:
Office of the City Clerk
100 Military Plaza
2nd Floor, City Hall
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Office of the City Clerk
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, Texas 78283-3966
Modification or Withdrawal of Bids: To maintain the integrity of the bidding process, a bid that has been opened by the City is not subject to alteration for the purpose of correcting an error in the bid price, unless the mistake is clearly evident from examining the bid document (e.g. extension of the unit prices or errors in addition.) This policy does not revoke the right of the bidder to modify or withdraw a bid due to material mistakes prior to bid opening by the City. Bids for contracts of more than $50,000 may only be withdrawn after bid opening with permission of the Director of Purchasing & General Services or designee.
|Bid Security – Bonding|
In order to protect the interests of San Antonio taxpayers, the City may require surety bonds on bids and contracts depending on the dollar amount and risk involved. In particular, payment and performance bonds may be required for public works contracts which are defined as the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or completion of any public work. Bonding requirements for public works contracts are dependent upon the dollar amount of the resultant contract.
Bid or Proposal Security
A bid or proposal security, in the form of a cashier's check, certified check, or bond may be required by the City depending upon the risk, complexity or dollar value of the contract. In addition, a bid or proposal security will be required in those instances where a performance bond will be required after contract award. The amount of the security is usually five percent (5%) of the bid or contract value; however, the amount of the security may vary depending on the specifics of the solicitation.
Performance and Payment Bonds
In accordance with State statutes, Performance Bonds are required on any public works contract of more than $100,000 in value. Payment Bonds are required on any public works contract of more than $50,000 in value. The City may also elect to require performance and payment bonds for contracts other than Public Works contracts.
The City may require by contract that parties doing business with the City maintain certain insurance coverage(s). If subcontractors are utilized in the performance of the contract, the prime contractor may be required to pass along these insurance requirements to its subcontractors.
A copy of all applicable insurance certificates and endorsements must be submitted to the City in accordance with the contract prior to the start of any work. The certificate(s) of insurance must contain:
NOTE: The contract insurance requirements are subject to modifications as published in the solicitation documents. Specific insurance requirements, including types of coverage and respective liability, are incorporated into the solicitation documents based upon the specifications and/or scope of work. Insurance requirements for the City of San Antonio are constantly under review to determine the appropriateness of both coverage and values for the services procured.
|Helpful Hints When Submitting Bids|
|Evaluation and Award|
It is the policy of the City to purchase from suppliers who have adequate financial strength, management and service capabilities, high ethical standards and integrity, the ability to provide materials and/or services that consistently meet the City's requirements and are otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations. All contracts in an amount of more than $50,000 must be approved by the City Council.
Identical Bids: For awards made based on price alone, when two or more responsible bidders submit the lowest responsible bids, and these bids are identical in both amount and nature, the City will enter into a contract with only one of the responsible bidders selected in a manner provided by state law.
Award of Contract: Contracts for goods or nonprofessional services exceeding $50,000 in price must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder or to the bidder who provides goods or nonprofessional services at the best value for the City.
In determining the best value for the City, it may consider the bidder’s purchase price, reputation, quality of goods or services, the extent to which the goods or services meet the City’s needs, past relationship with the City, impact on the ability of the City to comply with laws and rules relating to contracting with historically underutilized businesses and nonprofit organizations employing persons with disabilities, total long-term cost to acquire the goods or services; and any relevant criteria specifically listed in the request for bids or proposals. If the City intends to award on the basis of best value, the solicitation document will indicate this fact and will contain evaluation criteria.
The City may reject any and all bids.
Identifying Winning Vendor: The City uses a two-step approach when evaluating bid responses to determine the "lowest responsible bid". The first step is to determine which responses meet or exceed the published specifications. Bidders that take "exceptions" to any of the terms, conditions or specifications contained in the solicitation may be deemed non-responsive and their bid disqualified from further consideration at this stage.
After bids that are responsive to the City’s specifications have been identified, the City seeks to determine the bidder’s responsibility. Factors that can be used to determine responsibility include, but are not limited to, past performance issues, manpower, experience, equipment and financial ability to perform the contract. If we determine that the lowest bid meets or exceeds the published specification and it was from a "responsible" vendor, then we will recommend that bid to City Council for the award of the contract.
Prompt Payment Discount: Provided the bidder meets the requirements stated in the bid document, the City shall take the bidder’s offered prompt payment discount into consideration in determining the low bidder. The evaluation will not be based on the discount percentage alone, but rather the net price as determined by applying the discount to the bid price. However, the City reserves the right to reject the discount and will not consider discounts that provide fewer than ten (10) days to receive the discount.
Insurance/Bonding Requirements: Many solicitations issued by the City of San Antonio contain insurance and bonding requirements. THE BONDING AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS CANNOT BE WAIVED. The awarded bidder will be required to furnish the City with an insurance certificate satisfying ALL requirements stated in the solicitation document. It is advised that potential respondents consult their insurance agent prior to submitting a bid to determine whether or not you will be able to secure the necessary insurance if awarded the contract.
Partial awards: Unless the bid document specifies otherwise, Purchasing & General Services reserves the right to make an award on the basis of low line item, low total of line items, or in any other combination that serves the best interest of the City.
Reservations: The City expressly reserves the right to:
Protest Procedures (Formal Bids): For solicitations for goods and non-professional services valued at more than $50,000, once the Notice to Award has been posted to the City’s Intent to Award web page, bidders will have seven (7) calendar days to submit a written protest to the Director of Purchasing & General Services. If the vendor does not file a written protest within this time, the vendor will have waived all rights to formally protest the intent to award. It is the vendor’s responsibility to check the City’s website posting.
Award Notification: Official notification of award can only be made by the Purchasing Division for the purchase of goods and non-professional services of more than $3,000.00. Notice of award given by any other City department may be premature and inaccurate. The successful bidder(s) of an annual contract is notified of award by letter from the City's Purchasing Division. Other City departments may issue purchase orders for annual contracts for which an award letter has been sent.
Public Accessibility to Bids and Proposals: Bid and Proposals are subject to the Texas Public Information Act, Chapter 552, Texas Government Code. They are public documents and open to inspection and/or copying. Parties who believe their bids or proposals contain information that is exempt from disclosure under the Act, such as proprietary or confidential information, must indicate the portion of the bid or proposal they believe should not be disclosed. If a request for the document is made, the City will submit the issue to the Texas Attorney General for an opinion on whether the information may be withheld from release. The party submitting the information will be notified and have an opportunity to present its arguments for nondisclosure. If nothing is marked, the City will disclose the entire bid/proposal to the person requesting it without consulting the party who submitted the bid/proposal.
The Texas Public Information Act provides an exemption from disclosure for information related to competition or bidding. As such, the City will generally seek to withhold bids and proposals from public disclosure until after a contract is awarded, with the exception of bids that are based on price alone and opened publicly. To do this, the City submits a request for a ruling to the Texas Attorney General. It typically takes in excess of 30 days to receive a response from that agency.
The City expects high quality products and excellent service performance from its vendors. Vendor performance is a key factor when the City evaluates bids for contract award and is always subject to evaluation by the City’s using department(s). Purchasing maintains Vendor Performance files for all vendors doing business with the City and requires Vendor Evaluation Forms to be completed by using departments. All parties involved in the purchase, acceptance and payment of goods and services will have the opportunity to evaluate the vendor’s performance.
Failure to meet a specified delivery date reflects on your performance and could be a factor in consideration of future awards and contract extensions. It is the supplier's responsibility to notify Purchasing when a delay in the delivery schedule is anticipated or occurs. At this time, the supplier must indicate the new anticipated delivery date and the reason for the delay. It should be noted that failure to deliver within a contractual delivery schedule may result in the supplier being declared in default and assessed liquidated damages, if permitted in the contract. Default may also lead to early termination of your contract.
Quality and Service
Unsatisfactory product quality or service performance also reflects on a supplier, and could be a factor in consideration of future contract awards and extensions. Such performance can increase the City's operating costs and may be taken into consideration in determining whether a bidder is responsible.
|Invoicing and Payment|
All invoices for payment of goods or services rendered must be submitted to:
City of San Antonio
Attn: General Accounting
PO Box 839976
San Antonio, Texas 78283-3976
Invoices must be itemized as to quantity, part number, description, applicable discount, department or division for which the goods or services were rendered and a purchase order number. Any deviations will delay payment.
The City’s payment policy requires that payment is made within 30 days after receipt of a correct invoice or acceptance of goods or services, whichever occurs later. Any discount available to the City for prompt payment must be notated on the invoice. Unless otherwise notated, discounts will be calculated from the date of delivery, or the date of the invoice, whichever is more recent. Any invoices with terms "Payment upon receipt" or "Payment upon completion" are paid same as net 30 days.
NOTE: Payments made by the City to take advantage of discounts offered will be at the City’s discretion and do not constitute the contract’s required payment terms.
Please direct any payment questions to the mailing address noted above or email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (210) 207-2064.
The City is exempt from payment of federal excise and transportation taxes, as well as Texas State or local sales and use taxes. If it is determined that the price 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. The City will furnish the payee a certificate of exemption upon request.
|Related Departments & Outside Agencies|
To be successful in the procurement of goods and services requires the involvement of other departments and outside agencies and companies. Below are some entities that may be useful in doing business with the City, with their contact information:
Office of the City Clerk
Receives bids and proposals. Conducts bid openings
Telephone: (210) 207-7253
City of San Antonio International and Economic Development Department
Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) Program
Telephone: (210) 207-3900
City of San Antonio Finance Department
Telephone: (210) 207-2064
South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (SCTRCA)
Certification as Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Small Business Enterprise, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Woman Business Enterprise (WBE)
Telephone: (210) 227-4722
DemandStar by Onvia
Automated Bid Notices
Capital Improvements Management Services (CIMS)
Conducts procurements involving a public work, including but not limited to design and construction.
Telephone: (210) 207-1011