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