Bid Policy & Procedures
Questions: Whom to Call & How to Get Answers
The Purchasing Division will provide all necessary information/clarification to bid or proposal specifications issued by them. The Purchasing Division is available to answer questions during normal business hours.
Questions or clarifications to specifications will be made in writing to the Purchasing Division Ten (10) calendar days prior to the date the bid or proposal is due. There will be times when the questions will be of such nature as to require research time, however this will not delay the opening.
How to Obtain Specifications
To obtain a copy of a bid or proposal package, log onto the online procurement website.
Vendors who wish to be placed on the City’s bidders list must register online.
It is the responsibility of the bidder/proponent to read all documents contained in the specifications carefully, and follow the directions in the packet. Bidders/proponents are responsible for the timely submission of their bid/proposal.
Contents of Bid or Proposal Document
Each packet contains:
- Bid/Proposal forms
- Instructions to bidders/proponents
- The name and number of the bid or proposal
- Technical specifications
- Time and date on which the bid or proposal is due
The City is required, under Local Government Code, to obtain public bids for goods and services that meet or exceed predetermined cost thresholds. A formal, publicly advertised bid is required when the acquisition of goods or services can reasonably be anticipated to meet or exceed $50,000. Formal bids may also be required for lessor amounts at the discretion of the Purchasing Manager.
Pre-bid conferences are scheduled when a particular good or service is complex or technical as to need visual clarification. If the pre-bid conference is mandatory and the vendor fails to attend, and sign in, that vendor will not be allowed to participate in the bid. If they submit a bid, it will be returned unopened with the explanation that they failed to attend the required pre-bid conference. In no case will this requirement be waived.
Receipt & Opening of Bids
The time and date of all public openings is stated in the letter to the prospective bidder, on the Bid Form, and is published in the City’s local newspaper. All bids will be sealed and distinctly marked with the bid name and number and the bid opening date and time. All sealed bids will be received in the Office of the Purchasing Manager, 630 E Hopkins, San Marcos, Texas 78666, on or before the date and time specified in the bid documents. All bids are clocked in on the official time/date stamp located in the Office of the Purchasing Manager.
Bid Opening Procedures
Each bid document contains detailed specifications of the goods or services required. The package includes a boiler plate containing instructions and information for bidders; the time, date, and place of the opening; and bid form. Each part of the bid package is vital to the correct and complete submission of the bid and should be regarded as such.
Proposal Acknowledgment Procedures
All bid openings are public and anyone is permitted to attend. When all bids have been opened and read aloud they are available for public view. Anyone not present at the public opening may look at the bids during normal business hours. Please contact the Purchasing Division to schedule a time to do so.
Selection of a Winning Bid
The bid will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. A responsible bidder is a manufacturer, producer, dealer, vendor, or bona fide manufacturer’s agent who has demonstrated judgment and integrity, is of good reputation, is experienced, and has a record of satisfactory performance and financial security.
Rejection of Bid
The City reserves the right to reject all bids, or all bids for any one or more goods or services included in the proposal when such rejection is in the best interest of the taxpayers of the City.
Notification of Award
References & Bonding Issues
Bids and projects that involve a service require at least 3 different references. Completion of a statement of bidder’s qualification form as part of the bid package is also required for construction bids.
A bid bond and/or performance bond may also be required. A bid bond is a guarantee that the vendor can provide a performance bond in 100% of the dollar amount of the bid. If the vendor cannot provide the performance bond, the bid bond is forfeited and the next lowest bidder is awarded the contract. The bid bond requirement may also be waived if it is in the best interest of the City to do so.
The performance bond is used as a guarantee that the work will be performed satisfactorily. If the vendor does not perform, the bond is used as liquidated damages in the amount of the difference between the vendor’s price and the next low bidder’s price.
The purpose of the protest procedures is to protect the public interest in the purchasing process. This section is intended to give a bidder, proposer, or contractor who is aggrieved in connection with the solicitation, evaluation, or award of a contract the opportunity to protest. The City’s objective is to resolve protests as soon as practical.
Any protest or complaint to the City’s consideration must be submitted in writing and received by the Purchasing Manager no later than 5:00 PM on the fifth (5th) calendar day after the City notifies the bidder or proposer: 1) that it is deemed non-responsive; 2) that it is deemed not responsible; 3) the name of the apparent winning bidder; or 4) the City’s intent to award a contract. If the protest or complaint does not contain the following information, it may be dismissed by the Purchasing Manager:
- Protestor’s name, address, telephone number, and email address;
- The solicitation number;
- Identification of the statute or policy that is alleged to have been violated;
- A precise statement of the relevant facts;
- Identification of the issues to be resolved; and
- Supporting documentation.
The protest must be concise and presented logically and factually to help with the City’s review and determination as to whether the grounds for the protest are sufficient. The Purchasing Manager will notify the protesting party that the protest has been received and make every effort to resolve the protest before contract award.
If it is determined that the grounds for the protest are insufficient and no violation of a statute or policy has occurred, the Purchasing Manager will provide a written decision to the protesting party setting forth the reasons for the determination.
If, after conferring with the City Attorney’s Office, it is decided that the grounds for the protest are sufficient and it is determined that a violation of a statute or policy has occurred, the Purchasing Manager will inform the protesting party by letter setting forth the reasons for the determination and the remedial action that will be taken.
When a protest is filed, the City will not make an award until a decision on the protest is made except, as determined by the City Manager, when a delay would jeopardize urgently needed goods or services, or a delay in making an award will unduly delay delivery or performance of urgently needed services.
Bidder Default - Consequences
If a bidder fails to fulfill the terms and conditions of the bid, they may forfeit their bid/performance bond and may be removed from the bidder’s list for future bid solicitation. In addition, penalties may be incurred for late delivery or frequent back orders. With documentation, a vendor may have the contract terminated and be subject to liquidated damages for the remainder of the contract term.
Cooperative Purchasing Opportunities
The City purchases a variety of goods and services through approved purchasing cooperatives, in addition to competitive bidding. Businesses seeking additional opportunities to conduct business with the City may join the commonly-used cooperative purchasing groups listed below. Navigate to each purchasing cooperative website for information on how to become one of their vendors.