Purchasing Opportunities and Guidelines

The Contracts and Facilities Services (CFS) Department provides value added customer service to the Agency, by acquiring goods and services at the best overall cost and value. Bids, quotes and proposals for the Agency’s requirements are solicited on the PlanetBid System. This bid system allows all vendors easy online access to Bids, RFP’s, RFQ’s, Addenda and bid results. All interested vendors must register to access this information. Registration is free. If you need assistance when registering, please contact a Buyer or Contracts Administrator listed in the Service Directory, and they will be happy to assist you.

To obtain a list of our current RFPs click here.

Methods of Procurement
The Agency’s methods of procurement include the following: purchase orders, contracts, agreements, blanket purchase agreements, and leases. Depending on the Agency’s requirements, a purchase order or specific type of contractual document will be issued. Standard Agency terms and conditions typically accompany all procurements.

Reference Numbers
ALL procurements made by the Agency require a purchase order or contract document number. With the sole exception of construction contracts, these are issued by the CFS staff ONLY. Referencing the purchase order or contract document number is essential when conducting business with the Agency, and must be included on all supplier invoices and shipping documents.

Procurement Ordinance
The Agency’s Procurement Ordinance is the guiding document for all purchasing activities for fair and ethical business practices, designed to ensure the public’s trust. To view the agencies ordinances click here.

Sales Calls and Contacts
Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Agency holidays. As Agency staff resources are limited, unscheduled visits by suppliers and contractors are not encouraged. You may schedule an appointment with CFS staff by contacting the appropriate person at the telephone number listed in this pamphlet. Suppliers are encouraged to forward product and service literature to our mailing address, attention “Contracts and Facilities Services.”

Specification Development
Written specifications are used in the procurement process to describe the required level of quality, quantity, delivery, and scope of work. In addition to the specifications, terms and conditions governing the purchase are also outlined in the Invitation to Bid, Request of Quotations, or Request for Proposals. Specifications prepared by Agency Departments are carefully reviewed by CFS staff, to eliminate undue restrictions and other limitations which may unnecessarily restrict competition. Any assistance you provide the Agency in developing our requirement, is sincerely appreciated; however, such cannot serve as the basis for award when the final procurement decision is made.

Supplier Presentation
Periodically, a supplier may expend considerable time and expense presenting a product or service to the Agency, in an effort to effect a sale. Please be aware that most procurements are the result of competitive solicitations, and that supplier presentations will not guarantee an order.

Basis for Award
It is the Agency’s desire to pursue the “best” competitive pricing and terms. Such factors as delivery schedule, quality, compatibility, references, experience, response, warranty, resources, etc., contribute to a decision to award a purchase order or contract to the “lowest-cost” responsive and responsible supplier.

Bid/Proposal Submittal
Procurements less than $50,000, generally require competitive price quotations, and are typically conducted through an informal solicitation process. In most situations, quotations may be submitted, in writing, to the CFS, by hand-delivery, mail, or facsimile. Procurements of more than $50,000, with limited exception, require formal bids or proposals, depending on the complexity of the goods or services being procured. Formal bids or proposals must be submitted in sealed envelopes, on Agency forms, via mail or hand delivery. Formal bids or proposals may not be submitted via telephone or facsimile. In most situations, there is a time limitation on submittal, and late submittals will not be accepted.

Bid/Proposal Results
Where appropriate, bid/proposal openings for formal solicitations are open to the public, and suppliers are encouraged to attend. As a rule, sealed bid/proposal results may not be provided over the telephone.

Public Record
Except for manufacturing processes which are clearly proprietary in nature or where nondisclosure agreements have been executed; all information contained in quotations, bids, and proposals submitted to the Agency, shall become a matter of public record, and made available upon request.

Acting without a PO Number
A purchase order number is essential to doing business with the Agency. It is your assurance that you will be paid. If an Agency employee calls you and attempts to place an order without an Agency purchase order number, you are cautioned to request a purchase order number and to obtain the name and department of the individual. Proceeding without a purchase order, may result in the Agency returning your invoice unpaid.

Change Orders/Amendments
The Agency may at any time, by a written change order or amendment; make changes in the specifications, designs or drawings, samples, or other description to which the items are to conform, in methods of shipment and packaging, or in the time or place of delivery of any items. If any such change causes an increase or decrease in the cost of, or the time required for, the performance of any part of the work under a purchase order, a mutually-acceptable equitable adjustment may be made in the price or delivery schedule or both, and the purchase order modified in writing.

PlanetBids
In cooperation with other public entities, the Agency has joined PlanetBids, to enhance best business practices. PlanetBids is an internet-based online, e-business system that serves to increase the efficiencies of the procurement process.

Supplier Registration
All suppliers must register to be considered for opportunities with the Agency. Suppliers can register by clicking here. It is the supplier’s responsibility to keep all of their address and contact information current.

Insurance
In all instances in which supplier personnel or subcontractors enter Agency property to repair, install, service, maintain, construct, consult, etc., the Agency requires that the supplier provide insurance documents verifying sufficient coverage and/or endorsements. Typical insurance coverage’s include: general liability, automobile, workers’ compensation, and professional liability, where applicable.

Delivery
With limited exception, all deliveries are to be made to the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, F.O.B. destination. Requirements for delivery are specified in all requests for bids/proposals, on all purchase orders, and in all contractual documents. The respective purchase order or contractual document number MUST appear on all shipping documents. Failure to do so may result in rejection of the shipment.

Payment
Payment is made only after delivery, acceptance of the goods or services, and following receipt of the supplier’s invoice. The Agency typically pays invoices within 30 days of receipt, unless otherwise specified on the respective purchase order or contractual document. Payment discount terms (e.g., 2% 10 net 30) are encouraged.

Gifts and Gratuities
The Agency recognizes the responsibility of all of its employees to maintain good relations with all its suppliers and believes this can be accomplished in a professional manner without gifts or gratuities interfering with and/or influencing employees. The Agency maintains a policy expressly prohibiting the acceptance of gifts or gratuities from any existing or potential suppliers. Supplier compliance with this policy is appreciated.