Doing Business with Simi Valley

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City Business

WELCOME

How To Do Business With The City

We appreciate your interest in doing business with the City of Simi Valley. Our aim is to help you in your sales effort and to promote a climate of good business relationships with the City of Simi Valley. The City is always interested in securing responsible vendors who can supply its needs promptly, economically, and in the desired quality and quantities.

ORGANIZATION

The responsibility for the implementation of the City's purchasing ordinance has been delegated by the City Manager to the Deputy Director/Support Services in the Administrative Services Department, who also serves as the City's Purchasing Agent. The City has seven departments that engage in purchasing activity on behalf of the City and purchase orders for the purchase of goods and services up to $5,000 are handled directly through the departments. Requisitions for purchases over $5,000 are submitted by the departments to the Purchasing Agent who has final approval authority.

SERVICE CALLS AND CONTACTS


Office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Because City departments initiate most purchases, contacting the department directly is the most expedient way to work with the City. Routine "courtesy" visits are not encouraged as they can disrupt daily workflow.

VENDOR INFORMATION FILE

The City maintains a vendor information file which is used as a resource in the development of bid lists. Information concerning your company and/or services or products you sell should be sent to:

City Purchasing Agent
City of Simi Valley
2929 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, CA. 93063

Because of the number of suppliers the City deals with, receipt of vendor information does not guarantee that the vendor will be notified every time that particular commodity is purchased. However, every effort is made to utilize vendors interested in doing business with the City and to incorporate those firms into the bidding process.

SPECIFICATIONS

Written specifications are used in the bidding process to describe the required level of quality, quantity, delivery, and scope of work. In addition to the specifications, certain terms and conditions governing purchases are also outlined in the bid form.

Sometimes a vendor may expend considerable time and money presenting a product to an individual City department in the hopes of making a sale. If you do this, remember that the purchase may eventually be made by competitive bid and what you spend for expensive designs, demonstrations and layouts does not guarantee you an order.

Specifications prepared by City departments are carefully reviewed to eliminate undue restrictions and other limitations that unnecessarily reduce competition. The purchase will eventually be made from the lowest responsible bidder meeting these objective specifications. The help you offer a department in developing their purchase request cannot be considered when we make the purchase. We recommend that if you are called upon to provide expensive pre-purchase services, you consider contracting separately with the department for this service.


BID REQUIREMENTS

The City's purchasing ordinance has seven basic components for bidding as follows: 

Equipment, Materials, Supplies, Maintenance Services and Public Projects

Purchase Amount  Bid Procedure
1. $0 to $5,000 Outright Purchase.
2. $5,000.01 to $30,000 Open market bidding for which three (3) bids are obtained.
3. $30,000.01 to $125,000 Sealed bid solicitation with contract awarded by City Manager.
4. Over $125,000 Sealed bid solicitation with contract awarded by City Council.
5. Exceptions to the bid process-any amount Outright purchase where bidding is impossible, impractical or incongruous to bidding procedures or in an emergency.   

Professional and Consultant Services

Purchase Amount
Bid Procedure
1. $0 to $100,000 City Manager approval of contract.
2. Over $100,000 City Council approval of contract.
POSTING OF BID NOTICES

To promote the competitive bidding environment, all notices of bids that will be awarded by the City Manager or the City Council are posted on the City’s Web page.

BASIS FOR AWARD

It is the City's desire to develop maximum competition for all purchases and to make awards based on the lowest responsible and responsive bid received.

"Lowest responsible bidder" means the lowest bidder whose offer best responds in quality, fitness and capacity to the requirement of the proposed work or usage. Such factors as delivery time, quality, compatibility, references, experience, parts and services, freight costs, etc., play an important part in awarding a purchase order to the "lowest responsible bidder."

A "responsive" bid is one that is in substantial conformance with the requirements of the specifications, the invitation to bid, and the City's contractual terms and conditions. This would also include such things as completeness of the quotation forms, inclusion of references and attachments, and completion of required responses.
 
LOCAL BUSINESS PREFERENCE
 
Bids are awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.  However, the City has adopted a 5% local business preference with the intent of balancing the City's support for local businesses with the goal of purchasing goods at the best price.  A "local business" means a business that has an office with at least one employee physically located within the City of Simi Valley, who possesses and shows evidence of a current business tax certificate issued by the City.  The preference is only applicable to competitive bids for the procurement of supplies, equipment, and materials.  It does not apply to public projects, or to solicitations for the procurement of services.  The preference is applied to the bid calculation prior to determination of the lowest bidder, up to a maximum of $2,500 per bid.

DELIVERY AND INSPECTIONS

Shipment in almost all cases is to be made to the City of Simi Valley, FOB destination. Requirements for delivery are specified on all bids and purchase orders. Failure to meet the specified date may cause cancelation of the order and will reflect adversely on your firm's overall performance rating. Variations from the specifications make a shipment subject to rejection.

BID RESULTS

Bid awards are a matter of public record. Abstracts of bids showing prices and awards are available by contacting the department that initiated the bid or purchase.

Negotiated procurements based upon formal written proposal are confidential and are made public upon execution of a signed contract.

CHANGE ORDERS

The purchase order is the City's contract with the vendor. Therefore, any change to that contract must be in writing and authorized by the City. Department personnel should be contacted to clarify problems or to initiate required change orders.

ACTING WITHOUT A PURCHASE ORDER NUMBER

All purchases charged to the City require a purchase order. If an individual calls you and attempts to place an order without a City purchase order number, you are cautioned to request an authorized purchase order number and obtain the name and department of the individual. The purchase order number is vital to doing business with the City. It is your insurance that you will be paid.

EXCEPTION: There may be times during an emergency when an order must be placed after hours or on weekends (times when the Purchasing Office is normally closed). Be assured that true emergency purchases at such times without purchase order numbers will be approved. Be sure to obtain the individual's name and department and request identification if the order is placed in person. Department personnel are instructed to obtain a purchase order number from the Purchasing Office the following work day. The employee who placed the order will contact you with an authorized purchase order number.

BILLING AND PAYMENT

The City requires an original invoice for each purchase order issued to the vendor. The purchase order number must appear on all invoices, shipping tags, and all correspondence relevant to the order.
Payment is made after receipt of invoice and delivery and acceptance of material as specified on the purchase order. Vendors are encouraged to email invoices to accountspayable@simivalley.org.  If invoices cannot be emailed, they can be submitted to:

City of Simi Valley
Attn. Accounts Payable
2929 Tapo Canyon Rd.
Simi Valley, CA. 93063

Sending your invoice to any other department (unless so instructed) may delay payment. The City has a net 30 policy whereby invoices are paid within thirty (30) days of receipt of invoice and acceptance of the order. Questions regarding payment of invoices should be made to the Accounts Payable Office. You will need to reference the purchase order and invoice numbers.

TAX

The City is exempt from federal excise tax, but pays sales and use taxes when applicable. Certificates of Exemption from Excise Tax may be obtained from the Purchasing Office.

INSURANCE
In all instances in which vendor personnel enter City property to repair, install, service, construct, consult, etc., the City requires a certificate of insurance verifying coverage per City insurance requirements. Whenever insurance is required on a purchase order, the vendor will be supplied with complete requirements for coverage. Contact the Purchasing Division if you need further information on insurance requirements.

GIFTS AND GRATUITIES
The City of Simi Valley maintains a strict policy prohibiting the acceptance by its employees, of gifts and/or gratuities from any supplier or potential supplier.

BLANKET PURCHASE ORDERS
In certain circumstances the City utilizes blanket purchase orders which allow City staff to purchase goods on an as-needed basis over a definite period of time, usually one year. The blanket purchase order may be for a certain class of materials and as the operating department needs materials, the department places an order and the vendor invoices the City for the specific items and quantity purchased at the time.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you or someone in your firm needs special assistance to participate in a walk-through or attend a pre-bid meeting, you should contact the department initiating the bid or meeting. Notification prior to the meeting is needed to enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting.

All departments can be reached on the City's main telephone number which is (805) 583-6700 (voice) or contact the California Relay Service.