Debra Carrejo, CPPO, CPPB
DOING BUSINESS WITH THE COUNTY
The County of El Paso utilizes two types of bid processes to purchase goods and services. The formal bid process is used to purchase all capital expenditures, items with costs of $50,000.00 or more and all items defined to be processed through formal bid by Commissioner's Court.
In the formal bid process all bids must be advertised in a local newspaper and/or posted in a public area within the County Courthouse. The bid will state the terms and conditions of the bid, the items to be purchased, the quantity of items to be purchased, and specifications of the items being purchased.
The bid will have a due date, and all bids must be received prior to the due date. (OFFICIAL BID TIME IS KEPT IN THE PURCHASING DEPARTMENT.) NO BIDS WILL BE ACCEPTED BECAUSE OF DISCREPANCIES IN TIME.) Late bids will be returned unopened to the bidder. Late bids and proposals will not be considered under any circumstance. All formal bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at the predefined date. Bids will not be awarded at that time but will be reviewed by the Purchasing Department and approved by the department ordering the good or service. All formal bid awards must be approved by Commissioner's Court.
The County of El Paso is allowed to participate in the State of Texas bidding program. The Purchasing Agent may contract for goods or services through awarded State of Texas bids, if the Purchasing Agent decides it is in the best interest of the County of El Paso. In this case, the State of Texas has done the bidding for the County of El Paso.
The County of El Paso may also utilize the State of Texas' Qualified Information Systems Vendor Catalogue process. In short, the County of El Paso may purchase information systems equipment, as defined by the State of Texas, by selecting equipment found in three State approved QISV catalogues, determine the best value for the County of El Paso, enter negotiations with the best catalogue provider, and award a contract. All steps of the QISV purchase must be approved by Commissioner's Court.
On bids and proposals over $100,000.00 the bidder or proposer will be required to furnish a good and sufficient bid bond in the amount of 5% of the total contract price. On construction bids of $50,000.00 or more, the bidder may be required to furnish a performance bond for the cost of the bid, to be returned upon completion and acceptance of the work performed.
When it is not practical for the County of El Paso to define items to solicit formal bids, the County may utilize the formal proposal process. The formal proposal process is similar to the bid process with the exception of specifications. Instead of strictly defined specifications, the proposal will have more general specifications describing what the County is looking to purchase; various options may be proposed by vendors.
Proposals will still have a defined opening date, and will still be advertised in a local newspaper. Proposals will also be publicly opened, but pricing will not be read aloud. Proposals will be evaluated by the County of El Paso, and awarded. Final negotiations and signing of a contract between the County of El Paso and the vendor finalize the process. After negotiations are finalized and the contract signed, all pricing information becomes public record. It is because of the negotiation process that pricing is not read out at the time of the opening.
Awarding Bids and Proposals
The County of El Paso will award a bid to the lowest responsible bidder. The County of El Paso reserves the right to accept or reject all or any part of any bid, waive minor technicalities, and award the bid or proposal to the lowest responsible bidder/proposer.
The County of El Paso also reserves the right to award by line item or by lump sum total bid or proposal-all bids or proposals should be itemized. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Any vendor can do business with the County of El Paso; they need only bid competitively and provide reliable service.
The County of El Paso does business through Purchase Orders, which is a contract between the County of El Paso and the vendor. No purchases should be made without a purchase order.
If a vendor is given an order for goods or services with a purchase order, the vendor should check with the Purchasing Department to see if the order received by the vendor is valid.
By law, no County Department can purchase merchandise or contract services without the County Auditor's Office verifying whether the appropriation is authorized, and the Purchasing Department soliciting bids.
The County of El Paso will not honor any agreements made between a vendor and any person who is not an authorized agent of the County of El Paso.
The County of El Paso reserves the right to reject any bid or proposal due to failure of performance on deliveries or on providing services. Any problems the vendor has with a County Department or Purchasing personnel should be referred to the Purchasing Agent, or his Assistant. Any problems a vendor is having with payment of an invoice should be referred to the County Auditor's Office.