Supplier Guide

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Our purpose is to procure quality goods and services in a manner which is:

  • Cost effective
  • Competitive
  • Timely
  • Fair, Open, Ethical


The Procurement Division is responsible for establishing, implementing, and supporting procurement practices and procedures as directed by the Board of Supervisors and the Procurement/Purchasing Agent. Major procurement functions are centralized in the Procurement Division, including competitively bid Vendor Agreements for commonly purchased items, as well as items valued over a specific dollar amount.

Additionally, each County department has delegated procurement authority and responsibility. Departmental Procurement Representatives work closely with the Procurement Division Buyers to secure needed goods and services.

Suppliers are encouraged to call the Procurement Division at (650) 363-4321 for information.

Policies & Procedures

It is the County's policy to obtain and email competitive bids whenever possible. Written bids are the primary means of obtaining prices; phone/fax/email quotations are solicited when practical. All written bids are due by the date and time specified on the bid form. Formal bids must be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation printed within the County unless bidding is waived by the County Board of Supervisors.

Bidders must comply with the County's Standard Term and Conditions. A copy of the terms are available upon request.

Bid Results
After the contract is awarded, bid results are a matter of public record. Written bids are available for inspection.

Specifications are used in the bidding process to describe the features, performance, and quality required.

In addition to the specifications, certain terms and conditions governing purchases are also outlined in the bid form. Award is made to the vendor who meets the specifications, terms, and conditions stated, including the delivery requirements and offers the lowest overall costs.

Delivery will be made to the County FOB destination freight prepaid and allowed unless specifically excepted in writing by the County.

Requirements for delivery are specified on all bids and purchase orders. Failure to comply with the specified date may cause cancellation of the order and will reflect on the supplier's performance rating. Defaulting suppliers may be held responsible for the additional costs incurred by the County in obtaining the goods elsewhere.

Inspections should be made immediately upon receipt as to condition, quality, and conformity to specification. Variations from specification make a shipment subject to rejection.

The purchase order number must appear on all invoices, shipping tags, and all correspondence relevant to the order.

Policies & Procedures

Payment is made to the supplier after receipt of invoice and delivery materials on the purchase order. Invoices are to be mailed as directed on the Purchase Order.

Supplier Interview
The Buyers and Departmental Procurement Representatives will be glad to see you by appointment.

Drop-in visits are inconvenient and should be avoided if at all possible. Buyers and Departmental Procurement Representatives are often unavailable on a drop-in basis.

Gifts and Gratuities
The County maintains a strict policy prohibiting the acceptance by its employees of gifts and/or gratuities from any supplier or potential supplier.

For a mutual beneficial business relationship, we can help you by:

  • Directing your attention to our present and future needs.
  • Consolidating our requirements
  • Arranging for demonstrations
  • Generally, aiding in obtaining for you the greatest yield for your time and effort.

We hope you will help us by:

  • Keeping us informed concerning new items and trends.
  • Remembering that contractual commitments may only be made by Procurement personnel.
  • Obtaining prior approval before leaving demonstration or loaner equipment or supplies with departments.
  • Aiding us in obtaining the greatest yield for our time, effort, and taxpayer's dollars.

Standards of Procurement Practice

  1. To regard Public Service as a sacred trust, giving primary consideration to the interests of the governmental unit by whom we are employed.
  2. To procurement the best value obtainable, securing the maximum benefit for each tax dollar expended.
  3. To avoid unethical practices, giving all qualified vendors an equal opportunity.
  4. To respect our obligations and to require that obligations to us and our governmental unit will be respected.
  5. To accord supplier representatives the same treatment we should like to receive, remembering that they are important sources of information  and assistance in our buying problems.
  6. To strive constantly for greater knowledge of procurement methods and of the materials we buy.
  7. To be receptive to counsel from our colleagues and to cooperate with them to promote s spirit of unity.
  8. To conduct ourselves with fairness and dignity and to demand honesty and truth in buying and selling.
  9. To cooperate will all organizations and individuals engaged in enhancing the development and standing of the Procurement profession.
  10. To remember that everything we do reflects on the entire procurement profession and to govern our every action accordingly.
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