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Vendor's Guide

How to do Business with the City of Philadelphia

City of Philadelphia Procurement Department

Photo courtesy of Office of City Representative

Vendor's Guide
How to Do Business With
The City of Philadelphia

Edward G. Rendell
Mayor, City of Philadelphia

Ben Hayllar
Director of Finance

Louis Applebaum
Procurement Commissioner

Published by

City of Philadelphia
Procurement Department
1401 J.F.K. Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1685

April 1996

This guide is not intended to be a complete description of the regulations, rules, policies and procedures governing the procurement process nor does it replace, supersede or interpret the terms and conditions of any bid. Notwithstanding anything contained in this guide, bidders must strictly adhere to the instructions, conditions of bidding, specifications and contract terms and conditions set forth in each individual bid solicitation to which they respond.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. WELCOME

II. GETTING ON THE BID LIST
Bid Mailing List
Application Process

III. TYPES OF BIDS
Advertised Bids
Public Works Bids
Small Order Purchases
Concession Bids
Surplus Property Bids

IV. SERVICE, SUPPLY AND EQUIPMENT PURCHASES
Types of Contracts

Firm Limit Contracts
Requirements Contracts
Bid Advertising
Bidder Qualification
Standard Bid Requirements
Bid Specifications
Pre-Bid Conferences
Addenda and Changes
Bid Surety
Bid Duration
Bid Forms
Samples
Signatures
Bid Delivery
Performance Guaranty
Purchase Orders
Delivery
Packing Slips
Overshipments
Inspection
Failure to Perform

V. PUBLIC WORKS PURCHASES
Bid Advertising
Bidder Qualification
Standard Bid Requirements

Bid Specifications
Pre-Bid Conferences
Addenda and Changes
Bid Surety
Bid Duration
Bid Forms
Signatures
Bid Delivery
Performance Guaranty
Failure to Perform

VI. BID OPENING & EVALUATION
Bid Openings
Bid Information
Evaluating Bids for Award
Split Awards
Rebids
Bidder Disqualification

VII. RESPONDING TO A BID
Postage
Recycled Materials
Prompt Pay Discounts
Bid Errors
Bid Withdrawals
Contract Extensions

VIII. CONTRACT AWARDS
Contract Award Notification
Contract Compliance Program
Performance Guaranty
Insurance Certificates
Contract Execution

IX. VENDOR PAYMENT
Invoices
Payment

X. SUMMARY OF MINORITY, WOMAN AND DISABLED OWNED DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROGRAMS
Certification
Participation

XI. OTHER PUBLIC PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Mayor's Business Action Team Information


I. WELCOME

Welcome to doing business with the City of Philadelphia.

The Procurement Department is the central purchasing and materials management agency for the City of Philadelphia. Our goal is to acquire services, supplies, equipment and construction at the lowest price that meets our needs while ensuring a fair and open process. We try to accomplish this in the best interest of our citizens by using sound procurement practices involved in a competitive bidding system.

The Procurement Department has designed this guide to provide vendors interested in supplying the City with needed goods and services with information about how we do business. We encourage qualified vendors to participate in City bidding opportunities. Please read the guide carefully and if you have any questions contact or visit:

City of Philadelphia Procurement Department
Public Information Unit
Room 170 Municipal Services Building
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1685
Tel. 215-686-4720 Fax 215-686-4728
Our hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We encourage vendors to meet with Procurement Department staff. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting, please call for an appointment.

It is the City of Philadelphia's policy to endeavor to provide access and accommodations to everyone, regardless of disability, upon request.

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II. GETTING ON THE BID LIST

Bid Mailing List
The City of Philadelphia Procurement Department maintains a bid mailing list for most of the products and services that it purchases.

When a vendor completes and sends in a Bid Mailing List Application, the vendor is placed on the mailing list. For Service, Supply and Equipment bids, registered vendors receive bids for the product or service in the areas of interest indicated. For Public Works bids, vendors receive the notices of advertised bids, not the actual bids. All bids are advertised in the newspaper.

As errors sometimes occur in the mailing lists and delays can occur through the mails, receiving notice of a bid opportunity in time to bid is not guaranteed. All vendors should consult the list of advertised bids published in the newspaper and posted at the Procurement Public Information Unit Counter.

Application Process
The Bid Mailing List Application packet provides vendors with basic information on what goods and services the City buys. The application requests that the vendor furnish certain company identification information that the Procurement Department then enters into the vendor data base.

To be placed on the bid mailing list, vendors should contact the Procurement Public Information Unit to request an application packet.

Companies should notify the Public Information Unit in writing if any information provided in the application changes.

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III. TYPES OF BIDS

The Procurement Department has several types of bids and methods of making purchases.
  • Advertised Bids - Formal bids are competitive bids for procurements involving Services, Supplies or Equipment that exceed $10,000 or Public Works, e.g., construction work. These types of bids are generally required to be advertised in local newspapers for a specified period before the bid opening.
  • Public Works Bids - These are bids for the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair or improvement of a public building, property, street, bridge, highway or sewer.
  • Small Order Purchases - Informal bids are for procurements less than $10,000. Operating departments can directly procure goods and services under $10,000. For these purchases, departments are required to obtain competitive quotations.
  • Concession Bids - Bids offer bidders the opportunity to provide goods and/or services on City property.
  • Surplus Property Bids - Bids offer "as is" surplus City equipment or supplies to the highest bidder.

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IV. SERVICE, SUPPLY AND EQUIPMENT PURCHASES

Types of Contracts
Contracts may be established for either a definite quantity or indefinite quantity. The two types of contracts used by the Procurement Department include:
  • Firm Limit Contracts - These are one-time contracts for a fixed quantity of goods or services with prescribed delivery schedules.
  • Requirements Contracts - The Procurement Department uses these contracts for goods or services needed consistently over a period of time (normally one year). The contracts are for anticipated purchases by City agencies. The specifications, terms and conditions and price are generally fixed for the term of the contract but quantities listed are only estimates and no minimum purchase is guaranteed.
Bid Advertising
When a procurement is expected to exceed $10,000, the bid is publicly advertised in local newspapers. Competitive bids are publicly posted and copies are available by visiting, writing or calling the Procurement Public Information Unit.

When requesting a bid, vendors are encouraged to have the bid number, title and opening date of the invitation. This will help Procurement Department staff expedite requests.

Bidder Qualification
For Services, Supplies and Equipment bids, a determination of bidder responsibility and qualifications is generally made on a bid-by-bid basis after the bids are opened. Depending on the procurement, this may involve a premises inspection, review of past performance or other reviews to determine vendor responsibility.

For a large or complex procurement, the Procurement Department may utilize a pre-qualification process to review bidder qualifications. The process varies depending on the procurement. The pre-qualification process is designed to determine those prospective vendors with the capabilities to meet the needs of the department requesting the bid.

Standard Bid Requirements
Vendors should carefully read all bid invitations as they are held responsible for understanding the contents. The bid invitation contains the specifications for the procurement and the terms and conditions governing the contract to be awarded. The executed bid form becomes the actual contract. Vendors should carefully review each bid before submission to ensure that the bids meet the exact requirements of the specific bid invitation.

  • Bid Specifications - Each bid invitation contains specifications that define the goods or service being purchased. To the greatest extent possible, the City uses generic specifications to encourage competition.

    At times, a bid invitation may list a formal numbered specification, i.e., one that provides precise description and detail as to the characteristics of the product being purchased. When the Procurement Department references a formal numbered specification, no deviation from the specification is permitted.

    Unless otherwise specified, if catalogues, model numbers, trade names or cuts are included, they are for reference/informational purposes only. In such an instance a bidder may offer an article that it certifies to be equal in quality, performance and other essential characteristics. The Procurement Department has the final decision on whether the offering is acceptable.

    If in developing a bid, a vendor believes there is a problem with the correctness or fairness of the specification, the vendor should contact the Public Information Unit before the scheduled bid opening.

  • Pre-Bid Conferences - Occasionally the bid invitation will specify a pre-bid conference. Vendors are encouraged to attend these meetings. They provide vendors with an opportunity to discuss provisions of the bid invitation that are unclear and an opportunity to meet with buyers and staff responsible for the procurement. Where the Procurement Department specifies mandatory attendance at the pre-bid conference, vendors are eligible to bid or receive an award only if they attend the conference.

  • Addenda and Changes - When the Procurement Department makes a change to the bid invitation, a written addendum is posted at the Procurement Public Information Unit.

    The addendum becomes part of the bid and vendors must sign it and return it with the bid documents.

    Addenda are mailed to registered vendors on the bid mailing list for the goods or services being procured. Vendors who pick up bids from the Public Information Unit should check with the Public Information Unit for written addenda.

  • Bid Surety - The bid surety guarantees a vendor's commitment that if the company is awarded a bid, it will hold the price, terms and conditions firm or be liable for the loss suffered by the City.

    For bids under $10,000, no bid surety is required.

    For bids between $10,000 and $250,000, vendors may provide bid surety either through enrollment in the Master Bid Surety Program or by a certified check, bank money order, bank treasurer's check, cashier's check or U.S. Postal Money Order.

    For bids greater than $250,000 or for demolition services, the Master Bid Surety Program is not available. Bid surety is usually required in the form of a bid bond plus a certified check, bank money order, bank treasurer's check, cashier's check or U.S. Postal Money Order, whichever is stated in the bid specifications.

    Bid surety is a key element of bid responsiveness. Bid surety requirements and fees vary. Vendors should carefully check the bid for applicable bid surety requirements. Vendors who have questions are encouraged to call, write or fax the Procurement Public Information Unit.

  • Bid Duration - Unless stated otherwise in the bid, a bid once opened is valid for 60 days from the date of bid opening. If the City fails to notify a bidder of an award during that time, the bidder is not obligated to the prices submitted and may withdraw the bid.

  • Bid Forms - All bid proposals must be submitted on the forms provided and executed in ink or typewritten, including applicable bid bond and Minority, Women and Disabled Owned Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program forms. Bids submitted in pencil will be rejected.

  • Samples - Anything considered with the bid, including samples and request for approved equals, must be submitted with the bid.

  • Signatures - The contract page must be complete, including signatures of all appropriate individuals/officers in ink and a corporate seal affixed, if required. If a vendor is a corporation, but does not have the signatures of the corporate officers, the vendor may include with the bid a duly certified current corporate resolution evidencing the authority of the individual(s) who executed the bid.

  • Bid Delivery - All bids must be received by the Procurement Department on or before the exact time and date specified in the bid documents. Bidders assume all responsibility for delays or problems in delivery.
Performance Guaranty
The performance guaranty required depends on the type of bid and dollar amount involved.
  • Service, Supply and Equipment Contracts Under $250,000 - For Service, Supply and Equipment contracts under $250,000, unless otherwise specified in the bid and excluding all demolition contacts, the performance guaranty must be obtained through participation in the City's Master Performance Bond Program. This program requires the successful bidder to pay a fee to the City for the purchase of a performance guaranty. Applications for this program are available from the Procurement Public Information Unit.

    The award notification letter provides the details and fees for enrolling in the program. The fee is based on the estimated expenditures under the contract and, with one exception, is non-refundable despite fluctuations in the actual level of purchases made by the City. Vendors must return a check for the specified amount within 10 days after receipt of the award notification letter or the vendor may lose the award.

    The one exception to the non-refundable fee is that with a Requirements Contract, the vendor is entitled to a refund of the bond fee if no expenditures have been made during the life of the contract. The vendor must submit a written request to the Buyer, stating the circumstances and requesting a refund.

    For contracts that the City renews, the vendor must pay a fee for each renewal year in the amount specified in the renewal notice.

  • Demolition & Service, Supply and Equipment Contracts Over $250,000 - For Demolition and Service, Supply and Equipment Contracts over $250,000, the vendor must post an individual performance bond. With the award notification letter or promptly thereafter, the City will provide to the successful bidder, a performance bond form to be executed by a bonding company approved by the City. The bond form and applicable document preparation fee must be returned within 10 days after receipt of the bond form or the vendor may lose the award.

    For contracts that the City renews, the vendor must post an individual performance bond for each renewal year of the contract in the amount specified in the renewal notice.

    Successful bidders on demolition contracts must also post a labor and materialmen's bond and workmen's compensation affidavit on City forms.

Purchase Orders
When the successful vendor meets all of the pre-award/contract conditions (if they apply) the City issues a purchase order that details the actual items being purchased including quantity terms, bid reference, delivery instructions and location. Receipt of a valid City purchase order is a notice to proceed.

To ensure that funds are always available to pay its obligations, the City uses a purchase order encumbrance and certification system, with each purchase order budgeted, checked and reviewed before issuance. This means that:

  • For awards over $10,000, vendors should expect a purchase order two to four weeks after satisfying contract compliance and performance guaranty requirements.

  • For awards under $10,000, vendors should expect a purchase order two to four weeks following the award. For these awards, the purchase order completes the contract and is generally the only written notice the vendor receives.
Delivery
Vendors should deliver goods or services according to the terms of the bid, contract and purchase order. Under no circumstances should vendors make delivery before the receipt of a valid purchase order or an authorizing letter issued directly by the Procurement Department.

Vendors who deliver without authority run the risk that they will not be paid. The only exception to this is when the Procurement Department approves an emergency request. In this situation, the requesting department issues a preliminary Emergency Order. The Procurement Department then issues a formal Emergency Order.

Vendors should coordinate delivery with the City agency to whom they are furnishing goods or services.

For requirements contract purchase orders, vendors should not deliver: 1) goods requested after the ending date specified; 2) services past the ending date specified; 3) goods or services not authorized; or 4) goods or services with a value in excess of the amount specified. The only exception is receipt by the vendor of a valid advice of change to the purchase order, issued and signed by the Procurement Commissioner or authorized representative.

Packing Slips
Vendors must include with the delivery of goods a packing slip that contains the specific information referenced on the purchase order. For some services, a service slip must accompany the provision of services correctly referencing the purchase order information.

Overshipments
Unless the terms and conditions provide otherwise, the City will not accept overshipments. Vendors bear the responsibility for overshipments both in expense and pickup. The City may declare uncollected goods abandoned.

Inspection
Inspection of items or site inspections may be required before the City's acceptance and processing of payment. If the City determines that the items delivered do not meet specifications, the Inspections Unit of the Procurement Department will issue a formal rejection notice to the vendor. Payment will not be made until the questioned items are repaired or replaced to the City's satisfaction at which time the rejection notice will be lifted. Failure to replace rejected goods may result in the City declaring the vendor in default of the contract.

Questions should be directed to:

City of Philadelphia
Inspections Officer
Room 110 Municipal Services Building
1401 J. F. K. Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1685
Tel. 215-686-4791
Failure to Perform
Should a vendor fail to perform according to the specifications or within the time frame provided for in the contract, the City will contact the vendor. If there is a continued lack of performance, the City may declare the vendor in default and may exercise appropriate remedies. In such cases the City will invoice the defaulting vendor for any increase in costs and other damages sustained by the City, and seek full recovery from the defaulting firm and its bonding company. Given the serious consequences of this action, the vendor is advised to keep the City informed on any problems regarding performance.

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V. PUBLIC WORKS PURCHASES

Bid Advertising
All Public Works bids expected to exceed $10,000 are required to be publicly advertised in local newspapers. Public Works bids may also be advertised in selected trade publications and through local construction trade organizations. For more information on these sources, vendors should contact the Procurement Public Information Unit, Room 170, Municipal Services Building.

Public Works bids are available at the Procurement Public Information Unit. (See the full address on page 4.) There is a non-refundable fee for copies of plans and specifications. Vendors may request that Procurement mail a bid by sending prepayment and a self-addressed postage paid envelope.

Written requests that include the applicable fee should be directed to the Procurement Public Information Unit. Vendors should indicate the bid number, title and opening date of the Invitation to Bid. For some bids, vendors may be directed to a commercial establishment designated in the bid document for copies of plans and specifications.

Bidder Qualification
Public Works vendors are pre-qualified on a bid-by-bid basis. All prospective bidders are required to complete and submit a pre-qualification questionnaire on each Public Works bid.

Completed pre-qualification questionnaires are due on the date specified in the bid and as advertised, generally 10 - 14 days preceding the bid opening. Compliance with the pre-qualification procedure is mandatory.

The operating department responsible for the bid project in concert with the Procurement Department reviews all pre-qualification questionnaires and evaluates each vendor's qualifications/responsibility based on the data submitted in the questionnaire. The questionnaire allows the City to assess the ability, experience, responsibility, record of performance and financial resources of each prospective bidder.

Bidders are disqualified if:

  • The bidder fails to submit a pre-qualification questionnaire within the time specified, with no exceptions permitted;

  • The Procurement Department acting in concert with the operating department reviews the pre-qualification questionnaire and determines the vendor to be insufficiently qualified or otherwise not responsible to perform the work on a particular bid.

Any bidder found not responsible may appeal and request a hearing within 24 hours after receiving notice of the disqualification. Vendors should submit appeals and requests for hearings directly to the Procurement Commissioner.

Standard Bid Requirements
Vendors should carefully read all bid invitations as they are held responsible for understanding the contents. The bid invitation contains the specifications for the procurement and the terms and conditions governing the contract to be awarded. Vendors should carefully review each bid before submission to ensure that the bids meet the exact requirements of the specific bid invitation.

  • Bid Specifications - Each bid invitation contains specifications that define the scope of work being purchased. Architectural and engineering specifications and drawings form the basis of the Public Works bid specifications.

    At times, a bid invitation may list a formal numbered specification, i.e., one that provides precise description and detail as to the characteristics of the product being purchased. When a formal numbered specification is referenced, no deviation from the specification is permitted.

    Unless otherwise specified, if catalogues, model numbers, trade names or cuts are included, they are for reference/informational purposes only. In such an instance a bidder may offer an article that it certifies to be equal in quality, performance and other essential characteristics. The operating department has the final decision on whether the offering is acceptable.

    If in developing a bid, a vendor believes there is a problem with the correctness or fairness of the specification, the vendor should contact the operating department or Procurement Department before the scheduled bid opening.

  • Pre-Bid Conferences - The bid invitation will usually specify a pre-bid conference. Vendors are encouraged to attend these meetings. They provide vendors with an opportunity to discuss provisions of the bid invitation that are unclear and an opportunity to meet the staff responsible for the project. When attendance at the pre-bid conference is specified to be mandatory, vendors are eligible to bid only if they attend the conference.

  • Addenda and Changes - When the operating department makes a change to the bid invitation, the department issues a written addendum. An addendum is mailed to vendors who have picked up bids from the Procurement Public Information Unit. The addendum is also posted at the Procurement Public Information Unit.

    The addendum becomes part of the bid, and the vendor must sign the acknowledgment of the verification page and return it with the bid documents. Vendors should confirm whether any addenda have been issued before submitting a bid.

  • Bid Surety - The bid surety guarantees a vendor's commitment to enter into a contract if the company is awarded a bid. The contract will include all the same terms and conditions, specifications and price quote as included in the bid.

    For Public Works bids, the law requires that each bid be accompanied by a certified check, bank money order, bank treasurer's check, cashier's check or U.S. Postal Money Order in the amount of $200 and a bid bond in the amount of 10% of the gross amount of the bid. The Public Works specifications and requirements contain more detailed information on required bid surety and bid bonds.

  • Bid Duration - Generally, unless stated otherwise in the bid, a bid once opened is valid for a period of 60 days from the date of bid opening. If the City fails to award during that time, the bidder is not obligated to the prices submitted and may withdraw the bid.

    For certain Public Works bids where the award is delayed by a required approval of another government agency, the sale of bonds, the award of a grant or grants, the City, by law, is permitted to make an award within 120 days from the date of the bid opening.

  • Bid Forms - All bid proposals must be submitted on the loose proposal forms provided, including but not limited to the bid bond and applicable Minority, Women and Disabled Owned Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program participation forms. The bid must be executed in ink or typewritten. Bids submitted in pencil will be rejected.

  • Signatures - The signature page must be complete, including signatures of all appropriate individuals/officers in ink and a corporate seal affixed, if required. If a vendor is a corporation, but does not have the signatures of the corporate officers, the vendor may include with the bid a duly certified current corporate resolution evidencing the authority of the individual(s) who executed the bid.

  • Bid Delivery - All bids must be received by the Procurement Department on or before the exact time and date specified in the bid documents. All late bids are disqualified. Bidders assume all responsibility for delays or problems in delivery.

Performance Guaranty
For any Public Works contract exceeding $5,000, the successful vendor must post on City forms, an individual performance bond and a labor and materialmen's bond equivalent to 100% of the contract value.

With the award notification letter or promptly thereafter, the City will provide to the successful bidder, a performance bond form to be executed by an approved surety company. The bond form, applicable document preparation fee and certificate of insurance must be returned within 10 days after receipt of the bond form or the vendor may lose the award.

Failure to Perform
Should a vendor fail to perform according to the specifications or within the time frame provided for in the contact, the City will contact the vendor. If there is a continued lack of performance, the City may declare the vendor in default and call upon the surety company to assume the contract and seek full recovery from the defaulting vendor.

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VI. BID OPENING & EVALUATION

Bid Openings
As indicated in the previous sections, bids received after the date and time stipulated in the bid will not be considered for evaluation.

All bids received prior to the time and date stated in the bid or bid addendum, if applicable, will be opened publicly. Public Works bids are read aloud; all other bids are done so upon request.

Bid Information
Vendors may attend a bid opening and request that specific bids be read aloud. Immediately following the bid opening, the bids are generally not available for review. The bids are turned over to staff for evaluation.

An award on a bid is generally made within two to four weeks of the bid opening. Once an award is made, vendors interested in bid result information may contact the Procurement Public Information Unit. Procurement may make available copies of the bid schedule/bid tabulation and other information upon the vendor's paying applicable photocopying and mailing fees and providing a self-addressed envelope.

Evaluating Bids for Award
Bids are awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder. In determining "responsibility" the City may consider such factors as the bidder's prior experience, integrity, resources, and technical and financial ability to perform. Bids are not simply awarded to the firm that submits the lowest price. If the City finds that a vendor is not a responsible bidder, but would otherwise be eligible for the award, the vendor will be notified and provided an opportunity to appeal the City's determination.

Bids submitted must also be "responsive" to all bid requirements, which include:

  • Submitting proper bid surety;
  • Submitting a complete bid including correct signatures;
  • Responding to any requirements of M/W/DS-DBE participation;
  • Responding precisely to all specifications;
  • Meeting all requirements of the specifications.
Failure to meet all requirements may lead to disqualification of the bid.

Split Awards
The City may make awards on a bid on an item-by-item basis. This is usually done where the items are not part of an integrated set and the City can obtain better prices without sacrificing delivery or service. The City may also decide after the bid opening, that it is not going to award a particular item.

Vendors should be aware that statements in the bid that they are bidding on an "all or nothing" basis may cause the loss of an award should the City decide to split an award or delete an item.

Rebids
The City may reject all bids if it deems it in the best interest of the City to do so and cancel the bid entirely. The City may, in its discretion, issue a new bid. Bids may be cancelled because of poor response by the vendor community, because the initial bid reveals a need to alter the bid specifications or because the goods or services are no longer required by the City.

In most rebids or cancellations, the City does not send out a separate notification indicating the action being taken or the reason for it. However, this information is on file at the Procurement Public Information Unit.

Bidder Disqualification
Vendors may be disqualified from doing business with the City on a bid-by-bid basis and have their names removed from the mailing list for several reasons, including but not limited to, the following:

  • failing to deliver or comply with bid specifications, contract terms and conditions;
  • failing to deliver or perform in a timely manner;
  • offering any fee, compensation, commission, gift, favor or gratuity to any City employee exercising any procurement responsibility -- includes any discount or privilege not available to all City employees;
  • failing to disclose a conflict of interest;
  • having a criminal offense conviction involving public contracting;
  • failing to timely pay City, State or Federal taxes.

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VII. RESPONDING TO A BID

Postage
All bids should be weighed by the bidder and postage verified before mailing. The U.S. Postal Service does not deliver or return unstamped mail. The Procurement Department does not accept postage due deliveries.

Recycled Materials
City Ordinance encourages the City to purchase goods that use recycled materials where they are available and cost-effective. Where the City specifically requires recycled materials in the contract, this will be stated in the bid. Vendors bidding products made with recycled materials should notify the appropriate City officials prior to bid opening.

Prompt Payment Discounts
Bidders offering a discount for prompt payment should indicate this in the space provided in the bid form. To be acceptable, an offer to discount must be for a period of no less than 15 days. Vendors should not use the "Discount Offered" section to provide other than a discount for prompt payment. Bidders specifying payment terms other than an acceptable discount will be paid according to the City's standard payment process.

Bid Errors
If a vendor discovers an error in its bid, the bidder must notify the Procurement Department in writing within two business days after the bid opening. For Public Works bids, the bidder must also notify the appropriate operating department. Bids may not be withdrawn after the bid opening because of a mistake except as provided under Pennsylvania law.

Bid Withdrawals
Except as otherwise provided under Pennsylvania law, no bid, once opened, may be withdrawn. In the event that a bidder, who is not legally released from its bid, fails to execute a contract or furnish the required bonds/insurance, the City may take one or more of the following actions:

  • Confiscate the bid surety;
  • Remove the firm's name from the City bid mailing list;
  • Declare the firm to be a "non responsible bidder" and disqualify it from doing business with the City;
  • Exercise any other rights the City may have.
Contract Extensions
A contract extension may take place if there is a provision in the bid that permits the City to extend the contract at the City's option. If the City exercises this option, the vendor must extend the contract according to the contract terms.

Because of some unforeseen problem, the City may request that a vendor extend the contract and price under current terms and conditions. In this situation, if a contract extension is requested, the vendor has the option to extend or allow the contract to terminate.

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VIII. CONTRACT AWARDS

Contract Award Notification
For all bids issued by the Procurement Department, the successful vendor(s) will receive an award notification letter. This letter provides notice of a pending contract/purchase and frequently indicates certain contingency requirements that the vendor must satisfy within the designated time-frame. The award notification letter is not a notice to proceed. Vendors should not deliver any goods or proceed with any work until they have received a valid purchase order or for Public Works contracts, a Notice to Proceed.

Contract Compliance Program
The successful vendor must satisfy the City's Contract Compliance Program which seeks to ensure equal opportunity employment. If a vendor has an approved Contract Compliance Plan on file with the Commission on Human Relations, no further action is necessary. If a vendor does not have a plan on file, the vendor must complete and submit an Employment Practices Questionnaire. Questions about this program should be directed to:

Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations
34 South 11th Street
6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3695
Tel. 215-686-4682
Performance Guaranty
The performance guaranty ensures that the successful bidder will perform according to all contract requirements. The performance guaranty required depends on the type of bid and dollar amount involved. See the applicable performance guaranty descriptions in the Service, Supply and Equipment Purchases and Public Works Purchases Sections.

Insurance Certificates
If required as part of the bid, the vendor must provide insurance certificates.

Contract Execution
Failure to submit the required bonds or payment of the required bond fees or failure to complete any of the other contract execution requirements may result in revocation of the award. In such cases the City has the right to obtain the goods or services from another vendor, use the bid surety to offset any resulting increase in costs or other damages, and otherwise seek full recovery of damages.

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IX. VENDOR PAYMENT

Invoices
Vendors should submit an invoice for payment to the receiving department after the delivery or service has been completed. The invoice should correctly reference the purchase order number, the vendor name, address and vendor ID number, the quantity and type of item or service and the price. The unit of purchase on the invoice should agree with the unit cited on the purchase order.

Vendors should submit three copies of the invoice to the receiving department listed on the purchase order.

Payment
The City attempts to process payments in a timely manner, generally within 45 - 60 days following acceptance of the goods or services. Delays can occur because of incomplete or inaccurate invoicing information. Common causes for payment delays include:

  • purchase order number is missing;
  • mathematical errors;
  • discrepancies with the purchase order.
The Procurement Department acts as the contracting agent for City departments. Receiving and accepting products and services, and promptly paying vendors are the responsibility of the receiving City department. Vendors should bring any problems concerning payment to the attention of the appropriate City receiving department. The name and number of the contact person can generally be found on the purchase order. If all necessary paperwork has been submitted to the department and questions remain, vendors should contact:
City of Philadelphia
Accounting Verification
Room 1340 Municipal Services Building
1401 J. F. K. Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tel. 215-686-6365

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X. SUMMARY OF MINORITY, WOMAN AND DISABLED OWNED DISADVANTAGED BUSINESS ENTERPRISE PROGRAMS

Under Mayoral Executive Order 1-93, Chapter 17-500 of the Philadelphia Code and various Federal Regulations, the City of Philadelphia promotes the economic development of minority, woman and disabled disadvantaged business enterprises (collectively, M/W/DS-DBEs). The City's Minority Business Enterprise Council (MBEC) operates programs that afford disadvantaged business enterprises equal access and opportunity to compete for and secure contracts with the City of Philadelphia.

Questions regarding certification or concerning MBEC bid instructions should be directed to:

City of Philadelphia
Minority Business Enterprise Council
Municipal Services Building
1401 J. F. K. Blvd., Room 330
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1666

Tel. 215 686-6232/Fax 215 686-3878

Certification
Vendors interested in participating on a City contract as a certified minority, woman or disabled disadvantaged business enterprise must apply to the MBEC for certification. To be certified, the firm must be a small business and must be owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged persons.

The definitions for socially and economically disadvantaged persons include:

  • M-DBE - A person who is African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino American or Native American.

  • W-DBE - A person of the female gender.

  • DS-DBE - A person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of his or her major life activities.
The MBEC will evaluate the ownership and control of a M/W/DS-DBE which must be real and substantial. Ownership of a sole proprietorship or partnership, joint venture or corporation must be held by a socially and economically disadvantaged member of the respective group who owns at least 51% of the beneficial ownership interest in the firm. Control includes an evaluation of the socially and economically disadvantaged person's ability to control and manage all decisions of the business including day-to-day operations.

MBEC maintains a directory of all certified firms listed alphabetically and by type of service or product. This Directory of Certified Firms is available for a fee through the MBEC.

Participation
Under Mayoral Executive Order 1-93, all bids are subject to an antidiscrimination policy. Bidders are prohibited from discriminating and are encouraged to solicit quotes from and establish contracting commitments with M/W/DS-DBEs on an equitable basis with other firms. In furtherance of Executive Order 1-93, participation ranges for M/W/DS-DBEs are included on certain Public Works bids and Service, Supply and Equipment bids. Only firms certified by MBEC prior to the bid opening date will be credited toward the participation range(s). Certified firms cannot be named in a bid without their consent.

For complete definitions, requirements and forms for M/W/DS-DBE contracting and subcontracting, vendors should refer to the bid package's "Instructions, Forms and Contract Provisions For the Participation of Minority, Woman and Disabled Owned Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in City Contracts." Since failure to submit the required information on M/W/DS-DBE participation can result in rejection of the bid as nonresponsive, vendors are encouraged to contact MBEC with any questions regarding participation and/or certification.

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XI. OTHER PUBLIC PROCUREMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Individual City departments are responsible for acquiring professional or consulting services and small purchases. Vendors interested in pursuing these opportunities should contact the Business/Administrative Officer for the specific departments that they feel can best use their services.

Other bid opportunities may exist in the following organizations. Vendors with an interest in these organizations should contact them directly for more information.

Philadelphia Gas Works
Purchasing Section & Materials Management
215-684-6908

Philadelphia Parking Authority
Purchasing Department
215-563-7670

Philadelphia Housing Authority
Department of Property & Materials/Purchasing Office
215-684-4211

School District of Philadelphia
Materials Management Office
215-875-3837

Redevelopment Authority
City of Philadelphia
Operations Division
215-209-8726

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The Mayor's Business Action Team -- Your Philadelphia Business Partner

The Mayor's Business Action Team (MBAT) is a one stop shop dedicated to assisting and supporting Philadelphia business.

An integral part of the Philadelphia Department of Commerce, MBAT works to ensure full delivery of City services by guiding businesses with questions to appropriate City departments and agencies and then following through until all the issues are resolved.

MBAT also offers assistance with financing programs, start up information, licensing, business expansion and relocation, and any issue related to doing business in the City of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia businesses, and those thinking about locating to the City, can call (215) 686-7300 to reach a Business Account Representative.


City of Philadelphia
Public Information Unit
Room 170 Municipal Services Building
1401 J. F. K. Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1685

Tel. 215-686-4720 Fax 215-686-4728


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