Vendors

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Information for Vendors

GENERAL

The City of Fairfax, Virginia (“City”) encourages full and open competition whenever practicable.  Furthermore, the City seeks to maximize the value of every dollar expended. 

All City procurements are made in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA) and other provisions of the Code of Virginia and City Ordinances. 

These guidelines provide basic information to assist vendors in doing business with the City.  For additional information or to view and download a current solicitation, visit Current Solicitations.  If you have specific questions regarding procurement, please contact Donna Strouth at 703-385-7875 or via email at donna.strouth@fairfaxva.gov.   

 

AUTHORITY

 The Director of Finance is the City’s Purchasing Agent.  The Purchasing Agent has delegated authority to the Buyer to solicit and contract for all supplies, material, equipment, construction and services on behalf of the City of Fairfax. 

 

SOLICITATION PROCESS

The City purchases a vast array of goods and services to support City operations.  Our goal is to procure these services and goods in the most cost effective manner at the time and place necessary to meet the needs of various City departments.  The City utilizes a competitive bidding process, with awards made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, whenever possible.  The process is done through either an Invitation for Bid (IFB), eVA Quick quotes, or direct quotes.  The City also employs a competitive negotiation process or Request for Proposals (RFP) when factors other than price must be considered in selecting a vendor or as mandated by VPPA.  All solicitations are posted on the City’s website as well as the eProcurement portal of Commonwealth of Virginia (eVA). 

The procurement method employed for each transaction is determined by the type of commodity and services being purchased as well as the associated risk and the total value of the transaction.

 

RESPONDING TO SOLICITATIONS

Vendors should ensure the specific solicitation instructions are strictly followed.  Any questions or requests for clarification should be submitted as specified in the solicitation.  Although every solicitation will outline the required procedures, the following items are useful to note:

Pre-bid or Pre-Proposal Conference

To the extent necessary and practicable the City will employ these types of conferences to provide an opportunity for bidders/offerors to receive more information and clarification about the project being procured.  Attendance at conferences is stipulated in the solicitation. If the solicitation mandates that bidders/offerors must attend the conference (mandatory conferences), then bids/offers will be accepted only from those vendors represented at the conference.  For mandatory conference/site visits, vendors are cautioned that the City is authorized to establish a cut-off time for late arrival, after which no one will be permitted access to the conference.

Receipt of Sealed Bids or Proposals

Solicitations will state when sealed bids or proposals are to be received.  Deadlines that fall on a period of suspended business operations (e. g. snow day or any other type of emergency that closes the City’s administrative operations) are automatically extended to the next regular business day at the time stipulated in the IFB/RFP. Bidders and offerors are strongly urged to follow the instructions for submission included in each solicitation to ensure that their submission can be deemed to be responsive.  All bids and proposals must be submitted to the following address:

CITY OF FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, FINANCE OFFICE
10455 ARMSTRONG STREET, SUITE 312
FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA 22030

Late, unsealed, or electronic submissions will not be accepted.  The City is not responsible for delays in the post office or express courier delivery services.

Withdrawal of Bids or Proposals

Guidelines on how to withdraw a bid or proposal either before or after opening are contained in each solicitation.  

 

AWARDING CONTRACTS

Contracts are awarded based on a combination of factors that are the most advantageous to the City.

 

VENDOR NAME AND ADDRESS

Contracts and/or Purchase Orders will be issued only to the firm’s name appearing on the bid or proposal form which shall be declared on the vendor’s W-9 federal tax identification form.  If Purchase Orders or payments are to be mailed to an address or addresses other than that shown on the face of the form, the bidder or offeror must so indicate and list the complete address.   

 

VISITS BY VENDORS

Vendors and their representatives are welcomed and encouraged to contact the Buyer; however, scheduling an appointment is strongly recommended.  Please refer to the “General” section of this document for contact information.  The furnishing of product or service information by a vendor is considered to be a normal sales effort and does not entitle the vendor to preferential treatment in the awarding of contracts.

 

OPEN RECORDS

Procurement proceedings, records, contracts, and orders are public records, open to the inspection of any citizen or interested parties, in accordance with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Virginia FOIA) and the VPPA.  Bid and proposal records are not available to the public for inspection until after the award except that any bidder, upon request, shall be afforded the opportunity to inspect bid records within a reasonable time after the bid opening and evaluation of all bids but prior to award, except in the event that the City decides not to accept any of the bids and to rebid.  Any competitive negotiation offeror, upon request, shall be afforded the opportunity to inspect proposal records within a reasonable time after the evaluation and negotiation of proposals are completed, except in the event that the City decides not to accept any of the proposals and to re-solicit.

Trade secrets or proprietary information submitted by a bidder, offeror, or contractor in connection with a procurement transaction shall not be subject to public disclosure under the Virginia FOIA; however, the bidder or offeror must invoke the protections of the VPPA prior to or upon submission of the data or materials, and must identify the data or material to be protected and state the reason why protection is necessary. 

 

PROTESTS

Any bidder or offeror who desires to protest the award of or decision to award a contract shall submit such protest in writing to the Purchasing Agent, no later than ten (10) days after the public notice of the award or the announcement of the decision to award, whichever occurs first.  Public notice of the award or announcement of the decision to award shall be given in the manner prescribed in the terms and conditions of that solicitation.  The written protest shall include the basis for the protest and the relief sought.  The Purchasing Agent shall issue a decision in writing with ten (10) days stating the reasons for the action taken.  This decision shall be final unless the bidder or offeror appeals within ten (10) days of the receipt of the written decision by invoking administrative procedures meeting the standards of the Code of Virginia, Section 2.2-4365, if available, or alternatively, by instituting legal action as provided in the Code of Virginia, Section 2.2-4364.  

The City assumes no responsibility for any conclusions or interpretations made by the vendors based on the information made available herein.

 

ETHICS IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

In accordance with Code of Virginia, Sections 2.2-4371 and 2.2-4372:

  • No bidder, offeror, contractor, or subcontractor shall confer upon any public employee having official responsibility for a procurement  transaction any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, service or anything of more than nominal value, present or promised, unless consideration of substantially equal or greater value is exchanged.
  • No contractor or subcontractor shall demand or receive from any of his suppliers or his subcontractors, as an inducement for the award of a subcontract or order, any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services or anything, present or promised, unless consideration of substantially equal or greater value is exchanged.
  • No person shall demand or receive any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services or anything of value in return for an agreement not to compete on a public contract.
  • If a subcontractor or supplier makes a kickback or other prohibited payment as described in this section, the amount thereof shall be conclusively presumed to have been included in the price of the subcontract or order and ultimately borne by the City and shall be recoverable from both the maker and the recipient.  Recovery from one offending party shall not preclude recovery from the other offending parties.
  • No subcontractor or supplier shall make kickbacks as described in this section.