Competitive Bidding Requirements
A "Competitive Bidding" process allows two or more vendors to compete for business with the City. It allows the City to receive the benefits of quality products and service at the best price and delivery terms given the City’s needs. Competitive Bidding is the preferred method of making purchases because it provides a process that the public deems fair, impartial, efficient, nondiscriminatory and maximizes the purchasing power of the City’s financial resources.
Unless specifically exempt by City Ordinance or this purchasing manual all goods and services purchased by the City must follow a competitive bid process.
Formal and Informal Bidding Requirements
Informal purchasing allows the City to solicit written bids or price quotations for supplies and services by letters, fax, email, or via internet. This includes all purchases over $1,000.00 and less than $5,000.00 that are not otherwise addressed in this policy. Informal purchases are those purchases for which advertising in the legal organ or newspaper is not required and one or more vendors may be competing. While informal purchases require the bidder to submit by a particular date and time, the bids may be submitted by mail, fax, email or internet and are not required to be sealed.
Formal purchases are those purchases that require the City to advertise in the local organ or other media for a specific time prior to opening the bids. All potential bidders are invited to submit bids. Bids are submitted by a date and time certain. All bids must be submitted prior to the deadline via mail or delivery, and are date and time stamped upon receipt by the City. Bids must be sealed and are opened in public and read aloud in public.
Multi-Step Sealed Bidding Method
Multi-step bidding is a two-step process consisting of a technical phase composed of one or more phases in which bidders submit un-priced offers to be evaluated by the City of Covington. The first step follows the competitive sealed proposal method. All bidders whose technical offers are deemed acceptable by the City of Covington are permitted to participate in step two of the process – the offer of price, which follows the competitive sealed bid method.
The advantage of the multi-step sealed bidding process is that is allows the benefit of both the competitive sealed proposal and sealed bid methods, the evaluation and acceptance of technical proposals with discussion and the award of contract to the lowest responsible bidder.
The multi-step sealed bid method includes all of the requirements of the competitive sealed proposal and competitive sealed bid. This method should only be used when definitive specifications are not suitable to permit an award of contract based on price. The following conditions warrant the use of the multi-step bidding method:
1. Available specifications or descriptions are not definite or complete
2. Definite criteria exist for evaluating technical proposals
3. More than one technically qualified source is available
4. Sufficient time will be available for using the multi-step method
5. A fixed price contract will be used.