Purchasing Procedures

  • The procurement method selected by the purchasing officer generally depends on the estimated cost of the equipment, supplies or services to be purchased.

    Under $5,000 ($4,999 and under)-Awarded directly to vendor - competition where practicable and Contracted vendors will be used when feasible.
    $5,000-$9,999- Telephone or Written Quotes to three (3) bidders/offerors (Competition is at the discretion of the Purchasing staff.  Price quotations from minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, or business located in the City of Richmond are encouraged.)
    $10,000-$49,999- Four unsealed Bids/Proposals - The Purchasing Department is solely responsible for obtaining quotes on behalf of the departments/schools. Competition must be sought from a minimum of four valid sources, written or electronically, utilizing a Informal Invitation for Bid or Informal Request for Proposal.  Purchasing staff shall include a minimum of one vendor located in the City of Richmond or one vendor who is considered to be a minority-owned or women-owned business, unless circumstances make this impossible.
    $50,000 above-Mandatory Formal Invitation for Bids/Request for Proposals - When the estimated sum of an individual purchase or the estimated aggregate or sum of all phases reaches or exceeds $50,000, competition must be sought, written or electronically, utilizing an Invitation for Bid or a Request for Proposal.  Purchasing staff shall include a minimum of one vendor located in the City of Richmond or one vendor who is considered to be a minority-owned business or women-owned business, unless circumstances make this impossible.  In addition, the solicitation is advertised in the local newspaper.

    Purchasing Methods

    Formal Sample Invitation for Bid (Competitive Sealed Bidding) Timeframe: 15-20 days
    The Division of Purchasing uses written or electronic sealed bids for all purchases in which the estimated cost of the equipment, supplies, construction or services exceeds $50,000. Written or electronic sealed bids are processed in accordance with the Virginia Public Procurements Act.

    The "Invitation for Bid" document includes the following information:

    1. Invitation for Bid number - The next available number in the Bid Book that is located in the Division of Purchasing
    2. Purchasing officer's name and signature
    3. Delivery location
    4. Current date
    5. Opening date and time
    6. Terms and conditions (printed on the back of the Invitation for Bids form)
    7. Line number (item/code number)
    8. Quantity
    9. Unit of measure
    10. Commodity description
    11. Stock/model number
    12. The Division of Purchasing will use competitive sealed bidding for purchases under $50,000 when, in the Division's opinion, it is in its best interest to do so.

    Formal Bids will not be accepted by facsimile or e-mail. Bids must be signed, received time/date stamped or electronically received, in order for bid to be considered. Any bid received late will not be accepted. Bids will be evaluated and awarded to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder.

    Formal Sample Request for Proposal (Competitive Negotiation);  School/Department RFP Form  Timeframe: 45-120 days Depending on Complexity
    Professional and non-professional services will be procured by competitive negotiation as provided for in the Virginia Public Procurement Act. Competitive negotiations will also be used to procure other services which have highly technical or complex requirements, or which have unknown quantities.

    The following steps are involved in the competitive negotiation process:

    The school/department determines that a need exists for outside professional or non-professional services and provides the Division of Purchasing with a description of the project, including the Statement of Need of the services required.

    The Request for Proposals document should contain at a minimum the following:

    1. Cover sheet
    2. Statement of Need - description of the proposed project
    3. General requirements
    4. Background - history behind the need for the desired services
    5. Desired qualifications of the offeror
    6. Proposal format
    7. Bond(s) and insurance that may be required
    8. Criteria to evaluate proposals and points allowed
    9. Negotiations
    10. Required attachments and/or exhibits
    11. The proposal number and closing date and time

    Proposals will not be accepted by facsimile or e-mail. Proposals must be received time/date stamped or electronically received, in order for the proposal to be considered. Any proposal received late will not be accepted.

    Formal Bids and Request for Proposals requires advertisement in the local newspaper. The Division of Purchasing prepares and places advertisements in the "Richmond Times Dispatch," "Richmond Voice," and "Free Press" newspapers (at its discretion) of general circulation including a brief description of the requested services, location, place where the RFP can be obtained, and the time, date and location of submission.  The Bid or Request for Proposal is also placed on the department's website.

    The Division of Purchasing may email or mail a copy of the Bid or RFP to firms identified on the Bidders List and to other interested parties requesting a copy of the RFP. 

    • Advertisements for Formal Bids, Request for Proposals and Request for Qualifications are printed in the Legal Notices/Section in the Sunday's Richmond Times Dispatch Wednesday's Richmond Voice and Thursday's Richmond Free Press.
    • Please note that some documents may be reviewed at the following locations or as indicated

    Metropolitan Business League
    115 Marshall Street
    Richmond, VA 23261

    iSqFt Plan Room
    4505 Columbus St., Suite 104
    Virginia Beach, VA 23462

    McGraw-Hill Construction
    9 North 3rd Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Greater Virginia Constractor's Assn.
    2406 Chamberlayne Avenue
    Richmond, VA 23222

    Builders Exchange
    3207 Hermitage Road
    Richmond, VA 23237

    Central Virginia Business & Contractors Assn.
    501 E Franklin Street, Suite 212
    Richmond, Virginia 23219