How the City Buys

Purchasing, a division of the Finance Department is the central buying office responsible for making general purchases of products and services. The Purchasing Division is also responsible for establishing contracts through which all Departments are able to buy commonly used products or services. In addition to the purchases made by Purchasing, products and services are also purchased directly from vendors by all City Departments.

The Purchasing Process

The City starts the process of purchasing a product or service by soliciting offers from prospective vendors. Solicitation for offers is the City’s way of formally announcing to the public the method it plans to use to purchase a certain product or service.

A purchase is initiated by one of the following types of solicitations:

  • RFQ - Request for Quote
  • RFP - Request for Proposal

The type of product or service being solicited determines the method used and the solicitation determines the type of response a vendor should submit.