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Doing Business with Leon County

Leon County Purchasing Division
1800-3 North Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308
850-606-1600
850-606-1601 - Fax

Introduction

This guide has been prepared to help inform vendors of the nature, size, organization, product mix, and purchasing procedures of the Board of County Commissioners of Leon County.

Agency Profile 

The Board of County Commissioners of Leon County (BCC) is comprised of seven elected members with principal responsibility for governing the County and has authority to determine and provide for local services. 

Organization of the government under the Board consists of the Commission Office, the County Administrator's Office, the County Attorney's Office, and the Departments of Public Services, Public Works, Growth and Environmental Management, and Management Services.  Each of these departments is comprised of divisions that are responsible for a wide range of services to the public and/or county and other governments.

Some of the public services include road and storm water maintenance, animal and mosquito control, library services, veteran's services,  affordable housing, zoning, building permits and inspection, and environmental permitting and enforcement.

Examples of services provided to governmental units are purchasing, human resources, management information systems, risk management, and fleet management.

Purchasing Division

 Purchasing for all Board operations is centralized in the Purchasing Division.  The Purchasing Division is a part of the Office of Financial Stewardship and operates the Purchasing, Warehouse, and Property Control Programs.

Office Hours:  County offices are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Staff in the Purchasing Division will always try to meet with you promptly.  However, to ensure that the person you want to see is available, we invite you to make an appointment before visiting.

Parking: Public parking is available in the visitors' spaces off Blair Stone Road, in the front of the Purchasing Building.

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Minority Business Enterprise Program

The Leon County Board of County Commissioners has established a Minority, Women and Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) program office to provide businesses with a means of  participating in Leon County=s procurement process for the purpose of achieving economic parity among all Leon County Vendors..  The program shall:

  • Identify and work to eliminate and policy and/or barriers that inhibit MWSBE participation in Leon County's procurement process.
     

Establish realistic targets to increase MW/SBE participation.

    Provide information and assistance to MW/SBEs regarding procurement opportunities with Leon County.

  • Implement mechanisms and processes for monitoring MW/SBE compliance by prime contractors.

      For further information vendors may contact the Minority Women & Small Business Enterprise Division, 1800-3 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida, phone
      (850) 606-1650; fax (850) 606-1651; E-mail address: BoatwrightL@leoncountyfl.gov

      Vendor Registration

      Leon County has no formal vendor registration or pre-qualification process.  Once a vendor is engaged by the County, however, there is important vendor information needed in order to place the vendor in the financial system so the County can make payments.

      All formal bids and requests for proposals are posted on the Leon County website at: http://cms.leoncountyfl.gov/Home/Departments/Office-of-Financial-Stewardship/Purchasing/Bid.asp.

        The Leon County Purchasing Division provides bid and RFP information to DemandStar.com for notification to their vendor subscriber list. This list categorizes each vendor by commodity codes for the specific goods or services offered by the vendor.  Subscribers are notified by fax or e‑mail whenever a formal sealed bid has been issued for the commodity or service offered by the vendor.  If you are interested in this service, contact www.DemandStar.com for details on the annual subscription and its costs. The application asks for general information about your firm and lists the commodities and services the firm wishes to sell to the County.

          Vendors may also may get notice through legal notices placed in the Tallahassee Democrat.

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            Purchasing Activity

             The Board of County Commissioners spends approximately $40,000,000+ annually for goods and services.  Some of the expenditure categories are:

            * Automobiles and Trucks
            * Automotive and Equipment Parts
            * Computers and Peripherals
            -Mainframe
            -Personal Computers 
                 -Client/server
                 -Network hardware/software-Computer Software & Supplies
            * Oils, Fluids and Lubricants
            * Papers
            * Road Maintenance Materials
            * Professional Services
            -Advertising
            -Architectural
            -Communications
            -Consulting
            -Engineering
            -Financial
            -Legal
            -Public Relations
            * Construction Services
            * Gasoline and Diesel Fuels
            * Heavy Equipment
            * Janitorial Services
            * Office Equipment
            * Office Furniture
            * Office Supplies
            * Repair and Maintenance Services
            -Automotive
            -Body Work
            -Communications
            -Computer
            -Heavy Equipment
            -Office Equipment
            -HVAC, fire/security systems
            * Tools, hardware and paint
            * Chemicals(water treatment, insecticides, fertilizers
            * Plants, trees, lawn/garden supplies & equipment
            * Uniforms and clothing supplies

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            Purchase Methods

            Requisitions for purchases begin in the program areas and are sent to the Purchasing Division.  The operating divisions of the BCC participate in locating vendors and the selection process for the goods/services they need.  The method of purchase is governed by the Leon County Purchasing Policy and Chapter 287, Florida Statutes.  Vendors are selected and prices determined as appropriate for:

            1. Purchases under $5000, by informal price quotes;

            2. Purchases under $20,000 but over $5,000 require written vendor   quotes.

            3. Purchases over $20,000 to $50,000 through an informal bid process of written specifications provided to vendors for response.

            4. Formal Invitations to Bid (ITB) or Requests for Proposals (RFP) for items in excess of $50,000.  These are advertised in the legal notices in the Tallahassee Democrat.

            5. Cooperative purchasing practices include utilization of State Term Contracts competitively awarded by the Division of Purchasing, Department of Management Services or similar contracts by other governmental agencies which allow cooperative utilization.

            6. Purchasing Cards are utilized by many staff members who can purchase goods within prescribed limits.

             

            In addition, the County may make sole source or emergency purchases as authorized by policy or law.

            Marketing to Leon County

             Vendors may discuss products and services, delivery schedules, price ranges, types of contract, etc. with purchasing personnel and/or interested personnel in individual program areas.  However, with the exception of field purchase orders, and purchasing cards which may be used to purchase incidental and/or emergency materials or services, only the Purchasing Division is empowered to act as agent in awarding, executing, modifying, or canceling purchase orders or contracts.  No goods or services including placement of trial or demonstration equipment are to be provided to any County office or personnel without the express authority from the Purchasing Division.

            Purchase orders, contracts and bids, once awarded, are a matter of public record.  Vendors may find it useful to inquire into previous sources and prices of goods or services they wish to offer.  This information is available from the Purchasing Division, usually at no charge.  Photocopies of records are available at a nominal charge per page

            It is suggested that an advance phone call stating the nature of the requested information will allow the staff to serve you better.

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            Special Problems

            Unacceptable terms or conditions on a purchase order, invitation to bid or request for proposals:  Contact the Purchasing Division before shipping goods, providing services, or submitting a bid or proposal.  Do not unilaterally increase prices, substitute items, alter schedules, offer unauthorized alternates, etc.

            Invoices:  Send three (3) copies, referencing the purchase order/contract number, to the program office listed on the purchase order (the SHIP TO office) - not to the Purchasing Division.

            Late payments:  Contact the receiving office as listed on the purchase order.  Invoices are processed in the receiving office, not the Purchasing Division.

            Verbal purchase orders:  Verbal orders are not to be accepted unless the orderer is able to provide the purchase order number which has been assigned, and assure that the hard copy confirmation will follow.  It is recommended that verbal purchase orders be confirmed by phoning the Purchasing Division.

            Expired term purchase orders or contracts:  Goods or services are not to be provided after the expiration date of a term order/contract.  It is the vendor's responsibility to discontinue service and/or retrieve his/her equipment unless a written extension or renewal order is received in advance.

            Protests:  The procedures to be followed in filing a notice of formal protest are contained in Section 5.13 of the Leon County Purchasing Policy.  Each invitation to bid also contains a short overview.  Upon request, the Purchasing Division will provide the vendor with a copy of the policy section.

            Ethics in Purchasing

            The Purchasing Division believes that maintaining the integrity of the County's procurement process is foremost in our duties.  Public purchasing staff are required to maintain complete independence and impartiality in dealing with vendors, both in fact and appearance, and to ensure there is public confidence that contracts are awarded equitably and economically.

            The Purchasing Division staff subscribes to the Code of Ethics of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing and the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees contained in Chapter 112, Part III, Florida Statutes.  Vendors are respectfully requested to refrain form offering anything of value to staff of the Purchasing Division.

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