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Frequently Asked Questions
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1. What does the Purchasing Department buy?
The Purchasing Department buys goods, supplies, maintenance, construction and other services for the City of Venice.

2. How do you buy?
The Purchasing Code (City Ordinance Code Section 2) requires that all orders for goods and services exceeding $100,000 are procured using the formal bid process. Orders for goods and services less than $100,000 are procured using the informal process. Individual buyers are responsible for purchasing all commodities or services assigned to them.

3. What is the bidder's list and how can I get on it?
The city maintains a bidders list for which vendors must apply to be included. There are two different applications available, depending upon the type of business. Providers of both commodities and professional services, must submit both applications. All vendors interested in being certified as a minority vendor must complete a certification application. Please see the link to: How to become a vendor.
Applications are available for download on this web site or at the Purchasing Department, Second Floor, Room 204, City Hall, 401 West Venice Ave., Venice, FL 34285.

4. How do I complete the bid proposal?
Bidders should carefully review all specifications, terms and conditions contained in the bid invitation prior to submitting a proposal. If you can supply the requested items, complete the request for bid form. Make certain that pricing is correct and that all forms requiring signature are signed. The bid proposal must be typed or written in ink and accompanied by all supporting literature requested in the bid.

5. How do I submit the bid proposal?
Bid proposals must be returned by mail or hand-delivered to the Purchasing Department, Second Floor, Room 204, City Hall, 401 West Venice Ave., Venice, FL 34285. It is important to submit the exact number of copies specified in the proposal using the enclosed label.
Proposals must be received in the Purchasing Department by 2:00 p.m. on the day of the bid opening (indicated on the form). Late bids will not be considered -no exceptions.
Bids received after that time will be returned to you unopened. Bid openings are held in the City Hall conference room specified. You are welcome to attend.

6. How do you advertise for bids?
The Purchasing Department advertises bids each week in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper. Bidding opportunities are also posted on the city bulletin board on the first floor of City Hall, Room 101.
A listing of construction-related projects is provided to the following trade papers: Construction Bulletin, Construction Market Data and the Dodge Report.

7. Can the city waive advertising for bids?
The city may waive bid advertising for the following reasons:

In the event of an emergency affecting the public's health and safety, for sole source items which cannot be competitively bid.
When in its best interest, the city may purchase goods and/or services from contracts and/or agreements awarded by the state of Florida and the federal government (GSA contracts).

8. What are the restrictions for submitting a bid?
A person or affiliate who has been placed on the state of Florida convicted vendor list following a conviction for a public entity crime may not submit a bid on a contract to provide any goods or services to a public entity, may not submit a bid on a contract with a public entity for the construction or repair of a public building or public work, may not submit bids on leases of real property to a public entity, may not be awarded or perform work as a contractor, supplier, subcontractor, or consultant under a contract with any public entity, and may not transact business with any public entity for a period of 36 months from the date of being placed on the convicted vendor list.

9. What is the applicable code of ethics?
In the procurement of supplies and services we stringently adhere to the City of Venice Code of Ethics. Copies are available upon request.

10. What is informal bidding?
Telephone bids or written quotes are requested when the value of goods and services is less than $100,000. At least three vendors are contacted and the purchase order is issued to the lowest conforming bidder.

11. What is formal bidding?
Written bids are solicited and advertised for goods and services valued at $100,000 or more. These bids contain the description of the goods or services required.

12. How do I request a bid invitation?
A request for bid invitation may be obtained from the Purchasing Department between 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may also inquire about bidding opportunities by calling (941) 486-2626 ext. 24002.
Note: Most construction bids have a charge for plans and specifications which, in most cases, is non-refundable.

13. Can substitutes be made for trade names and brand names?
If a bid item is described with a trade name or brand name, an "acceptable equal" may be offered as a substitute, unless the bid specifies "no substitutes."

14. How are cash discounts considered?
Cash discounts for periods of less than 30 days are not considered as factors in bid awards.

15. How are bids awarded?
Formal bids are awarded by the department seeking the service or supplies requested by the bid invitation. The Purchasing Department reviews and prepares award recommendations for the approval of City Council. Vendors having questions or protests relative to bid awards should contact the director of purchasing, for information prior to the bid award.

16. How are notices of bid acceptance delivered?
Award notices are mailed to all bidders on formal bid solicitations. Unless the bid required that a contract be executed following award, a purchase order will be sent to the successful bidder. If a bid bond is required, the Purchasing Department will retain bid security deposits until an award is made.

17. How are invoice payments made?
Your invoice should be mailed as directed on the purchase order. The purchase order number must appear on the invoice. No payment will be made until the goods and/or services have been received, found to be as ordered and the using agency has signed and forwarded the receiving copy of the purchase order to accounting for payment. Direct all inquiries on payment of invoices to the using agency ordering goods or services.

18. How are contracts for professional services awarded?
The city often obtains professional services, such as architectural, engineering, actuarial, banking, insurance, promotional, bond counsel, medical consulting and other like services from the private sector. Professional services projects valued more than $100,000 are awarded through the Professional Services Evaluation Committee in compliance with the Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA), Florida Statute 287.055.
Professional services valued less than $100,000 are obtained through an informal process and are handled by the appropriate buyer. Professional service opportunities of more than $100,000 are advertised in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.