111 Soledad St., 5th and 11th floors
San Antonio, TX 78205
Finance Department - Purchasing Division
PO Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283-3966
Monday - Friday, 7:45 am - 4:30 pm Central Time
Thank you for your interest in doing business with the City of San Antonio. Your involvement as a provider of goods and services for the City is critical in meeting its operational, mission, and service delivery requirements.
The Purchasing Division serves as your primary point of contact when the purchase of goods and services are required for the City. This section will help you navigate and understand the City’s procurement processes, including how to pursue City contracts. It will also highlight the most relevant and beneficial rules, regulations, and laws that govern the City’s procurement process to ensure you successfully compete and succeed as a vendor for the City.
In an effort to be responsive to future changes in rules, regulations, and laws, this section will be updated periodically.
The Finance Department's Purchasing Division is charged with providing strategic and material management services to all City departments. The Purchasing Division is also responsible for the procurement of all supplies, materials, and equipment as well as professional services necessary for the delivery of municipal services.
It is important for vendors to know that the Purchasing Division is the only entity within the City of San Antonio that is authorized to contract for goods and non-professional services which cost more than $3,000 up to and including $50,000 without City Council approval. It is also the only entity within the City government authorized to issue solicitations for goods and non-professional services valued at more than $50,000.
The Purchasing Division is comprised of two teams, each headed by a Procurement Administrator (PA). Each team is aligned by service delivery type. The Administrators are the key contacts for vendor inquiries regarding any procurement-related issues. Staff is also available to assist vendors and answer any questions regarding all aspects of the procurement process.
The Purchasing staff purchases goods and services on a daily basis, however, a major focus throughout the year is the management of more than 1,000 annual contracts. These contracts are established to provide an efficient method for the City to purchase goods and services that are needed on a repetitive basis or that may realize substantial savings by aggregating City-wide requirements. Most of these annual contracts are typically for goods and non-professional services where providers are widespread thus giving vendors a number of opportunities to submit bids and obtain contracts with the City. Most of the annual contracts carry a three (3) year initial contract period and are posted on the City’s webpage, San Antonio electronic Procurement System (SAePS), and TVSA Cable Channel 21 as well as published in a local newspaper when a new solicitation is required.
Vendors are encouraged to monitor the Purchasing Division website on a regular basis for access to City solicitations, valuable procurement-related information, and names of staff members assigned to the various commodities and services purchased by City departments.
The Purchasing Division is located at:
111 Soledad, 5th and 11th Floors
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Telephone Number: 210-207-5734
Fax Number: 210-207-7270
Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 7:45 am – 4:30 pm Central Time
The Purchasing Division values the relationship between City government and the vendor business community and works toward maintaining mutual goodwill at all times. Toward this end, the Purchasing Division strives to:
To make it easy and convenient for entrepreneurs and existing businesses to learn more about conducting business with various branches of the government, the City’s Economic Development Department provides a full range of business services. Vendors are encouraged to contact the Small Business Office at 210-207-3900 or visit their office at 100 West Houston, Suite 1900, for more information. In addition, the Small Business Liaison Office, housed in the Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center at 1901 South Alamo, offers valuable assistance to entrepreneurs and existing businesses.
For assistance with certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Veteran Business Enterprise (VBE), and Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), the South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (SCTRCA) can be contacted at 210-227-4722. SCTRCA is a non-profit corporation that represents several public entities in the South Texas area. These entities are committed to enhancing participation for disadvantaged, minority, and woman owned businesses in public/government contracting and purchasing activities.
Purchasing staff is available to review new product or service introductions for various markets. Meetings to present new products or services may be scheduled with the appropriate staff. Visiting hours are by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 210-207-5734 or by directly contacting the purchasing member assigned the product or service in question.
Public notices of formal solicitations are available from the following sources:
* Publication in this newspaper is dependent upon current contract status with the City.
NOTE: It is the responsibility of interested vendors to monitor the City’s website and the SAePS Portal for bidding opportunities. Vendors registered with the City will receive notifications via e-mail based upon the NIGP codes they have selected.
Purchasing makes available a synopsis of formal solicitation documents at the Bidding and Contracting Opportunities page. All vendors must be registered in SAePS to receive the full solicitation.
The City’s Purchasing Division uses the following methods to procure goods and services:
Bids and proposals must be received at the location specified in the solicitation document prior to the due date and time or they will be considered non-responsive. Bids and proposals received after the due date/time will not be accepted.
In general, informal bids are due to the Finance Department Purchasing Division by 10:00 am Central Time and may be submitted by hard copy in person or mail or an electronic submission through the SAePS Portal. It is the responsibility of the bidder to confirm that all bids are submitted in accordance with the solicitation document.
Formal bids are opened as specified in the bid request. Bids are typically due to the Office of the City Clerk at 2:00 pm Central Time on Monday, Tuesday or Friday. Bids will be opened and publicly read aloud at 2:30 pm Central Time on the day bids are due. Bid openings are held at the Purchasing Division, Riverview Towers, 111 Soledad St., 11th Floor, San Antonio, TX 78205.
Bid openings are public except where Request for Proposals or Request for Qualifications are solicited. Members of the public are welcome to attend, whether or not engaged in bidding.
The Office of the City Clerk is located at:
Office of the City Clerk
100 Military Plaza
2nd Floor (City Hall)
San Antonio, Texas 78205
Office of the City Clerk
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, Texas 78283-3966
In order to protect the interests of San Antonio taxpayers, the City may require surety bonds on bids and contracts depending on the dollar amount and risk involved. In particular, payment and performance bonds may be required for public works contracts which are defined as the construction, alteration, or repair of any public building or completion of any public work. Bonding requirements for public works contracts are dependent upon the dollar amount of the resultant contract.
A bid or proposal security, in the form of a cashier's check, certified check, or bond may be required by the City depending upon the risk, complexity or dollar value of the contract. In addition, a bid or proposal security will be required in those instances where a performance bond will be required after contract award. The amount of the security is usually five percent (5%) of the bid or contract value; however, the amount of the security may vary depending on the specifics of the solicitation.
In accordance with State statutes, Performance Bonds are required on any public works contract of more than $100,000 in value. Payment Bonds are required on any public works contract of more than $50,000 in value. The City may also elect to require performance and payment bonds for contracts other than public works contracts.
The City may contractually require that parties doing business with the City maintain certain insurance coverage(s). If subcontractors are utilized in the performance of the contract, the prime contractor may be required to pass along these insurance requirements to its subcontractors.
A copy of all applicable insurance certificates and endorsements must be submitted to the City in accordance with the contract prior to the start of any work. The certificate(s) of insurance must contain:
Policies typically contain:
It is the policy of the City to purchase from suppliers that have adequate financial strength, management and service capabilities, high ethical standards and integrity, the ability to provide materials and/or services that consistently meet the City's requirements, and are otherwise qualified and eligible to receive an award under applicable laws and regulations. All contracts in an amount of more than $50,000 must be approved by the City Council.
For awards made based on price alone, when two or more responsible bidders submit the lowest responsible bids, and these bids are identical in both amount and nature, the City will enter into a contract with only one of the responsible bidders selected in a manner provided by state law.
Contracts for goods or nonprofessional services exceeding $50,000 in price must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder or to the bidder who provides goods or nonprofessional services at the best value for the City.
In determining the best value, the City may consider the bidder’s purchase price, reputation, quality of goods or services, the extent to which the goods or services meet the City’s needs, past relationship with the City, impact on the ability of the City to comply with laws and rules relating to contracting with historically underutilized businesses and nonprofit organizations employing persons with disabilities, total long-term cost to acquire the goods or services, and any relevant criteria specifically listed in the request for bids or proposals. If the City intends to award on the basis of best value, the solicitation document will indicate this fact and will contain evaluation criteria.
The City may reject any and all bids.
The City uses a two-step approach when evaluating bid responses to determine the "lowest responsible bid." The first step is to determine which responses meet or exceed the published specifications. Bidders that take "exceptions" to any of the terms, conditions or specifications contained in the solicitation may be deemed non-responsive and their bid disqualified from further consideration at this stage.
After bids that are responsive to the City’s specifications have been identified, the City seeks to determine the bidder’s responsibility. Factors that can be used to determine responsibility include, but are not limited to, past performance issues, manpower, experience, equipment, and financial ability to perform the contract. If we determine that the lowest bid meets or exceeds the published specification and it was from a "responsible" vendor, then we will recommend that bid to City Council for the award of the contract.
The Local Preference Policy took effect on May 1, 2013. The revised Local Preference Policy Ordinance (LPP) took effect on December 15, 2013.
The original ordinance established the Local Preference Program, allowing the City to grant contracting preferences to local businesses in circumstances when price alone determines the winning bid for personal property, non-professional services, and construction services, and the procurement is governed by Title 8 of the Texas Local Government Code. Under the program, a contract is awarded to a business within San Antonio City limits in instances where the City receives a bid from a local business that is within a certain percentage of the lowest bid price received from a non-city business. Additionally, provisions were included in the original ordinance granting preferences to local businesses for professional service contracts that are not governed by statute.
The amendment to the LPP expands the application to any contract for goods and non-professional services where the City chooses to conduct a solicitation process and to award on the basis of price. For example, the preference would apply to procurements utilizing the health or safety exemption found in Chapter 252, Texas Local Government Code, when the City seeks offers from multiple suppliers. It would also apply when the City seeks offers from multiple vendors that have contracts with cooperative purchasing organizations.
The amendment also expanded the application to concession and other revenue-generating contracts in addition to professional service agreements not governed by statute as originally contained in the ordinance.
The Finance Department administers the program and produces quarterly reports summarizing the dollar amount of procurements awarded to local businesses under this program.
A local business (a.k.a. a City Business) is defined as a business headquartered within the incorporated San Antonio city limits OR one that meets the following conditions:
"Headquartered" is defined as the place where an entity’s officers direct, control, and coordinate its activities.
A. The Local Preference Program applies to the following;
NOTE: The Local Preference (LPP) Ordinance does not replace and is a separate program from the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy (SBEDA) Program Ordinance.
Solicitations issued by the City of San Antonio may contain insurance and bonding requirements. THE BONDING AND INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS CANNOT BE WAIVED. The awarded bidder will be required to furnish the City with an insurance certificate satisfying ALL requirements stated in the solicitation document. It is advised that potential respondents consult their insurance agent prior to submitting a bid to determine whether or not you will be able to secure the necessary insurance if awarded the contract.
Unless the bid document specifies otherwise, the Purchasing Division reserves the right to make an award on the basis of low line item, low total of line items, or in any other combination that serves the best interest of the City.
The City expressly reserves the right to:
The City will tabulate formal bids received and will post a draft of the bid tab to the City’s web page as soon as possible.
For solicitations for goods and non-professional services valued at more than $50,000, once the Notice to Award has been posted to the City’s Intent to Award web page, bidders will have seven (7) calendar days to submit a written protest to the Director of Finance. If the vendor does not file a written protest within this time, the vendor will have waived all rights to formally protest the intent to award. It is the vendor’s responsibility to check the City’s website posting.
Official notification of award can only be made by the Purchasing Division for the purchase of goods and non-professional services of more than $3,000. Notice of award given by any other City department may be premature and inaccurate. The successful bidder(s) of an annual contract is notified of award by letter from the Purchasing Division. Other City departments may issue purchase orders for annual contracts for which an award letter has been sent.
Bid and Proposals are subject to the Texas Public Information Act, Chapter 552, Texas Government Code. They are public documents and open to inspection and/or copying. Parties who believe their bids or proposals contain information that is exempt from disclosure under the Act, such as proprietary or confidential information, must indicate the portion of the bid or proposal they believe should not be disclosed. If a request for the document is made, the City will submit the issue to the Texas Attorney General for an opinion on whether the information may be withheld from release. The party submitting the information will be notified and have an opportunity to present its arguments for nondisclosure. If nothing is marked, the City will disclose the entire bid/proposal to the person requesting it without consulting the party who submitted the bid/proposal.
The Texas Public Information Act provides an exemption from disclosure for information related to competition or bidding. As such, the City will generally seek to withhold bids and proposals from public disclosure until after a contract is awarded, with the exception of bids that are based on price alone and opened publicly. To do this, the City submits a request for a ruling to the Texas Attorney General. It typically takes in excess of 30 days to receive a response from that agency.
The City expects high-quality products and excellent service performance from its vendors. Vendor performance is a key factor when the City evaluates bids for contract award and is always subject to evaluation by the City’s using department(s). The Purchasing Division maintains Vendor Performance files for all vendors doing business with the City and requires Vendor Evaluation Forms to be completed by using departments. All parties involved in the purchase, acceptance and payment of goods and services will have the opportunity to evaluate the vendor’s performance.
Failure to meet a specified delivery date reflects on vendor performance and could be a factor in consideration of future awards and contract extensions. It is the supplier's responsibility to notify the Purchasing Division when a delay in the delivery schedule occurs or is anticipated. At this time, the supplier must indicate the new anticipated delivery date and the reason for the delay. It should be noted that failure to deliver within a contractual delivery schedule may result in the supplier being declared in default and assessed liquidated damages, if permitted in the contract. Default may also lead to early termination of your contract.
Unsatisfactory product quality or service performance also reflects on a supplier and could be a factor in consideration of future contract awards and extensions. Such performance can increase the City's operating costs and may be taken into consideration in determining whether a bidder is responsible.
All invoices for payment of goods or services rendered must be submitted to:
City of San Antonio
Attn: General Accounting
PO Box 839976
San Antonio, Texas 78283-3976
Invoices must be itemized as to quantity, part number, description, applicable discount, department or division for which the goods or services were rendered, and a purchase order number. Any deviations will delay payment.
The City’s payment policy requires that payment is made within 30 days after receipt of a correct invoice or acceptance of goods or services, whichever occurs later. Any discount available to the City for prompt payment must be notated on the invoice. Unless otherwise notated, discounts will be calculated from the date of delivery or the date of the invoice, whichever is more recent. Any invoices with terms "Payment upon receipt" or "Payment upon completion" are paid same as net 30 days.
NOTE: Payments made by the City to take advantage of discounts offered will be at the City’s discretion and do not constitute the contract’s required payment terms.
Provided the bidder meets the requirements stated in the bid document, the City shall take the bidder’s offered prompt payment discount into consideration in determining the low bidder. The evaluation will not be based on the discount percentage alone, but rather the net price as determined by applying the discount to the bid price. However, the City reserves the right to reject the discount and will not consider discounts that provide fewer than ten (10) days to receive the discount.
Once a vendor has been awarded a contract, the vendor must complete and submit the Vendor Information Form (pdf) and a W-9 Form (pdf) via fax to 210-207-0118 or via e-mail to Vendor Support. This information enables the City to issue a payment.
Please direct any payment questions to the mailing address noted above, or e-mail Accounts Payable or call 210-207-2064.
The City is exempt from payment of federal excise and transportation taxes, as well as Texas State or local sales and use taxes. If it is determined that the price quoted and recorded on any order or invoice rendered include any such taxes, the amount of the taxes will be deducted from the total of the invoice. The City will furnish the payee a certificate of exemption upon request.