Vendor Handbook

How Can I Receive Notice of Bid Openings?

Bidder’s List

If your business is interested in offering products or services to the City of Coral Springs and would like to receive notification of solicitations, please register online at DemandStar.com. By doing so, you will be notified electronically when the City requests a quotation or issues a formal solicitation for the commodity or service that you provide.

Registering to receive notification of the City’s solicitations is free of charge, however, there is a fee for notification services for solicitations by additional governmental agencies. To register for free notification service of purchase solicitations issued by the City of Coral Springs alone, log onto the DemandStar webpage, select the Free Agency option. On the form that opens, enter the information for your business. Be sure to enter "City of Coral Springs" in the Agency Name field. Anytime a solicitation is entered, if it is within one or more of the commodity codes you selected, you will receive notification of any Coral Springs bids or other agencies depending on what area you selected. If you subscribe to Broward County, you will receive bid notifications to all Broward County entities that utilize DemandStar and enhance your opportunity to work with government agencies. The cost to subscribe to Broward County is only $25.00 per year.

You can complete the city’s vendor application . Be sure to upload your completed W-9 form with the vendor application. After we receive your completed vendor application, you will be set up as a vendor in our system. However, all bid solicitations are handled through DemandStar.

Public Notice/Advertisement

Public Notice of all formal bids issued by the Purchasing Division are posted on the Purchasing Calendar that can be found by clicking on Purchasing Public Meetings link on the Purchasing Division landing page.  On the Calendar page, you will find scheduled Pre-Bid Meetings, Bid Openings, and any information that is pertinent to active solicitations.

Internet

The City of Coral Springs maintains its own web page on the Internet. Requests for Quotation (RFQ), Invitations for Bid (ITB), and Requests for Proposal (RFP) can be accessed and downloaded from the Purchasing Section. You can click on the Active Bids link which will redirect you to our DemandStar page showing all the solicitations that are in process of being awarded or have been awarded.

What Are Procurement Services Methods For Securing Bids?

Procurement Cards

Procurement of less than $1,000 are made through Visa Procurement Cards issued to individual City employees.

Small Purchases - $1,000 to $5,000

The preferred method for obtaining prices for purchases between $1,000 and $5,000 is by emailing quotation as time permits. In the case of operational necessity, oral quotations are acceptable at the discretion of the Purchasing Agent. The Purchasing Agent shall make every effort to ensure the fair and open solicitation of competitive quotes, and award will be made to the most responsive and responsible bidder. Quotations submitted by telephone, email, or facsimile are acceptable for purchases in this category. These will be paid via procurement cards or Purchase Orders.

Purchases between $5,001 and $20,000

Purchases estimated to cost between $5,001 and $20,000 shall be made upon receipt of not less than three (3) informal quotes. Notices of Requests for Quotation will be e-mailed to all registered vendors who offer the applicable goods or services. The date and time for bid opening will allow sufficient time to encourage competitive bidding. The Purchasing Agent shall make every effort to obtain a minimum of three (3) quotes for each item or group of items required. After the receipt of the quotes, they will be tabulated and evaluated. Award will be made to the most responsive and responsible bidder.

Purchases between $20,000 and $45,000

For purchases over $20,000 but not more than $45,000 a minimum of three (3) different sources of supply are solicited to provide formal written quotations. Public notices are posted on DemandStar and be accessed through the Active Bids link on the Purchasing website. The names of the businesses submitting quotes and the date and amount of each quote shall be recorded and maintained as a public record.  Formal quotes will be given a tracking number and date for opening.

Purchases Over $45,000

For purchases over $45,000 the competitive sealed bidding or competitive sealed proposals method is used. The procedure is as follows:

  • The Purchasing Agent prepares the bid or proposal using the terms and conditions appropriate to the technical specifications.
  • The Purchasing Agent will broadcast the solicitation to vendors on DemandStar with that commodity code. The using department may provide additional vendors to be sent an email with the bid solicitation. The bid or proposal is posted on the City of Coral Springs website through the Active Bids link to DemandStar.
  • For quotes and bids, a tabulation will be prepared and made available on DemandStar.
  • For Requests for Proposal (RFP’s) and Letters of Interest (LOI), an evaluation committee is appointed to review all proposals for ranking and recommendation.
  • Award of all bids or proposals over $45,000 must be approved by the City Commission and a purchase order and/or contract is issued to the successful bidder or offeror.

Under this formal bid process, sealed bids or proposals received by the facsimile machine will not be accepted. 

Requests for Proposals (RFP)

Requests for Proposals are often used for purchases of professional services or equipment of a highly technical nature. In addition to price, award is made on the basis of evaluating several criteria, such as experience, qualifications, past performance and other factors. RFP’s are designed to select the best proposal based on the criteria stipulated in the RFP. Rather than detailed specifications which are contained in Formal Sealed Bids, the RFP generally includes a series of objectives and a scope of work to be accomplished.

Letter of Interest (LOI)

A Letter of Interest are often employed in purchasing as a preliminary understanding of parties that intend to enter into a contract. A Letter of Interest is used to procure the services of professional consultants such as architects and engineers where Competitive Consultant Negotiation Acts (CCNA) must be adhered to. The determining factor for the award is solely based on qualifications; pricing is not discussed during the evaluation period.

How Do I Bid On City Contracts?

Solicitations

Upon learning of an upcoming contract, you may obtain bid documents via the DemandStar website or through the City of Coral Springs Active Bids link. You may also request bid documents in writing by emailing the assigned Purchasing Agent of your request. When you request bid documents, ask for them by Title and Bid Number — this information appears in all advertisements, solicitations, and notices. The bid documents contain the specifications and/or scope of work for the commodity or service being purchased and the terms and conditions governing the bid. It will generally become part of the actual contract if you are awarded the bid.

Ensure, once you have completed the required bid documents, that you check for errors and make sure that all required signatures and attachments (i.e., bid security, product information, etc.) are included. Then, seal the bid in an envelope with your company’s name, bid number and title, and bid opening date on the outside of the envelope. Be sure that your bid reaches the location specified in the bid before the time and date specified on the form. Late bids will not be accepted. All formal bids are opened in public, read aloud in the specified location, and are available for public inspection. Direct all questions regarding the bid form to the Purchasing Division.

Email/Fax Quotes

In Informal Quotation situations, the Purchasing Division obtains quotes by for small purchases below $5,000. The lowest, most responsive and responsible bidder will receive the award.

Specifications

Specifications are detailed descriptions of the intended purchase, establishing the minimum acceptable standards. They are included in the bid documents. If you have any questions, concerns, or objections regarding specifications, contact the person indicated in the bid or RFP proposal, the Purchasing Division, or make inquiries during the pre-bid conference being held for that procurement. The City reserves the right to request that questions concerning interpretation or modification to plans, specifications or contract documents be submitted in writing to the Purchasing Manager. Responses shall be made in writing in the form of an addendum circulated to all potential bidders. The specifications for some items will ask for a Brand Name or Equal. If you cannot supply the indicated brand name, you may offer a product that is “equal to” or “better than” the brand name quality set forth in the bid proposal. You will be assured of fair competition with other vendors.

IMPORTANT: Please contact us, before bid opening, if you feel our bid has any requirements which lessen open competition.

Bid Security and Bonds

If bid security is required, it will be specifically stated in the Instructions to Bidders contained in the bid documents.

Bid security is held until the contract is awarded, at which time all bid securities other than the awarded vendor’s are released. The awarded vendor’s deposit is released when the contract is executed by the city — unless the bid documents stipulate that the deposit will be held throughout the term of the contract.

Addenda and Changes in the Bid/RFP

During a formal written bid procedure, changes may take place affecting the terms and conditions or the specifications of the bid. In these instances, a written addendum will be posted on the DemandStar site and emailed to all vendors who have received bid documents, and notified the city of the receipt of the document. These changes become an integral part of the bid and should be signed and returned with your bid proposal.

Errors in Bidding

Your bid is your firm offer to enter into a contract with the city. However, if you discover that you have made an honest mistake in your bid, which you can substantiate with documentary evidence, you must notify the Purchasing Division, in writing, before an award is made. The Purchasing Division then has the discretion to release you from your bid, as outlined in the city’s Procurement Code.

Bid Withdrawal

All bids submitted must be firm for the minimum of time stipulated in the bid document. No bidder may withdraw a bid within this time, unless an error is discovered and handled per above. Bids may be withdrawn, by an authorized representative of your firm, prior to bid opening.

How to Respond to Requests for Proposals and Letters of Interest?

All solicitations for the City of Coral Springs are posted on DemandStar.com. The Purchasing landing page on the City’s website highlights steps on how to set up a free account to access these documents. There are three ways for a vendor to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Letter of Interest (LOI). They can be submitted electronically either through DemandStar, emailed to bids@coralsprings.gov, or you can physically deliver a paper copy to City Hall within the stated date and time. Note we do require an electronic copy on a thumb drive to accompany the paper proposal.

Vendors are advised to review the RFP or LOI in its entirety to ensure they meet the qualifications that are listed in the solicitation to be able to participate. Within an RFP, there is a Scope of Services that illustrates the intentions of what service, software, or system the city is trying to accomplish to attain the desired results. There are instructions in RFP and LOI of what information should be included within the proposal response, the required forms that need to be returned, how proposals are evaluated, and a tentative schedule of events of how the process will take place.

An LOI is like an RFP, but vendors are asked to submit a summary of their qualifications and explain how they are the best candidate for performing a specific job or service. Please review all documents and ensure that are filled in, signed, and notarized properly if needed. Missing documents can result in having your proposal deemed non-responsive.

The proposals must be turned in by the stated date and time indicated in the solicitation. No exceptions will be made for late submittals. If a vendor has any questions regarding what is being asked for in the solicitation or the process, the assigned Purchasing Agent can be reached via email. Questions will be addressed in addendums that will be posted to DemandStar.

How Are Awards Made?

Most Responsive and Responsible Bidder

After bids are read and tabulated, they are analyzed by the department requesting the goods or services to determine the most responsive and responsible bid. Although the time varies, analysis and award are generally completed within forty-five (45) days. An independent review of bid responses is made by the Purchasing Division to determine concurrence with the department recommendation.

Bid Tabulations

Bid tabulations showing bid results are posted on the DemandStar website.

Rejection of Bids

Whenever it is in the city’s best interest, the Purchasing Manager reserves the right to reject any and all bids. (Rejection of bids is not done frivolously).

Commission Approval

City Commission approval is required for awards exceeding $45,000.

Right to Protest

Any actual or prospective bidder who is allegedly aggrieved in connection with a pending award may protest in writing to the Purchasing Manager. The written protest will be reviewed by the Purchasing Manager and the City Attorney’s Office and a written response rejecting or upholding the protest will be issued.

After Award—What Then?

Notice of Award

If the city has determined that you are the most responsive and responsible bidder, a purchase order may be issued. In the alternative, you may be sent a letter notifying you of the city’s intent to award you a contract. This letter will also advise you if there are any requirements necessary for you to complete in order to execute the contract.

Delivery

An official city purchase order or contract is your authorization to commence delivery. Acceptance of delivery is conditioned upon inspection and approval by the receiving department to verify that you have fully complied with the terms of the contract.

Taxes

The City of Coral Springs is exempt from all Federal Excise and State sales taxes. Exemption certificates will be executed by the Purchasing division upon written request by the vendor.

Vendor Default

Vendors who fail to provide goods and/or services in accordance with the terms and conditions of their contract will be held in default. The city will hold such vendors liable for all extra costs incurred in the procurement of the goods and/or services from another vendor. Such default may also subject the vendor to suspension from doing business with the city.

Change Orders and Modifications

Occasionally, after a contract has been awarded, changes occur in either price, time, or performance. If the contract provides for modifications, it is done by a written change order or contract amendment, which is sent to the vendor. Please note that the contract will specifically state the circumstances under which changes are allowed. Vendors must follow the guidelines in the contract to submit or respond to change requests.

Vendor Payment

Payments are approved by the department that orders the goods and/ or services. Invoices should be sent directly to the address specified on the purchase order. Questions regarding payments can best be answered by the Accounts Payable Department 954-344-5975. To ensure prompt payment of a purchase order, invoices containing the proper information must be submitted to the address indicated on the purchase order.

Invoices must contain proper quantities, units and total prices as stated on the purchase order. No payments will be issued prior to receipt and acceptance of commodities and services by authorized City representatives.

The city’s computerized purchase system encumbers funds simultaneously as the order is input. The purchase order will be sent the same day and is ready to process for payment immediately upon receipt and acceptance of goods and services. The city processes most invoices for payment within thirty (30) days, and expedites payments where additional discounts for prompt payment are offered.

Gifts and Gratuities

Pursuant to the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees in the Florida Statutes Chapter 112: “No public officer, employee, or candidate may either solicit or accept anything of value – including a gift, loan, reward, promise of future employment, favor, or service – that is based on any understanding that the vote, official action, or judgment of the official would be influenced by such gift.”