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How to Do Business with Hall County Hall County Purchasing Dept.

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1 How to Do Business with Hall County Hall County Purchasing Dept

2 Purpose of this document - Explain the role of Purchasing - Help vendors understand How to do Business with Hall County - Explain the procedures that Purchasing must comply with to meet state guidelines Understanding how to respond to an RFP Whats needed from the vendor How to write a response. Welcome to the Hall County Purchasing Department…

3 To procure supplies, materials, equipment, and contracts for services for Hall County User Depts. Hall County uses a centralized system of purchasing goods and services which are procured within the statutes of the State of Georgia, Hall County Purchasing Guidelines approved by the Board of Commissioners and other procedures established by the Hall County Purchasing Dept. Purchasings Role

4 Goal of Purchasing: Our goal is to obtain and pay for quality goods and services at the lowest reasonable cost to the taxpayer and… To operate using the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism while treating vendors fairly & equitably and to maximize competition whenever possible. An environment of competition is most beneficial to both the buyer and seller, and it is our policy to foster that environment. Purchasings Role

5 Hall County is a stable funding source - we have been around since In Fiscal Year 2009, Hall County spent approximately $102 million on goods, services and capital projects. (during an Economic Slowdown) Any company can place bids to Hall County as long as the bid specs are met and they meet all criteria placed in the bid. We already have over 8,000 vendors on our bid list – these have been accumulated for several years. Purchasing with Hall County can be rewarding…

6 Hall County follows all statues set forth by the State of Georgia for Procurement. Rules & Regulations are for the protection of the vendor and to promote the fairest most ethical procurement procedures. One of the main procedures set forth in these laws are the timelines bids are to remain open. Most timelines for goods and services are at the Discretion of the Purchasing staff, however others are not. Public Works Projects are required to remain open for a 30 day period. This also applies to any Capital Building Project and Requests for Proposal as Purchasing deems necessary. Again, these procedures are here to protect everyones interest and to promote a fair and ethical procurement process. State Guidelines for Purchasing

7 Types of Bids issued… Request for Proposals / Qualifications -Competitive Sealed Proposal Invitation for Bid -Competitive Sealed Bid Fax Bid -Informal Written Bid -Informal Bid Telephone / Web Search Bid Procurement Card Purchase - Small Purchase Bid Price Agreements / Contract Bids

8 The competitive sealed proposal method is used for the purchase of all goods and services where the competitive sealed bid method is neither practical nor advantageous, and where cost is not the primary consideration. Generally, competitive sealed proposals are used for procurements such as professional services, service contracts, highly technical equipment, etc. Competitive sealed proposals are advertised a minimum of twice, two weeks apart, in Hall Countys local newspaper, The Times, on Mondays. The competitive sealed proposal method may also be used for the purchase of goods and services less than $10,000. An Evaluation Committee reviews proposals according to criteria specified in the proposal document. The Hall County Board of Commissioners makes the final award approvals if bids are $10,000 and greater. Request for Proposal / Qualifications (RFP)

9 The competitive sealed bid method is used where the cost of commodities and services is $10,000 or greater. Where there are clear and defined specifications available. Where cost is the primary basis of award. Competitive sealed bids are advertised a minimum of one time for basic commodities and services, and two times, two weeks apart, for construction projects in Hall Countys local newspaper, The Times, on Mondays. The Hall County Board of Commissioners makes the final award approvals for bids $10,000 and greater. Invitation for Bid (IFB)

10 The informal written bid method (fax bid) is used for the purchase of goods and services between $1,000 and $10,000. Written quotations are solicited informally and do not require formal advertising or approval by the Hall County Board of Commissioners. Beginning next week, these bids will be listed on our website to give more access to vendors wishing to submit proposals. Written documentation is required from the supplier through regular mail, facsimile, or hand-delivery to the Purchasing Department. Fax Bids…

11 The informal bid method is used for purchases of goods and services between $300 and $1,000. Quotations are solicited informally by telephone, facsimile or electronic mail. A minimum of three telephone / web quotes is required. Telephone & Web Search Bids…

12 When making purchases under $300 the buyer is to use his judgment as to source and number of quotations as well as type of quotations obtained. Quotations are solicited informally by user Hall County Departments who have been authorized by the Purchasing Department to purchase in this manner at their discretion. The Procurement Cards have many levels of security embedded in the card software which prevents items from being purchased if they do not meet the criteria set forth by Purchasing. Procurement Card – Small Purchase

13 Hall County has annual, semi-annual and quarterly contracts for frequently used items and services. The contracts are results of a bid, informal bid, telephone bid, proposal, or other legal method of procurement. The contract allows the County to order products or services directly from the awarded suppliers through the use of a Price Agreement document. Items may also be obtained on the open market through a competitive process any time the Department feels it is in the best interest of Hall County or the Contract Vendor can no longer meet its obligations. Examples: EMS & Inmate Supplies, Towing, Cleaning Services, Auto Parts, Landscape Services, Tires, etc. Price Agreements - Contracts

14 How Bids are Solicited… Mail Solicitation -Bidders List is used to mail out Newspaper and Other Publications -The Times – others when necessary Purchasing Dept Solicitation Center -Located in the Purchasing Dept Government TV Channel 18 And…

15 Hall County Web -Updates on bids are posted daily for most type bids and -Mondays for major projects Bids & Proposals

16 The nature of some bids and proposals require a pre-bid or pre-proposal conference to be held. Pre-bid conferences are held in order to clarify specifications, answer supplier questions regarding the specific bid or proposal, or to allow the supplier to perform an on-site review and inspection. Some pre-bid conferences are mandatory, and others are voluntary. Any changes to the original bid or proposal will be made in writing in the form of an addendum, and will be mailed and/or ed to all suppliers who originally received or have requested the solicitation. All questions and information requests must be directed to the appropriate Buyer to insure that all suppliers have the same information. Pre-Bid and Pre-Proposal Conferences…

17 Follow the instructions set forth in the bid or proposal. All bids and proposals include a copy of the "Terms and Conditions" that list certain instructions pertaining to all solicitations. In addition, there are specific instructions included in the bid and proposal documents that are unique to that particular procurement. In order to submit a bid or proposal, the supplier must be able to responsibly meet the minimum requirements set forth in the solicitation. Suppliers who are unable to meet the requirements of the solicitation should indicate a "No Bid" in their response. It is important for the supplier to submit a response, even if it is a "No Bid." Repeated failures to submit a response may result in the supplier being removed from the County suppliers list for that specific commodity. How To Submit a Bid

18 The bid response should be clearly marked as "all or nothing," or similar wording if the vendor would not be receptive to splitting a multi-item bid with another vendor. The County reserves the right to make an award determined to be in its best interest, however, clarification of a suppliers response may result in the bid being deemed non-responsive. Each bidder shall certify in writing that such bidder has not engaged in any collusive or anti-competitive practices in responding to a solicitation for bids or proposals. All bids or proposals must be submitted in the sealed envelope provided in the bid / proposal package, or in a sealed envelope or package clearly marked with the solicitation number and description, the date and time of the public opening, and company name in the upper left-hand corner. Bids should be mailed to the Purchasing Dept at the address provided in the bid document. How To Submit a Bid

19 Invitation for Bids and RFPs must be in a sealed envelope or package before they will be eligible for consideration. The Purchasing Department must receive all bids and proposals on or before the date and time specified in the document. Late bids will not be considered and will be returned unopened to the supplier. A delay in delivery or failure to deliver by a third party delivery service (i.e., USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) is not an acceptable reason for late responses. The envelope or package will be time and date stamped, and placed in a secure location until the date and time of the specified bid opening. How Bids are Received

20 Bids shall be opened publicly in the presence of one or more witnesses on the date and at the time and place specified in the solicitation documents. Suppliers and interested parties are invited to attend. During the opening of bids for standard commodities and services, the following information shall be read aloud: the name of each supplier submitting a sealed bid, pricing information including unit prices and the total, delivery information, and any other relevant information. At this time, for the stated type bids, info will be considered to be open record. During the opening of proposals, construction projects, or professional services, only the name of each supplier shall be announced. No other information will be disclosed nor shall the proposal be considered open record until the proposal is awarded by the County Commission. Once the bid or proposal is opened, submittals are reviewed by the User Department(s) for their evaluation and recommendation. How Bids are Opened

21 Late Bids Bids received after the date and time stated in the IFB or RFP will not be accepted. Withdrawals A bidder wishing to withdraw their bid prior to the bid opening may submit a letter to the Purchasing Director requesting to withdraw. A bidder wishing to withdraw after the bids have been opened will be required to submit a letter with documented facts supporting the reason for withdrawal within two business days of the bid opening. If it was due to an error made, a clear and convincing justification must be made that an unintentional error occurred. Corrections If an error is discovered prior to the opening, the supplier can submit a corrected sealed bid or proposal. The corrected document should be clearly marked that it supersedes the bid or proposal originally submitted Generally, modifications to opened bids or proposals for reasons other than obvious clerical errors are not permitted. Late Bids, Withdrawals, Corrections

22 Bids are evaluated by Purchasing with assistance from the User Dept. The Purchasing Director will make a recommendation to the Commission based upon the evaluation results for approval or rejection. This recommendation is made to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder. Responsive means the bidder conforms in all material respects to the requirements set forth in the solicitation. Responsible refers to the ability to perform as specified. Evaluation Committees: When proposals are evaluated by an Evaluation Committee, the proposals are scored based on the criteria set forth in the proposal. The committee may create a short list from proposals received and the top firms may be interviewed and if necessary the price may be negotiated with the highest scoring firm. Once the firm has been selected, the Evaluation Committee submits a recommendation to the Purchasing Director who then presents the recommendation to the Board of Comm. for their approval or rejection. How Bids are Evaluated

23 An apparent low bidder may not be recommended for award of a bid or contract if they are found to be non-responsible. The Purchasing Director, setting forth the reasons for non-responsibility or non-responsive, shall inform the bidder via written letter. Reasons that a supplier may be deemed non-responsible/responsive may include: - Previous supplier performance problems as documented in the supplier file. -Failure to meet contractual obligations after the award has been made. -Failure to conform to required delivery, specs, or detailed requirements. -Submission of a bid in such a manner that would prevent the establishment or determination of a firm bid price. Such qualifications would include refusing to hold firm prices or submitting bid prices subject to change due to manufacturer increases/decreases or market conditions, or minimum order quantities. -Submission of a bid that is contingent upon receiving the award of another bid. -Failure to provide a bid surety or meet insurance requirements when specifically required in the bid. -Submission of solicitation exceptions, when not acceptable to Hall County based on its own best interests. Responsibility of Bidders

24 Bids may be disqualified by the Purchasing Director as a result of, but not necessarily limited to, the following reasons: -Failure: - to use the County bid schedule; -to return applicable compliance and or specification sheets; -to return applicable addenda; -to provide information on alternates or equivalents when allowed; -to provide bid bond when specifically stated will result in automatic rejection; -of bidder to sign all requested bid documents; -to submit bid by deadline will result in automatic rejection; -of supplier to extend prices; -to hold firm pricing; -to meet specified delivery requirements; -Prices for services or items that exceed the departments budgeted amount allowed for these items. Disqualifications of Bids

25 When an award of a bid or proposal is made a purchase order is issued, a contract is prepared, or a price agreement is established. Suppliers awarded annual contracts receive an Award Notice followed by orders from the User Department (end user) in the form of a price agreement document, or voucher. When contracts are issued for projects or services, the supplier returns the signed contract along with any required insurance and bonding documents. A copy of the executed contract, along with a Notice to Proceed, is sent to the successful supplier so that work may begin once all documents have been returned and signed. What Happens When the Bid Award is Made?

26 Once a formal sealed bid is opened for standard commodities and services, it is considered to be open for review by the general public. If a supplier or other interested party would like to view a bid, an appointment should be made with Purchasing for an appropriate time to review the document. The hours of operation for the Purchasing Department are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Proposals, construction projects, or professional bid information is not available to the public until an award has been made by the County Commission. In accordance with State of Georgia Open Records Act, O.C.G.A. Section , copies of open records may be obtained by submitting a written request along with payment of the applicable service charge fee. The service charge fee is 25 cents per copied page plus staff time to research and prepares the documents. Purchasing has three working days to provide the information if it is available. How to request Open Records after a Bid has been opened…

27 Protests All protests concerning proposals, bids, or quotes should be made in writing to the Purchasing Director, including specific reasons for the protest. Pricing / Quotes All prices quoted to or paid by Hall County are to be freight prepaid (f.o.b.) to the using department or the delivery location stated in the order, Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia. Payment Terms Hall Countys normal payment terms are: Upon inspection and acceptance of all items, amount due shall be paid within (30) thirty days of receipt of correct invoice, as approved by Hall County, unless a shorter time is stated in the bid as a prompt payment discount and accepted by the County. S.A.V.E. Affidavits – Georgia Law now requires this form for verification of U.S. Citizenship before any bids are awarded to any vendor. Ampersands…

28 Suppliers interested in participating in the bidding process may be placed on Hall County's bidders list by completing a Bidder's Application Form downloadable from the Countys website. Suppliers will be required to list the commodity codes from a provided list, relating to the various materials, equipment, supplies, and/or services that they provide. The supplier will be placed on the Bidder's List for those commodities listed on the Bidder's Application Form. In order to remain on the Bidder's List, suppliers must maintain an acceptable or greater rating of providing goods and services to the County in a responsible manner. A supplier may submit a bid without being on the Bidder's List. Companies are responsible for updating their Bidders List Status How to be Placed on the Bidders List

29 Hall County Web On the Hall County homepage, click County Departments County Departments At the next window, Click on the Purchasing Departments name and it will direct you to the Purchasing Division Window

30 Bidders Application Download w/Commodity Code Lists Purchasing Department Window Once at this window scroll down till you see the Bidders Application Download and the Commodity Codes lists. Download the application, fill it out & return to us via or fax to Once received you will be added to the Bidders List for future notification based upon the commodity codes you listed.

31 Bid Information updates on the Web Remember… Updates on Bids can be viewed by visiting our website at Watch for new & exciting opportunities each week here on the Website… Bids & Proposals

32 Hall County Purchasing Dept How to Respond to A Request for Proposal Or Qualification

33 The competitive sealed proposal method is used for the purchase of all goods and services where the competitive sealed bid method is neither practical nor advantageous, and where cost is not the primary consideration. Competitive sealed proposals are used for procurements such as professional services, service contracts, highly technical equipment, software, etc. Generally, this method is used for items over $10,000 but may also be used for the purchase of goods and services less than $10,000 when necessary. Competitive sealed proposals are advertised a minimum of twice, two weeks apart, in Hall Countys local newspaper, The Times, on Mondays. Most RFPs are issued to the public for a period of 30 days. Basic Elements of an RFP

34 RFPs are basically formatted the same with the each section being customized to pertain to that particular RFP. Sections of an RFP: Background: This section will give the proposer the history that led up to this RFP being issued and give some general information regarding the project. Scope of Work or Service: This section will describe in detail what the County is looking for in regards to the RFP that has been issued. It will list specific information of what we expect to occur from the Vendor along with specific tasks to be done by the vendor – sort of like a blueprint for the Project. Elements of an RFP

35 Sections of an RFP continued: Content and Format of Proposal: This section gives step by step instructions as to how the County would like to see the proposal formatted. Items requested include but are not limited to an: Introductory Letter Experience and Workload Project Approach Project schedule (if applicable) Selection Process Information: This section will describe how the County will evaluate the proposals presented by the interest vendors. It will describes how a committee is formed to read, analyze, and score each proposal. There is information telling how a short list will be made and interviews scheduled if necessary before making the award to the most qualified vendor. Price is not considered until the short list has occurred. Elements of an RFP

36 This information varies from RFP to RFP. Each RFP is tailored specifically to suit the information needed for that particular RFP. Introductory Letter This is generally the same for each RFP we issue. We request info on your firm, former names and why you think your firm should be selected. Experience and Workload We request information regarding your firms experience including similar projects completed with detailed descriptions of each. We ask that you list all projects completed for Hall County (if any) and a list of all current projects currently underway. In some RFPs, for example a Risk, the County will request that you list past Projects with their project budgets and the final cost of each project. This will give us an idea of how you handle the cost of projects. Content and Format of an RFP

37 Experience and Workload Continued: Another aspect of this section is your Firms Personnel Experience. We request a listing of team personnel that will be assigned to this project and their background – resume. Any certifications needed to complete the project by personnel must be listed here. Sub-Consultant Personnel should be listed here as well. Project Approach The section request a detailed description of how your firm proposes to approach the particular project requested, including sufficient discussion of methodologies, and techniques for each work item. Project schedule (if applicable) A proposed time schedule and method to ensure that this schedule is met is requested if applicable. Content and Format of an RFP

38 A Selection Committee is formed to review each proposal. Members of this committee are made up of various County staff whom have a stake in the proposal. Step One: The committee will evaluate the proposals and qualifications presented by the interested consultants. At this point a short list is compiled. Step Two: If necessary the committee will schedule interviews of the short-listed consultants. Step Three: After the committee narrows the field to the top candidates, fee proposals of the short-listed candidates will be evaluated and ranked. Any selection made as a result of this notice will be made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Selection Process

39 CATEGORYEXAMPLE CRITERIA EXAMPLE WEIGHT FACTOR (%) Approach to the Project The firms approach to the project must be comprehensive, meet the established objectives, and include proven public involvement techniques. While a detailed scope is not required, a specific approach to the Countys breakdown of tasks and methods should be provided. 30% Experience of the Firm and Project Team on Similar Projects The firm must demonstrate experience in the development of Sewer Master Planning for mid-sized Counties in the Metro North Georgia Sewer Planning District, including an understanding of the impacts and implications of consequences with water quality impacts to Lake Lanier. The experience should include productive and inclusive public involvement processes for the development of such plans. The proposed project personnel should have similar experience, preferably as a team. The quality of references will also be considered. 35% Technical Knowledge and Experience The proposed project team must demonstrate knowledge and experience in the disciplines needed to complete the project. 20% Quality of Presentation The firms proposal must reflect a clear understanding of the project, provide an overview of the proposed scope of work, and state the relevant experience of the firm and proposed team. The ability to convey complex concepts, relate to a diverse population, and handle questions and concerns during presentations will be considered. 15%

40 Bid Information updates on the Web Remember… Updates on Bids can be viewed by visiting our website at Watch for new & exciting opportunities each week here on the Website… Bids & Proposals

41 Hall County Purchasing Dept If you have any questions, Please give us a call at

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