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Doing Business with Nevada County

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Doing Business with Nevada County
Published on: 4/10/2012 12:00 AM

What we Buy

The County of Nevada buys a wide variety of goods and services: from office supplies to ammunition, tree trimming to psychiatric services, car parts to fresh bread.

For some products, such as personal computers and highly specialized equipment, the County has adopted standard models in order to ensure compatibility and ease of maintenance and support. Generally, we seek products and services that provide the best value, which doesn’t always mean the lowest price.

The County seeks to purchase products with the lowest overall environmental impact from manufacturing through end of life. Vendors are encouraged to suggest recyclable equivalents whenever these goods  meet product specifications and are economically advantageous for the County.

Where we Buy

For most routine purchases, County departments do their own research and select the products and vendors that best meet their needs. In other cases, such as office and janitorial supplies, cellular phone service, and a handful of other goods and services,  the County contracts with a single vendor or utilizes a cooperative contract negotiated by another public agency to provide competitive pricing to all County departments. Comparison shopping is encouraged for all purchases and is required for any purchases of items costing more than $6,500.

The County prefers to purchase goods from local businesses. Any local business that qualifies for local preference will have its bid judged as being the lowest if the bid is within 5% of the lowest bid not qualifying for local preference. A local preference in contracts for services is used only in select cases. By law, we may not give a local preference for competitively bid public works contracts or federally funded contracts.

How we Buy

Direct payment and credit card purchases: County Department Heads may authorize most routine purchases of up to $2,500 without a Purchase Order. This is generally done through a credit card or, when the vendor is willing, through payment of the vendor’s invoice. A County credit card may not be used for professional services.

Purchase Orders and Contracts:  Any purchase over $2,500 must be authorized in advance of any goods or services being provided, by a purchase order or contract. All purchases of goods over $2,500 per transaction must be approved in advance by the County Purchasing Agent. Contracts for services must be approved by either the County Executive Officer (up to $5,000), the Purchasing Agent (up to $25,000), or the Board of Supervisors.
 
Please do not provide goods or services priced at over $2,500 to a County Department without a properly executed Purchase Order or contract.  Doing so will put the transaction at risk of cancellation or, at best, significantly delay payment.

Blanket Purchase Orders are issued when the County intends to make several purchases from a single vendor over a stated period of time, typically the County’s fiscal year (July through June). The amount of the blanket purchase order sets a limit on the amount authorized to be purchased,  and there is no guaranteed minimum.

Requests for Proposals

Requests for Proposals (RFP) are used for most large purchases (typically over $25,000) when price will not be the determining factor in the selection of a contractor.  The RFP will provide background on the County’s need and describe in general terms the work that needs to be performed. Proposals from interested providers must describe how the provider would go about fulfilling the need, and at what cost. Proposals are evaluated and a contract is negotiated with the provider whose proposal most closely meets the County’s needs.

Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) are issued when the County seeks to retain professional  services from architects, engineers, construction project managers, and related professionals. The RFQ process is similar to the RFP process, except the provider does not include a cost proposal. The most qualified provider is selected for negotiation of a contract. If the County cannot come to agreement on contract terms and price, then negotiations are undertaken with the next most qualified provider.

Invitatons to Bid (ITB) are used when the County has a well-defined set of specifications and is prepared to award the contract to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.  To be considered responsive, a bidder must follow all directions as specified in the ITB. To be considered responsible, the bidder must have the capability in all respects to perform fully the contract requirements.

Public Works Projects
Contracts for the construction, improvement and repair of public buildings are awarded through a competitive bidding process. 
Informal bidding procedures are typically  used for public works projects costing between $6,500 and $10,000. Informal bid announcements are sent by e-mail to contractors known by the County to be skilled in the trade(s) required. Informal bids are generally advertised once in The Union newspaper and have a short turnaround time for receipt of bids.
Formal sealed bids are solicited when the cost of work on a public building exceeds $10,000, and when work on public roads exceeds $25,000. Bidders are advised to read the bid documents carefully and to follow all instructions and provide all information requested.
Public works contracts are subject to the prevailing wage requirements of the California Labor Code. See www.dir.ca.gov/dlsr Certain federally funded projects are subject to Davis Bacon wage laws. 

 

How we Pay our Bills

Vendors must have a vendor data record (in lieu of IRS form W-9) on file with the County Auditor-Controller in order to be paid. Vendors may request to be paid by electronic funds transfer. The County department requesting the purchase will provide the vendor with the necessary forms.  Invoices must be submitted directly to the contracting department, which is identified by the “Bill to” address on the purchase order . Include the PO or contract number on your invoice in order to expedite payment. Terms, unless specifically indicated otherwise in the purchase order or contract, are Net 30 days  from receipt of invoice after goods and services have been delivered.
 

Insurance Requirements for Contractors
Following is a summary of insurance requirements typical of most contracts with the County of Nevada. The requirements of individual contracts may vary, depending on the nature of the work being performed. All required insurance must remain in full force and effect throughout the duration of the contract, and must be issued by a company with an A.M. Best rating of B+ or higher.
Commercial General Liability Insurance:
Proof of such insurance evidenced by a certificate of insurance with properly executed endorsements shall be provided. Coverage shall include the following:
a. Broad form coverage for liability for death or bodily injury to a person or persons, and for property damage, combined single limit coverage, in the minimum amount of $1,000,000.
b. An endorsement naming the County of Nevada and its officers, agents, employees and volunteers as additionally insured with respect to claims or suits arising from the services provided.
c. A provision that said insurance shall be primary and other insurance maintained by the County of Nevada shall be excess only and not contributing with Contractor’s insurance.
d. A provision that said insurance shall provide for thirty (30) days written notice to County of any termination or change in coverage protection, or reduction in coverage limits (except ten (10) days notice for non-payment of premium).
 
Automobile Liability Insurance: 
If the contractor at any time intends operate a vehicle in the course of providing services under the contract, the County shall be provided evidence of a Business Rated or Commercial Automobile Liability insurance policy, for each vehicle used including non-owned and hired automobiles. This insurance shall include the following provisions:
a. Liability protection for death or bodily injury to a person or persons, property damage, and uninsured and underinsured coverage, combined single limit coverage, in the minimum amount of $1,000,000.
b. An endorsement naming the County of Nevada and its officers, agents, employees and volunteers as an additional insured.
c. A provision that said insurance shall be primary and other insurance maintained by the County of Nevada shall be excess only and not contributing with Contractor’s insurance.
d. A provision that said insurance shall provide for thirty (30) days written notice to County of any termination or change in coverage protection, or reduction in coverage limits (except ten (10) days notice for non-payment of premium).
 
Worker's Compensation Insurance: 
A Worker’s Compensation insurance policy shall be maintained required by law, and County shall be provided proof of such insurance evidenced by a certificate of insurance, or other documentation acceptable to County.
 
Errors and Omissions (Professional Liability) Insurance:
This coverage is required for contracts with certain categories of professionals, such as where there is a risk of design errors or malpractice

 
Gifts and Gratuities

The County maintains a strict policy prohibiting its employees from accepting gifts and or gratuities from any supplier. Please be mindful of this policy.
 
Mary Ross
County Purchasing Agent
Purchasing

950 Maidu Avenue Suite 130
Nevada City, Ca 95959
Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Phone: 530.265.1238
ncpurchasing@co.nevada.ca.us
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