How to Do Business With the City

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We appreciate your interest in doing business with the City of Santa Clarita. The purpose of this section is to explain how a supplier may provide products and services to the City. The City is always interested in securing responsible suppliers who can meet its needs promptly, economically and in the desired quality and quantities. Our aim is to help you in your sales effort and to promote business relationships with the City of Santa Clarita. We hope this guide will benefit you as a new or present supplier.


The purpose of the City's purchasing section is to maintain continuity of services and supplies to support the various City agencies and departments.

Sales Calls and Contacts

Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. To conserve time and ensure you adequate attention, we urge you to make an appointment before coming to Purchasing. Routine "courtesy" visits are not encouraged as they can disrupt the daily workflow.

Methods of Procurement

The following methods of purchasing are utilized:

Purchases Under $3,000

City employees are authorized to make purchases under $3,000 without a purchase order. The supplier must verify the person's employment with the City by identification card or phone call to Purchasing. Material must be picked up by the employee or delivered to a City facility or work site and the buyer's name and department must appear on the invoice. All invoices in compliance with this process will be paid upon verification of the employee's purchase.

Purchases Between $3,000 and $40,000

Purchases over $3,000 but less than $40,000 require competitive quotations whenever possible. Quotations may be submitted to the requesting department via telephone, email, in person, by mail, or by facsimile transmission.

Purchases $40,000 and Over
For purchases $40,000 and over, formal bids are normally solicited. Formal bids must be sealed and can be submitted in person or via Planetbids depending on whether a bis is electronic or not. Formal bids cannot be submitted via telephone or facsimile.

Acting without a Purchase Order Number

All purchases over $3,000 charged to the City require a purchase order. If an individual calls you and attempts to place an order over $3,000, you are cautioned to request an authorized purchase order number and obtain the name and department of the individual. Invoices over $3,000 must cite the purchase order number. A purchase order is your assurance that you will be paid.


There may be times during an emergency when an order must be placed after normal business hours or on weekends. Be assured that true emergency purchases at such times without purchase order numbers will be approved. You must obtain the individual's name and department and request identification if the order is placed in person. Department personnel are instructed to obtain a purchase order number from Purchasing the following workday. The employee who places the order will send you an authorized purchase order as soon as possible.


Written specifications are used in the bidding process to describe the required level of quality, quantity, delivery and scope of work. A bid form will normally accompany the specifications outlining certain terms and conditions governing City purchases. Specifications prepared by City departments are carefully reviewed by Purchasing to eliminate undue restrictions and other limitations, which unnecessarily reduce competition. The purchase will eventually be made from the lowest responsible and responsive bidder meeting the specifications.

A contractor may expend considerable time and money presenting a product to an individual City department in the hopes of making a sale. Remember that the purchase will likely be made by competitive bid, and expenditures for expensive design demonstrations and layouts will not guarantee you an order. Any help you offer a department in developing their specifications cannot be considered when we make the purchase. If you are called upon to provide expensive pre-purchase services, you should consider contracting separately with the department for this service. You might also ask the department to make sure you receive an invitation to bid.

Basis for Award

It is the City's desire to maintain a competitive bid process for all purchases and to make awards for bids based on the lowest responsible and responsive bid received subject to the application of a multiple criteria award or Shop Santa Clarita procedures.

"Lowest responsible bidder" means the lowest bidder whose offer best responds in quality, fitness and capacity to the requirement of the proposed work or usage. Such factors as delivery time, quality, compatibility, references, experiences, parts and services, freight cost, etc., may play an important role in awarding a bid to the "lowest responsible bidder."

A "responsive" bid is one that is in substantial conformance with the requirements of the specifications, the invitation to bid and the City's contractual terms and conditions. This would also include such things as completeness of the quotation forms, inclusion of references and attachments and completion of required responses.

Delivery and Inspections

Shipment is to be made to the City of Santa Clarita Free on Board (FOB) destination. Requirements for delivery are specified on all bids and purchase orders. Failure to meet the specified date may cause cancellation of the order and will adversely reflect on your firm's overall performance rating. Also, variations from the specifications may make a shipment subject to rejection.

Bid Results

Bid awards are a matter of public record. Abstracts of bids showing prices and awards are available by contacting Purchasing after the award has been made. They are also available on Purchasing's Planetbids website.

Change Orders

The purchase order is part of the City's contract with the supplier. Therefore, changes to the purchase order are not valid unless the change is approved in writing by the city.

Billing and Payment

The City requires invoices in duplicate for each purchase order issued to the vendor. The purchase order number must appear on all invoices, shipping tags and all correspondence relevant to the order.

Payment is made after receipt of invoice and delivery and acceptance of material as specified on the purchase order. Unless otherwise specified on the purchase order, invoices should be submitted to:

City of Santa Clarita
Accounts Payable
23920 Valencia Blvd., Suite 300
Santa Clarita, CA 91355-2196

Sending your invoice to any other department (unless otherwise instructed) may delay payment. The City strives to pay all invoices within thirty (30) days of receipt of invoice and acceptance of the order.

Questions regarding payment of invoices should be made to the Accounts Payable Office at (661) 255-4996. You will need to reference the purchase order and invoice numbers when calling with questions.


In all instances in which supplier personnel enter City property to repair, install, service, construct, consult, etc., the City requires a certificate of insurance verifying coverage per City insurance requirements. Whenever insurance is required, the supplier will be notified of the requirements for coverage. Contact Purchasing if you need further information on insurance requirements.


The City is exempt from federal excise tax, but pays sales and use taxes when applicable. Certificates of Exemption from Excise Tax may be obtained from the Finance Division.

Gifts and Gratuities

The City of Santa Clarita maintains a strict policy prohibiting the acceptance by its employees of gifts and/or gratuities from any supplier or potential supplier.

Minority, Small and Local Businesses

The City is interested in promoting minority, small and local businesses. We see such businesses as an important part of a competitive bid process that deserves our encouragement and help. Please let your business status and locale be known when requesting your name be added to our supplier list.

Emergency Resource List

Purchasing maintains an "Emergency Resource List of Suppliers" that may be contacted in the event of a local disaster. If you believe your firm may be able to provide such a resource, please contact Purchasing to register as an emergency resource supplier.

Environmental Policies

Purchasing supports the City Council's Resolution #05-103 by procuring and using environmentally sound products. This Resolution supports the requirements of SB 1106 (2005) which requires the City to purchase recycled products in specified categories when of equal quality at the same or lesser cost.? The legislation also requires businesses to provide statements in writing as to the post-consumer content of their products.? We encourage suppliers to help keep us informed of available recycled and environmentally sound products. Resolution #93-9 provides for a price preference for recycled content paper.? In accordance with City Council Resolution #91-91, suppliers shall not provide any items to the City, in performance of a contract, which are tropical hardwoods or tropical hardwood products. Suppliers are urged not to import, purchase, obtain, or use for any purpose, any tropical hardwood or tropical hardwood product.

Americans with Disabilities Act

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you or someone in your firm needs special assistance to participate in a walk-through or attend a pre-bid meeting, you should contact Purchasing at (661) 286-4183. Notification 48 hours prior to the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to the meeting.

No supplier providing a service, program or activity to the public on behalf of the City shall discriminate against any person because of sex, race, color, creed, national origin or disability. Suppliers providing a service, program or activity to the public on behalf of the City shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and City policy pursuant thereto when providing said service, program or activity

When we conduct business with you, it is our desire to conclude each transaction in a respectful, fair and professional manner. We hope this guide has helped you better understand the City's purchasing process.